Monday, July 18, 2016

The Goat's Beard

103 North Wayne Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
(484) 584-4979

Wayne is not somewhere I often find myself, so when I was out that way recently, I decided to try a bar I was told about. The Goat's Beard holds down a cool disjointed corner lot. The inside is upscale(ish) and the outside lends itself to some pretty good people watching.

There is a great beer list, and some nice cocktails. I decided to try both (don't judge me).

The wings were labeled as "buttermilk fried with a 24 hour brine." But they seemed to have changed that up. I was told they were baked off first, and then fried to make them super crispy. Sounded exciting, but also nothing like the printed piece suggested.

The reality is that they were not as crispy as I had hoped. The skin was soft, and though somewhat rendered, there was little crunch to these things. The pickled vegetables were a nice change of pace, however, and I enjoyed them even more than the wings themselves.

I am not a fan of wings that are hairy (due to obvious reasons) and these were among the hairiest I have seen in a while. See below.

The pork and kimchi fries were my other snack on this trip, and a complete reversal of the wings debacle. The fries were perfectly cooked, and smothered with an addictive garlic aioli, bright kimchi, and unctuous pulled pork.

The portion size was perfect, and I could not get enough of the pork swirled with garlic sauce and bites of kimchi. It was a great bar snack.

Check out the crispy bits of pock hidden around the bowl. Fantastic.

All in all, the wings are a definite pass, but this bowl of fries might have me stopping by again, should I ever find myself in Wayne proper. I mean, likely not. But if you're there, go grab a drink and give any one of their fry options a try for me.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Square Bar

250 E Chestnut Street
West Chester, PA 19380
(610) 696-9825

West Chester is a college town, which generally doesn't equate to to great food. But West Chester is also an exception, with some genuinely delicious cheap eats. Square Bar is a hidden gem of a drinkery, but they also offer a surprisingly good cheesesteak.

The bar itself is a huge wrap around, which leads to many conversations with strangers, a sure sign of good times.

I decided to skip the wings this time, because I saw someone eating a cheesesteak. Believe me, it had nothing to do with the "sweat" teriyaki flavored "souce." I'll be back sooner than later to give you a full report there...

Boy, was I glad that I went this route. The meat was very finely chopped (big fan), and the serving was hearty. Extra cheese and fried onions were all this needed, and I preemptively knew that. I usually always order that way.

The gooey cheese punctuated the well seasoned meat, with the soft roll soaking up all of the grease. It was close to perfection. Yes, I did just say that. Nearing cheesesteak perfection. Nowhere near downtown Philadelphia.

Not even an inkling of chewy gristle stuff in there.

And just look at that perfect ratio of meat to cheese to onion to roll.

They use Amoroso's rolls, which do the job just right. You may know that I have a soft spot for Liscio's above all others, but I will give the former a pass here because whoever's in the kitchen here knows what they're doing.

Cheap drinks, good people, and an amazing interior might just make the Square Bar my new spot.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Flying Deutschman

Food Truck
Media, PA
(610) 333-7908

2SP is a new-ish DelCo brewery complete with a canning line and they have gotten quite a bit of publicity recently. They focus on beer, and typically have a different food truck serving hungry drinkers on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I have been wanted to try the Flying Deutschman for quite a while, after seeing it zipping by on the highway many a time, and it JUST HAPPENED to be at a brewery, so I decided to take one for the team and go drink some beer and eat. Selfless, as usual.

The truck is painted like a ship, and is quite cool. They offer a variety of specials mixed with standard menu items, of a German variety. There is a tablet for paying, so you don't need cash. Always a big plus in the old PP book.

You can get a couple types of schnitzel and wurst, and all can be served sandwich style. This means put on a roll for those with comprehension issues.

The truck has a nice clean work space. You can see the ordering tablet in the below shot.

I tried the currywurst sandwich, the jaeger schnitzel with mushroom sauce, and a side of cucumber salad.

I loved the currywurst. The curry sauce was packed with flavor, the wurst was juicy and had a great snap to the casing. I like the toast marks on the roll. My complaint is on the price. The sandwich was $8 I believe, but the side of cucumber salad was a whooping $5. It was a small portion for the money. I DO believe that this is some extremely fresh, homemade German-style food, on par or better than most any German restaurant in the area. So it does even out. But be warned, this isn't a cheap food truck meal.

