Posts Tagged ‘Lahaska’

Jewish Apple Cake

July 28, 2009

I saw the book 500 Things to Eat Before It’s Too Late in the Gourmet magazine last month and tried to get a copy at our local Borders store but it was sold out.  I went back Wednesday and they had one copy which I bought. I figured there had to have Bucks County places in there for me to write about and sure enough there were a couple.

 The closest to me was the Jewish Apple Cake served at the Town Crier Bakery just down the road in Lahaska.  The authors Jane and Michael Stern report (page 91 -where was stuff like this when I had to do book reviews – LOL) that the cake is not make with butter despite being very moist and that make the cake a perfect dessert to go with a Kosher dairy of meat meal.  I have learned recently that a Kosher meal can not have dairy and meat in the same meal so this cake give the meal planners more options.  Apparently the Jewish folks just call it Apple Cake.

Jewish Apple Cake

 I stopped by the Town Crier Bakery on the way back from Dublin and Luburto’s to pick up a Jewish Apple Cake.  It was a good looking cake with frosting and pieces of apple decorating the top of the cake. The cake was heavy but inexpensive at $7.50.

 

Jewish Apple Cake

The shape of the cake results in relatively small slices.  Small but very dense. Donna and I found the cake to be quite dry but the apple flavour went thru the cake.  The moist Apple slices on the topping were sweet with a mild apple flavour. The Icing was quite sweet and a nice contrast to the dry insides of the cake. You will need milk or some other beverage with this cake but it is a nice change for regular cake. 

The book also said that Night Kitchen in Doylestown makes a better cake than the Town Crier so we will find out soon about that. Stay tuned.

BTW Town Crier Bakery offers a big selection of Gluten Free products including, scones, muffins, brownies and cookies.

Read other review of the Town Crier Bakery here, here and here.

Town Crier Bakery– Store #29 Peddler’s Village, Lahaska, PA 18931       215-794-9910

BYOB to the Villaggio

July 19, 2009

Viiagio AppetizerDonna and I had supper last night with Poker buddy Steve and his wife Joan at Villaggio just down the 202 in Lashaska.  Steve and I go back a couple of years playing poker, in fact he was at the final table when I won my first tournament.  Donna usually sits at Steve’s table on Tuesday nights so we knew each other well. It was our first time meeting Joan but she was fun and gave me some good tips about taking photos of food. Thanks Joan.

I started out with the appetizer special of Prochuttio, Melon and Figs. I think this classic appetizer is so popular because in addition to being so simple and colourful, it has nice contrasts in flavours and textures. I never ate Figs as a kid because they were always dried figs which although very sweet reminded me of old people food and an attempt at getting “fiber” into their diet. LOL. Last night the Figs were fresh, sweet and had an almost jam like consistency when I bit into them. The Melon was also sweet but a fresh taste. The saltiness of the Prochuttio stood out against the sweetness of the two fruit making both tastes more intense. The thin slices of Italian ham needed to be cut with my knife making another texture contrast in the dish. I amused myself by varying the combinations of ham, fig and melon on different bites making multiple taste experiences. A great dish, simple in design, complex in tastes and textures.

 INSALATA DI CESARE at VillaggioDonna went for their Insalata di Cesare. It was a classic interpretation of this famous salad. Romaine lettuce, toasted croutons, creamy garlic dressing and no anchovies. The Romaine Lettuce was a little wilted but generally crisp. The Dressing was flavourful with strong garlic note and nice and creamy.  Donna would have like a little more Parmesan Cheese but the Croutons were excellent with a nice toasting on the outside, soft on the inside and a mild garlic taste. Good try guys but still not as good as mine. Check my version out here. Donna and I both love Cesare Salad but let us know your Favourite Salad here

 PARMIGIANA - VITELLO O POLLO at Villaggio

Steve’s main course was the Parmigiana – Vitello o Pollo or as I knew it, Chicken Parmigiana. Steve took the photo of this generous portion of pan fried breaded chicken with pasta.  The Thick Rich Red Sauce was coverd with what looked to be fresh Mozzarella.  The thin breaded Chicken Cutlet revealed itself after Steve cut through the sauce and pasta. By the end of the meal it was all gone and Steve look really satisfied.

