Restaurants Reviewed In Order of Listing
Percy's Street BBQ - South Street, Double Knot - Center City, Entree BYOB -  Center City , The Little Lion - Olde City, Don Quixote Tapas and Things -South Street, Independence Beer Garden - Olde City, Hawthornes - Center City South, Silk City - Spring Garden, Moshulu - Olde City/Waterfront, Porcini - Center City, Conshohocken Brewing Company - Bridgeport, Veekoo Asian -Royersford, Corropolese Bakerey and Deli - Limerick, Seven Stars Inn - Phoenixville, Joe's Crab Shack - Wilmington, Constitution Yards - Wilmington, Lily Asian Restaurant - Kennett Square, Tokyo Sushi- Skippack, The Butcher and the Barkeep - Harleysville, Carisma - Skippack, The Creamery Beer Garden - Kennett Square,  The Big Fish - Wilmington, China Star Restaurant - Limerick, Craft Ale House - Limerick, The Limerick Diner - Limerick, Margarita's Mexican Restaurant - Collegeville, The Station Taproom - Downingtown, Primo's Hoagie's - Downingtown, Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown, High Street Cafe - West Chester, McKenzie's Brew House - Glen Mills, Three Square Meals - Royersford, El Rincon Criollo aka the Latin Quarter - Spring City, Frida's Mexican Restaurant - Limerick, 19 Bella del Prado, Cedars Point (Skippack Area),  Hidden River Brewing - Douglassville, Cutillo's - Pottstown, Annamarie's Place, Royersford, Tex Mex Connection - North Wales, Coppertown, Downingtown, Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Dining - Pottstown, World of Beer - Exton, Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse - King of Prussia, La Cabra Brewing - Berwyn, Two Stones Pub - Kennett Square, Gatsby's at the Sunnybrook Ballroom - Pottstown, Taqueria Morelcon - Avondale, Levante Brewing Company - West Chester, Piazza Presto - Limerick, Argilla Brewing - Wilmington, Washington Street Ale House - Wilmington, Dew Point Brewing -Wilmington, Stickman Brewing Company - Royersford, The Hattery Stove and Still - Doylestown, Yard House - King of Prussia, Devil's Acre Tavern - Plumsteadville (north of Doylestown), The Creamery Beer Garden/Revisited - Kennett Square, The Railroad Street Bar and Grill - Linfiled, PA
 
 
 
 
Percy Street BBQ

900 South St, At the corner of Percy St., Philadelphia, PA 19147-1929 (City Center East)

SMACK YA MAMA GOOD

 

I had heard of Percy Street BBQ but had never been, so since we happen to be in the city we said why not? Delicious is too simplistic of a word for their offerings. There is a fine balance of freshness and seasoning that serves their dishes well. We sampled several dishes that struck a nice balance of  freshness, seasoning and best of all, flavor. The Mac and Cheese is deeply delicious, well balanced and creamy. The ribs are smoked for what seems like days, marry that to the dry rub and you're treated to a nice layering of flavor. While the meat doesn't fall off the bone, it does melt nicely in your mouth where it belongs. The Bar-b-que Chicken, also smoky but juicily tender, was well glazed without being overly sticky or sauced. Speaking of sauces, there are three to choose from - Mild, Sweet and Hot. All of them are delicious and complex in seasoning and provide excellent compliments to any of their meat entrees. The Greens, I won't tell my mama about them, no I shall not, but they are delicious. The simplest dish? Cole Slaw. No mayo to be found and that is not a bad thing. Pickled juice plays smartly with the cabbage and carrots. Lastly the cornbread, bravo. Not cakey, not overly sweet, but dense with a nice semi-grainy texture. I genuinely tried not to finish the cornbread as I was full. I lied to myself. Dip the cornbread into Percy's sweet bbq sauce and you just might invent a new favorite munchie for yourself. Almost forgot the Pecan Pie, yum. Someone there knows something about balance and flavor. If I had one complaint, the juke box was a little too loud. We were closer to the front of the restaurant and while I liked the selection, just a tad bit difficult to be heard by my partner across the table, not awful just a little louder than my liking. Other than that, there is nothing not to like about Percy's Street BBQ.

DOUBLE KNOT

120 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107-4528

THE PHILLY FOOD REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED, IT WILL BE CONSUMED

If you haven't been to the city in a bit, or just out and about, you're missing out. The Philly restaurant scene continues to evolve from suburbia to Old City, food is everywhere. Think food for food's sake, in every dimension and capacity you can imagine. Originality is seemingly ever present. Double Knot continues that adventure. Your food tastes, refined or otherwise are morphed into Alice in the Looking Glass. What culinary feats of inventiveness awaits? Dive in and you'll see. The Double Knot makes clever use of recaptured Center City space. Upon immediate entrance, you step into the low soft lights of an antiquated library and beyond that is the restaurant and bar; chic, elegant, dimly lit and inviting. Feels like a whisper and a personal invitation to relax, take it in and slow down. Take advantage of the ample drink offerings and small plates upstairs in this romantic lounge-esque environ. The upstairs is a tough place to leave if you're having dinner (which will occur downstairs), but we did. The space upstairs you must understand, is foreplay pure and simple. The downstairs space (where you indulge) has a speakeasy feel, as if you have been let in on a secret and you have. Descend into the darkness and be prepared to entertained by Asian fusion at it's best. If you pace yourself, you will be entertained, satiated and your hunger for more realized. We tried the Chef Tasting, which combined ten different dishes, each attempting to one up it's sibling. Swordfish Meatballs, Duck Scrapple and a Pork Belly that is blush worthy. It's succulent, savory and decadent. There were no misses, some offerings were more exciting than others but there was never a miss. Great romantic place for couples, even better with a small crowd of friends, but make them good friends as you don't want to enjoy this space with just anyone, as this not a just bring anyone type place. The decor affords and offers that kind of intimacy. The staff is knowledgeable, efficient and personable. The dining area is dark walled and low lit to let you dine in your subconscious, nocturnal foody mind. In all it feels like a sultry bacchanalian feast and rest assured, ...it is.


Entree BYOB

1608 South St Philadelphia, PA

SOUTH STREET REINVENTED, OH IT'S GETTING GOOD

If you live or visit Philadelphia, you know there is a big boom happening of sonic proportions. Housing, entertainment and a revitalized down town. Entree BYOB is another place that belongs, as the food scene in Philly just keeps coming at you like a gastronomic drug. It's BYOB which is great, but even better is the wizardry a foot in the kitchen. If you go opt for the price fixe menu and sample a little bit of everything, you'll want to just to see what might be brewing in the boiling cauldrons in the kitchen and share with the friends in your party. I would like to critique each dish, but as every palate is richly different, there is a lot of goodness happening here to suit most any taste. The servings are generous. The atmosphere, classic old school Center City Philadelphia, a welcoming street side affair. Our waiter was tremendous - enthusiastic, entertaining theatre, informative and professional. The entrees will also entertain you with the variety of selection and the magical depth that goes into crafting these dishes. The night ended with our selecting desserts, which were part whimsical and part culinary magic. While the Fried Oreo's will surely garner your attention (it's the best state fair funnel cake surrounding an Oreo anywhere), the Salted Caramel Creme Brulee will show up rich, light and frenchified, the Affogato pays decadent homage it seems to every Tiramisu ever made, it's the Limoncello Cake that will simply demand your attention. Think Jackie O, sophisticated, elegant and exuding class. The other offerings will be mere desserts (very good though), but the Limoncello Cake, well all that is left is to dig in a spoon and enjoy. A fitting ending to really nice dining experience. Bon apetit.

The Little Lion

243 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2813

OLD CITY, NEW CHARM

Great chill out spot to make a Sunday morning easy as Lionel Richie once said. We scheduled brunch with friends and this was our meet up. It's everything Old City in it's decor and design, it has a colonial comfort feeling to it. You won't need  a powdered wig or knee stockings, you'll fit in just fine. The brunch slash breakfast offerings were varied in the selection from spicy, to savory, to sweet. Depending on your previous night and what taste was left in your mouth this morning, you'll find something that fits the bill. Everything we ordered was delicious and filling. Need to raise a pint or fill your glass with drink of the alcoholic variety? The Little Lion has you covered there as well. Local craft brews resemble the usual tasty suspects, as well as regional wines to pair with your palate and plate. The wait staff is very friendly and the atmosphere fits right in with historic Old City Philadelphia. It's a lovely colonial space, with soft opaque lighting housed  in a weathered building 17th century building. I would definitely go back again as  Little Lion is welcome addition to the city.


Don Quixote Tapas & Things

526 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147-1540

MEXICAN FLAVORED TAPAS JUST NORTH OF SOUTH STREET

Don't let the exterior fool you, nice BYOB just footsteps north of South Street. The tapas style of small plates fit my eating style. Now that being stated, the environment is not overly romantic. It's a straight thru (classic Center City Philadelphia row building), a few tables scattered here and there, plunk yourself down and embrace the "honesty" of the tapas offered. We tried a couple of appetizers and they were tasty, consisting of simple ingredients which were fresh and down to earth. Our shared main entree was Paella, it was good but we have had better. Don Quixote is priced right though and on even keel with the plates the set in front of you, yup feels like your getting money's worth but I don't know if that is saying much. Sort of like a muted compliment I imagine, ..."well at least you're not ugly". I like Don Quixote, it's not pretentious, friendly service and decent eats and near everything. If you go, enjoy and  see what you think.

Independence Beer Garden

100 S Independence Mall W, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2320

JUST WITHIN REACH OF HISTORY, INDEPENDENCE AWAITS YOU

As beer gardens go, this one is epic. A sprawling, raucous (depending on the time you visit), concrete slabbed, gravel filled cityscape that has beer, yum. Sit just out of reach of the Liberty Bell & Independence Hall, order a beer and chill. After several drinks, maybe you and your friends will pen an opus document like the Constitution or then again, maybe you'll just order another round, either way you're in the right place.  People watch or clown with your own crew, just find your spot and create your moment. Independence Beer Garden is just that sort of place. It always feels right, from damn near standing room only, to plopping your glutes down in one of their Adirondack chairs, it remains a positive spectacle and a hoppy refrain from whatever you were doing.

