Where would a chowhound eat in/near Lansdale?
I am visiting my Mom who lives in Lansdale and one more visit to a chain restaurant near the mall will make me sick. Can you give me any suggestions for a casual to moderately priced restaurant options that will wow both me and my dear Mom? She is not into ethnic food but we are willing to travel up to 1/2 hour to have a good meal.
Definitely go to Cravings Cafe in North Wales (in the same shopping center as Assi Market on Welsh Road). Probably only a 10 minute drive from your mom's house at the most, depending on where in Lansdale she lives. Great American upscale food at decent prices. It's a little tough to find, as you have to drive around the right side/back of the center, but the food is spectacular. It's a BYOB as well.
Bell Run Plaza
1222 Welsh Road
(Behind Sovereign Bank)
North Wales, PA 19454
Tel. (215) 855-4500
Monday: 11:00am - 3:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Sunday Brunch: 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Just visited Cravings Cafe and was DISAPPOINTED! Appetizer I ordered duck & mushroom spring roll arrived and it was fish...no duck (on their spring menu). They told the incorrect menu was given - I asked to see the correct one and oopss they all were wrong. Okay so I ordered tuna medium rare with avocado on black olive bread - avocado wayyy under ripe...no flavor! Size of sandwich was large and it was not cui in half. Will never return!!!
There is not much good chow right in Landsdale, but there are some really good options in the half hour radius around the area.
Alison at Blue Bell is an amazing BYO. It is definitely on the high end of the price scale but will definitely provide the wow factor you are looking for.
Trax Cafe (Ambler) is a great BYO with a nice outdoor patio in the warm weather. Food is labeled New american and is consistently good. Prices are moderate.
Arpeggio (Spring House)- I'm not sure of your definition of ethnic, but this is a great moderate priced BYO that has Mediterranean food. Great wood fired pizzas. I don't really consider it to be ethnic.
If you do not consider Italian to be "ethnic", Il Giaradino is a good italian BYO in Springhouse. Good pasta dishes, huge portions, not too fancy but nice. Very "parent friendly".
I'm sure I'll think of some more. If you do want to go the ethnic route, there are also some great Mexican, Thai, Irish restaurants I can recommend.
I still highly recommend Cravings Cafe as a first choice. It's where I'd go! But...
For really good Italian, hit La Campagnola at 700 S Broad St in Lansdale. Family run...the place used to be a residence. I grew up in the neighborhood and was friends with the kids who grew up in that house. It was always strange to drive by and see it changed into a restaurant. The food is very good though, and it is also BYOB.
If you don't mind heading north, there's supposedly a very good Mexican place in Quakertown (I don't know the name, it's new) in the large shopping center across 309 from TGI Friday's. There's also a good Japanese/Chinese place up there (Eastern Dragon) at West End Blvd off of 309. Speaking of which, I believe they have a branch in Montgomeryville by the Costco.
If your mom likes Chinese, go to Abacus in Lansdale (Valley Forge Rd & Sumneytown Pike) or their sister restaurant, Yantze in Hatfield (Forty Ft Rd).
For something more casual, try Webbie's Pizza in Chalfont. Not only a pizza/sandwich shop, but they also have pasta dinners and Middle Eastern meals.
Arpeggio in Spring house (as Ambler Girl suggested) is also good for contemporary food and wood-fired pizzas.
I know there's more...and probably places that have opened since I moved a few months ago...
Abacus and Yangtze are excellent if you like bland American Chinese food that's not going to weird you out--and some people do, I'm just saying so you know. Different strokes.
I've always liked New Station pizza in Lansdale, near the train station. Great soft crust, fresh toppings, but I haven't had it in a long time. Cheap, of course.
For Italian I love Luberto's in Dublin, I think just under your 30-minutes from Lansdale. Moderately priced, nothing too creative, but pretty tasty. They have a brick oven.
Since you are open to ethnic, I'd recommend La Cava in Ambler for Mexican. Nice quiet upscale BYO, prices are moderate, whole fish dishes are excellent, more high end food than a taco joint.
If you like Irish food, Schanachie in Ambler is also good. It is an Irish pub, but very good food, more of a real restaurant than a bar scene.
After the other rcommendations I am eager to try both Cravings Cafe and La Campagnola myself!
My wife and I enjoyed lunch at Carolyn's twice when we have been in Lansdale but the most recent was at least three years ago. With the lack of a mention, I assume Carolyn's is no longer worth visiting or is out of business. It always seemed like the kind of place one would take one's mother for lunch. It so happens we will be going to Lansdale within the next few weeks -- thanks for the recommendations for Cravings and La Campagnola.
My BF and another couple ate at Cravings Cafe a couple weeks ago...by the way, when are they actually moving to their new location? Anyway, we had a really good meal. The salad was fresh, the brie appetizer very good. I had the grilled salmon, my BF had the surf and turf, while the other couple had a thai salad and the gnocchi. It was a great meal all around. Everyone was satisfied. It is a bit small.
