Lodged within the quaint Tudor-style village in the downtown area of this historic 'hood, it’s the perfect blend of neighborhood deli meets traveling road-side attraction. The ambiance is a mix of carnival and circus, with a touch of 1950s diner, giving it an energy that’s both eclectic and welcoming. Televisions play oldies like The Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy, old Barnum & Bailey posters decorate the walls and servers don throw-back uniforms, giving the place a distinct retro vibe.
The real draw, though, is the food.
Pallookaville serves comfort foods in a lively space — Photo courtesy of Kim Stacy / Pallookaville Fine Foods
Remember that swimsuit diet you’ve been on since Christmas? Check it at the door. Dieting is kind of a faux pas in these parts, and honestly, there’s no point in eating here if you’re not willing to indulge, at least a little bit.
And indulge you should. Pallookaville Fine Foods gained its original popularity as a food wagon peddling deep-fried corn dogs. (Watch a video of owner Jim Stacy mixing corn dog batter with a cement mixer for Jay Leno.). Lifelong meat-on-a-stick connoisseurs will not be disappointed in the numerous variations, though the golden cornbread batter and 100% beef frank combo is tough to beat.
Not a big corn dog fan? No sweat. The menu is packed with comfort foods crafted lovingly and with top-caliber ingredients. As one might suspect in a spot popular for deep-fried fare, portions are not for dainty eaters.
Case in point: the behemoth pimento cheese sandwich with bacon is nearly two inches thick. The pork burger is absolutely brilliant and, more importantly, delicious. (We suggest tagging on cheddar and Avondale Estate’s own Pine Street Market bacon.). And the hand-cut fries stand up to the substantial sandwiches - especially when you get ‘em poutined with gravy and cheese curds.
Though our instincts are to go high-caloric with our ordering, the restaurant does offer a respectable selection of salads, so it's possible to go healthy if you’ve got the will power.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving without partaking in something sweet to sip. The restaurant touts a full-service soda fountain, offering a mind-boggling array of syrups. Pallookaville also churns out delectable New York-style egg creams and milk shakes, too. We suggest slurping up a make-your-own adult shaketail; just pick a milkshake flavor and add booze.
Have room for dessert? There’s pie, too. Lots and lots of pie.
Inexpensive menu items; quick, great-quality food; and a fun atmosphere make Pallookaville a tough act to follow. But then again, why would you want to?