Pork & Beans Store

Hungry for a good sandwich at good price, you need to go to the Pork & Bean Store in Westminster MD.

I don’t know how many times I have driven by the Pork & Bean Store, of Westminster Md. If it wasn’t for a recommendation by the President of Ridge Engineering, I may have never stopped. This would have been my loss.

If you have been reading my articles, you know that I’m always searching for the best Reuben sandwich. When I was told they make the best Reuben sandwich around, this was enough for me to drive to the Pork & Bean Store and put this recommendation to the test. Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed.

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. My picture does not adequately show how big this sandwich actually is. Pork & Beans Store Reuben Sandwich is a meal. I had lunch for two days.

Pork and Bean Rueben
Pork & Beans Reuben Sandwich

What makes a good Reuben sandwich? To start with you must have quality ingredients. Next is the proportion of the ingredients. You don’t want the sandwich to be one note. Finally, how the sandwich is prepared.

In the case of the Pork & Beans Store’s Reuben sandwich they use a quality corn beef that is thinly sliced. They start with two thick slices of toasted marble rye. They have a unique way of assembling the sandwich. They start with a layer of corned beef, then a layer of sauerkraut, then a layer of corn beef. They finish the sandwich with Thousand Island dressing and Swiss cheese. If I was to change one thing, I would use a thinner slice of Swiss Cheese and ensure it is melted.

Pork and Bean Turkey Club
Pork and Bean Store’s Turkey Club

The Pork & Beans Store’s Reuben sandwich may be good, but their Turkey Club is killer. What makes a sandwich killer? It’s when you bite into the sandwich and it’s definitely not one note. You taste all the flavors in not just the first bite, but in every bite. Now when I’m in the mood for a Turkey Club, I have a new favorite place to go. The turkey was fresh and juicy and the bacon, oh my! I don’t think it would have made much of a difference; but you are given a choice of bread, I selected the marble rye.  Just as in the case of the Reuben sandwich, the Turkey Club is a meal. I have to admit I didn’t save half the sandwich. It was just that good. This sandwich alone is worth the drive.

I haven’t tried their breakfast selections yet, but I will be back whenever I’m in the mood for a good sandwich. There is so much more to the Pork and Beans Store. They sell Artisan coffees, Hahn’s high-quality meats, and a wide selection of BBQ sauces and rubs. They sell unique items that you will be hard pressed to find in a grocery store. I walked out of the store with 3lbs of the Hahn’s bacon they use in their sandwiches.

Have you been to Pork and Beans Store in Westminster Md? Leave a comment below. Do you have a favorite sandwich shop, let me know.

Tavern 19

Tavern 19 on Hamlin NY, considers themself as one of the last great taverns. They serve wood fired dishes.

On my most recent trip to Rochester NY, I was looking forward to trying Tavern 19. The last trip I made to Rochester, I had a choice between Veneto Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta and Tavern 19. Fortunately, I selected Veneto’s. This trip I was determined to go to Tavern 19. I was hoping I would strike gold on two trips in a row.

Usually, the week prior to my trips to Rochester, the Production Team from Rochester and I discuss on our conference call where I am going to eat this trip. Of course, I ask for recommendations. I have to say the Production Team in Rochester is fairly good at picking restaurants for me. On this occasion they couldn’t have been more wrong.

I went to Tavern 19 on a Wednesday night. The place was empty for the most part. There was one other couple in the dining room and a group of people in the bar. So my expectation was good service and good food. It turns out I was expecting too much. My waitress was nice. She was very attentive. My only fault with her was that she couldn’t describe all the food items on the menu. After going through the menu, I settled on Steak Au Poirve.

Tavern 19 Steak Au Poivre
Steak Au Poivre

The description of their Steak Au Poirve sounded good. It was a little on the pricey side, but I felt like splurging for a good steak. Their interpretation of Steak Au Poirve was a 20 ounce cut of steak, Wine based Demi-glaze ,  with peppercorns and garlic. Sounded appetizing. I had a choice of sides, so I chose mashed potatoes.

When my meal arrived, the first thing I tried was the mashed potatoes. They were borderline cold and lumpy. In that first bite I picked up some of the Demi-glaze sauce. It was sweet, certainly not what I was expecting. So, I cut myself a bite of steak and soon discovered is was mostly gristle. I was not about to eat gristle, so I politely spit it out.  Strike two was having at least a third of the steak comprised of gristle. I was already not happy with the sweet flavor of the sauce; strike three came when biting into the crunchy burnt pepper corns, very unappealing. This steak was horrible. I only ate half of what remained after cutting away the gristle.

