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Author Archives: Bluejeanfoodcritic

MeltKraft – Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia, PA

MeltKraft – Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia, PA

The Reading Terminal Market seems to have one gem after another around every turn. Almost hidden in the back with a display case of fresh cheeses to choose from to buy along with many other goodies MeltKraft (MK) is delivering one yummy grilled cheese. The day I visited the gentleman behind the counter could not have been more helpful to a novice cheese eater. I would not only buy some delicious cheese to take home, I would order their Valley Thunder Grilled Cheese.

meltkraft

The grilled cheese consisted of valley thunder twelve month aged cheddar and Bubbe’s brisket topped with baked macaroni mixed with valley shepherd cheese and a side of Covered Bridge Kettle Chips. The sandwich hit almost every note a meat and cheese lover such as myself looks for, while being able to enjoy a childhood favorite meal with a twist. The only problem was I would consider this sandwich something I would only have once in a while, as the cheese consistency was a little thicker than expected, the macaroni gave the texture more of a meal feeling then I what was looking for, and I missed the taste and feel of the sandwich coming off a griddle as opposed the press MK uses. The brisket was spot on though. Even with my slight criticism it was a treat of a sandwich and you should at least give it a try for yourself. While waiting get a sample or two of some Valley Sheppard Creamery cheeses and buy some to take home and enjoy.

Overall

Three and Three-Fourth Stars out of Five

 

2015 Philadelphia Inquirer’s annual Travel & Culinary Expo

(The following is a special series on Bluejeanfoodcritic.com written by guest contributing writer William Knowles. He highlights his passions of of trying something new whenever the opportunity presents itself, or possibly something old, but new again since it has been a while. I hope you enjoy his very special perspective that I am sure many of you can relate to. Follow him on his exciting journey “Around Town”)

vsign

I had the good fortune to attend the Philadelphia Inquirer’s annual Travel & Culinary Expo on Sunday, February 21st.  This year’s event was held at the Valley Forge Casino Resort, located right off the Schuylkill Expressway near the King of Prussia Mall.

expo sign

The festival contained a wide variety of events and expos that are intended to entice you to try some new ideas and exotic locales while planning your travel.  On site travel agencies enabled those interested in booking vacations right away the convenience of doing so.  For those who are new to international travel, a passport station was on hand to provide detailed information on how to apply.

jersey cape

Themed food stations included New England based Cabot Cheese (tied into vacationing in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York), Passanante’s Home Food Services, chain restaurants such as Bahama Breeze, Godshall’s Meats (with delicious turkey bacon fried on the spot), and some local favorites like Tony Luke’s and Fat Jack’s BBQ. 2 Chicks with Chocolate, previously featured in the Around Town segment, provided some fantastic desert.

fat jacks
To wash all of this wonderful food down, our next stop was the Mid-Atlantic Craft Beer Pavilion.  Joe Sixpack, a beer expert and columnist featured regularly in the Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com, was on hand to offer insight and opinion as well as Tara Nurin.  Local and old favorites were well represented, with Lancaster Brewing Co., Prism Brewing Co., Yards, Neshaminy Creek, Ballantine Ale and the Conshohocken Brewing Co. all setting up shop.
joe six
Additionally, food seminars like the one put on by Hell’s Kitchen Season 10 Finalist Barbie Marshall and guest speakers entertained the gathering crowds who were taking a break from visiting the many exhibits.  All said and done, the Philadelphia Inquirer sponsors a fun and lively event each year that will surely make you look at planning your next vacation differently.  Be sure to check out next year’s event, and I will be seeing you “around town”…

 

Georgetti’s Pasta & Sauce Market – Cinnaminson, NJ

Georgetti’s Pasta & Sauce Market – Cinnaminson, NJ

Sometimes you want dinner, but do not feel like cooking a full meal. Sometimes you want dinner, but do not feel like leaving your house. We Georgetti’s Pasta & Sauce Market (GPS) was just the perfect place to be able to do both. The only question was how it would taste. Immediately stepping foot into GPS you know you are not in your normal take-out market where you have a fifty-fifty chance of even finding something that resemble a decent meal. They have almost everything your heart could desire if you are seeking Italian food to take home. The prices were very reasonable, selection was fresh, and staff friendly. My selection would be chicken parmesan, linguini with a vodka sauce, and fresh roll.

georgetti

I put the chicken in oven and warmed the linguini and the vodka sauce on the stove top, and it was as simple as one-two-three dinner done with the looks of a restaurant quality meal. Lucky for me, it tasted as good as it looked. I could not have been happier with the turnout and the ease of preparation. GPS had hundreds of items I want to go back and try even more specialties of theirs. They even have frozen selections to choose from so you can have a few things on hand at any given time. Put some candles on the table; get yourself a bottle of wine, and with GPS you too can have fine dining in the comfort of your own home.

