Thoughts: I first heard of Bolete while watching Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate. I was surprised when they announced Bolete’s location, Bethlehem Pa. From that moment on I knew I had to try their food.
This weekend was my 7th or 8th visit and I’ve enjoyed every time. I’ve never been disappointed which is why I love bringing friends and family here. We ordered calamari and cauliflower soup as our starters. The soup is always a great experience. Its presented separately from the bowl and poured around the garnish. The calamari was delicate and crunchy. For our second course we ordered one duck dish, and one beef (two ways, pictured above). Both were excellent.
I like them because: My first and only experience with eating liver was here. I don’t think I would have trusted any other place. It had this beautiful crisp exterior with an interior that reminded me of mashed potatoes, but in a beef kind of way. It was far more delicious than I had expected. Aside from that experience, they have a seasonal apple sangria that I love and I never leave without ordering dessert. My choice for dessert is always the same: an order of butterscotch pudding to take home.
I want to try: Every time I’ve been here I’ve ordered different dishes and have experienced their tasting menu. However I’ve gone only a few times to brunch, where typically I order a dish featuring duck confit. I’d like to go back for brunch next time and try something new.
Thoughts: Nawab is my most trusted restaurant for delicious, quality Indian cuisine. It seems I get more for my money when I order take out, rather than eating at the restaurant. I always forget it’s BYOB, but there is a Wine & Spirits store across the street. After we ordered the Special Assorted Platter appetizer we were stuffed and decided to take the rest of our dinner home. Upon this request they were very accommodating.
I like them because: When I first came here I was hooked on ordering the Lamb Curry, as spicy as possible. I’d counteract the hot spicy feeling in my mouth with a Mango Lassi. It’s a yogurt drink that reminds me of a smoothie. After trying Chef’s Special Biryani (a rice dish with saffron, chicken, lamb, and shrimp), I’m now hooked on Lamb Biryani (pictured above). I usually don’t order lamb when I’m dining out, but when I come here I look forward to it because it’s so tender. It’s served with a yogurt sauce called Raita (right side of picture). I usually dump spoonfuls of it over my dish before eating. I especially depend on it when I’m feeling brave, like when I’m ordering my food extra spicy.
I want to try: There’s a Lamb Mango dish I’d like to try on my next visit. On some brave occasion I’d like to know what goat meat tastes like.
I recently purchased a magazine at the Moravian Book Shop called Good Taste: the Valley’s premier culinary resource. The magazine reviews local restaurants and contains recipes from them as well. Though I paid for this publication, the same reviews and recipes are available online for free on their website: Good Taste.
Tonight I opened up my magazine and tried “Lemon Curd Tarts,” a recipe from Jessica’s Tea Room located in Northampton, Pa.
Ingredients (for 8 servings): 3 large lemons, zested and juiced, 1 cup sugar, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup melted butter (I used unsalted, but the recipe didn’t specify), fresh berries for garnish, and your favorite pastry dough, blind baked in (8) 3-inch tart pans.
I found phyllo dough in my home and pressed the sheets into muffin tins. If you do this, just remember not to fill them too high or the filling will be overwhelming.
Directions: Place sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of the food processor, process until well combined. Add lemon juice and eggs and process until smooth. Slowly add melted butter to mixture, pulsing as you go. Place mixture in top half of a double boiler; cook over simmering water until thick and sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and chill completely before finishing tarts. (Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools) To serve, spoon lemon curd into prepared tart shells, garnish with a medley of berries.
They suggests using powdered sugar with the berry garnish, however the curd alone is very sweet. Perhaps the use of salted butter would allow for the extra sugar.
Thoughts: White Orchids in my favorite Thai restaurant in the Lehigh Valley. Whenever I come here it’s because I’m craving one of their curry bowls. Their curry is made using a combination of spices mixed with coconut milk and have a soup-like consistency. Most often I order red curry, and the protein of choice varies between chicken and seafood. I often order my food “Thai hot,” which can be overwhelming for some. However even with my mouth on fire I can still taste the sweet creaminess of the curry.
I like them because: Not only do they have my favorite curry dish, but they have fun appetizers and drinks too. I like their Chicken Satay (chicken skewers with peanut sauce) and Sparkling Pomtini. Their stir fried rice has an unexpected sweetness that I enjoy as well.
