Belly Kitchen Pan Perdu

5 Favorite Entrees of 2019

Our annual end-of-year tradition continues as we take a look back on the best things we tried last year. Here are our five favorite entrees of 2019:

Wagyu Steak with chimichurri sauce

Wagyu Beef Steak – Heritage Restaurant

At the chef’s tasting meal at Heritage Restaurant, the star of the show was unquestionably the Wagyu beef steak. It was finished with lemon-lime sea salt and chimichurri sauce. What an incredible combination, especially the zesty, salty flavor from the lemon-lime. It brought out the natural flavors of the beef. The end result was a perfect steak. Read Full Review


Belly Kitchen Brooklyn Pan Perdu

Pan Per Du – Belly Kitchen & Drinkery

One of the coolest experiences we had this year was attending the Sunday Jazz Brunch at Belly Kitchen & Drinkery. It also featured one of my favorite entrees – the pan per du. It looked like French toast, and it essentially is, but instead of a white bread, it’s made with Green’s chocolate babka, a sweet kosher bread. After an egg wash and some time on the grill, it was topped with a salted caramel maple drizzle and served with a yogurt “smear” with pieces of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It was a melt-in-your-mouth meal that was packed with flavor. And while Belly may have closed their kitchen at the Goggleworks, the Sunday Jazz Brunch continues at their new home, the Barley Mow in West Reading. Read Full Review


Lamb Burger – Other Farm Brewing Company

Burgers are good. The lamb burger at the Other Farm Brewing Company in Boyertown was great. Ground lamb makes an excellent base thanks to its rich flavors. But it was the sweet-and-sour tomato chuntey that really made it for me. (The Parmesan truffle fries on the side didn’t hurt, either). Read Full Review


1787 Brewing Company Honey Ham Flatbread

Honey Ham Flatbread – 1787 Brewing Company

Flatbreads are often enjoyed as appetizers, but I made a meal out of the honey ham flatbread at 1787 Brewing Company and it was one of my favorites of the year. The flatbread was topped with ricotta, shaved ham, fig puree and cranberries. The fig puree was sweet, but it was the cranberries that really popped against the savory ham. Read Full Review


Four Twelve Southern Pecan Comfort Waffle

Southern Pecan Comfort – Four Twelve

I normally prefer French toast or pancakes to waffles, but that was before I tried the Southern Pecan Comfort from Four Twelve. The waffle had bits of bacon in it, and it was topped with bananas, whipped cream and pecans. It had notes of sweet, salty and savory with a nice crunchy texture from the pecans. It was almost like having dessert for breakfast. Read Full Review


Have a favorite dish in Berks County? Tell us in the comments below or email us at berkscountyeats@gmail.com.

Entrees Features Stories
The Bull Dog sundae from the Ranch House: Three large scoops of ice cream topped with strawberries, cherries, peanuts, pretzels and whipped cream.

5 Favorite Desserts of 2019

Our annual end-of-year tradition continues as we take a look back on the best things we tried last year. Here are our five favorite desserts of 2019:

The Bull Dog sundae from the Ranch House: Three large scoops of ice cream topped with strawberries, cherries, peanuts, pretzels and whipped cream.

The Bull Dog – Ranch House

Who can resist an ice cream sundae? The Bull Dog (named for the Wilson School District mascot) is a beast of a dessert with four scoops of ice cream, crushed peanuts, strawberries, peaches, pineapple and whipped cream – and a cherry on top, of course. Everything about it was delicious, but the best bites were those with the combination of chocolate ice cream and fresh strawberries. Read Full Review


Strawberry Sponge Cake

Strawberry Shortcake – Heritage Restaurant

The last impression of a meal is almost as important as the first, and the strawberry cake was the perfect ending to the chef’s table meal at Heritage Restaurant. Each plate featured a sponge cake topped with fresh strawberries, chocolate mousse, chipotle raspberry sea salt, another layer of sponge cake, banana whipped cream and a strawberry sugar dust. There were layers of flavor that you don’t normally find in a dessert, and too much to recap here. Read Full Review


Mecca Caribbean and Soul Food Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie – Mecca Caribbean and Soul

Mecca was a surprise hit all around, including the slices of pumpkin pie that were included with our meals. It was simple, a little sweet with the right amount of pumpkin spice, but enjoyable nonetheless. Read Full Review


Black and White Milkshake – Just Mom’s

I love a good milkshake so when we visited Just Mom’s in Elverson, I couldn’t help myself. I ordered the black and white – a mix of vanilla and chocolate ice creams that I think makes for the best milkshake base. It did not disappoint. Read Full Review


A half-size Mason jar of lemongrass creme brulee from Go Fish.

