I travel a lot for work, and I travel to fascinating and totally hoppin’ towns like Meadville, Dubois, and St. Marys, PA. As I’m sure you can imagine, these towns are full to the brim with gas stations, strip malls, and other exciting things like elk (that last part is true, I go on elk-finding treks every time I’m in St. Marys). But one thing that’s not always easy to find is a place for dinner that doesn’t serve bar food. Don’t get me wrong, I love good bar food! But when I’m on the road by myself, I like to stick to a place where I know I can get a fresh salad and a coffee and not break the bank (while making notes of the cute local bars to visit the next time Michael and I are in the area).
The first time I went to Hoss’s was in St. Marys, and it was an experience so magical that I felt it necessary to LiveTweet it.
After that first visit, I was sold. Less than $9 for all-you-can-eat salad bar, complete with nachos, soups, a whole counter of breads, and a dessert bar?? HECK YES.
From there, each trip to Hoss’s became a chance to send Instagrams of plates piled high with beets and selfies outside the restaurant to Michael with commentary like, #jealous??? and #SaladBarBeastMode and #GoHardOrGoHomeLettuce.
Eventually, I decided this was just kind of rude of me, so I made an Achievement for this year of finally taking Michael to experience the magic of Hoss’s.
I first realized we were in a super fancy Hoss’s because, unlike the many Hoss’s of small Northwestern Pennsylvania towns, the Hoss’s in Murrysville has real menus. At most Hoss’s, you order when you arrive from a menu on the wall. (Apparently the newer Hoss’s and those that are being remodeled are moving to this new menu-at-your-table style, but I spent a good five minutes marveling at this.)
Because I was too excited to sit still most of our dinner, I decided to interview Michael about his first-ever Hoss’s experience.
Fox: So what was your first thought upon seeing the salad bar? Was it like, OMG THIS IS LIKE THE SIZE OF THREE NORMAL SALAD BARS?
Husband: My first thought was, ‘where do I start?’ Because yes. The size of three normal salad bars.
Fox: And then you were like, I MUST HAVE ALL THE SOUP BRING THE SOUPS TO ME. Right?
Husband: I believe you were the one that said that. But you were right.
Fox: On a scale of ‘super amazed’ to ‘my face melted because I was so amazed,’ how amazed were you at the variety and selection of fresh ingredients on the salad bar?
Husband: At first I was like, “am I at Hoss’s, or in the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark?” because my face melted so badly, but then I realized I must be at Hoss’s because I was next to a crazy amount of fresh green peppers and also I am not a Nazi.
Fox: Can you describe the sheer and utter joy you experienced whilst being seated in front of a massive salad, a cup of hot chicken noodle soup, a serving of buttery halushki, and a plate of hot biscuits with TWO types of flavored butters?
Husband: It’s hard to describe the sheer and utter joy without breaking into song.
Fox: I know we had to take a minute for a breather between the salad and nacho round before diving into the dessert bar. But after that short intermission, when we approached the dessert bar and you first were met with its vast expanse and multitude of sweet, sticky goodness, just how many beats did your heart skip?
Husband: I was certifiably dead until I cut into the brownie tray and realized, “no, this isn’t Heaven, this is Hoss’s.”
Fox: And even when you were met with complete failure at your attempt to craft an artisan soft serve ice cream cone, did you still find yourself overwhelmed with joy and comfort and a general feeling that all was right with the world?
Husband: Absolutely. It’s not the size and shape of your soft serve, it’s the flavor within that matters.
Fox: So is it safe to say that you are now a Hoss’s convert? Do you believe your lovely and incredibly smart wife now when she texts you from Altoona to tell you she’s eating the crunchiest croutons in the fine state of Pennsylvania?
Husband: Yes. Absolutely. Friends, readers, people who accidentally clicked on our blog while looking for Hoss’s coupons, believe us: the Hoss’s salad bar is the real freaking deal.