Thursday, July 23, 2009

South Side Restaurants and local blogs

The Express-Times scooped the Call last week when they posted this informative story about South Side Bethlehem Restaurants.

I loved the idea of a real diner in walking distance of Loopers, MacGrady's, Tally Ho, Starter's Riverport and Lehigh Pub! But now Lucky Duck Diner is closed!

Lynn Olanoff reports: "A Mexican and Caribbean fusion restaurant opened last
week on East Fourth Street, and a diner and takeout Thai restaurant also are
planned for the neighborhood."
The Mexiribbean place is called General Zapata's and is on the same block as Nawab, on Fourth Street.

Now that I work, live and work out in the city of Bethlehem, I'm going to try to make an effort to leave the Christmas City every now and then.

The local bloggers have Allentown covered up. Here are some of my favorites. Mind you, I don't always agree with some of the political opinions, but it's good to know:
This week someone posted a friendly note here and I saw his blog about Easton restaurants for the first time. There are only a couple of Easton blogs that I know of.
Are there any local blogs I'm missing?

If you like my blog, please share it with your friends, especially if you know other LV Transplants. See the handy tool for sharing blog posts at the bottom of each post - the little envelope with an arrow? Click away!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Green Harvest Food Emporium

There was fresh, local lettuce on my ham-and-cheese-on-pretzel bread sandwich. I could taste it. It was multi-colored, tender and sweet.

Green Harvest (140 Northampton St. Easton - between the Circle and the Free Bridge) is in the same building as the Grand Eastonian Condominiums (which is more hotel than condo building). They serve BL&D every day of the week except Sunday. I love the term "Food Emporium" - which means they are a market that sells a variety of food items, even though the cafe is not a big place.

Besides tasty sandwiches and salads, GHFE's owner, Doreen Repsher, makes freshly baked goodies, including a bunch of vegan and gluten-free products, which is really thoughtful. There were plenty of dairy options, too: I saw Purple Cow creamery treats in the freezer!

The store's interior is spacious and bright, and features quite a bit of recycled materials. I learned that July 2 marked two years since the business opened, and the owners recently acquired the Easton Coffee Exchange.

While I was walking back to the parking garage, a cute little family with Crayola stickers on their shirts asked me where to go for lunch. Since the only dining option that is evident when you're stepping out of Two Rivers Landing is the scariest McDonald's I have ever seen, I don't blame them for crossing Third Street to see what else was out there. I gave them a couple of options (the Exchange, Mex Tex Trio, Phenom, Sette Luna). As Mom, Dad and the two girls headed in the direction of the Exchange, the wife said to the husband, "Wow, Easton is really great. There's all kinds of good things down here for us to do."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Downtown Easton

I've been spending more time in Easton lately, and I like it. :)

On Friday, I walked from a meeting in Centre Square over to Sette Luna (219 Ferry St, Easton) for a quick lunch. It's hard to describe a place that really "gets" it. From the attention to preserving and enhancing the building's architectural charms, to hiring and training knowledgeable servers and bartenders, to creating a menu that satisfies expectations for Italian food (and also honors the other 19 regions of Italy that most "Italian" restaurants forget), and finally, stocking a fabulous variety of wines. It's one of the few places we consistently choose when we have friends visiting from out of town.

Sigh. Thinking about Sette Luna makes me a little romantic.

A few years ago, we hosted a surprise birthday dinner in their private wine cellar. It seats up to 12 people and there's a $500 minimum - not hard to reach if everyone's drinking wine. I wish the web site was up and running so I could show you pictures of this beautiful room, but it's not. So for now, you'll either need to go there and check it out for yourself or wonder!

On Friday, my friend and I both ordered "the special," which to my knowledge is always 1/2 a pizza with a side salad for 8 bucks. The toppings vary daily, and you have a choice of Caesar or house salad. SL's brick oven cooks up a crust that's crunchy, soft, sweet and salty all at once. Yum. The menu's the same all day long, so if you're hungrier, entrees like osso bucco, pastas and big salads are all available as well.

The restaurant is located two blocks off Fourth Street, next to the post office in downtown Easton. We walked right by the newest venture by Mike Pichetto and Dominic Albanese, soon to be a seafood restaurant with apartments above (pictured below, on the corner of Fourth and Ferry);
and also the former King's drycleaner next to Ocean (below).
Both buildings are currently under major reconstruction. The guy who's heading up the project at King's gave us a tour of all three floors. The owner is an artist that specializes in metal work, who travels back and forth from his apartment in Brooklyn, studio in Chinatown, and his future studio/restaurant project in Easton. Ferry Street is becoming quite the little dining destination!

Monday, July 06, 2009

St. James Gate & US Women's Open

We're headed to St. James Gate Irish Pub and Carvery at the Sands Casino for dinner tomorrow night. Has anyone been there, and if so, any tips?

I, along with 3,000 other folks, am working/volunteering at the US Women's Open this week. It's pretty cool, and have the distinct honor of serving in middle management as a part of the corporate hospitality team.

I was impressed to see so many local volunteers, and also vendors! I saw Nacci Printing did the event programs, and Yocco's staff was serving lunch to volunteers. It looks like quite a few local businesses supported the volunteer operation.