Lemongrass Creme Brulee – Go Fish! Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Our last review of 2019 featured one of our favorite desserts of the year: the lemongrass creme brulee. It was creamy and decadent with hints of citrus. It was a delicious end to a very good meal. Read Full Review


Have a favorite dessert in Berks County? Tell us in the comments below or email us at berkscountyeats@gmail.com.

Best of Berks County Eats Desserts
Beer Wall on Penn Duck Fat Fries

5 Favorite Appetizers of 2019

Our annual end-of-year tradition continues as we take a look back on the best things we tried last year. Here are our five favorite appetizers of 2019:

Corn soup topped with pico de gallo, pork belly and avocado crema

Corn Soup – Heritage Restaurant

One of my favorite meals of the year came courtesy of the Heritage Restaurant and their chef’s tasting dinner. All five courses were delicious, but for me, the soup outshone the salad (if only barely). The creamy soup featured fresh pico de gallo, pork belly and avocado crema with lime. It was the pico, especially the bursts of flavor from the tomatoes, was really what set it apart. Read Full Review


Rangoli Indian Street Food Exploding Samosa

Exploding Samosa – Rangoli Indian Street Food

Rangoli is one of my favorite new restaurants of the year, and my exploding samosa made a great first impression. The “exploding” samosas take the dumplings and load them up with a mountain of toppings that includes chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, green chutney, tamarind and yogurt sauces and crunchy noodles (I also added chicken to mine). Each bite was a little different, but I really enjoyed the cool, refreshing, sweet-and-sour profile that the yogurt sauce added. Read Full Review


A square-shaped bowl of deep green poblano soup from Alebrije in Wyomissing

Poblano Soup – Alebrije (State Hill Road)

One of our first reviews of the year provided one of my favorite appetizers. In January, I had my first taste of Alebrije’s poblano soup. It was one of the best soups I have tried on Berks County Eats. It was creamy; it was flavorful (but not spicy); it was just exactly what I was hoping for. Read Full Review


An aluminum foil pan with two rollatini (pepperoni rolls) and two cups of tomato sauce from Tony's al Taglio in West Reading, PA

Rollatini – Tony’s al Taglio

There is a lot to love about Tony’s al Taglio. Their unique pizza is a must-try, but it was the rollatini that earned a place on this list. Looking like pinwheels of meat and cheese, the rollatini were filled with prosciutto and crescenza strachino cheese, topped with a pistachio pesto. The sweet, salty, nutty food earned a place on my favorite appetizers list. Read Full Review


Beer Wall on Penn Duck Fat Fries

Duck Fat Fries – Beer Wall on Penn

Duck fat fries are my weakness. I love the rich flavors that come from frying in duck fat instead of oil, and Beer Wall on Penn’s did not disappoint.  The addition of scallions and shaved Parmesan cheese took the fries to another level. Read Full Review


Appetizers Best of Berks County Eats

5 Favorite Entrees of 2018

Our annual end-of-year tradition continues as we take a look back on the best things we tried this year. Today: our five favorite entrees of 2018.

Brocmar Taco – Brocmar Smokehouse

When we visited Brocmar Smokehouse for our first blog of 2018, it was a relative newcomer to the Shillington Farmers Market. When we left, it was our new go-to spot for barbecue in Berks County thanks to the inventive Brocmar taco – a fried Johnny cake topped with choice of meat, coleslaw and barbecue sauce. Between return visits to the market and sandwiches at Brocmar’s Reading Fightin Phils stand, it was probably our most-visited restaurant of the year. Read Full Review

Savory Grille Five Spice Duck Breast

Five-Spice Duck Breast – Savory Grille

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that duck – when done right – is one of my absolute favorite foods. The five-spice duck breast from Savory Grille may be the best that I’ve tried. At the time, I described it as one of the best dishes I have ever tried – thanks to the addition of blueberry compote and sauce gastrique that gave it a complex sweet and sour flavor. It was an absolute highlight in one of the best meals we had all year. Read Full Review

Sal's Pizza Style Stromboli Pizza

Stromboli Pizza – Sal’s Pizza Style

I’m not going to go so far as to say this is my favorite pizza in Berks County (that honor still goes to the Chicago-style pie at Romano’s) but it is certainly the most original pizza – or Stromboli – in Berks, and that’s reason enough to make the list. Taking a traditional Stromboli and using the top fold as the base of a pizza is brilliant. It’s also very good and something that’s worth trying at least once. Read Full Review