Hawthornes

738 S 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147-2651 (Bella Vista / Queen Village)

THE ENTREE IS THE MODEL ON THE RUNWAY

Sometimes you should be happy with the one your with. This rule certainly applies to parade of food streaming out of the kitchen at Hawthorne's. I would call it a semi-spectacle and that might not be an understatement. I found myself envious of every dish that was paraded by that I did not order. We were a foursome anxious to try Hawthorne's after reading about it. While there was a wait to get in (once you get in you will understand), everything was delicious, fresh and created with a slant. Sort of like Mr. Roger's reading a dark twisted novel. You think by reading what's on the menu you know what's coming and what comes is presented like culinary fireworks and tastes even better. We all tried something different. The Elvis Waffles, which were offered as a special was envied by everyone that didn't order it. Just like Elvis Presley loved peanuts and bananas, so did these crisp and lovely waffles. Salty, sweet, heavenly. The Crabby Dick, the name always me laugh, was delicious with nice chunks of crab making up the crabcake (no filler), light artisan bun and two poached eggs serenaded by a Chipotle Aioli. It works very well together. A light breakfast? Try the Juevos Ahoghados. All the elements mix well to offer a tomatoey, soupy eating / dipping sauce for your tortillas and the side salad is killer. "Please put this side salad on the menu as a stand alone", it was composed of Arugula, Gouda, Potato Salad with a Chipotle Vinaigrette. To be honest, it trumped the Ahoghados. The last of our foursome devoured the Chicken and Waffles and offered no complaints or leftovers as he rendered his meal,... poof, " gone". There is a great selection of beer available, it's a beer cafe after all, which makes for great menu pairing and also great drinking. I found the restaurant cozy, slightly loud, but I equate that to being festive. The service is friendly and fast. Hawthorne's is a great way to start a Sunday or any day for that matter. We plan to venture back for other meals to see if the spectacle of food continues, which I am pretty sure it does.


Silk City

 435 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19123-2825

IT'S COOL LIKE THAT, SILK CITY

I love Silk City, I like the vibe, the waitstaff, the feel and the food. Seems like every item on the menu is something that you recognize but has a Silk City slant that is wonderful and delicious. There is always great music playing and by the time the waiter or waitress stops by your table for a second time, you feel like your old friends. People from all walks of life stop by this joint for good reason, it's a good time. Our latest dishes, when we stopped by last (we've dined here before), were the following - Pork Belly Empanadas (dish one), crisped pastry on the outside, succulent  on the inside with tender, tasty piggy belly and if you dare to get your food swirl on with the sauced garnish, only heaven awaits. Well blended meal. The Seafood Gumbo (dish two) was presented with the crawfish still in the shell which made for great presentation, but I hate to pick at my food. If you should indulge (in picking at your food), you'll be rewarded as the Crawfish are tasty little buggers and the Andouille Sausage is fresh. The dish was well done, but heavily spiced. Silk City management, any time you want to turn up the heat on the Gumbo, go right ahead. Last but not least, Shrimp and Grits. I have had this dish many places, many different ways and Silk's version is a player. With this dish you HAVE to make the all the elements (grits, shrimp, runny egg, sauce, Tasso Ham) battle for space on your fork, trust on me this and you my friend will be greeted with food nirvana. Each ingredient of this meal, left on it's own, is sullen and introverted, they want to party but won't get off the wall. Put them all together and there's a RAVE in your mouth, they find their groove. It's always better than you expect at Silk City, it's a happy place on a lot of levels. The beer selection is deep with some great regional favorites, pair wisely and enjoy a good creative meal.

Moshulu

401 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (City Center East)

A PHILADELPHIA GEM...STILL

It had been some time since my last visit to the Moshulu, which at the time featured your classic Americana Continental fare. If you have not visited the Moshulu recently, or are a first time visitor, prepare to have your expectations exceeded. Philadelphia is a great restaurant city and currently the city offers a wide range of culinary samplings. The Moshulu has been a standard for many years for various reasons - location, setting, atmosphere and the cuisine. Of all those elements, the food is now the star. I found that in every dish that made it to our table, there was a flavorful balance of taste, all accentuating the main item of the serving. My date and I shared the Pan Seared Citrus Cured Pork Belly. For many restaurants pork belly (read as America's bacon craze) has become a menu staple. In and of it's own, pork belly can be a delectable treat, appropriately fatty with an overall meaty posture. From the smoky au jus, to the squash & brie risotto, to the tomato jam, the Pork Belly was spot on delicious, not one bad bite from fork to mouth. The tomato jam accoutrement is lovely burst of flavor into an already star studded dish. My main dish selection was the Blue Cheese & Bacon Crusted Swordfish. The pairings in the title of the dish forced me to arch an eyebrow. Typically, subtlety is not often employed with such weighty ingredients. I was glad to be, oh so wrong. The swordfish was beautifully crisped, while the heart of the swordfish left well preserved, equally moist and tender. The blue cheese was introvertedly present and the bacon added a tasteful flair without being overwhelming. Combine those elements with the horseradish cream of the dish and again the pairing of flavors made for a tremendous offering. The side addition, smoked potato cake, was light but added the substance. The asparagus of the dish was tender, yet a nice al dente feel to the chew. The balance of the entire dish made for a delicious meal. This, by the way, is coming from a person that eats nuts and grains all week. The Moshulu in my humble opinion is where you can take in some of the best of Philly in one visit - the history of Old City, the view of the Delaware river and ultimately keeping step in with culinary time. It's a wonderful dining expedition without going too far left or right. Their food creations seemed to find the right balance of taste, freshness and experiment. The dining environment is unique, from the smell of the ship's wood to the sloped decked of the dining area. The tables are intimate, but far enough apart for manageable conversation. The lighting of the ship's masts (we dined at night), adds a wonderful romantic element upon approach to the restaurant. Service was top flight, as expected in a restaurant of this quality - attentive, friendly & expedient without being intrusive. The Moshulu is a new, old favorite of mine, one that I look forward to enjoying again. I find myself almost apologetic that I have been away for so long.


Porcini

 2048 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103-4417

 

E MOLTO BUONO (IT'S VERY GOOD)

Was looking for a place for our dinner group, that was close to our Center City hotel, which was on Market Street. After surveying the " local food landscape" (various websites and gluttonous pontificators), I floated the idea of Italian. Eyebrows rose at the suggestion, but ah my friends that is where the fun begins. I had read the reviews and knew that "joy" awaited us. Porcini's, being an Italian restaurant, could be in South Philly, but it's closer to Rittenhouse Square on Sansom Street. We wandered over to Porcini's having secured a reservation for four. Entering the restaurant we wondered aloud, how the "expletive" are we ever going to fit in here? It's a narrow, softly lit, undersized dining room. In a word, "perfect", as in perfect environment for Italian food. Intimate is an understatement, but your reward awaits you. You'll be greeted by a friendly, knowledgeable wait staff, quoted the evening's specials, while surveying the offerings of the menu. While it is a limited menu, what is listed is executed to perfection. Porcini's knows a thing about cooking, specifically Italian cooking. Everything was fresh, delicious and creative. We shared appetizers and our meals, each gathering a forkful of goodness from the various plates at our table. Favorites? Marsala di Vitello. An excellent dish served with an equivalently excellent sauce. It is a dip your bread, lick your fingers worthy kind of sauce. The flavor lingers like sultry post coital relations. The Bucattini alla Carbonara was also one of our favorites. The culinary creativity, intimate setting and warm personality of Porcini's conspires to make your visit a memorable one. The other "nice to have" about Porcini's, it's a BYOB. If you like well thought out food, you'll like Porcini's. If you like Italian, you'll love Porcini's.


Suburban Philadelphia

Conshohocken Brewing Company

 3 Dekalb St, Bridgeport, PA 19405-1074

YOU DOWN WITH CBC? YEAH YOU KNOW ME!!


I love a new discovery and just happened to be on 202 headed north away from King of Prussia toward Norristown and saw a sign that said BEER (okay it said a little more than that) and of course we came to a screeching stop. Conshohocken Brewing Company Bridgeport, nice to meet you. Being a beer nerd (not snob just nerd, PBR anyone?), I have sampled their product before, but now that there is this new location, I think I will be taking my beer in draft form and not from the can or bottle. CBC is local PA craft brewer (Philly area, note the name Conshohocken) that unknown to me, added a second location to sit, chill, drink great beer and enjoy some off the wall eats. I like it. Converted light industrial space with great windows, exposed brick and completely unpretentious, it's the perfect spot to soak in the suds. The food menu is fun and a little offbeat, just enough to challenge your tastebuds, but put hunger in it’s rightful place in the process. Definitely a cut above most beer pub food, but nothing too extreme like over the top gastronomy. We had the Brussel Sprouts with Pork Belly, definitely different, but definitely good, you'll actually eat your greens for once. We also sunk our faces into the Grilled Cheese Sandwich, which tasted more like a Reuben (not a bad thing at all) and more Pork Belly there as well. Can just we call it bacon? In swine we trusted with a smile, and it was delicious. We sampled four different beers and being more of a Belgian guy, settled on the Triple Deke, 8.5 ABV. Having had nothing to eat prior to this, the Triple Deke went down like a velvet gloved, punch in the face from Mike Tyson, “theriously”. Barkeep, another punch in the face please. Of the four beers we sampled, all finished with a mellowness, almost cask like in terms of beer taste. Nothing came back to bite you flavorwise and what was described in the beer, well was evident in the beer. It was sort of  Willy Wonka-ish, the taste of the flavors lining up at the start, " why yes I must say the dingleberries taste like dingleberries". We didn't have a bad beer out of the four samples, just preferred the Triple Deke on our lips. From a taste standpoint, it's honest beer, feels full of flavor in your mouth and finishes clean. If you have a chance to stop by, do. There will be no regrets and hey, you might have just found a new hangout.

Veekoo Asian Restaurant

333 10th Ave, Royersford, PA 19468-3806​

 

VEEKOO, NOW CHIC AND SULTRY

I have been to Veekoo several times before, but for some reason never wrote a review. Today is that day. Since I first started going, there has been a bit of a remodel and Veekoo has never looked better. It's not high faluting, but it is comfortable, welcoming, like light evening attire. Boothed tables line the perimeter of the restaurant, with additional tables in the center of the room. There is not a bad seat in the house. Lighting is now ambient and subdued, the colors muted to a nice softness, with a tiny infusion of color from a bordered back splash. It's comfy, romantic (when it is not crowded, gets a little loud) and inviting. Now without further adieu on to the food. I have never had a bad meal at Veekoo, and I have eaten at Veekoo multiple times. One of my faves is the New Style Tuna Tataki. Nicely sauced, asparagus, seaweed and succulent tuna, always a winner. I must admit I am a creature of habit and I have had this dish too many times to recall, but...it's always delicious. Yes I recommend it. We usually have several of the rolls and there are many to choose from, so choose to the taste of your palate and enjoy. Another favorite (of the rolls), is the Fancy Dragon - shrimp tempura, eel, avocado and smoked salmon. The flavors converge into mouthfuls of deliciousness. Veekoo has a special way with all their dishes, fresh and satisfying. Service is always efficient and friendly and the atmosphere always feels right no matter what the din of the crowd may be. Veekoo is a joy in an area that is a little devoid of flavor. Just remember, eating well does not require a special occasion, it only requires a good choice, Veekoo is always a good choice.


