Archive for the Food Category

Come Enjoy the World as it Once Was, at the Williamstown Farmer Market!

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Food, Green Space, Local Treasures, Neighborhood Noir, Reaching Out with tags , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by laurarobbprh

 

 

 By Laura Robb

 

Don’t have the time to travel to Lancaster County this summer? Like many of our Philadelphia locals, time and money has restricted us from taking our families on as many excursions as we would like.

If you want to see how the world once was, try to travel down the Atlantic City Expressway to Williamstown, home to the Stoltzfus Farmers Market, located on the Black horse pike.

Nicknamed the Amish Market, due to the large amount of Amish that work the stands, you have the privilege to try some of the freshest foods you can get. First stop must be for the pretzels, where several young women make hundreds of different pretzels each hour, and where the line can stretch halfway down the market.

In the center of the market, is the candy shop, where nearly every candy you know of, and some you never have, are sold at a discounted price, and always served with a smile.

The market has tons of fresh meats butchered on premise. For the health conscious people, this is the place to buy your meats! The meats are free range, and have no hormones, and it is so fresh, there is simply no better tasting foods out there.

The butcher offers fresh cuts of steaks, ground beef, ribs, bacon and more and all at a competitive price. This is a go to place if you happen to be planning any barbeques in the near future.

If you do not really want to cook, there is a prepared foods section, ranging from a large variety of salads to pot roast, baby back ribs, and Mac-and-cheese. You can purchase already cooked foods and just take it home and reheat it.

The bakery, along with everything else is simply delightful. Fresh brownies pies and danishes will bring out the sweet tooth in any one.

Go past the market, and you will find tons of shops, not ran by Amish folk, ranging from and incredible irish wares store, to wicker furniture, to a puppy shop. You can purchase books clothing or even get a massage!

This market is only open Thursday 9 -5 friday 9-8 and Saturdays 8-4, so get there early to get the full experience of this exquisite market!

For directions and more information, please go to www.williamstownfarmersmarket.com

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Local Hidden Gem Offers Great Menu, in a Great Atmosphere

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Food, Local Treasures, Neighborhood Noir, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by laurarobbprh

By Laura Robb

Next time you decide to dine out with a loved one or meet a friend for happy hour drinks, there is a restaurant you may have never heard of and should try.

Max’s Seafood Cafe, located in Gloucester City New Jersey, is a small privately owned restaurant that will impress you from start to finish, and you might go home with a little piece of history along with your leftovers.

This restaurant was once a shoe store, then turned into Leisingers Saloon in 1912, where it operated as a soft drink shop during the prohibition era.

In 1937, it was passed down in the family, and renamed “Max’s Cafe”. The restaurant operated under this name for 65 years, when it finally closed its doors in 1998.

In 2001, the building was bought and completely refurbished, except for the bar. The building showcases dark wood, and gives off an old world charm.

Along the walls of the restaurant, you will find original documents and pictures of the saloon, framed for everyone to see. The dining room is dimly lit, so please remember to bring your glasses.

 Travel downstairs, and you find a beautiful private dining area that can accommodate up to 25 people. A large long table is placed next to a delicate fireplace, and over looks an elegant wine cellar that holds about 2000 different wines.

With a beautiful restaurant, this restaurants menu will not disappoint. Max’s is infamous for their different styles of mussels; red, white, spicy red and Thai. Walking past the tables, you will notice that nearly every party is enjoying at least one large bowl of the Prince Edward Island Mussels. Also, the kitchen offers a daily selection of raw bar delights, with different clams and oysters on the menu.

After appetizers, the entrees are just as enjoyable. The seafood Jambalaya will leave you begging for more. The cedar planked Salmon is another crowd favorite, with a pecan crusted salmon fresh grilled asparagus and a delicious sweet potato and a side of cranberry chutney.

This is a restaurant that you cannot skip dessert at. The fresh made-from-scratch key lime pie with a pistachio crust will probably be the best you have ever had. They also offer different delicious creme brulee` options, with fresh fruits inside the custard.

Top all of the delicious food with a delightful bottle of wine, or a delicious craft beer. There really is a drink here for everyone.

Monday through friday, from 3-6 there are amazing happy hour specials, each day offering various drinks and appetizers at a discounted price.

This is a little hidden gem located just minutes from the Walt Whitman bridge. This restaurant is sure to please anyone’s palate, after just one visit this will be ranked among you favorite places to go.

