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Showing posts from 2011

Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia

I'm always interested in finding hip, hangout places and I am always pleasantly surprised when they happen to have good food. Memphis Taproom is one of those places. It doesn't look like much from the outside, in fact at night you might not even know it was there, situated on a street corner in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.

As soon as my dining companion and I opened the door, we know many people had managed to find it. The bar was packed, as was the dining room. From the looks of it, it was going to take awhile to get a table in the dining room and there was not much room to wait around, so we decided to grab a table in the bar that was right near the front door. Some people might complain about being close to a constantly opening door, but for people watchers like my companion and I it was fun!

I signaled to the bartender and asked him if we could eat in the bar, he told us we could and provided us with menus and directed my attention to the board with the list of …

Nomad Pizza, Hopewell, NJ

So any of you reading this that have visited House of Skip before, know that my dining companion and I are pizza aficionados. In our quest to find delicious pizza, we have wanted to visit Nomad pizza in Hopewell for a long time. On a night when we had our 11 year old niece we thought it might be a good chance to pop in and try it out.

As a party of three we had about a 25 minute wait, but we took a peak in the nearby store, Twine and also took a walk down quaint Broad St in Hopewell, by the time we came back they called us for our table. We sat at one long table in the center of this small, narrow restaurant between a large party and a couple. Right behind us was the open kitchen with a really cool looking blue tiled pizza oven. The menu is fairly small and features a few tasty sounding varieties of Naples style pizza and a couple of salad offerings. Our niece, who had been complaining that she was hungry stated she wanted a caesar salad and "might have a couple slices of pizza&q…

Toast, Montclair, NJ

On our way to visit some of our favorite NJ wineries in Sussex County, we decided to head out early and have some breakfast on the way. We stopped off in Montclair, NJ at a place called Toast. The place was packed and is apparently well known for their breakfast offerings, although they also serve lunch. The place is small, there is a second floor as well, we were seated on the first floor near the window, it was a great spot.

Our waiter was very friendly and told us about some specials and brought us some much needed coffee. Looking over the menu made me even more hungry than I was already. Tons of yummy sounding pancake, french toast and waffle choices, however it was something savory that caught my eye. While some of the eggs benedict variations were tempting, I went with the corned beef hash which was playfully named, "Sundays on the Farm". Just like our favorite traveling chef bad boy Anthony Bourdain, I have become quite the "egg slut" and ordered my corned …

Isaac's Famous Grilled Sandwiches

After drinking lots of wine in the Hershey, PA area on our journey home from Bedford Springs, I was in need of a bite to eat, so my traveling/dining companion agreed to stop at Issac's Famous Grilled Sandwiches. It was not a regrettable stop. What a great place for a quick and inexpensive bite, especially if traveling.

We strolled into the Issac's in Litiz and were surprised to find that we would be seated, I thought it would be an order at the counter and find your own seat kind of joint. The place looks like a typical sandwich/fast food restaurant, booth seating, very colorful decor. With their pink flamingo logo, they have a sort of island flair to the design of the place.

But you really want to know about the food, right? A nice touch in the service area is that they also bring you a dish of pickles, kind of how a sit down place would give you a bread basket, I prefer the pickles :)

So, the sandwiches! I had something called the Salty Eagle (btw- I love all the sandwich n…

Jean Bonnet Tavern, Bedford, PA

On a trip to what we thought would be "the middle of nowhere PA" for golf, wine and food, my dining companion and I were quite pleased to find several "good eats".

One of them is the historic, Jean Bonnet Tavern, which has been running as a tavern since the 1760s. The fireplace and charm make it very cozy. The staff is very friendly. The are known for having many beers on tap, but the wine list is a little skimpy, however, they do feature wine from a local winery, Briar Valley .

With a glass of wine each, my companion and I started out our meal by sharing bacon wrapped scallops. I don't think you can ever go wrong with bacon. The scallops were tasty and cooked perfectly, I think the bacon could have been a little crisper, but I appreciate the difficulty in cooking items that have different cooking times. They were still delicious. Our meals came with salads, which came out shortly after we polished off those scallops. For our entrees, I had a roasted pork loin …

Bobby's Burger Palace- Eatontown, NJ

Bobby's Burger Palace is a fun place for a quick bite. Being a lover of all things on the Food Network and Cooking Channel, I've been obsessed with Bobby Flay for years. So, since he has several burger joints here in NJ, I thought it was about time to visit one. My companion and I trekked out to the Monmouth Mall and entered the unassuming Bobby's Burger Palace, which I think is a hip, modern twist on fast food, I've seen other bloggers and reviewers that have thought this wasn't successfully pulled off, I think they are just angry people. The colors are inviting and the seating is unique.

