The Lancaster Food Scene, ‘Totally Happening’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LANCASTER, PA – Amish buggies and all-you-can-eat buffets. Those are the images that have long defined Lancaster County for most outsiders – with the added bonus of outlet shopping.

And there is ample truth to feed the cliches along the tourist honky-tonk of Lincoln Highway, where faux windmills spin over signs touting shoofly pies, and seniors come by the busload to gorge on bargain smorgasbords of brown-buttered noodles, gloppy gravy platters, and dry roast chicken.

But there’s another, far more sophisticated food culture finally sprouting through Lancaster’s famously fertile earth. From the Italian red corn and fraises des bois strawberries blossoming on Tom Culton’s farm of rare heirloom wonders in Silver Spring, to the whole-animal cookery at John J. Jeffries restaurant, a thriving beer culture, a bustling historic Central Market, and a growing downtown scene of food artisans, there is a palpable new excitement here when it comes to the pleasures of the table, and the drinks beyond.

“Lancaster is totally happening now,” says Andrew Martin, who in December opened a rye distillery called Thistle Finch in a rehabbed old tobacco warehouse. Set back on an obscure downtown side street, and marked only by a black-painted bird on the building’s exterior, a speakeasy-style bar open three nights a week pours cocktails with the spicy but smooth white liquor made just feet away in Martin’s handmade copper still.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/food/20140424_LANCASTER___TOTALLY_HAPPENING_.html#U7t2kvepWf8Xyclv.99

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Awesome News Alert: Spruce Street Harbor Park To Pop Up On The Delaware River Waterfront This Summer With A Floating Restaurant, Hammock Lounge, Urban Beach And More

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seriously stupendous news today, Philadelphia. This June, the Delaware River Waterfront will morph into Spruce Street Harbor Park, taking the perennial good times of summer on Penn’s Landing — outdoor concerts, movies, fireworks — to a whole new level.

From Friday, June 27 through Sunday, August 31, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation — the folks that brought us this past winter’s Waterfront Winterfest at the Blue Cross RiverRink — transforms the Penn’s Landing Marina at Columbus Boulevard and Spruce Street into a pop-up summertime village.

Penn’s Landing has long been an awesome hub of good times in the summer months, with annual programming like the PECO multicultural festival series, concerts at the RiverStage, Screenings Under the Stars and Smooth Jazz Summer Nights.

Read more: http://www.uwishunu.com/2014/04/awesome-news-alert-spruce-street-harbor-park-to-pop-up-on-the-delaware-river-waterfront-this-summer-with-a-floating-restaurant-hammock-lounge-urban-beach-and-more/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=VisitPhillyFacebook&utm_content=Social

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Pottstown Mini-Mart Approvals Raise Healthy Food Questions

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — Earlier this month, two new food retail shops were approved by borough council.

During the conditional use hearings that preceded their approval, the usual menu of concerns were aired by neighbors — parking, hours of operation — but another was raised as well.

Questions were raised about the healthiness of the food the shops would serve.

The first business on which council heard testimony will be called Goldie’s Corner, located at 451 N. Charlotte St. in the space most recently occupied by the Milkman Lunch Co. before that shop moved to High Street.

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140418/pottstown-mini-mart-approvals-raise-healthy-food-questions

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Easter Brunch at the Musikfest Cafe: 4/20

Start a tradition and join us for Easter brunch at the Musikfest Cafe presented by Yuengling!

Showcasing a delicious buffet of breakfast and lunch options, our brunch also features a special guest – The Easter Bunny will be greeting guests at the beginning of each seating! Oh yeah, there’s also musical entertainment by Tony Gairo!

Two Seatings: 10am and 12:30pm | View the menu

Call 610-332-3378 for reservations!

Stay for the PEEPS® Hunt in the afternoon!

Bring the kids to search for Just Born PEEPS® Chicks and enjoy a visit from the Easter Bunny! It’s free!

