If you subscribe to the daily edition of the Reading Eagle, then you have likely seen the full-page advertisement for the Boscov’s Fairgrounds Farmers Market that runs every Wednesday.
Lately, I have been using it as a checklist and for inspiration for my blogs as I eat my way through the Farmers Market.
What caught my eye over the past few weeks was the note under the Scott’s Hot Spot section: “UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP”
Scott’s opened in 2010. A health issue forced the owner to close the stand for several months in 2015, but otherwise, it has been a staple in the market for seven years.
On April 12, the restaurant’s Facebook account announced the new owners: Roseann Rothenberger and Brian Miller, who are now running the stand and will soon rename it, “The Hot Spot.”
We decided to make it our latest Friday night stop on our Farmers Market odyssey.
The Hot Spot was certainly one of the busiest stands at the market, with a line to order and several people waiting at any given time. While we stood in line to order, we heard another customer complain about his order. “I said no onions on both,” was the cry before his food was remade.
Our food took a little while because of the line that had been in front of us. We probably waited 20 minutes before it was called and I could pick it up at the counter.
My entree choice was Scott’s traditional gyro, one of the items that had been a staple at the stand (and spawned a catering trailer called Scott’s Gyro Box).
Gyros are not something that I order very often. My only other gyro in my Berks County Eats journey was from Cafe Sweet Street so I was excited for another taste.
I really enjoyed it, especially the salad base. It had a flavor that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but it complemented the meat and tzatziki sauce nicely.
It was also very filling to where I probably didn’t need my side order of fries.
But I really wanted those fries, especially after I saw that they were red-skinned potatoes.
I was slightly disappointed with them. Red-skinned potatoes have such a strong flavor compared to Idaho or russet potatoes, but the natural flavor of the red skins didn’t shine through as much as I had hoped.
For French fries, they were good. They were a little oversalted, but good. But I was hoping for more.
Julie was a little perplexed by her order. She got the tuna meltaway, but was surprised to find that it really wasn’t a true tuna melt.
While the bread was clearly toasted, the cheese and tuna filling were still cold. That’s not to say it was bad, but you can’t call something a tuna meltaway and then not melt the cheese.
Her sandwich was much smaller than mine, though she wasn’t upset by that. For her, it was just the right size.
Also, her sandwich was supposed to come with a bag of chips, but we never got them (she wouldn’t have eaten them with her meal, but we would have taken them home for later).
Overall, there was confusion at the stand, as would be expected of a new business. Because of the setup at the farmers market, you can see the kitchen very clearly and the three people behind the counter seemed to be stepping on each others toes, leading to small mistakes.
I fully expect things to get better, especially as the menu shifts with the new owners. For now though, it’s a little scattered.
One thing that is still good is the pricing. Our meals (plus two bottles of water) cost $20 and change. That’s one great thing about all of the stands at the market – there’s low overhead costs so the prices are generally lower than if you ordered a similar meal at a restaurant.
The new Scott’s Hot Spot, soon to be The Hot Spot, has the makings of a great stand. It’s just not quite there yet.
Hopefully it reaches its potential because I want to come back in a few months and enjoy something new.
Scott’s Hot Spot
Fairgrounds Farmers Market
2934 N. Fifth St. Hwy
Reading, PA 19604