There should be no question as to whether I will ever return to Tavern 19 or recommend them. Have you been to Tavern 19 and had a better experience or have a favorite Steak House in the Rochester NY area, please leave a comment.

Food 101

Food 101 is a Foodies Paradise. From their Fresh Salads, to their Artisan Pizzas, and Gourmet Sandwiches. You can’t go wrong dining at Food 101 in Gettysburg.

Food 101 is a Foodie destination in Gettysburg, PA. They have taken comfort food classics and injected them with flavor. For months now, I have been wanting to try Food 101. They come highly recommended and now I understand why.

If you are a people watcher, you will like Food 101’s location. Sitting on the corner of Chambersburg and North Washington, you have huge windows to look out and see the tourist walk by. Inside Food 101 you will fine a clean smartly decorated restaurant.

Food 101’s menu screams, you have sampled our lunch, come back for dinner. Served after 4:00 P.M, they have selections like, Norway Lobster Pappardelle, Basil Chicken Ratatouille, and for me, the eye-catching Pork Ribeye. Intriguing on their lunch menu was the Tuna Burger, la Cubana, and my selection, the Club 101. If you are a vegetarian, they have a Vegetable Powerhouse sandwich.

Food 101 Club 101
Club 101

Looking for something light and tasty, I decided upon the Club 101. The Club 101 has house roasted, hand carved turkey breast, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, chipotle mayo, on wheat berry bread. I chose to complete my meal with house made chips.  For a little extra, I could have tried the Truffle Fries.

Food 101 knows how to carve turkey. The Turkey was sliced thicker than what you find on your typical deli sandwich. Biting into the Club sandwich the first thing I noticed was how good the turkey tasted. You would think this was coming from your Thanksgiving leftovers. Except for the Turkey was tender and juicy.  You can’t go wrong with avocado on a club sandwich. The Turkey was the star, but a close second was the chipotle mayo. It added just enough spice, but not to much too distract from the sandwich.

Food 101 Strawberry Chocolate Tart
Food 101 Chocolate Strawberry Tart

Food 101 does not bake their desserts in house. But they do have a personal baker that makes all of their desserts. Unfortunately, they only keep limited quantities, so the only thing they had left when I went to order was the Chocolate Strawberry Tart. It tasted as good as it looked. I’m not a fan of Chocolate desserts, but if I was in a mood for a dessert, I would order this again.

Food 101 is definitely a place I will go back to. Looking at the menu, I see several trips in my future. I will make sure I am there after 4:00, so I can indulge in the Chef’s Selections.

Needless to say I recommend Food 101 on your next trip to Gettysburg. Have you been to Food 101 or have a favorite Gettysburg restaurant, leave a comment below.

Veneto Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta

Veneto Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta in Rochester NY, is a must visit Italian Restaurant. The food is made fresh in a kitchen where you can watch your food being made.

Truthfully, if Veneto Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta in Rochester NY, had not been recommended to me, I’m not sure I would have stopped. The old saying is, don’t judge a book by its cover. Veneto is a must visit Italian restaurant. There is a lot to be said about a restaurant where the food is made fresh in a kitchen where you can watch your food being prepared.

One of the things that struck me was that Veneto was packed on a Wednesday night. I was lucky enough to find an open table. They have live music on Wednesday nights, but I’m certain that it was the food that was drawing in the crowd.

Veneto is not your standard pizza joint. The menu reads as if you are eating at a finer dining Italian restaurant with selections such as Pasta con Funghi and Prosciutto with Peas Alfredo. I’m not sure if Lasagna is something you would expect to be served in a fine dining Italian restaurant, but it’s definitely not on the menu at Veneto. It took me a while, but I finally settled on the Veal Piccata special.

Veneto Veal Piccata
Veneto’s Veal Piccata

The Veal Piccata at Veneto is not a menu item. Fortunately for me it was one of the specials on the night I visited. Veal Piccata is simple, yet a complex dish. The thinly slice veal, is breaded and cooked to a golden brown, then laid over pasta. They finish the dish by coating the veal with a buttery, tangy lemon sauce with capers. In Veneto’s rendition of Veal Piccata, they have added spinach. This was a perfectly balanced dish. The veal was cooked to perfection and I could not get enough of the sauce. Veneto makes Bucatini pasta in house. With the center of the Bucatini pasta being hollow, allowing the sauce to penetrate the pasta. This makes for an exceptional bite.

My only complaint was that I ate a full-sized salad and was not able to finish my Veal Piccata. While waiting for my food, I was watching some of the other dishes being served. There are a lot of meals I want to try. At the top of my list is their Wood Fired Pizza. Pizza was the reason I went to Veneto in the first place.