Ages 3 and under: 1:00pm
Ages 4-7: 1:30pm
Ages 8 and older: 2:00pm

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“Come To The Fair!” – Annual Colonial May Fair At Pottsgrove Manor

2013 map polePottstown, PA – Celebrate spring at the Annual Colonial May Fair held at historic Pottsgrove Manor on Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 11:00am to 5:00pm.

This yearly event is a fun-filled day with activities for all ages including games, music, dancing, and crafts. Tucker’s Tales Puppet Theatre will present interactive puppet shows and will also provide festive historic music around the grounds during the event. Signora Bella will delight audiences with her acrobatic feats. Colonial conjurer Levram the Great will perform historically-themed magic shows and entertain visitors with pocket magic tricks throughout the day. Members of the Tapestry Historic Dance Ensemble will demonstrate authentic English country dances and will lead visitors in dances around the maypole to open and close the fair.

In addition to the entertainment, a variety of early American crafters and demonstrators will be on hand to display historic skills and trades and sell their wares. Young visitors can compete in hoop races, play with colonial toys and games, help churn butter, and more! The first floor of colonial ironmaster John Potts’ 1752 manor house will be open for self-guided tours during the fair. Open-hearth cooking will be demonstrated in the Pottsgrove Manor kitchen. While visitors can’t try the food cooked in the colonial kitchen, they will be able to purchase food during the event. MMG Concessions will offer burgers, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, sausage, sandwiches, fries, hand-rolled pretzels, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and more. Visitors can also shop at the manor’s museum shop for colonial games, books, and unique gifts.

This year’s fair coincides with the first-ever “Pow-Wow on Manatawny Creek,” celebrating the culture and traditions of the Lenni-Lenape Indians. The pow-wow will be taking place during the hours of May Fair and will be held at Memorial Park, less than a block from the Manor. The public is encouraged to visit both events for an experience that spans time periods and cultures!

For a schedule of the day’s activities and a list of vendors and craftspeople who will be at the fair, please visit http://www.montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1421.

A donation of $2.00 per person is suggested for this event. Visitors are asked to park at the Carousel at Pottstown building, 30 West King Street. There is no charge for parking, and Pottstown’s restored trolley will be giving free rides during the fair between the carousel parking lot, Memorial Park, and Pottsgrove Manor. Handicapped parking is available in the museum’s parking lot.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department. For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor.

Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

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Pittsburgh Is Home To The Best Cake In America, Says HuffPost

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We here at Pittsburgh Magazine are not so different from Jay-Z. We’re also all about the cake (cake, cake, cake cake). So we’ve been trumpeting the deliciousness of Prantl’s Bakery to anyone who would listen (that would be you, dear reader) for years. Thankfully, the nice folks over at the all-consuming digital media behemoth The Huffington Post have taken notice, too.

HuffPo’s Taste blog has named Prantl’s burnt almond torte The Best Cake America Has Ever Made. That’s a bold proclamation, made bolder still by the author outright trolling the inevitable New York City comment section mumblywumps right in the lead paragraph.

Read more: http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/The-412/April-2014/HuffPost-Taste-Praises-Prantls-for-Having-the-Best-Cake-America-Has-Ever-Made/

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Bucks Entrepreneur’s Raw Foods Flying Off The Shelves

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bucks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bucks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With annual sales of his raw-foods snacks closing in on $20 million and investment experts suggesting that could rise to at least $100 million in the not-too-distant future, Doylestown-based organi-preneur Brad Gruno’s lesson is indisputable:

Mothers have been on to something all along with their “Eat your vegetables!” harping.

Gruno was smart enough to build a business off it – one that started in 2009 with a sales table at a Bucks County farmers’ market and now has shelf space in major markets such as Whole Foods and Wegmans and many specialty grocers.

