CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – According to one French proverb, “A good meal ought to begin with hunger.”
Conshohocken Restaurant Rally organizer Vince Flocco isn’t about to try one-upping the French when it comes to matters of cuisine. But Flocco would add this for food-lovers who plan to participate in Conshohocken AMBUCS’ ninth annual Restaurant Rally Sunday, May 17 from noon to 4:30 p.m.:
“You really have to pace yourself. You’re not getting a full meal at these restaurants, but when you have 20 or so offering a very generous taste, it’s a substantial amount of food by the time the day ends. People can always use the shuttle buses (provided as part of the Rally) to get from restaurant to restaurant. But, maybe, it’s best to just walk it off.”
Walk or ride, no one leaves hungry. Restaurant Rally tickets are $60, and you’d be hard-pressed to find more bang for your buck.
Jeff Koch, a biology teacher at Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences, starting keeping bees two years ago as a hobby because he is very interested in farming.
At the time, he never considered that his activity might be impacting a worldwide problem, as well as one local gardeners are also reporting — the disappearance of bees.
“Bees pollinate 80 percent of our crops,” Koch said, adding that some crops, like almonds, are pollinated only by them.
Koch’s own experience with bees illustrates one of the problems believed to be affecting the pollinators: colony collapse disorder.
Benefitting non-profits and showcasing local artists was the fair’s original goal 40 years ago and remains so today.
The 40th Olde York Street Fair sprawled over several blocks Sunday afternoon, stretching between Pine and Pershing streets east and west and King and Philadelphia streets north and south.
Pop-up stands lined the streets and they clustered around Continental Square.
Some vendors sold the typical wares: food, clothes and jewelry. But others sold unique crafts and represented local businesses
In the fall of 2008 Ron Garza, chef-proprietor of Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine on High Street in Pottstown, was scouting locations to realize his dream of opening a fine dining restaurant. Classical guitarist Russell Ferrara was, at that time, in the eighth year of disability from his lifelong music career. He was taking baby steps, post spinal surgery, to reactivate his performance activities. He had just accepted an invitation join the music faculty of the soon to be opened Steel River Playhouse.
In early 2009 Ferrara began to notice construction activity at the northwest corner of High and Penn Streets just three doors down from Steel River Playhouse. Spring brought signage which indicated that the storefront was becoming a Mexican restaurant. When work was nearly complete he walked in unannounced and began playing amidst the construction. Garza hired him on the spot and the two have remained close since. Ferrara returned to Juan Carlos on Friday nights a few weeks ago after an eight-month absence during which he was on the road with his group Lackawanna Sky featuring Native American Flute player David Rose. Lackawanna Sky broke out at the April 2014 Launch Festival in Lancaster, PA where they were signed by Spirit Wind Records. They subsequently toured in Georgia and Wisconsin, returning to PA to perform at the Kipona and Spirit of Oneness festivals in Harrisburg and in a continuing series of weekend performances in the Central Market of Lancaster. They are finishing up their first album and will return to Georgia in June. Surprisingly, Ferrara credits much of this success to his tenure at Juan Carlos.
“I was introduced to the Native American flute at Juan Carlos,” Ferrara states. “On a quiet night I noticed a woman had lingered long past dessert. She approached me asking if I could wait ten minutes until she returned. She returned with a case full of flutes, chose one, announced the key and off we went!” Within three weeks, the duo had made a demo and been accepted to perform at the 2010 International Native American Flute Association festival.” That partnership did not work out long term but the recordings circulated and came to the attention of David Rose of Elizabethtown. Ferrara again: “David contacted me in June of 2013 as I was leaving for a tour with Candace Keach, Principal Flute of the Macon Symphony. Not long after I returned David and I gave our first ever performance at Juan Carlos.”
For his part, Garza was busy during Ferrara’s absence as well. Juan Carlos was nominated in two categories of the WPHL 17 ‘Hot List’ competition. Garza brought home a win in the “Best Mexican” category as well as a second place in the “Best BYOB” category. In addition, Garza collaborated with Steve Armstrong of Armstrong Ales in East Pikeland to create the first ever Mexican-style lager brewed in Pennsylvania. Garza credits Ferrara with lending a hand in the first year the restaurant was open. “I guess we were a little green when we first opened.” Garza stated. “Russ introduced me to Anthony Bellapigna of sister restaurants Ariano and Fellini’s in Media, PA. We met with him on a night that Russ was playing at Ariano. Anthony helped me to streamline the menu. He sent one of his best managers to Juan Carlos and made lots of great suggestions. Russ has been with me since the beginning.”
The two often talk about their goals and display a genuine regard for each other’s artistry. “I’m a foody,” Ferrara states. “My father owned restaurants and cooking is my hobby. I immediately noticed the passion and creativity that Ron displays in the kitchen.” Garza’s response to that was simply, “Yes, Russ and I are the same in that way.”
Juan Carlos, 235 E High St. Pottstown is open 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. Catering is available anytime in the Wine Cellar. Ferrara holds forth every Friday night.
Cinco de Mayo may be a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. But for restaurants in York County, the holiday is a big boost to the bottom line.
El Serrano’s two locations in Springettsbury Township and Lancaster, for example, are expected to do three to four times the business they do on a typical Tuesday, said Melanie Torres, who manages the Lancaster location.
