Posts Tagged ‘Bucks Co’

Gourmet Fried Chicken

September 27, 2009

Donna was craving Kentucky Fried Chicken as we finished shopping in Willow Grove so we started looking for a store but no stores were to be found.  As we got closer to Doylestown, Donna remembered that beside Thompson Toyota she saw a sign advertising Fried Chicken.  That sign took us to Gross’ Gourmet Foods and to great Fried Chicken.

Gross' Gourmet Foods' Fried Chicken and Fix'emsAt Gross’ Gourmet Foods I bought Fried Chicken Breast, Thigh and Drumstick along with Potato Salad, Coleslaw and Corn Bread to take home.  The order came to $26 which at the time seemed high to me.  When we got home I fixed Donna the plate to the right for her lunch.  As I prepared the plate, I sampled each of the items so I could report to you readers (LOL).  The Fried Chicken had a great Crispy Coating and was very Moist and Sweet inside. All three pieces were huge compare to KFC pieces especially the Breast which weighed at least a pound by itself.  The Potato Salad was very good as well.  The potatoes were done el dente so they had a nice bite to them. Donna and I couldn’t figure out what was giving the salad it’s Tang, I thought mustard and Donna thought it was garlic.  I think Donna was right as they colour remained more white than any yellow tint mustard would have gave the salad.  The Coleslaw was very creamy with the Cabbage giving the salad some nice Tang and Crunch.  The Carrot gave the salad some sweetness and some colour.  The Cornbread was Moist and Sweet. The bread was dense and not grainy like many other versions I have tried.  It was almost as good as Derrick’s Cornbread so it was very good. Together the chicken, potato salad, coleslaw and cornbread  made a Classic Fried Chicken meal and Gross’ Gourmet Foods made that meal excellent.

Gross’ also sells Wings, Ribs, Brisket and Pulled Pork as well as Sandwiches and Ribs.  They operate their retail store seven days a week as well as providing catering.  The Chicken alone make the trip to Gross’ worth the trip but we plan on trying other items very soon.

Read other reviews about Gross’s Gourment Foods here, here and here.

Gross Gourmet Foods on Urbanspoon

 Gross’ Gourmet Foods – 22 Campbell Ave, Doylestown, PA 18901-2410                      (215) 345-1721‎

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Ooka Lunch with Ryan

September 24, 2009

Ryan and I got to go to Ooka in Doylestown for Sushi today because Donna went bowling with Jojo and left us to make our own lunch. I have gotten several recommendations from Facebook friends and Chowhounds on how good the sushi is at Ooka so eating there has been on my Foodie to-do list for quite a while.  The recommendations were spot-on; the sushi was top notch, the venue was very comfortable and the service impeccable.

Miso Soup and Garden Fresh Salad with Ginger Dressing at Ooka in DoylestownBoth my meal and Ryan’s meal came with Miso Soup and Garden Fresh Salad with Ginger Dressing. The Miso Soup was one of the best miso soups I have ever had. A hearty broth with delicious pieces of Mushrooms, Tofu and Scallion floating in it.  The Garden Fresh Salad was pretty typical of other Japanese restaurants’ salads with the exception of the Ginger Dressing which was Creamy and with a Delicate Ginger Flavour as opposed to the usual version that comes with overwhelming ginger flavours.  We also tried some Japanese beer and went for the Sapporo brand. I actually like the match up of beer and sushi so it was working for me. Edamame and Shumai Appetizers at Ooka in Doylestown, PA

It was a little strange for me to have appetizers after soup and salad but that’s the way they do it at Ooka so we rolled with it and enjoyed them when the came.   The Fresh Edamame were served piping hot with Sea Salt. The little pods of Soy are fun to eat, slightly salty and moist to the bite. This maybe the perfect appetizer to go with beer, a sort of the Japanese version of peanuts.  The other appetizer was Shumai, little steamed shrimp dumpling with a Ginger Sauces. The dumplings were the perfect size and had a delicate flavour of shrimp and that dumpling flavour that seems to come with all dumplings. My Friend Doug over at American Greetings introduced me to Shumai a few months back and I am glad he did. They were excellent at Ooka.

