As NYC-ers who've been spending lots of time in the LV, we've been checking out the non-Wegmans shopping and the cool (read inexpensive, low-key, non-chain) places to eat with a 10-year-old. This is what we have so far and I'm hoping other LV chowhounds will tell us what we're missing!
Amelia's Grocery Outlet (Chain store, 4628 Tilghman) -- some great deals here, mostly on snack foods. The key to Amelia's is checking the expiration dates carefully and figuring out what's OK past the date (sometimes way past the date) and what isn't. We've gotten excellent prices on yogurt drinks, OJ, pretzels and some frozen foods. The people are super-nice and will let you make timely returns with receipt. Cash/debit only, closed Sundays.
Aldi's (Chain store)-- mostly good prices on the basics -- milk, eggs, cheese, baking supplies. Closed Sundays.
Queen's health food (Chain store). Good prices on stuff like cashew butter.
The Farmer's Market in Allentown late Saturday afternoon. Prices are high until the end of the day and even then... We love the bread place and the kiffles are excellent. Love looking through the selections of Penn Dutch foods.
Valley Farm Market (610-867-4600) -- the most amazing selection of bagged nuts and candies hard to find anywhere else. Lots of chocolate-covered stuff, penny-candy-type stuff. Good produce, though sometimes on the high side.
Latino Grocery on S. 3rd, I think. Never been. Anyone?
Middle Eastern grocers -- We like going to Sam's and Elias's for produce that we eat the same day. Decent hummous, baba ganouj and olives. Good prices on spices and nuts.
We LOVE Soumaya's home-baked pita bread and their baklawa, as well as their meat pies. Soumaya's has become our favorite place to look around, even though it's tiny.
I haven't been blown away by the tiny farmer's market in Bethlehem near Lehigh U on Thursdays in the summer. The Middle Eastern table's OK, nice people. Anyone have suggestions?
The burritos at Tulum were pretty good, a little off the beaten burrito path. We also liked the burritos at La Lupita (4 W. 4th in Bethlehem)
--Pho Vung Tao in Allentown. We used to go all the time, haven't been recently. Is it still good?
--Little Saigon was delicious but we came away with major MSG headaches.
--Cafe Phuong (4th St. N. of Tilghman) gave us our first unfriendly LV experience. We walked in, all conversation stopped. The owner told us "no Bahn mi." We walked out.
We always order from Mi Chong (Allentown's better than Bethlehem). Nothing out of the ordinary, but dependable.
Aladdin-- Is it closed?
We found Nawab unimpressive -- is there something better out there?
We've heard great things about El Caribe (which we can't find) and La Favorita, both in Bethlehem. We're going to try La Favorita next time we're nearby. Anyone been?
The Cup/The Bethlehem Dairy Store -- yum. And Rita's is always fun.
Anyone tried Tulip's Cafe and Creamery at the Crystal Spring Farm in Schnecksville?
We love LV diners, though recent experiences have been disappointing. The Trivet seems to have lost quality in it's new fancified incarnation, the Bethlehem Diner had at least one waitress from hell, there are other diners that still have big smoking sections that encroach on the non-smoking. But usually if we order one of the Penn Dutch specialties anywhere (chicken or corn pot pie, chicken croquettes (!)), we've been pretty happy.
Vegan Treats Bakery sounds great. Anyone been?
That's it for now. Opinions please!