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Hi Neighbor Restaurant

192 W. King St., Strasburg, VA - (540) 465-9187
Posted By Michael Stern on 5/9/2014 5:03:00 AM
In this fine old town cafe, a sign above the soda-dispensing machine, atop of which are marshaled individual boxes of breakfast cereal, reads, "WE HAVE PUDDIN MEAT" The waitress spots me taking a picture of the sign, and without our even asking, she explains that puddin is "scrapple without the cornmeal," adding, "I need to tell you that it stinks. Most people have it on their pancakes, and some have raw onions added." It really isn't all that stinky, but it does have a distinct piggy perfume. It is a fresh perfume, appetizing indeed for those of us who enjoy pork from the rooter to the tooter. Puddin's texture is soft like oatmeal, a friendly food even if it is a bit visceral. If it is daunting, consider the kitchen's scrapple, which is a hearty, full-seasoned tile fried to a fine crisp, or sausage patties, which are mildly spiced, fresh, and tender. Sausage gravy is hugely creamy and only mildly piggy. It is available as a topping for waffles or very good pancakes, which are homely plate-size irregulars. All the pork products come from Crabill's Slaughter House in nearby Toms Brook.

Hi Neighbor is a good place to eat fried chicken, which is skillet-cooked. It has brittle skin and moist meat; and although it is modestly seasoned, the tender dark meat is immodestly luxurious. Ham is another worthy choice. It is country ham, of course: rank, salty, chewy, dense and incredibly intense, well balanced by a scattering of stewed apples on top.

As its name suggests, Hi Neighbor is a friendly sort of place, a well-worn town cafe with soft blue-upholstered booths and a counter with chairs (not stools), also upholstered in pale blue. The check is delivered with your meal, then taken back and amended if you order dessert. But in our experience, desserts here aren't as good as entrees and side dishes.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Fried Chicken
Macaroni & Cheese
Country Ham
Pancake
Stewed Tomatoes
Apple Pie
Corned Beef Hash
Peach Crisp
Scrapple Breakfast
Bread Pudding
Puddin
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Hi Neighbor's country ham is salty but not insanely so, well complemented by a spill of sweet stewed apples.
"Hi Neighbor's country ham is salty but not insanely so, well complemented by a spill of sweet stewed apples."
Michael Stern





The brittle skin on this excellent fried chicken shores in luxurious juices.
"The brittle skin on this excellent fried chicken shores in luxurious juices."
Michael Stern


Macaroni and cheese is as rich as custard, the creamy part balanced by reefs and shoals of chewy cheese.
"Macaroni and cheese is as rich as custard, the creamy part balanced by reefs and shoals of chewy cheese."
Michael Stern


The Hi Neighbor originally opened as the Hometown Cafe in 1949.
"The Hi Neighbor originally opened as the Hometown Cafe in 1949."
Michael Stern


Crisp-edged corned beef hash is full-flavored and spicy. You really taste the corned beef.
"Crisp-edged corned beef hash is full-flavored and spicy. You really taste the corned beef."
Michael Stern


Comfortable counter seats, as seen from a table up front
"Comfortable counter seats, as seen from a table up front"
Michael Stern


Bread pudding is dense and satisfying, albeit charmless.
"Bread pudding is dense and satisfying, albeit charmless."
Michael Stern


A nice, from-scratch pancake
"A nice, from-scratch pancake"
Michael Stern


Alas, the peach crisp was not so crisp. Was this the result of it being zapped in the microwave?
"Alas, the peach crisp was not so crisp. Was this the result of it being zapped in the microwave?"
Michael Stern


A sign to warm the heart of true pork lovers
"A sign to warm the heart of true pork lovers"
Michael Stern


Many customers ask to have their puddin adorned with crisp chopped onions. We like ours plain, along with a pancake or two.
"Many customers ask to have their puddin adorned with crisp chopped onions. We like ours plain, along with a pancake or two."
Michael Stern


Scrapple is fried so it develops a delicious crunchy surface.
"Scrapple is fried so it develops a delicious crunchy surface."
Michael Stern


Stewed tomatoes are deeply fruity but not sweet – laced with cheese.
"Stewed tomatoes are deeply fruity but not sweet – laced with cheese."
Michael Stern


Although it is billed as homemade, we thought the apple pie was listless, its crust soft, the apples tired.
"Although it is billed as homemade, we thought the apple pie was listless, its crust soft, the apples tired."
Michael Stern



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