Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

Gourmet Open House

June 29, 2009

Fruit Platter at Heidi & Paul'sMy boss, Heidi and her husband Paul hosted an Open House this weekend at their home just outside of Newtown. It was a great affair with friends from work and Paul and Heidi’s neighbours coming together over some great food. 

There is nothing like Fresh Fruit as an appetizer. Sweet cherries, grapes and strawberries bursting in your mouth. Nice healthy nibbles. The fruit went well with the Peace Valley wines that Paul had selected for the event.

International Fruit and Cheese DisplayThe wines also went well with the Cheese Display that the Caterer put together for the event. There are six different cheese to chose from along with some melon, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.

Carmelized Onion and Arugula StrudelThere were two savory appetizers ready for us when we arrived.  The first was Caramelized Onion and Arugula Strudels.  These pinwheel apps contain a sweet onion and slightly bitter arugula mixture. The smoothness of the mixture contrasted nicely with crisp texture of the phyllo dough. Simple combination but well executed.

Lemongrass ShrimpThe second savory appetizer was the Lemongrass Shrimp.  These tasty shrimp skewers were well prepared with the lemongrass giving the delicate shrimp a light Thai flavour. The pineapple presentation gave the shrimp a tropical feel and great decoration for the table.

Kara's White Bean DipFacebook Friend and co-worker Kara brought her Vegan White Bean Dip with some Taco Chips.  The dip was nice ‘n thick and creamy. I detected a slight garlic flavour in the dip. Kara also brought a Hummus dip that brought the garlic a little stronger.  Both were welcome additions to the table as they were homemade and well made.

Rosemary Filet MignonAs if the many appetizer wasn’t enough about 4:00, the caterer opened up with full blast of  entree bites for us to enjoy.  The first dish on the kitchen buffet was a Rosemary Marinated Filet Mignon. Served at room temperature, the tender beef was served with a Creamy Horseradish Sauce. The tang of the sauce contrasted nicely with sweet herb infused meat.

Poached SalmonThe second dish was a perfectly Poached Salmon with a Creamy Dill Sauce.  Well presented with carrots, lemon, limes and orchid flowers giving great colour to the dish.  The salmon portions were delicious with a great salmon taste, sweat with a little taste of the sea. The dill sauce contrasted with the sweetness of the flesh. A drop of lemon juice made the salmon flavour intensify.

 Portabella Mushroom Caps with Leek RagoutThe surprise of the main entrees was the Portabella Mushroom Caps with Leak Ragout. The meaty portabella mushrooms were coated by a creamy Leak Ragout. The contrast of the dense, meaty mushrooms and the almost cheese like ragout was very nice. This vegetarian dish was a nice change from all the protein in the Filet and Salmon.

Marinated Grilled Vegetables

For sides, the Caterer prepared Marinated Grilled Vegetables, Long Grain & Wild Rice Salad and Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes. The veggies included Grilled Peppers, Zucchini, Asparagus and Carrots.

Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes with Feta CheeseThe Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes were matched up with some Balsamic Vinaigrette with Feta Cheese. The sweetness of the potatoes matched well with vinegar and the salty cheese making a nice potato salad.  The small bite-sized potatoes went well with the main entrees of filet and salmon.

Long Grain and Wide Rice SaladThe Long Grain and Wild Rice Salad also went well with salmon.  At first I thought the plump pieces of fruit were raisins but come to find out the were Sun-dried Cranberries that were plumping up from the Sage Vinaigrette. I passed on the Rice Salad but others passed pleasing comments on how well the rice was cooked and the nice contrast of the sage in the vinaigrette and the sweetness of the rice.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

I am never sure if the the Tomato Mozzarella Salad is a side or a main entree.  This version is amazingly colourful with the Multicoloured Heirloom Tomatoes, White Mozzarella and Green Basil.  This classic dish looks very modern with the flower garnishes. The drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette gives the dish a shine and nice contrast in tastes with the sweetness of the Jersey Fresh tomatoes and the tang of the vinegar. It was an nice vegetarian dish.

Dessert TrayFor dessert, the caterer put together a comprehensive tray of different confections and fresh fruits. I won’t even try to name all the different pastries and sweet bites are on the tray.  I did try the Mini Cream Puffs and Eclairs along with some fruit but take a look and I bet you can find a least a couple of goodies you could complete the meal with.

