(list of eateries is alphabetical)
248 Diner --Easton, PA
Okay, so admittedly we are not 'diner folk'. Huge portions of greasy, simple food just doesn't do it for us. However, we had to make an exception for this place. The 248 Diner sits in a great location, because there is literally nothing other than cheesy chain restaurants on this strip of old highway between Easton and Nazareth. Although, if you are used to all-night Jersey diners, like us, you'll be disappointed because this place closes pretty early. It's still a diner, don't get us wrong--but it's worth the stop if you're in the area.
USE OUR SENSE: Get the wings! 99.9 the Hawk features a weekly wing night here, and trust us, it's for good reason. The zesty ranch wings are our favorite.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Skip the burger; they are just too depressing to describe.
Aman's Indian Cuisine --Easton, PA
This place just couldn’t get better. The best Indian Food ever! And if you’ve never tried Indian, this is the place to visit. Aman and her family will walk you through all the flavors.
USE OUR SENSE: Make reservations. They’re only open for dinner (we sure miss their lunch hours), and they get busy.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Be advised, they add gratuity automatically, no matter the size of your party. It’s nice actually, it’s because they actually lay their servers a living wage. This family is boss! You should follow them and see all the great things they do to give back to the community.
Apollo Grille --Bethlehem, PA
Beautiful inside and out, Apollo Grille is so charming. The urban décor changes regularly as they sponsor rotating artists. It’s a great date night location or perfect for a night out for dinner and drinks with the girls. The service is fantastic; even the owner makes rounds to get empty plates and chit chat.
USE OUR SENSE: Skip the entrée and order different appetizers instead. There are over 20 to choose from and they’re all wonderful flavor combinations to try.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Make reservations unless you don’t mind being close to other tables; on busy nights it seems a bit cramped.
Big Woody's --Bethlehem, PA
Good sportsman atmosphere. Lots of TVs, the game is always on. Young hip crowd. Most people rave about it, not us. We visited once and won’t return. The service was lousy, the food was advertised as ‘char-broiled’ but was just simply burnt to a crisp. Uck.
USE OUR SENSE: No, don’t. Try it for yourself. The reviews are too torn to take our opinion.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Unless you like your steaks and burgers coated in black ash, order something else.
Black & Blue --Easton, PA
This one's a no-brainer. It sits across from the historical courthouse of the city and it could be easily missed, look for the blue awning. Gotta be honest, the first time we went, we weren't impressed. The food was good, the drink list was extensive (full absynthe bar), but the atmosphere was sooooo weird. I just couldn't handle it. It's like a 1920's cigar lounge with a creepy Halloween feel to it, trying to be Modern; yes, bizarre is the only word. We went back though and I'm glad we did. You'll grow to love the atmosphere, especially once you meet the owners and the clientele. Cool. The more we visit, the more we love the place.
USE OUR SENSE: Visit on a Thursday night (Bring/Wear Your Own Vinyl). Order nachos. Pommes Frites (Frights!) with the Weyerbacher reduction are to die for! Sandwiches are filling, ingredients are fresh. Wine list and different beers are a treat too.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Parking sucks, very limited. Be prepared with some quarters to hit up the spots on Ferry if needed.
Blue --Bethlehem, PA
USE OUR SENSE: This place certainly lives up to its reputation. Beautiful inside and out, especially since the renovation. Now there's patio seating to take advantage of. The bar area is perfect for drinks with friends and even a bite. Bartenders are very friendly and fun. Dinner is on the pricey side, but everything is a pleasure to your tastebuds. The filet was probably the best ever! Use this place for your special occasions.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Fair warning, meals are a la carte; order wisely.
Bolete --Allentown, PA
Mmmm, mmm, mmm. I’m not sure what to tell you to order here, because nothing will steer you wrong. Burger, amazing...with handmade chips. Brunch, yum…accompany with Bloody Mary or Lehigh Valley Lemonade. Oysters, duck hash, they have a taste of everything. Friendly chef and wife run the place. Cozy, clean, historic, give it a go.
USE OUR SENSE: Make reservations, small place, fills quickly. Perfect place for a celebration/holiday meal.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Prepare to drop a decent amount of cash. Can be a bit spendy compared to most of the other places we review. But don’t avoid it for that reason. You’ll miss out.
Bono's Pizza --Pen Argyl, PA
USE OUR SENSE: There really isn't much in the area; you'd have to drive to Nazareth or Wind Gap for more options. Take the drive.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Okay pizza, they deliver which is nice. Stick with the plain pies though. When they add toppings, they don't cook it long enough so it stays doughy and falls apart. Good prices. But you get what you pay for.