Steak at Villaggio

Donna went for the Bistecca del Cuoco or as I knew it, New York Strip Steak.  She had it cooked Medium Well, which I think is always too much but I wasn’t eating it. LOL. Served With Green Beans And Mashed Potatoes it was a complete dish.  Donna thought the steak was very good with simple seasoning and cooked exactly how she liked it. She enjoyed what we thought was an Au Jus that added flavourful moisture to the steak. The Potatoes, Donna’s favourite vegetable BTW, were simply prepared with just butter, salt and pepper. The Green Beans were a nice contrast to the steak and potatoes with some of them having a nice bite but others had been around the kitchen for a little longer.  Net-net good steak but a little more attention to the veggies was needed.

Grilled Scallops and Shrimp at VillaggioJoan and I went for the Grilled Scallops and Shrimp. We both loved the presentation with the colourful pink shrimp contrasting with the bright green of the sauteed Spinach and grill marks on the scallops and shrimp. The perfectly grilled Shrimp were sweet but the char of the grill marks contrasted with a bitter almost acidic taste making the different bites interesting.  This sweet-char contrast was also there on the Scallops. The different density of the scallops contrasted with more dense shrimp and the wilted spinach. I found the Spinach to be well cooked with a nice bitter flavour with a slight garlic note. The bitter flavour contrasted nicely with the sweet shellfish. Good Presentation, Good Flavours and Good Textures – a very successful dish.

Along with the Apps and Mains, Villaggio served up some very nice marinated veggies and great bread to start our meals. So by the time we  finished our mains we were pretty full.  Steve and Joan had invited us for dessert back at their house so we skipped dessert at Villaggio and went to Steve and Joan’s.  More on dessert in the next post. Net-net, a very good meal, generally well cooked and definitely well presented. Thanks to Steve and Joan for joining us and putting up with the photos and the food reviews. I hope we can do it again soon.

Read other review about Villaggio here, here and here.

Villaggio – 5861 York Road, Lahaska, PA    215-794-2777

Dinner with Sid and Adeline

April 16, 2009

It’s a Wednesday but when Sid suggested we go out for dinner, I was up for it.  Cid and Adeline have great storied from all their travels and experiences so if the food matched the levels of the stories Donna and I were in for a good night.  It was our second visit to Villaggio in Peddler’s Village so we knew we would have a good meal. 

Villaggio's Wednesday Special

Villaggio's Wednesday Special

This BYOB has many of the classic Italian dishes but puts their own spin on them.  Donna and I split the Insalata Di Arance alla Siciliana, Adeline had the Insalata Di Cesare and Sid had the soup of the day,  Pasta Fagioli.  Our salad was very refreshing with fresh crisp greens matching well with the juicy orange slices and the olive oil dressing.  It was very good, so good, I had seconds and actually took home the left overs from the mega portion severed to us.  Adeline’s salad was classic but missing the anchovies.  That was OK with Adeline as she was not a fan of the salty little fishes. Donna and I shared this salad on our first visit and it was very good, not as good as mine but who could match that. LOL.  Sid’s soup, was very rich and had that great bean flavour you appreciate in chosing that soup.  The soup was very filling and a great choice when it’s the special.

For mains, Adeline had the Maelanzasa Al Forno, Donna had the Chicken Francese,  Sid had the Wednesday special Brasciola and I had the Chicken Pulcinella.  I was amazed at the amount of pasta Adeline and Sid got with their dishes and Donna and I didn’t receive any.  Both Adeline and Sid were happy with the rich red sauce that came with al dente pasta.  Adeline’s eggplant was well cooked and well Chicken Pulcinellamatched to the pasta.  Sid’s beef fillet stuffed with mozza and parma cheeses. He opted out of the roasted peppers that usually come with dish. Donna’s chicken was moist within the light batter and white wine lemon sauce. My roasted chicken with cheese, asparagus, basil and white wine was delicious.  Donna and I both had roasted potatoes and mixes veggies to complete our mains.  I always find the veggies the main indicator of chef’s skills.  I think veggies are tough to cook because most chef’s focus on the proteins and starches leaving the veggies to a narrow window to co them al dente and not over cook them.  Tonight the chef nailed our veggies along with the proteins and starches.  Well done.  In addition to the great food, the service was attentive and easily handed the extra request we gave them. 

Chicken FranceseAll in all a good night, great stories (as always) and great food.

Villaggio, 5861 York Road, Lahaska, PA 18931 – 215-794-2777

Supper with Sid and Adeline

April 16, 2009
Villaggio Wednesday's Special

Villaggio Wednesday's Special

Roasted peppers, cheese, asparagas and white wine sauce

Roasted peppers, cheese, asparagas and white wine sauce

Chicken sauted in an egg batter and served with a white wine lemon sauce

Chicken sauted in an egg batter and served with a white wine lemon sauce