Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bottom Dollar Food Chalfont - A Hit In My Book!

OMG - 2.97$ That's CRAZY GOOD!
Oh Joy. Any foodie knows that the opening of ANY food centered place - whether it be a pub, a cafe, or, in this case, a grocery store, is an exciting day!
Yesterday, The Bottom Dollar Food  store opened in Chalfont and I was there to welcome them to my community!
Small but well lit, bright, pleasing to the eyes. This is not a Foodie "Heaven" like say - Fresh Market where they have things like wine ice cream and practically every spice you could ever want - but it's a great place to swing by if you need to pick up eggs, milk, or snacks. They have an assortment of brand name items -from Breyers Ice Cream (HELLO HELLO $2.97 for a half gallon!!!!!!) to Fritos to Kraft to Chef Boyardee. A small but nice produce section. Limes were 19 cents each - I know at Wegmans they usually run about 3/1.99. The meat looked fresh and appealing.
They have just about everything - from spices (limited to the basics but much cheaper than the big stores) - to pet / household items - baby items - dairy - frozen - etc. No bakery - but a nice selection of baked goods. Remember people, it's a small place. It was packed yesterday (opening day) and I have a feeling it's ALWAYS going to be packed as long as the staff remain friendly (they were - I tried to go "in" the "out" door and the guy bringing the carts in didn't laugh at me (at least he didn't laugh IN FRONT of me, lol) - and opened the door for me even after I realized I was staring RIGHT AT THE "OUT" sign. DUH), as long as they keep it clean (it was spic and span) and as long as they keep it organized.
Now, after you're done picking up some food for home, hop on over to Astrino's for a slice of pizza (it's most excellent) which was formerly Webbie's (also there tuna wraps are the best in the area) - or Skyline Tavern (also with new owners) for a nice martini or beer.
Excited to see Chalfont growing. Now, if only we could get a fabulous bookstore...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jamison Pour House - yes Yes YES!

Every since I moved from the Abington area, leaving behind the Drake (love the long windows that open out to the street – food can be hit or miss, but when it’s hit, it’s grand) and the Vintage (owners are fabulous, bartenders great, food always a hit – but small and too dark) I’ve been searching for a ‘replacement.’
Someone recommended the Jamison Pour House and though it took us a few months to actually get around to going, I think I’ve found my replacement (if only it wasn’t a 20 minute drive!).
Do not let its small stature on the outside fool you. When you walk in, there is a nice dining area to the right and a bar to the left.
Of course, we headed straight to the bar. The bar area is filled with windows (love). It was a sunny day, the blinds were closed, but it was still bright without being distracting. There were many tables in the dining room, but we sat at the bar. Many TV’s throughout – with great crystal clear pictures- this would be a great place to watch sports.
There was a juke box (a MUST for me to be truly satisfied!!) and the bartender knew how to make a “wedding cake martini.” – so it was shaping up to take the lead for my ‘new favorite bar.’  Then the food arrived .
John had mussels in white sauce – which he said was excellent. One feature that I love about the Jamison Pour House is that you can mix and match (half of one sandwich, half of another) your pub sandwiches for a buck extra. 
I had half the porchetta – slow roasted pork with provolone and peppers and half roast beef w/ provolone. John had half roast beef and half cheesesteak. We split fries, and the fries were crispy and hot and seasoned just right! The sandwiches were fabulous and they are known for their porchetta and now I know why!
Service was speedy and the bartender was attentive without being pushy or annoying.
Most excellent place. I can’t wait to return!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Full Circle Thrift Store - The Best Undiscovered Fashionista Gem in Bucks County