I want to try: Crab Fried Rice, Pineapple Fried Rice, or Pineapple Vegan Red Curry. I’m working my way through their specialties menu. I’ve had their Pineapple Duck Curry and I wasn’t crazy about the combination of flavors. The duck breast was my least favorite part of the curry, while I loved the pineapple and cherry tomatoes.
Thoughts: My visit to Jenny’s Kuali tonight was my first ever Malaysian food experience! Out of curiosity I looked up “kuali” and learned that it refers to a small wok. I like this reference because it reminds me that Jenny’s dishes are authentic and homemade. I imagine a cute, tiny wok cooking food just for me.
Upon arrival we ordered bubble teas. If you’ve never had bubble tea, it’s generally a tea based drink mixed with balls or “pearls” of chewy tapioca. I’ve had bubble tea where sugar has been added to the pearls, as tapioca is a starch and doesn’t have much flavor on its own. This wasn’t the case at Jenny’s, because our mango and honeydew bubble teas weren’t overwhelmed with sweetness. Jenny’s is the only place I know of, other than in the Lehigh Valley Mall, where you can find bubble tea in our area.
As for our meals I was surprised to learn that my palate was familiar with the flavors of Malaysian cuisine. I could taste influence of Chinese cuisine in their House Special with chow fun (flat rice) noodles, and of Thai cuisine in their Malaysian Curry Shrimp. They offer dishes that are of Indian influence as well.
I like them because: Thai and Indian foods are two of my favorite types of cuisine. Their unique blend of spices and ingredients create flavors I struggle to replicate at home. The next time I can’t decide whether to go to a Thai or Indian restaurant, I can get the best of both worlds at Jenny’s.
I want to try: Nasi Goreng, a Malaysian fried rice dish.
Thoughts: I recently stayed at the Glasbern Inn, a Lehigh Valley hotel, farm, and restaurant. This historic hotel boasts farm to table dining in a country setting. The restaurant here is good, though staying here last night I chose to dine elsewhere. They serve everything on huge plates that make your food look sparse. You can purchase some of their farm products on site, but I’ve also seen them at the Emmaus Farmers’ Market.
I like them because: It feels like a remote vacation minus the travel expenses. I stayed at the Gate House which was much smaller than what I had expected, but cozy. Some of the amenities included: free wifi, petrochemical free bath products, bathing salts for the whirlpool, and complimentary breakfast. Like their spa services, breakfast is only available for overnight guests.
I want to try: I’d like to give their spa services a try and revisit dinner.
Thoughts: The Mint Gastropub is proof that not all gastropubs are alike. This gastropub has retained the architecture of a bank that once inhabited the same lot on West Broad Street. Inside the inspiration of the bank mixes with elements of modern interior design.
When you get here, I highly suggest ordering a drink and even being prepared to order some sort of small dish to share. They’re always super busy and my patience is shamefully horrible. They serve seasoned chips as opposed to bread products as some restaurants do…but sometimes you’re waiting even for those.
On this occasion we ordered a beer based on the description: figs and chocolate. For our appetizer we shared a plate of hot crispy duck spring rolls. They were in a line with what appeared to be pickled purple cabbage shuffled in between. Two sauces, mustard and aioli, were drawn in parallel lines on the plate. I used the sauces as though they were a slip n slide for my spring rolls. While fun I prefer my spring rolls sans duck or maybe I just prefer duck prepared differently. The aioli, a mixture of sriracha hot sauce and mayonnaise, was addicting.
The wait was worth it though, as our entrees were every bit of flavor we’d hoped for. The Baseball Steak had a crisp exterior with a juicy interior. It was placed over cracker-jack corn, which is like a sweet creamed corn with warm peanuts mixed in. The asparagus was nicely seasoned, but the fries I felt were the dish’s only downfall. They were dull in comparison to other fries I’ve tried. This entree is filling for me, but I’ve been told that it can leave a man hungry.
I like them because: If you order the Truffle Lobster Mac & Cheese, you’ll have enough to take home or share. I heard a lot about this dish and decided to finally give it a try. I fell in love and have to say its some of the valleys best comfort foods. The cheesy pasta was served perfectly al dente (pasta was not mushy or hard, but firm) with crispy clusters of bread crumbs on top. The truffle oil blended in with the cheeses, giving them a very slight mushroom flavor. Generous portions of lobster claw impressed me. I don’t remember the last time I ordered a lobster pasta dish that had this much lobster.
I want to try: They have an appetizer that features bone marrow served with grilled toasts and spiced peach jam. I’ve never had it before and I keep chickening out.
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