Corropolese Bakery & Deli 

29 Kugler Rd, Limerick, PA 19468-1484

IT'S A TOUR AND TASTE OF OLD WORLD DELICIOUSNESS

You might not be Italian and you don't have to be ( for the record I am not), and if you're not you might not know what you have been missing. Everyone BELIEVES they have had pizza before, but not like this. There's only one tomato pie that goes on my lips and it's this pie, Corropolese's Tomato Pie. Why? My friend (can I call you my friend?) you can taste the difference. From the dough, to the fresh ingredients and the sauce, oh marone (that means it's gooood) forget about it. If it tastes fresh, that's because it is. Everything is made from basic ingredients, giving it that real world flavor that is missing in so many of today's foods. Don't stop at the pizza though, Corropolese has a wide range of cheeses, meats, fresh breads and deli items that can only be described as "salt of the earth" goodness. So no, you don't have to be Italian, but you should have taste and if you truly love good food, you'll check out Corropolese no matter what your nationality. Consider this your passport to all things good. It takes just one taste and you'll realize what you have been missing. You owe it to your taste buds, trust me on this. This place is special. It's not just a taste of South Philly (hey, hiya doin, hiya doin?!), it's a taste of the very best of Italy. E Delisiozo (It's delicious).


Marly's

108 Bridge St, Phoenixville, PA 19460-3402​

IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN, YOU SHOULD AND BYO...

Marly's is a quiet gem just east of the busy-ness of Phoenixville on Bridge Street. From charming yet simple decor, it has a subtle ambience and romantic feel, almost period piece like. The exposed brick, subdued art and soft lighting seem to be the requisite, and they are well done elements to lose ones self in the cuisine that is artfully offered. I find Marly's menu to be meticulously prepared and executed, living right on the edge of imagination, never too daring, but creatively delicious. The star of our offering last Friday was grilled Octopus with a Seaweed Slaw. It was an added special for that night. If it makes a return, order it. Octopus grilled and seasoned spot on, with the Seaweed slaw being the perfect sweet offset. The chef(s) seems to recognize that great pairings make for great dishes, and everything we had that evening seemed to follow suit in preparation and taste. We have been to Marly's prior and will return again, it hits all the right spots.


Seven Stars Inn

263 Hoffecker Rd, Phoenixville, PA 19460-1540

JOUR NEY WITH ME...BACK IN TIME

I have heard of Seven Stars for years, but never managed to visit. On a whim, we took an opportunity to visit last weekend. Upon arrival, the parking lot was quite crowded (it was a Saturday night), an ode to the popularity and quality of the restaurant, a harbinger of things to come. From outside to inside there is a rustic, if not colonial feel that I believe is part of the charm of Seven Stars, however what shines brightest are the cuts of meats you will enjoy. I consider myself a foodie, but not a snob, if that helps with your reading this review. Upon entrance to the restaurant we were warmly greeted by several individuals, which always makes you feel welcome. The decor is very old school colonial, so much so I expected a few of the founding fathers to be in attendance based on the decor. I imagined them taking in a wonderful meal, after a long sojourn by horseback from our then nation's capital, Philadelphia. The food, well..., I will say this, the meats are some of the best you will find anywhere, quite literally. From the prime rib, get it otherwise your head will turn every time one of these mammoth portioned entrees buzzes its way past your table, to the steak, simply wonderful. My fiance and I split an appetizer, the Ahi Tuna with Mango. The mango was not overtly recognizable, but the Ahi Tuna (which we split) even for two was a nice big slice of the sea. A little fatty but seared and prepared correctly, requisite grilling on the outside, beautifully rare on the inside. We had the Crab Imperial, just a note, at this writing there must not be a crab left in the sea. Hefty, delicious portion, not overly seasoned which lets the lovely flavor of crab meat make its presence known. Wonderful. We also tried the Queen Cut Filet. Simply wow. We ordered it cooked rare to medium rare, so tender and so juicy, there was a sinful voodoo at play for meat to taste like this. Even for a Queen Cut the portion still looked huge. The best of the sides for my palette was the Garlic Spinach, we tried three others and they seem to be stuck in the very colonial times I described, just my opinion. Once the meats arrive, you'll forget about everything else (they seem to enter the dining room Radio City Rockettes Style, high kicks and glamour, this is not bragging, it's just true), you'll be transported to a carnivorous space all your own and be thankful that there is such a thing called meat heaven.

Joe's Crab Shack

600 South Madison Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

WHO LOVES IN A SEASHELL UNDER THE SEA? 

Seems like you're always having a better time than the food is good and hey, maybe they planned it that way. The late nighters, the weekenders, the after workers all loosening up their belts to devour every fish, crustacean and cob of corn. If Friday's served a ton of seafood, would it be different from here? Putting my inner snob away, it's decent food in fake fish laden artifact environment. Hungry yet?  One thing that remains true, the staff is always very friendly, even ultra friendly. Of course there is seafood, lots of it. If you're expecting the very best in seafood cuisine, the finest catch from the ocean, Neptune's most succulent salty gifts, pump the brakes, this is not your place. If you like seafood in a semi-fun filled environment, come on down. All the usual suspect crustaceans are here and they are waiting to be dunked in butter and devoured. Just bring some good friends along with you, it will make an ok meal seem much better than it was.


Constitution Yards

308 Justison St, Christina Riverwalk, Wilmington, DE 19801-5165

THE RIVERFRONT REINVENTED

Need a little get away? The Constitution Yards provides just that from the city or suburban sprawl, if you live in or near northern Delaware. The Riverfront is changing constantly these days, but Constitution Yards is a nice little oasis that offers a little time out of the city, while in the city. Consider it grown up recess. Leave your problems outside the fortified shipping containers that make up the construct that is the Yards. The look is industrial funky, yet functional. If you have kids bring them, there are nice little sand pits where the kids can play. For your inner child, there's a play area for adults as well, grab a bean bag and enjoy an epic corn hole competition.The Yards features lite pub bites to enjoy with what you came here for, a nice adult beverage (BEER) and a relaxing place in which to enjoy it. Feels like you're on the beach or just somewhere else, where little else seems to matter besides a refill (or two or three), good conversation and good friends. As your mom or dad might have said, "go outside and play", if you take them up on that challenge, head to Constitution Yards, it's the adult version of go out outside and play.

Lily Asian Restaurant

104 W State St, Kennett Square, PA 19348-3021

SEMI - DELICIOUS SUSHI IN KENNETT SQUARE

If you haven't been to Kennett Square, make it a destination. There's a host of delicious restaurants with offerings for almost every palate. Walking through Kennett Square downtown is all smiles and pleasantries. There are small shops and restaurants to stop in, windows to browse or people to watch. I was with a party of  8, celebrating a bachelor party for a friend and we made Lily Asian Restaurant our fill up spot. It was our interlude from drinking. To put this review in perspective, I have been to several sushi restaurants throughout the Delaware Valley and I am always curious about sushi from each locale. Lilly Asian Restaurant is very good, not the best I've ever had, but very good. The rolls are served in semi large portions and the flavoring is forward. Flavor is not delicate and inspiring, but big and bold, if not just plain obvious, kinda like a fat man in speedo obvious. Each roll, we had at least 8 rolls, was good enough. Not overly sophisticated, but good enough. Ingredients were fresh and the saucing, if any, was tasty but a bit heavy handed after the first few bites. The service was fast, efficient and friendly. The decor was ok, the front of the restaurant gets the shine here and the rear of the restaurant is for larger parties. Stick to the front for smaller parties or a hint of a semi romantic setting. It's solid, semi decent sushi in a lovely little town. They also have Asian non sushi offerings, which are flavored as advertised and executed pretty well.  If you have a taste for sushi in Kennett Square, by all means grab some chopsticks and dig in.


Toyko

4044 Skippack Pike, Skippack, PA 19474

SUSHI ON THE DECK? JUST SAY YES

Toyko is a great destination to feel like you have gotten away. From the comfort of the deck. which wraps 270 degrees around the restaurant, everything seems to be at ease. Under the soft shade of trees and vibrant fauna, it feels like a garden. Oh, the food is good too. Stopped in on a Saturday evening to enjoy the outdoors and the cuisine, we were not disappointed. Service is completed with a smile and very efficient. We dined on sushi during our visit and it was as good as I have had, not the best but very, very good. Fresh ingredients and tasty combinations make for crafty deliciousness. Tokyo also has a nice wine selection, small but thoughtful and makes for a great pairings with various dishes. To finish the evening we had a few of their specialty cocktails and the world my friends, was at ease. Plan a visit, fill your belly and soothe your soul. Have a moment of zen.


The Butcher and the Barkeep

 712 Main St, Harleysville, PA 19438-1636

NOW THAT YOU KNOW, YOUR WELCOME

I have eaten here several times and it will never get old. Why? The beer selection constantly changes and the food menu is big enough and adventurous enough for every palate. I have never had the same thing twice and I have always been impressed by everything. The service is fast, friendly and courteous. Like to sample one of their ample selection of draft beers? Just ask, then you choose wisely and perhaps often. The food comes out well proportioned, it's also flavorful and delicious. It's everything you recognize with a small twist. Seems the Butcher and the Barkeep likes to offer it's patrons the freshest offerings. Though not cheap, it is good. It's a medium priced menu that rewards your good taste for stopping in for a visit. In a world of "you get what you pay for", any money spent here is well spent. The environment is great, feels rustic, authentic and comfortable. Wood abounds with neutral to dark colors. Feels comfy and familiar, like you've been here before.


Carisma

4042 Skippack Pike, Skippack, PA 19474

YOUR INNER MEXICO IS WAITING

Carisma, what can be said? Small south of the border oasis in a small genteel town? Real Mexican food not watered down by surburban taste buds? Yes that is Carisma. Visiting Carisma is like getting away. Tucked neatly off Route 73 in Skippack, PA, Carisma is a lovely BYOB bathed in all things Mexico. From your wait staff to your food, authenticity has not been missed, nor can it be. The food is prepared freshly with recipes handed down thru generations. The patio is is lovely, almost Christmasy, yet quiet and festive. We had several dishes and found them all to be delicious, not unlike Mexican fare you would actually find in Mexico. As a frequent traveler south of the border, I can attest not much is missing. Transport yourself to a distant south and enjoy all that Carisma has to offer.


The Creamery Beer Garden

401 Birch St, Kennett Square, PA 19348-3609

HOP OASIS IN CHESTER COUNTY

Looking for a euro feel beer garden with a great selection of brew, pub food and a place for the kids to relax? Your dreams have been realized. The Creamery in Kennett Square is a great place to enjoy a vast variety of beers, some pub grub and a small haven for the little tikes. The beer is fresh, most on draft and it goes down just right while sitting in the sun, or under the shade of a table. Think of a rustic backyard, with with a casual breeze blowing through and delicious beer on your lips. It's a nice getaway and the environment almost lets your forget where you are. It feels historic and it is, converted from an old, you guessed it milk factory and some of the remnants of the building remain, cleverly used as decor. This is (sub)urban renewal at it's finest. The staff is friendly, no waitstaff but walk up to the bar and grab a brew or two and find a place to chill. Often there's live music to add to the aura of The Creamery, and it feels just right. If you haven't been, seek it out and take some time out for yourself.

