April tidbits: Empanada Day, the Stockton Inn & cupcakes

Empanada mama_buffalo chicken
Empanada Mama is one of the many Doylestown restaurants participating

A day just for empanadas. According to food.com, “Every day is a food holiday,” and you can find them all on their site, although some are a bit silly (“National Chocolate Cashew Truffle Day?”)

National Empanada Day_Empanada Mama

But when I heard that Wednesday, April 8, 2015 is National Empanada Day, my thoughts went immediately to Kendall Bajek, the mama of Empanada Mama in Doylestown. I emailed her to ask if she was doing anything special to mark the day honoring this tasty pastry. “OHHHHH YESSSS MAMACITA!,” was the response I got. “We are going to be selling full dozen boxes for $30 instead of $35 and we are going to have a MASSIVE menu lined up.” So do not delay, in fact, get your orders in early. And Empanada Mama, tucked away in the area behind Bobby Simone’s and the County Theater, will even bring your order curbside so you don’t have to park. To learn more about Empanada Mama, see our post here. Empanada Mama is at 21 Donaldson Street in Doylestown.

Stockton InnThe Stockton Inn is back! Everyone has been curious. What has been going on at the Stockton Inn since it mysteriously closed last July? A major restoration and refocusing, it would appear. The 305-year old Inn has undergone a complete physical overhaul including new roofs, new electric service, new furniture and kitchen equipment, upgrades to the dining rooms and The Dog & Deer Tavern (which got its operating license in 1796), a heated patio, and even extensive restorations to the Inn’s historic murals.

Owner Mitch Millet has made a bold choice: restore the Inn physically and bring it back to being a fine dining destination only (no more banquets and weddings). Executive Chef Alan Heckman, most recently of the Washington Crossing Inn, is a big part of this remaking, as he focuses the menu on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and creates “colonial inspired cuisine,” including plenty of seafood and one pot dishes — the types of proteins and produce which the colonists may have enjoyed. The restaurant has only 20 tables (in the warmer months the garden patio will reopen) and is now open for dinner five nights a week (Wednesday-Sunday). Click here to review the new spring menu and here to learn about the Stockton Inn’s new wine, craft beer and cocktail program. The Stockton Inn is at the intersection of Route 29 and Bridge Street in Stockton, NJ.

cupcakes_Lucky Cupcake Co

Goodbye and hello! Although Town Crier Bakery has moved out of its digs in Peddler’s Village (they’ve moved to Willow Grove here), the Lucky Cupcake Company has opened their second store in the same space. You may already know Joanne Jarin and her luscious cupcakes from the store she opened in Pipersville in the spring of 2010. Now you can indulge in Lahaska too. The store opened on April 3 and carries more than just little cupcakes. You’ll find pastries in the morning, custom-made cakes, big cupcakes, little cupcakes and, even, cake cups (really). The bakery is store #29 in Peddler’s Village in Lahaska.

The PassSpeaking of goodbyes, The Pass, in Rosemont, has announced that it is closing on April 25. Chef Matt Ridgway has given us so many wonderful meals that we are very sad to see him go. He is off to pursue an opportunity in another city and we wish him the best…but we’re really bummed!

It’s spring, it really is! And that means a lot of area restaurants that focus on sourcing their ingredients locally are unveiling new spring menus. HeartH is the first that got my attention. The New Hope restaurant offers a wide range of sustainably sourced and organic ingredients. On the new spring menu you’ll find beet carpaccio with arugula and orange mint vinaigrette, a pan seared, sushi grade Ahi with wasabi-avocado crème, served on spicy soba noodles with bok choy, and  Thai Primavera over jasmine rice. HeartH is at 7 East Ferry Street (at Main Street) in New Hope.

Farm news. A big welcome to Rising Hill Farm, the newest community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm in Bucks County. Jesse Bilger and Amber Parise are growing vegetables, herbs and flowers using sustainable farming methods, as well as raising chickens and ducks for eggs. You can join their CSA here, or find them on Saturdays from June through October at the Plumsteadville Grange Farmer’s Market. The farm is at 14 Dogwood Lane in Ottsville.

Hershberger hens on pasture_photo credit Lynne GoldmanWe wrote about the new poultry farm, Hershberger Heritage Farm, in July 2014. The farm, raising chickens for both eggs and meat, has now moved to Sellersville from Chalfont. According to their Facebook post, it’s a larger property and they will be able to have their own store front in May. Congratulations! You can still buy their eggs and chickens at the Doylestown Food Co-op and Kimberton Whole Foods in Ottsville. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates or visit their website.

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  1. Goodbye, too, to the fabulous Pass in nearby Rosemont (NJ). Chef and owner Matt Ridgway just announced that he’s closing on 4/25 to pursue an opportunity “in another city” (not that Rosemont is a city, to any stretch of our imaginations). We’ll miss his innovative dishes and the attentive service at The Pass.

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