Fork & Ale Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan Chicken – Fork  & Ale

Hands-down the best chicken dish that I have tasted on Berks County Eats. The Moroccan chicken from Fork & Ale featured confit chicken in an incredible spice blend, served over housemade pasta. The addition of sweet golden raisins and crunchy chickpeas gave it additional flavor bursts and needed texture and helped make it one of the most memorable dishes we have tried. Read Full Review

Kwik Shoppe Pulled Duck Sandwich

Pulled Duck – Kwik  Shoppe

This may not have been the gourmet-style duck described above from Savory Grille, but I have to give kudos to the Kwik Shoppe for creating a fast-food style pulled duck sandwich that exceeded my expectations. The subtle sweet and tangy sauce and the crispy onion ring on top were nice additions. Is it a five-star meal? Absolutely not. But it’s a unique only-in-Berks County dish and that’s reason enough to make this list. Read Full Review

Best of Berks County Eats Entrees
Savory Grille Chocolate Tart

5 Favorite Desserts of 2018

Our annual end-of-year tradition continues as we take a look back on the best things we tried this year. Today: our five favorite desserts of 2018.

Fried Ice Cream – Castaneda’s

Fried ice cream is a personal favorite of Julie’s so when we saw it on Castaneda’s menu, we had to try it. It was totally worth the extra Calories (I don’t want to know how many were in it). I especially loved the addition of the cinnamon-dusted tortilla chips. Read Full Review

Savory Grille Chocolate Tart

Chocolate Tart – Savory Grille

Julie’s birthday dinner at Savory Grille was from start to finish one of the best meals we have ever had. And the finish was incredible: a tart filled with chocolate ganache, topped with vanilla bean ice cream, fresh mint and a sugar cookie, and garnished with chocolate syrup and powdered sugar. It was an unforgettable indulgence and a great ending to a perfect night out. Read Full Review

Lemon berry cake from Franklin House Tavern

Lemon Berry Cake – Franklin House

In 2018, Berks County Eats made only a couple road trips outside the county, one of those was to the Franklin House Tavern in Schaefferstown, Lebanon County. We splurged on dessert – a deliciously decadent lemon berry cake with layers of Mascarpone cheese and a concentrated raspberry sauce. Read Full Review

Fork & Ale Butterscotch Lava Cake

Butterscotch Lava Cake – Fork & Ale

Butterscotch does not rank high on my list of favorite sweets, but the butterscotch lava cake from our visit to Fork & Ale was perfect. Not too buttery, not too sweet with a perfectly prepared cake “shell,” this dessert capped off an incredible date night dinner. Read Full Review

Plum Creek Farm Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake – Plum Creek

The Creamery at Plum Creek Farm Market has become an incredibly popular destination along Route 183 and it is thanks to their delicious homemade soft ice cream and indulgent sundaes like this. The vanilla soft serve stands on its own, but the strawberry shortcake sundae came topped with bits of shortcake, fresh strawberries and a mound of whipped cream. It’s a satisfying meal on its own. Read Full Review

 

Best of Berks County Eats Desserts
Juliana's Ricotta Balls

5 Favorite Appetizers of 2018

Our annual end-of-year tradition continues as we take a look back on the best things we tried this year. Today: our five favorite appetizers of 2018.

Savory Grille Steak Grilled Flatbread

Flatbread – Savory Grille

Savory Grille’s menu is constantly evolving and that means new appetizers, entrees and desserts on every meal. During our first visit to northeastern Berks’ fine dining destination in January, the appetizers included an incredible flatbread topped with steak, fennel frond pesto, shaved manchego and fig compote. It was sweet, savory, salty, creamy, earthy and all around delicious. Read Full Review

Shredded Pork Rolls - Lang Restaurant

Shredded Pork Roll – Lang

The former Hong Thanh is back in its original downtown Reading location with a new name but the same amazing food. On our first visit to the Sixth Street location, we were extremely impressed with everything – my vermicelli bowl and Julie’s crispy lo mein included – but it’s the shredded pork rolls, served with the house Lang sauce, that make our best-of list for 2018. Read Full Review

Juliana's Ricotta Balls

Ricotta Balls – Juliana’s

Juliana’s ricotta balls looked like a pair of snowballs sitting on top of a bed of red sauce. The mounds of cheese were rolled and baked to a crisp, but with a melt-in-your-mouth creaminess that made for an excellent first impression. Read Full Review