People often complement me on my clothes (when I’m not running around in sweats and sneakers) and I always respond by, “Thank you, I got this at a THRIFT STORE!”
Almost all the clothes I own, I buy from thrift ‘consignment shops.’ I have Tommy Hilfiger black boots that kick some serious fashionista ass, I have several Benetton sweaters, and numerous name brand stylish skirts/jackets.
I’m always on the search for a great thrift store and was happily surprised to find not only a great thrift store 5 minutes from my house, but all the proceeds go to benefit women and children of domestic abuse.
Full Circle Thrift Store is located in New Britain, and as far as thrift store goes, this one is most fabulous. 2 spacious dressing rooms. The store is brightly lit and roomy. One of my favorite things about the store is that everything has its own price!  ALL shoes are one price. ALL sweaters are one price (7 bucks I think). ALL coats are one price (18, I think!). So if you see something you like, you don’t have to fumble around searching for a price tag.
Now, here is my absolute favorite part – on Thursdays? ALL WOMENS CLOTHES/SHOES are half off!!! I’d arrive early though, because it has a tendency to get crowded.
They also have other days where certain things are half off (Mens clothing, kids clothes, house wares).  Make sure you check on the door when you arrive because the schedule is listed on the door.
ALSO! They carry Halloween Costumes that are mostly donated from one of the local playhouses. These are most awesome costumes. I bought a Bollywood Princess outfit that included beautiful sparkly long swishy skirt, top, jacket, head scarf, bracelet, earrings, and two necklaces for 38.00 !!! They also have everything from Victorian costumes to Flappers to southern belle.
Not everything in the store is designer, but most is really good quality and with a little creativity and a good eye, you can be a fashionista and still have money left over for important things like martini’s and red velvet cupcakes!
*****Also, be sure to check out the book section. It is small, but HELLO, hardback are a buck and paperbacks are .50cents. There are some recent releases (I spied the latest Janet Evanovitch) as well as awesome cookbooks.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tabora Farm & Orchard - Foodie Goodness In My Backyard!



I am AMAZED that I have lived in Chalfont for 3 years and yet, never heard of Tabora Farm & Orchard!
And you know how I discovered it? Yelp!
I was sitting in my backyard, thinking it was a nice day to try something new. I opened up my Yelp App on my iPhone and searched locally and Tabora came up with great reviews.
Five minutes later, I was walking through the doors of a simple yet charming place that offers bakery treats (NutRoll! Jewish Apple Cake!) along with Gluten Free and regular bakery goods like carrot cake, cookies, donuts, elephant ears, sticky buns, Crumb cake. Pies. Cupcakes. Sheesh. I could go onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Then, of course, there is the local produce. Fruits and veggies GALORE. There is a deli with pulled pork, mac n cheese, chicken, and all sorts of fabulous food and salads.
AND HOMEMADE SOUPS!
Everyone who worked there said a friendly "Hello!"
Oh...waittttttttttttt...I forgot to mention the ice cream. Home made - and all the usual flavors PLUS - goodies such as lavender, thyme, mint plum!!
Of course, there is also an orchard (where you can pick your own fruit). I didn't get a chance to FULLY explore the place because I was with an 11 year old that does not appreciate the slow, deliberate, ecstatic, wanderings of a foodie when they find a new food spot! Also - it started to rain!
When we walked out, there was a well fed chocolate lab sprawled on the front walk. I mean, I was already sold on the place, but then they added a happy, lazy, friendly dog...OH, and then a hefty rooster walked right by us.
You know how you meet someone and you just KNOW they are awesome? That's exactly the feeling I had when I walked in the door.
I can't wait to try EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Manhattan Bagel Fires Rude Employee After Yelp Review!

