It’s spring in Bucks County and even though we had a tough winter, local produce is starting to show up at area restaurants and farmers markets.

Ramps; photo by Bob Batz, Jr.If you’re lucky, you’ll be seeing ramps and stinging nettles on menus. Ramps are a type of spring onion with a strong garlic odor that only grows in the wild (also called wild leeks). You can find them at farmers markets now too. They are used in any dish you might use scallions or leeks: soups, salads, casseroles, eggs and even batter dipped and deep-fried. Stinging nettles are similar to spinach and cucumber when cooked and [are] rich in vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium.

Two restaurants that I know will have ramps on the menu are the Yardley Inn and the Karlton Cafe in Quakertown, but I’m sure you will see them at other restaurants too. A few years ago, chef Eben Copple at the Yardley Inn contributed a post to Bucks County Taste about his foraging for ramps and other wild goodies this time of year. Read it here.

Hamiltons Grill Room_Robert BeckHamilton’s Grill Room in Lambertville is now serving lunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. I’m picturing sitting outside in the dappled sunlight of Hamilton’s courtyard, with a cool glass of white wine and a warm breeze drifting by. Meet you there?

At the Jamison Publick House, chef Stephen Yeager and his staff are rolling out their new spring menu this weekend. The cozy, historic inn serves everything from interesting appetizers—like Crimini Mushroom Arancini, and Arugula Mascarpone and Bacon Dip—to filling sandwiches, light salads and creative main dishes like Braised Australian Lamb Shank. The former hotel is situated in pretty Pennsburg, not far from Quakertown. The patio is now open for lunch and dinner.

Cornbread pancakes at Hickory Kitchen_editIf you are a fan of Hickory Kitchen in Doylestown, then you already know how good their cornbread is. How about cornbread pancakes? It is as good as it sounds and then some. Hickory Kitchen is now open for weekend breakfast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9 am to 11:30 am. I recommend the Texas Breakfast Wrap—two eggs, pulled pork, BBQ sauce, tomato, onion and Monterey Jack cheese. You can also get all the usual breakfast dishes but in addition to a choice of sausage or bacon, you can get pulled pork, pulled chicken, brisket or turkey. Breakfast + barbecue—it’s the best of all possible worlds. See their breakfast menu here.

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