What? You’ve never heard of “Meat Alley?” I guess that’s because it’s something we coined in our house. We use this term to refer to four butchers and farms which stretch from Route 611 north of Doylestown all the way west along Route 113. You know, Meat Alley.

Suffice to say, this is not a post for my vegetarian friends. Y’all can skip it right now (if you haven’t already). But, for the carnivores out there, this is a great way to spend a beautiful fall Saturday and fill up your freezer for the winter ahead. The scenery is Bucks County at its prettiest—open fields, grazing cattle, and small villages.

Haring Bros. Photo courtesy of Haring Bros.

The day begins at Haring Brothers in Danboro, just north of Doylestown on Route 611. Step inside and the smell will bring you back to your childhood. It’s a real butcher shop. Ask for a couple of strip steaks, and co-owners Glen Moyer or Denny Trouts will place a large piece of meat in front of you and ask how thick you want the steaks. They carry beef, pork, chicken, turkey and almost any other kind of meat, or meat product, you could think of. They also do such a big business in deer processing that they close the retail side for a week after buck hunting season starts. Our favorites: steaks, country-style ribs, sausage and anything else that beckons. Haring Brothers is at 5484 Haring Road, Doylestown, PA 18902, open Monday through Saturday (website).

Next, make your way over to Swamp Road/Route 313 going west (towards Quakertown). Stay on 313 through Dublin to Route 113. Hang a left onto 113 and in a few miles you will come to Blooming Glen. First stop, on the right, is Blooming Glen Pork and Catering.

Moyer's sign at Blooming Glen Pork

Blooming Glen Pork & Catering has been in business since 1856, and is still family-run by Bob Moyer (5th generation) and his daughter, Pene Bryant (6th generation). They butcher and make their own pork products, including bacon, hams, sausages, pork roll, kielbasa, bratwurst, scrapple, and more. They make no less six different kinds of bacon. All the smoking is done naturally in wood burning smokehouses with no artificial smoke flavor ever added. They also have a thriving catering business, including pig roasts, and a BBQ tent every Saturday from April to November. [To learn more, read the article, Blooming Glen Pork: The pride of generations.] Our favorites: the pork tenderloin, stuffed with sausage (sweet or hot Italian), and wrapped in bacon, the chops, ham, and any of the sausages. The retail store is open Wednesday through Saturday. See their website for hours.

Grass-fed cattle at Tussock Sedge Farm in Blooming Glen, Bucks County

Right across the street from Blooming Glen Pork, is Tussock Sedge Farm, where you can stop by on Saturdays (10 am to 2 pm) to buy beef from Charlotte and Henry Rosenberger. The cattle are completely grass-fed, eating dry hay and haylage throughout the winter months. Although the farm is not USDA certified organic, they use no herbicides or pesticides. In fact, after 5 years of not using the pesticide Round-Up, the tree frogs have returned to their 500+ acre farm. Oh, and the meat is delicious!

You can buy sample packs in different sizes and pick them up on Saturdays. Our favorite, and a good place to start, is the 12 lb. sampler pack, which includes an assortment of cuts including: 3 assorted steaks, 1 roast, 1 lb. of cube/stew meat, 5 lbs. ground beef and 1 lb. chipped steak, all for only $110, which averages out to $9/lb. It’s great to have all the variety in the freezer for those winter afternoons when you don’t want to go out. Go to their website to order.

Bolton's turkey

If you still have room in the cooler, keep heading west on Route 113 to Bolton’s in the small village of Silverdale, a little more than a mile from Blooming Glen. Torrie Bolton, with her brother, Todd, run this third generation family farm. “We’re raising turkeys the same way our grandfather did,” says Torrie, “No antibiotics, no hormones.” Torrie runs the retail market that sits at the front of the property. Glance behind the market, up the hill and you’ll see the farm where the Boltons raise their turkeys (year-round), chickens and beef. While Bolton’s is most known for their own special breed of double-breasted turkeys (order early for Thanksgiving), their beef is excellent too. Our favorites: any of the turkey cuts, turkey sausage, and turkey pot pies. Learn more about Bolton’s in our post, Let’s talk more than turkey.

Enjoy and safe travels!

NOTE: There’s plenty more meat in Bucks County besides this little road trip. See our post, Where’s the beef? And pork, and lamb, and chicken… for a full listing of butchers, markets and farms in Bucks County.

This Sunday, October 19, at 10 pm, the Perk in Perkasie is putting two professional chefs to the test in a live cooking contest. The “Back of the House Brawl” competition pits chef Justin McClain of the Standard Club against the Perk’s chef Jeff Strohm.

PERK Event Poster

The Rules:

The rules of the “brawl” are as follows: the chefs will be assigned the same three secret ingredients, and must make at least two dishes using only the pantry items on hand and all three of the secret ingredients. They’ll be given 15 minutes to take inventory of the kitchen and to set up their stations, the timer will be set, and then they’ll have one hour to create their dishes. Three judges will then taste the dishes and declare a winner.

Two hosts will be on site, one in the kitchen providing commentary and one in the front of the house talking directly to spectators. There’s even a live feed from the kitchen, so viewers can eat and drink while watching the cook-off in real time.

The Perk is hoping to do this once or twice a month, with different chefs and different judges.

PERK BrawlPoster_WEB

 

About the Competitors:

Chef Justin McClain is from Apollo, PA. He received his training at Johnson & Wales and is the chef at the Standard Club in Doylestown. His favorite dishes use fresh pasta, cured meats and local produce.

Chef Jeff Strohm is a native of West Rochkill, PA. He learned the ropes at the Culinary Institute of America and is now a chef at the Perk in Perkasie. Strohm isn’t picky: when asked about his favorite dishes, he said, “a little bit of everything.”