 Update:
I'd given this a one star review in August 2010 because, though the food was very good, the place clean, most of the staff was extremely nice, the manager was rude (and to ME, the FourSquare MAYOR of Manhattan Bagel!) and embarrassed me in front of a busy store.
After I wrote the review, I stopped giving MB my business. It made me and dog Diablo very sad because it was a fun place to walk to (and I did love the Whole Wheat Everything Bagels).
Fast forward - February 19th, 2011. On our way to walk Diablo at the park,  KT was dying for a bagel and I swallowed my pride, parked in the MB lot, and, thinking no one would recognize me (actually, hoping no one would recognize me, I was wearing baggy sweat pants/sweat shirt, no make up), I ordered a chocolate chip bagel with cream cheese (it is better than it sounds). While waiting, someone recognized me. OMG. And asked if I brought my dog with me. "Uh, my dog was banned." I said.
And then, the heavens opened, and  a light shone down on a man who left his place behind the register and walked toward me.
He lifted his arms and sang, "Praise you, baggy sweat pants girl, and your dog, and the bad review you wrote on YELP."
Then, the people working the grill pulled trumpets from below the counter and played while he said, "The person that was rude to you was fired a few weeks after that review. It wasn't just you, she was burnt out, and rude to other people. She needed a change of scenery,and we let her go. Your dog is welcome in Manhattan Bagel."
"Who are you?" I whispered as confetti swirled down from the ceiling and the sky, which was gray when I walked in, was now a brilliant blue. "Are you Jesus Christ?"
"No. I am the owner, Don Bradley."
And so it was, on February 19th, 2011 - Dog Diablo was no longer banned from Manhattan Bagel.
I learned two very valuable lessons that I hope to pass on to other reviewers:
If you have a bad experience, don't hesitate to contact the owner. Had I contacted Mr. Bradley, I have a feeling I would never have given a one star review initially, and I would have enjoyed bagels all winter long.
If you are as vain as I am (probably impossible to be as vain as I am) - DO NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE LOOKING LIKE A SLOB. EVER!

****I may have exaggerated actual details in this story (I WAS wearing eyeliner).


Original Unhappy Post: I've been walking to Manhattan Bagel in Chalfont all summer with my dog, Diablo.  Usually I pick up a whole wheat everything bagel...I'm in and out in under 2 minutes (that's what JT said). I take my dog in because there isn't a place to tie him up outside. My dog is more well behaved than most 2 year olds and always brings a smile to customers.
Now, in the thriving metropolis of Chalfont, there are few places that I can walk to to pick up a bagel. There is Webbies, and they have good bagels, but they don't have a whole wheat everything bagel. And I do like those damn whole wheat everything bagels.

A business is only as good as the person running it. I don't care how fabulous the food is, if the manager is rude to customers, imho, it sends a message that she feels her business doesn't need customers. And if a manager treats customers poorly, I know from experience, she treats the employees the same way.
I was told my dog was no longer welcome at Manhattan Bagel due to 'insurance' reasons.
Fine. No problem with that.
But it was the way I was told.
A manager that values customers would have been kind and would have offered a solution: "Since we don't have a spot you can tie your dog up outside, we'd have no problem if you call in your order and someone will run it out to you." And then maybe she could have smiled.
But no.
It was a bark (ha ha), a growl, and obviously, the manager really could give a crap if I return.
And I was the Four Square MAYOR!!!!
Sheesh.
It's my belief that this world would be a little bit happier if businesses treated customers with a little kindness, a sense of humor, and creativity.
So, while I give MB a B for their bagels, I give them an F for the way the manager failed to come up with a creative, no brain solution and lack of respect in dealing with a regular customer. Cockroaches don't know better. Managers do.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Porterhouse, Lahaska, Pa. Things that make you go...YUM.

Anyplace that serves up a martini called "Wedding Cake" has my vote!
Seriously, though, we've been going to The Porterhouse for  four years, and I'm happy to report, the quality of the food is consistent. I can't tell you how many times I've written reviews citing fabulous food only to return to the place and discover it's not so great, usually this is do to revolving chefs!
Anyway, The Porterhouse does not have this problem!
I've never had a bad meal here, and have tried just about everything, except the seafood. My PIC (Partner in Crime), however, has eaten the seafood and loves it!
A few favorites: The Ham & Havarti, the black bean soup, the smoked chicken spring rolls.
OMG - The Kentucky Derby Pie (pecans and chocolate) is TO DIE FOR. Seriously awesome.
And if you like bread pudding - there's is fab - homemade!
Also to note - the pasta dishes are always wonderful too. You know how often you order pasta and the noodles are limp and pasty? Not so here, it's always wonderful!
One thing that didn't please us - the Creme Brulee - it tastes like vanilla pudding with a sugary coating.
But - that's the only criticism!
Love the bar area - there is a wall of windows which brightens the place up. (I love a lot of light).
Upstairs, the whole back wall is all window, which overlooks fields and is scenic in all seasons!
Love it!
***note, they are closed on Mondays!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Meadow Breeze Farm Market


