Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise
If you own a restaurant that stays open late on weekends and is located next to a pub named Thirsty’s, could you pick a better name? Hungry’s is a recent addition to the Rochester food landscape (2007) but it quickly became a viable one. The tiny shed sits next to the pub on Pittsford’s main drag and it’s easy to miss because of its size. The setup is perfect for what the place specializes in however, mobilized bar food.
Inside at Hungry’s, there isn’t much to look at… mostly because there’s no space for such things. Visitors are greeted by an open cooking area, a large order counter, some stools to wait for food at and decorative dollar bills lining the walls. It puts Cooperstown Diner and Mother’s Cupboard to shame in square footage. The servers do a good job of engaging customers with such an intimate space however. Ask about the dollar bills and you could be contributing to the wall yourself. Comment about Thirsty’s and they can relay stories of making odd deliveries over there for patrons truly in the zone for their food.
All of their backstory is nice, but with mobile food oriented locales the bottom line is truly in the product. Luckily, Hungry’s doesn’t disappoint with its menu. It’s comprised of a fusion between local legends (plates, hots) and their own take on mobile bar food (burgers, wraps… and mac & cheese wedges). The undeniable choice for a first timer is the menu item that blissfully combines the two… a Plate Wrap.
For just $5.75, you get a truly Rochester-ian experience that you can take wherever you please. If you’re not familiar with a “Plate” (garbage plate for non-locals), it’s a dish that combines some base meat with mac salad, chili, fried potatoes and a rotating combination of a condiments. The flavors unscientifically combine into robust bite after bite, each with slightly different variations on the play between cool mac salad, merging condiments and the hot chili/meat. It’s miraculous that Hungry’s can recreate that experience on a smaller scale in a significantly cleaner approach. While I’ve never lived in Rochester, the wrap matched the flavor experience I had from real plates while not stuffing me to the point of exhaustion or staining any shirt pockets/jean legs. It comes as burger meat based and doesn’t have the flexibility in ordering that a normal plate brings, but those without dietary restrictions can indulge in a really special menu item.
Hungry’s is mobile food you need to seek out. Alone it may not be reason enough to travel through Pittsford, but if you ever find yourself in the area this is the dining option for those on-the-go. It boasts a wide menu of mobile options to satisfy both someone hoping to eat local and someone hoping to indulge next door. That’s not a bad niche to find just three years into your existence.
The Final Tab
Pros: Wide variety of mobile options, few exceptional items, good service, fairly affordable, will deliver locally
Cons: Hours are only late on weekends/doesn’t include early morning breakfast-on-the-go, weird mobile food characteristic despite having a physical space (rather than vehicle or street cart)
Four out of Five (Pancakes with sides | Some days you’ll seek it out)