One of the challenges of doing this blog is that we sometimes have to overcome our biases.
I’ve lived in Central Bucks for nearly twenty years now, Mark only six years, but he lived across the river for twenty years too. New Hope has become in our minds that place where tourists go, with a few exceptions – Martine’s, Marsha Brown and a few others. But, hey, we can’t afford to be snobs now, not with Bucks County Taste going. It’s just not right.
So. A new BBQ place opened last week in New Hope, Bitter Bob’s. This demanded our attention, of course. We stopped by for a late dinner. They’ve got a lovely seating area outside but I wanted more warmth, much to Mark’s dismay. Inside, the warmth was everywhere in the cozy room, walls colored in earth tones and a friendly, attentive staff.
I ordered the sampler platter ($10.95) and Mark went for the ribs platter ($12.95). Neither disappointed. I enjoyed my beef brisket, pulled pork and ribs (I asked them to skip the chicken and give me a bit more of the other meats; no problem) which came with sides of a piquant slow-cooked BBQ bean melange and mac and cheese. Mark devoured his half-rack of ribs happily. Two types of sauce – North Carolina vinegar-y and Texas – were offered, both on the side. That’s the way I like it. I’m always suspicious of a BBQ place that slathers sauce on the meat before it gets to the table. What are they hiding? Let the meat speak for itself, I say. Cornbread – a little dry but sweet and good-tasting – came with the platters. Bitter Bob’s is also on Facebook where you can view their take-out menu.
Strolling back to the car we discussed whether to stop for a night cap. As we passed Marcella’s something caught my eye. More warmth. Colors defused by the windows. “Hey, they have a bar. I thought Marcella’s was BYOB,” I said to Mark. (Shows you how little time we spend in New Hope.) So, once again, thinking only of our responsibility to our readership (ahem) we strolled right into Marcella’s.
Wow. Cozy, warm (again), and nice people. Enter Kitty. Where have you been all my life? Kitty has been tending bar for nearly twenty years in this area, doing stints at The Stockton Inn, among others. She’s the kind of bartender who has a following. She and her partner host a huge party once a year for their friends/patrons (one and the same in many cases). Then there was Michael and Lawrence, a couple sitting to our left. Within minutes, we were shaking hands and introducing each other, swapping food stories and making connections. Turns out we all have mutual friends. And Kitty hangs out at the Pineville Tavern on Monday nights and harasses Sue, our favorite bartender at the Pineville, as well. Small world.
Kitty also pours an impressive martini. Michael and Lawrence are regulars at Marcella’s and told us that they have a new chef who is turning out some great dishes. We’ll have to come back soon.
So much for old prejudices! We’ve found a few more places in New Hope we like. I’m sure there are more.
UPDATE June 25, 2010: Due to some not-so-nice management behavior at Marcella’s, Kitty has moved to The Centre Bridge Inn. Find her pouring there on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, along with an innovative and delicious Tavern menu.