Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burgh and a slice of Jersey

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wanderingjew
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Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burgh and a slice of Jersey - Sun, 08/14/11 9:19 PM
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98I know the heading is a mouthful. but I accomplished quite a bit in six days of Roadfooding.
 
In fact this WAS a straight Roadfood trip- no trains or planes- just my car-  not a baseball trip, not really a sightseeing trip, in fact I kept leaving my camera in the car when it was time to sight see, although I did manage to get a few good photos in.
 
Thursday August 4
 
This was a pick your poison day. Did I want rush hour traffic or construction traffic. I decided to go with Rush Hour Traffic . Leaving from Rhode Island and heading south is always brutal. At least for me it is. I never seem to get a break driving south on the I 95 corridor. I left work a little early and hoped it would take me less than 6 hours to get to Princeston NJ which is where I would be staying overnight.
 
Not quite in Roadfood mode yet (that begins on Friday) I stopped at the Post Road Diner in Norwalk CT for a very healthy Spinach and Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard dressing and a cup of chicken soup. 
 
Here's an interesting brief write up in the Norwalk Patch.
 
http://norwalk.patch.com/listings/post-road-diner
 
It took me  a total of 4 hours and 45 minutes to get to Princeton (including my stop for dinner) had a Sam Adams at the hotel (The Hyatt Regency & only 50 bucks on priceline) and called it a night.
 
Friday August 5
 
Looking forward to a Trenton Style Pork Roll, I knew where I was going to go.....however
 
It's never a good omen  to approach this sign- especially on the first Roadfood stop on my trip.
 

 
Travelin' Manned!
This doesn't happen to ME!
 
I always plan in advance! 
In fact I called The Little King in Hamilton Square  the previous weekend to verify how early they open, and they told me they would be open- no mention of any vacations 
 
Well, I did what any Roadfooder would do, I'm certainly not going to settle for a meal at Denny's or Ihop
I took out my GPS, looked up "Deli's" the closest ones to me and started making calls....
1st call - are you open? yes 
              do you make sandwiches? yes
              do you have Pork Roll ?- we just ran out!
 
2nd call-  are you open? yes 
              do you make sandwiches? yes
              do you have Pork Roll ?- YES!
 
Great- and it's only 2 miles away.
 
I drove directly to
 

 
The New Briarwood Deli- 
also located in Hamilton Square
 
I asked if they can do a Pork Roll and Cheese on a half hoagie roll- no - not at breakfast, only on a hard roll, how about onions and peppers? Yes- that they can do.
 

 
Unfortunately there was no seating at this deli- take out only- however there were a couple of outdoor tables and chairs by the dry cleaners a couple of doors down in the same plaza.
 
This is my second experience with pork roll- my first was at a Trenton Thunder game back in 2003. Pork Roll, to me is like a combination of thick sliced bologna and canadian bacon. I enjoyed my sandwich, although it would have been even better on a hoagie roll.
 
After breakfast, I drove back to the heart of Princeton to enjoy some good strong coffee at Small World Coffee- in fact this was my favorite coffee house on the trip. 
 
Checking out of my hotel- I crawled through Eastern PA in  heavy construction traffic. I was wondering if I would ever make it to the other side of the state.
 
I finally made it to Amish Country in time for lunch and a stop at 
 

 
Risser's Family Restaurant.
 


 
 
A full lot with in state license plates- always a good sign
 
I spoke with proprietor Ernie Risser a week or so before after verifying that they have an every third friday lunch special that I've been dying to try for years. And I was in luck- they were going have it this friday.
 
Walking into the restaurant you have the option of sitting in the diner side of the restaurant or in the actual dining room.
 

 
I chose the dining room because I really enjoyed this mural.
 
Starting out with an UNSWEETENED Iced Tea, I had the option of going with the soup and salad bar instead of ordering two sides with my meal- After I asked the waitress to recite the soups of the day- I opted to go with the two sides since there was no Chicken Corn Soup Today ( a Penn Dutch specialty)
 
I started out with a salad just loaded with warm bacon dressing.
 

 
yes, the dressing actually came   on the salad "as is" and wow it was good- I've had this a couple of times in the past and I've never seen this much dumped on a salad before- but in this case- the more the merrier.
 
Some fresh corn fritters also made its way to my table.
 

 
However I came here for the main course- something I've been waiting to try for the last 20 year years.
 

 
Schnitz und Knepp
 
A Penn Dutch dish thats getting harder and harder to find- most restaurants, like Rissers will just have this as a revolving special.
 
Made with thick cuts of ham sided with  soft warm billowy dumplings and with what seemed to me a combination of apple pie filling/stewed apples bathed in hot apple cider this is ideal comfort food and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
 
I ensured that I ordered a whole shoe fly pie "to go" before I left- and no that's not for me (who could it possibly be for?)