The Big Fish Grill On The Riverfront

720 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801-5141​

THAT'S A NICE PIECE OF FISH

If you're on the Wilmington waterfront and looking for better than average eats check out Big Fish. It's a large and open eatery with a great fish menu. If you're looking for overly creative meals (read infused this, emulsified that), not your place, but if you're looking for a good meal that is a little left or right of center, of course depending on your taste perspective Big Fish is a very good restaurant. The entrees are freshly prepared, everything feels and tastes spot on. Most meals have been thoughtfully prepared with a light exercise in "creativity", but never too far over the edge. You'll recognize it and it will be delicious. Big Fish is not about pushing the boundaries, but setting them and they do this well. I have dined at the Big Fish Grill several times and it's always good, good food, good service, it never disappoints. 


Karlton Cafe

310 W Broad St, Quakertown, PA 18951-1234

 

EGGS OVER EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING...BRUNCH

Stopped in with a party of four as my spouse and I debated where we were going to have brunch with another couple. After reading a couple of reviews, we gave Karlton Cafe a try. The decor won't overwhelm you, but it's homie and comfortable, no pretension about it which I love. We stopped in for brunch and all of us tried different items. We were seated downstairs, sparse accommodations but kinda like being in your cool friends basement, I found it to be nice chill spot. We ordered the Ranchos Eggs, Pancakes, Caramel Apple French Toast, Potato Pancake and the Steak Sandwich. The waitstaff was friendly, conversational and timely. The Potato Pancake, which was shared around the table, was delicious, kinda of like homefries on steroids. Crispy edges, tasty potato insides & seasoned well. I expected my Caramel Apple French Toast to be overly sweet, but nooooo, it was creatively tasteful. The elements of caramel and apple partied well with the dense bread of the French Toast. For me it was the right combinations of sweet, salty and savory. The Rancho Eggs were also very good and a huge portion. We liked the overall experience, and I like places like Karlton Cafe, a small business that offers quality food at a fair value. Get off the highway (Roue 309) and get into town.

Il Granaio

711 Concord Rd, Glen Mills, PA 19342-1300

SOUL SOOTHING SATISFYING

You can always tell when great pride is taken in food preparation, from the freshness of ingredients to getting the taste just right. Il Granaio gets into the soul of you and never leaves you wanting. From servings to service, it's always top notch. You feel welcome like you've just stepped into someone's home, who just happens to be an exceptional cook. Being a BYOB is also a plus, but the star that shines is always the food. They do fish well, very well and every other dish. The mood from patrons, to servers, to managers always feels festive, like I encountered my own slice of Italian countryside. If I can recommend just one dish, get the grilled octopus, delicious. This appetizer will begin the fireworks on your palate for the rest of the meal to come, you will not be disappointed.

Big Fish Grill, Glen Mills

981 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, PA 19342-1016

ITS BETTER THAN YOUR AVERAGE BEAR, TYPICALLY

Stopped in for brunch with a group of four. I have visited several other Big Fish restaurants in the area and its always been good. This was good as well, but just good. We ordered Shrimp, peel and eat for the table, they were medium sized lightly spiced with Old Bay, they were fresh, flavorful and tasty. For my meal, I had the Norwegian Smoked Salmon and Eggs. It was exactly what it was supposed to be, eggs and salmon (sliced). The baked hash brown that accompanied the dish was delicious, more like a potato hash au gratin in a small baking dish. My date had the Crab Melt, again no surprises but no wow factor, it was perfectly edible. Don't think of that as dismissive, my point would be for a seafood establishment that serves seafood dishes, the dishes of that "namesake" have to be better than average. Service was good. I always like the decor at the restaurant, it feels light and airy and there is always decorative sea life portrayed throughout. The other two diners offered no complaints with their orders, but again, not the surprise of "this is delicious" or "you have to try this". Should you go? This is just one review in a series of meals I have had at Big Fish. On previous occasions, the dinners that I enjoyed here were (are) always gratifying. It's a nice place to visit and typically, very good food.  While this visit was average, Big Fish is usually better than that. Bon appetit.


China Star Chinese Restaurant

469 W Ridge Pike, Royersford, PA 19468-1415

CHINESE, PIZZA OR MEXICAN?

Ever asked that age old question? Ever get tired of that question? Yeah me too. What do you feel like for dinner? Chinese, Mexican  or pizza for dinner? The one thing for sure is that there will be no cooking tonight, nope not in this house. So if you've reduced your dinner options to just these three options (Chines pizza or Mexican), sounds like you know what you are getting, ye of enhanced chopsticks skill. China Star is no different, it's quick, convenient and  you know what your getting. The food is fairly fresh but unremarkable, in the sense if you are looking for that one dish that just says "yeah, I have to have that again!", um probably not your place, but then like I mentioned, you know what you're getting. Your taste buds want a fast food Chinese staycation. The Fried Rice is Fried Rice, the Beef With Vegetables is Beef with Vegetables. If you know Chinese fast food, and have had Chinese before from a Chinese restaurant, enjoy your meal.  Hopefully you get a clever fortune cookie to end your meal that, "oh I don't know", gives you the numbers to the upcoming Powerball or offers you some wisdom you've never heard of before (in bed). If you're hankering for the familiar in Chinese take out, China Star will do the trick and placate your taste buds. "Mmmm, Chinese food". No dishes to do, just put away the left overs, if there are any. 


The Craft Ale House

708 W Ridge Pike, Limerick, PA 19468-1422

GOOD FOOD, GREAT BREW, GOOD TIMES

The Craft Ale House is local to me, so I like to pop in there from time to time. Always a varied choice of beers on tap and hundreds more to choose from in the fridge. The options are endless, but take advantage of a flight from the draft on tap, no telling what goodness you might uncover. Craft Ale House typically has more samples (of beer) than a hit rap song, yup that's a good thing. The food is great with some varied choices, you'll find something you can sink a fork or your teeth into. Nice thing, a lot of the food locally sourced. I always like the pizza, delicious, definitely a big step up from your average pizzeria, but you can find everything in between on the menu and pride is taken in the preparation of your meal. This ain't no pub, it's the Ale House, show some manners or at least taste, for good beer. Occasionally you have some live acoustic music, more local talent, which gives it a homie feel. Once inside the Craft Ale House you feel like you have been transported off the pike (Ridge Pike that is), always comfortable, untragically cool. The Craft Ale House leaves you with a lot to love.


The Limerick Diner

411 W Ridge Pike, Limerick, PA 19468-3451

A LITTLE TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

 

If you want to take a little trip down nostalgia lane, pop into the Limerick Diner. It is your classic diner. The food is what you would expect, everything you know. It doesn't have to be more than that does it?  Heck a waitress (or waiter) might even call you "hon", take it in stride. That being said, Mel is not in the kitchen and Alice won't be your waitress, but just same you'll be served up some love. You won't encounter some rogue chef, or wannabe rogue chef trying to make something out of nothing in the kitchen, just many of your classic diner offerings AND they've kept up to date with all the latest food trends (crazes?) as well (wraps, paninis, salads, online ordering and adult beverages). The portions are "diner" sized, served with a smile and you can kick back watching the world go by on Ridge Pike. The Limerick Diner will fill you up, the service will be friendly and your booth will be comfortable. If you love this kind of atmosphere, the Limerick Diner is your place and nothing says "Murica" like a diner. 

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant

Water Loop Lane, Collegeville, PA 

IMPERSONATING A MEXICAN

Stopped in for dinner while the pooch was being groomed a few stores away. Liking Mexican cuisine, I was hoping to rekindle some of that take me away "muy delicioso" feeling from a visit here. Um no, nada. If you need something that simply "hints" at Mexican cuisine, this might be your place. The basic problem for me is the spicing of the dishes or lack thereof. Has anyone ever been to Mexico or at least read a Mexican cookbook? Having dined in many Mexican places, and in actual Mexico several times, flavor's passport didn't make the trip to Margarita's. There seems to be little authentic in their offerings (there is a lot of cheese though, yup call it "cheesy"). We had the Ahi Tuna Salad, which I hoped would be nicely spiced has Ahi Tuna already has a delicious taste. The Ahi Tuna was a little overcooked and nothing else on the dish brought much flavor to the experience. We also tried the Adobo Chicken. Salt and pepper anyone? Unfortunately, that would have been the most flavorful thing about the dish. I will say the service was adequate, the atmosphere was nicely done. You didn't feel like you were in a shopping complex, felt like you might have been in Mexico, starving for real Mexican food. Might be a great place to drink with chips and guacamole or appetizers on the side, but as far as food goes, es no bueno por mi (it's no good for me).

The Station Taproom

 207 W Lancaster Ave, Downingtown, PA 19335-2511

I HATE TO EVEN WRITE THIS BECAUSE...

...if I find myself waiting behind you in line, I am not going to be happy. The Station Taproom is a gem. Our go to place when we want to feel like we're out, while really feel comfortable being out. It's never a labor being here, even if there is a wait, it's always worth it. Capital ALWAYS. If you visit and there's a wait, have a drink. Choose from the great selection of beers and wines on the board above the bar. Let this be your moment of anticipation of what's to come. The wine and beer selection is always well thought out it seems, offering something for everybody. Regionally or nationally, you will find something that fits your description. Not interested in beer or wine? There is a full bar to take advantage of. If you've consumed your libation and you've been seated, it's time to choose. Choose wisely or like I often do, come back for more. There is serious wizardry at play in the kitchen. Pairings, combinations, adventures to be had. Seldom are they wrong. Take advantage of the specials when you can, they have been conjured up from mystical places. My standby favorites are the Shrimp and Grits. Yes I hear you, Shrimp and Grits? YES, I say emphatically. This is prepared off the beaten path and combines everything you think you know about this dish into a serving of, more please. From saucing, to the shrimp, to the grits cake, I have never had a better Shrimp and Grits dish. My other favorite, yes I am a creature of habit, is the Mushroom Toast. We tried this on a whim once, I now have it every time I visit. The mushroom sauce of this dish, if they served it as a soup might have me squatting right in the middle of the restaurant. Its accompanied with a sunny side up egg, complete with runny yolk, flavor I would describe as being just over the top in deliciousness. Feels very french, and if you've never liked the French, this meal will change your opinion. Every dish is well thought out and executed, it all feels like comfort food with an evil palate satisfying twist. Visually, primary colors pop from the walls which is inhabited by paintings and photos from local artists. Yes they are for sale. The art is ever changing. The staff is prompt and friendly. If you ask them what is good, they'll tell you. Do I like this place? Yep. Now that you've read this, promptly arrive AFTER me when I visit. I might even buy you a drink for doing so.

Primo's Hoagies

 24 E Lancaster Ave, Downingtown, PA 19335

THERE ARE SANDWICHES AND THEN...

