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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Alice's Restaurant

Alice's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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

Newberry Sub Shop, Williamsport Pa.

Newberry Sub Shop on Urbanspoon

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.

Picked a few things from the garden today..

We have a tiny garden, but it's amazing the volume of tomatoes peppers and cucumbers that grow! The smaller red peppers are ghost peppers, so I'm open to any suggestions on ways to use them.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lawrence Park Dinor

Lawrence Park Dinor on Urbanspoon
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

Summer Veggies!

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

Summer All Clad Sale

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.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Highland, again

I stopped in at the Highland Bar in West View again last week and had to follow up with a note about their specials.  I don't recall what day it was (sorry) but the food special was this:

A steak with potatoes, green beans and garlic toast.  That in itself is not so special, but the price was.  $5.00!  Now granted, the beans were canned (and probably the potatoes too) but what a great deal.  I admit, I increased the tab by ordering mushrooms and onions for a dollar more....

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bee'z Bistro and Pub

Bee'z Bistro is one of my favorite little restaurants in the South Hills, just outside of the town of Bridgeville. On my way back from a trip, heading north on 79, I stopped for lunch.  Bee'z is a comfortable place with a restaurant on one side and a full bar on the other.  If I remember correctly, the bar offers a great happy hour value, but on this trip I was there for lunch.

Bee'z menu is casual, loaded with sandwich's, pizza, wraps, and salads.  I decided to go with the Grilled Atlantic Salmon & Avocado Salad, which is listed on the menu as an Italian salad with avocado and egg.  It was excellent!

Bee'z is located at 3249 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA.  It's not easy to see from the main road, because it's located along with a few other businesses behind Portmans Farm Market.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Highland Bar

One of my regular stops (there are many..) is The Highland Bar in West View.  The Highland is a local's type place that is known for down right cheap food specials and very inexpensive drinks.  It's one of those old U shaped bars with red vinyl stools, a Formica bar top and knotty pine paneling.  Old School.
I stopped in on a Friday and decided to order a fish sandwich.  This is another good one!  A huge fish, with a choice of two sides went for $8+.  Take a look at this monster:

Please note that while this is an old place and on top of that it's a smoking bar, it's also very clean.  I'm not a smoker so sometimes these places bother me but I've never had a problem here. In the afternoon or around happy hour time the crowd is basicly older locals.  At night it get a bit younger (and louder).  The Highland is located on Route 19 in West View.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I was in State College Pa this week, and as I was about to leave, found myself in the middle of quite a snowstorm.  The weather report had called for only 2 to 4 inches, but within an hour it looked like they really missed on this forecast.  I love State College, so making the decision to stay wasn't hard!

One of the meals I enjoyed was a great lunch at Spats Cafe & Speakeasy.   Spats is New Orleans, cajun type food and they have always done it well.

I ordered a lightly breaded catfish served with tasty greens and very smooth grits.  My lunch partner chose the muffaletta sandwich.  A muffaletta is typically several meats with a spicy olive spread, served on a bread similar to a focaccia.  While I didn't get the chance to taste it, it sure looked good and got raves from my guest.

In addition to the great food, Spats also frequently hosts jazz bands on the weekends and has a comfortable bar if thats what you prefer.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Another reason that I love All Clad...

I've owned a lot of All Clad cookware for many years now, and love the way it cooks and it's durability.  I'm also fortunate enough to live close to the factory and have been able to take advantage of the factory sales that they hold twice a year which has allowed me to buy these at significant discounts.  At the sales they sell first quality and also factory seconds, although I've never been able to see the defects on any of the pans that I've purchased.  In addition, they provide the full factory warranty on the seconds also.

I had two sauce pans that had a non-stick coating which started to peel slightly around the top edges.  By slightly, I mean that the coating has peeled between an 1/8 of an inch to about a 1/4 inch in the worst spots, over about a ten year period.  I contacted the company and they sent me a prepaid postage label to ship them back.  A couple of weeks later, look what arrived!  Two new sauce pans, along with two new lids, which I did not even send to them!