Angus N.Y Steak Teriyaki Bento Box at Ooka in Doylestown, PARyan went for the N.Y Steak Teriyaki Bento Box.The Angus beef steak came with and order of rice, two California Rolls, Shrimp & Broccoli Tempura and a Japanese Treat.  The steak came medium rare and coated in sweet teriyaki sauce.  The rice was perfectly cooked. Both Shrimp and Broccoli Tempura were perfectly cooked and crispy but leaving the shrimp and broccoli fresh and delicious. The California Rolls were classic and even a little larger in diameter than I am used to getting. The dish also came with two Gyoza Pan-fried Pork Dumplings served with a Ginger Sauce. Ryan had not tried Gyoza before and despite being stuff from all the previous food he liked the delicate pork flavour, the slight char from the pan frying and the gentle ginger sauce.  He shared one with me so I knew he was pretty full when he starts to share his food.

Sushi and Sashimi Lunch at Ooka in Doylestown, PA

 I went for the Sushi and Sashimi Lunch Special.  It came with 3 pieces Sushi, 5 pieces Sashimi, and a Spicy Tuna roll.  The Special usually comes with a Salmon Roll but I upgraded to a Spicy Tuna roll. Both the Sushi and Sashimi were very fresh and the cuts of fish were perfect.  The Tuna almost melted in my mouth, the Salmon the same and Shrimp was fresh and sweet.  The Special also included Octopus.  I think Octopus is a great test for a sushi restaurant, cut it wrong and it tough, keep it too long and it’s tough, cook it too long or too short it’s tough. The Octopus on this plate was tender and flavourful. The Spicy Tuna Roll was creamy with a good tuna taste and spicy enough to make it interesting but no over powering like so many second class sushi places. The Whitefish and Yellowtail were delicate in flavour and perfect in texture almost little works of art.  The overall presentation, and I love good presentation, was excellent for this dish as well as the ones that preceded it.

Great flavours, great textures, great presentations, great service and great company – my son.  Net-net a great meal for us.  You should try Ooka if you haven’t already.

Read other reviews about Ooka here, here and here.

 Ooka (Doylestown) on Urbanspoon

Ooka  – 110 Veterans Lane, Doylestown, PA 18901-3412                             (215) 348-8185

Donna’s Birthday Supper

September 21, 2009

Tomorrow is Donna’s Birthday but many of the top end restaurants are closed on Mondays so we went out this evening to celebrate her birthday.  We took our own advice from the Best of Bucks County – Special Occasion/Anniversary Top 5 list and went to the Centerbridge Inn to celebrate Donna’s big day.  We have eaten there before, had great meals and I play poker with Chef Pete Jones and owe him money (LOL).

Cocktails at Centerbridge Inn

We started the evening with cocktails (surprize!). Donna went for the Singapore Sling and I went for the Vodka Martini. It was encouraging to see that the bartender didn’t need to look up in a book how to make this classic cocktail. He did a great job on this gin classic. My Vodka Martini was pretty straight forward but still well executed. Both drinks were great and the way to start a special meal.

Prosciutto with Melons, Peaches and Mozzarella at Centerbridge InnDonna started her meal with the Prosciutto with Melons, Peaches and Mozzarella appetizer.  The salty and thick prosciutto was a great match for the sweet melon and peaches. The fresh Mozzarella Balls were great texture contrasts for the fruit and the dense meat.  The dish was dressed by a Thick Balsamic Reduction that despite being a vinegar was thick and sweet. The main ingredients were enough but a salad of Micro Greens completed the dish.