 

...there are sandwiches. Primo's is the maker of  THEE sandwich, sandwich meaning hoagie ("sub" for all you non Philly area readers). And if you are getting THEE sandwich, always get the Sarcone roll. Trust me when I tell you this. What you do from there is up to you, BUT no matter what they put on this roll (easy with your imagination there, this is a family show), trust me you will enjoy it. The meats are always fresh and delicious. My "go to" sandwich is the Turkey Diablo. Feels like heaven and hell, hell being the heat from the roasted peppers. I personally like the taste of those hellish roasted peppers (taste buds and intestines, please prepare for heat). It always feels like a special treat ordering from Primo's (giddy, possibly hand clapping) and it doesn't have to be. Heck, just thinking of Primo's I can taste it (yes, yes), please ignore the drool. The Downingtown location feels friendly and familiar, the staff is always nice in almost a South Philly sort of way. Don't dumb them down with conversation, they're making perfection for you. If you eat it in, grab a table and watch the hungry people on Route 30 pass you by as you enjoy all that goodness. And it is serious goodness.

Victory Brewing Company

420 Acorn Lane, Downingtown, PA 19355

YOU LIKE BEER, I LIKE BEER. "V" FOR VICTORY BREWING

I have been to Victory many times, almost all their locations and I've never had a bad time, not once. Where to begin, hmmm let me see....beer. There's lot of it and a lot of variety. My favs? V12 and Golden Monkey. Both heavyweights squaring off against your hoppy, malty senses like a punch to waiting kidneys, love it. Delicious? In a word "hell yes", ok that's two words, but you get my point. The fresheness of the product is awesome: rich, complex and deeply satisfying. It always feels just right on my palate. The food is a great compliment to the beer. Not overly indulgent, sometimes adventurous (I like that for the record), and is always fresh and tasty. I won't write a review on the food as I believe the beer is the star. Always has been and always will be, but the food ain't shabby. The Downingtown location depending on your timing, can be loud and raucous, but it always reminds me of the best of a German beer hall. Everyone is having a good time. What's not to like, there's beer. If there is a wait for a table, and at peak times there can be, muscle your way to the bar and have a beer. The bartenders are the best. Don't know what you want? Read the description or just ask. Based on your buds, they'll find the right beer for you. The waitstaff is generally very friendly and attentive and that is not just an individual endeavor, Victory seems to find the right people to cater to their customers. I've never had a bad time at Victory. Of all the local "large" microbreweries I know in the Philadelphia area, Victory is always my fave. V is for Victory my friends, now go be victorious.

High Street Cafe

322 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382-3337

SOME LIKE IT HOT, SOME LIKE IT "HOT"

Scalp sweat, moist brow and corrupted tongue. Yup, High Street Caffe can be spicy, although I thought there might have been an abundance of spice versus flavor when we recently dined. Like "much" more spice is better. I get it, I like all things blackened and sassy, to a point. I had to CPR my taste buds with my drink several times. "Come back to life little fellas, this meal is not over". My lovely and I split the Jambalaya, Ahi Poke and Cajun Dumpling for dishes. As the current generation might say, the spices are pure "fire", like "we've abandoned flavor everyone, into the hellishly hot spice boats!" I love Jambalaya, but the spiciness of this dish was a little over the top. The Cajun Dumplings were good, but they had ninja heat, meaning the heat from the spice laid in wait. Once you had a small dip of the accompanying dumpling sweet sauce, bit into the crunchy deliciousness, the heat from the filling spewed into your mouth like a mini volcanic eruption, surprise! I liked them to a heated degree, my partner did not. The Ahi Poke was fresh, but I felt they were over flavored, like a mashup of mystical spirits clamoring for attention, "taste me, no taste me!" It was a semi schizophrenic affair. Some will see this as a negative, please don't, if you like spicy heat, let HSC works it's magic, it's a nice place to dine. The dining room feels Prince inspired (as in the R & B musician, rest his soul) bathed in purple, splashes of black mascara with a twist of postured and pouty moody lighting. It has personality for sure, from laid back classic rock song choices, to the cascading hanging lights which offer a trippy lighted experience. The bar is aglow in purple drank neon, offering a boudoir softness to the ambience. Feels chill in a gothy, rebellious, velour-velvet kind of way. I kinda like it. The High Street Caffe is yours to enjoy, so go and enjoy if you like a little Nawlins' style to your dish. Some like it hot, I hope you do.


McKenzie's Brew House

451 Wilmington-West Chester Pike, Glen Mills, PA 19342

OOOOH YOU ALMOST HAD IT...

I like McKenzie's Brew House, great atmosphere to sit and dine the night or afternoon away. The bar area feels like a party, with ample drinks and entertainment to make time disappear. I had not been to McKenzie's in quite some time and since we were going to have dinner, we took a look at the menu. There are A LOT of great additions and selections to choose from no matter what your appetite. I was impressed with the variety, and while one can be impressed by variety, the key to any menu item is to execute it. Oh, so close. I am not saying that anything is bad, by no means, but I found most of our selections on the night we dined to hit the firm middle ground of flavor, not too far left and not too far right. Everything resembles what you ordered, but lacks little bit of "hmmmph" to make it dare I say, authentic or original. Kinda like trying to push a much too heavy friend over a too high fence, you might struggle to achieve that, when you had such high hopes. The service is friendly and fast, the atmosphere lively and yes, it's a pub, so yeah no need to be too snobby, but just observations. One of the things we tried was the Kona Tuna Poke. Tuna could have been a bit fresher and the flavor was ok. We love Tuna Poke btw and have had it everywhere from Mexico to the Caribbean. Next up was the Blackened Salmon Asparagus Salad. Nice presentation, not bad on flavor, but they forgot the almonds on the dish and it needs them like a crazy uncle at a family gathering. The Orange Thyme Vinaigrette was really good though on the Asparagus Salad that was side to the salmon dish. Last but not least, a hunky, simmering serving of the Grilled Rib Eye. Cooked to perfection, medium rare, but back to that flavor thing again. "Mr. Rib Eye, you're gonna have to show me ID that you're not impersonating a steak". Needless to say there were left overs, I don't know if we've gotten to them yet, that was 4 days ago, oh the memories or lack thereof. The beer is good, fresh and decently crafted. Given the choices of brew pubs you have in the immediate area, anyone brewing their own craft beer has their work cut out for them. Mckenzie's beers are drinkable, I'll just leave that there. So there you have it. Great space to hang with friends, stick to the pub foods and enjoy yourself.

Three Square Meals

1850 E Ridge Pike, Target Shopping Center, Royersford, PA 

WHERE EVERYONE MIGHT KNOW YOU'RE NAME...IT'S GOOD

Royersford awaken!!!! There's a hidden gem in your midst and as it's name mentions it offers three square"heaping" meals. It's JC's Three Square Meals and I wondered how I didn't find it sooner. It's comfortable and friendly, and feels like your local hangout for all things good. The menu is long, so choose wisely or just visit again. We were there for dinner. We enjoyed a nice side salad, Short Rib Spring Rolls, Steak Salad and Risotto. The side salad is nice mix of spring greens, varied and tasty. We could have stopped dining at the Short Ribs but didn't. They are juicy and meaty with a nice BBQ sauce. Our meals were a good offering of "more please". The Steak Salad was mountainous, but a tad under flavored in our opinions (the meat is very tender though) and the Risotto, I'm a sucker for Risotto, could have used just a little more punch. Everything was fresh though and plentiful. Your head will be a on swivel as you watch entrees float pass, heaping with deliciousness asking yourself, "why didn't I get that?" It was like a Macy's Day Parade of culinary feasts. It's the best kind of eating, down home and pub like with just a sprinkle of fancy. It's all well done and fun if you ask me, and the waitstaff makes you feel right at home. The prices are great as well, for everything we ordered our bill was just $36.00 and you can BYOB it if you like. If you haven't been there, get there. This is hometown goodness.


El Rincon Criollo (The Latin Corner)

13 Riverside Dr, Spring City, PA 19475-1841​

 

YES, YOU CAN HOME AGAIN

People always say you can't go home again, El Rincon Criollo might argue with you about that. There is not a friendlier, more appetizing way to grab Hispanic inspired food, by the friendliest wait staff around. Walk in, you'll be greeted like a member of the family, your meal will be made to order and it will be served with a smile. The décor is comfy, nothing over the top here, booth seating for the most part and it's well worn, like a lived in feel to it. The menu is limited, but fret not because even with the limitations, it's fresh and delicious. It's everything you really want when it comes to down home dining, flavorful food, more than accommodating staff, in a relaxed atmosphere. We had the Pulled Pork and Baked Chicken. Feels like mom made it, and if you've never had Hispanic food and wonder what it is like, this is your spot. You'll want to stop in everyday, but do yourself a favor, save it for when you need that pick me up, because the food and the staff equally will make you feel good. By the way, it's BYOB so bring your favorite beverage, just remember when it's over, you have to go to your own home.


Frida's Mexican Restaurant

196 W Ridge Pike, Suite 168, Limerick, PA 19468-1754​

FORGET THE BELL, GET REAL. REAL MEXICAN FOOD.

So the battle of BBQ pits (in the Royersford/Limerick area) has been won by Dickey's (was won by Dickey's, Dickey's is gone now too). Phil's BBQ Pit on Ridge Pike is no more, but you can still get savory meats at their old location, it's double wrapped in flour and cheesy grilled tortilla's. Welcome to Frida's Mexican Food. It occupies the space Phils BBQ resided, welcome friend. Locally owned and operated, Frida's is a nice addition to the Shoppes at Limerick. It offers something a little more than you might be used to in this area, which is authentic Mexican Food. We sampled the tacos and the meats, equally delicious. If you like cheese, the double wrapped tacos have more than enough for you, as the double wrapped taco has cheesy goodness in the middle (think floppy grilled cheese sandwich wrapped around the meat of your choice). It was a little too much for me, so I peeled off one tortilla and it was then the taco hit my flavor spot. The pulled pork in the taco I tried tasted like the Mexico I know and love. The food was fresh, although I hope in future the Pico de Gallo is made up fresh as I felt this serving sat around the kitchen for a bit. That was my only complaint on my visit. I definitely would like to check out more of the menu and I will on future visit. The people are friendly, the food is good. Frida's hits that nice sweet spot of real comfort food.


19 Bella -Del Prado

3401 W. Skippack Pike, Rt. 73 & Bustard Rd, Cedars, PA 

SPAIN DOESN'T SEEM SO FAR AWAY...

The leisure of dining is alive and well at 19 Bella. Romantic & comfortable, it offers a certain laissez faire. Now that might be a "french" term, but it is aptly applied to 19 Bella. Come and choose a seat outside, feel the afternoon or evening breeze and bring the drink of your choice (yes, it's BYOB). Sit a while, be entertained in your company and conversation, and delicious tapas that awaits you. You will be transported away from whatever existed moments before. The menu items are varied and appealing, each with its own savoriness. The wait staff is friendly and informed. Choose wisely however, even though the offerings are considered small plates, overestimate your hunger and you will quickly find yourself satisfyingly full with more plates to come. We watch the sun set below the western tree line and found ourselves awash in the soft glow of the evening, all the while sampling great Spanish cuisine. Should you sit inside, you'll believe it to be a personal invitation to enjoy a meal in the comfortable environs of a Spanish farmhouse, intimate and personal. 19 Bella in my opinion captures the "art" of dining, where the meal is an event and you'll pass the time easily with your fellow diner.