I highly recommend Veneto Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta in Rochester NY. If you are in the Rochester area check them out. Have you been to Veneto? Do you have a favorite Italian Restaurant in the Rochester NY area? Please leave your comments below.

Molli’s Cafe

Molli’s Cafe is no longer Westminster Maryland’s secret place to dine.

You’re hungry, looking for a place to eat, how can you not try a place that has a sign on the window that says, “Fresh Fun Food.” Molli’s Cafe in Westminster Maryland has to be on your list of cafe’s to try.

If you are looking for a burger and fries, Molli’s is not for you. What you will find at Molli’s is predominantly breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Looking at their menu, it might be a good idea to know what you want before walking in. I was drawn to Molli’s by a picture of their Waffle Breakfast sandwich I saw on Molli’s Facebook Page. Scanning their menu once inside the cafe, I went in another direction and settled on their Meatball Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

I heard a couple sitting behind me, raving about their waffles. When you look at the menu, you will see that Molli’s incorporates waffles into both breakfast and lunch items. From your typical waffles with fresh fruit, to Turkey Club on Waffles. If you like Waffles, you have more reason to try Molli’s.

Molli's Blog Grilled Cheese Meatloaf Sandwich
Molli’s Meatball Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Combining two of my favorite sandwiches, Meatball and Grilled Cheese, is something I might have tried at home, with not near the success. What’s not to like, tasty meatballs, a sauce that actually isn’t just boring tomato sauce, and of course the grill cheese. As you can see in the picture, they didn’t just slap two pieces of white bread together and throw in on the grilled. The bread is actually seasoned. This is one of those sandwiches that is a taste experience.

Molli's Waffle Sandwich
Molli’s Sausage Egg and Cheese Sandwich

With all this talk of Waffles, I didn’t know when I be back to Westminster, so I decided to order a Molli’s Waffle Breakfast sandwich to go.   I order Molli’s Waffle Breakfast sandwich with sausage, egg, and cheese. I didn’t pay attention when they put the sandwich in a bag for me to take home. I was surprised in the morning to find this sandwich is a meal in itself. In saying this, the sandwich was bigger than I expected. I understand why my fellow patrons were raving about the waffles; they are good. They are slightly sweet, no need to ad syrup. The sausage was good, very tasty. This is one of those sandwiches that is good to the last bite.

Molli’s Cafe is definitely one of those places I will visit again. With so many items on the menu I want to try, I will have to study the menu on-line before my next visit. Then again, if it is time for breakfast, the Waffle Breakfast Sandwich will be an easy choice.

Have you been to Molli’s or know of a cafe you would like me to review. Leave a comment below.


Roost Uncommon Kitchen

The Roost Uncommon Kitchen in York PA, servers over the top Brunch.

Martin Luther King Jr day gave me an opportunity to go to York PA for the first time. I purposely planned to go to York and find a place to eat lunch. The problem was I arrived downtown too early, most of the restaurant weren’t open yet. Walking down Market St, I came across Roost Uncommon Kitchen. At Roost it is all about brunch. They are open Wednesday through Monday from 8am to 2pm. How could I not try Roost with menu items such as, The Garbage Biscuit, The Flower Pot, and what I finally settled for, Dry Aged Brunch Burger. While I was waiting for my order, the one thing that was killing me, was the smell of food from the table next to me. Man, it smelt good! Scanning the restaurant I saw several dishes I would love to come back and try.

Roost Dry Aged Brunch Burger 2
Roost Dry Aged Brunch Burger

My first bite of the Dry Aged Brunch burger was over the top fantastic. It was like an explosion of flavor. I could taste every layer of the burger. The Dry Aged Brunch Burger starts with a 6oz Ribeye and Brisket Blend. Then the burger is topped with Cooper Cheese, House-Made Bacon Jam, a Fried Egg and a Hollandaise Drizzle on a Brioche bun. Every bite of this burger was as good as the first bite. I was hungry when I sat down, I definitely left full. What can be said about curly fries that hadn’t been said. I don’t know what I was thinking, I should have tried their hash browns. Especially since this is the first restaurant I have been to in PA that serves hash browns. To top off the meal, the coffee was really good. Roost on their website claims everything on the menu is made from scratch. After eating the Dry Aged Brunch Burger, I believe them.

I don’t think there is any question as to whether I recommend visiting the Roost Uncommon Kitchen. If you are in the York area and you are looking for brunch or better yet, good food, try Roost. Have you been to Roost? Leave your comments below.

Corner Cafe

America needs more Cafe’s like the Corner Cafe in Portsmouth VA.