Mexitaly, a Springettsbury Township eatery whose menu features Mexican food, pizza and craft beer made on the premises, is bringing in extra help for Cinco de Mayo and ordering 20 percent more food ingredients than usual, owner Greg Skirboll said.
Every now and then there are those weekends that are jam-packed with activities. This warm and sunny weekend was just such a time. If you live in the TriCounty Area here’s what went on.
Saturday and Sunday in Memorial Park a Native American Powwow took place. There was music, dancing, food etc… Nice write up in the Mercury about it with pictures:
Saturday night was the first Nostalgia Night of the season on High Street, downtown Pottsown. The first Saturday of May, June, July, August and September you can find hundreds of classic cars downtown along with music and food. To learn more about Nostagia Nights, click here:
This weekend was the opening weekend for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” at the Steel River Playhouse in downtown Pottstown. The show continues next weekend. Click here for details and to buy tickets: http://www.steelriver.org/current-season/4438-2/
Today, Sly Fox Brewing Company held their annual Bock Fest and Goat Races in Pottstown at the site of their brewery on the Circle of Progress. Thousands of people attended. The event featured live music, food, beer and goat races. Here are some pictures from this afternoon:
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop-Up Garden has been annual warm-weather hit – what with the transformation of a vacant lot into an urban oasis, complete with beer and great food.
Why not do three of them this year?
PHS plans to set up in new spots in East Passyunk and Logan Square and to return to 1438 South St., starting the first week of June. The closing date for each beer garden is October 1.
Wawa will open its first store with interior seating in Center City Philadelphia this year, the company announced Thursday as it celebrated its 51st anniversary by giving away free coffee.
Work on the store at South Broad and Walnut Streets should begin in May and be finished in time for a Thanksgiving opening, said Lori Bruce, a Wawa spokeswoman.
Wawas in Florida and several other locations have outside seating, but not indoors.
Bruce said besides the seating the “new flagship store … will feature many new design concepts.”
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Wilkes-Barre’s 60th Fine Arts Fiesta “A Diamond in the Square” will once again bring a sense of culture and beauty to public square May 14-17.
Gary T. Womelsdorf, a board member and visual arts chairman, is busy preparing for the event’s adult and student juried art exhibitions and wants to remind artists that delivery of artwork is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at Fiesta Central, Midtown Village, 41 S. Main St. near Katana Restaurant.
Any artist living within a radius of 100 miles is eligible to compete.
Artwork can be submitted and judged in six specific categories: crafts, graphics, paintings, photography, sculpture/construction and water color.
Looking to enjoy the sunny forecast on Saturday?
Spring into Easton returns noon to 4 p.m. The free event welcomes visitors to peruse Downtown Easton’s shops. Each participating shop will be partnered with an Easton restaurant that will be offering samples.
According to a news release, 26 participating shops will also have game cards that visitors can pick up and get stamped throughout the day at each shop. A full card can be dropped off at a concierge booth in Centre Square to be eligible to win Downtown Easton Gift Cards.
Check out the participating shops and figure out where to go for your favorite restaurant’s samples.
The owners of a burned-out McDonald’s in Ephrata plan to soon begin tearing down the old restaurant and building a new one that could be open by mid-July.
The McDonald’s at 140 N. Reading Road in the Cloister Shopping center was destroyed by a fire last June.
Free-market ideology narrowly overpowered fears of the unknown Tuesday with the York City Council’s 3-2 vote to legalize and regulate food trucks on city streets.
The decision marks the end of a long and sometimes divisive debate over the financial impact roving restaurants could have on traditional brick-and-mortar establishments.
Where some saw food trucks as a potential boon for a growing downtown business landscape, others saw a potentially diluted customer base wreaking havoc on profit margins.
In the end, mobile food proponents got what they’d asked for and more.
Editor’s note: This is near Phillipsburg, NJ, right across the river from Easton, PA. Can’t go wrong with food trucks and wine ;).
Searching for food trucks?
You won’t have to go far. Alba Vineyard is hosting a Food Truck and Wine Festival later this month.
The Pohatcong Township vineyard hosted a food truck festival in November 2014, and will bring it back noon to 5 p.m. April 25-26.
Admission costs $10 for adults 21 and over, $5 for ages 13-20 and is free for children under 12. Parking is free; food prices will vary by the truck, according to a news release.
HAZLE TOWNSHIP, PA — Heroin packets were found on dough being processed on a production line at Aryzta, a commercial baker of breads and donuts, earlier this week, state police at Hazleton said.
State police in a news release said an employee checking dough on a production line to a sheet dough machine found a suspected heroin packet at about 6 p.m. Monday.
The employee notified a shift supervisor as production was stopped and inspected. Other suspected heroin packets and drug paraphernalia were found inside the dough machine, state police said.
State police said Aryzta, based in Zurich, Switzerland, stopped production on the dough machine and destroyed all the products.
Discount grocer Aldi said Friday that it will reopen 30 of the 66 former Bottom Dollar stores it took over in Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and northeast Ohio after the previous owner, the Delhaize Group, shut Bottom Dollar last year.
Five ex-Bottom Dollar stores in Philadelphia and 14 in the suburbs will reopen. Four Philadelphia stores will stay shut, along with 13 in the suburbs.
Aldi, an Illinois-based U.S. arm of Germany’s Albrecht family grocery conglomerate, said in 2013 it planned a $3 billion expansion, and Friday’s announcement is part of that effort.
Additional article about Lehigh Valley locations: