For more than a quarter of a century, Catered Affair has been a fixture in Hillsborough. In a town where restaurants often come and go, this family-owned-and-operated sandwich shop has stood the test of time. Since 1989, Catered Affair has been serving great deli fare to the masses, while maintaining a longstanding reputation as one of Hillsborough’s best eateries.
Ever since my family and I moved to Hillsborough way back in 1999, we have made many trips to Catered Affair – probably too many to count, in my case. With a menu that is suitable for any time of the day, there truly is never a bad time to come here.
The inviting, nostalgic atmosphere pays tribute to Hillsborough’s many athletic squads with team photos lining nearly every wall in the restaurant. Speaking of which – who’s that bad man in the top right of that cross-country team picture? Me, circa 2009!
The restaurant is only open until 6pm daily and 4pm on Sundays, which is probably a good thing, considering my ’round-the-clock hunger. It all works out though – my favorite meal, breakfast, is served all day long!
As many of my friends can attest, I am probably the most indecisive person on Earth when it comes to ordering food. My anxiety is only heightened by Catered Affair’s menu, which is intimidatingly large, to say the least. I would bet that many customers feel the same way – see for yourself!
In days of yore, I often found myself ordering from the ‘Cardiac Corner’ section of the menu, which is not for the faint-hearted (no pun intended). A particular favorite of mine was the Grease Trap – bacon, pork roll, sausage, hash browns, salt, pepper & ketchup on a toasted roll. It is exactly what its name implies; my arteries feel clogged just from writing that last sentence.
I do try to eat healthier nowadays, but hey, trying and doing are two different things. Nonetheless, there are still many other sections of Catered Affair’s menu to choose from; perhaps a superfluous amount of sandwich choices, might I add.
Without overwhelming yourself, observe the menu’s legion of components: breakfast sandwiches, omelettes, subs, burgers, paninis, triple deckers, ‘cardiac corner’, ‘healthy choices’ (if you’re into that sort of thing), and finally, my personal favorite – smothered sandwiches.
The “Up in Smoke”, a smothered sandwich rich in both flavor and quality, has become my go-to order as of late. A smothered, smoked turkey sandwich on marble rye with smoked mozzarella melted on top, along with lettuce and sun-dried tomato mayo. For the affordable price of $7, the “Up in Smoke” is indeed perfection on a plate, and also a contender for the [nonexistent] award of Most Photogenic Sandwich. See below!
Though Catered Affair’s offerings are vast, I still find myself ordering the same things time and time again. I am a believer in the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but I really should mix it up once in a while. With that in mind, here are a few other choices which caught my eye:
–New York, New York: Hot corned beef and pastrami with swiss cheese, coleslaw & mustard on triple-decker seeded rye. Though it costs $9.50, it looks like a fine option to splurge on. If I can eat it there, I’ll eat it anywhere!
–Sopranos Panini: Fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, basil, balsamic, olive oil & seasonings on flatbread. As Tony would say, Salute!
–Jumping Jack: Smoked turkey, swiss cheese, black olives, mixed greens & hummus with a dash of balsamic in a soft tortilla. As one of the ‘healthy choice’ menu selections, it is one of many guilt-free indulgences. This is what I should be eating…
Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the “Letter R” – Catered Affair’s pièce de résistance, if you will. Despite having no numbers to back up my claim, I am 100% confident that it is the most popular item on the menu. Consisting of sliced chicken breast, bacon, melted cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes & herb mayo between an Italian roll, the “Letter R” is about as good as it gets.
There is something special about the sandwich that makes it difficult for me to eat just one. Lucky for me, I was able to get a three-foot version for my high school grad party. Unverified reports estimate that I chomped down at least an entire foot. No regrets.
In addition to running a kick-ass deli, Catered Affair is also well-known throughout the community for their catering services. If you have ever been to a summer BBQ or grad party in Hillsborough, it is a foregone conclusion that Catered Affair was there too. Come to think of it, I might need them for my wedding someday 🙂
For now, all I can do is pay tribute to a restaurant which has been the site of much satisfaction for me throughout my formative years. With my time as a full-time Hillsborough resident soon coming to a close, there are many people, places, and things I will come to miss dearly.
Without a doubt, Catered Affair is at the top of that list.