• Atmosphere

It is clear that The Rail Trail Flatbread Co. in Hudson, Mass., is a place for family and fun which is only enhanced by its staff. The customers looked comfortable and completely at ease; jokes flew from one staff member to another and occasionally a burst of laughter came from somewhere behind the immense brick oven. According to co-owner, Karim El-Gamal, The Rail Trail "is a place where I want friends, family and the community to feel comfortable and to get together for a bite." The restaurant even reuses old furniture and decor to give it a cozy, homey atmosphere. From the mason jar lights to the wheels hung on the wall, everything makes you feel right at home.

  • About

 

Owners El-Gamal and Michael Kasseris began the Rail Trail Flatbread Co. out of a passion for food and a perfect partnership. They originally met at Babson College and started talking about opening up a restaurant after they found that they worked well together and had a similar interest in food. From the beginning they knew they wanted to cook comfort food so their customers could always find something that they liked on the menu and just stop by without having to plan ahead.

The Rail Trail got its name from the Assabet River Rail Trail that runs through a couple of towns in the area. El-Gamal and Kasseris liked the history behind the river and thought the restaurant could represent a mixture of old and new to remind people of the town's history.


Advertisement

  • Food and Drink

The Rail Trail is best known for its flatbread pizzas which helped kickstart the restaurant's popularity when it first opened. However, El-Gamal says that other favorites have developed through time as well. The Hot Tots are another popular choice. These tater tot hybrids are mixed with bleu cheese and drizzled with hot buffalo sauce giving them an intense savory flavor. The burgers, stuffed banana peppers, fried pickles and beer-braised buffalo wings are other customer favorites.

Speaking of beer, the Rail Trail is also known for its vast beer menu that changes almost daily.

"We want you to have lots of great beer options to pair with your food," says El-Gamal. "Also, as we get more customers we try to add their favorite beer choices to the list and even introduce them to new beer as well."

Though the restaurant specializes in comfort food and beer, they have some unconventional choices as well. The Calamari Chili, Carnitas Nachos, Zucchini Sticks, Ratatouille, Chevre Pear, Fig and Walnut Flatbread and Truffle Feta Fries are all dishes you wouldn't see on every menu.

And if you're looking for dessert, the Rail Trail has your sweet tooth covered. The Chocolate Ganache Creme Brulee and the Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie are both worthy choices.

The Rail Trail prides itself on having the freshest food possible. All breads and sauces are made in the restaurant and the ingredients are grown locally which adds to the "comfortable, community feel."

  • Cost

 

Appetizers range from $7 to $16, salads are $8 to $12, and sandwiches (called "between bread" on the menu) are around $12 each. Entrees are priced at approximately $15. Flatbreads are served as craft-your-own in two sizes, small ($9) and large ($13), with extra charges for toppings, or specialty pizzas ranging from $14 to $24. To add a side can cost any where from $1 to $8. The kids meals and desserts are all $6. Bottled beer ranges from $7 to $20, and wine averages about $8. Cocktails are around $9 each.

  • Community

 

Since The Rail Trail is so community friendly, their customers have given back by creating a large Internet presence for the restaurant. Their Facebook page is more active than most and many customers follow the daily updates provided by the Rail Trail. The restaurant also has a Twitter, though El-Gamal says he is still figuring it out. This presence helps the Rail get ahead of other restaurants since social media is becoming more and more popular. However, to El-Gamal, community trumps competition. "I don't feel like we're competing," he says, "we are here to be a part of a community, we give each other advise and work alongside one another, our goal is to collectively make this a restaurant destination town so everybody can benefit."

The Rail Trail Flatbread Co. is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant is located at 33 Main St. in Hudson, Mass. For information visit railtrailflatbread.com or call 978-293-3552. For beers on tap, visit facebook.com/railtrailflatbread.