Berks County Restaurant Week

Today begins the annual Restaurant Week presented by the Greater Reading Independent Restaurant Association (GRIRA) where 19 of Berks County’s eateries will be offering special multi-course, fixed price menus. From now until April 29th, patrons can enjoy the lower-priced offerings to get a sampling of the establishments. Included here, I have listed all of the participating restaurants, along with pricing and a short description (note: some entrees have sides included). For the full pre-fixe menus for these restaurants, visit www.grira.net.

201West – Shillington
$8.00 lunch specials
$20.00 dinner – entrees with salad, side, and dessert
Blind Hartman’s Tavern – Temple
$7.99 lunch – soup and salad, or soup and sandwich
$19.99 dinner – entree with soup, salad, and dessert
Brewer’s Bar and Grill – West Reading
$8.00 lunch – entree with appetizer
$20.00 dinner – entree with soup or salad, and appetizer
Building 24 – Wyomissing
$20.00 dinner – entree with appetizer and dessert
Cloud 9 Cafe – Wyomissing
$5.95 soup of the day with tossed salad
$6.95 quiche of the day with fruit
$7.95 sandwich of the day with pasta salad
Deitsch Eck – Lenhartsville
$15.00 entree with appetizer, 2 sides, and dessert
Emily’s – Reading
$10.00 lunch – sandwich with soup or dessert
$22.00 dinner – entree with salad, vegetable, starch, and soup or dessert
Flanagan’s Pub – Shillington
$8.99 lunch – entree with appetizer
$21.99 dinner – entree with soup or salad, and appetizer
Go Fish Seafood Market & Sushi Bar – West Reading
$10 lunch – entree with side
$30 dinner – entree with appetizer and dessert
The Hitching Post- Reading
$9.99 lunch – entree with side salad, and dessert or wine
$19.99 dinner – entree with side salad, dessert, and wine or beer
Judy’s on Cherry – Reading
$10.00 lunch – entree with dessert
$20.00 dinner – entree with Mediterranean bread, salad, and dessert
Klinger’s on Carsonia – Reading
$10.00 lunch – entree with soup or salad
$20.00 dinner – entree with soup or salad, starter, and dessert
Panevino – Reading
$20.95 dinner – entree with appetizer and dessert
Penn Werner Hotel – Wernersville
$8.00 lunch – entree with fries
$20.00 dinner – entree with appetizer and dessert
Sofrito Gastro Pub – Reading
$8.00 lunch – entree with appetizer
$20.00 dinner – entree with appetizer and dessert
Suburban Tavern – Mt. Penn
$20.00 dinner – entree with salad and dessert
$17.00 wine
Winedown Cafe – West Reading
$8.50 – $12 lunch – entree with wine pairing
Works at Wyomissing – Wyomissing
$8.00 lunch – entree with fries or salad; and soda, tea, or coffee
$20.00 dinner – entree with appetizer and dessert
Yellow House Hotel – Douglassville
$10.00 lunch – sandwich with soup or dessert
$20.00 dinner – entree with salad, vegetable, starch, and soup or dessert

I know I’ll be heading to at least one of these restaurants during the week, and I hope that you will, too. I’ll be sharing my experience with you, and as always, feel free to comment here about your own dining experience.

Food News

Muddy’s BBQ – CLOSED

Note: Muddy’s BBQ has moved. Muddy’s now has a permanent location in Oley Township and is actively seeking a second location for its barbecue wagon.

Updated 11/7/17: Muddy’s BBQ is now closed. The owner cited health reasons as the cause for the closure.

The smell of barbecue wafts through the air along Route 12. About a mile south of the Route 73 intersection, a small trailer sits on the side of a hill. Parked cars line the narrow stone driveway that winds its way around. Dozens of people are crammed around the five adjacent picnic tables as they devour beef brisket and pulled pork that took hours to slow cook.

A sign along Pricetown Road points the passing cars to Muddy’s BBQ, one of Berks County’s newest dining hot spots. March 1st began the outdoor barbecue joint’s sophomore season of business, with fans flocking in after a township-induced four-month fast from the tender meats that Muddy’s began serving up at this spot in the Spring of 2011.

In the south, places like Muddy’s are everywhere. I fell in love with barbecue five years ago on a trip to the Gulf Coast. There, outside the otherwise sleepy little town of Oceans Springs, Mississippi, I found The Shed, a literal shed in middle of nowhere that had people lined up for over an hour just order. Since then, I’ve eaten in barbecue joints from Texas to North Carolina to New York City, unsuccessfully trying to find something that could rival The Shed. Never did I dream I would be able to find it in the Oley Valley.

While you wait in line, the smell can drive you crazy. If you go during peak hours, you could be waiting to order for fifteen minutes to a half hour before waiting just as long for your food. But a little patience goes a long way.

