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Picks of the Food Variety

Swarmbustin’ Honey at Newark Natural Foodsswarmbustin
I love Swarmbustin’ Original Mountain Crème Honey, a one-pound jar of creamed honey from Swarmbustin’ Honey in West Grove, Pa. It’s available at Newark Natural Foods, and is excellent in tea, spread over toast, and eaten by the spoonful.
— Krista Connor, O&A Associate Editor

The Ideal Scone Stop
The scones at Talula’s Table are so popular you can actually buy a jar of owner Aimee talula_sconesOxley’s mix and bake your own at home. Or, you can be fortunate enough to live within a couple of miles of the acclaimed Kennett Square eatery and make a scone stop. I choose the later and highly recommend the mixed berry.

— Jerry duPhily, Publisher

Tasty Mashed Potatoes
With stick-to-your-ribs fare being more prevalent on winter menus, those dishes that transcend the norm warrant a place on your plate. In particular, these variations o494055295n the theme of mashed potatoes: The lobster mashed potatoes at Harry’s Seafood Grill are both delectable and distinctive; Dead Presidents does a similar take with the crab mashed potatoes, a show-stealing side to their chili-rubbed steak. And at Pizza By Elizabeths, look for the smoked mashed potatoes, a special menu side (usually with the New York strip) that is well worth seeking out.

— Jim Miller, O&A Director of Publications

The Gander from Argilla Brewing Co. at Pietro’s Pizza
If you’re yearning for a solid place to eat good pizza and drink good beer, look no further. I ganderlove this place a lot, and this house pie is definitely one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. The Gander is a BBQ chicken style pizza topped with chicken tenders, bacon, a house smoked cheddar/mozzarella blend with chipotle BBQ sauce. Add one of their on-site crafted beers, and you have a winning combo.

— Tyler Mitchell, O&A Graphic Designer

Pinang
Malaysian restaurant and sushi bar Pinang, located at the Shoppes at Louviers in 160532106Newark, is my favorite place to go for southeast Asian cuisine. The amiable staff (who provide endless amounts of complimentary tea!), modern oriental décor and tasty dishes (Pad Thai) keep the atmosphere fun and sophisticated.

— Krista Connor, O&A Associate Editor

The HWilliamandMerryouse of William & Merry
A recent meal at the House of William & Merry in Hockessin convinced me that Bill Hoffman should get far more kudos. It was impeccably prepared and beautifully presented. In less deft hands the clever and creative combinations might turn into a mess. But he turns a meal into an artistic experience.

— Pam George, Contributing Writer

Columbus Inn Burgerlarge
For my money, there’s nothing like a really great burger, and they’re not that easy to come by. Some of my favorite places to grab a burger include Iron Hill, Chelsea Tavern, and Washington Street Ale House, but the one that really impressed me recently was at Columbus Inn. It was cooked to a perfect medium, juicy and flavorful, and what really distinguished it was the bacon jelly (enough said!) and the really great roll.

— Tim Poot, husband of O&A‘s Marie Poot

Bon Appetit Gourmet Food Shoppe
The shop and cafe in Talleyville is under new ownership (Mickey Donatello, owner of nearby Corner Bistro and Lucky’s Coffee Shop), but the distinctive atmosphere and food bon_appetitwill no doubt continue. Specializing in sandwiches, salads, bread and desserts, as well as cheeses, paté and other gourmet items with a continental flair, the restaurant has been a favorite of discerning palates for decades.

— Bob Yearick, O&A Contributing Editor

Cromwell’s Taqueria MenuCromwells-230
It may be hard to believe, but some of our area’s best Mexican fare can be found at a quiet, cozy neighborhood bar in Greenville. Cromwell’s American Tavern has recently added “Taqueria” to its name and although I haven’t tried their tacos, I can certainly vouch for their burritos. These mountainous plates of spicy, cheesy deliciousness deliver all the flavors you’d expect and left me looking forward to my next visit. They offer black bean, ground beef, grilled chicken, braised pork, house-smoked brisket and chorizo sausage. Do yourself a favor: Go with the Ancho chili cream on top.

— Matt Loeb, O&A Creative Director

FireStone’s Shrimp and Grits
When FireStone Roasting House wooed Executive Chef Jim Berman away from his 10-year tenure as chef instructor at Delcastle Technical High School, it was quite the coup. Berman had led the school’s culinary class to a first-place finish three years in a row at The firestoneFarmer & Chef competition held annually at the Chase Center. When Berman was a culinary student at Santa Fe Community College, he learned how to properly prepare grits. His recipe is everything shrimp and grits should be: hearty, savory and buttery without losing firmness. Plus, it’s a great entrée to share at the table.

— Jim Miller, O&A Director of Publications

So, what do you think? Please comment below.