Thursday, March 12, 2015
Liver and Onions and Screwdrivers. Huh. Well, now we have to stop! When I looked at the menu the first thing I see is this:
Of course, big food doesn't necessarily mean good food. The place was very nice with a 1950's diner feel. A lot of red vinyl and old school straw dispensers on the booths.
Stacy ordered the liver and onions. She liked it. Good for her. That's all that will be said here about that. I immediately saw a Beef on a Weck. One of my all time favorite sandwiches and almost impossible to get where we live. It came on a real kummelweck roll, loaded with salt and caraway seeds. A good sign. The beef was tender, the au jus was good, and they served it with a generous portion of fresh horseradish.
The Dubois Diner was a nice find. I really enjoyed our meal (in spite of what Stacy ordered). I'm sure I'll visit again when I'm in the area.
The Dubois Diner is located at 150 W DuBois Ave. in DuBois, PA
Saturday, March 7, 2015
On a recent drive heading from Erie to Pittsburgh the prospects for a good lunch seemed grim. The area east of Interstate 79 doesn't offer much as their are only a couple decent sized towns. Checking online, Lona's in Franklin sounded promising.
It was early, just a little after 11 am, and they had just opened. We were the first customers in the restaurant but as we enjoyed our meal, I noticed that the restaurant was filling up. The seating area is comfortable although somewhat sparse. They also had a nice looking bar on one end of the restaurant. In addition, they are attached to another bar (smoking) named The Celtic Cafe.
The menu was very nice with some great choices. I went with the Marinated Salmon sandwich which is served on a focaccia bun with mustard, mayo, bacon and chopped avocado. The sandwich's came with a choice of regular fries or sweet potato fries. It was very good, although I could have done without the bacon. My partner choose a fish sandwich which was lightly breaded and while I did not sample it, the fish looked delicious!
Lona's is located at 1211 Liberty St. right in the middle of Franklin.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
I've driven thru Waterford Pa hundreds of times over the years but never stopped at Carini's. This restaurant is right in the middle of town, easy to find and with plenty of free parking. The decor is dinor style (NW Pa spelling!), but very clean and comfortable. It's the kind of place that has advertisements on the place mats. The menu consists of a nice selection of subs, salads, Italian entrees and a nice choice of lunch specials. I also noticed the chef hand tossing pizza dough, although we didn't get the chance to try any.
I went with the Spaghetti Bread Bowl which is served with a tossed salad for $7.35. Stacy went for a dinner entree of Chicken Parmesan which came with pasta and also a tossed salad ($10.45). The salads were typical iceberg, but very fresh and crunchy. My spaghetti was very good and the sauce was exceptional. The portions were fairly large and a nice value for good quality, fresh food.
This is a very nice local restaurant with friendly service and good food, which is sometimes difficult to find in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. I'm sure we will return.
Carini Restaurant is located at 118 High St in the center of Waterford Pa.
Monday, January 5, 2015
I really love turkey with crisp skin and juicy meat. The problem is that when trying to crisp the skin, it's easy to overcook the turkey resulting in a dry, overdone bird. The solution is pretty simple. The night before, I remove the turkey from it's packaging, and leave it in the refrigerator uncovered. This drys the skin. To roast, I like to use a sheet pan with a rack. An uncovered roasting pan works too, but the sides of the pan hinder air circulation around the bottom of the bird.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Yes, 500. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. At this point, turn down the temperature to 300, and cover the breast meat with foil. This will prevent the white breast meat from overcooking, while allowing the darker meat to cook fully. Check with a meat thermomoter and remove when internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Now just cover it and let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes before carving. Excellent!!!
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Traveling north of the city last week, I came across a place on a country road that looked promising. It was early and we were only the second table there. The Yellow Creek Inn is converted from a small house to a restaurants. It's warm and old time comfortable, and a quick look at the menu told me it's a meat and potatoes place, which is fine with me on a snowy morning.
The menu had a nice variety of main dishes and sandwiches, but the Chicken Pie caught my eye.
