By guest blogger Debra Wallace,
Roaming the aisles of the Newtown Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer’s Market is my definition of wall-to-wall comfort food.
Like many people, I used to just dart in one entrance, head for my favorite vendors and dart out. So I started exploring the market looking for, and easily discovering, so many hidden treasures.
But I’ve discovered so much more: handmade aprons and oven mitts, soothing cough drops, lip balms and bulk cooking items, wide varieties of jams, sauces and spices, as well as some of the best home-made food and side dishes around.
At a time when customer service is non-existent and pre-packaged and fast food is the norm, I’m impressed by this group of 15 shop vendors, who sell fresh, high-quality Amish delights and other food products in a warm and friendly manner.
I’ve also found that the shop keepers are extremely knowledgeable about the items they sell and it’s obvious they take great pride in their wares. Whenever you ask a question about a product or need extra service, each of them is gracious about going the extra mile. It reminds me of my happy years roaming my family’s department store in Chicago, a true mom and pop gem.
Here’s my 10 favorites from the market (hard to choose!).
1. Zook’s BBQ Barn My son won’t eat my mashed potatoes any more; he says that Zook’s are creamier than mine. Also, the BBQ ribs fall off the bone and I LOVE the sauce (it comes in both mild and hot).
When I come home from the market my son frowns if I don’t bring him a roast chicken, wings, and the mashed potatoes — so I comply and enjoy. What’s a mother to do?
2. Barbie’s Soft Pretzels A guilty pleasure to be sure. Try as I might to avoid (for the sake of my waist), the hand-rolled pretzels dipped in butter call to me.
Or should I have the pretzel sticks rolled in cinnamon and sugar?
3. Smucker’s Salads Great side dishes. My grandmother made baked lima beans for family holiday dinners, and I don’t see them at many other shops. Smucker’s also makes the perfect cole slaw and several kinds of potato salad. And I bet you didn’t know that you can have breakfast and lunch there too. Look around the side for the counter and stools (by the canned goods).
4. I love candy! Going to Dutch Treats is like being a kid again in a candy store. I am partial to the Swedish fish, dark chocolate-covered raisins and the cocoa dusted almonds.
And each time I browse I find unique items to bring home such as the Wilbur Buds, chocolate-covered ginger, chocolate-covered banana chips, scrumptious nut butters, a lollipop tree and gourmet Asher’s chocolates.
5. The high-quality fresh ground beef, ground turkey, and steaks taste so much better than what I buy at the local grocery store. I now save my meat shopping for Aaron’s Fresh Country Meats, and definitely impress my dinner guests.
6. Dos Amores Another little gem. They make the best homemade guacamole with an option of nine different salsas, including Mango, Peach, Black Bean and Corn, Feta/Lime, Pico de Gallo, Garbanzo, Mexican Slaw, Mild or Hot. I also enjoy the chicken, beef or mushroom empanadas.
7. King of Falafel The hummus and the grape leaves are the best I have ever tasted, and one of my all-time favorite lunches is the lamb or chicken platter served with salad and rice, with a side of tahini and vinaigrette dressing. I also take home tabouli, hummus, grape leaves and white or wheat pita bread for lunch and snacks all week long. And then there’s the falafel…
8. The cream cheese spreads at Dutch Country Dairy are simply delicious. My goal is to try them all. The enticing list includes: garlic and herb, spinach, and crab-meat and artichoke. An easy hors d’oeuvre to pick up when you don’t have time to make the canapes.
9. While Madara’s Seafood has a wide variety of fresh seafood, my favorite item is the shrimp rolls. They are fried to perfection and two of them can make an entire meal. Madara’s almost always has fresh East Coast oysters which they will shuck free of charge. Ask them to put the shucked oysters on ice in one of their white plastic containers. It will be easy to take home and will impress everyone.
10. The mini cream-filled chocolate chip cookies at Riehl’s Bakery are a family favorite. Need I say more? Well, if I do, the rolls, breads, apple dumplings, cakes and Amish moon pies are the perfect end to a meal of comfort food from all of the other vendors.
NOTE: The last pig roast of the season at the Newtown Farmer’s Market is this Saturday, October 29.
