This colorful country-style carryout is full of Hilda's handiwork. The creative proprietor has contributed her own paintings to hang on the wooden walls, and little knick-knacks like mobiles, plants and posters decorate the tiny store.It looks like the kind of hangout college students should frequent for late-night study breaks.
Hilda's food talents are inventive, too -- somewhat vegetarian-oriented, and sometimes successful. Homemade yogurt is the highlight here, the cantaloupe flavor with its visible chunks of fruit and a creamy cantaloupe taste, or a thick honey almond. Other flavors that we were curious to try, like rhubarb or mango, were not available.
Spinach quiche was covered with a thin film of melted cheese, its insides similar to a tangy spinach casserole. Celeriac with mustard consisted of strips of celery root nicely dressed with creamy vinaigrette; tuna salad was solid and homey. Chocolate marble cake consisted of squares of chewy toffee that could overshadow many a candy bar.
Other items were borderline cases: chicken salad was on a par with the cafeteria variety; marinated mushrooms were old, black-gilled vegetables overdosed with tarragon.
Hilda's major fault, though, is that she doesn't pay attention to niceties. As a result, much of the food intimidates you before you can appreciate it -- such as a clumsy Chinese crepe, or a well-marinated eggplant and tomato salad awkward with its uncut eggplant.
Don't worry. Hilda's food is better than it looks. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mon. through Wed.; 11 a.m. to midnight Thurs. through Sat. Closed Sun. Moderate.