LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa, September 25, 2012 – Even if you’ve been to the Lehigh Valley many times and seen some of its classic attractions – the Martin guitar factory, the Crayola Experience, Christkindlmarkt – there are hidden gems that should draw you back for a weekend’s stay, all in the name of good eating.
The Lehigh Valley has a terrific range of places to eat serving cuisines from all over the globe, including Kenyan, Vietnamese and Spanish. Tapas on Main is a popular hangout, serving an accessible variety of Spanish-style small plates, including fish and vegetarian offerings. A particularly succulent choice is the Albondigas de Cordero ($ 8.95): lamb meatballs with Romesco sauce, shaved Manchego cheese and slivered almonds. It’s quite a substantial portion for a small plate, with a herbal tomato rich sauce – you’ll want to get some extra bread to get it all – and unabashedly lamb-flavored meatballs that get the Spanish treatment with the nutty Manchego cheese and almonds.
The Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market is simply incredible. Imagine your favorite Pennsylvania farmers market in your mind and multiply it by at least 10. There are old-fashioned treats, ethnic specialties, farm-fresh produce and gourmet ready-to-go dishes. The market is open Thursday – Saturday into the evening, a rare convenience for a farmer’s market. Whether you have fun comparing the different mac-and-cheeses at Southern Delights or spend a long time picking out one of the many specialty burgers created by the Orioles fans at Clover Farms, you’ll definitely want to bring a cooler to bring lots of goodies home.
It would seem that 230 years is a long time for a restaurant to be a local secret. The Inn at Maple Grove is located on a hidden country road, the original tavern building takes you right back to Colonial times. It’s got the dark, chestnut log cabin look of Colonial times, because it’s the real thing. Many of the menu items have a classic charm about them, including a meaty snapper soup and escargot served with local sautéed mushrooms. Steaks and chops are prepared right in front of your eyes on a grill behind the bar. Attire is dressy-casual.
Right in the town square of Easton is the Carmelcorn Store, in business since 1931. The new owner uses the old family recipes for carmelcorn, fudge and other old-fashioned treats. They also have hard to find black licorice styles from around the world.
Also in Easton is the deceptively named The Juice and Coffee Shop (7 N. 3rd St. Easton, PA 18042 (610) 252-2412). Why so? It’s really a treasure trove of all kinds of South American carry-out cuisine, including the “Columbian hotdog”. They jazz theirs up with a sweet remoulade, lettuce chiffonade and crushed potato chips.
How fresh is the fruit at Strawberry Acres? It’s a pick-your-own with a hotline (610-261-2323) to let you know what’s ripe. Sure, there are a lot of activities for kids, including a Johnny Appleseed schoolhouse. However, adults will also love the hayrides with their relaxing views of Lehigh Gap and Blue Mountain. The farm market has plenty of things for purchase if you don’t feel like picking, and the bakery can make custom goodies for your special events.
It takes a Renaissance woman to cover the cool, shocking, tasty, and thought- provoking things in the Baltimore region and beyond. Tamar is a Kentucky Colonel, a beauty pageant winner, and has managed several Southern rock and alt-country bands. She also has a column online, as well as articles of interest to the military. Read more Out and About Baltimore in The Washington Times Communities.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.