Kusty's Corner Cafe offers soup and sandwich options, free Wi-Fi
Kusty's Corner Cafe
Location: Olde Tollgate Village, 2535 S. Queen St., York Township
Jess' pick: Turkey Club with chips and pickle, $6.95; large side of mac and cheese, $3.75
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday
Price range: 80 cents, bag of chips; $40, pan of hamburger or pork barbecue to feed 14 people
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: No
Details: Call (717) 741-2300, visit kustyscornercafe.com or find Kusty's Corner Cafe on Facebook
People eat on other days besides Fridays.
Kusty's Corner Cafe, which started in Eastern Market one day a week, recognized the need and expanded a little over a year ago to another location, open five additional days.
The Olde Tollgate Village restaurant has the same food options as the market, but in a different atmosphere, co-owner Mary Kustanbauter said.
"The Tollgate location can be a relief for people who can't get to the market or find it too busy," Kustanbauter said.
Plus, the slower pace of the Tollgate eatery gives her a chance to know customers better.
"We noticed when we took over the other location -- it's a place for people to come and socialize, Kustanbauter said. "It's more than just a place to eat. They consider us like family."
Which is appropriate, because running the restaurant is a bit of a family affair. Kustanbauter's husband, Chris, is another owner, and their son, Derek, currently a senior in college, will start working there once he graduates.
The first sign I noticed on the door leading into the Tollgate cafe read "Free Wi-Fi." Now that does encourage sitting and staying a while.
Once inside, customers can place orders at the counter. Sandwiches, salads and soups are available daily, and there are plenty of places to sit at the counter or at tables.
The real gems at Kusty's are the carryout and take-and-bake options.
Kustanbauter says pans of mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, hamburger or pork barbecue are popular for families juggling after-school activities and little time to cook.
Soups and deli salads are sold by the pint and quart – soups are $4.50 for a pint, $6.50 for a quart; creamy soups, $4.75 and $6.75. And there are a lot from which to choose, including tomato bisque, white chicken chili, chicken orzo. Traditional favorites like beef vegetable and chicken corn are available, too.
On a recent Saturday, I picked the Turkey Club ($6.95) from the daily menu. Sandwiches come with a bag of chips (your choice of regular or barbecue) and a pickle.
Sides like cole slaw, pasta salad, applesauce and mac and cheese are also on the menu – I tried a large side of mac and cheese for $3.75.
For baked mac and cheese, the side was smooth and creamy.
The sandwich, which I picked to be on wheat bread, toasted, included layers of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, turkey, mayonnaise and crispy bacon that held together quite well despite its mountainous appearance. As for the chips – I've never met a bag of Martin's barbecue ripple potato chips I didn't like.
Other favorite dishes are boiled pot pies, Kustanbauter said, which rotate weekly. The monthly pot pie calendar at the counter was an inkling that yes, customers plan their visits depending on what day Kusty's offers ham, chicken or beef.
It's the type of homemade food York Countians have come to expect from Kusty's, whether in the fast-paced market or the relaxed Tollgate location, that sets it apart from the grocery store's freezer section (but is just as convenient).
Have a suggestion for an upcoming column? Email Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter @JessKrout.