About the Judges:

PERK NickNick DiRocco is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and worked at the “original fish market,” at the Westin Hotel in Pittsburgh, before moving to the Westin Port Royal in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He spent some time working at Cappie’s Park Tavern in Quakertown (now Becker’s), before following in his family’s footsteps and becoming a lineman for PECO energy.

summer greenwoodSummer Greenwood is a Bucks County native and sous chef at the Standard Club. She loves to cook Southern and French-inspired cuisine using fresh, local produce.

PERK Dan WengerDan Wenger has been a chef at the Perk for nearly a decade. He graduated from Pennridge High School and went to college at Bloomsburg. He’s married with a four-year-old son named Levi.


The Perk is located at 501 East Walnut Street, Perkasie, PA. For more information, call them at 215.257.8483 or see their website.

There is no excuse to be bored this week if you love to eat. This weekend alone there’s so much to do: beer pairing dinners, haunted wine tastings, food truck festivals, oh, and a chocolate-making class. Of course, there are the ongoing traditional fall activities too. Be sure to check our full calendar to get all the details.

Sum Pig Food TruckFood truck festivals. There’s more than one this weekend! The first one is the Lambertville Food Fair, this Thursday, October 16, from 5 to 10 pm. Local restaurants will be serving specials on the street, plus more than 10 food trucks (including a truck that puts bacon in every dish) and a beer and wine garden featuring Yards Brewery beers and wines from some of the many local vineyards in the area. Check out our post about it here.

Round two is the Fall Food Truck Fiesta at Mercer County Park this Saturday, October 18 from 11 am to 7 pm. Seventeen food trucks, a wine and beer garden, music provided by the Sensational Soul Cruisers and Kindred Spirit, and massages. Sounds like a heavenly way to spend a Saturday.

Of course, there’s also the weekly Food Truck Fridays at Bucks County Brewery and Hewn Spirits on Friday night from 5 to 9 pm. This week there are two food trucks, one specializing in Greek Food and the other in BBQ. Eat up and try the local brews and liquor while enjoying the live music, provided by the duo “Rob and Marty”.

Sorry for the late notice, but… check out the Firestone Walker Beer Dinner TONIGHT (Wednesday, October 15) at Iron Abbey in Horsham starting at 7 pm. It’s a five-course dinner featuring a Firestone Walker brew per course. If you want to know exactly what’s on the menu, you can view it here, but a few of the standout courses include Sesame Soba with Seared Red Tuna paired with Double Jack IPA and Dark Chocolate Coffee Mousse with Pistachio and Blueberry Cream paired with Agrestic Ale.

Beer tastingMore for the beer lovers! Drink and dine with a handful of Pennsylvania’s best brewmasters at the Meeting of the Malts: A Celebration of PA Lager, Tuesday, October 21 from 6 to 8:30 pm at Sly Fox Brewery in Pottstown. Learn about the history of Pennsylvania Lager from acclaimed brewmasters themselves, while sipping on sample brews and enjoying the food specially paired with them. Brewmasters on the lineup include Bill Covaleski, co-founder of Victory Brewing, Bill Moore of Lancaster Brewing Company, and Brian O’Reily of Sly Fox Brewing.

The next night (Wednesday, October 22), head to the Rising Sun Inn for a four-course Beer Tasting Dinner and Blind Taste Test from 6:30 to 9 pm. Try four different Autumn and Winter Lagers with your meal and test out your taste buds blind-folded for fun.

tarot and wineHalloween is coming. Get spooky at Crossing Vineyards and Winery’s “Wine & Spirits” Tarot Card Reading this Thursday night (October 16) from 7 to 9:30 pm. Also Thursday, get the chills at Chaddsford Winery at their Toast the Ghost event from 7 – 9 pm as Adele Gamble of New Hope Ghost Tours tells local ghost stories. There are tons more Halloween events coming up next week so be sure to keep checking our calendar and read next week’s round-up.

Treat yourself! If you’re familiar with Pierre’s Chocolates, you may have experienced the borderline religious awakening brought on by biting into one of their dark chocolate ganache truffles. Now you can see how they are made at a Chocolate Making Class this Monday, October 20 at Pierre’s from 7 – 9 pm. It’s doubtful you’ll leave the class with skills on par with Pierre’s, but you can bite into a heavenly piece of chocolate with the satisfaction of knowing that you earned it.

Butternut squash. Photo credit Lynne Goldman

To market, to market. Vegetables Galore! [Note: There are still tomatoes available out there] Arugula, beets, broccoli, cabbage (Green, Red, Savoy), cauliflower, celeriac, chives, cilantro, cucumbers (Slicing & Pickling), eggplant, fennel, garlic, Tuscan and curly kale, leeks, lettuce, lettuce microgreens, lettuce mix, mint, mushrooms, onions, parsley, peppers (sweet, frying, hot), pumpkins, radishes (red, black, daikon, watermelon), potatoes, rosemary, sage, scallions, winter squash (Delicata, Butternut), tomatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, and wheat grass.

Most markets will also have: eggs from free-range chickens, grass-fed and pastured meats, preserves, specialty foods, baked goods like breads, cakes, cookies and pastries, cheese and yogurt, locally roasted coffee, and interesting crafts from local artisans. For a list of all farmers’ markets in Bucks and nearby, go to our food guide here.