Fork & Ale Uovo da Raviolo

Uova De Raviolo – Fork & Ale

Everything that we tasted on our return visit to Fork & Ale was creative and flavorful. The uova de raviolo – or egg yolk ravioli – was no exception. As soon as I pierced the pasta with my fork, the egg yolk began pouring out, mixing on the plate with the sage butter sauce to add more depth to the sauce. With creamy ricotta inside the pasta and salty, savory bacon and bitter chard on top, it was an incredible mix of texture and taste. Read Full Review

Coconut Chicken Soup – Masa

Masa – the hibachi and sushi bar that replaced Hong Thanh in the Target shopping center in Wyomissing – had some very impressive dishes, first among those for me was the coconut chicken soup. It featured a creamy, flavorful broth, but the addition of cherry tomatoes set it apart from other versions of the same dish. Read Full Review

Appetizers Best of Berks County Eats
Billy Burger earned the title of Best Burger

5 Favorite Entrees of 2017

Every December, we take a look back at our favorite dishes of the past year. We’re finishing our year-in-review with the main course. Here are our five favorite entrees we tried in 2017.

1 Potato Two – Eggplant Parmesan Spudwich

For the uninitiated, a spudwich is a sandwich where the bread or roll has been replaced by a deep-fried potato sliced lengthwise. The novelty of it was intriguing. But the taste, that was amazing. It was messy, it was greasy, but it was delicious. The fried eggplant, tomato sauce and cheese may not have been as much of a standout on its own, but in a spudwich, it was memorable. Read Full Review

Billy Burger & Bakery – The Ranch Burger

Billy Burger earned the title of Best Burger

The last time a burger made our end-of-the-year favorites list was in 2014 (Frank and Diannah’s). This year, Billy Burger made the cut with its Ranch Burger. The burger starts with lettuce and tomato, but then it gets crazy with the addition of a grilled poblano pepper and buttermilk peppercorn ranch dressing. The cool ranch mixed with the mild pepper and a well-cooked burger made it one of my favorite handhelds of the year. Read Full Review

Cosa Pizzeria and Restaurant – Ragu alla Bolognese

Cosa's ragu bolongese has layers of flavor from the sauce, homemade pasta and herbs

Cosa is a newcomer to Berks County – opening in the former Basil Restaurant and Pizzeria location outside Sinking Spring. The ragu alla Bolognese was a stand-out dish. Featuring house-made pappardelle pasta tossed in a veal and sofrito ragu, I became an instant fan of Cosa. Read Full Review

Folino Estate Vineyard and Winery – Drunken Pasta

The second pasta dish on the list is nothing like the first. The drunken pasta at Folino Estate is infused with red wine to give it a distinct purple hue, then it was cooked in wine (for good measure) and served with chicken and shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. It was unlike anything that I have ever tried, and it’s a must-try (and I’m not even a wine lover). Read Full Review

Willoughby’s on Park – Dry-Aged Ribeye

The 20-ounce dry-aged ribeye at Willoughby's on Park

This year, I saved the best for last. It’s almost not fair to compare a steak from Willoughby’s on Park to anything else in Berks County because the high-end steakhouse feel of Willoughby’s is unlike any other restaurant experience in the county. And my steak, combined with the mission fig Cabernet reduction (for a non-wine drinker, I certainly ordered a lot of wine-infused meals) was about as close to perfection as I could have wanted. Read Full Review

 

Best of Berks County Eats Entrees
Carrot cake for dessert.

4 Favorite Desserts of 2017

Every December, we take a look back at our favorite dishes of the past year. This time, we’re talking sweets. Here are our four favorite desserts we tried in 2017.

Editor’s Note: There are only four desserts on this list because we only splurged on dessert four times in 2017. For more information on why, check out my Food Blogger vs. Fat series.

Willoughby’s on Park – Carrot Cake

Neither of us had any room for dessert after finishing our steaks at Willoughby’s. But it was our anniversary, and we couldn’t help ourselves. The giant slice of cake was drizzled with caramel and garnished with whipped cream and strawberries. I’m a real sucker for carrot cake, and this was a good one. Read Full Review

Folino Estate Vineyard and Winery – Baklava

Julie’s birthday dinner ended with one of her favorite desserts: baklava. The layered pastry was served warm and the filling oozed out with the first forkful. The dark chocolate shavings added a bittersweet flavor to counteract the sweetness of the honey, and everything just came together beautifully. Read Full Review

Heisler’s Cloverleaf Dairy – Vanilla Milkshake

No road trip to this Schuylkill County institution is complete without Heisler’s famous ice cream, and I enjoyed mine in the form of a milkshake. There’s something about drinking a shake after enjoying a burger and fries that just feels right, and Heisler’s makes a mean milkshake. Read Full Review