You'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out
 
Much more to com.e
<message edited by wanderingjew on Mon, 08/22/11 8:31 PM>

leethebard
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Sun, 08/14/11 11:14 PM
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Say, we've been to Amish country in Lancaster hundreds of times, and eaten about everyplace there is..but must have missed Risser's. Where is this place located..it's one we should try!!!

californyguy
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Sun, 08/14/11 11:27 PM
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great report so far- three of my favorite regions- cannot wait for the rest- thanks!!

billyboy
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Sun, 08/14/11 11:46 PM
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Great stuff, WJ!  Looking forward to more!  I think I may have an idea who was the recipient of that Shoo-Fly Pie!

brookquarry
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 6:53 AM
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Lee, Rissers is in Womelsdorf, Berks County on Route 422.
I have not been there in some years, glad to see it is still good.
It is becoming harder to find old fashioned non-touristy "neighborhood" Pa Dutch restaurants, since the younger generationseems to be moving toward"healthier eating".

leethebard
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 8:09 AM
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Thanks ....that accounts for why we didn't know of it...we tend to stay in a 20 mile radius around Intercourse and Strausburg. Wonder if any of the places in that area serve Sshnitz and Knepp? Have never seen it!!

brookquarry
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 8:35 AM
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If they do, its probably an occasional special.
You might call Oregon Dairy Family Restaurant or Country Table  in Mount Joy and see if they will be featuring it. (I doubt any of the tourist places will have it)

leethebard
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 8:42 AM
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Are there many Amish in Berks county? Thought most of the Pa Amish were around Lancaster County.

brookquarry
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 8:53 AM
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Berks County is traditionally the 'FANCY' dutch, rather than the "Plain" dutch. There are a large number of Mennonites, including Old Order (horse and Buggy) Mennonites especially around the Fleetwood -Oley area.
The culinary tradition is the same however.

josefinajoisey
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 9:39 AM
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I asked if they can do a Pork Roll and Cheese on a half hoagie roll- no - not at breakfast, only on a hard roll, how about onions and peppers? Yes- that they can do.
Heresy!  A Jersey breakfast on a hoagie roll?  Onions and peppers?  I've lived in NJ my entire life, and have never contemplated either combo!  (I think I may just have to broaden my Taylor Ham horizons!)

ScreamingChicken
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 9:55 AM
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WJ, is salty country ham used for Schnitz und Knepp?  It seems like it would be a good choice if the apples are on the sweet side.
 
No one in western PA eats pie.  Clearly you were misled.
 
Brad

leethebard
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 10:36 AM
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brookquarry


Berks County is traditionally the 'FANCY' dutch, rather than the "Plain" dutch. There are a large number of Mennonites, including Old Order (horse and Buggy) Mennonites especially around the Fleetwood -Oley area.
The culinary tradition is the same however.


Thanks brookquarry...I just learned something....Fancy Amish aren't Mennonites, right? What makes them "fancy"?

leethebard
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 10:40 AM
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josefinajoisey


I asked if they can do a Pork Roll and Cheese on a half hoagie roll- no - not at breakfast, only on a hard roll, how about onions and peppers? Yes- that they can do.
Heresy!  A Jersey breakfast on a hoagie roll?  Onions and peppers?  I've lived in NJ my entire life, and have never contemplated either combo!  (I think I may just have to broaden my Taylor Ham horizons!)


Wow...my reaction too....never heard nor have seen porkroll served like an Italian sausage sandwich....very strange...but so what.....and in my 65 years, never thought that this great Jersey staple ever was like Bologna or a mix with Canadian bacon at all..(ate some yesterday,and tried to see the comparison...nope!) 
<message edited by leethebard on Mon, 08/15/11 10:43 AM>

brookquarry
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 10:58 AM
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Lee, there are no "fancy' Amish.
"Fancy Pa Dutch" are the majority of the population in South Central Pa-including Lancaster County. Their ancestors immigrated from Germany in the 1700's at the same time as the Amish and Mennonites.
Their religious background is Lutheran or German Reformed (now part of the United Church of Christ)
They are the people that gave us hex signs, redware pottery, fraktur and the other decorative Pa Dutch folk  art.
Although many still spoke Pa dutch as recently as a generation ago (my grandmother-the wife of a Lutheran minister-was fluent in it )they are now largely acculturated.
Their foods, however, were pretty much the same as that of the Amish-Mennonites.
Because of the acculturation, the Pa Dutch restaurants serving the local communitys are gradually closing-being replaced by more conventional diner and family restaurants serving almost the same menu as metropolitan Philly or Jersey- maybe with a couple Pa Dutch specials such as Pork and Sauerkraut thrown in.
 

ChrisOC
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 11:07 AM
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Taylor Ham, cheese, a soft kaiser roll, PERIOD.  Oh..... a PA Dutch birchbeer on the side.

Big Frank
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 1:13 PM
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leethebard


Are there many Amish in Berks county? Thought most of the Pa Amish were around Lancaster County.


There are also quite a few Amish and Mennonites in Mifflen County PA

NYPIzzaNut
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 2:34 PM
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Big Frank


leethebard


Are there many Amish in Berks county? Thought most of the Pa Amish were around Lancaster County.