Now that I no longer live in Virginia, I always make a point of heading back to the Corner Cafe, in Portsmouth Virginia for breakfast, whenever I’m in town. America needs more Cafe’s like the Corner Cafe. When I lived in Portsmouth, my Saturday morning routine consisted of walking to the Corner Cafe for breakfast and good conversation. There is more to the Corner Cafe than good breakfast. Their menu is full of comfort food classics. Not to mention their daily specials.  When I say America needs more Cafe’s like the Corner Cafe, I base this on the sense of community built by enjoying comfort food with people from every walk of life.

Corner Cafe Bacon and Cheddar Omelette
Corner Cafe’s Bacon and Cheddar Omelette

What is so special about the Corner Cafe’s breakfast? Their three-egg omelette is a good example of why people return to the Corner Cafe. The eggs are light and fluffy. They don’t skimp on fillings such as cheese, vegetables, mushrooms, and meats such as country ham, bacon, or sausage. Nothing disappoints me more than when I don’t get a choice of cheese. This is never the case when it comes to the Corner Cafe. Another aspect of what makes the Corner Cafe worth a visit is they listen to how you want your meal prepared. I was not let down when I ordered crispy hash browns. The hash browns were served golden brown on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It may be a small thing; I also appreciate that I can order my English muffin grilled. The English muffin becomes saturated with butter, yum. If you haven’t tried an English muffin grilled you should.

Chain restaurants offer good breakfast choices. I’m not about to criticize a Denny’s or Perkins; but we need more community diners such as the Corner Cafe.  Community diners are like family. A place you know you will get a good home cooked meal, served by people you consider your friends. Do you have a favorite community diner? Have you been to the Corner Cafe? Leave your comments below.

Friendly Farm Family Style Restaurant

Looking for a place to gather with Friends and Family, Friendly Farms in Upperco, MD should be at the top of your list.

Friendly Farm Family Style Restaurant is a unique dining experience in Upperco MD. Why would people from out of state drive off the beaten path to Hereford in unincorporated Baltimore County, to dine at Friendly Farm? Is it the food or the dining experience. This is not your date night style of restaurant. This is a restaurant where you sit down with family and friends.  The uniqueness begins when you first walk in, prior to seating, you order your main dish. Then you find a table. Given that the meal is served family style, the servers will bring out bowls of the appetizers. Take what you want and pass it around. When your main dish arrives, the servers will bring out bowls of the side dishes.

Friendly Farm Roast Beef Plate
Friendly Farms Roast Beef Plate

Don’t go to Friendly Farm expecting a huge menu. Their menu ranges from Fresh Fried Chicken to Steak, and Seafood specialties. I recommend reviewing their website prior to going. I chose their Roast Beef, the thought of tender beef smothered in brown gravy appealed to me. The Friendly Farm roast beef lived up to my expectations. The sides that came with the meal were good, but the one side they don’t serve is mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes smothered in their brown gravy would have been perfect. If you not of fan of canned green beans, I would recommend skipping them. I myself prefer fresh or frozen green beans. The meal is finished off with a serving of ice cream.

The appeal of Friendly Farm is that this is perfect if you want to sit down with your family and friends and don’t want the hassle of cooking or the cleanup after a real good meal. You pay one price for the meal with comes with limitless drinks, appetizers and sides. The one appetizer that stood out was the Sugar Biscuits, not recommended for diabetics, a sweet warm biscuit coated in sugar is something else.

Friendly Farm Exit
Friend Farms Family Style Restaurant

I will definitely recommend Friendly Farm Family Style Restaurant. Quiet and intimate, no. Family restaurant, yes. When I speak about destination drives, this is definitely a destination drive. Have you been to Friendly Farm; leave a commit below.


Jack’s in Pleasant Hill, CA is a destination restaurant. They have a diverse menu, that’s sure to please.

I have to admit Jack’s was not on my radar when I went to California a couple of weeks ago. Even though I have been there countless times, I had other restaurants in mind prior to my arrival. What a pleasant surprised when the hotel I checked into was less than a block from Jack’s in Pleasant Hill. I tend to not promote a chain restaurant, in the case of Jack’s I’m not certain if you can call them a chain restaurant. Jack’s is family owned. When I was eating there on a regular basis, they had two restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, now they have four. Their web-site touts their dinner menu as Greek-American inspired. You will find everything from burgers to salmon on the menu.

Jack's Zuchini Cakes
Jack’s Zucchini Cakes

Zucchini Cakes have to be one of my favorite appetizers. Jack’s Zucchini Cakes are made with feta cheese, tzatziki, and cucumber-tomato relish. Even though they are deep fried, they are surprisingly light. Jack’s has made it a little harder to share. They used to serve three cakes and now they serve two. Adding to my disappointment, they used to be a little larger.  I chalk this up to inflation, trying to keep cost down. Even still, Zucchini cakes are an excellent way to start a meal.

