I was flying home from FCO, stopped at ORD and taxied out to a suburban airport to hook up with a friend, and bum a ride on his plane back to Santa Barbara. He was held up with a ground stop at TEB, so I was gonna have a couple of hours to kill. Luckily, there was a bar and restaurant at the airstrip. I didn’t even know the airport was there, despite the fact I used to live nearby. Seems more like it’s for personal aircraft, I didn’t see many corporate-sized planes on the tie downs. There’s a flight school and heliport, as well.
The restaurant overlooks the runway, and it’s called Pilot Pete’s. It has an aviation theme (surprise!) with large scale model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, airline seats in the waiting area, and other general air knick-knacks as decorations.
I admire the owner/manager, this place has a very long menu, seemingly no pre-prepared dishes, as well as daily specials. It has to be a chore to keep everything running smoothly. The waitstaff is clad in shirts that say “Flight Crew,” and the couple I talked to said they’d worked there for years and wouldn’t work anyplace else.
Although this place is apparently known for its version of the hundred dollar hamburger, I was in the mood for something a little different, and surprise, I over ordered. Started with an amazing “Fall Salad”, which crisp greens, blueberry, chicken and damn near a half pound of feta. Salad came with soup, and I opted for French Onion, piping hot, flavorful, with the traditional baked cheese/crouton cap.
Launched into the restaurant’s version of a Cuban, which the menu says is an homage to the one prepared by Treasure Island in Tampa. Pete’s strayed a little bit by adding mayo, tomato, and lettuce, which didn’t take away from the quality meats and cheese, which were amply packed between pressed halves of a garlic Cuban baguette.
The only downside to the meal were the accompanying fries, which were the extruded type, good flavoring and seasoning, just not a personal favorite. Overall, it was a terrific meal with portion sizes that could easily have served three. Sandwich, soup, salad, cocktail, $40 including tip.
Here’s the menu. (Update, October 2015). Had their “hundred dollar burger” and onion blossom. I added Asiago and onion straws to the 10 oz medium rare patty. Excellent. Pics down below.
Pilot Petes Restaurant Review