Hidden River Brewing

1808 W Schuylkill Rd, In the Historic Brinton Lodge, Douglassville, PA

GHASTLY GOOD BREW, HIDDEN RIVER BREWING

Beer drinkers of the world (of Montco, Berks and Bucks Counties), rejoice. Another beer mecca has been born. Well, I am late to the party as Hidden River Brewing has been operating for 2 years now, but hey like Columbus, I am celebrating something I think I discovered. Located in the old Brinton Lodge on Route 724, beer awaits you. Glorious, witch "crafted", hauntingly good beer. Rumor has it the place is haunted, like  "Norman, is that you" Bates Motel kinda feel. Here's what I know, what they are serving is as good as anything you will find in Southeastern PA. I kid you not. No, seriously, I am not kidding. Brews of all types are offered from stouts, IPA's, sours to saison's, it's all here and it is done well my friends, no need to stay thirsty. Drink a plenty. Deliciously fresh, equally potent, it's everything beer poured into your glass should be and nothing that doesn't matter. When I visited, there was a Beet Beer on tap, I called it Cecil Beet De Miel, it's called Beet De Miel. Smelled like beets, beet flavor was there surrounded by glorious varietal hops. The essential summertime beer and for the record I hate beets. It was delicious. The place has character in spades, the old lodge charm has been maintained. Walking from the kitchen bar to the full bar, there is a suspenseful chill in the air. The place is adorned in the past as if you walked into haunted house, dimly lit, old graying photos and the occasional stuffed deer head or bear staring at you, possibly envying what is in your glass. Ghosts be damned, I am not sharing my beer. I like it, a dose of creepy history with my brew. The staff is ultra friendly and with great knowledge of what's on tap. HRB doesn't pretend to be anything that what it is, a historic setting for epic beer. There is also a large patio, picnic area outside and live music every now and then, so check the schedule if you want to make a night or afternoon of it. As I pulled away from HRB with a full beer belly, I stared up at the second floor windows (cue the horror music) and you know what? I don't really want to know what might be up there because on the first floor, they're serving pints full of greatness.


Cutillo's

2688 E High St, Sanatoga, Lower Pottsgrove Township, PA 19464-3174

INTERESTING TO SAY THE LEAST...

Please don't take the title as an indictment for not visiting, I think you'll have a good time if you do. What I do find interesting, Cutillo's seems to walk a balancing act between "Italian" and just decent food. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, but you can feel the identity crisis. The environment is nice, with great picture windows overlooking the creek below. Definitely romantic if you're looking for dining ambience. In the very center of the restaurant is the bar. Far enough away not to intrude on dinner, but close enough when you have had your fill of eats and might want to have a night cap. We tried several items on the dinner menu and they were perfectly, ok. We've dined both high end and low end and Cutillo's seems to fit somewhere right in between. We started dinner with the Filet au Poivre, the filet was prepared to order and as requested (medium rare), but there was a overdose of pepper which detracted from the flavor. All in all, not bad, but it sat squarely the middle of flavorville, besides the abundance of pepper. The Gorgonzola Salad was ok, I was hoping for the greens to be dressed, which might have enhanced the flavor of all the other ingredients, but noooo. It was if someone collected the all ingredients necessary for the dish, arranged them on a plate and stopped there, "here's your salad, enjoy". The difference between just ok and good is a small step, you just have to take it. For dinner I had the Halibut with Risotto, delicious. The risotto was on point, so on point. The Halibut was equally delicious. Made me smile it was so good. We also had the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes for an entree. Did I say the Halibut was the star? I think for the area Cutillo's is nice place to visit, a cut above the average, but not reaching out too far as to offend it's regulars. In the end, that's a good thing for those who have to come to know and love Cutillo's. It's an area staple. For the rest of us, well you'll have to see for yourself.


Annamarie's Place

347 Main St, Royersford, PA 19468-2312

OH MY, BRUNCH IS SERVED IN A MAJOR WAY

I hope you checked your cholesterol and diabetes before your visit to Annamarie's, because my oh my, you're about to get a heavy dose of both so choose wisely. Annamarie's is a local staple, breakfast superhero. Saturday and Sunday brunches will find lines out the door, with people waiting to "set" down and strap on a feed bag of breakfasty, brunchy and indulgent goodness. It's not fancy or delicate, what it is is a mega overdose of breakfast foods on steroids. Annamarie's is a sledgehammer; part food carnival, part what you might remember being Sunday breakfast at home. The portions are huge and when not huge, they are carb loaded, syrupy, sugary goodness. For me that means a bite or two, for others it might mean "I can't believe I ate the whole thing". I hope you're wearing comfortable clothes, because Annamarie's is a stomach expander, a gut buster, a waist stretcher when it comes to breakfast. Remember the sweatpants with the elastic band? Put them on. Clean your plate and you just might wobble out of there looking for a place to lay down, immediately. You swear you might not do it again, but Annamarie's hauntingly calls your name, summons you back in to the sweet, over stuffed bosom of brunch righteousness. "Come on honey, I have all this goodness just waiting for you". Yup, it's then that you know you're hooked. Enjoy.


Tex Mex Connection

 201 E Walnut St, North Wales, PA 19454-2809

NO WALLS NEEDED, THIS IS THE BEST OF MEXICO

If you live in the North Wales area plan your visit, special occasion or other, to Tex Mex Connection, North Wales. It's not good Mexican food, it's good food period. Flavor runs forever through all their servings, from appetizers to entrees to desserts, its everywhere in this colorfully decorated restaurant. The service is excellent and your food choices are plenty, so if you sample everything or just a little, you will not be disappointed. The Crab Burrito is a crowd pleaser, succulent crab, flour tortilla, in a rich chipotle sauce. The Tex Mex Ribs are tender and sauced just right. Served with a side of fresh greens, delicious potato side salad and decadent, yes decadent corn bread. The cornbread could be dessert, moist, but not overly, sweet but not syrupy, it is every bit of awesome. Drink? Yes, they have them. From beer to liquor, you could drown a sorrow or two. I had several of their flavored Margarita's, I just smiled consuming them. They are devilishly good and subtly intoxicating, yes think potent, satisfyingly potent. Water por favor? Please. My liver needed a slight cleansing afterwards. If you're not careful you'll be transported away, thinking of nothing but the company you came with and the good time you're having. Tex Mex Connection is that kind of good. So go, go often and enjoy.


Coppertown

49 W Lancaster Ave, Downingtown, PA 19335-2846

DO YOU REALLY LIKE COFFEE? DO YOU?

Forget Starbucks. Yup, get outta here with that.. If you're in Downingtown or nearby and need that java induced pick me up, drive through, literally drive through Coppertown for your fix. Yes, it's a drive up coffee shop. Oh sooooo good. I'm a coffee-holic. I really like coffee, like "really, really" like coffee. Not for the ji-ji-ji-jitters, but for the taste. Coppertown makes a great cup of joe. It's no SB copycat, as Coppertown doesn't over roast their beans, just well roasted goodness through and through. It's a solid "cup o joe" as they say. Need more than coffee? Grab a snack from munchies, to salads, to soups, to smoothies. It's a great place to get that morning cup to go, or that afternoon pick me up. Feels so good, tastes like heaven. If you're in D'Town or passing through, put it on your list of tasty things to put on your lips. You will not regret it.

Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine

235 E High St, Pottstown, PA 19464-9129​

FINE CUISINE YOU SAY? HMMMM...

On our way to dinner, we discovered that the restaurant we were going to visit was closed for the week. Back up plan? Not really. So we headed up Ridge Pike into Pottstown and in the heart of town, we saw a sign for Mexican "fine" dining. Could it be? Salsa flavored goodness in the heart of Pottstown? We knew a friend of a friend who had recommended Juan Carlos, so my spouse and I looked at each other and said "sure why not." Fine dining may be overstating it, just a little bit. Classic storefront restaurant, transformed from what it ever it served as before. Welcoming? Yes. Meeting the definition of fine dining for decor? Um, not so much, but it's comfortable and well lit. The waitstaff is friendly and eager to assist, all positives in my book when it comes to a restaurant trying to make it's name. The food was,...ok. Let me temper this statement, if you like cheese, this might be the restaurant for you. Cheese a plenty on their entrees. Cheesy goodness if you will. Our entrees for me lacked ( I can't bear to use the word authentic here, it's used too much these days) but I would say balance. We had two dishes, the Chimichanga de Camaron and the Enchilada de Mariscos. Were they good? A tepid yes.. Is it "fine" dining? No. Would I order the same dishes again? Probably not, I would search out something else on the menu. As the saying goes, "you can never look back, you can never look back." If I have a "slight" criticism, the dishes lacked the nuance of Mexican cooking, which for me are the spices and freshness come to life. We were just back from our wedding in Mexico and we travel yearly to Mexico, if not twice yearly. The land of spices, caliente (hot) and otherwise. We didn't find that kind of flavor here. Those are our taste buds, yours may be different and that's ok. I see Juan Carlos as a breath of fresh for area diners. It's BYOB, so bring your favorite drink along, have a seat and decide if it's right for you. It's a decent effort, you may like their style of Mexican offerings, and if you do you'll have a nice place to enjoy it in. It's okay, I just wouldn't call it fine dining, but in the end that just may be good enough.


World of Beer

102 Main St, Suite 100, Exton, PA 19341-3713

YES, IT IS A WORLD OF BEERS IF YOU WONDERED

The name should say it all, but it leaves out some finer points. Nice outdoor seating area. Comfortable interior with bar stools and TV's galore in case you were missing out on the game or games, pluralized. World of Beer is just that, a great place to go, to sample and drink the latest craft beer available, as well as established crafties. Unless there are distribution issues, you'll probably be able to find what you are looking for at World of Beer. There are a multitude of taps to consume your freshly brewed beer concoction of choice. The bottle and can menu reads like a wine list dedicated to hops, malt and yeasty goodness. It's sorted by your favorite style of brew, what ever it might be. Yes, there is also food. We ordered the one of the Flatbreads, which was awesome and a Lettuce Wedge which was not. Who orders salad at a beer pub? I know, I know, I know, yes this guy. I thought the Wedge was adequate, but I can't conceive how you mess up a Wedge Salad. No need to be fancy with it, it's a Wedge Salad. Looking to quench your beer thirst and have a good time in the process? World of Beer is that. Sitting inside or out (weather permitting), it's feels like the finest of beer halls. Stop in, get your swill on and enjoy your choice of beverages. Better yet. have a flight of beer and sample something you might not have tried before. World of Beer lends it's self to every beer palate, style and taste.