On the radar…

  • Harvest Winemaker’s Dinner – Crossing Vineyards and Winery, Wrightstown Road, Upper Makefield, PA [Sat, Oct 25]
  • Fall Menu Preview Wine Dinner - Vintage Grille, 3617 Ferry Road, Doylestown, PA [Sun, Oct 26]
  • Vintner’s Dinner with Sergio Neri – Hopewell Valley Vineyards, 46 Yard Road, Pennington, NJ [Sun, Nov 2]

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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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Lambertville Food Fair Banner

The Lambertville NiteFare this past June was so popular (7,000 people showed up!) that the Lambertville Chamber of Commerce has scheduled another one this Thursday. Go get a second taste of the best restaurants in the area and some of the coolest food truck this region has to offer at the Lambertville Food Fair this Thursday, October 16, from 5 pm to 10 pm on Union Street in Lambertville. Wash down your food with brews from Yards Brewery and wines from Unionville Vineyards, Tomasello Winery, and Old York Cellars, poured for you in the pop-up beer garden.

[As of Wednesday, October 15, 5 pm, this is definitely a "go." Weather should be clearing up by tomorrow night.]

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This time of year, with the leaves doing their pretty thing, I just want to jump into the car on a crisp, fall day and hit the road. For me, any travel is usually centered on food. If we are going to New York City, first I plan the meals, and build the rest of the day around that—“We’ll have dim sum in Chinatown around 10, go to 2nd Ave Deli for a late lunch, then get dinner at that southern Indian place on 27th. What do you want to do in-between to kill time until cocktail hour?” I make no excuses. And friends who travel with me have never complained. They always eat well.

So here are some places I would hit in Bucks County on a pretty fall Saturday. Take your pick and build your own Fall Foodie Road Trip.

Castle Valley Mill. photo credit Lynne Goldman

Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown is hosting “Colonial Days at Castle Valley Mill” every weekend in October. There are tours of this restored working flour mill, early American skills and technology demonstrations, boating on the mill pond, civil war soldiers, a country store, and fresh baked breads made from their own stone ground flour. Do NOT miss this opportunity to see the only working flour mill in Bucks County. It is fascinating. And their flour is amazing and available for purchase. Hours: Saturdays, 10 am – 5 pm, Sundays 12 – 5 pm. Click for flyer. Read more about this wonderful mill in our previous post, A Bucks County mill is reborn.

Apples, apples, apples. Take your pick (no pun intended). Bucks has some great local apples. In Solebury, visit Manoff Market Gardens and Solebury Orchards, both within minutes of each other. Manoff’s has an incredible variety of apples, including some heirlooms. And you can sample any of the apples, and get advice from Amy Manoff on which is best for cooking, baking or just plain munching. At Solebury Orchards, you can also pick your own apples. Don’t forget to buy some of Solebury’s cider, or their cider donuts, which will probably not make it home, having been totally consumed in the car. Keep an eye on their websites for the latest harvest updates.

Cider donuts from Solebury Orchards

Next stop, Tabora Farm & Orchards in Hilltown/Chalfont, is just minutes off Route 313, north of Doylestown. Owners Caleb and Patricia Torrice not only offer apples grown in their orchards here in Bucks County, but they also bring in special apples grown at their family’s farm in Upstate New York. Their market also boasts a fabulous bakery, deli and all kinds of delicacies.

Tabora Farms apples on tree

After grabbing some apples and baked goods at Tabora’s, head back to Route 313, make a left and go west on Route 313 up past Dublin. Then turn right onto Route 113 and head to Penn-Vermont Farm on 831 Rolling Hills Road, in Bedminster, just off Route 113. More wonderful apples, and pumpkins, and all kinds of seasonal fruits and vegetables. [Great berries in the spring, too]. See their Facebook page for hours.

See our previous post, Apples are here! for details on all the apple farms in Bucks.

By about now, you might be feeling a little thirsty. Not to worry. You are only minutes away from two breweries and a distillery. Stop by Free Will Brewing Company in Perkasie to taste some of their exceptional beer, brewed right on-site. Brewmaster John Stemler and manager Dominic Capece founded Free Will Brewing Company in 2010, and opened to the public in January of 2012. The tasting room is open Monday through Friday from 4 – 8 pm, Saturdays 12 – 8 pm and Sundays 11 am – 6 pm, with tours on Saturdays at 1 pm and 3 pm.

BC Brewery taps & growler; photo credit Lynne Goldman

Don’t stop now. You are too close to Bucks’ newest brewery, Bucks County Brewery, and their neighbor, Bucks’ newest distillery, Hewn Spirits, in Pipersville. In a non-descript industrial office park, you’ll find their tasting rooms. On Friday nights they host “Food Truck Friday” with great food and local music.

Brewmaster and owner Andrew Knechtel may be the “new kid on the block” among our local breweries, but he has been receiving some serious critical attention from the bustling Philadelphia beer scene. Read more about Bucks County Brewery here, including their hours and location.

Red Barn Rye

Under the same roof resides Hewn Spirits, currently producing rum, rye, and moonshine, with single malt whisky and bourbon in the barrels. Owner and distiller Sean Tracy is using his deep inventory of old hardwoods (from Bucks County barns he has restored) to influence the whisky in its secondary aging. Definitely interesting and fun. Read our previous post about Hewn Spirits here.

By this time, I assume you will be a little tired, but happy and satiated. Safe travels and happy Fall!

Coming up on Bucks County Taste, more Fall Foodie Road Trips, including the “Meat Tour.” Stay tuned.

In this series, local chefs give us their favorite recipes, full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, just in time for the weekend.

By Chefs Blake Faure & Jon Ramsey, The Golden Pheasant Inn,

As the seasons turn, so do we at the Golden Pheasant Inn turn to our local farms for the best ingredients, be it produce, meats or cheeses.