French Onion Soup at Centerbridge InnI went for the French Onion Soup as my appetizer. Donna warned me about eating it because of the long cheese strings the soup often produces but I went it for it anyway.  What a great decision it was.  The Giant Portion was full of flavour and actually hard to get to get a spoonful of just broth. The rich soup was full of sweet Onion, Cheese and Croutons.  It was not overly salty as many onions soups I have had at other places most likely cause they used stock instead of those salty bullion cubes. It was excellent, so excellent that I brought half of it home. It didn’t make it past 30 minutes before Ryan had found it and heated it up for a snack. LOL. It was great soup and no stringy cheese on my clothes. LOL.

Caesar Salad at Centerbridge InnDonna and I decided to share a Casear Salad as our second course.  We are Caesar Salad snobs because we have made this salad so many times and we think we have the recipe down pat.  I have posted about our recipe here on the blog and other have tried it liked it too. The version at Centerbridge Inn was very good. Crisp Lettuce with a tangy Garlic Dressing. We had the option of Anchovies but we past given Donna’s sensitivity to fish. The split portion of salad was the perfect size for the second course. Refreshing and with great garlic taste.

Grilled Pork Chops at Centerbridge InnDonna went for the Grilled Pork Chops as her main course. The one giant Bone-in Pork Chop came with Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus.  The grilled pork chop was surounded by two generous pieces of Pancetta making a giant pork sandwich.  The actual chop was cooked perfectly and was thick, very moist and sweet. The asparagus was well cooked and tasty.  The potatoes were a little el-dente and could have roasted a few minutes longer for my taste but Donna like them as they were presented.

Poached Halibut with Potato Crust at Centerbridge Inn

 I went for the Grilled Halibut with Potato Crust and Wild Rice and Grilled Asparagus. The thick potato crust kept the flaky halibut flesh moist and delicate.  I love halibut but it has a very delicate flesh that carries a subtle flavour. The potato crust acted like an insulation keeping the fish protected. The wild rice was a nice change from other starches and was well cooked. Asparagus is one of my favourite veggies and the staff nailed it with a great grilling. The dish, well presented, was delicious.

So if you are looking for a great meal to celebrate a special occasion, check out Centerbridge Inn.  Make sure you ask for Chef Pete Jones and he will hook you up with a great meal.  Happy Birthday Donna.

Centre Bridge Inn on Urbanspoon 

Centerbridge Inn -Route 32, New Hope, PA 18938               215-862-2048

Happy New Year Cake

September 20, 2009

Happy New Year to all my Jewish friends and readers.  It’s also Donna’s Birthday on Monday so when I was in search of a birthday cake or cupcakes for her I went to Crossroads Bake Shop in Doylestown.  Crossroads had done such a great job on the Ricotta Polenta Pie for Easter, I figured they could do a great birthday cake for Donna. But when I got there late on Saturday I spied the Jewish Apple Cake that I had posted a few weeks back and a Jewish Honey Cake that I had not tried. Remembering that this is the Rosh Hashanah weekend, I figured it would be cook to try something ethnic that I hadn’t tried before.  The Jewish Apple Cake looked as dry as the one I tried from the Town Crier so I figured the result would be the same as in my previous post so I went for the Jewish Honey Cake.

Jewish Honey Cake from Crossroads Bake Shop

The small cake was a perfect size for dessert that night.  I learned that this cake is a tradition at Rosh Hashanah meals and there are many recipes for it but here is one I picked up from Recipe Zarr. Usually I find cakes to be either light or heavy for the size but this cake seemed to weigh exactly what it should. The Golden Brown colour showcased the Almonds that added texture to the cake.

Jewish Honey Cake from Crossroads Bake Shop in Doylestown, PAThe great news was that the slices were Very Moist and flavourful.  Donna and I seem to detect almost a Spice Cake flavour rather than a “Honey” flavour that we anticipated based on the name of the cake.  The small portion slices require me to take two slices so I could ensure for my readers that the quality of the cake was consistent. (LOL – what I do for my readers) It was good but the distribution of almonds make the bites interesting as sometime you got them and sometimes not. The moist dense cake with the interesting spice and almonds is a great cake and regardless of your holiday worth buying.