There are also quite a few Amish and Mennonites in Mifflen County PA
We have quite a few Amish in our neighboring Adams County and a lot of Mennonites here in our Brown County (many of our Mennonites were formerly Amish.)


EliseT
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 2:40 PM
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That is some serious dressing!

CheeseWit
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 3:00 PM
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As to the request for a hoagie roll for the Taylor Pork Roll, many food trucks and luncheonettes in Philly give you a choice of  kaiser roll, bagel, or hoagie roll - Probably because of the many hoagies and cheesesteaks made and the ample supply already on hand at those locations. 
 
 

ken8038
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 3:09 PM
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Count me in as a NJer for 26 years now and I've never heard of pork roll as a combo with onions & peppers. Cheese and eggs over easy on a hard roll is how I prefer it, although some places around here (Union County) add home fries to the mix and I'm OK with that.
 
Too bad you missed out on the Little King. It's one of those places that's very good but seems to fly under the radar. I didn't know of it (and I'm only about 25 miles away) until I saw it listed on Roadfood. You found it OK? First time I went my GPS messed up the location and I wound up about 10 miles out of my way (Toward Trenton) and it took me two or three stops before anyone even that close had ever heard of the place.
 
Great report so far!. Thanks.
 

Foodbme
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 3:59 PM
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Big Frank

leethebard

Are there many Amish in Berks county? Thought most of the Pa Amish were around Lancaster County.

There are also quite a few Amish and Mennonites in Mifflen County PA

There are also quite a few in Centre County AKA "Happy Valley". They made JoePA an Honorary Amishman!

brookquarry
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 4:06 PM
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Frankly, there are probably Amish in most counties in Pa.The population has doubled in the last 20 years, and new settlements are being formed where farmland is cheaper than Lancaster County.
We visit an extended Amish Family in Eastern Lancaster County once or twice a year and ,of the 7 kids, two of the sons relocated to Tower City,north of Harrisburg, where a new settlement was formed.
Lancaster County still has the largest number of Amish in the state (second only to Holmes County, Ohio, nationally)

wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 5:29 PM
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Billyboy
 
You'll have to wait for the next chapter to find out.
 
josefinajoisey and ChrisOC
 
My first experience with Pork Roll was at Waterfront Park, home of the double A Trenton Thunder. The Pork Roll came on a hoagie roll and was served with onions and peppers.  It may not be traditional but  I was hooked.
 
brookquarry,
 
When you mentioned those two other restaurants you must have read my mind- Stay Tuned..
 
 
Screaming Brad
 
I think I was too far north for Country Ham, that's just plain old ham.
 
Lee
 
When I first tried Pork Roll, it was bologna and canadian bacon that came to mind, not  thin sliced deli bologna, but the rugged thick cut bologna you get down south served either as a breakfast meat or on a  sandwich doused with BBQ Sauce like in Memphis.
 
ken8038
 
Never say never- remember I have to get back via the same direction that I got there.
 

wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 6:43 PM
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Friday night's dinner deserves  a chapter all of its own.
 
Making my way across the rest of Pennsylvania, I arrived in Da Burgh aka Pittsburgh aka "Yinzerville" aka The Big Pierogi just in time for evening rush hour.
 
Making my way to the Hazelwood Section of Pittsburgh I arrived at
 

 
 
 
Jozsa Corner
 
Pittsburgh's premier by appointment Hungarian Restaurant featuring multi course meals. Now you don't think I'm going to dig into this multi feast extravaganza by myself do you?
 
As I arrived, Buffetbuster and Mariton were already standing outside at the restaurant. Roadfooders, katherinecurry and Ralph Melton arrived shortly afterwards and last but not least, Ralph's lovely bride icecreamchick made her appearance.
 
The proprietor, Alex an immigrant from Hungary is an engaging fellow who makes you feel like you'r right at home. In fact entering the dining room with two long tables, I felt like I was eating in somone's dining room.
 
The meal I enjoyed here makes the typical Basque Experience look like a quick snack at a convenience store. I didn't know when the parade of courses would end and frankly I didn't want it to end. Not only was this the best Roadfood restaurant of the trip, but it could easily be one of the best of the year.
 
Unfortunately I don't recall several of the courses that landed on my plate, not because they were unmemorable but because there was just so much. I'm hoping that the others who were there will be able to fill in the gaps.
 

 
The meal started out with this delicious fried bread encased with spices and
 

 
this refreshing vinegary coleslaw.
 
 
 

 
followed by this rich hearty vegetable soup.
 

 
We then moved on to some some stuffed Grape Leaves and yes, you guessed it- that's pork cracklin's on the far left.
 

 
 
Then there was this dish, it obviously has tomatoes in it and was very good but I don't remember what it was.
 

 
Now we're getting into the meat and potatos of the meal- or in this case the cabbage and noodles otherwise known as Halushka.
 

 
This was one of two main courses- Goulash- who said there can never be too much sour cream..
 

