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

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.

Dutch Country Restaurant

Fresh Peaches not from a can, is just the start of the dinning experience.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find new restaurants. My neighbor recommended the Dutch Country Restaurant in Hanover Pennsylvania. One thing I noticed about restaurants in this area, go early. In general I prefer to go early, so we had no problem getting a seat; but it didn’t take long to fill up. Dutch Country has an extensive menu. I would recommend looking at the menu on-line before you go. My neighbor had high praises for Dutch Country. It didn’t take long for me to realize the food here is really good.

Dutch-Country-Peach-Waffle
Dutch Country Restaurant’s Fresh Peach Waffle

Fresh Peaches on a waffle anyone! The special this morning was Fresh Peaches Waffle. No canned peaches here. No need for syrup. Dutch Country’s Fresh Peaches Waffle was good to the last bite. It says a lot for a restaurant that serves fresh, not from a can food. Under normal circumstances, the waffle would constitute a meal by itself, but we wanted to try several items on the menu.

Dutch-Country-Smoked-Sausage-Omlet
Dutch Country’s Smoked Sausage Omelet

I wasn’t certain where to begin when it came to their selection of omelets. I could have settled for my standard bacon omelet, instead I ordered on the Smoked Sausage Omelet, with cheddar cheese. I’m a huge fan of smoked meat in general; put it in an omelet with cheddar cheese, now you have won me over. Given a choice of toast or biscuit, I opted for their biscuit. Biscuits have a tendency to be dry, not the Dutch Country biscuits. There biscuits are buttery and flaky. A perfect compliment to the omelet and country potatoes.

Dutch Country Eggs and Sausage
Dutch Country Eggs Over Easy with Fresh Sausage

Dutch Country’s Sunny Side Up Eggs with Fresh Sausage and Country Potatoes was completely appetizing. The Fresh Sausage is lighter in flavor, yet tasty. I would recommend this for a person who doesn’t like spicy food. I mentioned in the past I’m not a fan of Country Potatoes. To give an honest review I had to try them. The Country Potatoes looked and tasted good, you can tell one of the cooks sliced them fresh that morning. Their seasoning was just right.

I think it’s needless to say, Dutch Country Restaurant will become a regular stop. Word of mouth in this case was dead on. Next time I see my neighbor I will have to thank him. If you have been to Dutch Country Restaurant or have another favorite breakfast place, leave your comment below.

Gettysburger

Not your just your run of the mill burger.

Gettysburger should be on every foodies list of places to visit. It shouldn’t be surprising that restaurant that specializes in hamburgers has really good burgers. Gettysburger Company in Gettysburg Pennsylvania seems to be a step above other Gourmet Burger joints.

Gettysburger Western
Gettysburger Western Burger

Dry, no way. From my first bite of their Western Burger, juices from the burger flowed down my hand. Fortunately the waiter anticipated this and left me a stack of napkins. The combination of BBQ sauce and Cheddar cheese was not overpowering. The toppings complimented the burger. The 8oz patty is flavorful all on its own. Some restaurants make up for so so burger patties with condiments. This is not the case at Gettysburger.  They have 17 different burgers on the menu, it may take you a minute to decide which burger to try first.

 

While you are trying to decide, try their wings as an appetizer. Pictured is their large wings. They could be considered a meal all by themselves. When selecting a sauce, I tend to go with hot or spicy. Their sauce was manageable, accept maybe for people that are sensitive to spicy food.

Gettysburger has a full menu of comfort food items, if you are not in the mood for a burger. Their Chicken Cordon Bleu sounds good, but so does the selection of wraps, if you are looking for something on the lighter side. Your kids might enjoy their Sidewinder Fries.

Gettysburger Company is one of those restaurants you will want to go back to, even if it is nothing more than trying the different burgers on their menu. When you are in the mood for a burger and don’t want a humdrum fast food burger, go to Gettysburger in Gettysburg, PA. If you have been to Gettysburger or have another favorite burger restaurant, leave me a comment in the comment section.

O’Lordans Irish Pub

O’Lordans Irish Pub serves up the best Fish and Chips in Westminster, MD.

O’Lordans Irish Pub is one of those places that if you are in the area, you definitely want to stop and have lunch or dinner. Business brought me to the Westminster area so there was no doubt in my mind where I was heading this Friday afternoon for lunch.

According to their web-site, the building started life as a foundry in the late  1860’s. Since then it has housed may businesses.  The Johannson family purchased and fully restored the building in 2005. O’Lordans  has three separate eating areas, the bar area downstairs, the main dining area upstairs, along with balcony seating.

The first time I went to O’Lordans, the place was packed.  On this trip they were just opening for lunch, so seating was  not an issue. The question is, what is the draw of an Irish pub? I would say it is the patrons. The crowds are so vibrant. Then again in the case of O’Lordans Irish Pub, the food is also excellent.

O’Lordans serves your standard Irish fare. You can’t go wrong with their Corned Beef, served with a creamy parsley sauce. Then again, Bangers and Mash, Beef & Guinness Stew or Shepherds pie are always a crowd favorite. 