His Brad’s Raw Foods product line has expanded from raw tortilla chips made of a dehydrated mixture of fresh vegetables, flaxseed, and buckwheat groats to include seasoned sprouted seeds, dried onion rings, and what is now responsible for 70 percent of sales: six flavors of crunchy kale.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/small_business/20140414_Bucks_entrepreneur_s_raw_foods_flying_off_the_shelves.html#CZoDDDCY6dGf0bOx.99

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Beef Prices Reach Highest Level Since 1987

English: Australian Brangus steer

English: Australian Brangus steer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners – and relief isn’t likely anytime soon.

A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.

Everything that’s produced is being consumed, said Kevin Good, an analyst at CattleFax, a Colorado-based information group. And prices likely will stay high for a couple of years as cattle producers start to rebuild their herds amid big questions about whether the Southwest and parts of the Midwest will see enough rain to replenish pastures.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140412_ap_47ea27a0b2244eaea2cabae2a074edb6.html#1ZmJqCrp08y35k34.99

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Subway: ‘Yoga Mat Chemical’ Almost Out Of Bread

English: Chemical structure of azodicarbonamide

English: Chemical structure of azodicarbonamide (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — Subway says an ingredient dubbed the “yoga mat chemical” will be entirely phased out of its bread by next week.

The disclosure comes as Subway has suffered from an onslaught of bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient.

The ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner. It can be found in a wide variety of products, including those served at McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks and breads sold in supermarkets. But its long, unfamiliar name has an unappetizing ring, and the petition became a flashpoint in part by noting that the chemical is also used to make yoga mats.

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Fresh, Local Food Making A Comeback At Central Market York

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Central Market York was designed to fit the crop cycle of local farmers.

One day they’d harvest, and the next day they’d display their fresh produce for market patrons, hungry for the local items.

Over the years, Central Market York added other vendors, and the fresh produce was no longer the main attraction.

But now, more people are asking for the farmers who once defined the market with fresh and local food, said Cindy Steele, COO of Central Market York.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25447848/fresh-local-food-making-comeback-at-central-market

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Developers Hope To Attract Grocery Store To Former Bethlehem Steel Site

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Developers are seeking to attract a grocery store to the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. site on Bethlehem’s South Side.

Former Mayor John Callahan, now director of development for one of the site landowners, said Thursday that they’re looking to get a grocery store into the former Steel General Office building, or in a new building planned across East Third Street from the former Steel headquarters.

“I certainly have heard about the idea of putting a grocery store in part of the SGO project and I also believe that potential use would be a good fit for across the street,” said Callahan, who now works for attorney Michael Perrucci, part owner of Steel site co-owner BethWorks Now. “I think there’s only a need for one and it’s just a matter of trying to figure out where best to put it.”

At an unrelated news conference Thursday, ArtsQuest officials displayed a map that showed a future grocery store planned along with apartments and parking at the 13-story Steel General Office building. ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks said he got approval from Sands BethWorks officials to include the plans on the map.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/03/developers_seeking_to_attract.html

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McDonald’s Offers Free Coffee For Breakfasters

Logo of McCafé (McDonald's).

Logo of McCafé (McDonald’s). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald’s is offering free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain announced Friday that participating U.S. locations will offer small cups of McCafe coffee at no charge during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13.

McDonald’s said that this is the first time it’s ever had a free coffee event nationwide. Its McCafe product line, which also includes iced coffees and other drinks, debuted in the U.S. in 2009.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140328_ap_1b9a662a7c944ed3b68c30a4a37c9644.html#zKZw22x0Fl9EoVrC.99

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Lancaster City Restaurant Week: Starts Monday, Check Out The Offerings

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lancaster City Restaurant Week begins Monday and customers will have a variety of restaurants and price packages from which to choose.

Participating restaurants vary from casual to upscale to a pop-up event at Commonwealth on Queen.

Miesse Candies will also be represented as POUR, Character’s Pub and The Pressroom Restaurant will all be incorporating the chocolatier’s products into their Restaurant Week offerings.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lifestyle/lancaster-city-restaurant-week-starts-monday-check-out-the-offerings/article_1674afb0-b129-11e3-9f44-001a4bcf6878.html

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Acme Parent Company Buys Safeway for $9 Billion

Acme Markets’ corporate parent, the Albertsons grocery-store chain, on Thursday purchased Safeway Inc., for about $9 billion.