 
 
sided by warm fresh braided bread...
 

 
The other main course here is Chicken Paprikash- again there's alway sour cream when you need it...
 

 
afterwards Cucumber Salad (I think?)
 
and dessert 
 

 
 
which includes some type of fried dough, prunes and chocolate  dusted with powdered sugar...
 
 
We left Jozsa's Corner with great memories and full bellies, but of course there's always room for ice cream..
 
 
We drove the short distance to Page's Dairy Mart, a classic soft serve ice cream stand in Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood. I believe I had some type of Banana Waffle Cone.  The Ice Cream was fine but it didn't blow me away.
 
Unfortunately no photos. 
 
Afterwards It was time to sleep off the food.
 
Much more to come....

ann peeples
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Mon, 08/15/11 7:51 PM
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Definately some awesome food on this trip!!And good company, as well.

Ralph Melton
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 12:10 AM
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Because you invited additional identification:
- the fried bread is called Lángos.
- I think the cracklins were chicken cracklins, not pork.
- this dish was the mushroom paprikash





mcatpeery
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 12:55 AM
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I grew up in Lancaster County & have traveled most of PA. I've seen Amish in almost every part of the state (I live wayyyy up in Wellsboro now & they are up here too). I love Dutch style cooking, & ate it so much growing up that it feels like home. Thanks to working as an assistant to a midwife who served the Amish I am lucky enough to count quite a few of them as friends. We call them the Bonnet Mafia 

Foodbme
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 1:02 AM
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you_talkin_to_me_77

I grew up in Lancaster County & have traveled most of PA. I've seen Amish in almost every part of the state (I live wayyyy up in Wellsboro now & they are up here too). I love Dutch style cooking, & ate it so much growing up that it feels like home. Thanks to working as an assistant to a midwife who served the Amish I am lucky enough to count quite a few of them as friends. We call them the Bonnet Mafia 

When you delivered a baby, did they give you a pie and a loaf of bread or something else tasty? I bet you have some interesting stories to tell.

ann peeples
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 3:25 AM
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Yum to everything pictured!!!!!!!!!!

mcatpeery
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 4:25 AM
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Sure, sometimes they did. I'll never forget watching one woman (it was her 7th baby) rolling out pie crust through her contractions. She claimed it helped . Other times it was something pretty they had made. It was a great job, although sometimes it was overwhelming...

katherinecurry
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 7:21 AM
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And that goulash was Transylvanian goulash, my personal fave, made with sauerkraut.
A great meal!

wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 10:25 AM
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Ralph & Katherine
Thanks for providing additional details on what I missed.
 
Ralph, I'm almost positive that was pork cracklings and not chicken, because I remember telling Alex about the similar dish,  gribenes  served at the Jewish Deli's but they use chicken cracklings instead of pork.

CajunKing
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 4:28 PM
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brookquarry


Berks County is traditionally the 'FANCY' dutch, rather than the "Plain" dutch. There are a large number of Mennonites, including Old Order (horse and Buggy) Mennonites especially around the Fleetwood -Oley area.
The culinary tradition is the same however.

Berks County is also home to many Church of the Brethern (much like the dutch and amish and mennonite).  My family has it's Brethern roots there back into the early 1700's

buffetbuster
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 6:06 PM
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While we were waiting for Alex to take us back to the dining room, we chatted with him in the kitchen.  Here is a shot of him rolling some bread. 

We heard about how a very young Alex escaped the Russians in Hungary back in 1956, while several of those around him were shot.  He really has a story to tell and it would make for an interesting biography.
 
Oh, and the food was as good as ever.  Just course after course of delicious homemade Eastern European comfort food.  Despite how much food you are given, I could have easily eaten more.  And I mean a lot more!
 
For a soft serve ice cream place Page's Dairy Mart

is good and it has been around for a long time.  Still, I much prefer a hard ice cream shop.
 
 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 08/16/11 6:07 PM>

BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 6:19 PM
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Alex's tales of escaping the Communists in Hungary are reminiscent of the World War II Yugoslavian underground stories told by Branko Radicevic, Sr. at Milwaukee's Three Brothers Restaurant.  There's a hypnotic sparkle in Branko's eyes when he talks about his days killing Nazis.  He takes great delight in recounting the dangerous life he led during the war, yet there's a great deal of sadness and mourning that comes through at the same time.
 
Alex and Branko are among the last of a remarkable generation.  Here's hoping their stories are passed along for others to hear so there's an understanding of the true horrors of war.
 
Buddy

buffetbuster
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 6:20 PM
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I should mention that Jozsa Corner works best as a group.  In fact, I think the smallest party Alex will make a reservation for is four.  So, if anyone is coming to Pittsburgh and wants to dine there, let us know and Mariton and I will be glad to join you.  And I bet Ralph and Lori will make the same offer.

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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 7:12 PM
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Glad that Buffetbuster filled in some of the holes and provided some additional photos. 
 
