Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Now This is What I Call A Combo Meal

There are times when I crave fried chicken and there are times when I crave tacos. Then, there are the troubling times when I want both, but know I shouldn't eat both at the same time. That's where Bair's Fried Chicken steps up their game and becomes my hero. What you see pictured here is their newly christened Loco YoCo Taco and it can really help when you want both but don't want to choose.

I've had a few of them over the last month, although I never did get around to putting in a name suggestion.  No matter what they're called they are awesome. Think about it: You get the best fried chicken in York all wrapped up in a tortilla and smothered in taco fixins. The Loco YoCo makes for an awesome lunch, dinner or even a snack.

So the next time you're downtown stop by the Market do yourself the favor of trying these little bundles of deliciousness. I know you'll thank me when you do.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bee Eye Why See: Burritos

So many of my friends on social media seem to be beyond happy when they go out to one of the big national chains for a mission-style burrito. Don't get me wrong, I'll eat at Qdoba or Chipotle if there is no better option, but here in York City there most certainly is and that option is Roburritos. Their burrito is the Best in York City (B.I.Y.C or bee eye why see).

When Anthony was working at York College the students there told him about the West York location over by the fairgrounds and it only took one visit for us to realize why it was so popular. He and Heidi and I started going back in '09 and even found we had a few connections to the good folks that run the place. Heidi used to work with one of the managers and Anthony's long time tattoo artist is close with Rob, the owner.

But don't think these connections are why we love the place. Even if we didn't know anyone involved we would keep going back for one reason and one reason only: their burritos kick ass. Rob made a pilgrimage to San Francisco's Mission district to learn all he could about how to make a great burrito and it shows. They serve huge burritos packed with meat (or potatoes for your veggie folks), rice beans and guacamole and sour cream.

If you aren't in the mood to get all these ingredients in burrito form you could always opt for the burritodilla which is the quesadilla version that you see at the top of this post, but either way you can't go wrong. And there are more and more places you can enjoy this fantastic grub. There are three different York locations and one in both Dallastown and Lancaster. Whichever is closest to you I highly encourage you to get out there and try them out.     

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lunch Spot to Check Out: Flats

The other day Anthony said he wanted to go somewhere different for lunch. Between us we've eaten at just about every place in downtown York. Then we realized that there was one place we hadn't yet tried right under our noses. Well, under Anthony's nose... I don't have one anymore. About 50 yards from Anthony's office is the Valencia Room (which coincidently is where he took Heidi to the College Formal a few weeks before they started dating) and in the front of the Valencia is Flats which bills itself as an "Original Flatbread Café."

I just love the menu at this place, so much so that we've been there three times in the last week. The menu breaks down into four groups of main dishes: Pizza, Quesadillas, Burritos and Sandwiches/Wraps. They also have a nice grouping of starters and salads of which I've tried the Roasted Hummus Flatbread you see on the left. It tastes just as good as it looks! They also have wings, a tomato bisque, a side salad and the option to get an extra basket of their awesome chips with a balsamic glaze and parmesan dusted on top.

On my first visit I tried  the Killer Beef quesadilla which is fact killer. The brisket was really flavorful and tender and perfectly complemented the cheddar jack and BBQ sauce. Anthony had the Ultimate Grilled Cheese quesadilla pictured on the right which is stuffed with four different types of cheese as well applewood smoked bacon and tomatoes. There are four other quesadillas on the menu too and I'm looking forward to trying them all.

On our last trip be both tried burritos. I had the excellent beef and bean burrito you see below. The beef in question is the same brisket from the quesadilla so your really couldn't go wrong paring it with refried beans, cheese and rice. Anthony went with the Spicy Chicken Crunch burrito that gets its crunch from tortilla strips wrapped up in the burrito and set off with some mango salsa.

I look forward to going back and trying some of their pizzas and wraps very soon and I highly recommend you get on down there and check them out. In addition to awesome lunch food you also get a really comfortable ambiance to kill your 60 minutes before heading back to your desk.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bear Market: Simply Soup

I don't know weather to eat it or swim in it!
It is just stupid cold here in the White Rose city these days. I don't know about you, dear blog reader, but when the cold weather gets me down I reach for soup. Since I am a really lazy stuffed panda I don't take the time to make my own and I also am not a fan of the sodium packed canned stuff. Luckily for me there is a place to get awesome scratch-made soup in Central Market.