I've never had Chicken Pie, but they make it as a weekly special so I decided to give it a try. As sides I chose a salad, and the recommendation from the waitress, mashed potatoes. This may have been the least healthy meal that I've had in a long time (and that's saying something), but it was wonderful! The crust was crispy and help up to the gravy. The potatoes were tremendous, and LOADED with butter. The salad was as expected, if you know what I mean.
We were so enjoying our meals, that we didn't even notice the place had filled up while we enjoyed our meal. The food here is good, but may not be for you if you are looking for healthy eats. Our waitress was prompt and always smiling. I'm sure we will be back.
The Yellow Creek Inn is located a minute or two East of Interstate 79, on route 62 in Jackson Center, Pa.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
The apples are truly remarkable. Quite tart and a bit sweet with a nice crunch. I'll have to go get more!
And, of course I had to get my go-to at Soergels...Chocolate milk.
Here's a picture of the year round indoor farm market selling fresh fruits and vegetables, apple cider and a variety of delicious pies. They will even sell you a half pie if that better suits your needs.
Soergel's is located at 2573 Brandt School Rd, Wexford, PA 15090. They are just off the Wexford exit of Interstate 79, a bit North of Pittsburgh.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
On a recent trip to Amish country in central Pa, we spent the night in Lancaster and of course, searched out the best local casual chow. After a little research and a recommendation from a local, Bruno's Hoagies was decided upon. The problem, we soon learned was that they keep very odd hours and close at 2:00 pm. That's right, they are only open a couple of hours a day. We then just found another unremarkable spot for dinner. The following morning I had a meeting in Reading Pa, and found myself on the road just in time to get to Bruno's in Lititz before they closed at 2.
The menu is concise, with a nice selection of hoagies, a few sandwiches and a couple of salads. The nice lady behind the counter recommended the Sharp Italian which is described as: Aged Sharp Provolone, Prosciutto, Capicola, and Genoa salami with lettuce, tomato, onion, oil and spices on your choice of a hard or soft roll.
The prosciutto was sliced paper thin and all of the ingredients were fresh and tasty. The bread is sent in daily from Philadelphia (which is known for great hoagie rolls) and the oil and spice mix was a tasty topping.
The town of Lititz is really a nice day trip from any part of Pa, and is full of shops, restaurants, and is in the heart of Amish country. Bruno's has four location, but the one we visited is located at 11 Kleine St, in Lititz Pa.
Monday, September 29, 2014
With a broken refrigerator and no food to prepare at home, Stacy and I wanted to visit something new (to us) for breakfast this past weekend. I'd heard of the WafflesINCaffeinated restaurant in New Brighton Pa. We've never made the trek because of the drive, but the newer location in the South Side made it an easy choice.
The restaurant is located on Carson Ave. in the Southside Works. They have seating outside and the dining room is clean and pleasant although sparsely decorated. We were seated at a two seat table that was very small (one of my pet peeves in restaurants) but that was the only misstep.
As their name imply's, waffles are the specialty but they also make a variety of other breakfast choice. We both decided to try one of the waffle choices and Stacy went with the Souther' which is described as:
Some like it hot! waffle filled with chorizo sausage, fresh jalapenos and cheddar cheese, topped with fresh pico de gallo, a fried egg* your way and garnished with fresh cilantro.
I couldn't turn down the Benny, described as:
Classic eggs benedict with our own waffle twist! two perfectly poached eggs* nestled on top of a half waffle with ham, fresh hollandaise sauce. and crab meat!
Both were truly excellent! My eggs were poached perfectly, and the waffle was a great compliment to the ham and hollandaise sauce. On top of that, the prices for each were quite reasonable at $8.95.
Without question, we will make this a regular weekend breakfast stop.
WafflesINCaffeinated is located at 2517 E. Carson St in Pittsburgh.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
On our way to view a property in Washington County, we decided to choose a breakfast spot that we haven't visited. After looking up a few different restaurants and reading a couple of reviews we decided to go to Alice's Restaurant in Canonsburg.
The place is small with only a few tables, all of which were full. Luckily a couple was leaving as we arrived so the wait was minimal. Stacy ordered the Western Omelet and I went for a standard breakfast of eggs over easy and hash browns.