Saturday August 6
 
First thing in the morning - Buffetbuster was nice enough to stop at Crazy Java Coffee Company - a local chain out of Pittsburgh so Mariton and I can get our caffeine fix. I've never been there before having always relied on Coffee Tree Roasters when I lived in Pittsburgh. It was ok, but nothing I would be in a hurry to get back to. 
 
Breakfast however was another story. We agreed to go to Gab n Eat.
 

 
A legendary greasy spoon in Carnegie that just screams Pittsburgh
 

 
As you can probably tell by the Steelers banner in the background and all the memorabilia on the walll
The place was obviously bustling, and there was a small wait. I hadn't stepped into the place in 13 years when I last visited with an ex- girlfriend but it looks like the place hadn't changed a bit.
 
I don't recall what Buffetbuster or Mariton ordered, however I do remember a very large pancake coming to our table  (among other things of course)
I ordered the mixed grill- in fact this was the exact same item that I ordered when I last visited.
 

 
Comprising eggs, cheese, potatoes, onions and sausage mixed together, this is a combination that just goes into the annals of breakfast lore. 
 
Believe it or not this is HALF AN ORDER!
 
Not only that but it comes with a side of Italian Bread baked by local purveyors, Mancini
 
 

 
No wonder why I ended up putting on so much weight when I lived in Da Burgh. 
Gab n' Eat was just as good as I remembered- I still can't believe it's been 13 years! 
 
I know Chi Town Diner would be disappointed had he been with us- but believe it or not, after breakfast we did a little sightseeing.  
 
Buffetbuster had suggested the Nationality Rooms at the Tower of Ignorance    Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh.  I've never been and I was Gung Ho. Basically there are several rooms on display and each room depicts a classroom in a foreign country. Although most of the rooms were European it was the non  european rooms which were most interesting.
 
I'm not going to provide photos of all the rooms we visited, just a select few which caught my attention.
 

 
 

 
This is the Swedish Room- and I was very disappointed when I was told by the staff when I first walked in that there wouldn't be any Lutefisk  available in this room   (there wasn't any in the Norwegian room either)
 

 
 

 
 
The Chinese Room- I tried to order some Moo Goo Gai Pan and Egg Foo Young with an Eggroll- but no such luck!
 

 
 

 
The Greek Room
 
 
The Syria - Lebanon Room- Unfortunately this was one of the few rooms that was behind glass and we were unable to enter apparently due to gold plated decor.
 

 
The Isaeli Heritage Room- I truly felt "at home" here
 

 
The Welsh Room
 

 
which also comes with it's own Orator
 

 
The Austrian Room
 

 
The Indian Room
 
and 
 
 

 
finally the African Heritage Room.
 
After spending nearly 2 hours around the globe.....
 
 

 
It was time for some ice cream at Dave & Andy's a few short blocks away from the University.
This is a local favorite and I'm surprised I never visited when I lived here.
 
I don't remember what Buffetbuster got, but Mariton got Rum Raisin.
 

 
 
I don't remember the exact name of the flavor of ice cream I had, but it had big chunks of fudge brownie  and was full of creamy moo- probably some of the best ice cream I've had all year. 
 
It was now time for lunch at one of my favorite burger joints anywhere.
 

 
Tessaro's
 
In Pittsburgh's own little Italy- Bloomfield.
 
If I recall, I last visited Tessaro's on my last visit to Pittsburgh in 2007
 
I ordered just a plain ol' cheeseburger 
 

 
with a side of slaw.
 
Tessaro's grinds their own meat and is cooked on a wood fire grill which shows based on the freshness and outstanding flavor. 
 
After lunch, there was more sightseeing.
 
Pittsburgh has one of the most beautiful skylines in the country. And there is no better way to enjoy it than to take the
incline up to Mt Washington.
 

 
 

 
 

 
Here is Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers
 

 
And that is PNC Park in the background home of the Pittsburgh Pirates...
 
After enjoying the view, we headed over to South Side to Fathead's Saloon, we were going to grab a mid afternoon snack but there was a wait- we decided that since dinner was only a few hours a way, we would return tomorrow. I did enjoy a refreshing Penn Pilsener though.
 
Afterwards I returned to Mars
 

 
Where I was greeted by a local Martian- yes that is the Mars National Bank in the background.
 
Our dinner stop was at LoBello's Spaghetti House in Coraopolis where one or two prior meet n greets took place. 
My friend, Lisa, her husband their 4 year old daughter also joined us. Because I had some "non roadfooders" in attendance I did not take any photos.
 
Buffetbuster was hoping that Rose the eighty something year old  owner and cook extraordinaire would be in attendance, unfortunately she was ill so her son was at the realm.
 
LoBello's is about as classic red sauce Italian as you can get with  a basic, small menu. 
I ordered the Polenta- very basic served with red sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan with a meatball on the side.
I believe Lisa ordered the Lasagna, her hubby ordered the Gnocci, Buffetbuster had the Spaghetti and Mariton ordered some type of pasta with white sauce. My Polenta was surprisingly better than I expected, it was prepared well and there weren't too many fillers or accompanyments so the flavor of the polenta stood out. 
 