Böser Geist Brewing Co. --Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Dirty fries, yes. Hawg wings, do it! But check out their rotating menu for food options too. Give the signature pretzel a try; okay it's a typical pub pretzel, but it's presented in their logo. Super cute.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Don't fall in love with any of their brews, they change fast. Sometimes disappointing, sometimes fun. Makes it always worth trying a new flight of flavors.
Braveheart Highland Pub --Hellertown, PA
USE OUR SENSE: OMG; this place is great. Not a ton of solid places in Hellertown, sorry locals; but this place is worth the stop. Order the potato chips. I know, I know, their potato chips... but they're NOT! And it's a Scottish Pub, of course they're gonna do the chips right.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: The hog wings, worth the shot. The spinach dip was delightful with a little crabmeat upgrade. But do yourself a favor and tell them to hold the tortilla chips. Request their housemate potato chips with the spinach dip instead; totally worth the cost upgrade.
Chrissy's Steak's --Palmer, PA
Eh. Really not that great. Everything is pretty bland, straightforward. Typical sandwich menu, fried foods, nothing special. Although some of those Palmer locals rave about the place; not us. Large portions, but that's about it. Sorry.
USE OUR SENSE: Take out,don’t eat in; boring. Nothing special there either.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Head to ThePickled Egg for a cheese steak or NoTo’s Deli or Josie’s for a sandwich.
Church Brew Works —Pittsburgh, PA
Get ready to act like a 5 year old in a candy store. The entire time you sit in this place, you look around at every detail in complete awe. A renovated church from 100 years ago, this place a few blocks outside downtown Pittsburgh, is now a restaurant and brewery. It’s fascinating! The pews are still intact and create the tables. The large stain glassed artwork adorns the walls, and the alter now holds the brewing tanks. They have a ton of yummy micro-brews and even brew their own root beer and cream soda. The atmosphere is definitely something to talk about but the food is average. We’d go back, but mostly for the décor.
USE OUR SENSE: Bring your camera, or some spending money for the souvenir shop—you’ll be talking about this place for months; good, bad, or otherwise.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: The original brews can be a little spendy; if you’re not a huge beer fan, save a few bucks and just try their fresh brewed soda instead.
Colonial Pizza –Easton, PA
This place doesn’t need a review. It’s a staple in Eastonian culture. Good for a date night, family night, drink night, you name it. Be prepared to wait on weekend evenings. But it's alright, you can grab a drink downstairs while you wait.
USE OUR SENSE: Order the fried dough as a dessert. Follows up your pizza and antipasto perfectly!
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Stick with the regular pies. Some specialties are dry and just not as good.
Copperhead Grille --Allentown, PA
Very comfy place. Sports always on huge screens, control which you watch from the speakers at your table. Usually a packed house but it's huge, so there's always seating. Regardless, the food has proven worth the wait if there was one. Burgers, wraps, steaks, good comfort food served up in huge portions you’ll have to take home.
USE OUR SENSE: Load up your fries, so yummy!
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Visit earlier in the evening for happy hour specials or on particular nights for game night deals.
Dinic’s Roast Pork and Beef --Philadelphia, PA
What isn’t good at Reading Terminal Market, really? This place was featured on Food Network so of course, we had to give it a go. Now it’s a must-stop whenever we’re in Philly. While seating can be hard to find at prime time in the market, it’s okay for half the party to take time searching because the other half of your party will be waiting in the longest line inside the whole market. Their signature sandwich is amazing marinated roast pork on a hard sub roll with broccoli rabe and shaved sharp provolone. The sandwich really gives the traditional Philly sub a run for its money. Try it!
USE OUR SENSE: Order their signature, that’s a no brainer.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Around the corner at another Reading Terminal Market stand, you can get your pierogies, French fries or onion rings to go along with the feast. Not that you'll need them with the size of this sandwich.
Dolce Mamma Italian Grill --Bethlehem, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Coming soon....
SAVE YOUR CENTS:
Easton Wine Project --Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Coming soon....
SAVE YOUR CENTS:
Forks Mediterranean Deli --Easton, PA
Tiny, tiny. Don’t plan on eating in, but do plan on shopping for some Greek candy while you wait for your deli sandwiches. Very good, everything loaded with garlic. Fresh ingredients made by relatives who know what they are doing in the kitchen.
USE OUR SENSE: Choose a specialty sandwich from the board.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Don’t be brave and try the curiosities at the counter, haha, you’ll see.