The eggs were done perfectly and the hash browns were more like a pile of shoestring potatoes with onion and they were excellent! Accompanied with a couple of thick slices of bacon and Italian toast this was a full meal. The waitress was prompt and friendly and the prices were very reasonable.
Alice's is just a diner type of restaurant but the food quality is a notch above the average diner. We both enjoyed our meals and if we are ever back in the area we'll be sure to stop again.
Alice's Restaurant is at 361 Euclid Ave in Canonsburg Pa.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
After reading many accolades for sub shops in Williamsport, I was looking for a good excuse to visit. Sure enough, I had a sales call there last week and decided to give these subs a shot. Of course I couldn't remember any of the names recommend, but the nice young lady at the front desk at the hotel suggested The Newberry Sub Shop. I'm glad she did.
Other than it being the home of the Little League World Series, I don't really know much about Williamsport. Over the years I recall reading many stories about how great all of the sub shops are there. The writers usually claim that the subs in Williamsport are even better than anything you can get in the large city's.
I went for a meat combo (and still added Canadian Bacon) which is several meats, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a great hot pepper oil, which tasted of chopped cherry peppers, oil and spices. The bread was fresh and soft, but firm enough to stand up to the dressing.
This really is a good sandwich. It may be the best sub I've ever had and I've had many great subs! I'll be back in coming weeks and am sure to visit again.
Newberry Sub Shop is located at 2002 Newberry St, Williamsport, PA 17701.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
I've spent a significant amount of time in Erie Pa over the years, for both work and pleasure. This week I was looking for a good breakfast place and came across the Lawrence Park Dinor. Yes, "dinor". I don't really know why, but that spelling is used all over north western Pennsylvania.
The Park Dinor is a Silk City diner and was opened in 1948. It has a counter with 16 stools and booths on the other wall. The menu is typical diner fare, and the prices are great! I had two eggs, with four sausage links, homefries, and toast, all for $5.29. The place was clean and the server was very friendly. This just might turn into my "go to" for breakfast when I'm in the Erie area.
Friday, August 8, 2014
This time of year in the Northeast, backyard gardens are flourishing. Tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers are picked. Everyone seems to know people trying to find someone that can make good use of their excess. Here are a couple of recipes that I really like to utilize these fresh garden treats.
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.
Bake 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Feel free to use frozen blueberrys, but you may need to increase the cooking time. Please note that the baking time can vary based on the size of the loaf.
White Pizza with Roma Tomatoes
I like to make a quick and easy white pizza using a white tortilla as crust, shredded mozzarella and then topped with sliced fresh tomatoes. Add some additional flavor by sprinkling a bit of oregano and add some fresh basil from your garden. And yes, the edges of mine are burned...That's how I like it!
Stuffed Hot Peppers
I always grow banana and jalapeno peppers and one of my favorite uses is stuffing them with sausage and cheese. Here's an easy way to do that.
1 pound ground pork maple sausage
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 pound large fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
Take about 8 or 10 peppers and either half lengthwise or if you prefer, slice lengthwise and gently open the pepper. Remove the seeds from the peppers (tip: use gloves!).
Cook the sausage and drain. In a bowl, mix with the Parmesan cheese and the cream cheese.
Stuff the peppers and bake in a 425 degree oven 20 minutes or finish on the grill.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
This year the summer All Clad Sale is being held at the Washington County Fair Grounds just outside of Washington Pa. on June 6th and 7th. For those that are close by, it is a worthwhile visit to get All Clad products at significant discounts. They sell first run specials in additional to seconds. I've had great luck with seconds as I can usually find pans with defects that I can't detect, or totally insignificant. The seconds also include their lifetime guarantee.
The fair grounds are located just north of Washington Pa, off of Interstate 79, about 30 minutes south of Pittsburgh. If you go, I would recommend that you do not go early either day. The crowd are big, early but thin out significantly later in the day. Stock is not depleted until late Saturday afternoon, as they continue to replenish product all day long.