After dinner, we ended up stopping again for ice cream- Buffetbuster  took us to a place in Evans City I believe it was called Zimmerman's  that unfortunately was  closed when we arrived, so we ended up going to Bruesters- A chain that started in the Pittsburgh area. I had some type of peanut butter ice cream- unfortunately I didn't get any photos- it was good but didn't compare to what I had earlier at Dave and Andy's
 
More to come tomorrow.

pnwchef
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 8:18 PM
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WJ, Great report, the food look like you are traveling through Europe. I love the way the homemade noodles look in the Cabbage and noodle dish. Look like a fun trip......pnwc

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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Tue, 08/16/11 9:36 PM
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Ah, you guys went to some of my favorite places.  Sorry due to family matters I couldn't have joined you!  Glad you Martians had a good time.

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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 12:54 PM
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Big Frank


leethebard


Are there many Amish in Berks county? Thought most of the Pa Amish were around Lancaster County.


There are also quite a few Amish and Mennonites in Mifflen County PA

I grew up in Mifflin County I can attest to the fact that there are thriving Amish and Mennonite communites there.

buffetbuster
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 1:35 PM
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A couple extra photos:  Mariton wasn't up for a whole burger on her own at Tessaro's, so we split one.  And by split one, I mean she cut off a small hunk of it and I ate the rest.  Here

is our blue cheese burger with all the fixings.  I genuinely think this is one of the best burgers in the country.
 
Dave & Andy's is clearly the best ice cream in Pittsburgh.  At times it can be a little too soft for my taste, but I am rarely disappointed.  My flavors were black raspberry on top of snickers.

 
I stated my opinion in the past that I don't think of Pittsburgh as a great Roadfood city.  Certainly not in the league of places like Milwaukee, San Francisco, Memphis, Austin, New Orleans, Chicago, etc.  But one thing we do well here is breakfast.  The big three are Jo-Jo's, DeLuca's and Pamela's.  I would put the Gab 'n Eat in the level right below those, which isn't bad.  Like any breakfast spot worth it's salt in Pittsburgh, they make their own sausage.  They make both hot sausage and sweet sausage and are happy to give you one of each. 

Luckily, the sweet isn't too sweet and the hot isn't too hot, although the guy we were chatting with on the bench outside after we were finished eating, told us he thought the hot sausage has been too fiery lately.  It tasted perfect to me.
 
As we were walking into the Gab 'n Eat, I warned WJ not to order their omelets.  So, what do I do?  I order an omelet.  My complaint is that instead of mixing the ingredients in with the egg, it lays loose.  Here

is my ham & cheese omelet, with a couple slices of cheese just laying on top of the omelet and a bunch of loose ham underneath.  For a place that does so many little things right, I don't know why they do this.
 
The french toast and pancakes are both terrific and you can place orders for a single of either one.  Unfortunately, my pancake

came a little burnt on the one side.  Oddly enough, Mariton really liked the burnt part and quickly ate it.
 
Honestly, the best part of the Gab 'n Eat is the atmosphere.  It is a very blue collar place, full of locals only, usually wearing Steelers gear.  They also have three blackboards with trivia questions on the wall, so we spent our time waiting for the food trying to answer the trivia.  And I can proudly say that between WJ and I, we were able to name all four of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 08/17/11 1:38 PM>

Sundancer7
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 1:47 PM
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Great shots of the Pittsburg skyline and the stadiums.  How many bridges does Pittsburg have?
 
I visited the University of Pittsburg about 35 years ago and I also was fascinated by the different rooms by country.
 
PB is a wonderful diverse place.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

joerogo
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 1:53 PM
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WJ, Sorry you didn't get the memo.  If you want food at the Tower of Terror, you have to go to the Italian room

buffetbuster
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 2:01 PM
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Paul-
Agreed, WJ got some really nice shots of the city skyline.  Neither Mariton or I had been on the inclines for quite some time and thanks to a series of out of town guests, we have done that three times in the last month.  With a view like that, how can we complain!
 
I have always been told that Pittsburgh has the second most amount of bridges of any city in the world, other than Venice.  Whetehr that is true or not..... 

buffetbuster
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 2:05 PM
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Joe-
My dad's best friend, who is the man I was named after, is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.  And as a way of razzing his friend, my dad always called the Cathedral of Learning, the Tower of Ignorance.  To this day, I have a hard time referring to it as anything else, despite the fact that the school is an excellent academic institution. 
 
It sounds like you have your own story behind the Tower of Terror!

Foodbme
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 3:50 PM
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buffetbuster

Joe-
My dad's best friend, who is the man I was named after, is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.  And as a way of razzing his friend, my dad always called the Cathedral of Learning, the Tower of Ignorance.  To this day, I have a hard time referring to it as anything else, despite the fact that the school is an excellent academic institution.  