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse

155 Main St, Building L, King of Prussia, PA 19406-1469

 

A CAROUSEL OF MEATS & MORE

So you think you're a carnivore huh? A connoisseur of finely prepared meats? People, my people prepare yourself for a carousel of meats. Glorious, decadent, mouth watering meats. The best tip I can offer you is to know when to say when. Fogo de Chao is a different slant on a steakhouse. Yes there is steak, but that is just where the story begins. Fogo is elegantly styled, professionally waitstaffed and offers top notch edibles from fresh fruit, salads, charcuterie, drinks and desserts. Your first course is charcuterie, with offerings of all sorts of meaty, leafy, earthy types. Think your favorite cheese shop come to life as a buffet. Choose, choose wisely. We found the palm hearts moist and tender, along with the assorted cheeses and yes salads too. Remember, the first course is the entertainment portion of the program, don't fill up just yet. Wet your appetite for what's to come, as Fogo is all about pace. One should not rush headlong into goodness, savor the journey and you will be well rewarded. You're given a red & green coaster (red on one side, green on the other). Green means go, as in the circling caballeros will bring meats of all types and slice them to order for your devouring. They will arrive often and seemingly non stop, and undoubtedly you will keep agreeing to additional meaty offerings from flank steak, rib eye, prime rib, bacon wrapped meats to chicken. It is, I kid you not, non stop. Smart diners will take an offering, flip their coaster over to red while savoring what has been served. Ready for more? Flip your coaster to green and the meat parade will begin again. Pace, trust me pace yourselves people. Have a drink, partake in a conversation, bathe in the surroundings and when you've had sufficient rest, dive in once again. Fogo's meats are best sampled in space and time. Savor the flavor, savor the time and your dining efforts will be well served. Fogo is a great place for a meal, bring along some friends, a ravenous appetite and leisurely swathe yourself in all the deliciousness you can afford, because until you say no, the meats will keep coming. Enjoy.

La Cabra Brewing

642 Lancaster Ave, Across from the Berwyn train station, Berwyn, PA 19312-1663​

FLAVOR IN MASS QUANTITIES

I like places that call themselves gastro pubs. Typically, it makes it easy for me to say, "um, not so much". The food doesn't match the beer, beer doesn't match the food, an over used misnomer, more based in hype than reality. In the case of La Cabra, suspend all your suspicions, concerns and doubts. Eclectic food choices and dramatic & lustily crafted beers are the norm here. La Cabra may be one of the best "gastropubs" in the area, if not the best. Being my first time here, I tried a flight of their beer offerings. I would not call myself a beer snob, as much as a beer observer. Yes, I observe the character of a beer, its start, its middle, its finish. Versus go thru every beer I tried (every one has their own taste), what I will summarize from my choices is the following - every offering no matter what the description or style followed the script of offering taste at every level, start, middle and finish. My favorite may have been the Monta Puentes. It hits every note like velvet glove punch in the face. Delicious, tart, smooth, it exudes character from sip to swallow. That also seems to be the recipe for all their craft offerings, thoughtful, inventive and above all refreshing. The food? Artfully presented, well conceived and satisfyingly delicious. Our party of six tried to mix it up so we could sample a little bit of everything. The Charred Octopus is perfectly grilled and accompanied with a spicy gazpacho and clean, tasty cojita salad. The Duck Fries feel so french and decadent, it hits all the right delicious, smoky sauced notes. The Crispy Pork Belly, if you like pork belly, looks great on your plate, inviting on your fork and doesn't disappoint when you end all the flirting by actually eating it. The environment is wonderful, comfortable and homey. While we dined, the windows were open to the street, being a beautiful day, we took in the sights and sounds of the avenue and enjoyed the patio like feel. The service is very good, very friendly and knowledgeable. For a dining experience, La Cabra is memorable. You will undoubtedly put it on your list of places to brunch, lunch and dinner to pass the time away, while having your culinary and drinking desires genuinely met.


Two Stones Pub Kennett

 843 E Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA 19348-1801

DON'T YOU DARE CALL IT "JUST" A PUB

No my friend, don't dare call Two Stones Pub, just a pub. It would be like calling the Eiffel Tower, just a structure or a Philly Cheese Steak, just a sandwich. Two Stones is one of those rare places where the food actually keeps up with the ample servings of craft beer offered. You can slurp, slurp, slurp and nom, nom, nom with equal pleasure. I seem to always fall into Two Stones for a Sunday brunch and every time, it's like that old friend you know well, where it feels good to be in their presence, you just pick up where you left off. From decor to offerings, it just feels right. First, the beer. Ever changing menu of goodness from all regions to suit all beer tastes. From dense and delicious, to light and refreshing, it pours cold into your glass and feels right on your tongue. I always see it as a time to sample, from flights to just something I have not had yet. I urge you to sample a flavor or two on your visit or better yet, tell a server or bartender what you typically like and they will offer a suggestion for you. Seldom are they wrong. The food. Yum. Ample portions, well presented, fresh and sometimes whimsical. Whimsical you say? Sometimes there is a twist on a classic or an item on the menu which makes you say, " I would never have thought of doing it that way". It's comfort food at it's finest and that is not meant in a southern sort of way, but in the best sort of way. You feel like you've had a meal, your taste buds expanded, you're hunger satisfied. My personal favorite, which I typically have at brunch, is the Sunday Smokehouse. It tastes like a new religion. Brisket, pork belly and pulled pork....oh my. The entire farm feels as though it is on your plate, it is and it is delicious. Non meat eaters need not fret, delicious greenery can be found here and equal amounts of imagination is used in the preparation. Two Stones is a welcome balance of two worlds, great beer and great food. Bring along some folks you like and let the party begin. It starts with the first sip, the rest is up to you.


Gatsby's At The Sunnybrook Ballroom

50 N Sunnybrook Rd, Pottstown, PA 19464-2946​

VERY SWANKY, VERY GOOD

You could think you're stepping back in time, but you'd be wrong. You're stepping into a very cool, romantic and classy hangout with great eats and a great atmosphere. I love the atmosphere, leather, darkwoods and soft lighting. If you're very young, step into Gatsby's to see what you missed. An era of jazz, big bands, crooners and swing. Now you won't see those artists at Gatsby's today, but it has all the feel.of that era and that's a great thing. The other thing? The food is delicious. Ample portions, classic dishes with some adventure and rich, decadent desserts. Gatsby's is a destination, a well deserved destination. Take a visit to be transported, to feel apart of a classic American scene that gave birth to so many of the great influences of today. Gatsby's is a little bit history, a little bit retro and a lot bit great. It was my first visit, but definitely not my last.

Taqueria Moreleon

9173 Newport Pike, Avondale, PA 19311-9628

AUTHENTIC MEXICAN CUISINE, WAY NORTH OF THE BORDER

If you are looking for a great Mexican restaurant, Taqueria Moroleon just might be your place. It doesn't just hint at Mexican flavor, it offers up Mexican flavor the way a bad hombre, riding a burro, wearing a sombrero, shaking moroccas would. It's in your face good. Of course I am speaking metaphorically, but if you have been to other establishments that don't quite deliver on their promise of Mexican Cuisine, then look no further. From friendly waitstaff, to comfy decor, it's a great place for a taste of Mexico. You can actually taste authentic-ness in your food and all the magic ingredients subtlely,  but expertly used. Never heavy handed or over sauced, everything has a just made freshness quality. Serving sizes are decent and there's a great choice of beverages to choose from. We ordered several different meals and felt like our taste buds were conducting a sassy siesta in our mouves. Not a bad or half baked dish in the bunch. If you like Mexican food, you'll love TM.


Railroad Street Bar and Grill

36 Railroad St, Linfield, PA 19468

INTERESTINGLY GOOD

I live nearby and a friend invited me for food and drink at the Railroad Street Bar and Grill. "Um, ok?" I knew it was there, but this was the first time I had been there. I like that is at the end of a long street, enough to make you question where you're going if you've never been. Out of the darkness (it's very well lit), there it is, a little oasis at the end of a dead end road. Walking in, it seems to be a mashup of different things: biker bar, restaurant, frat house, wet dream and there is nothing wrong with that. I half expected Patrick Swayze to arise from the dead, take Baby out of the corner and name this place Roadhouse. What can I tell you is that I like this place. The staff is ultra friendly, the food comes in big portions and and the taste is always on the right side of delicious. While it's bar food and certainly food you will recognize, the chefs in the back seem give it a tasty kick in the pants before it reaches your table or bar stool. No high falutin' foods here, just drip down to your elbows goodness served with a hoppy flavor chaser and there is nothing not to like about that. Try the Lobster Pizza or one of there many Grilled Cheese sandwiches (you'll thank me). There is beer a plenty. Beer from everywhere and there is something for everyone, no matter where your tastes lie, from good old "Murican", to everything else. Crowd is a mixed bag, everyone is friendly and you definitely feel welcome. Like old school pinball machines? There are machines galore and quarters a plenty. If you've been thinking about it, don't. Just go, find something you like on the menu and an equal liquid partner to wash it down with and it will feel just right, because it is.


Gettin' Crabby At The Crab Barn

2613 Hampden Blvd, Reading, PA 19604

IS IT GOOD? YES. IS IT MEMORABLE? YOU'LL HAVE TO DECIDE

We were looking for a good place to eat after some shopping in the Reading area, after reading a few reviews we settled on the Crab Barn. I like the look of the place, converted barn with upper level dining. The paper tablecloths tell you it's all about the seafood. The decor is rustic, exposed brick and wood with requisite seafood restaurant decorations with a couple of mooseheads for added measure. If you want seafood, there are plenty of offerings to choose from. We had the Crab Cakes and Beef Tips. The Crab Cakes were good, almost all crab meat which was great, but I thought it lacked a little seasoning which would have made it a signature dish. The Beef Tips were just ok, cooked perfectly but lacked some flare for my taste. There was nothing wrong per se with either dish, I just expected a little bit more than just solid ingredients which the Crab Barn does provide. The side dishes were delicious, Grilled Brussel Sprouts and Red Bliss Mashed Potatoes. They both had the flavor and creativity that in my opinion were missing from the entrees. All in all we thought it was a decent meal, just not memorable.


Levante Brewing Company

208 Carter Dr Suite 2, West Chester, PA 19382-4500

ALL THE BEER GOODNESS YOU CAN HANDLE

If you were walking down the "Yellowbrick Rd" through West Chester, chances are your Emerald City, if you're a beer drinker, would be Levante Brewing. By the way if you're literally reading this, there is no Yellowbrick Road in West Chester, but there is excellent beer and it's found right here. Each brew is artfully done. Depth of flavor and savoriness that lasts with every sip. Levante is a beer mecca, bring your beer prayer rug, pay homage and have your thirst quenched...repeatedly. The decor, while spartan is comfy and trust me, your taste buds will never notice. The real luxury, the real craft, is in the beer. Treat yourself.


Piazza Presto​

 451 W Ridge Pike Ste 453, Limerick, PA 19468-1415

ALWAYS GOOD, ALWAYS FRESH

Piazzo Presto is one the few restaurants you'll come across in the Limerick area that is authentic as it is good. The interior, for a strip mall location, is well decorated, warm and inviting. You'll forget where you are and that is a good thing. The food is classic Italian with many pub favorites that you know, recognize and will enjoy. The staff is capable and friendly, and the selection of menu items bountiful. In a nutshell, its very decent eats.

Argilla Brewing Company

2667 Kirkwood Hwy, Newark, DE 19711-7242

WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?!?!?!?