Albertsons is controlled by an investor group led by Cerberus, a New York-based private-equity firm. Other investors included Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners, Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty L.P., and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

With the purchase of Safeway, the group will now control about 2,400 grocery stores, making it one of the largest chains in the country.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140307_Acme_parent_company_buys_Albertsons_for__9B.html#yfZ07Jksrr6jsbWd.99

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ANNUAL POTTSTOWN FAMILY FEST TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Annual Pottstown Family Fest will be held on Wednesday, March 12, from 5-7 p.m. at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 North Washington Street, Pottstown.

This free family-focused event will feature information/resources from more than 30 area organizations, activities for the entire family, roving entertainment, mini sandwiches, drinks, Rita’s water ice, and a variety of door prizes.

Informational booths will be open from 5-7 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded at 7 p.m. (must be present to win). Children must be accompanied by an adult.

“Family Fest was developed to enhance, celebrate and explore family dynamics, development, growth, and unity,” said Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center. “This year’s theme, Stay Healthy, Play More, focuses on buying local and encourages families to find volunteer opportunities they care about so they can ultimately give back to their community.”

This annual event is sponsored by Family Services/Pottstown Family Center, Pottstown Parks & Recreation, and the Pottstown School District with funding support from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.

For more information on Family Fest, please contact Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center, at 610-326-1610 ext. 347 or jbrown@fsmontco.org.

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Tastykake Looking Fresh At 100

As an independent company, Tasty Baking Co. didn’t quite make it to Tuesday’s 100th anniversary, selling out to Flowers Foods Inc. in 2011 for $141 million to avoid bankruptcy.

But nearly three years after the rescue, the Tastykake brand – which drips nostalgia in the Philadelphia region, but had failed to break through nationally – has renewed strength.

The Flowers bailout has given workers at Tasty’s bakery in South Philadelphia and delivery-route owners throughout the Mid-Atlantic the chance to celebrate the brand’s centennial.

“Couldn’t be better,” is how Dom Rosa, who has owned a Tastykake delivery route in South Jersey since 2000, described life under Flowers Foods.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140225_Taskykake_looking_fresh_at_100.html#qDDZokmzwt3ebC40.99

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MCCC Culinary Students Learn Revolutionary Era Baking For Presidents’ Day Event

WashingtonValley Forge, Pa.— Pastry Arts students from the Culinary Arts Institute (CAI) at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) got an historical lesson in baking as they partnered with Valley Forge National Historical Park to celebrate the 282nd birthday of first U.S. President George Washington on Feb. 17.

The CAI was tapped to recreate Martha Washington’s cake recipe, which 25 students, under the guidance of adjunct instructor and Chef Julia Quay, used to create one large birthday cake and 500 patriotically-decorated cupcakes for hundreds of children and families in attendance.

The Park’s annual Presidents’ Day celebration also included arts and crafts, singing, dancing and a formal cake-cutting ceremony by General Washington himself.

The creation of Washington’s birthday cake is one of MCCC’s “50 Acts of Kindness” as part of the College’s 50th anniversary celebration. Throughout 2014, MCCC students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters are committed organizing 50 acts of community service – one for every year of the College’s existence. To learn more at the College’s 50th anniversary activities, visit mc3.edu/50.

To learn more about the Culinary Arts Institute at Montgomery County Community College, visit mc3.edu/culinary, or stop by the CAI’s spring open house, 1400 Forty Foot Road, Lansdale, on April 26 from 10 a.m.-noon.

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 PHOTO: General George Washington prepares to cut his birthday cake, which was prepared by students from the Culinary Arts Institute at Montgomery County Community College. He is joined by CAI student and faculty representatives, as well as by his wife, Martha, on Feb. 17 at Valley Forge National Historical Park. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

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