I believe the "Name the Ninja Turtles" Triva Question came from the Entrance Exam at the Univ of Pittsburgh along with "Name all the Beers that have been brewed in the City of Pittsburgh" and "How many bridges are in the city of Pittsburgh" and a true or false question, "The Univ of Pittsburgh Panthers will win a National Championship some day"!
P.S. I have the answer to the "Bridges" Question and it's more than Venice. It's the Most in the World. And the answer is -------- Actually, a Prof at the U of P researched it. It's an interesting story to us Yenzers!
<message edited by Foodbme on Wed, 08/17/11 4:01 PM>

6star
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 4:54 PM
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For those who are wondering, "All together, a total of 446 bridges are in the city of Pittsburgh, offically the city with the most bridges in the world, three more than former world leader Venice, Italy."
http://www.wtae.com/news/9841603/detail

wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 5:08 PM
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Lleechef
 
Sorry you couldn't join us
 
pwnchef
 
halushki is pure "soulfood" in these neck of the woods- I remember pissing off my coworkers when I told them that halushki wasn't "all american" they thought that it's served everywhere.
 
Joerogo

I did go into the Italian room but all I saw were these guys.
 

 

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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 5:10 PM
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Good report Dale - as always!

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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 5:44 PM
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Sunday August 7
 
As most of you know due to my traveling not quite as frequently as other Roadfooders on the forum, I like to plan my itinerary in advance, Pittsburgh however was pretty much a clean slate- where ever the wind blew was where I went, although I was getting a hankering for something I haven't had in a while and since I had savory for breakfast the day before, I was now looking for something sweet.
 
I've never been to this location of Pamela's 
 

 
Located in the Blue Collar industrial city of Millvale just across the Allegheny from Pittsburgh.
 

Which like most of Pittsburgh is known for its ornate old churches
 
Known here as Pamelas's P & G Diner, it's actually housed in a working independent drug/store pharmacy. I usually used to go to the location in Pittsburgh's Shadyside location, but I'll have to admit this one has the most character, almost like an old fashioned diner or drug store coffee shop.
 
Again I'm sure Buffetbuster will fill you in on what he and Mariton ordered, however I ordered my favorite.
 

 
Banana Walnut Pancakes served crepe style. It may not look like much, but it was quite filling, in fact not one drop of syrup landed on these pancakes.
 
What's great about this location of Pamela's.....
 

 
 

 
is that they hired a bunch of old guys to point you in the direction of the restrooms!
 
Since this was going to be my last day in Pittsburgh, we decided to make two stops for lunch. (With a break after breakfast of course!)
 
Luckily we didn't eat here yesterday at our first stop- and you'll see why...
 

 
Fat Head's Saloon 
 

 
and based on the portions that were served, this is how you look after a few times of eating here.
 
Famous not only for their big selection of beer, but also for their "headwiches" huge sandwiches about the size of this guy's head.
 
I started out with some cheesey chicken parm soup
 

 
Which was actually more cheese than soup ....
 
Fathead's was the only designated stop that I knew I wanted to hit in advance. And of course it was for their famous headwich. In particular the South Side Slopes Headwich
 

 
 
served on bakery fresh bread- I believe it could be Mancini's but I'm not 100% certain. This headwich is stuffed with Pierogi's, Kolbassi, American Cheese, Grilled Onions and Horseradish Sauce- in other words- Pittsburgh in a sandwich... It was so big that Mariton and I ended up sharing one (I believe Buffetbuster got one for himself)
 
We also shared an order of Buffalo Style potato skins which were also really good.
 
You think lunch would end here????

wrong......

one final stop....
 
A short drive to the strip district took us to
 
...
 
 Robert Wholey and Company
 
Buffetbuster said if there is one local item that can define Pittsburgh it's the Fish Sandwich. If that's the case then if there is one fish sandwich that can define Pittsburgh it's served here...
 

 
 
Meet the "famous wholey whaler"  one lb of fresh fried whiting.  This is everything a fish sandwich is meant to be. 
The cool thing is there was a choice of roll, I decided to go the healthy route and got a whole wheat mancini roll.
Remember Wholey's is an actual fish market so everything is prepared fresh. Of course once again, Mariton was nice to assist me with this. I believe Buffetsbuster got a cod sandwich for himself. There is a dining room upstairs with utensils, condiments etc. 
 
At this point it was mid afternoon and I parted ways with Mariton and Buffetbuster
 
I will continue with the evening's adventures later this evening.

leethebard
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 6:56 PM
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Hey guys,
    My family and I were in Pittsburg last wednesday through friday, checking out Carnegie Mellon for my son. Nice campus, Apparantly we missed some on location filming for the new Batman movie by a few days. Among locations used was the  Cathedral of learning which, with its gargoiles, looks like a Gotham city building.
    We didn't get to sample much local food, but one night we walked from our Marriot hotel and found a great little Indian restaurant called the Tamarind. Took some pictures I've got to get posted. Great food, and at a very good price. Anyone know of it.
     Your report keeps our trip fresh for us. Thanks!!