This is one of our favorite recipes, perfect for these cool fall days. You’ll find butternut squash at any of your local farmers’ markets. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup at the Golden Pheasant Inn

MAPLE BUTTER ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Serves 10-12

INGREDIENTS

2 medium to large butternut squash
1 cup of maple syrup infused butter (1 lb. butter whipped with local maple syrup to desired taste)
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 TBSP canola or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
2 medium leeks (white & light green parts) sliced
1 cup white wine
¼ cup Makers Mark or favorite Bourbon
6 cups or more vegetable stock or water
2 TBSP salt
½ TBSP ground black pepper

 

HOW TO

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Split each squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Separate seeds from stringy pulp and reserve them for garnish. Arrange the large squash meat side up and place maple syrup infused butter into each cavity. Roast for 45 minutes or until tender. To test the squash insert a knife into flesh. If it sinks in easily and the squash is golden brown, it’s ready to be removed from the oven.
  3. Once the squash has cooled scoop the flesh from the skins with a spoon. Discard the skins.
  4. In a large stock pot, warm the butter and oil over medium-high heat, and cook the vegetables for approximately 5-8 minutes.
  5. Add the white wine and let the liquid reduce by half. Remove the pot from the stove and add the bourbon. Light a match over the pot to flambé the mixture, being very careful! Allow the alcohol to cook off.
  6. Add the roasted squash and 6 cups of vegetable stock or water to the mixture and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  7. Use a blender or immersion stick blender to puree the soup. If the mixture is too thick, add more stock or water to thin it out. Serve the soup warm and top with a drizzle of Maple Butter and a sprinkling of Butternut Squash Seeds.

Butternut Squash Seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Scatter the seeds evenly on a cookie sheet. Generously salt the seeds and roast for 8 to 20 minutes, until toasted.
  3. Use as soup garnish or eat as a snack

Golden Pheasant Inn_canalside; photo courtesy of the Golden Pheasant InnABOUT Chefs Blake Faure and Jon Ramsey and the Golden Pheasant Inn

Chefs Blake Faure and Jon Ramsay are passionate about bringing the very best local food sources to their guests. The emphasis is on fresh, natural, local ingredients, with a menu that changes seasonally. Blake has inherited her father’s passion and gift for the culinary arts while working at his side for many years in the kitchen. She earned her culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Her partner and fellow Chef Jon Ramsay are co-executive chefs.

Blake and Jon have revamped the menus to reflect a combination of its traditional French past with next generational New American cuisine. “We make menu adjustments seasonally to reflect the local bounty of this area and our culinary philosophy of serving the freshest food that has been produced in the most sustainable manner possible,” says Chef Jon.

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This week is an excellent week for wine-lovers. Cheers to that!

Bucks County Wine TrailThe Bucks County Wine Trail is having its Harvest Weekend this Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12, and some of the vineyards on the trail have special events planned to help celebrate.

Buckingham Valley Vineyards will have Bonjour Creperie on site from 12-6 pm on Saturday, October 12, in addition to their usual tastings available all weekend during business hours.

Bonjour Creperie at Buckingham Valley Vineyards

Crossing Vineyards and Winery in Washington Crossing have two Wine & Yoga Classes on Sunday (one at 11:30 am, one at 3 pm), or if you’d rather not exercise, they’ll also be having one of their Wine & Chocolate Pairing Classes on Sunday at 2 pm. They’re also hosting their fifth class of their Wine 101 series this Monday, October 13 with a lesson on Red Wine.

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Bucks County Dinner Club

We’ve got some incredible food here in Bucks County. Young chefs, fresh from big city kitchens. A wide diversity of cuisines. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and unique venues. You don’t need to go into “the city” to find great food anymore. In fact, folks from New York and Philly are coming here.

The Bucks County Dinner Club wants to introduce you to all this with special, exclusive dining events at some of the best restaurants in Bucks County and nearby.

Unique

Click here to purchase ticketsWhatever the event is, it’s not going to be the same old “going out to eat.” Maybe you’ll get to meet the chef, discuss his or her culinary philosophy, and thoughts about the menu. How about a cocktail party at a local distillery or winery, pairing spirits and wine with just the right morsels? Or perhaps a tasting that gives you a “peek” at a new menu the chef is working on. Whatever it is, you’ll get a unique culinary experience, crafted just for the Bucks County Dinner Club.

Fun

It’s an opportunity to meet new people, try new restaurants and experience new cuisines. Some events may even include alcohol, so that’s fun too, no?

Intimate

You won’t be part of a big crowd. Our events are limited to 40 or less diners, to allow folks to interact, meet the chef up close, and enjoy the atmosphere.

How does it work?

  • When, what, where? Only 3 weeks before the event, we share all the details, including menu, time, place and cost, and deadline for ordering tickets. Only a certain number of tickets will be sold, so don’t wait too long to buy tickets.
  • How much? Ticket prices range from $40 to $100 per person, depending upon the event. We’ll do our best to offer a variety of experiences to accommodate everyone’s budget. Tax and gratuity are included. Alcohol may be extra at some of the events, but we’ll tell you ahead of time if that’s the case.
  • How do I pay? Use our easy EventSpot site to pay by credit card or PayPal before the event. Come to the event with your ticket printed or with your SmartPhone (instructions on our payment site).
  • What about alcoholic drinks? It depends. Some events are BYOB, some events include alcohol, and some do not—but the restaurant or venue has drinks for purchase.
  • What about refunds? We can refund your ticket up until the event deadline. At that point we have to tell the chef how many guests to expect so they can buy the appropriate amount of food.
  • If it’s a club, do I have to pay a membership fee? Nope. Although a rewards program is in the works. Stay tuned.
  • What if I want to know immediately when a new event is scheduled? Sign up on our special Bucks County Dinner Club email list here and you’ll be the first to know. Also, keep an eye on the Bucks County Taste Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Click here to purchase tickets for dinner at The Golden Pheasant Inn on October 23