The Galley --Wind Gap, PA
USE OUR SENSE: I think we might be the only two people on Earth who don't like this place? All we've heard is rave reviews. No, sorry. The place itself is outdated, boring, and stale. It's over-decorated and nautically tacky. The food was nothing special.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: I'm sure there's an early bird dinner special here, because seniors seem to be the only patrons. Pass.
Geaker's Tacos --Bethlehem, PA
Oh Geakers, I hold them so dear to my heart. Haha. The place is good, tacos are their specialties. Small grease shack type menu, but solid. Quick. Friendly. Hours could be better, we're disappointed a lot when we drive by mouth-watering for a taco salad.
USE OUR SENSE: Give the taco salads a try.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Last I was there it was cash only, something to know before venturing there.
Giuseppe’s --Easton, PA
Eh. Not much to say about this place; had really high hopes. We thought, ‘oooh, local Italian, Giuseppe in the kitchen, must be fantastic.’ The food was tasty, sure, but you’ll get the same caliber, if not better food at La Bella Via or Steve’s. The menu offers a lot of choices, even frog legs…and it’s a BYOB which offers a bit of charm as well. It’s nice for a Sunday dinner, they can accommodate the typical Italian long table family get-together with a call ahead. In fact, some of our family members really like it there and visit often.
USE OUR SENSE: Don’t expect to make it out quickly. Is it because everything is made fresh to order? Or because the service is just less than adequate? Don’t know…but we won’t be back to find out which.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Hmmmm…do I really have to spell it out here?
Isaac's Famous Sandwiches --Lancaster, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Yum. This cute little deli is fun and friendly. It's modern, upbeat and offers a great sandwich selection. We've never had a bad sandwich here. It's great on-the-go or for a lunch stop during the week.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Everything on the menu is named after a birdie. Love it! Plus, download their mobile app and pre-order to speed up your lunch stop.
Jake's Wayback Burger --Easton, PA
We’ve heard great things about this new little burger joint in Easton, but we’ll just go to Five Guys if we want something this speed. It’s a fancier McDonald’s or Burger King really. Just fast food. The burgers were small and overpowered by the huge soft buns, but that’s why they offer double and triple burgers, I guess. They make their own potato chips fresh, and they were pretty good; can’t get that in many places around here. If you’re gonna order the combo, choose the chips over the onion rings for sure.
USE OUR SENSE: The smoothies should be where the talk comes from. They have original flavors; we were impressed by the Orange Creamsicle which tasted exactly like the real thing. If we go back at all, it will be for a smoothie.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Just go to Five Guys Burger and Fries.
Josie's New York Deli --Easton, PA
Another staple in Eastonian culture, this place is a must. It’s the perfect lunch destination, and you’ll know everyone else thinks so too, because there’s a huge line between 11:30a-1pm on weekdays. Josie’s is closed on the weekends, so waiting in the line is your only option. Josie and the rest of Lebanese family serve up delicious soups and sandwiches.
USE OUR SENSE: Roast beef on a pita with mayo and veggies. Potato salad, mmmm.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: These pitas are so big, you’ll get two days’ lunch out of one.
Kaya --Pittsburgh, PA
Another restaurant in the Strip District of lovely Pitt (similar to our city’s meat packing district), this was an ethnic treat. The atmosphere was fresh and colorful, they offered fun drink specials that made our mouth water, and the food was delightful. Don’t think ethnic as ‘not being able to read anything on the menu’, think familiar ethnic. Food you love with Caribbean/Jamaican flavors. Recommend giving them a shot!
USE OUR SENSE: Try the wings appetizers (yummy flavors), sweet potato fries, and the fish tacos. Mmmm.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Try their drink specials, they have a nice happy hour.
Keystone Pub --Bethlehem, PA
Grab some dinner here, or use it as your local bar for drinks with friends or to watch the game. You can have dinner with the family upstairs and not even realize it's a hopping sports bar downstairs. Food is good, wings are one of Bare's fave! Definitely worth checking out. Parking is ample, easy location right on Easton Avenue, locals love it and know it well. Visit now, just in time or football season.
USE OUR SENSE: Visit. Potato pancakes, mmmmmmm.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Visit for Trivia Nights, Karaoke, and even Acoustic Nights.
La Kang French Thai --Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: The food is delish; their mushroom spring rolls and pad Thai rank! lots of vegetarian options too. Definitely recommend for takeout.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: For the love of God, order takeout. The indoor decor looks like your old Aunt Mildreed's house. Suer strange for a restaurant; dated.
