Leftover Lightning! Xmas Eve Eve Leftover Omelette

I’m pretty proud of the Xmas Eve Eve dinner I whipped up this year, but nightly leftover turkey & caramelized onion mayo sandwiches got boring really fast. I still had a good amount of grapefruit & tarragon poached salmon, sautéed mushrooms and extra gruyere, caramelized onions and fresh herbs from my scalloped potatoes and they sounded like a great combo for a hearty brinner omelette. As you can see, in the last year I perfected my omelette-making game…

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Instafood: Saganaki

Just got back from an extended Hurricane Irene-free vacation on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Had a killer Greek lunch at El Greco Cafe on Main St. in Sarasota including Saganaki to kick things off. Mmm, melty cheese flambéed w. brandy. Opa!

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Restaurant Rewind: The Very Best…

…Wiener Shop, that is! I grew up spinning on the counter stools at this Pottstown institution. While Sunshine & I love our shopping adventures at Zern’s in search of insanely cheap produce, Lebanon bologna & $1 vintage jewelry, it’s not necessarily a place we stay to eat. On our way out of town, we decided instead to stop for a bite at The Very Best, a downtown deli known for its chili dogs for almost 90 years. I LOVE their perfectly textured tangy chili atop a flat-top seared dog with raw onions & cheese (add mustard for an “everything dog”). With a side of macaroni salad, a fountain coke, & the debate over a slice of their homemade cakes, you can’t ask for a better greasy spoon lunch. It is still is one of the “very best” places to grab a bite in Pottstown…

The Very Best Counter Companion

The Very Best Chili Cheese Dog

The Very Best Aftermath

The Very Best Weiner Shop | Since 1921
252 East High St. | Pottstown, PA 19464 | 610-323-5224
http://www.theverybesthotdogs.com/

To Taste: Erin’s Amish Reuben

I’m guessing most of you outside of Central/Southeastern Pennsylvania have lived your whole lives without tasting the best, THE BEST, cold cut in all of our United States. I, however, have been blessed with easy access to savory, salty, delicious Lebanon bologna (named for the PA county, not the country).

Sweet Lebanon Bologna

This PA Dutch smoked & cured all-beef sausage is available sliced as a deli meat in regular & sweet varieties. Sweet is the right kind for me – bold, zesty, tangy, smokey – all the beginnings of a fantastic sandwich. Introducing… Erin’s Amish Reuben.

Back in May, on Day #6 of my week between jobs, Sunshine & I took a trip to Zern’s, our favorite farmer’s/flea market. Every visit, I pick up a fresh pound of sweet Lebanon bologna and two fat dill pickles from my favorite butcher, Clover Farms (See: Triple Smoked Bacon). I always keep a jar of my favorite mustard, Kosciusko Spicy Brown, in the fridge for the glorious occasions I bring home the salami of all salamis. I smeared it on wheat toast and topped it with 3 ribboned slices of Lebanon bologna, a thick slice of Swiss, & dill pickle chips for a culinary daydream to the PA Amish country. Take the photo journey through my magical sandwich assembly and get your hands on some Lebanon bologna!

Kosciusko Spicy Brown Mustard

Dill Pickle

Soon to be sammie

Erin's Amish Reuben

Erin’s Amish Reuben

sweet Lebanon bologna

+ sour dill pickles

+ sharp Swiss cheese

+ spicy brown mustard

on toast

Restaurant Rewind: Varga Bar w/ Sunshine

Easter came & went and I’m finally resurrected from the blogging dead. Between a full hardrive and an external crash, I was graciously interrupted by a perfect vacation to Miami with Dre. I’m back in Philly now with some catching up to do, so here goes!

In early March, Sunshine suggested meeting up for dinner snacks at Varga Bar. I’ve been wanting to give it a try and surely looked forward to catching up with one of my favorite people. There was some Yelp! drink special going on so I went for the Cadillac Margarita & Sunshine chose the Renegade Root Beer, both $4 apiece.

Soon after our cocktails arrived, the waitress presented a marble slab with 5 cheeses & accoutrements. I’ve blanked on the specific cheese varieties, but I know we had (2) raw goat cheeses, a goat’s milk sharp cheddar, a creamy blue, and a gouda that was definitely not a gouda (but still delicious!). The platter included pairings of garlic dolce de leche, some other dolce de leche, bourbon honey mustard, grapes, granny & gala apple slices, & a fruit relish. We each had our favorites and surely appreciated the server who graciously brought us a 3rd plate of baguette.

Next up, a tower of crisp fries topped with melted white cheddar, parmesan, & tender jump lump crab. With or without the peppery homemade ketchup, they were quite tasty. Overall, the service & ambiance were ok, the food was good, & the company was certainly great!

Cheese Plate & Jumbo Lump Cheese Fries - Varga Bar

Quickie: Sauteed Pierogies & Brussels Sprouts

Tuesday night, I found myself with an empty house and a surplus of Brussels sprouts inching their way to the trash bin. My Polish heritage inspired me to rescue the mini cabbages by pairing them with pierogies. I followed my usual Sauteed Brussels Sprouts recipe. Lazy & hungry, I resorted to boiling some frozen Poppy’s Potato, Swiss, & Monterey Jack Pierogies and quickly browned them in butter. I think I just discovered a new comfort dinner!

Sauteed Pierogies & Brussels Sprouts