Simply Soup has a huge variety of recipes to warm you on even the coldest day as one look at their menu will show you. When you try any of their soups you can really tell that they are made with skill and care. Everything I have tried from there has been amazing so far. Pair the soup with one of the excellent grilled cheese sandwiches they serve you get one hell of a filling and rewarding lunch.

They aren't just for lunch though, because they also offer pint and quart containers to go. If you don't know what you're making for dinner tonight and you don't feel like going out either you can get some to go like Anthony, Heidi and I do. This week we got the Chicken Noodle you see at the top of this post and paired it with a mixed greens salad. If you're having people over get a few quarts and have them simmering on the stovetop when your guests arrive. They'll think you did all the hard work and you will have the upper hand on them, and isn't that what friendship is all about?

No matter if you decide to pass it off as your own or you give the credit to Simply Soup one thing is for sure: you'll have a great meal and warm yourself up.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bee Eye Why See: Cheesesteak

In doing my research for my B.I.Y.C. (Best In York City)  post about cheesesteaks I've gained almost a pound. That may not sound like a lot to you but I'm not even a foot tall so I think you get the idea that I ate a whole lot of cheesesteaks. In the end I came back to the first one I had when I started the blog back in August.

https://www.facebook.com/PeppersgrillePepper's Grille at Central Market are masters of taking tried and true favorites and putting their own unique spin on them to take them to a whole new level. Their Bacon Cheesesteak is a fine example of just how they turn it up to 11. I'll be honest: when I first heard about the bacon steak I didn't know if I would like it. I thought the bacon might make it a bit too salty. But when I had it I found that the bacon brought the perfect balance to a cheesesteak.

Just take one look at these pictures and you'll all see the care that owners Steve and Ginger put into all their creations. Everything that goes into the steak is fresh and of super high quality. The rolls come all the way from Philadelphia: aka Cheesesteak Mecca and Steve also gets his secret ingredient for flavoring the steak all the way from Virginia.

It all adds up to one of the best things you'll ever eat, and I've had enough of them that I need to get myself on a diet. There are many places to get a good cheesesteak in York but Pepper's it one place to get a true masterpiece of steak, bread, bacon and cheese. It's even better than my own!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Archi-Ted-ture: Beaver St. Masonic Hall

Did you ever have the feeling that no matter how great your were as a kid you could never measure up to the sibling who was your parents favorite? That must be how the building at 15 and 17 North Beaver St in the Market District must feel.

I often wonder if anyone even notices this 150 year old masterpiece with the jewel of York city's architecture right next door. I mean, how are you supposed to pay attention to the amazing façade of York's original Masonic Temple when there are three stories of wrap around porches on the National House right next door. Well I don't play favorites and I have noticed how amazing the old Masonic Hall is.

Built during the Civil War this Gothic Revival masterpiece sports dual entrances on either side of a bay window on the ground floor. The windows on the second and third floors are arched in a church like style. I also enjoy the ornate brickwork along the roofline and between the second and third stories. But my favorite little feature of this building is the way #17 has one more step than #15 to account for the very small slope in Beaver street.

I would guess than many of you who frequent the Market District have walked passed this grand old building hundreds of times without paying it much attention. I hope the next time you are in area you take a second to study it in person. It's the one midway between The Holy Hound and Central Market.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bee Eye Why See: Mac & Cheese

When winter comes there are a few specific dishes that I reach for that warm me up both physically and mentally. One of my biggest comfort foods is macaroni and cheese and my bar is set quite high. I was lucky to land in Anthony's house for many reasons. Not only is he the kind of guy who keeps his teddy bear around for his whole life, but his folks could both really cook. Susan made awesome mac & cheese and the only box to be found was the box the noodles came in. And the cheese came in solid form not squeezed out of a pouch. None of that blue boxed crap for us.

With my storied mac & cheese history in mind let me say that not only is the Varsity Smoke Shack's version is easily the best in York City and some of the best you'll ever have. Their particular version is not a casserole style, so if that's what your into I beg you to have an open mind. The baked variety is also great, but this is a frying pan base preparation utilizing a béchamel based sauces. It is made toorder so it always arrives piping hot and bursting with flavor.

On a cold winter's day it makes the perfect side to one of Varsity's awesome sandwiches that I blogged about last month. While its on the menu as a side, two of them would serve to be a filling and satisfying meal all on its own. One of these days I'm going to get them to cut up a few strips of bacon in it and the result may make me weep. But it is the best mac & cheese you'll have in York all on its own and you should run and get some ASAP!