Lancaster Brewing Company --Lancaster, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Great food at this old stone brew house. Very reminiscent of our Twin Rivers, Allentown, and Bethlehem Brew Works. Nice place. Recommend if you are in the area and want something other than homemade Amish foods.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Grab a home-brewed beer and the white chicken chili for sure. It became a family favorite of ours quickly.
Made in Brazil--Brazilian Steakhouse --Allentown, PA
Located right on Hamilton Street in Allentown, PA this enormous restaurant in nestled inside the Holiday Inn. It features a huge bar, a tons of space to dine, and more colors than you'll know what to do with. That's just the beginning. From the moment you walk in, you'll be offered fantastic service from the host, servers, and Maitre D. They have an extensive menu with some of the yummiest Brazilian foods you can find in the area, but you'll want to splurge and order the Rodizio de Churrasco. This is a Brazilian barbeque. They serve you up an endless variety of meats brought right to the table. Plus, the buffet of hot foods (if you can bring yourself to leave the meats arriving at your table to actually get some).
USE OUR SENSE: There is another Brazilian Steakhouse in the Valley (Rios, in Nazareth--to be reviewed in more detail at a later date). However, after comparing the two of them, choose Made in Brazil. The food, ambiance, and service place it far ahead of Rios!
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Although Creme' Brulee usually ranks high on our dessert radar, skip it here. It's not their best. Instead, order the Fried Xango Cheesecake. Or, if you want to stay traditional, try the Roasted Pineapple (coated with cinnamon, sugar, and Licor 43).
Mama Nina’s Foccacheria —Bethlehem, PA
Holy garlic! Holy yummy, freshly cut, excessive garlic! Do you remember Pane' Vino of the Lehigh Valley? They are the same owners and offer you up identical garlic bread that requires a 5 foot safe zone around yourself for a week. This place in Historic Bethlehem offers up a small but homey and adorable Italian dining room. The service is great, everyone is full of personality. We’ve found it’s always beneficial to take their suggestions and order from the 'specials' menu. Papa Nino greets you at the door and Mama Nina can be seen tending to details in the kitchen and the dining with a towel over her shoulder working hard. The portions are HUGE!!! I cannot stress how big—you’ll have 3-4 meals. Highly recommend this place—for the food, the atmosphere, and the family feel.
USE OUR SENSE: Order the balsamic calamari appetizer. It may just be the best thing I ever tasted, but be prepared to share because there’s enough for a table of 6.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: I’ve been a victim of over-spicing here, when the specialty pasta sauce is too filled with tons of different herbs and spices it just gets too heavy and gritty—not enjoyable for the palate. Just watch when you order.
Marion Hose Bar --Jim Thorpe, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Best renovated firehouse pub we've ever been to, LOL. Not really a common thing, I get it. But it's worth the stop. Typical pub, but cute fare. The After-School Special; HA! It's an artisan grilled cheese and a bowl of tomato soup. Nice for a warm winter meal. Their outdoor seating is super cute with fire pits at each table.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Very limited seating inside, you'll likely wait on a popular afternoon. Sit outside though if you can. The fire pit tables are fun. Don't try to order a beer flight either; they only offer whiskey flights. Have some fun with that one! We sure did. Poor Bare had to stumble back down Main Street.
Mex Tex Trio --Easton, PA
If Don Pablo’s had an older, more desirable (and local) sister, MexTex Trio would be it. You can’t help but see the similarities; from the menu, to the atmosphere. But, if more local eateries had this type of comfort, appeal and yummy food, we could completely diminish those big chain type restaurants. We loved everything we ordered. They are priced right for the downtown area, the servers were friendly and approachable, and the place is just adorable. Highly recommend! We’ll certainly be back. And if it’s not just for dinner, it will be for one of the cooking classes held monthly by the bubbly and personable owner/chef.
USE OUR SENSE: Save room for dessert—the Chango is to die for!
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Don’t rent a big impersonal banquet hall for your next event, MexTex Trio caters off premises and accommodates private parties on premises (buffets or regular menu) without all the additional fees.
Mister Lee's Noodles--Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Coming soon....
SAVE YOUR CENTS:
Molly's Irish Grille & Sports Pub -- Bethlehem, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Honestly, I'm not sure these guys know what they want to be. Sports bar? Irish Pub? College hangout? It's rather confusing. To us, it was simply a college hangout. Might have been cool to us a few years back, but not anymore. Go to Tilted Kilt, even though it is a chain.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Food wasn't so impressive. Fail at the Irish flavor palette. Don't try the Peanut Butter wings either, oily mess. Order them up at Pickled Egg if you're craving.