BTW – Let us know your favourite Food Holiday at this poll.

Read other review about Crossroads Bake Shop here, here and here.

Crossroads Bake Shop on Urbanspoon 

Crossroads Bake Shop – 812 North Easton Road, Doylestown, PA 18902           (215) 348-0828

Steamers

September 5, 2009

Steamers at Cafe Europa in New Hope, PASteamed Clams always make me think of summer and my Aunt Bert’s camp in L’Etete, Canada. My aunt Roberta, who we always called Bert introduced me to Steamed Clams or “Steamers” on a visit to her waterfront cottage in L’Etete when I was about 10 years old.  She steamed her’s in a little bit of water and served them with butter, lemon and vinegar.  As a 10 year old I found the clams to be amazing, sweet, salty, tart and sour all at the same time. It was an eye’s opening experience to me that something as weird looking as clams could taste that good.

So when Cafe Europa put on their “Steamers” appetizer I couldn’t resist and ordered them.  I felt a little like the critic in “Ratatouille” when I put the first mollusk in mouth and flashed back to Aunt Bert’s camp and her clams.  The steamers were sweet, salty, tart and sour again and they made me feel good.

Try the Steamers at Cafe Europa and I hope they bring you back to the first time you tried them.  If it’s your first time to try steamers, then Cafe Europa is a good place to start. LOL.  Enjoy what’s left of your summer.

Newtown’s Clubhouse

September 2, 2009

Clubhouse Bar & Grill sign Newtown, PADonna and I were hungry Sunday afternoon so we headed south to Washington’s Crossing to have a burger at the Lion Heart Pub but unfortunately it had closed and was under renovation to become an Italian restuarant next month. Instead we headed towards Newtown in search of a decent burger and new place to post about.  We drove by Issac Newton’s, knowing they had great burgers but I wanted a new place to post about. We ended up at the Clubhouse Bar and Grill.

We grabbed seats on the outdoor patio as it was sunny and warm. Donna ordered the Potato Skins and Chicken Wings and I went for the Burger and Pizza Fries.

Potato Skins at Clubhouse B&G in Newtown PA

The Potato Skins, turned out to be the best appetizer of the meal. The standard portion of four skins were generously filled with potato, Cheddar Cheese and real Bacon.  The dish comes with Sour Cream on the side but Donna doesn’t use it.  The skins were a little dry so Donna used some of the Blue Cheese Dressing from the wings to give the skins a little more tang and some moisture. The skins componets are a classic mixture of tastes and textures making them an easy order here at the Clubhouse or just about any decent bar or restaurant.

Chicken Wings at the Clubhouse B&G in Newtown, PADonna’s Chicken Wings looked promising as they arrived at the table but turned to average as we tasted them. These were the Biggest Wings I have seen yet in Bucks County but the lack of a crisp skin got them rated as average. They were cooked thoughout but could have used a few minutes more to crisp the skin.  The Hot Sauce dressing was simply hot sauce and margerine leaving a big opportunity to flavour the wings rather than just make them “hot”.  The dish did come with Carrots and Celery, both of which rarely come together here in Bucks County but the Blue Cheese dressing was lacking Blue Cheese morsels to give it any tang or texture. So these wings ending up being average for us.  Not bad just not up the standard set by other restaurants on the Best of Bucks – Top 5 Wings list created here on the blog.

Bacon and Bleu Burger at the Clubhouse B&G, Newtown, PAMy Bacon and Bleu Burger came with a good sized burger patty, two real Bacon slices, Lettuce and Tomato with Dill Pickle and Potato Chips on the side. Also on the side was an addition serving of the Blue Cheese dressing to serve as the Bleu portion of the burger. I was disappointed that it was dressing rather than actual Blue Cheese morsels that I had gotten at other places here in Bucks County. The medium rare turned out to be medium well so the dressing did come in handy giving the burger some much needed moisture. The untoasted bun was decent and fresh but could have been improved by a few minutes on the grill. It was an OK burger but there are better choices here in Bucks County. Check out the Best of Bucks Co list for suggestions.

