We recently visited Philadelphia to see some baseball and enjoyed these three small restaurants outside of the city:
Eagle Restaurant & Sports Bar (324 Main St, Freemansburg). Despite this Portuguese restaurant's tendency to slightly oversalt the food, the cooking was both homey and satisfying. Soup comes with the meal and the night we went,it was a flavorful broth of potato, chorizo and kale. For appetizers we ordered steamed clams in garlic butter, which was rich and satisfying. For the main course, my dining companions ordered baked codfish,which arrived nicely glazed on the outside, moist on the inside.It was accompanied by plain boiled potatoes and sauteed vegetables that complemented the salty fish.I ordered the shrimp and rice,which arrived in a cast-iron cauldron filled to the brim with golden yellow rice and large, fresh shrimp.It was flavorful and filling.The menu offers a range of fish and meat dishes as well as dessert,if you can still fit it in.
Lunch at the small Damascus Restaurant (449 N. Second St, Allentown)was a delight. This Syrian restaurant serves up a wide variety of Middle Eastern dishes including kebabs, babaghannouj, fallafel and homous. Their airan (yoghurt drink) was cold and smooth - a perfect refresher on a warm summer's day. I was dining with a vegetarian friend and we feasted on pickled eggplant (pickled and stuffed with walnuts, garlic and peppers), surkey (homemade cheese with onions and tomatoes), spinach pie, cabbage salad and stewed fava beans. We finished our ample meal with a slice of shredded wheat cake soaked in honey and rice pudding.
A surprising find in Hatboro (home of the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society)was Ming's Noodle & Dim Sum Restaurant (121 South York Road, Hatboro).I was skeptical about the home-made noodles and dumplings but they were delicious! Given a choice of steamed or fried dumplings (chicken, pork, shrimp, vegetable, or fish)and we decided on the steamed vegetable, shrimp and fish dumplings. They arrived moist and tender and were accompanied by a soy-based ginger/chive dipping sauce. I asked for hot chiles and they brought out chile oil, which was surprisingly tasty with the dumplings. For the main course we ordered the cold handmade sesame noodles and seafood panfried noodles. The latter was absolutely delicious, chock full of shrimp,lobster,scallops,straw mushrooms and Chinese vegetables. The deep fried noodles were thin and crispy. The sesame noodle was the only disappointment. The noodles were toothsome and slickery as home-made noodles should be,but too much sesame sauce (tasted like peanut butter sauce) weighed them down. If we ever return to Hatboro, we would definitely try some of their other dishes such as the spicy noodle soup (homemade noodles with seafood in a spicy broth), eggplant with garlic sauce and their intriguing wool mein.
We really enjoyed our dining experience in Pennsylvania!