Sign up for emails about upcoming events

Coming up…

 

Golden Pheasant Inn_canalside; photo courtesy of the Golden Pheasant Inn
OCTOBER 23, 2014
New American Cuisine with a Touch of Traditional French at the Golden Pheasant Inn
A seasonal 3-course prix fixe menu featuring the best locally sourced ingredients

 

Don’t miss this amazing dinner by Chefs Blake Faure and Jon Ramsey! Chef Blake will join us during the cocktail hour, and then again with Chef Jon during dessert. Dinner will be served in the beautifully restored solarium overlooking both the Delaware River and the canal. It will be a great space to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage along the river! Limited tickets, so sign up soon!

Here’s a peek at the menu. For more details, and the wine and beer pairings (available for additional cost), click here.

Butternut Squash Soup at the Golden Pheasant Inn

[APPETIZERS]
Blooming Glen Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Maple butter roasted butternut squash soup garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds
Autumn Farmers Market Salad
Swallow Hill Farm baby arugula and Tuscan kale, Old Chatham Ewe’s blue cheese, candied walnuts, shaved fennel with a tarragon-Dijon vinaigrette dressing
Crisp Flat Bread
Cherry Grove Farm red and yellow onion confit with Cranberry Creek chevre topped with a house grown rosemary aioli sauce
[ENTREES]
Sauteed Squash and Zucchini Pasta
Sauteed Swallow Hill Farm squash and zucchini pasta threads with Phillips Farm sweet corn puree, Fulper Farms ricotta, and a house grown herb pesto
Grilled Lancaster County Flank Steak
Grilled flank steak served with smashed Terhune Orchards elba potatoes, sautéed Mainly Mushrooms wild and cultivated mushrooms, and a bordelaise sauce
Roasted Lancaster County
Frenched Chicken Breast

Frenched chicken breast, roasted with Tassot Apiaries honey and grain mustard, sautéed Flaim Farm Swiss chard and roasted fingerling potatoes
[DESSERTS]
Apple Pie
Solebury Orchards Staymen Winesap apples in a light flaky crust
Chocolate Raspberry Cake
Chocolate cake with layers of raspberry coulis

Golden Pheasant Inn table

THE DETAILS

Where: The Golden Pheasant Inn, 763 River Rd, Erwinna, PA 18920
When: Thursday, October 23, 2014; Cocktails at 6:30 pm, Dinner at 7:30 pm
Price: $70 per person for 3-course prix fixe; $100 per person for additional wine & beer pairings (pay at the restaurant for this option—see the full menu for pairing details)
Alcohol: Drinks are available for purchase.
Deadline to purchase tickets: Sunday, October 19
Tickets available: 40 (see EventSpot for current availability)
Menu:
Click here to view the full menu

Click here to purchase ticketsSign up to receive emails about upcoming events

More about the Golden Pheasant Inn:

Perfect for a relaxed country meal, a weekend getaway or a glass of wine by the fire, it is hard to imagine a more picturesque setting than the Golden Pheasant Inn. The atmosphere is magical with exposed stone walls, beamed ceilings and the beautiful Bucks County countryside all around.

Located between the Delaware River and Canal in a historic field stone inn, the Inn is the longest continuously operating restaurant/hotel along the Canal and recognized on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Inn has been family-owned and operated for over 26 years, first by Michel and Barbara Faure, and now by their daughters, Blake Faure, Briar Mewbourne and Brittany Booz.

Chefs Blake Faure and Jon Ramsay are passionate about bringing the very best local food sources to their guests. The emphasis is on fresh, natural, local ingredients, with a menu that changes seasonally. Blake has inherited her father’s passion and gift for the culinary arts while working at his side for many years in the kitchen. She earned her culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Her partner and fellow Chef Jon Ramsay are co-executive chefs.

Blake and Jon have revamped the menus to reflect a combination of its traditional French past with next generational New American cuisine. “We make menu adjustments seasonally to reflect the local bounty of this area and our culinary philosophy of serving the freshest food that has been produced in the most sustainable manner possible,” says Chef Jon.

Let’s say you have a successful restaurant that has developed a loyal following over the years. You’ve found the magic formula, and folks seem to love it. But you’ve also noticed some new—and very good—competition in the neighborhood. Change, or not change?

We all know of restaurants that faced with this situation, simply ignore the competition, dig in and say, “Business is going well. Our customers love us. Let’s not mess with a good thing.”

Hamilton's Grill Room new menu

Jim Hamilton had a revelation this year. “I ate somewhere better than us,” he shares, a little sheepishly, “It was time to make some changes.” So rather than rest on his laurels, Hamilton has decided to recreate his much-loved grillroom. Pretty courageous and, lucky for us diners, pretty darn good too.

We had the opportunity to preview the new menu at Hamilton’s Grill Room recently, as well as sit with Hamilton over a few glasses of wine, some fresh oysters, and some lovely steaks.

Hamilton's garden room

Ah, I know what you are thinking. “Change? But I love Hamilton’s Grill!” We have friends who come down from North Jersey once or twice a year and insist on eating at Hamilton’s Grill Room the first night of their weekend. No ifs, ands, or buts. I’m a little worried about breaking this to them but I can assure them—and you—that it’s going to be okay.

Jim has always loved oysters and steaks, so that much has not changed. Hamilton and Chef Mark Miller worked on the new menu for three months, shifting it from the Mediterranean-inspired dishes they have made for 26 years to a menu full of fresh seafood and superb steaks, all lovingly cooked by Miller over the restaurant’s famous charcoal-fired grill.