Mother's Bar & Grill --Easton, PA
We are back from our short hiatus. We had a wonderful holiday season and we hope all our fans did as well. You may be ready to try some of those restaurant gift cards you received, so here's a great place to start.
USE OUR SENSE: Cute, local place. Owned by a local family. More of a bar than a restaurant, wouldn't call it family-friendly. A piece of the city's history though, regardless. Decent food too. Try a cheesesteak.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Rivals is a new place next door. Our prediction is that it's going to start giving Mother's a run for its money. New may appeal to people, but we'll see which one lasts. Maybe they can be friends and co-exist? :)
Muggles Mug Coffee Shop --Jim Thorpe, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Adorable stop, worth the trip. Their specialty lattes are delish and the family loved the theme. Butter Beer hot latte is where it's at!
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Don't count on it being a major part of your Jim Thorpe trip. It really is just a tiny little coffee shop. After 5 minutes, you're done. There's potential for them to do a lot more with it; make it interactive, add more Potter stuff, but it's kinda lacking in that regard if you're counting on an extensive experience.
Noto's Deli --Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Huge subs, fresh cut meats, good homemade salads and beets.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Check the hours. You could wind up craving a sub and they'll be closed. Typical deli with deli-style hours.
Pacific Fusions --Nazareth, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Their selection of special sushi rolls was very impressive. Bumble Bee Roll (spicy crab, cucumber, avocado, and mango), Fantasy Roll (white fish, salmon tempura, scallions, asparagus, eel sauce), and the Park Avenue Roll (tuna, salmon, crabmeat, radish sprout, and cucumbers) are just a few of these yummy specialties. The presentation is gorgeous, as rumored, and each tasted fresh as ever. If sushi is not your dish, try some of the other Asian classics: Kung Pao Chicken, Beef and Broccoli, Crab Rangoon, etc. You could treat Pacific Fusions as your new Chinese take-out place. The menu is extensive. Or, go the Thai route with Pad Thai, Thai Style Hot Pot with Green Curry, or Mango Shrimp.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: I’d recommend this place for a dinner out with friends; you’ll please everyone’s palette. And it’s affordable. Our typical sushi night out runs about 15% above what we paid here. We’ll return for sure, who doesn’t love that? The only criticism we had was their beverages are canned; no fountain machine here.
Pamela's Diner --Pittsburgh, PA
You’re absolutely going to need a solid breakfast after those fun night Pittsburgh promises you! Pamela’s is the place to go. You’ll wait in line, but it’s well worth it. It’s a 50’s style diner, which is a lot larger than it appears on the outside. Many celebrities have dined at Pamela’s and their autographed photos adorn the walls; most impressively to us, President Obama. He’s even had Pamela to the White House to cook there. Their breakfast is very yummy; it’s a must if you’re in town.
USE OUR SENSE: Try the crepe style pancakes.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Stick with breakfast, duh!
Pearly Baker's Alehouse --Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Great atmosphere, friendly staff at tables and bar. Another piece of Easton's history. Comfy, cozy for sure, with live entertainment. Best for an evening without the kiddies. Try the whipped mashed potatoes; delish!
SAVE YOUR CENTS: The bar area up front is definitely better than the dining room in back. But plan accordingly, because seating up front can be limited (and loud) when the bands set up on busy nights (usually not until 9pm though so you'll be safe for dinner).
Pickled Egg --Easton, PA
A small, cozy place in Wilson houses a comfy bar and a few dining tables for dinner and snacks. They have good pizza from their brick-oven, but the real goods start with the wings. Peanut butter and jelly wings; yes, you read that right. They have a few quirky flavor combinations on the menu, give them each a try.
USE OUR SENSE: They won 2nd place in the Lehigh Valley Cheesesteak Showdown, and I’d vote them for first. Their steaks are great!
SAVE YOUR CENTS: They run drink and food specials during the week, scope ‘em out.
Pino's --Easton, PA
Alright, you wanted casual dining--it doesn't get much more casual than this.
As a P’burg girl I have to be honest and say this place scares me a bit. But, it doesn’t hinder my constant ordering out. Pino’s is the typical Italian grease shack; full of delicious foods that make your blood pressure spike. Our doctors would probably advise us to avoid at all costs, but our mouths water at the thought. We recommend this place for take-out or delivery.
USE OUR SENSE: Order the Sicilian; it can’t be beat. Best in the area.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: If you’re looking for just a regular pie, go to Colonial or Nicolosi’s instead.