Foodbme
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 7:09 PM
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WJ OR BB OR RALPH M:
Does Wholey's serve any kind of Shrimp or Lobster dishes? I want to attack one of those Whiting monsters next time in town but my bride only eats shrimp or lobster in the seafood category. Any non-seafood dishes?

wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 7:10 PM
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Sunday August 7 cont...
 
After a 3 hour and change drive, I ended up in Wonderful and Wild West Virgnia.....in the Charleston suburb of Nitro 
home of legendary....
 
 

 
 
Diehl's Family Restaurant
 
As the sign said- since 1960. 

I visited last in 1999, and I remember not being very hungry and ordering a bbq sandwich.  For some reason I never returned and after this visit- I'm surprised I didn't...
 
Loaded with racing memorabilia...
 

 

 

 
as well as some interesting trivia about the restaurant on their menu....
 

 
 
 
I already knew what I was going to order before I got here...
 

 
My meal started out with some warm home made toasty cornbread, ever so slightly sweet....
 

 
 
and of course country ham for my main course sided with kale greens and pinto beans.  vinegar for the greens and raw onions for the beans were served on the side.
 The country ham was perfect, not too salty and most important of all. rugged, but not tough like shoe leather.
 
dessert was obvious but was a tough decision. I could have gone with their graham cracker pie- apparently a local specialty in Appalachia- however since I'm not Buffetbuster I can't order two slices of pie so  I went with my gut
 

 
and got the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie- and I'm glad I did. More like a peanut pudding than butter- with hints of chocolate this is definitely going to be a top 10 dessert contender for this year...

In fact this meal was almost perfect....why almost????? When the young waitress took my order, I asked if they had red eye gravy for the country ham, she looked puzzled and replied "no" 
Considering that I'm in the heart of "red eye gravy country, I was a little disappointed that it appeared she didn't know what it was and that they didn't have any... 
 
Diehl's was a "deal" in my book....and a suitable replacement for both the sadly missed Southern Kitchen and Farm Table Restaurant.
 
After dinner I checked into my hotel in downtown Charleston WV and took my first long stroll of the trip.
 

 
 
 
 
Downtown has a great walking path along the Kanahwa River. I could have kept walking if I didn't get thirsty...
 
I headed over back towards town to Pies and Pints for a Bridge Brew Lager- crafted by Bridge Brew Works out of Fayetvillle WV. Afterwards I walked back to the Holiday Inn and called it a night...
 
More tomorrow...
 
 

buffetbuster
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Wed, 08/17/11 7:54 PM
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WJ-
That is some seriously delicious looking country ham and the pie doesn't look too bad either!  As for peanut butter pie vs. graham cracker pie, there is no loser in a contest like that.  I will definitely be hitting Diehl's the next time in West Virginia.  Nice find!
 
Foodbme-
Wholey's most definitely has fried shrimp available.  They also have lobsters in tanks, so it wouldn't be a great surprise to find out they will prepare those for you, too.
 
leethebard-
Hopefully, Pittsburgh treated you well while you were here.  Is your son still considering CMU?  They are still filming the Batman movie, but have been blowing up things in the downtown area for the last few days.  I have never heard of Tamarind before, but don't really seek out Indian food.  Maybe Ralph has eaten there.

wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Thu, 08/18/11 8:02 AM
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Cheesewit
 
Thanks,
 
I've been due to hit  the "big city" onthe other side of the state. 
 
Foodbme-
Here is Wholey's Menu
http://www.wholey.com/ourfafiki.html
 
Buffetbuster,
 
Diehl's would be well worth the visit
I do regret not ordering both slices of pie and having half of each and throwing the other halves out....(something I plan to do when I hit Gray's Cafeteria next month)
 

buffetbuster
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Thu, 08/18/11 8:20 AM
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WJ-
I'll just pretend I didn't read that, which is the only way possible we can stay friends.

MiamiDon
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Thu, 08/18/11 8:25 AM
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Wow, not THAT'S  fish sandwich!  The chocolate peanut butter pie looks great, too.
 
About that red-eye gravy - maybe it's because Nitro is less than 40 miles by road from being in Ohio?

wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Thu, 08/18/11 8:31 AM
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MiamiDon


About that red-eye gravy - maybe it's because Nitro is less than 40 miles by road from being in Ohio?

I'm not sure if that's the case- Charleston is only 12 miles from Nitro (further east mind you) yet both the Southern Kitchen and Farm Table had red eye gravy (they also had older waitresses who seemed to know what red ey gravy is)

wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Thu, 08/18/11 8:32 AM
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buffetbuster


WJ-
I'll just pretend I didn't read that, which is the only way possible we can stay friends.


Ok, I'll take the other halves and mail them to you.

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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey - Thu, 08/18/11 9:59 AM
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The "special hot bologna sauce" at Diehl's sounds interesting but I hope that "since 1960" doesn't refer to the original batch!
 
I wonder what's in it...
 
Brad

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