Although Miller has always supported local purveyors, he is taking it a step further. “We want to give our guests the best of the best, the finest, the freshest, local, organic and hormone ingredients available,” Miller says. That includes vegetables from local farms, chicken from Griggstown Farm in Lawrenceville, and grass-fed beef from Tullamore Farm in Stockton.

Even though much of the menu is new, some old favorites remain. The Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Anchovy Butter, the Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop, and Griggstown’s Rotisserie Roasted Chicken are still there for you to enjoy.


 “A loaf of bread, the Walrus said,
is what we chiefly need:
Pepper & vinegar besides
are very good indeed…
Now if you’re ready, OYSTERS, dear,
we can begin to feed!”

– Lewis Carroll


[From the menu at Hamilton's Grill Room]

If you are not a fan of oysters, cooked or raw, you might want to skip the next few paragraphs. If you are a fan, oh, are you going happy at the “new” Hamilton’s Grill.

Hamilton's Oyster Menu

Let’s start with my personal favorite, the raw oysters. The oyster menu offers at least six types from both the East and West Coasts. We got to try four: Blue Points from Long Island, Standish Shore from Cape Cod, Chef’s Creek from British Columbia and Deer Creek from Puget Sound. All were fresh as can be.

For those of you who can’t stomach raw oysters, Hamilton’s is offering three cooked options. The classic Rockefeller, baked with spinach, bacon, and parmesan, is rich as you might expect, and served on a bed of sea salt. Then there are the Fire-Roasted Oysters, swimming in shallots and Pernod butter. But my first choice would be the Deep-Fried Oysters, served atop deviled eggs. Both cool and warm, lightly spiced and a nice contrast between the crunchiness of the oysters and the creaminess of the egg. I love oysters, I love deep-fried seafood, and I love deviled eggs. What could be wrong?

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The appetizer menu also includes Barnegat Bay Clams on the Half Shell, Lump Crab Cocktails, Deep-Fried Calamari with Basil Pesto Aioli, Alaskan King Crab Cakes with Sriracha Mayonnaise, and the popular Grilled Jumbo Shrimp. If you are not into seafood, I’d recommend the Crispy Confit of Duck served with Fig Confit with port wine and honey. It’s rich and earthy, with a lovely crunch to the duck.

For soups and salads, try the LBI Crab Chowder, or any of the salads. We got to sample the Little Gem Romaine Wedge, served with candied walnuts, Roquefort, red beets and a (new) house vinaigrette and the Chopped Salad with watercress, iceberg, avocado, tomato, and hard-boiled eggs, served with a citrus vinaigrette. Both were light and balanced, and a perfect intro to the meat course. And as Julia Child said, “The only time to eat diet food is while you are waiting for the steak to cook.”

Everyone loves grilled steaks. And when Mark Miller is doing the grilling, over an oak charcoal fire, it’s heavenly. [photo] Miller is searching far and wide for the best sources for prime and choice meat. It’s not as if their steaks weren’t good before, but if you are going to set a reputation for steaks, you’ve got to offer the best.

This is the hard part. You will have to choose from seven cuts of beef. Porterhouse (20 oz.), Flat Iron (10 oz.), Center Cut Club Steak (14 oz.), Center Cut Prime Delmonico (14 oz.), NY Strip (12 oz.), NY Strip Steak Prime Cut (12 oz.) or the Grilled Blackened Bone-in Ribeye (16 oz.).

Steak is a very personal choice, I know. But we got to try the Porterhouse, the NY Strip, and the Ribeye, and although all were wonderful, I couldn’t get enough of the ribeye. Fatty, but not too fatty. The Porterhouse is served with the house steak sauce—a veal reduction with garlic and soy sauce. Definitely umami. The NY Strip was delightful, with a hint of charcoal, complimented by a blue cheese butter. Other sauces offered include Prosciutto Fontina Tomato Cream, Roasted Shallot Crème Fraiche, and Truffle Butter.

Like all good steak houses, the meat isn’t inexpensive. Hamilton’s steaks vary from $22 to $39 (the porterhouse, of course) and you can get sides for $6.50 each. Choose from Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, Creamed Spinach, Crumb Crusted Mashed Potato Gratin, Garlic Parmesan & Rosemary Shoe String Fries, and a variety of seasonal dishes. For the non-meat eaters, try the Wood-Roasted King Crab (for two), a Grilled Sesame Crusted Yellow-Fin Tuna, a Cedar Plank Salmon, and Flame-Broiled Lobster.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the delicious desserts made by pastry chef Harry Swaverly, who has been creating sweet ends to meals at Hamilton’s for 15 years. What is gone is the dessert cart (which everyone agreed was a good idea). We got to taste the Grappa Almond Torta, a light shortbread made with almond butter, grappa, and lemon zest, a perfect complement to an after-dinner coffee.

So there it is. A big change at one of our area’s best and most beloved restaurants. It won’t be for everyone (especially vegetarians), but I doubt many will be disappointed. Fresh, quality ingredients, creative cooking, and a charcoal grill. Jim Hamilton is willing to take the chance. “We’ll see if we were right or wrong in time,” he says with a smile.

The new menu debuts tonight, Friday, October 3, 2014

Hamilton’s Grill Room
8 Coryell Street
Lambertville, NJ 08530
PH: 609.397.4343
WEBwww.hamiltonsgrillroom.com
For the full menu, click here

Hamilton’s Grill Room is BYOB, but feel free to stop at the cozy Boathouse bar just across the courtyard before your dinner.