Porter's Pub --Easton, PA
It doesn't get more European than Porter's--you'll feel like you're in a Dublin pub from the get-go. The place is tiny, so prime times can be a bit elbow-to-elbow, but Porter's makes it worth it. The wait staff are uber-friendly, they have live performers constantly, and the food rocks! But if you want to add some booze to the mix, join the Beer & Mug club. You'll sample an endless list of beers with your souvenir mug that gets kept at the pub in their special collection. Leave a bit of yourself at the pub until your next visit--because with Porter's, there will always be a next visit. It's a bit out of the downtown circle, but still sits on Northampton Street in Easton.
USE OUR SENSE: Save room for dessert. The menu is on a chalkboard inside the pub and from top to bottom, they all rock! Hollie highly recommends the Creme' Brulee, but Bare fights that the Peanut Butter Silk Pie is the best. Choose for yourself.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Go for Sunday brunch and get some yummy free mimosas! Also, Porter's isn't equipped with an in-house fryer, so do yourself a favor, wing-lovers, don't order 'em.
Primanti Brothers —Pittsburgh, PA
Featured on many television shows and publications (Food Network, Travel Channel, and Man vs. Food), we of course had to stop here during our Pittsburgh weekend. The place was packed, as any place with that kind of publicity would be, but we didn’t have to wait long. We took a seat at the bar and ordered up their 'almost famous' sandwiches topped with cole slaw and French fries. It was good. Nothing to die for, but good. Pittsburgh’s Toby’s, if you will, but in restaurant form. We’ll go back if we’re in the area; it’s worth the stop. Not to mention, the warehouse style strip district this places finds itself a part of, was very reminiscent of parts of New Orleans to us and clearly a part of Pittsburgh’s artsy charm.
USE OUR SENSE: Splurge and order the chili cheese fries, mmmmm.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Don’t expect to get a table for the whole family or a romantic evening. It’s more of a beer/sandwich spot with a friend.
Purple Cow Creamery --Easton, PA
The Purple Cow opened for its 14th season this week, so we thought it would be appropriate to jump start our week with their review too! What’s not to love at The Purple Cow Creamery? Every local knows the place and anxiously awaits the open season. Purple Cow is a dessert staple in the city, as they offer some of the craziest ice cream flavors you could dream. And, they are all delicious! It’s located in the artsy-est alley around and the popping color is very inviting for the whole family.
USE OUR SENSE: Peach Melba Chocolate Chunk and Mexican Chocolate Diablo are rockin’ flavors! The lemonade is fresh squeezed and very tasty, too.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Screw it, it’s ice cream—splurge and get a large!
Quadrant Book Mart & Coffee House --Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Good book selection...what could go better with a snack than that? Good cup of coffee and breakfast sandwiches are yummy. Adorable inside. A bit cluttered so if you're OCD, take a chill pill.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Good prices, campus friendly. Can get really busy at peak college times (welcome back weekend, finals time, parent's weekend, etc.)
Rios Brazilian Steakhouse --Nazareth, PA
Who doesn’t love endless rounds of perfectly cooked meats? Let’s just say it’s not the place for a vegetarian, or anything sort of resembling one. We loved Rios, until we had a point of comparison; Made in Brazil Steakhouse in Allentown. We go there now. The buffet part of the rodizio may be better at Rios, but the meats all seem to be flavored the same. Made in Brazil offers garlic steak, rosemary crusted lamb, etc. Plus, the atmosphere at Rios resembles a cramped log cabin; the outside just looking like someone’s home in Nazareth. Made in Brazil gives you more space, lots of color, and a younger crowd. Either way you choose, you won’t be disappointed. The service is great, there’s tons of food, and it’s an original night out.
USE OUR SENSE: Try them both; you decide. Both will ensure a fun night out in the Valley for something new.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Try the roasted pineapple for dessert. It’s included in the price at Rios, but you have to order it as extra at Made in Brazil. It's better at Rios, and you can't beat 'no additional charge'.
River Grille --Easton, PA
Best, Best, Best date place in the downtown area. If River Grille does something, it’s done right. Everything is above and beyond. The menu is great, the service is always top notch and the owner is on premises to ensure it. The candlelit ambiance is so romantic and comfortable. It’s a smart-casual type of place and it’s in the perfect location a few steps off the circle. River Grille even has a nice front area to rent for special events that fits any occasion.
USE OUR SENSE: Order the apple and baby greens salad with any entrée. Wow! (Oh, and I’m partial to the salmon, always a winner with a yummy dijon glaze on top.)
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Don’t waste your time or money on anything else if you want to impress your date. Just bring them here. There's no way you won't be impressed.