Overall

Four out of Five Stars

 

Rockhill – Cherry Hill, NJ

Rockhill – Cherry Hill, NJ

Cruising down Route 70 West in Cherry Hill, New Jersey I spotted a building that did not look like a restaurant, but had plenty of signs on the lawn screaming the destination had food there. Once I pulled into the parking lot, you could see indeed Rockhill (RH) is a full-fledged restaurant, but roadside it was tough to tell. The interior of RH is very bright, modern, and slick. The staff was upbeat, friendly, and professional. I started things out with what the menu stated was a soft pretzel with white cheddar beer sauce.

prez bite

I was imagining a large soft pretzel, but what appeared were pretzel bites. The sauce was very nice and warm with a good consistency and decent beer flavor to it. Sadly, the pretzels lacked any sort of pretzel texture, consistency or flavor. Instead they tasted too much like bread bites and plain ones at that. They should update the menu to state they are bites and may want to work on the recipe for the pretzels or outsource for them. Moving on I would go with a cheesesteak.

hill steak

I ordered the Kennett Cheesesteak which was supposed to come with Swiss cheese, gravy, caramelized onions, and topped with fresh sautéed Kennett Square mushrooms. What arrived was a cheesesteak with American cheese sauce, onions, and mushrooms. Whether the mushrooms were of the Kennett Square variety I do not know, but what I do know is that I ordered was not what I received. Not wanting to wait for another or cause a ruckus, I decided to eat. I must admit that what was brought was tasty and better than your average cheesesteak, and the mushrooms were fabulous. One thing that was very noticeable though was the meat was chopped up so much it immediately fell out of the roll as it turned more into ground beef instead.

RH has a little bit of a rock to move and hill to climb. Many aspects of RH confused me on their missteps. The service was so friendly and seemed efficient so where did the order mix up happen. Did the kitchen not read the ticket properly as there was no one else to blame for the extremely chopped steak, or was it a system error. Either way, RH has a beautiful place to dine in at, a staff that seems willing and ready to provide outstanding service, and a unique and higher end twist on the tried and true pizza shop menu. Now if they can get a little better signage out front to let drivers know about RH and a refresher course on techniques in the kitchen, RH is posed to go from a rock to a mountain for the competition.

Overall

Two and One-Fourth Stars out of Five

 

18th Annual Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch – Meals on Wheels Delaware

This is an AMAZING EVENT and a must attend for any foodie!!!!! I will be there covering the event, so join me.

Press Release:

18th Annual Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch will be Sunday, April 19th from 11 am to 2 pm at Hercules Plaza in Downtown Wilmington. The Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch showcases epicurean delights from highly acclaimed chefs from across the United States and beyond. In addition to decadent food, wine and specialty cocktails, our guests enjoy a silent auction featuring high-end culinary items, travel packages, one-of-a-kind experiences and luxury gifts.

Check out the chef lineup, event information, and to buy tickets CLICK HERE

Paesano’s North – Philadelphia, PA

Paesano’s North – Philadelphia, PA

When you live in or around Philadelphia, you have certain expectations of what a sandwich is or should be. We are a spoiled bunch, but I am happy we demand so such. With a tiny little store on Girard Avenue that only has room for six bar stools I visited Paesano’s North (PN) with high hopes. I would try their Zawzeech sandwich.

paesano

The Zawzeech is sweet Italian sausage with roasted peppers, sautéed onions, and sharp provolone cheese on a seeded roll. From the first bite till the last it was simply delightful. The roll became a tad bit soggy, but other than it was top-notch.

The interior of PN is nothing to write home about. The employees seem a little rough around the edges in a good way. The menu is diverse, and try to order in advance as the place is so tiny any more than four people there at any given time is a tight squeeze. All in all PN is a gem and if you have never been, you should really give them a try at one of their locations.

Overall

Four and a Half Stars out of Five

 

Bluejeanfoodcritic.com is on the radio weekly!!!

HUGE NEWS! Bluejeanfoodcritic.com has a weekly segment airing on 610 WIP WTEL AM radio Philadelphia, for Beasley Broadcast Group highlighting restaurant, chef, and food news for the Philadelphia, Western South Jersey, Eastern Pa, and Northern DE areas. Please email bluejeanfoodcritic@gmail.com , post, and share any hot news or happenings you know of around the area or looking for possible coverage to me and please share this info!!!! The show I am on is the award winning Ed Hitzel “Table For One” which is syndicated on Wond Radio Station 1400AM Atlantic City Longport Media, TuneIn Radio and SNJ Today 1240AM Millville. Be sure to listen!

Sincerely,
Derek Timm
Owner/Operator Bluejeanfoodcritic.com LLC
Friend Me: Facebook.com/bluejeanfood
Follow me on Twitter: @bluejeanfood
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