This little hidden gem of a Farmer's Market is about as simple and local as you can get. I often ride my bike or walk to the Meadow Breeze Farm Market to pick up fresh eggs (that I use for my muffins/cookies/cakes-FABULOUS). Corn is in now (June 24 as of this writing) but as I know from growing up in Illinois, the BEST, sweetest corn is after the 4th of July to mid July.
They have their own beef (have not tried). And of course, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
Make sure you take a look in the fridge in the back, because they also stock homemade Whoopie Pies and mini crumb pies (like shoo-fly and apple).
Also-I tried buying watermelon at Wegmans and have ALWAYS been so disappointed (don't get me wrong, love Wegman's - but they are not PERFECT) - but the watermelon at Meadow Breeze Farm is freaking juicy and sweet and perfect!!!
Oh. And. In the off season? When they have no one to man the market, they leave a little metal box for you to put your money in for the things you take...how freaking trusting and awesome is THAT?????
I love this simple, family owned, fresh, awesome, delish, friendly place.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Honey - Truly Golden!

Honey - a foodie have in Doylestown, Pa. Small but inviting and the food is...well, the best food we've ever had and that may have had a lot to do with the way our server, Trudi, presented and paired the food together to make our experience truly remarkable.
This is a great place to go if celebrating an anniversary (they have romantic booths with draped by fabric to give a feeling of intimacy.
We enjoyed: 5 Spice Chinese Sweet Potato Fries (fabulous alone or with one of the dipping sauces).
Wild Boar Sloppy Joes. I am not an adventurous eater, but was willing to 'go with the flow" and these were fabulous!
Pizza with lamb and lemongrass - my partners FAVORITE of the evening.
Scallops with lomein noodles.
Black Tea Ribs with ginger ice cream. Pairing the ice cream with a bite of the ribs really exalted this dish. I LOVED it.
Chocolate Creme Brule (with chili in it, I believe, very zingy!)
And Chocolate Rice Pudding.
We also had a Honey Blossom Martini - Sweet!
And a Hot and Dirty martini - which was one of my most favorite martini's ever (in the dirty genre).
We'd always help Bobby Flays restaurant as the "Best" we've been to, but Honey has surpassed Mr. Flay - in creativity and ambiance.
We won't be holding off on "special" occasions to eat there, though, as life should be celebrated often and we want to try everything on the menu!
Also - We had drinks, 5 main dishes, 2 desserts, coffee and our bill totaled 109.00. You don't need to break the bank to experience truly creative food and awesome service.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dettera


We stopped in for lunch right before Christmas. The downstairs was sunny in the front, dark and mysterious in the back. We sat in the back.
Our waitress was very polite and seemed a bit nervous...as if she was new...or it could have been the fact I was taking pictures of all my food...LOL.
Anyway.
I was drinking a dirty martini (it was a few minutes after noon!) and it's hard to find a bartender that makes a really good martini - but this one rocked. Chilled glass, ice cold, and smooth.
We started with the WARM ASPARAGUS SALAD
Wrapped in Black Forest Proscuitto and Tellagio Cheese with Green Herb Vinaigrette. (9 bucks)
FABULOUS.
I had the GRILLED 8oz KOBE BURGER
On Onion Brioche with Caramelized Onion and Farmhouse Cheddar w/ bacon (somewhere in the 14 bucks range).
WOW. Soft bun. Juicy burger. I rarely eat burgers but that day I was dying for one and next time I'm craving a good hunk of beef - I'll return to Dettera's!
My mate had the CRAB CAKE PANINI Tartar Sauce on Cibatta Roll (14 bucks) and said it was very good.
For dessert - I had the Coconut Flan.
Seriously? Best dessert I've ever had (that's not in the chocolate food group). Wow. Light yet dense with tropical flavor. I thought I'd melt into a puddle of happiness. Really, the perfect way to end the meal.
Mate had creme brulee, he liked, I tried it, and we both agreed it was very good.
We checked out the upstairs before we left - very cozy (fireplace).
I really can't wait to return and try EVERYTHING.
Loved everything from the atmosphere to the food.