A visit to a revitalized Croton Classic
By Ken De Laat
Photos by Lil De Laat
You know how when you’re on vacation and you stumble onto one of those epic epicurean finds? That Place. The one that combines great food with an atmosphere to die for? The one you’ll tell others about and not forget should your travels bring you back to the area?
That’s the vibe at the newly expanded Hit The Road Joe where patio dining brings patrons up close and personal with the eclectic gardens that surround this enticing eatery.
Jeff Murrell and Tracy Filipek Murrell (aka Chef T) have created a welcoming and appealing venue, the latest phase of what has been a pandemic precipitated transformation. A revival born out of necessity and nurtured by innovation and courage.
The Murrells took over the local favorite establishment in January of last year. Two months later they closed their doors because of COVID.
For those unfamiliar, HTRJ is not what one might call expansive. The inside dining made the most out of the room available, however attempting to continue with a reduced capacity wasn’t feasible.
So they shifted. They began offering take out 3 times a week and soon the regulars, as well as those who discovered this gastronomical gem by accident or referral, began appearing at the window.
Then came pizza. Channeling their pizza-making roots the couple began dealing up wood-fired pies on occasion and the popularity led to an expanded oven and a parade of vehicles passing through the window each Saturday.
Earlier this spring breakfast-to-go started on weekends and added to the HTRJ repertoire.
And now there is the patio.
The new expansion provides an enchanting dining experience with a garden well worth a wander as the adult swing set (complete with fire pit), the hops enveloping the dining area and the personable members of the equus family who hover nearby provide a dollop of charm.
And of course, there is the food.
It’s a one meal menu, three times a week. Saturdays, and now Sundays as well, are pizza nights. And Fridays through the summer you can snare a rack of their delectable ribs
The evening LSC Lil and I were there the dish proved to be smoked chicken and bean tostadas served w/ homemade salsa and sour cream.
And it was sublime.
As was the cannoli Lil and I heartily agreed was well deserved being it was Monday and all.
From well known dishes and comfort foods to exotic takes on recipes old and new the eats at the Joe are made from scratch and made with love.
Chef T. is an artist when it comes to creating food.
And now she has a fitting gallery to exhibit those creations.
Monday: Dinner Service 5-7pm
Wednesday: Dinner Service 5-7pm
Friday: Breakfast 8am-Noon, Dinner (Ribs)
Saturday: Breakfast 8am-Noon, Wood Fired Pizza 4-9pm
Sunday: Breakfast 8am-Noon, Wood Fired Pizza 4-9pm
Check our Nibbler section or the HTRJ facebook page for menu updates
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