Newtown PA Dutch Farmers Market
2150 South Eagle Road
Newtown, PA 18940
HOURS: Thursday, 9 am – 6 pm; Friday, 9 am – 7 pm; Saturday, 9 am – 4 pm
For those of you that enjoy a good glass of wine, you know how lucky you are to live in Bucks County — home of many wineries and vineyards. Quality wine doesn’t end there, because local restaurants and bars are always hosting wine-pairing dinners to give you the most flavor out of your meal.
This week is perfect for amateur wine tasters, aficionados, and the average guy or gal that loves a nice red with their meat. Here’s what’s in store.
Dinner to benefit Orpheus Lodge. Several well-known local chefs will meet tonight, Monday, October 24, at the Stockton Fire House on Mill Street in Stockton, NJ. Together, they will prepare their specialties for a family friendly “best of the chefs” dinner.
The dinner features the Milford House Restaurant, the Bedminster Trump National Golf Club, More than Barbecue Co. in Lambertville and Spain ’92 from Raritan, NJ.
Menu includes but is not limited to chicken picatta, pork loin riojana, saffron rice Primavera, crab risotto, and more. Tickets are $40 per person and $75 per couple. The dinner starts at 6 pm. The event is very popular so tickets might be limited. Call 908.930.7446 to see what is left.
Napoli & Contorni. Non Solo Pasta Ristorante in Morrisville is hosting a wine dinner this Wednesday, October 26 from 6 – 9 pm. Sommeliers for the evening are Gail Nyvelt and Cosmo Mullen.
The menu for the evening includes: cream of butternut squash with crunchy thyme; spaghetti with roasted tomatoes, garlic oregano, and peperoncini; beef rolled with raisins, pine nuts, garlic and parmigiano; broccoli di rapa; and pastoral lamb chops and potato cake. The dinner is $70 plus tax & gratuity. Reservations are required so call 215.736.0750.
Taco Tuesday! Come to Comfortfood & Kitchenette for comfort food and a classic movie on “Taco Tuesday.” Tacos are served family style with chips, homemade salsas, pickled veggies. There are endless tacos and a great flick, chef’s choice. Starts at 7 pm and it’s $25 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Call to find out what movie is playing at 215.847.5707 or check their Facebook page. Past movie choices include Caddyshack, and Blazing Saddles, to name a few.
Also, if you can’t stay for taco night, the Comfortfood & Kitchenette is always changing up their blackboard with new daily specials.
Speakeasy! Go back in time to the 1920’s for complimentary tastings of Estancia wine and dress up as your favorite vintage inspired fashion at McCoole’s Historic Red Lion Inn in Quakertown. The speakeasy wine tasting is this Wednesday, October 26 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
Wines of the Pacific Northwest. The wines of the Pacific Northwest are well-known to wine aficionados, but the average wine drinker should know the ins and outs of these wines of Oregon, Washington State, and more.
Carlow Cookery presents a wine class taught by Mike Conti, president and wine educator of From Stem to Learn. He has over 32 years in the hospitality and education industries. He will teach you about understanding and appreciating wine in a relaxed environment. A three-course dinner is served throughout the evening. The wine class is on Thursday, October 27 at 7 pm. Reserve your spot here.
On the radar…
- Apple Festival: The Apple Festival at Peddler’s Village will return on Saturday, November 5 until Sunday, November 6 from 10 am – 6 pm. Reserve your 2016 festival package here and pre-order your apple pie here. New this year: Bechdolt’s Orchard of Bucks County and the Peddler’s Village General Store are expanding the variety of local apples and apple baked goods, and festivities this year.
- Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmlands: On November 10, Delaware Valley University and its organic farming program for vets, along with the Doylestown Food Market, are hosting a film as part of the market’s farm fresh film series. Consider sponsoring one or more of the films in the series, or just come for the movie!
- Bonfire celebration: Head to the Sand Castle Winery for their annual bonfire celebration. The event is on Sunday, November 13, and tickets cost $25 per person and $15 for children 10 and under. Buy your tickets in advance.
Do you enjoy good food? Like meeting new friends?
Want to try new restaurants?
Get on the Bucks County Taste Dinner Club email list below and be the first to know of our coming events.
SAVE THE DATE!
The next Bucks County Taste Dinner Club event
will be on Sunday, December 4 at
Liberty Hall Pizza in Lambertville.
Watch your email for details soon.
For more details on any of these events, please go to our full calendar, Food Events in Bucks County, or click the “continue reading” link below.
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Eating in Hunterdon County? Check out our Food Events in Hunterdon County calendar too!
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