 Thanks to Heidi and Paul for hosting a great Gourmet Open House.  Donna and I had a great time talking with old and new friends while eating some great food. I hope the pictures and descriptions did justice to party.  Thanks again.

Bryce’s Catering Co., 1438 Manoa Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096               610-658-2400

There’s a Bubba’s in North Bucks

May 25, 2009

Bubba's Pot Belly Stove Restaurant

Thanks and shout out to Chowhound Bucksguy14 for his recommendation of Bubba’s Pot Belly Stove restaurant for our Memorial Day Weekend Best of Bucks Burger Search.  Bubba’s burgers are truly worth the trip to North Bucks.

Bubba’s is located on Route 309 just about a mile south of the Bucks-Lehigh County line. The rustic interior reminded me of some the Muskoka lodges north of Toronto. You know the kind where there is polished varnished wood on the floor, walls and ceiling, stuffed animals and beer brand mirrors on the walls and a very comfortable feel to the place.

Chicken Wings at Bubba's Pot Belly Stove restaurant

Donna and I shared the chicken wings as our appetizer. The menu offers them as Mild, Hot or Deadly.  The hot scared us and deadly was never an option, so we went with mild.  The wings arrived quickly and were pipping hot. The skin was very crispy, the best we have had recently in that aspect. The heat was very mild but the meat was moist with a good fried chicken taste. The Blue Cheese Dressing had a nice tang to it coming from the cheese and a higher mayo to sour cream ratio. We used the fresh Celery Sticks to fish out cheese chucks which confirmed that the tang was coming from the blue cheese. I would recommend the Hot version.  Bubba’s actually bakes those wings in large batches in hot sauce and then deep fry the individual orders as they come in.  The baked-in heat and heat of the frying intensified the wings making them very satisfying.  Donna and I both agree that the “hot” wings should be included in our Best of Bucks – Wings Top 5 list.   Check out other Top 5 wings at that page.

Gene White burger at Bubba's Pot Belly Stove restaurantFor my entree, I ordered the Gene White burger after getting our waitress Milan’s burger recommendations.  Bubba’s serves 10 different burgers each with different combinations of cheeses, mushrooms, onions and bacon. All Bubba burgers come with lettuce, raw yellow onions, tomato, dill pickle spear and potato chips. What makes the Gene White special are the two Fried Onion Rings and Blue Cheese. The Gene White burger might know the Blaine Burger at Isaac Newton’s as they both are very similar in ingridents. After I assembled the burger, I took a bite. The fried and raw onions dominated the first bite, the tomato came thru in the second and the third was dominated by salty blue cheese. The char-broiled meat then began to balance the flavours into one great burger taste. The bun was very good in controlling the pile of ingredients buts yet soft and absorbent enough to capture their juices. A very good burger.

British Burger at Bubba's Pot Belly Stove

Donna chose the British Burger.  Cheddar cheese and saute onions make the difference for this burger.  The perfectly Sauteed Onions were almost transparent and almost glowed on top of the melted cheddar cheese.  Donna reported that the sweetness of the onions matched well with sharpness of the Cheddar Cheese. Donna’s patty was also char-broiled reminding both of us of burgers cooked over charcoal at outdoor campfires.  The rustic decor of the room supported that vision of the burger. Donna agreed that these burgers were worthy of inclusion on the Best of Bucks – Burger Top 5 list make our Memorial Day Weekend Search successful.

Onion Rings at Bubba's Pot Belly restaurant

We also ordered a side order of Onion Rings.  They were lightly battered with nice thick slices of sweet onions.  The batter was crunchy  but did not overwhelm the onion flavour. A very nice side.

Some other items that Milan shared with us that were popular were the Dinner Specials, the French Onion Soup and the ribs.  The four Dinner Specials that day included different scampi and Prime Rib all for under $20. They also offer different kinds of omelets for late breakfasts and for some reason the omelets are served with steak fries.  I will have to try that someday when my doctor is not reading this.

Bubba's Potbelly Stove on Urbanspoon

Bubba’s Potbelly Stove, 1485 N West End Blvd, Quakertown, PA 18951     215-536-8308