For more information, please go to www.maxsseafoodcafe.com

Where to Go for Philly Falafel

Posted in Food, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 19, 2011 by mariamprh
By MARIA MURRAY
  
Maoz Vegetarian
248 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Tel: 215-625-3500

According to Maoz Vegetarian, “when it comes to falafel, we are world experts.” A popular fast service restaurant on South Street, Maoz caters to customers who seek high quality ingredients and nutritious vegetarian eating. As vegetarianism becomes an increasingly more accepted and accommodated lifestyle, the restaurant contributes to what Maoz calls an international “vegolution.” Though a growing franchise, Maoz takes on the originality of its neighboring South Street shops and creates an atmosphere that complements a vegetarian lifestyle.

Amsterdam was home to the first Maoz restaurant in 1991. Since then, Maoz has become an internationally recognized falafel brand, with shops in Paris, London, The Netherlands, Spain, and select cities in the U.S. The Maoz on South Street is one of two Philly shops, with the other located on Walnut Street. Though the falafel shop is small – with one table of three and a counter that overlooks South Street – its veggie-friendly food draws in crowds that can affirm vegetarianism’s growing influence on city life.

Oftentimes, vegetarians do not have the luxury of choice when opting to eat out – especially in on-the-go situations. Existing within a sphere of already prominent, and commonly unhealthy, fast service restaurants, Maoz negates the unfavorable qualities such eateries sometimes connote. The Philly falafel shop features fifteen signature salads and sauces made with fresh ingredients from local farmers and purveyors. For a full list of fresh ingredients that Maoz uses, visit  http://www.maozusa.com/menu/ingredients.

For anyone who hasn’t experienced Maoz, the eggplant and hummus Maoz sandwich is a classic. The falafel balls are fresh, and the eggplant and hummus go great with Maoz’ signature salads. If you head to Maoz on a Monday, you can print out this coupon to get 10% off a Salad Meal Deal (or you can mention the words “Meatless Monday” when placing an order).

Eating vegan never tasted so much like cheese steak?

Posted in Food, Local Treasures, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 18, 2011 by nicholeprh

 Blackbird Pizzeria, just off 6th and South, is a vegetarian/vegan’s dream come true!

By Nichole Baldino

As a vegetarian living in Philadelphia, it’s hard to be without a cheese steak! Using seitan to replace the meat and topping it “wit” the essentials: onions, peppers, mushrooms and vegan cheese, Blackbird Pizzeria keeps the sandwich’s authenticity while appealing to this growing population. Regretfully only trying a chicken steak in the almost three years I’ve lived in this city, it tasted as close to what I’d imagine a real cheese steak does. In addition to their cheese steak, Blackbird offers a variety of pizza with the traditional veggie toppings, as well as fennel, eggplant, yukon gold potatoes, avocado, and seitan pepperoni and sausage.

Sandwiches such as the “BBQ Portobello” with tangy BBQ sauce and jalapeno peppers and the “Marinated Tofu Cubano” with baked tofu, seitan pepperoni, pickles, caramelized onions, Dijon aioli, and daiya (vegan) cheese, and salads, such as a traditional ceaser, and an antipasti salad with mixed greens, roasted red pepper, marinated eggplant, baked tofu, seitan pepperoni, and a lemon-peppercorn vinaigrette round out the menu. Hand-cut fries, garlic bread and coleslaw are just a few of the extra’s you can add to all of your orders!

All is offered for a very wallet friendly price – Entree’s ranging from $2.50 – $3.75 for a slice of pizza to $8.00 for the cheese steak sandwich. From personal experience, the cheese steak doubled as the next day’s lunch for me – it was THAT filling.

You can finish out your meal with vegan desserts – cupcakes, brownies, cookies and more, made fresh by Vegan Treats!

Although the menu is small, there’s an option at Blackbird for all eaters. I went with a self-proclaimed “carnivore” who thoroughly enjoyed the BBQ Portobello Sandwich. Try it for yourself at 507 S. 6th Street in Philadelphia open Monday – Saturday 11am to 10pm and Sundays 11am to 9pm.

An Understated Café in “Everybody’s Hometown”

Posted in Food, Local Treasures, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 12, 2011 by mariamprh

Sweet Potato Café & Bakery

4 W State St

Media, PA 19063

(610) 566-6791

By MARIA MURRAY

Located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Media is often recognized for its quaint atmosphere and friendly residents. Affectionately known as “everybody’s hometown,” the borough is home to a collection of quirky restaurants, coffee shops, and small businesses. Surrounded by the many competing eateries which make up the small town, Sweet Potato Café & Bakery earns a rightful spot on State Street.

The café doesn’t overwhelm you with its attempt to be chic or presentational. Its genius lies in the quality of its food. Served on styrofoam plates and with plastic utensils, the food juxtaposes its humble presentation. The Mushroom White Bean Soup ($2.95), a wholesome dish on its own, complements the taste of a seriously good Black Bean Burger with Salsa and Cheddar ($6.96). The food outweighs the superficial aesthetic we sometimes look for in a modern café.