I know that you pay for this service in the purchase price, but it's nice to see that they come through.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Stopped for lunch in Somerset...

at the Summit Diner and when the young ladies at the table next to mine left they chose to leave their tip in this fashion...

The waitress later explained that one of the girls was her granddaughter.  Quite generous too!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

Our wonderful neighbors came to the door with a New Years good luck pretzel.  While I've heard of this tradition, I think this is the first time I've ever had one.  I know that they are sold at bakery's all around Pittsburgh but am not sure where this tradition originated.  

The "pretzels" are made with a buttery bread dough and topped with icing, sweet dried fruit and maybe some walnuts or sliced almonds.

Tradition says that it will bring good luck and prosperity if you eat this at midnight on New Years Eve or for breakfast on New Years day.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Burgatory Bar on Urbanspoon
I love a good burger and over the past few years a ton of new up-scale burger restaurants have opened around the Pittsburgh area.  At least they are as "up-scale" as a burger joint gets.  I've touted the great burgers at Winghart's, BRGR, the Union Grill, and of course my favorite, Tessaro's.  Well, I have a new favorite-Burgatory.

I recall making the trip to the original location in Fox Chapel.  When we got there and realized it was in a shopping center we made the decision to have lunch down the road at Bob's Garage (another great place too!).  Turns out, leaving the shopping center was a mistake.

This time we went to the newest location in Robinson Township.  The restaurant is a comfortable, modern decor with a mix of tables surrounded by booths and a large bar in the middle.  While they offer full bar service it appears to me that this place is mostly about the food.  The menu offers 10 burger selections or you can build your own from a checklist where you choose each ingredient to create your own custom creation.

Stacy and I ordered off the menu and went with the Standard Deluxe and the Morty's Steakhouse.  Here are the descriptions from the menu:

All Natural Beef Burger with White American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion & our House Burger Sauce.


Peppercorn Crusted Beef Burger with Horseradish Cheddar, Haystack Onions & Cabernet Sauce. Like the greatest steak dinner you’ve ever had reincarnated as a burger

When you order, instead of the ambiguious rare, med rare, med, med well, and well you simply choose to have you burger cooked either red, pink, or no pink.  I like that.  In addition, the burgers are served with homemade potato and sweet potato chips.  Of course fry's and a variety of other sides are available.  There are also a few salads and a veggie and crab burger, but none of those options were considered by us!

Both of us loved our burgers.  Really loved our burgers.  To the point that we each think these may have been the best we have ever had...(sorry Tessaros).  Since it was only one trip, I'm not going to rate it the best, but I'm going back, for sure.

Burgatory is located near the WalMart in the Robinson Town Center.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Christmas Toys!

 The All Clad Factory sale is currently going on at the Washington County Fairgrounds, just South of Pittsburgh.  I usually go every year and search for values.  The problem with cookware that lasts forever, is that pretty soon you run out of things you need.  Then you start to buy stuff like a roasting pan with a 3 tier rack.

You could say that when you buy a roasting pan with a 3 tier rack, you already have too much All Clad.  I choose to not think so.

I have had some people ask me if the sale is worthwhile.  First off, you will have to wait in line, but if you go at the right time the wait will be minimal.  People tend to get there in the morning thinking the selection will be better, but I've found that going at 2 or 3 in the afternoon works best.  As far as selection, the nice folks at the sale restock the sales room continually throughout the day, so selection is pretty much the same.  

This is an example of one of my purchases this year.  It is an 8 quart, stainless stock pot.  The list price for this is $380.00 while the sale price was $89.99.

Realistically, I don't think many of these are sold for $380, but I did see this one in Macys for $259.99.

You may think that even with a serious discount, spending almost a hundred dollars for a stock pot is crazy, and you may be right, but these are really great kitchen utensils that provide great performance and will last a lifetime.