Troy’s Café is not what it seems. Located at the end of a plain West Chester strip mall populated with beauty salons and florists, its earth-toned walls—accented by colorful canvases and decorative wine bottles—exude a sophisticated ambiance. But after sitting down and perusing the menu, we had to place our order at the front counter, fast-food style. And the help-yourself ethos didn’t end there. Drinks are either self-served at the soda fountain, purchased by the glass or bottle from a massive wine list, or selected from an eclectic stock of bottled beer in the mini Gatorade fridge flanking the register. It’s a bit strange, even for a small, family-owned establishment, and it tempered our expectations of the food. Fortunately, our fears were mostly unfounded. Our bowl of apple beer-cheese soup du jour ($4.50) was a fitting remedy for the frosty temperature outside, creamy and comforting with chunky croutons stirred throughout. The smoked mozzarella pasta ($9.45) has a similar effect, packed with herbs, bow tie noodles, and grilled chicken, all draped in a cheesy cream sauce. An eight-ounce grilled pork chop ($12.95) was the evening’s standout dish. Tender and juicy, topped with a crisp and tangy Washington apple relish, it’s the perfect companion for sides of sweet potato mash and green beans. It also made amends for the disappointing namesake burger ($7.95), which was regrettably bland. Café atmosphere mixed with do-it-yourself charm is worth the walk to the counter if you’re satisfied in your seat. And we were. You’ll just have to get over getting your own refills.
Troy’s Café, 4877 Smith Rd., West Chester, (513) 860-3206.
Originally published in the March 2013 issue.
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