OLordan Fish and Chips
O’Lordans Fish and Chips

Hands down they serve the best Fish and Chips in the area. I would even go as far to say, their Cod fillets are some of the best on the East Coast. Deep fried to a golden brown. The Cod is light and flaky. The portion is very generous; surprising in this post Covid era. The meal comes with tartar sauce. Tartar sauce is supposed to enhance the flavor of food.  There are times I have used it to cover up the taste of the fish. Here at O’Lordans, tartar sauce is not needed. With the light flavor of the cod, tartar sauce can cover up what is a really a good bite.

Simply put  O’Lordans Irish Pub should be at the top of your list of places to visit, especially if you like Irish food. The plus for me is some of the best Fish and Chips I have ever had. Let me know your thoughts below. Have you been to O’Lordans? Do you have a favorite Irish Pub?

 

Hub City Diner

The spark for this trip came from listening to Fox and Friends. They went to the Hub City Diner in Hagerstown Maryland for a segment they call Breakfast with Friends. So the question becomes, what was the host raving about when it comes to Hub  City Diner, is the food really as good as they say it is? I decided to drive the long route there, which took me through a section of Maryland and Pennsylvania I have never seen. I was captivated by rural Maryland and the beauty of the rolling corn fields. The drive definitely help set my expectations for my breakfast to come.

Deep Fried French Toast
Deep Fried French Toast, Hub City Diner

Deep Fried French Toast! With my love of French Toast, I had to try it. Deep Fried anything has to be good, right? To complete my breakfast I ordered scrambled eggs and bacon on the side. I have spoken in the past about eating with your eyes, so when my breakfast arrived, I wasn’t overly impress. I give them an ‘E’ for effort when it came to plating. Still my hope was bite into the French Toast and have a crispy exterior with a moist, tender center. Unfortunately, it was OK, but not to my expectation. For the most part the French Toast was dry. Honestly, cooking the French Toast the standard method might have made it more appetizing.

Scrabbles eggs, so easy to prepare, so hard to screw up. That is unless you serve them cold. Enough said. The best part of my meal was the peppered bacon. The bacon was cooked just right. I like bacon on the thicker side. Their bacon was just that, plus it wasn’t over cooked or dripping with grease. It was a pleasure to eat and saved breakfast for me.

In the case of Hub City Diner it was the drive not the destination. Was I led astray by Fox and Friends, I don’t know. Hub City Diner could have put on one hell of a show and then went back to their standard way of doing business. Having one meal is not the best way to past judgement, but I will not return for a second. I say this because I saw what the other diners were being served and nothing said to me you have to come back and try that.  I leave it up to you whether you want to visit Hub City Diner or not.

Dinosaur BBQ

The Dinosaur BBQ located in Rochester, NY  is the real deal.

On my last trip to Rochester NY, I was told about the Dinosaur BBQ . Given my love of BBQ, I knew on my next trip to Rochester, this is where I was going to eat. I even arranged my flight to ensure I had enough time to go out and eat after arrival.

When you are going to a BBQ what is the first thing that catches your attention when you arrive? For me it is the smoke filled air from BBQ’s preparing mouth watering meats. If you weren’t hungry, you soon will be. Walking up to the Dinosaur BBQ  the first thing that caught my attention was the smell of hardwood smoke in the air. My expectation of good food was starting to soar.

Dinosaur BBQ Sampler Plate
Sampler Plate Dinosaur BBQ, Rochester NY

Given this was my first time at the Dinosaur BBQ, I chose the sampler plate to get an overall impression of Dinosaur BBQ’s food. Of the choices I went with pulled pork, spicy hot link, and St Louis ribs. Along with my meat choices I selected grill Cajun corn and mashed potatoes. The sides are an important part of the Dinosaur BBQ meal experience. They were a perfect compliment to my selection. The Cajun corn was good, but the brown gravy on the mash potatoes was something else. Not all brown gravy is equal. Dinosaur BBQ’s brown gravy is thick, with a deep rich flavor. Needless to say I cleaned the dish!

The pulled pork and spicy hot link were good, but the star was the St Louis ribs. When you eat smoked meat, you should see the smoke ring where the smoke as penetrated the meat. The meat on the ribs was smoked all the way to the bone. The pork was literally falling off the bones. Dinosaur BBQ smokes the ribs with a dry rub and then serves them lightly glazed with their own BBQ sauce. From the first bite you taste elements of the smokey flavor, chased by a tangy after taste. If I knew how good the ribs were going to be, I would have skipped the sampler plate and ordered a half rack of ribs. The next time I’m in Rochester NY, I want to go back to the Dinosaur BBQ and try their West Texas center cut Rib-Eye Steak. I just don’t know whether I want to go with Habanero Cook’s Butter, Bourbon Molasses Steak Sauce. We will see when the time comes.

Dinosaur BBQ Bar
Dinosaur BBQ Bar Area

The Dinosaur BBQ  is the real deal. If you have a hankering for BBQ, this is definitely a destination worth driving too. There are two considerations when deciding to go to the Dinosaur BBQ; first parking at best sucks, and second, expect to wait to be seated. I went on a Tuesday night at 7:30 and there was a 30 minute wait, unless you wanted to eat in the bar. My recommendation, go early and map places to park. But, definitely go!