Reading Hospital – Chocolate Trilogy Cake

Julie and I celebrated the birth of our first son on November 17, and we ended our hospital stay with a surf and turf dinner for two. And that dinner ended with a slice of chocolate trilogy cake – three layers of chocolate mousse that were absolutely decadent. The cake isn’t worth a two-night stay in the hospital, but baby Jakob was. And his arrival made the entire meal more memorable. Read Full Review

Best of Berks County Eats Desserts

5 Favorite Appetizers of 2017

Every December, we take a look back at our favorite dishes of the past year. We’re starting off with our favorite starters. Here are our five favorite appetizers we tried in 2017.

Stonersville Hotel – Baked Tomato and Mushroom Soup

The Stonersville Hotel was a pleasant surprise, and it started with a cup of their baked tomato and mushroom soup. It was served like a French onion soup, in a crock covered with mozzarella cheese. The tomato and mozzarella came together nicely in one of the best soups that I have tried on my Berks County Eats journey. Read Full Review

Say Cheese – Cheddar Beer Soup

Speaking of delicious soups, Say Cheese had a fantastic offering with its cheddar beer soup. The two namesake ingredients were the obvious stars, and the flavors were only enhanced by the oversized croutons and the small, salty bits of bacon. Read Full Review

Fork & Ale – Poutine

In July, I attended a conference in Quebec City and tasted true French Canadian poutine. Four months earlier I had poutine at Fork & Ale. In this case, Berks County did it better. The “gravy” – a sausage tomato sauce – was amazing, and the fries made a perfect stand-in for spaghetti in the Italian-inspired take on the dish. Read Full Review

Pike Cafe – Wings

The Pike Cafe has won many “best of” awards for wings, and in our first visit, we got it. The Pike uses Bell & Evans organic wings so they are a little smaller than some other wings, but it also meant that they were crispier and more evenly seasoned throughout. We had Montreal seasoning on ours, and we loved every bite. Read Full Review

Nirvana Indian Bistro – Samosas

When Nirvana Indian Bistro opened in Wyomissing in spring, we wondered how it would be able to compete with the already established Laxmi’s right down the street. It turns out, they are just as good. Our first taste of Nirvana were the samosas, fried pastries filled with vegetables and potatoes. They were good, but when paired with the chutney selections – specifically the sweet and spicy onion chutney – they were delicious. Read Full Review

 

Appetizers Best of Berks County Eats

5 Favorite Entrees of 2016

Every December, we take a look back at our favorite dishes of the past year. This week, we’re ready for the main course. Here are our five favorite entrees we tried in 2016.

Andy Pepper’s – The “Thin Lizzy”

andy-pepper-s-thin-lizzy

Andy Pepper’s is among the top rated eateries in Berks County, and earlier this year, we found out why. My “Thin Lizzy” sandwich was easily among my favorite things of the year. It was simple: baby spinach, provolone, tomatoes, pesto and guacamole on a grilled flatbread. But it was fantastic. Read Review

Backwoods Brothers Authentic Texas Cuisine – Smoked Sausage

backwoods-brothers-pulled-pork-smoked-sausage-fried-okra

When it opened in 2014, Backwoods Brothers was a welcome addition to Berks County. I’ve returned since our review, and still can’t get over how good the smoked sausage is. (Don’t forget the fried okra on the side). Read Review

Dans at Green Hills – New York Strip Steak

dans-at-green-hills-ny-strip-steak

Want the recipe for a great dinner? Perfectly cook a New York strip steak, then add truffle butter. “Savory and smooth” was how I described it in my blog, and I don’t think I could describe it any better. Read Review

Firefly Cafe – Vegan Pulled Pork

firefly-cafe-vegan-pulled-pork-sandwich

Three words I never thought I’d use in the same sentence: vegan pulled pork. But then I tried it at Firefly Cafe, where they use jackfruit as the meat substitute, and it was every bit as good as the real thing, and better than at some barbecue places. Read Review

Rocco’s Wood Fired Pizza – “Bee Sting” Pizza

roccos-bee-sting-pizza

Opened in spring, Rocco’s Wood Fired Pizza is one of Berks County’s newest pizza places, and after tasting two of their unique offerings, I’m ready to declare it among the best. The “Bee Sting,” featuring San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, hot sopresatta, raw honey (the bee) and crushed red pepper oil (the sting), it was absolutely delicious. Read Review

Entrees Features Stories