Saturday, January 15, 2011

A few of my favorite Lehigh Valley brands

When Alyssa went left for Syracuse University, email was not as common as it is today. Nor was Internet shopping. Texting and Facebook didn't exist. All we had was AIM, and it was good enough. We were both missing home, and we'd IM, reminiscing about high school and commiserating about roommates and hard classes, getting a little taste of home on our respective far-flung campuses.

Except that you can't IM a Tastykake, so I ordered a care packages of those yummy baked confections and had them shipped directly to her residence hall in upstate New York (probably surrounded by 6' snow drifts).

It's my first memory of making an online transaction, and one of the first times I recognized that the things (especially food items) that I grew up loving and enjoying on a regular basis, were not available just anywhere in the universe.

When I first went away to college, Yuengling wasn't available out of state. It's not that we thought it was the most amazing beer on earth, but it was sort of a taste of home for exports like me and my friend Mike. So we always made sure we'd grab a case before returning after holiday breaks (yes - I transported beer across state lines - I hope the statute of limitations has passed). This made us very popular on the fourth floor of Anderson Hall. Yuengling's distribution widened a few years later, and then we could buy it at our beloved Tenley Liquor anytime.

Mayur Kabab House, a Indian restaurant in a Tudor-style building on K Street, NW, near 11th Street, serves up a tasty and cheap lunch buffet enjoyed by nonprofiteers like myself. They also, inexplicably, stock A-TREAT beverages in their cooler. When I worked downtown, I cherished my A-TREAT birch beer, red cream or black cherry soda alongside my curried cauliflower and lentils.

How I miss you, Mayur Kabab House. But now I can get fresh A-TREAT 24/7.

I have heard stories of out-of-towners who order up Yocco's Doggie Pacs from inlaws visiting from the Lehigh Valley. I remember going to Cosi to pick up a loaf of bread for Becky on my way to the airport. The smell of the freshly-baked bread was positively intoxicating from DCA to PVD - I cannot imagine the smell of Yocco's Doggie Sauce wafting from the trunk.

Boomerangs (those of you who, like me, grew up in PA, moved somewhere else for a while, then returned), are there any Lehigh Valley products you missed while you were away? Any restaurants or goods that you are happy to have back in your life? And transplants, are there any products you can't get in the Lehigh Valley and miss like crazy?


  1. Have I thanked you lately for those Tastykakes? ;)

  2. Anonymous3/13/2011

    Weighing in from the Chicago area, where I've been the last 17 years since living 16 years in Bethlehem - you just can't get a good cheese steak out here. It's on my list of first things to eat if I boomerang back there. And a couple of Pott's hot dogs. If they're still there.

  3. Are you kidding me? Of Course Potts' is still there!