Checking Back in to Southern PA

I had a great little weekend back in the Lancaster/Chester County area this past weekend, hitting up a few old favorites, and finding some new.

Absence does really make the heart grow founder, as there was a time that I really abhorred the ride from NEPA to Lancaster, especially anything involving 81, but I found myself really enjoying the Saturday morning car ride. My  goal was to make it in time to do some shopping at Central Market, and while I slept a bit later than anticipated, I was able to catch its last hour, and grabbed some really dynamite home-made English Muffins from Ric’s Breads that I’ve been enjoying all week, as well as some bacon-cheddar cheese from Lancaster Farmhouse. Two solid purchases.  I opted out of grabbing lunch and beer at Springhouse for the 11th hundredth time, and headed a little uptown, to check out the “new” Souvlaki Boys restaurant location. I have new in quotes here, because at this point it’s probably been operating for two years or so, but was just beginning construction when I was leaving. Souvlaki Boys was only a food truck during my Lancaster tenure, and now operates out of a building that used to house a very sketchy late night eats shop that I want to say was called “Steak Me Home Tonight,” but I know that wasn’t the real name.

Anyhow, Souvlaki Boys is excellent and I recommend anyone in Lancaster make it one of their regular stops. I’m kind of pissed it wasn’t around just a year or two earlier, because it would’ve been one of mine. I lived just a few blocks away, and its current location was along my running route.  I had two pork kebabs with tzatziki, and two tiropitas (cheese wrapped in phyllo dough), and it was a perfect late lunch.  I  want to go back for a pitas and dip party, and try their spicy tzatziki and spicy feta dip.

Early Saturday afternoon, I finally made it to Kennett Square, it of mushroom fame, which I’d driven through, but never actually stopped in before.  I went for dinner at the Kennett Square Brewing Company, which was a cool little place located down a side alley. I had an excellent bacon, beer cheese burger, and enjoyed all of their beer, in particular the Head Skull Mind Beer, which I would’ve gotten a growler of, if I hadn’t already known I’d be wanting a break from beer this week.

I can’t even count how many times I drove Route 30 from between Lancaster and Philly, and it’s always been a highly entertaining ride. I almost never stopped though, just because I usually was on some sort of schedule going, and wanted to get back at a reasonable hour coming back. I always talked about taking a leisurely ride from one to the other, in order to explore what sits along the way, but always just talked about it. This Sunday I was able to check out a few places.  We started by having lunch at the new Lancaster Brewing Company taproom, which is located over by the outlets.  I’m a huge fan of the LBC, but admit I was a little hesitant when we pulled in, just because I absolutely love their original building, and this was more or less located in an old Applebees. That being said, I was excited to check it out because the menu is a bit different from the Brew Pub, most notably in the fact that instead of your typical chacuterie, they offer a bacon board. I shouldn’t even waste time telling you that was delicious (I will make sure to point out that to enjoy this you must be a fan of VERY THICK cut bacon).  I also unintentionally themed my meals Greek for the week and enjoyed a lamb/feta burger with more tzatziki sauce that has had me googling Greek restaurants around Scranton, and tzatziki sauce recipes all week. If you’re ever at LBC, you half to try the strawberry wheat/chocolate milk stout combo, which is only served at their brewery locales, and remains one of the best Lancaster County beer creations in my ever so humble opinion.

Vic’s Wayside Inn is an absolutely beautiful dive bar, just past the outlets, that if you’re a fan of dive bars, you need to check out. I pretty much can’t deal with smoking establishments anymore, but that being said, we stayed for an extra beer because the other patrons were so delightful.

I really messed up by not getting this bologna and cheese platter.

Our last stop of the day was the Stone House, in Gap, which was very spacious, new, and this is going to sound weird, but is something I love in a good day-time bar, well-lit. We had a nice Troegs pilsner there, and then made our way to Philadelphia, where a perfectly delightful an adult afternoon devolved into me karoeking the City High classic, “What Would You Do,” at McGillin’s.

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