Rivals Sportsbar & Nightclub --Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: It might be new in town, but it's making a big splash. As frequent fliers at Pig Pen Sports Bar in Bethlehem, we were thrilled to hear the same owners were opening up downtown. Then Pig Pen closed and all the staff followed suit to Rivals in Easton too. A fun environment (shoot pool, pitch quoits, throw darts, or even rock out to Bar Bingo). The food is wonderful too; tons of wing sauces to try (recommend the Bay Ranch for sure).
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Monday through Friday from 5p-7p you can get any drink you want for $4. Bar bingo is free on Tuesdays and you can win appetizers. But who needs that when there's $.50 wings on Tuesdays too? All the food is priced well even without the specials. Each night of the week has a drink/food special, plus a video DJ that rocks on the weekends. Oh, and there's no cover...ever. If you're on a budget, this is the spot to be.
Riverside Barr & Grill --Easton, PA (Yes, it's 'Barr'--the co-owner's name is Andy Barr)
Don’t let the ‘biker bar’ stigma scare you away from this place. It’s so comfortable and offers up friendly people of all kinds. Get dinner, go for the bands, or just drinks with friends. You can shoot pool here, throw quoits, play beach volleyball or just picnic out on the renovated tiki deck. We’ve even had success renting this place for a private party; very accommodating. Great bartenders!
USE OUR SENSE: Scope out their website. They have special nights that even include a free dinner buffet and drink specials sponsored by 99.9 the Hawk.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Go early to avoid the cover charge on the weekends.
Salvatore's --Forks, PA
Been around for ages up on Sullivan Trail, casual little Italian place. Bring the whole family as it’s large inside. Cheap, quality Italian food.
USE OUR SENSE: Pizza is delish.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Trust the guy behind the counter. Ask for something special and he’ll treat you to a dish that’s not on the menu.
Sette Luna --Easton, PA
I’ve been waiting to review Sette Luna because Bare and I are torn. I love it! Him, never impressed. We both agree the ambiance is great. Sitting out on the porch under the light-lined trees reminds you how beautiful and inviting downtown Easton truly is. They have Jazz brunches and a cozy atmosphere which invites you to sit and drink wine for hours. The food is very yummy, but (this is where Bare feels very strongly) the portions aren’t large enough. For the price you are paying, you want the huge Italian family style portions and Sette Luna falls short here. I mean, you’re always supposed to leave an Italian restaurant with a doggy bag, right? Not here, you'll want to order another entree'.
USE OUR SENSE: Order a pasta dish. I’m always amazed by the deliciousness of any ravioli-con-anything.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Just order the bottle of wine; forget the glass. You’ll save in the long run because I’m telling you; wine just flows so easily here.
Shady Maple Smorgasbord –Ephrata, PA
Incredible experience. A football field’s length of buffets where you could literally eat yourself to death. Don't, but you could. It’s not crappy mass-produced food from a bucket in the kitchen either, this is yummy handmade Amish food. Delish! Worth the drive to Lancaster County.
USE OUR SENSE: Each night of the week is a different feature; Tuesday is seafood night. Oh, and Saturday morning is breakfast.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Carpool. It takes 90 minutes to get there. But once you are there, it’s like a day trip. Restaurant, Amish market, gift shop, etc. You'll want to walk around a bit after filling your belly anyway.
Snitz Creek Brewing Company --Annville, PA
We totally drive by this place all the time to and from Hershey visits. We never knew it existed and would’ve never known if cranky kids weren’t screaming for food at this exact exit. And you know what, we would’ve really kissed out. Brew pub fare, happy hour specials, and the sweetest waitress (a 16yr veteran) you could imagine.
USE OUR SENSE: Get a flight of their home brews. We loved all 4. A dark stout, a fruit sour, a delicious peanut butter something or other, and a blueberry cream pie ale. All so true to their flavor names and delish.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Choose this place over the highly priced mediocre stuff in downtown Hershey.
Snydersville Family Diner --Snydersville, PA
I'm sorry, no. I must just not be a diner person. I've heard rave reviews about this place; 'solid homemade food, not that typical crap from a vat found at a diner'. I don't know, it was decent, but we'll probably not return. Yes, they have meals on the menu that can be reminiscent of large family dinners (turkey and all the fixins, spaghetti and meatballs, etc.) but that doesn't mean it's homemade family food.
USE OUR SENSE: Don't go at 4pm. It's a haven for old timers and has the old diner feel to go along with it. I don't think the mirrored walls, coffee bar, or booths have been updated in quite a few decades.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Go somewhere else. But is there anything in Snydersville?