There’s an absence of complication in Sweet Potato that suits it well. It has five wooden tables – some with matching chairs, some without. Its walls are bright red and are adorned with four large canvases picturing oversized cupcakes and chairs. The café’s owner, friendly and accommodating, serves from the counter, while another employee holds the door open for customers upon arrival and departure. The menu – both veggie-friendly and non – is affordable, and extends to a variety of baked goods. Yes, Sweet Potato does serve sweet potato, and does so in addition to an assortment of pies, cookies, and scones. The bakery also includes specialty cakes, all natural homemade ice cream, and twenty different types of muffins.

In the heart of ‘downtown’ Media, Sweet Potato has plenty of upscale competition. Still, the café/bakery remains uncorrupted by the tendency to charm customers with appearances. If you’re outside of the city, it’s definitely a worthwhile stop.

 

Local Farms Featured in South Jersey’s Restaurants

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Food, Green Space, Local Treasures, Neighborhood Noir, Reaching Out, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2011 by laurarobbprh
  • What: NJ Farm to Fork Week
  • When: July 17-July 23
  • Where: Restaurants across South New Jersey
  • List of Participating Restaurants: www.sjhotchefs.com
  • Reservations: www.opentable.com

 By Laura Robb

 There is no doubt that the economy has effected our local businesses. So many privately owned restaurants and bars have searched for new ways to reach the public and get them to patronize their establishment when they choose to go out.

A local program in New Jersey called SJ Hot Chefs, offer several special dining weeks throughout the year. This groups mission is to get the word out about Southern New Jersey’s  independently owned restaurants, and prove that you may not have to travel outside of your  own neighborhood or even cross the bridge to get a first class dining experience.

This upcoming week,  many South Jersey restaurants are participating in Farm to Fork Week, a week of specially designed menus featuring food and produce from our local farms. This week starting July 17, customers can choose to dine at one of the 33 participating restaurants at an incredible rate.

All of the restaurants are offering four course meals featuring our local meats/fish and produce at a fixed rate of 35 dollars. Several restaurants, such as the authentic Mexican restaurant, “La Esperanza,” are even offering their menu at only 25 dollars.

This week running until July 23, restaurant goers’ can experience a wonderful dinner featuring local produce at its seasons peak. New Jersey is famous for its tomatoes, peaches, strawberries and blueberries, so these items are featured on many of the restaurants menus.

Restaurants that may be pricey on an average day such as “The Chophouse” in Gibbsboro, are giving the public an opportunity to “dine on a dime,” giving us a chance to eat at a nice restaurant with freshly prepared foods, for the cost comparable to your local Applebees. 

New Jersey has way more to offer than all of those ‘Jersey shows, such as great dining and great local foods. For a small fee you too can enjoy a romantic evening, or a family fun night out without breaking the bank.

Storm the “Bastille”!

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Food, Neighborhood Noir, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2011 by nicholeprh

Philadelphia seems to love it’s quirky traditions – on Saturday, July 16 join Philly in storming the Eastern State Penitentiary for it’s Bastille Day celebrations!

By Nichole Baldino

Bastille Day is the French National Holiday commemorating the beginning of a new type of government. On July 14, 1789 the French revolutionaries stormed the prison (or the Bastille) where the monarchs sent those who disobeyed their orders, releasing the captured prisoners. It helped the French to gain a feeling of independence. This day is celebrated annually in France and throughout the world. Philadelphia does it’s part celebrating as hundreds of “revolutionaries” (natives, tourists and professionals alike) storm the “Bastille”, or in this case the Eastern State Penitentiary, dragging Marie Antoinette with them straight to the guillotine on July 16!

The Penitentiary has a line up of French inspired events and activities all weekend, with a huge reenactment commencing at 5:30pm on Saturday. Starting at 2:00pm on Saturday, come dressed in your revolutionary-best for the pet and bicycle parade, followed by a French fashion show, musical performances, and Can-Can dancers! At 5:30, 2,000 Butterscotch Krimpets will be thrown from the towers to capture Antoinette as she cries “Let them eat Tastykake!” (Get it? ha ha ha)

Throughout the day explore the “Bastille” ($12 admission)  and visit tents hosted by local owners featuring everything from face painting to flowers to tips on French cheeses.

Be sure to reserve a table at a Fairmount area restaurant for after the celebrations, as French cuisine specials will carry on into the evening and even the next day. Don’t miss this unique city tradition weekend, where you can start out with a “Fairmount French Fling Bar Crawl” on Thursday night and end it with a French “champagne brunch” Sunday morning!