Pulled-Pork-Platter-Muddy-s-BBQ

On my most recent trip, I decided on a platter of pulled pork with a side of french fries and barbecue baked beans. Each platter comes with two slices of white bread, which come in very handy for cleaning up extra sauce.

Their pulled pork, like all their meat, is slow-cooked and I can just imagine it falling apart as they prepare it. It’s tender and juicy, but a little extra sauce never hurts. The fries are fresh-cut and dashed with Old Bay. The uneven coating gives a little different flavor in each bite. The baked beans are some of the best around. Whatever is left from yesterday’s meats get thrown in with the beans. It almost has the consistency of chili, but the much sweeter flavor of barbecue.

If you want to give Muddy’s a try, start with lunch if you can. It’s not as full, and you can usually find an open seat on the picnic tables. If you’re going for dinner, especially on the weekend, you’re either going to have to take your food home with you, or make new friends because the tables are full through the whole dinner rush.

My meal cost about $12 including the drink. Sandwiches are a more economical option, and come with slaw and a side for a few dollars less. For families, Muddy’s offers several combos that can be shared, including The Feast, which features almost everything on the menu, can feed five or more, and runs about $60.

Muddy's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Closed Reviews

The Works at Wyomissing

When the Works at Wyomissing opened in 2003 it was a playground for adults, an abandoned textile factory turned into two-story bar, restaurant, and game room. The upstairs bar doubled as a nightclub on weekends where local bands and DJ’s kept the crowd on the dance floor until closing time. The game room below was open until 11:00. Here, adults turned into big kids again, trying to amass enough tickets to buy a lava lamp or pizza oven. A smaller bar downstairs featured acoustic performances, and the main restaurant was a home for casual fine dining.

In the last few years, however, everything has changed. Gone is the upstairs restaurant, replaced by Ballocity, a Chuck-E-Cheese-like ball pit and maze. The game room is populated by whiney little kids.  The restaurant is more casual than fine dining since Building 24 opened next door. And, everything, including the downstairs bar, closes at 9:00 pm.

The only thing that hasn’t changed is the quality food. The Works still delivers the same quality food that they always have. One of the highlights on the menu is this “healthy” offering, the towering taco salad. A giant bowl made of crispy taco shell is filled with fresh lettuce, red peppers, and grilled chicken, and topped with a Mexican cheese blend. And, it is definitely towering, measuring almost a foot around, and standing almost as tall

Towering-Taco-Salad-Works-at-Wyomissing

The Works also features their signature molten iron chili, which uses pulled pork instead of ground beef. The chili is excellent on its own—just enough heat to go with the sweetness of the tomato base and not too many beans—but the Works uses it in a multitude of dishes, including to top off an order of Slag Pile Nachos (an appetizer for four that features nachos topped with lettuce, melted cheese, jalapenos, and just about everything else in the kitchen) and the Scrap Pile Burger, a ¼ pound hamburger patty grilled your way and covered in chili, cheese, and sour cream.

The Works has a long menu that does include a couple misses. The menu features build-your-own pizza. If you’re looking to take the family out for pizza, you can do better by going to one of dozens of pizza shops in the county. If you want an individual pizza, you’re better off ordering a pepperoni roll appetizer which is packed with more flavor for the same price.

No trip to the Works is complete without dessert. Some of the best dessert in Berks County is found here. The Peanut Butter pie is the perfect blend of chocolate of peanut butter, the ice cream sandwich features chocolate and vanilla ice cream smothered between two gigantic fresh-baked cookies (and is occasionally topped with a Hershey kiss, sprinkles and/or M&M’s, depending on who’s manning the kitchen that night).

But the real treat is the Black and Tan Tower, a massive concoction that can feed at least three people. The base is a still-warm brownie oozing with melting chocolate chips. A hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream sits on top. Then comes my personal favorite, the blondie—a chocolate chip cookie in bar form. Next is a scoop of chocolate ice cream, capped off with another triangle-shaped brownie. It is then covered by dollops of whipped cream and a pool of chocolate syrup large enough to drown a small child (and depending on who is in the kitchen, a smattering of M&M’s). The monstrosity is held together with a wooden skewer.

Black-And-Tan-Tower-Works-at-Wyomissing

Entrees run between $10-$20. Burgers and fries are between $8-$10. Desserts are $5.00 and up, but the dessert menu doesn’t list prices so be sure to ask your server before ordering.

BCE Rating
Food: Good
Service: Fair
Ambiance: Good
Price: Reasonable

The Works at Wyomissing
1109 Bern Rd
Wyomissing, PA 19610

The Works at Wyomissing on Urbanspoon
Lunch & Dinner Reviews