This week gives Bucks County residents the opportunity to taste (and learn to cook!) a huge variety of international foods. As always, the month of October brings a slew of Oktoberfests to enjoy, but there are also international cooking classes nearly every day this week, plus a special chef dinner on the menu. The harvest festivals continue rolling in, as well, so lovers of fall flavors like pumpkin and apple have plenty to sample from pumpkin beer to pumpkin ice cream.

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Apples are beginning to ripen in local orchards in a big way. Here’s a listing of apples in Bucks and nearby that are available for sale, and for pick-your-own, as of September 29, 2014. Always call or check their websites for the latest information. Enjoy!

Bechdolt’s Orchard, 2209 Leithsville Road, Hellertown, PA, 610.838.8522. For Sale: Honey Crisp, Gala, MacIntosh, Fuji, Cortland, Jonagold, Empire, Macoun, Autumn Crisp.

Manoff Market Gardens, 3157 Comfort Road, Solebury, PA, 215.297.8220. For Sale: Honey Crisp, Ginger Gold.

Peace Valley Winery, 300 Old Limekiln Road, Chalfont, PA, 215.249.9058. Pick-your-own: Golden Delicious, MacIntosh, Burgundy.

Penn Vermont Fruit Farm, 831 Rolling Hills Road, Bedminster, PA, 215.795.2475. For Sale: Cortland, Empire, MacIntosh, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp.

Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Morrisville, PA, 215.968.1670. Pick-your-own: Honey Crisp, Gala, Cortland, Golden Delicious.

Snipes Farm, 890 West Bridge Street, Morrisville, PA, 215.295.1139. For Sale: Gala, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Jonathan. Pick-your-own: Red Delicious, Ida Red, Romes.

Solebury Orchards, 3325 Creamery Road, New Hope, PA, 215.297-8079. For Sale: Honey Crisp, Gala. Pick-your-own: Golden Delicious, Pinata, Empire, Melrose.

Manoff apples on treeSolly Farm, 707 Almshouse Road, Warminster, PA, 215.357.2850. For Sale: a variety. Pick-your-own: a variety.

Styer’s Orchard, 97 Styer Lane, Langhorne, PA, 215.702.9633. For Sale: Cortland, Jonathan, Mutsu, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Jonagold. Pick-your-own: Cortland, Jonathan, Mutsu, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Jonagold.

Tabora Farm & Orchard, 1104 Upper Stump Road, Chalfont, PA, 215.249.3016. For Sale: MacIntosh, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Cortland, Macoun, Gingergold, Gala, Honey Crisp.

Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ, 609.924.2310. For Sale: Honey Crisp, Macoun, MacIntosh, Jonathon, Cortland, Empire, Red Delicious. Pick-your-own: some of the market varieties are also available for pick-your-own.

The Market at DelVal, 2100 Lower State Road, Doylestown, PA, 215.230.7170. Pick-your-own: a variety.

For more pick-your-own farms, see the Penn State Cooperative Extension’s Fresh from Bucks County Farms 2014 listing.

Want a recipe for a delicious Jewish Apple Cake? Click here.

Or how about this great recipe from Kelly Madey? Apples Poached in Wine with Cinnamon and Orange

In this series, local chefs give us their favorite recipes, full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, just in time for the weekend.

By Chef Rich Baringer

It’s the time of year that our farmers’ markets and CSAs start providing us with winter squash–acorn, butternut and one of my favorites, spaghetti squash.

Why do I like it so much?  Well, it’s tasty and healthy and easy to prepare and you can use it just like you would real spaghetti.  Plus, it is pretty cool how it goes from squash to spaghetti with just some scrapes of a fork.

So you can feel free to top it with your favorite marinara sauce or with a little olive oil and Parmesan.  But here is a recipe that’s full of flavor and is simple enough to do on a weeknight.  Use some local chicken breasts and good Parm and you’re all set.

Spaghetti Squash

CREAMY CHICKEN OVER SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
2-3 pound spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream (or milk)
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup fresh parsley and/or basil, chopped
Salt and black pepper

HOW TO

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Cut squash in half, pole to pole, and scrape out seeds.  Season with salt and pepper.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place the squash halves cut side down.  Roast for 30-40 minutes or until flesh is very tender.  (Check with a paring knife.)  Remove from oven.  When cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh from the skin and into a bowl using a fork.  (Kids love doing this part.)
  3. While squash is cooking, heat the butter in a medium saucepan.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the garlic and broth and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Add chicken and simmer, uncovered, 7-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Add the cream or milk and bring to a simmer.  Season with 1 tsp of salt and pepper to taste and keep warm until squash is ready.
  4. Transfer squash to serving bowl or divide onto individual plates.  To the sauce, add the cheese, herbs and tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.  Serve the sauce over the squash.

Rich Baringer is chef/owner of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service.  Rich grew up in Haycock Township and has lived (and eaten) in Bucks County his whole life. He now lives in Blooming Glen Village with his wife, Mary Beth, his son Jake, and Ophelia, the cat. Rich graduated from the Culinary Business Academy in Atlanta, is a member of the U.S. Personal Chef Association and owns Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service. For more information about Dinner’s Done PCS, contact Rich at 215.804.6438,  dinnersdonepa@comcast.net or check out his website.

Need to find a farmers’ market near you? Click here to see our local food guide on Farmers’ Markets.

 

Organnon’s Natural Market, owned by Jim and Danielle Gannon, opened their doors to the people of Wrightstown and the surrounding areas on September 28th, 2013. This Sunday will mark their first full year in business, and the store has a whole slew of activites planned this weekend to celebrate.