Pizza Fries at the Clubhouse B&G in Newtown, PA

Sometimes you get what you order and it doesn’t taste like you thought it would.  The Pizza Fries that day were an example of that.  I knew my burger would come with potato chips so I wanted some fries to go with the burger. The Clubhouse menu offers a half-dozen different kinds of fries but for some reason the pizza fries sound the tastest. Our waiter described them as a large order of fries, covered in Marinara Sauce and Mozzerella cheese.  And that’s exactly how them came but unfortunately the dish didn’t work for me.  Somehow the marinara sauce came across as being slightly metalic and not at all like a pizza sauce I was dreaming about when I ordered. We both had several trys at them and as time when on the fries got soggy.  The cheese was good by itself but the combo didn’t work for us.  It might work for you but it didn’t work well for us.  Least we know.

Net-net we had average appetizers a decent outdoor patio. If you are looking for a great place for Wings or Burgers, try the Best of Bucks County Top 5 Lists.  Let me know what you think about the Clubhouse below in the comment box.

Read other reviews about the Clubhouse here, here and here.

Clubhouse Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Clubhouse Bar & Grill – 501 S State St, Newtown, PA 18940-1933              215-860-5566

Heart of Oak Pub

August 28, 2009

Heart of Oak Pub signOn our trip back from the mountains, Donna and I were too tired to cook supper so we decided to stop at the Heart of Oak Pub to eat. The Pub is downstairs from Baci, a Northern Italian restaurant and owned by the same family and to be transparent, our Robbie and their youngest boy are close friends. Never-the-less we came for a quiet casual dinner. The Pub offers an English pub food menu along with the Italian menu from the more formal upstairs dining room. 

Sheppard's Pie at the Heart of Oak PubWe went for English Pub comfort food. Donna went for the Shepherd’s Pie and I went for the Chicken and Leek Pie.  The Brits are big on savory pies LOL.  Donna’s Shepherd’s pie came steaming hot with lean Ground Beef, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. The dish was very hot with the molten Cheese topping still bubbling when it arrived.  Under the mashed potato covering were well cooked Peas, Carrots and Corn. As it cooled Donna savoured this classic comfort food enjoying the mixture of veggies, meat and gravy. Very well executed and satisfying.

Chicken and Leek Pie at Heart of Oak PubMy Chicken and Leek Pie was equally hot and satisfying. The crispy Phyllo pastry covered the sweet tender chicken and caramelized leeks. The heat of dish slowed my consumption but each fork full was delicious and comforting. The crisp of the pastry match well against the soften veggies and tender chicken.

It was a comforting supper at the Pub and although we didn’t have any of the 14 beers they have on-tap you might want to try them. We enjoyed our meal and hope to come back and try the upstairs Italian dining real soon.

Read other review about the Heart of Oak Pub here and here.

Heart of Oak Pub on Urbanspoon

Heart of Oak Pub– 2559 Bogarts Tavern Rd, Buckingham, PA 18912                    215-794-7784

The BOSS is the BOMB

August 26, 2009

Boss Pizza at Cafe EuropaCafe Europa has added some new gourmet pizzas to it’s menu. So I decided to check them out. It’s always a good idea to check out what’s selling with your waitress or bar tender when trying a new menu. Bartender Jenn shared with me that she was selling the most out of the new BOSS Pizza.

Come to find out BOSS stood for Bacon, Onions and Sauteed Sausage. This didn’t sound a lot different from my usual bacon, sausage and mushroom pizza so I went for it.

While the BOSS didn’t produce a great photo when it arrived it did produce some great taste. The contrasts of Sweet Mozza cheese and Caramelized Onions against the Salty Bacon and Savoury Sausage. The Gooey Cheese, lumps of sausage and thin Crisp Crust made for great texture contrasts. It was a great pie. Try it.