Jack's Fish and Chips
Jack’s Fish and Chips

I have a new favorite Fish and Chips. No need to find an Irish pub if you live within driving distance from Jack’s. The portion size was surprising. Jack’s serves three large fillets of Alaskan Cod dipped in their beer batter. The cod was light and flaky. They serve it with lemon and vinegar or tarter sauce. I found I didn’t need either. I’m not certain my picture does this meal justice, but their Fish and Chips now tops my list.

Jack's Buffalo Chicken Salad
Jack’s Buffalo Chicken Salad

Given that Jack’s was so close, I actually ate their, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One of my favorites in their salad section of their menu is their Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad. There is no need for an appetizer. I’m certain you will not walk away hungry. The Buffalo Chicken  has just enough heat for those of us that like it spicy. But it’s not too spicy, for those that can’t take the heat. I would highly recommend this for anyone who likes chicken wings and looking for a hearty lunch.

Jack's French Toast
Jack’s French Toast

The French Toast breakfast was just ok. Nothing to write home about. Maybe it’s because I have been spoiled by restaurants back home. My first complaint was that the scrambled eggs did not seem fresh. They appear to come out of a premixed container. The French Toast was good, but they have served better. Brunch used to be more of an event at Jack’s. Now it is good, but if I still lived their, I would look for another breakfast spot. Don’t get me wrong, if you are looking for a family breakfast, Jack’s should be on the list.

With four locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, it should be easy to find a Jack’s to visit. I was impressed with the quality of the food and that they have kept the cost down. If I make another journey to the Bay Area, Jack’s will be on my list. Have you been to Jack’s? What is your opinion? Leave me a comment.

Gallo Pizza & Italian Restaurant

Family owned and operated, Gallo Pizza & Italian Restaurant of New Oxford PA, offers a taste of Italy.

It took a couple of tries to finally eat Gallo Pizza, but it was well worth the wait. One of the keys of making a restaurant a destination worth driving to is word of mouth. I was talking to a friend one morning in a coffee shop, when he recommended Gallo Pizza. The first time I tried to go there, the restaurant was closed and family was vacationing in Italy. Then the other day I was in a shop talking with the owner of Dawg Gone Honey. I told her I was looking to eat lunch. She recommended Gallo Pizza. The cherry on top was she told me they were back from vacation.

Gallo Veal Parm 2
Gallo Pizza Veal Parmesan

I have been looking for a good Italian restaurant in the area for a while now. I have visited Italian restaurants that claim to be authentic; yet they seem to forget something as basic as seasoning. This is not the case with Gallo Pizza. I decided to try their Veal Parmesan. Even before I took that first bite, I was pleasantly surprised by the portion size. There was definitely enough for leftovers. I tried the spaghetti with marinara sauce first. The sauce is balanced, well season, not overly seasoned. It wasn’t watery. The Veal is hand pounded, lightly breaded, and deep fried. My first bite left me looking forward to my next bite. This is exactly what I was expecting. I mentioned leftovers. Not today.

Gallo Stuffed Pizza
Gallo Stuffed Pizza

Stuffed pizza, another Chicago original. You might ask, what is the difference between a Stromboli and a Stuffed Pizza. The biggest difference is the pizza sauce is not baked inside the Stromboli, it is normally served in a separate dish. My preference between the two is the Stuffed Pizza. I can’t really say what is my favorite style of pizza. If I had to decide whether to go to New York, the original home of pizza, or Chicago, I would most likely choose Chicago. I do enjoy a good slice, but in Chicago you have both Deep Dish and Stuffed Pizzas to choose from.

Gallo’s Stuffed Pizza is execeptionally good. I wouldn’t be surprised if each slice weighed a half of pound or more. No cheap ingredients here. The meat lover’s pizza featured here has Ham, Pepperoni, Salami, Sausage, Ground Beef, Bacon & Extra Cheese. They finish this pizza off with a light coat of garlic oil on the outer crust. Bite after bite, I could find nothing wrong with this pizza. Not all pizzas are created equal. Nothing worse than a restaurant using cheap tasteless toppings. This is not the issue here, Gallo’s Stuffed Pizza is one of the best in the area.

Gallo Pizza & Italian Restaurant is definitely a destination worth driving to. Just make sure you come hungry. Another plus is they are not over priced, so bring the family. Have you been to Gallo Pizza or have a favorite Pizza Restaurant, leave a comment.