2016 – The year in review, or delicious posts you may have missed

Every year, as I prepare to do this post, I look back at all the articles we have published. And I’m always amazed and humbled. What started as “just a blog” nine years ago has evolved into a vibrant website with over half million pageviews, and over one hundred thousand visitors in the past year. Wow.

It always gives me a thrill when someone tells me how much they love the site, and how they look to it for events and information. It also pleases me greatly to be able to support our local business community.

So, this year, which were the most popular posts? Which the most interesting? Which were your favorites? Which were mine?

Where to eat

Max Hansen Carversville Grocery Store entrance

Carversville Grocery Store: Taking it to the next level. Although Max Hansen took over the Carversville General Store in 2013, he feels he finally has a great culinary team, and the place is rocking. Cozy, comfort food and gourmet items. “The quality of the food, the talent here – it’s really a hidden gem,” says Hansen. “It’s not what you’d expect in a little country store.”

Conversation with a chef: Brian Held. Brian Held, owner/chef of Brian’s in Lambertville and NoLa in Stockton has had a very busy couple of years. After opening NoLa in June 2015, he has been working to define its menu and place. Read more in our interview with Held here.

Lumberville General Store

The Lumberville General Store: Rebuilt, Restored, Recycled and Reborn. The Lumberville General Store, just across from the Black Bass Hotel, closed in January 2015 for renovations. When it finally reopened in April 2016, the result was delightful. “The goal is to keep the casual, comfortable community feel of the old General Store but offer good, healthy, and affordable food,” explains Grant Ross, general manager.

The Mansion Inn, New Hope

Royal T’s at the Mansion Inn. This year, new owners, Kris Tomasulo and Joe Grande renovated and restored the Mansion Inn—which has been in shambles for years—and launched the restaurant, Royal T’s at the Mansion, in early October 2016. The menu is eclectic and fun New American. [We’re also having our next Bucks County Taste Dinner Club event at the Mansion on Sunday, January 15, 2016. For more information, click here.]

Woof! 28 dog-friendly restaurants in Bucks & nearby. Unquestionably our most popular post this year. And why not? So many area restaurants are dog-friendly and who doesn’t want to dine with their pooch—and have everyone ooh and ahh over how cute they are?

Fastnacht at Crossroads Bakery

Fastnacht is coming! I’ve known about Fastnacht for years. It is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition involving a donut-like pastry, made on Shrove Tuesday (also known as Fat Tuesday). What could be bad about a holiday that involves fried baked goods? So this year, on a whim, I decided to do a post on where you could get fastnachts locally, including a map, Fastnacht: Plan of Action. It was a big hit. Fat Tuesday 2017 will be Tuesday, February 28.

Who’s your farmer?

One of the reasons we have such good restaurants in this area is because we have such good farms. The Delaware River Valley (Bucks, Hunterdon, Mercer counties) has seen a dramatic increase in small farms producing exceptional foodstuffs. The past ten years—the last five in particular—has seen a large influx of young educated farmers in Bucks County. They are passionate about growing healthy, fresh food using sustainable and organic practices.

This year we began a series of articles, interviewing some of these hard-working farmers.

Meet Your Farmer: Amber Parise, Rising Hill Farm. Amber Parise has always had her hands in the soil. So it was natural for her to start her own small Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Ottsville. “When I was 19 I told people I wanted to be a farmer and they would make a face,” Parise recalls. “Now, not so much.”

 

Meet Your farmer: Malaika Spencer, Roots to River Farm. “I find that people are pretty surprised when they meet me and I say that I’m a farmer,” explains Malaika Spencer. “I’m a young woman and that doesn’t really fit the mold.” Spencer began Roots to River Farm in Solebury in January 2013, using only organic farming practices. She sells her produce through a community supported agriculture (CSA) business and at farmers markets in Bucks County and New York City. Just recently, she took over the management of Gravity Hill Farm in Titusville, NJ.

 

 

Cherry Grove Farm cheese

Local cheesemakers. One of my passions is cheese. We are fortunate to live in an area and a time where artisanal cheesemaking is booming. Check out our food guide on where to find great cheese in Bucks and nearby.

Where do I find…?

Beer Map. Microbreweries seem to be opening every other week in Bucks County. It’s hard to keep up! Here’s a map of breweries, brewpubs, and beer distributors with a great selection of microbrews.

Beer tasting

BYOB Bucks CountyBYOB Map. Got a bottle? Here’s where you can bring it and enjoy a great meal in Bucks and nearby. A very comprehensive list of BYOB restaurants!

 

All time favorites

Things You Gotta Do in Bucks This Weekend. Every Thursday we publish a list of fun, food-related events for the coming weekend. Make sure you “tune in” every Thursday as we tell you our picks for foodie events for the coming weekend. Sign up for our email newsletter to get it delivered to your inbox every Thursday afternoon.

Once again, our post listing all the local breakfast restaurants, Breakfast in Bucks, tops the charts. Looking for a new breakfast place? Coming to Bucks County for the weekend? Check out where to get your pancakes, local bacon, scrapple, eggs Benedict and more.

breakfast_charcoal byob

You might also be interested in Let’s meet for breakfast, which covers the best restaurants to meet for a business breakfast in Bucks County and nearby. We also updated the post, Lunch in Bucks. Did we miss your favorite place? Email us with the information — and why you love the place —and we’ll add it.

Blooming Glen Pork in case

Where’s the meat?

We have a lot of good meat here in Bucks County. Farmers who raise animals on pasture, old-fashioned butchers, Amish markets and more. Our post, Where’s the beef? And pork, and lamb, and chicken… gets thousands of views every year and we updated it in 2016.

If you like that post, check out Fall Foodie Road Trip #2: Meat Alley. Bring a cooler and take a few hours buying some of the best meat and poultry in Bucks County. It’s winter. Be prepared. You don’t want to get snowed in without a 3 lb. roast in the freezer.

View from Centre Bridge Inn

Another perennial favorite is 11 Great Waterside Restaurants (including 6 that Zagat missed). Do we really have this many wonderful places to eat and drink by our beautiful Delaware River? Yepper. One Facebook reader moaned, “Why have I not heard of these places? I have to go!” It’s a little chilly for it now, but bookmark this post for the summer.

Hot Toddy a la Sarah

Cough, cough, sniffle. Got a nasty cold? Here is an inspired and practical antidote for the kind of cold that makes you hate life. Follow the recipe in The best cough medicine you’ll ever have. It is a hot toddy to perfection and it works. With over 2,600 views, we’ve hopefully helped a lot of people feel better. Just in time for cold and flu season!

What was your favorite Bucks County Taste article in 2016? Drop us a line at info@BucksCountyTaste.com or leave a comment below.

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