The pizza was so good I added Cafe Europa to my Best of Bucks – Top 5 Pizza page.  Check that out for other great pizza places.

Cafe Europa Logan Square, New Hope PA              215-862-9600

Basically Burgers – Basically the Best

August 18, 2009

Basically Burgers sign

Since I started the blog and created a Best of Bucks Co – Top 5 Burger list, I have gotten comments and eMails that I must try Basically Burgers in Doylestown. So off we went to Doylestown to try this highly recommended spot. After today’s visit, I revised the “Best of” list to include Basically Burgers. This post will try to explain why so many people recommended the place. 

French Fries at Basically BurgersDonna and I both wanted the French Fries with-the-Skin-on and they did not disappoint. They were crispy on the outside and good potato taste on the inside.  The skin-on added some extra texture to the fries and we thought some extra taste. They were obviously store-cut and fresh, making them easy to enjoy.

Inside-Out Burger at Basically Burgers

 Donna went for the Inside-Out Burger. Inside the two 3.5 ounce patties was Cheddar Cheese and Bacon. Outside the burger was freshly cut Tomato slices and shredded Lettuce. And all of those on a Grilled Kaiser Bun. Donna found the burger to be moist, flavourful with the bacon and cheese exploding into her mouth with each bite. Very tasty burger.

Ranch Burgers at Basically Burgers

I went for the Ranch Burger. It was a 2 patty burger with Cheddar Cheese and sauteed Mushrooms with a Chipotle Mayo on the top of a Grilled Kaiser Bun. I really like the mushrooms mixed into the cheese so that they tend to stay on the bun more than if they are cooked separately. The chipotle mayo brought a little heat to the burger but not overly so.  I thought it brought more moisture and mayo flavour than heat so I like that a lot. The burger was very good with moist flavourful ground beef, moist toppings on a solid bun. Easily the best burger I had since my mom cooked the last one. LOL.

Thanks to all the Chowhounds and Facebook Friends for recommending Basically Burgers.  If you enjoyed Basically Burgers and want to help them win the Best Burger at Fox Philly’s Food Contest click here.

Read other reviews here, here and here.

Basically Burger burger man on Urbanspoon

Basically Burgers,16 W State St, Doylestown, PA 18901-4217               215-345-8502

Matt’s Not Fatt Anymore

August 16, 2009

Matt’s Not Fatt anymore but his Margaritas are.  Donna and I were in Doylestown the other day near the Starbucks when I saw a big banner sign indicating that “This is the Home of the Famous Fatt Matt’s Margaritas”. So camera in hand we went into The Other Side bar to see if we have addition to the Best of Bucks Co – Top 5 Margaritas list.

Come to find out, The Other Side is the bar for Chambers 19, one of Doylestown’s bistros, and one of the owners is the for-mentioned Fatt Matt. Matt has lost weight and is no longer fat but still goes by that nickname.The Other Side Margarita

I went for the Classic Margarita.  They used Sauza Silver Tequila, Fresh Lime juice and Triple Sec to make it. We went for them on-the-rocks vs. frozen to avoid the brain freeze.  The resulting concoction was slightly tart, a mild tequila flavour and very refreshing.

Stawberry Margarita at The Other SideDonna went for the Strawberry Margarita. Courtney, our bartender, told us that it’s their most popular margarita. She also shared that she thought that Los Sarapes serves the best margaritas in Bucks County. I couldn’t agree more as I had them in the number one spot already on the blog’s Best of Bucks Co – Margarita Top 5list.  Donna’s margarita was very tasty with the strawberry flavour coming from freshly pureed Whole Strawberries. Donna’s drink was significantly sweeter than mine but not too sweet. I liked the Little strawberry seeds in the drink giving it some texture but reassuring that the flavouring is from real strawberries. It was a very refreshing drink and worthy of the trip to Doylestown.

Read other review about The Other Side and Chambers 19 here, here and here.

The Other Side– 19 North Main Street, Doylestown , PA 18901                 215- 348-1940