Like "good" beer? Like "good" food? Consider this your mashup of both worlds. Visited Argilla's with a party of five and to say we had good food, good drink and a good time might be an understatement. The decor is low key, feels like a comfy old dark dining room that Nana has not updated in years. It works in maintaining a low key profile, but that is not why you are here, nor does it detract from the dining experience. It's homey for sure, but the food and drink is the brightest light. Great selection of beers on tap, yes they brew their own right on the premises and it doesn't get much better than that if you like craft beers, good craft beer. The food is imaginative and served in decent portions. Something for everyone to choose from, just depends on what you might be hungry for. Whatever you choose, you'll be satisfied. There's not much not to like about Argilla's. Stop in make and yourself at home.

Washington Street Ale House

1206 N Washington St, Wilmington, DE 19801-1020

WHERE EVERYONE ALMOST KNOWS YOUR NAME...

If you've been around Wilmington long enough, chances are you've been to the Washington Ale House. The Ale House has that "Cheers" feel, perfect for lunch, happy hour or a destination after visiting the center of the city. Through the years the Ale House keeps trending with what's good, from an ample selection of craft beers to an ever changing food menu that will meet your every taste. Walking into the Ale House, it feels comfortable, it feels right. The environment is friendly and pub like. The lighting is subdued and semi romantic, if you're seated at a table away from the bar. The Ale House strikes the right balance of comfort without ever feeling stuffy. If you're at the horseshoe shaped bar chances are, if you're alone, you will strike up a conversation with a stranger and believe that somehow you've been here before. The time passes easily here, as the beer is refreshing and the food soothing. In the end, the Washington Street Ale House always leaves you satisfied and perhaps makes you question, why you're not here more often.

Dew Point Brewing

2878 Creek Rd, Yorklyn, DE 19736-9714

THE PINTS ARE ON POINT

Located in the old Garrett Snuff Mill on Creek Rd., a brewery has been born and it is a welcome addition for northern Delaware and Chester County residents. I believe from their bio, in operation for about 3 and 1/2 years now. This is a destination, not just for the sense of history and the re-purposed mill space, it is an honest brewery with nice accommodations. If you like beer, feels like the right place to enjoy a pint. Drink inside or outside on the grounds, you'll feel and like the leisure activity of beer drinking. There's no rush here, so let you hair down. Inside and upstairs is a modest hall with tables for seating, high tops and low tops (if you will) and the bar. The staff is very friendly and excited about the craft they brew, they are also very knowledgeable. The beer itself is what I like to describe as an honest brew. Care has been taken and it's reflected in Dew Points offerings. Flavor is everywhere. Some beers are flavor forward, some have an ample middle ground and others a big finish. A lot of their beers encompass all three taste traits, yes I drank enough of them to know. You'll find something that suits you, no worries there. For me it was the Sgt. Schultz (I see nothing), but tasted everything. Schultz is a great interpretation of a robust german beer. DP seems to like their beers medium bodied and medium ABV's as well (all sub 9% during my visit) and there is nothing wrong with that. Like a particular brew? Grab a growler to go. Need a bite, hit up one of the food trucks that normally visit. It's a great atmosphere, that not only shows in the location they've chosen, but also in the beer they craft. Raise your pint and kick back. You've found the right spot.


Stickman Brewing Company

326 N Lewis Rd, Ste 240, Royersford, PA 19468-1509

WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THERE WAS GREAT CRAFT BREW IN ROYERSFORD?

My significant other said we were going out for a beer after dinner. I raised an eyebrow. Sly Fox, Victory, Levante? No. New place, get in the car, shut up and drive. Outside of the Craft Ale House, which offers craft beers but doesn't brew, I didn't know where we were going, but I'm a sucker for this woman so I drove. We arrived to Stickman Brews. Shut the front door. Wide range of brew here, from the just ok (your taste buds may say otherwise) to daaaaamn, that's good bleep right there. And the majority of their offerings resemble that last statement. To say a beer is just ok, think classic American familiar flavors, but fresh and with a twist, to some truly artfully crafted brews. We tried two flights, 8 beers, and there was not a bad brew in the bunch. Different yes, bad no. My favorites in order, Lazy Bully, a Double IPL, Sensational Weather, a Barrel Aged Wild Wheat Ale and Beer From A Farm, described as an American Farmhouse Ale. This may have been where the American Revolution started, it's brash, smooth and delicious. Full bodied, spicy, thick on the tongue and all kinds of , yes I'll have another. If you have been travelling out of the Royersford area for good craft beer, stop, please stop. Put Stickman Brews in your craft brew rotation, trust me you will not be disappointed.

The Hattery Stove & Still

18 W. State Street, Dowylestown, PA 18901

 

BRUNCHING WELL IN HISTORIC DOYLESTOWN

The Hattery Stove and Still is a great place for Sunday brunch, which is the dining experience we shared there. Located on State Street in the heart of Doylestown at the Doylestown Inn, The Hattery will take you back in time with it's turn of the century decor to splashes of modernity. Upstairs it has bricked walls, period pieces and soft lit chandeliers. You definitely feel invited, if not pampered by the environment. Downstairs has a speakeasy charm and more of the same decor sans the chandeliers. An ample beer and spirit list will quench almost any thirst in addition to softer drinks for those not inclined to imbibe. The food choices from the menu selection was just right or left of center, as it should be. It represented everything you love and know about the familiar, but with a twist or variation. Our party of four found The Hattery rustically homie and comfortable, so much so we were engrossed in catching up versus critiquing the measures of the restaurant (service, food, environment). The Hattery from an environment perspective offers a netherworld feel, it casts a spell, once you're there, you're there. The service was ok, meaning efficient and professional, but lacked that extra measure of care to insure everything was going well and as planned. No "how's everything or anything I can offer you to make your visit that much better?". For the record, we lacked nothing. The food was good, plates were cleaned and judging from the non-comments of our party, nothing was over the top "you must taste this" kind of delicious, but it was well executed and fresh. I had the Pork Belly Reuben, the pork belly was salaciously tender. The mosh pit, mash up of the Reuben combination left me a little wanting as the flavor was distinctly non-committal, yes I wanted more flavor from that sandwich. I ate it all for the record. Some may read some of this as negativity, trust me it is not, I would gladly go back (and plan to) to The Hattery for brunch, lunch or dinner. I want to try more of their dishes, sample the willful wizardry from the kitchen, if you will, to see the if the curtains (food) can truly match the drapes (environment). The Hattery is a lovely place in a quaint location. It has all the right elements, I just need to find my perfect dish there. Yes, you should visit as it's one of Doylestown's best offerings.

Yard House

160 N. Gulph Rd, King of Prussia, PA 19406-2941

MY CUP RUNNETH OVER...WITH A BEER...AT THE MALL

There are choices and then, ...there are choices. You should stand up and applaud if you like choices of the hop variety because the Yard House enough beer choices to drown almost any thirst. From their home brewed house selections, to regional and national flavors, they might have the beer cure for the hop thirst that might ail you. The Yard House is a sprawling, industrial yet contemporary atmosphere to take a break and have a beer, very good beer. The lighting feels like a giant hushed tone, slightly dark, but never dank. Sit at the bar, get a table or enjoy a booth and then get acquainted with new and old beer friends as the menu changes often. The Yard House has a speakeasy feel, like you're "hiding away in a joint" and the only thing that matters is the beer in your glass and the company you're keeping. And yes there is food, fun food with varied choices that are slightly twisted (meaning creative). From entrees to appetizers, you'll find something to put on your lips. If the weather's nice, you can also sit outside and take in the breeze or the view or both from the balcony, it will feel like that catered deck party you always wanted to have. "Jeeves, another round for  my friends". Time and beer have a way of disappearing here, so pace or limit yourself as the Yard House will have you wanting to taste all of their offerings or at least a few of them. So now, technically, you can really chill at the mall and hopefully this time, your mom didn't drop you off.

Devil's Acre Tavern

5691 Easton Road, Plumsteadville, PA 18949

GOOD EATS JUST NORTH OF THE BEATEN PATH

Head north, whoever you might be, that's if you're living in the Doylestown area. Doylestown is noted as "thee place" for dining in and around the Bucks County area, however if you creatively thirst or hunger for a little bit more, head north on Rt. 611 (5 mins) away from Doylestown and visit the the Devil's Acre Tavern. The Devil's Acre straddles (with "grande juevos") the fine line between a really good gastropub and fine dining. Think prime rib, salacious cuts of meat and seafood prepared by imaginative and inspired chefs. Yes, the devil may be at work here and it's a wonderfully sinful thing (food wise anyway). The "room" has an industrial yet contemporary feel with walled subway tiles adding a semi urban, post modern feel. The waitstaff is knowledgeable and conversational about all things that can be eaten with fork / fingers or consumed by pint, make them your friend. Depending on your taste, you can delve into German goodness via your meal or beer as Devil's Acre does have a Deutschland culinary/drinking vibe, but the restaurant is smart enough to know that if Das Fatherland is not your thing, no worries the menu is varied enough to satisfy your cravings. And yes, you will be satisfied. We enjoyed (party of four) Pan Seared Scallops with Risotto (two of these, it left our diners imitating the scene from "Harry Met Sally", yes, yes, yes!), Grilled Pork Chop and Cranberry Chutney and the Full Acre Burger. Silence, besides the Scallop moaning, engulfed the table as we consumed our hellishly good offerings. The Devil's Acre always feels festive, no matter what time of day with people engrossed in good company, good food and good beer. Try it once and you'll put it in your regular rotation of places to be nourished. The Devil's Acre hits all the senses; mind, body and soul.


The Creamery

401 Birch St, Kennett Square, PA 19348-3609

AND YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY BETTER, THE CREAMERY REVISTED

Soooo, we were in Kennett Square to check out a "new beer kid on the block" and after checking it out, we were slowly cruising by The Creamery and noticed, "hey, the lights are on!". Pump the brakes, we are stopping in. Just when you thought The Creamery was your warm weather "go to" for being in the sun and enjoying a brew, they now have an inside presence. True to form it maintains a rustic, old world charm, just indoors now. AND if you're feeling strong and accurate (or not so), you can throw an axe or two with their indoor Axe Throwing Range. Let's get back to where the fun begins, beer. The Creamery maintains it's low key, friendly environment for drinking, but they brought the beer indoors and also now have a nice menu selection of eats; sandwiches and delicious pizza. They both come in flavors of pure "unadulterated funk" so choose wisely when you do choose to tame the beer gremlins (or hunger) that might be asking for edibles to slow down the headrush from the buzz. Everything you came to enjoy from the Creamery being outdoors can now be celebrated indoors, from an AMPLE selection of beer, to games of chance, to room for the family and also live entertainment. Few places for eating or drink feel like home, but The Creamery has always managed to achieve that. There is no rush, it always feel right. It's leisure at its beer drinking finest and some of the best brew around from regional breweries, all on tap (and in some cases cans). Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it just did. Well played Creamery, well played.