Organnons Natural Market

They’ll have local vendors set up on Saturday, September 27th and Sunday, September 28th serving samples to customers:

  • A la Maison - Buckingham – personal chef service
  • Babushka facial oils – Lower Bucks – personal beauty products
  • LUV Superfood Chocolates – Doylestown – handmade sweets
  • Barefoot Gardens – Doylestown – community supported agriculture
  • Doylestown Fresh – Doylestown – hydroponic greens

To add to the fun, the store will be hosting an open mic night starting at 6 pm on Saturday. All talent (including singers, musicians, poets, dancers, etc.) is welcome, as long as it’s kid friendly. The store invites those interested in performing to sign up at 5 pm.

The store’s food truck, Organnon’s Grub Shack, will be open and serving freshly prepared food on both Saturday and Sunday, in case the samples don’t satiate your hunger. In celebration of the anniversary, the Grub Shack will also be unveiling their fall menu this weekend.

Organnon's Grub Shack

To give some background on the store, Jim Gannon decided to get into the grocery business because of his passion for healthful and environmentally friendly eating. The market stocks organic, and whenever possible, local goods, in addition to personal care products, health supplements and prepared foods. The existence of the store removes the need for locals to travel far to get healthy, nutritious food (the nearest Whole Foods to Wrightstown, for example, is a half an hour away, in North Wales).

OrgannonsOrgannon’s is located at 591 Durham Road, Wrightstown, PA. Visit their website or facebook page for more information.

 

Hope you’re all recovered from the four beer festivals last weekend, because you need to tap into your energy reserves to keep up with this weekend’s many harvest festivals, plus a handful of quirky wine and beer tastings.

Gone are the days of the basic wine or beer tasting. The breweries, vineyards and distilleries of Bucks County are getting creative. Some of them don’t even require that you leave your couch to join in on the fun.

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Chefs Matt Ridgway & Jean-Marie LacroixOn the restaurant scene. Chef Matt Ridgway of The Pass in Rosemont welcomes his mentor Philadelphia culinary legend, Jean-Marie Lacroix, to cook with him this Sunday, September 28 for brunch. Ridgway left The Fountain with Lacroix to serve as chef de cuisine at Lacroix at The Rittenhouse when it opened in 2002. Together they will recreate the original Brunch at Lacroix they conceived for Chef Lacroix’s namesake restaurant. The first seating is at 10 am for $40. The  second seating, at 1 pm, includes oysters on the half-shell, for $55. Call 609.961.1887 for reservations or click here.

Stockton Inn frontIf you’ve been wondering what has been going on at the Stockton Inn these past two months, here are some answers. The Inn closed for renovations in late July and plans to reopen in mid- to late-October with changes to both the menus and the Inn’s hours. When it reopens, the Inn will serve dinner Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday starting at 5:30 pm and at 4 pm on Sunday. The menu will include an À la Carte Menu as well as a Chef’s Menu, which will be a fixed-price multi-course dinner option. At this time they don’t plan to do lunch, Sunday brunch or tavern fare. Owner Mitch Millett says that he will hold back on adding Sunday brunch, “until at least next spring.”

Some of the physical changes include a new, improved approach to the main entrance and new dining furniture and table top ware. The Glass Room has also been transformed into a club room/lounge where diners can enjoy a before or after dinner drink of premium whiskeys and cognacs, such as Hennessey Paradis Imperial and Remy Martin’s Louis XIII. The Mural dining rooms and foyer have also been spruced up for the first time in years. Millett will be unveiling further changes once the Inn reopens, saying “I think it’s best to keep that a surprise other than to say the changes are significant!” [Want to read more? See our post from earlier this summer on the Stockton Inn here.]

Mojito Cuba CaribeThere’s a new restaurant at a familiar place in New Hope. Mojito Cuba Caribe opened last month at 90 S. Main Street (formerly Sandbar, 90 Main, and other incarnations). They are offering a menu full of Cuban dishes, influenced by Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisine. We haven’t been yet, but the Yelp reviews are very promising. The menu looks great.

Opening later this fall will be another new face in a familiar place. Where the former Wildflowers restaurant resided on Mechanic Street in New Hope (across from Karla’s), Nektar will open. Don’t know much yet but the New Hope Free Press got a peek at the new wine bar menu.

In the “here’s your last chance” category, sign up for a cooking class this fall at The Cooking Cottage in Sellersville because they will be closing at the end of the year. Peggi Claus and her family have taught hundreds, maybe thousands, of home cooks over the past twenty years in this quaint cottage tucked away on a back road in Upper Bucks. It is an experience not to be missed. First you watch the meal being made in the cozy kitchen, then you get to eat the meal in the even cozier dining/living room of this old cottage. It is delightful. The classes range over all cuisines and meals: A Modern Asian-Inspired Dinner Party, Italian Comfort Food, Steakhouse Style, Soup’s On, A Festive Cocktail Party, Christmas Cookies (very popular) and more. For a full list of courses, click here.

Tom & Tricia_organic certification_blooming glen farmCongrats are due to Blooming Glen Farm which is now officially USDA certified organic. Although Tom Murtha and Tricia Borneman have been following organic standards for years, this is a major accomplishment. The paperwork and time alone keeps many small family farmers from going for certification. You can find Blooming Glen Farm’s delicious produce at the Wrightstown Farmers Market on Saturdays, at the Easton Farmers Market and at the Headhouse Farmers Market in Philadelphia. Consider joining their CSA (community-supported agriculture) program too.

“You know it’s fall when…” Pumpkin ice cream is back at Uncle Dave’s Homemade Ice Cream at Shady Brook Farm in Yardley. Yum.Uncle Dave's pumpkin ice cream

Know of any tidbits I’ve missed, or questions you have about food in Bucks and nearby? Feel free to email us at info@buckscountytaste.com.

 

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