Spice India --Nazareth, PA
It is a chain, and we usually won’t review chains; but we made an exception for Spice India. The food is wonderful, best we’ve had in the area. It’s easy to order off the menu for that skeptical American trying Indian food for the first time as the waiter will explain the options along with the included pictures on the menu.
USE OUR SENSE: The service is uber-slow, so don’t choose this place if you’re in a rush. We visit a few times a month, and have struck out with service so often that we only use the take-out service now.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Restaurant.com offers discounted certificates for this location, however they do not accept them. You’ll waste the money you spent on what you thought was a great deal. Oh, and I don’t know what type of break/chip/snack they serve you when you first walk in, but it is GROSS! And we don’t say that about many things.
Starter’s Riverport --Bethlehem, PA
A hot spot for any age. There are enough TV’s in this place to send you into a tizzy. The place is a modern sports bar, much larger than the outside leads on. It’s a perfect happy hour spot, weekend party locale or just a dinner stop for the family. The portions are HUGE, and good, but not for a foodie by any means. It’s good bar food, but as a restaurant, it’s average. We were impressed, however, when a chef came to the table with pizza for us to try. They walk around with samples of featured items; great sales tactic. We ordered one. Check this place out! It’s all about the atmosphere.
USE OUR SENSE: Order the tomato basil pizza with fresh mozzarell…mmmmmmmm!
SAVE YOUR CENTS: The lump crab cake was disappointing; like it was simply defrosted and plopped on some greens. Check out their website or Facebook first for a daily special to save a few bucks.
State Café and Grill --Easton, PA
So-So little place, kinda loud from the grill vents in the center of the place, bizarre layout. Trying hard to be a romantic, trendy setting, but comes off kinda hipster. Enjoyed the Nintendo artwork, but my guess is that rotates.
USE OUR SENSE: Don’t visit for a romantic evening, more of an after work drink/burger place. Even breakfast.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Scope out the specials written on the chalkboard; some fabulous local bakers and farms are used for all natural ingredients.
Stemie’s 1818 Tavern --Easton, PA
Historical little tavern in Palmer. Great for a quick drink after work or for a wonderful dinner too. Don’t bring a large party, no space for that. Seat yourself around the bar corner at tables for 2 or 4, maybe 6, nothing larger. Extensive martini list.
USE OUR SENSE: 2nd best wings in the area. Go for it. Oh, and we highly recommend the English Burger.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Frequent the place, you’ll see regulars…funny thing, drinks come cheaper when you know the regulars.
Stoke Coal Fire Pizza and Bar--Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Coming soon....
SAVE YOUR CENTS:
Tandoor Grill --Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Coming soon....
SAVE YOUR CENTS:
Third and Ferry Fish Market --Easton, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Coming soon....
SAVE YOUR CENTS:
Tiltled Kilt --Allentown, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Okay, it's a chain. We don't usually review chains. But it's a small one? No, we were actually hearing so much about it, we wanted to give it a go. Plus, we saw their owner on Undercover Boss and he was nice, so.... it did had good bar food. Barry likes to call it a HOOTERS that actually shows off the parts he likes, haha. Mind you, he's an ass-man and the ladies are all in short kilts. I thought it would be more of an Irish Pub because of these outfits, but it leaned more to the Sports Bar side of the spectrum.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Nacho chips were yummy, good burgers, great seasoned garlic fries, etc. Steer clear of the Blue Moon wings. As good as you want them to be...they lack. The waitress tried to warn us, but we didn't listen.
Tony Luke's Cheesesteaks -- Philadelphia, PA
Well, we missed last week because we were away on vacation. But don't worry, we'll make up for it with a kick-a** review today. And, we have three new ones coming from our vacation destination. Keep your eyes peeled.
You won’t even want to give Pat or Gino’s a try after you eat at Tony Luke’s. His classic steak (red gravy and whiz) is amazing. And amazingly messy. Stock up on napkins. He has an indoor restaurant across the street you may want to try, too. We go down to Philly with those intentions, but as soon as we see the steak shack and smell the goodness radiating, we never quite make it across the street.
USE OUR SENSE: Stick with the classic, or the Roast Pork Italian (marinated roasted pork with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe)--it's great, but Reading Terminal still holds the trophy.
SAVE YOUR CENTS: Skip the fried nasties; fries, onion rings, etc. It’s all about the steaks.
AN EXTRA TIP: (specifically for those Phils fans) The Tony Luke's steaks served at Citizen's Bank Park aren't as tasty as the home-location original; they aren't worth the wait away from the team.
Urbano --Bethlehem, PA
USE OUR SENSE: Coming soon....
SAVE YOUR CENTS: