Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

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

Swiss Chalet – A Canadian Tradition

September 15, 2009

When we moved to Ontario in the early 1990’s (boy does that sound a long time ago when I write it), we always went to Swiss Chalet at Christmas time and when my Mom visited us.  Swiss Chalet is a chain of rotisserie chicken restaurants that started in Canada in the 1950’s. They always had great chicken, crispy skin on the outside and moist sweet meat on the inside, great sides and great desserts.  Toblerone BarAt Christmas time, Swiss Chalet always offered a special chicken meal that featured the Swiss Toblerone chocolate bar as the dessert.  That combo is famous across Canada and when I updated my status to saying I was eating at Swiss Chalet, the first comment I got was about the Holiday Tradition. The boys (and my Mom) liked the Toblerone bars, the Swiss Chalet BBQ Ribs and the Treasure Chest they could get a toy from at the end of the meal so going there was a family affair to remember.

As Donna and I were driving through Saint John, New Brunswick, a wave of nostalgia (and perhaps hunger) hit us and we knew where we would eat that night. Unlike a lot of things these days it was how were remembered it so I thought I would share with you our flashback meal.

Harvest Special at Swiss ChaletDonna went for the Harvest Special and I went for the Chicken and Rib Combo.  The Harvest Special included a cup of Chicken Noodle Soup, a ¼ Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potato, Roll and Chalet Sauce with Pumpkin pie as dessert.  The soup was very good and gone before I could take photos. (Must be good eh?). The ¼ Roasted Chicken was all white meat and cooked to perfection – crispy skin on the outside, moist sweet meat on the inside.  The Mashed Potatoes were well cooked and creamy as required by the blogger’s wife.  The highlight to the meal or at least my son, Ryan thinks, is the Chalet Sauce. This dipping sauce is lighter than gravy but more flavorful and even a bit tangy. Dipping chunks of the Chicken into it, heck even chunks of the roll, causes one to wonder how they get the strong chicken flavor in there at the same time making it tangy. It’s a wonderful addition to the meal and would be sadly missed if not concluded. The Harvest Special did come with pie that we had packed for the trip home but it disappeared during the night with no reports on the taste. LOL

Rib & Chicken Combo at Swiss ChaletMy Chicken and Rib Combo came with the same ¼ Roasted Chicken Donna had but my dish came with ½ Rack of Roasted Ribs and a generous order of Fries.  The Ribs were delicious and fall of the rib tender. I usually like my ribs to stay on the bone but these are the exception.  The pork meat was moist and tender covered with a sweet tangy sauce whose recipe the Swiss Chalet people covet (but will sell you jars of it if you want LOL). The sauce doesn’t provide much heat in terms of spice but it matches so very well with the sweetness of the port that I bet hardcore BBQ fans in Kansas City and Memphis would enjoy.  I love the ribs at Swiss Chalet and hope you try them.

It was a fun meal for Donna and I remembering the Christmas outings to  Swiss Chalet and being comforted that the food was as good as we remembered it.

Read other reviews about Swiss Chalet here, here and here.

Swiss Chalet – 86 Consumers Drive, Saint John, NB E2J 4Z3           (506) 657-947

Hard Rock Wings

June 27, 2009

Ryan and I got to spend Friday in New York City doing some touristy things. We started our visit out by getting a personal studio tour of the Howard Stern Show, then a tour of Times Square including a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe, a visit to BLT Prime (more on that later) and finally a comedy show at Ha! It was a great father-son day.  You can see the photos of the Stern Studio tour at my and Ryan’s Facebook pages.  

No visit to Times Square is not complete without a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe.  The Cafe is almost a museum that also serves food and sells T Shirts.  They have some great Rock ‘n Roll memorabilia all over the store if you haven’t been there before.  Ryan and I stopped in around 4:30 for a drink and some Chicken Wings. I knew they could not qualify for my Best of Bucks Co. Wings Top 5 list but I thought I should report on them in case you are in the neighbourhood. LOL.

Hard Rock Cafe Chicken WingsThe Chicken Wings were good but not great.  The Medium Sized wings arrived quickly from kitchen despite a large crowd on a Friday afternoon. The skin was not crispy but cooked thru.  A little more cooking time could have done the job here. The wings come spicy or BBQ but we stuck to trying the spicy and they were Spicy.  The first bite put the heat in you mouth and it stuck around even after you swallowed.  Not really a flavourful heat but just a burn. Once the burn died down, you did get a good chicken taste.  The celery was fresh and crisp but two different sizes that was a little weird for me.  The “White Blue Cheese” dressing had obviously made hours before because all the cheese pieces were at the bottom of the container.  Once I fished out a piece of cheese, it was pretty bland and missing of the tang that a good blue cheese has. The cheese did cool some of the heat from the sauce so it was OK. The wings were big enough that it made a enough of an appetizer for Ryan and me to share.

Read another review of the Hard Rock Cafe here.

Hard Rock Café, 1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036,                   (212) 343-3355

Phillies Phan Phood

June 19, 2009

Phillies ScoreboardI got to go to the Phillies-Baltimore Game tonight as a guest of Chris and his company, a major healthcare portal, so I thought I would do an article on food at the Phillies ball park.

Harry The K'sWe started the evening out at McFadden’s but it was so noisy that we only had one drink and headed into the park. Chris suggested we head up to Harry The K’s Bar and Grille. We ended up sitting under the “P” in Park under the Phillies scoreboard in Left Field.  It was a unique view of the field where we had great service from Teri, some good company and some decent food.

Phillies Chicken WingsThe first group of appetizers included some decent wings, Philly cheesesteak spring rolls, fries and chicken fingers. The Chicken Wings were good.  They had a nice heat to them, fairly meaty and nice roasted chicken taste finish. I usually like a crispy skin but as the wings cooled the skin seem to crisp up.  I think the reality was they were drying out but they were good.  The Blue Cheese dressing was surprisingly good. Nice tang from the blue cheese, mostly a sour cream base that cooled the heat of the wings and some small cheese chunks to give the sauce some texture.

Cheesesteak SpringrollsAn interesting dish on the menu was Cheesesteak Spring Rolls. These rolls had a nice crisp wrapper that contrasted to the soft gooey meat and cheese filling.  The filling actually tasted like a cheesesteak sandwich. The group’s only concerns with the dish was the meat to cheese ratio of the filling, which we all liked but wanted more meat, and the fact that we couldn’t order more than two rolls per order. That didn’t work with a group so well.  The mayo based sauce had a bit of heat to it so it was great for dipping. Definitely worth trying.

Chicken FingersThe Chicken Fingerswere huge, I hate to see their hands. LOL.  The batter was very light and flavourful and the meat was moist and sweet. The mayo based sauce matched well to the fingers completing the dish.

Hot DogNo, baseball game can be played without a Hot Dog. So our second course was hot dogs. It was the 6th inning so we went for dogs.  These great 6 inch dogs, had a nice steamed dense bun almost like a potato bun. The actual wiener was mildly spiced and well cooked. Someone, who will remain nameless, liked her dog with ketchup only.  The rest of us went for mustard and/or relish.  The dogs were great and perfect for our second course and for the first course anytime at the ball park.

We enjoyed our food at the ball park, it was just a shame the Phillies lost but 40% of our group was hoping for the O’s. Glad I got to go an spend some time with the group but the Phillies will win next time. LOL.

Yeehaa – Ota-ya

June 18, 2009

otaya.jpg image by rdamstraIt was a special treat for me tonight as Ryan, Robbie, Donna and I ended up at the same restaurant at the same time.  This time is was Ota-ya in Lambertville.  We have gone for there before for the teppanyaki but that was booked up already so we ate in the main dining room. Donna and Robbie ordered the chicken teriyaki, Ryan the beef teriyaki and I got mixed seafood teriyaki.

Soup & Salad at Ota-yaThe teriyaki dinners come with Miso Soup and a House Salad.  Since Ota-ya is a BYOB we purchased some Asahi beer at Welsh’s liquor store to go along with the meal.  The House Salad comes with Ginger Dressing. The aroma of the ginger is fairly pronounced but fairly mild to taste.  The fresh veggies in the salad crunched and contrasted nicely to ginger dressing. This is the one salad that Robbie and Ryan both gobble up.  The Miso Soup was very pleasant with small dice of tofu, scallions and seaweed.  The miso broth was light and slightly salty. The floating bits of tofu, kelp and scallion contrasted nicely in texture with each other making the miso soup a success.

Sushi Rolls - Eel and Spider

The Sushi at Ota-ya is very good so Robbie and I could resist ordering a couple of rolls.  Robbie went for the Eel Roll and I went for the Spider Roll. The eel roll was both smokey and sweet with a nice crunch from the scallion slices. The Spider Roll is my favourite because of the nice mix of textures and sweet-salt taste.  This roll lived up to previous spider rolls.  What was interesting to me about the two rolls was they were served over a thick sweet soya sauce. The sauce was sweet but was missing the usual salty taste you get with soya sauce. That worked out as we had soya on the side to dip. I also didn’t use as much wasabi as I usually do as the do as the rolls were complete without them.

Chicken TeriyakiDonna and Robbie’s Chicken Teriyaki came with large portions of chicken covered in a thick teriyaki sauce and some stir-fried veggies. All the dinners came with steamed fresh rice on the side.  Donna described her chicken as moist, flavourful and sweet. The veggies were crisp, well cooked and very tasty. I think well cooked veggies are a mark of a good restaurant so I was surprised they were good here.  We asked Robbie his opinion, he nodded and kept eating. Another good sign LOL.

Mixed Seafood Teriyaki at Ota-yaMy Mixed Seafood Teriyaki arrived last and it was a very fine presentation as you can see in the photo. Plentiful Shrimp, Scallops and Lobster along with the same stir-fried veggies and rice Donna, Ryan and Robbie got.  The seafood were gently grilled leaving some nice char marks and flavour. I prefer Atlantic Lobster to Caribbean Lobster, but these tasty southern morsels matched well with the teriyaki sauce. The dense bay Scallops had a nice mouth feel and a sweet taste that matched also with the sauce. The Shrimp were flashed grilled keeping that sweet shrimp and texture you want in shrimp.

I have no photo of Ryan’s Beef Teriyaki as he attacked it as soon as it arrived. The meat went first followed by a few veggies. The description was meaty, tender and sweet from the sauce.  Wish I would have gotten the photo for you but would sooner have supper with my son. I am sure you understand.

Net-net great meal with all the family in one place at the same time.

Ota-ya have restaurants in Lamberville, NJ,  Newtown PA and Warrington PA.  You can read other reviews as here, here and here.

Ota Ya Japanese on Urbanspoon

Ota-ya, 21 Ferry St., Lambertville, NJ 08530      609-397-9928

Cactus Grill

June 9, 2009

Margarita at Cactus GrillFacebook friend and co-worker Deb suggested that we try Cactus Grill in Pipersville as part of our Memorial Day  Best of Bucks Co Burger Search.  We didn’t make it that weekend but we made it today.

It was a beautiful sunny day for a change so we opted to sit outside on Cactus Grill’s deck over looking pastoral Bucks County.  With an name like Cactus Grill we figured the Margaritas would be good so we ordered one.  They did have mango margaritas on the specials board but we didn’t see that until after we ordered drinks.  I liked the presentation of the margarita; a special cocktail glass, ice-cold lime green liquid, white foam head and a lime garnish. The first taste was the classic tart-sweet mix of a margarita bar mix with a Mild Tequila flavour coming thru.  I was hoping for fresh fruit juices but the bar mix was actually Refreshing on the warm afternoon. BBQ Chicken at Cactus Grill So net-net not a bad drink.

Donna went for the BBQ Chicken Special and I went for the Cactus Angus Burger as Deb suggested.  Donna’s special came with baked beans, corn-on-the-cob and potato salad.  The rustic presentation of BBQ dish was a little too rustic for me but it was ok. The Baked Beans were a little mushy in texture but the bean flavour along with a smokey bacon taste came thru in the dish.  The Potato Salad had nice chunks of red potatoes and crisp celery in a vinaigrette dressing.  Donna and I are both fans of mayo-based potato salad. The Corn actually photographed better than it was.  In reality it was slightly dried out and not fresh.  A couple of bites confirmed the less than fresh status.  The highlight of Donna’s dish was the BBQ Sauce on the chicken. It had a nice smokey sweet taste with a thick consistency.  The sauce made the slightly dry BBQ Chicken pieces enjoyable.  The generous portion of chicken made the meal a good value.

Cactus Angus Burger

The Cactus Angus Burger comes with American cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms and bacon.  The Burger was good with the 8 oz patty of ground Angus Beefgiving the burger a good meaty burger taste.  The first bite came thru with a smokey-bacon cheese flavour.  Despite only two pieces of bacon, bacon flavour seemed to be in every bite.  The American Cheese actually tasted more like provolone and was a good addition to the burger.  The Caramelized Onions were  cut into serious sized chunks that were sweet with a little bit of char.  The Mushrooms were heated thru but unfortunately placed on top of the bacon and onions allowing them to escape with each bite.  Put them under the cheese people it will reduce the “drop-age”.  Other than that it was a good burger and worthy of an Honourable Mention on our Best of Bucks Co – Burger list.  The fries are also worthy of note. The unique shaped fries were crispy on the outside with a creamy potato filling inside. They were also well seasoned with some garlic salt and pepper. Very nice.

Half Rack of Ribs at Cactus Grill

Outside on the patio, we were sitting beside a sign bragging on their “Best BBQ Ribs” so we had to try that too.  Since the burger and chicken were so filling we got them to go knowing that ribs in our home refrigerator have a “life expectancy” of 3-4 hours at best once Ryan or Robbie know the ribs are there. The to-go ordered featured the same half-moon seasoned fries and a Half-a-Rack of Ribs for $8.99. Good value for the order but most importantly the ribs were very good.  They used the same BBQ Sauce from the BBQ chicken and it really worked with ribs too.  The ribs were meaty and had a dense texture to the flesh.  Many people like the a fall-off-the-bone texture but I prefer a cooked rib that holds to the bone, tender to the bite and covered in thick BBQ Sauce.  Cactus Grill’s rib gave us that.  The flesh was moist with a sweet taste that matched well with the tang of the BBQ sauce.  These are excellent ribs and worth the trip to North Bucks.  In fact the ribs are so good, I have placed them in the Best of Bucks Co – Ribs Top 5  list here on the blog.

Read other reviews of Cactus Grill here, here and here.

Cactus Grill, 7200 Easton Rd, Pipersville, PA, 18947        215-766-9840

Just Sports – Great Wings

May 19, 2009

Just Sports WingsMy vote for the Best of Bucks – Wings is Just Sports. They are great wings.  Medium in size about 8 to the pound.  Their skin is golden brown and crispy. Medium heat from the sauce. Moist and sweet flesh. A chunky blue cheese dressing on the side with some celery sticks. The orders come in multiples of 6 and come in 9 different sauces. They also have boneless wings (from the Boneless Chicken Ranch) but I think the wing has to have a bone to be a real wing.

In addition to the wings, Just Sports has the usual bar food food menu but has a couple of specials worth noting. Fresh Made to Order Potato Chips.  They come with different seasonings and dips. $1.50 for the chips and $3.50 chips with dip. The other special is the “Breakfast at the Bar” eggs and toast for$1.00. Monday thru Friday 7-11am.

Just Sports also features the “Wings of Fire” Wing Eating Challenge. The challenge is to each just 12 wings in three hours. No drinking while eating. Why just 12 wings?  The wings are just so hot only 3 or 4 (the manager wasn’t sure) people have completed it. The manager said the wings are at “11 million Scoville units” hot. That would make them almost pure capsaicin. I am sure the wings are hot. I think we should alert Man vs. Food.

So for great wings head to Just Sports. BTW they have Texas Hold’em games on Saturday afternoons.

Just Sports – 2160 York Road, Jamison, PA 18929   267-483-8512

Chicken & Morel Marsala

May 6, 2009

First a big shout and thanks to Facebook Friend and PR Guru Steve from the Windy City for shipping me some morel mushrooms he scored on the weekend.  When Steve put up photos of the mushrooms on Facebook, I was very envious and asked Steve where he got them, two days later they were in my kitchen.  Thanks again Steve.

Morel Mushrooms

Somehow I thought these mushrooms were going to be smaller but these beauties are about 3-5 inches tall and very distinctive in shape.  They are surprisingly light in weight because they are hollow in the middle.

But what to make with these little treasures?  Steve suggested this recipe but Donna has a great mushroom marsala recipe that we know and have been successful with in the past, so we decided that we would go with that.

Chicken and Morel Marsala– ingredients: 4 Boneless chicken breasts – 4-6 oz each, ¼ Cup of seasoned flour for dredging, 8 oz of morel mushrooms sliced, 2/3 Cup of Marsala wine and 1 ½ Cups of chicken stock. 

Marsala Wine

To make the Chicken and Morel Marsala, Donna dredged the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour and then pan-fried them in a little olive oil on medium heat for two minutes per side.  The breasts were then removed to a platter and tented.  The mushrooms were placed in the same sauté pan and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Once the mushrooms were tender, she added the wine and stirred to get any of the chicken bits off the pan.  The mushrooms continued to cook until the wine evaporated.  Once that happened, the chicken stock, chicken and platter juices were added back into the pan and simmered for 10 more minutes. After 10 minutes, the chicken was removed to a clean platter and the remaining sauce was reduced by half.  That took about 5 minutes.  Once the sauce was reduced, we spooned it over the chicken and sprinkled the meat with some fresh parsley.Chicken and Morel Marsala

For any recipe that requires wine, I suggest that you buy a wine that you would drink.  So this is the Marsala that we have been using and it works very well.  It costs about $13 a bottle so very affordable and yet very drinkable.  Use the comment link or the reply box to suggest other Marsala’s that you have had success with.

To go along with the chicken, we made garlic mashed potatoes with scallions and sauteed green beans.  I used a tomato slice to garnish the plate and add some colour.  I am a big fan of presentation but when the dish was coming together, the aromas from the garlic, mushrooms and Marsala wine alerted Ryan, Robbie and unofficial son number four Milo that something special was cooking.  (Steve warned about the aroma)  So they started to circle and rushed my plating.  So I hurried and the result in presention is not the best but the taste made up for lack of plating perfection. 

The concentrated flavours of the morels and the marsala in the sauce is wonderful.  The earthyness of the mushrooms is balanced well with the sweetness of the wine.  The chicken turned out tender, moist and well seasoned.  The garlic mashed potato with scallions are a classic in our house because the crunch and tang of the scallions match well with creamy sweetness of the potatoes.  For some reason, I love green beans and a light saute brings out their sweetness and flavour.  All in all a great dish made better by the morels.  Thanks again Steve.

BTW the boys cleaned their plates and loved the dish.  Cool.