Some people don't like that you order at the counter and then find a seat and wait, I found that fun. Some called it "cafeteria style" but I would disagree with that because you aren't given a tray, your food is still delivered to you at your seat, you just have to order at the counter. Anyway, on to the food.

We were intrigued by the "Burger of the Month&q…

Blackbird Dining Establishment- Collingswood, NJ

As I headed out to dinner with my dining companion on Friday night, fear struck just as we neared out destination, what was the problem? TRAFFIC. We had not anticipated that the last 2 miles of our trip to Collingswood would take 20 minutes. Thankfully, when we arrived we scored a spot very close to the restaurant and the hostess at the door at Blackbird Dining Establishment, couldn't have been nicer and more forgiving of our lateness for our reservation.Apparently, many other diners had the same trouble, because the place was nearly empty when we arrived and filled up quickly after we were seated.

I had been wanting to get to Blackbird for a while, some trusted sources raved about not only Blackbird but also West Side Gravy, run by the same chef, Alex Capasso. The restaurants share an entrance in their new location in Collingswood, I had read some reviews online that said things had gone south after the move. Having never been there before, we cannot compare the before and after,…

Poseidon Mediterranean Bar & Grill Robbinsville, NJ

After much anticipation, Robbinsville finally has a new restaurant to replace the long vacant Santino's. When it opened, my companion and I got there as soon as we could, which was the there first Friday night. The place was packed and without a reservation we were seated in the very crowded bar, but really liked the seat right by the front window. What added to the really crowded feeling in the bar is that is is half the size of the bar when it was Santino's, rather than be the center of the restaurant the bar at Poseidon is smaller and closed off from the main dining room.

Our waitress was busy and completely overwhelmed, we ordered a bottle of white wine and told her to take her time, we drank our wine, put in the order for an appetizer and took in the scenery. When our waitress came back to take our order, we realized she forgot about our appetizer, she apologized profusely and went to put it in right away.

Shortly after that she brought our appetizer over and she apologiz…

Stace of Cakes, Trenton, NJ

I found myself in the position of not having any lunch today and since the weather turned out to be rather nice, I decided to walk down to the recently opened, Stace of Cakes on Willow St. I had read about them in the paper and became a "fan" on Facebook, so I knew they were serving lunch now.

The place is adorable inside, with bright colors and fancy trinkets, like a metal and glass chandelier and cupcake stands with crystals hanging from them. I was greeted by a kind and lovely lady whom I assume is Stace, but I did not ask. The lunch menu is not large, but has something for everyone. Salads, sandwiches, wraps, I would say, light fare. I noticed something listed as "curried chicken salad" and I didn't know if it was chicken salad as in the kind made with mayo or if it was just curried chicken over a salad, it turns out it could be either and I opted for the curried chicken over salad. She excused herself to go prepare it and I stared dreamily at the cupcakes …

Monks Cafe, Philadelphia

~Originally posted 3/23/09 A friend and I traveled to the city of brotherly love this weekend to check out some American history. That's right folks, Skip is a history buff too. My friend and I went to check out the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House and Independence Hall; if you haven't been or if it's been awhile I highly recommend it. You've got to have a great appreciation for the hard work and sacrifice that went into the founding of our country. But I digress, you've come here to read about Monk's Cafe!

After taking in a healthy dose of history, two girls were in need of a good beer. My friend had suggested Monk's as she had been there before, it did not take much to convince me, I read they had a beer list as big as the phone book! And boy, they weren't kidding. There were so many beers I found it difficult to choose. Monk's is on S. 16th Street between Spruce and Locust in Philadelphia, it's a charming little place. You walk in through a…

Full Moon Cafe, Lambertville

~Originally posted 2/14/09~ If you have ever been to Lambertville, you may have noticed this cute little cafe with all the lunar decorations. They are right on Bridge Street and are usually only open for breakfast and lunch. There is only one occasion for which they open for dinner, a full moon. They recommend reservations, there are quite a few regulars who do not miss a full moon dinner at the Full Moon Cafe, as I found out recently.

I had been to the Full Moon Cafe for breakfast once, I had a fabulous crab and brie omelet, I suggest you try it, even if it was a little light on the cheese, but then again, I love brie. Since a full moon dinner is there specialty I thought I would try it. I invited some old friends to join me there for a bite on the last full moon (February 9th).

I will say this, when I was there for breakfast the service was fast, they are very efficient about getting folks in and out, so don't expect to lounge at this cafe. However, the wait staff are very intu…

Ajihei, Princeton

~Originally posted 2/9/09
So, I love sushi and there are so many places now to get it in my area. I just found a new great place, or shall I say my dining companion found it, after all, he does most of the research. Ajihei is a sushi place in Princeton, on Chambers Street. You have to go down some stairs to get to it and it is so small, you just might miss it. But I recommend you look hard, because you don't want to miss this place.
The place is tiny, but home-like. There are small wooden tables, no frills here. There is a man behind a counter rolling sushi while you dine, the fish is on display behind glass, it looked really fresh, and it was! We started with wasabi shumai. Now, I highly recommend shumai, those little dumplings are one of my favorites, but if you are not that into wasabi, you may want to get another version. The wasabi shumai at Ajihei will cure any sinus problems you have.
I had a spicy tuna roll and a shrimp tempura roll, both delicious. My companion had a sas…

Yummy Jambalaya

Yummy Jambalaya

1/2 a white onion diced
1 red bell pepper diced
3 cloves of garlic chopped
4 slabs of bacon diced
2 links chorizo sausage (or sausage of your choice)
1- 28 oz jar of diced tomatoes
to your taste:
Chili powder
Cumin
Celery Salt
crushed red pepper flakes
Cayenne pepper
Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1 lb Mahi Mahi (or fish of your choice) -note Mahi holds up well to stew-type dishes
1 lb shrimp (cleaned and tails removed)


Start with a large pot, I like to use my Le Creuset dutch oven. Over medium heat, add a little olive oil to the pot, add onion, garlic and bell pepper, let them sweat it out for about 2 minutes and add the bacon, let the bacon cook until it starts to crisp up and stick to bottom of the pot. Now you want to add the sausage, I used hot chorizo, but you can chose anything you like, be sure to scrap the bacon off the bottom of the pot so the flavors mingle.

After the sausage has had time to brown (probably 3 to 5 minutes) you now want to add the can of diced tom…

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Spice Loaf

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Spice Loaf

3 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup of honey
4 eggs
2 zucchini - shredded
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips,plus a handful of chips

Set your oven to bake at 375. In a large bowl combine the almond flour, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, mix eggs with oil and honey. Combine wet ingredients with the flour mixture and then add the spices and zucchini. Mix until well combined and then stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the mix into a loaf plan and top with a few more chips.

Bake for an hour, but keep an eye on it depending on the consistency and your oven it could be done sooner but this was the first time I tried this and it took about an hour til the middle was not still wet. I would also alert you that I eyeballed it with the spices, and so the measurements above may not be exact, but they are close and I would say us…

Hello Readers!

This is just a quick note from Skip.

For a few years now, I've been writing reviews and other observations on a domain which I acquired through another site. I am transitioning to this new format and I hope everyone enjoys it.

To my new readers, I say welcome and I hope that you will find my past reviews helpful, where possible (and when I do not forget) I will post the original date of the blog review.

To my faithful readers, I hope this transition is smooth and you will be able to find all the old reviews you know and love, as well as read all the new ones. Our rating system at House of Skip (1-5 cosmos, 1 being poor and 5 being excellent) is under going some changes. We here at House of Skip want to bring you the most relevant information in addition to entertaining you. We will take some time to try out some new rating system ideas and hope that if you have any feedback you will be willing to share it (new readers too).

Thanks all for your continued (or new) support! Stay tune…

Rocky Hill Inn, Rocky Hill, NJ

The Rocky Hill Inn has both a "dining room" and a "tavern", so if you are feeling casual and just want to hang in a bar atmosphere (as my dining companion and I did last night) then you can just mosey in to the tavern and either have a seat at the bar or get a table in the rustic looking tavern.

Recently the magazine, NJ Monthly came out with a list of the Best Burgers in NJ. Rated # one on that list was Rocky Hill Inn, so you know we here at House of Skip had to give it a try.

I have to preface this by saying that the service at Rocky Hill left a little to be desired. I want to get this out of the way before I get into the burger and lose track of what I wanted to say. We waited a long time to place our order and their seemed to be mis-communication or no communication between the staff. We were given water, asked if we wanted bread (to which we replied no), another person came and gave us bread and after we gave in and each ate a piece, another person came over a…

Tattoni's, Hamilton, NJ

~Originally posted 10.12.09~ For my readers from the Mercer County area, you know that the Chambersburg section of Trenton has long been home to great Italian restaurants. For those of you that aren't from the area, you don't know what you are missing. Recently, a long time Chambersburg resident, Tattoni's Restaurant, moved into Hamilton, their new home is on Rt. 33. And oh how lucky we are to have them!

If you've been reading House of Skip at all, you know that my dining companion and I have a thing for BYOB's, since Tattoni's is one, we took the opportunity to bring an Italian Chianti with us! The decor at Tattoni's is simple, a room full of tables, walls covered with Italian scenes. The staff is great, really friendly and have their job down to a science, of course some of them have worked for Tattoni's for over 20 years. Of course, each table is provided with the customary basket of bread, we also got a nice antipasto. I was craving meat sauce somet…

Ted's On Main, Medford, NJ

~Originally posted 3/31/09~ Ted's On Main is like a a little piece of New Orleans, right here in New Jersey. The dining room is small, cozy, and full of warm colors like golds and reds. Many of the photos and decorations are reminiscent of that of New Orleans, you can tell the French and Carribean influence.

Ted's is a BYOB restaurant with excellent staff.  The menu is sophisticated, yet simple, you won't be overwhelmed. As soon as I opened the menu I got excited, one of the appetizers was a Roasted Organic Beet Salad! That is what I started with, while my dining companion had oysters rockefeller, he said they were amazing. My salad was fresh and satisfying and my companion enjoyed his oysters as well. I was in the mood for something light, so I went with Sautéed Scallops with Butternut squash risotto, it was delicious and exactly what I wanted. The scallops were that perfect combination of crispy on the outside and fresh on the inside. At the suggestion of our waitress my…

Thai Orchid, Blue Bell, PA

~Originally posted 10.1.09~ On the quest for more delicious thai food, my dining companion and I enlisted the help of a friend. Upon researching several places, it was decided we would all three dine at Thai Orchid in Blue Bell, PA. We arrived at this cute and tiny little place, elaborately decorated with orchids, elephants, and all things gold and shiny. We were very hungry and had great anticipation for fabulous food, based on the fact that they are Zagat recommended. With wine in tow (they are BYOB) we took our seats and admired the decor.

Upon opening the menu, our friend declared, "I want the fortune bags", all jokes aside (I couldn't help it) they were tasty, thin fried pastry shells, tied into a bag filled with chicken, shrimp and crabmeat, served with sweet plum sauce. They were really good and the sauce was also good, a little tangy, a little sweet- that's a good combo in my book. My dining companion went with the Tom Yum soup, which he always gets a thai pl…

The Frog and The Peach, New Brunswick

~Original post date: 2/23/09~ There is a reason The Frog and The Peach is called one of the best restaurants in New Jersey. They recently received 3 and 1/2 stars from New Jersey Monthly Magazine, being noted for both their food and their service in Zagat's as well.
From the moment we walked in I knew we were in for a treat. We sat at the quaint little bar, the wall lined with so many wines it was almost intimidating. The staff is pleasant, friendly and knowledgeable about their extensive wine list and extremely appealing menu.

We were seated in what is usually the outdoor dining area, but is now enclosed for the winter months. It was beautiful and quiet. Our waitress was superb, attentive but not hovering. We had a delicious black bean and artichoke puree soup, which both my dining companion and I enjoyed very much. My companion chose a lovely napa valley chardonnay to go with our meals. My meal was a butternut squash and goat cheese tortelloni, anyone who knows me, could predict…