I could have easily eaten two of these delectable sandwiches.

The jaeger schnitzel was another winner, with a thin, well fried and seasoned cutlet smothered in mushroom gravy. You can see the black pepper flakes speckled throughout the creamy sauce below. It was served with a roll, which coincidentally made quite the sauce mop for anything left behind.

The thin cutlet was was easily sliced with a plastic knife, and the seasoned crispy breading soaked up the indulgent creamy sauce. It was a great schnitzel, even though white sauces tend to be not very photogenic.

And the beer at 2SP was not bad at all either. I will be back and even if it's not the Flying Deutschman, I'll be happy to give another contender a try.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Wok Street

1518 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 693-3010

I was invited to visit Wok Street recently to see what they have to offer. It is the same folks as Hai Street (which makes the sushi burritos I love), so I figured it would be a good meal and well worth my time. Tucked behind the tree here on Chestnut, next to the venerable Popeye's, you find Wok Street.

They specialize in Southeast Asian-style street food.

The interior had the industrial loft thing going on – nice and roomy with that city living feel.

It looked like a hip Chipotle (I can't help but use my old fave as the bar for comparison with all fancy-ish fast-ish food joints). But there was tons of counter space and for being so deep, the dining area was well lit.

As fast/fresh casual restaurant frequenters will recognize, you pick your option, soup, bowl, or sandwich, and work your way down the line customizing your order. If you prefer, you can go with the established favorites as an alternative.

I went with the staff favorites, chicken banh mi and the pickled peanut pork bowl. On the side, I was told to try the tofu cheesecake and the ginger lemonade, so I didn't deny those extras.

The pork bowl had white rice, brussel sprouts, braised pork, peanut sauce, pickled red onion, scallion, cilantro, and roasted peanuts.

The tart and tender pork was perfectly braised, and melted when picked up with chop sticks, or pushed around to scoop up some of its compatriots. It was a filling and quite delicious bowl, with a variety of flavors and textures to keep you interested. I would eat a lot of lunches here.

The chicken banh was small but well done, with teriyaki chicken (a total guilty pleasure of mine), hoisin mayo, cucumber, jalapeƱo, pickled red onion, and cilantro. Ask for extra mayo on the side, and add some chili sauce if you want to spice things up. At less than $7, this was a great quick meal, and the portion size will keep you honest. Enough to be full, but they certainly won't be rolling you out of there.

All of the veggies were fresh and crunchy, and I loved the pickled red onions.

A surprise was the tofu cheesecake. Thankfully it was served in a small container, not because it wasn't delicious, but because I was so full. I was pretty shocked with this tofu-based dessert being so delicious, it had a sour and sweet play going on that was addicting. I would definitely recommend checking out this local "Chiptole of Asian" for a quick and cheap lunch or dinner, especially if you are craving something fresh and healthy-ish.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Gleason's Place

1973 Clayton Williamstown Rd
Franklinville, NJ
(856) 629-7470

Gleason's Place is one of those bars you might be planning to visit for the first time, but when you near your destination, you continue on out of fear. But in this case, I urge you to not judge the book by its cover. I hadn't been there in a year or so, but like to stop by on my way to the shore (backroads). They have great wings, and good drink specials. Don't let the exterior fool you, this place is staffed by great people, and the regulars are mostly friendly.

They actually have an expansive menu, and they offer little known favorites like hoagie dip, and stuffed long hots.

The wings are the main draw, and I settled into some "Gleason's Sauce" style pretty quickly. The sauce is a buffalo sauce that has oregano and some other spices in it, for a unique and delicious twist on the original.

They were well rendered, and plenty tender. I was licking the sauce off of the plate. It was like they took a dry rub mix and threw it right into the sauce, best of both worlds.

Crispy skin is what good wings are all about, and these did not disappoint.

Even though I was stopping for a light lunch, I also tried the loaded tots. This platter is ridiculous. It's tots for ten, or at least four. The tots were fried hard and smothered in cheese sauce, sour cream, nacho cheese, and bacon. Not for those on a diet.

I could not even get close to eating this whole platter. However, I did my damnedest.

It was dead while I was there, but it WAS a holiday weekend on an early Friday. Still – shuffleboard, pool, lots of tvs and large portions of great fried food. If you go, don't sleep on the cheesesteak. Also, they have some ridiculous lunch specials like $3 sandwiches, just depends what day you are there.