No one has mentioned Ristorante Castello in the same shopping center. I won't get into the long story of our dinner there, but to make it a short story.....we went on a Friday night, had reservations at 7:30, were seated promptly, but the kitchen had a hard time getting our food out. It was 9:45pm when we got our meals. Once we got our food, it was wonderful. I've recommended other's to try this place even after our experience, and even the couple we were with has gone back for another dinner.
IF you are looking for a very casual experience, another place I recommend is Pumpernick's in Montgomeryville. We go there about twice a month for breakfast/lunch. I've never eaten dinner there. It's a great Jewish deli (does a huge business on the weekends) and I've always been satisfied.
What about Ariana's for their brick oven pizza? That's another good place in Montgomeryville.
As for La Campagnola, that's another good place, though I hear the only problems people really have are with the owners. I've read too many reviews about them fighting with each other, not being too nice to their patrons, etc. BUT the food is good, really good.
Hellolaura, I'm glad you enjoyed Cravings. Supposedly, they will be moving in June to the new location. So says their website.
I've eaten at Ariana's quite a few times and always found the food good (never had their pizza), but not as good as La Campagnola. The only issue I ever had over there with an owner is when the old lady (I'm assuming Grandma) has been working the counter. She's very firm and not exceptionally friendly. I'm also not sure she speaks a lot of English, but the other people working there were just fine.
I've also heard good things about Pumpernicks, but never got to go there.
If you like diner food, the R&S Keystone in Sellersville serves up pretty good stuff at great prices. Same with the John's Plain & Fancy in Quakertown.
I always liked Kira Japanese in Souderton too. Fun for hibachi, but I thought their sushi was good as well.
I've also heard really good things about Cafe Avocado in Perkasie (519 W. Walnut St., 215-258-0300), which I believe is open for dinner a few nights a week, and lunch every day but Sunday.
zenjava has been closed since last december however, i have eaten at cafe avocado countless times and it is definatly worth the trip. Everything is homemade and fresh. It reminds me of the New York cafe's i have enjoyed. They are open for lunch tues - sat from 11:30 - 3:00 and dinner on thurs, fri, and sat from 5 - 9. The menu is limited but they always have amazing additions to the menu and you can bring your own wine, etc. which really helps with the cost of dinner in these troubled times. You can really tell the staff wants you to have a memorable experience and they cars about what they are doing. I have never been dissapointed and I highly recommend it.
I'm sorry but I'll probably make many people mad at me but I must disagree with some recommendations made here. I have eaten at Cravings Cafe a number of times and been underwhelmed each time. I think the chef is heavy-handed and the food clumsy and not too good. Now Castello's on the other hand is fantastic. Best Italian food (along with Il Melograno in Doylestown) in the 'burbs. I also think Ariana's and Campagnola are subpar as well. Carolyn's is now some Irish place and it was bad when it was Carolyn's so nuff said. La Cava in Ambler and Tamarindo's in Blue Bell for good Mexican. Sultan for great Indian.
I live near Dublin, and have to disagree strongly about Luberto's being worth a thirty-minute drive. It's really nothing special, and the best I can say about it is that it's good for Dublin.
When you visit your Mom next time, you might want to try a great bbq place in harleysville -- Blues Street BBQ. It is located in Harley Commons on RT 63. About 5 minutes from the turnpike exit. The atmosphere is casual and family-friendly. The food is great and the service is attentive and personable. It is also a BYOB and many diners take advantage of that. The menu includes sandwiches, salads, soups and dinners with the flavor of southern BBQ. But they also include menu items and specials that are not BBQ-flavored. All of the smoking is done on-site.
I remember Blues Street BBQ when it was Memphis Magic in the same location and I had a very bad experience. Showed up on a Saturday around 8PM with my brother and his wife from out of town w/ a 12 pack of Yuengling (as it was a BYOB).
First, they did not have anything to keep my 12 pack cold. I kid you not when I tell you they brought out a mop pail and put some ice in it. Unbelievable.
Also, they had a chalk board with specials of the day, except the special was that they had no more baby back ribs or chicken! At 8PM on a Saturday, this is extremely poor. At least they still had St. Louis Ribs (or so I thought). When they finally seated us 15 minutes later, the waitress came over to tell us they had sold out of all ribs (in a BBQ joint). Our only options were pulled pork, smoked turkey, brisket, and chili...that was it!
Wife and brother's wife ordered the pulled pork and said it was OK. Brother had the chili and commented it was very spicy (but he likes that way) and my brisket was nothing to write home about.
Overall a very poor experience. If the same management team is running the place now, I would be very wary. Better bet would be Bones Grille: http://www.bonesgrille.com/
I could order the ribs there and can attest that they are delicious. Can get crowded on weekends though. Feels "chain-ish" but is not a chain as far as I know...
On a general note, I put together a Google Map with my favorite Lansdale locations:
Some upscale and slow downscale spots. Leave a note on my blog if you want more information about any location
Memphis Magic and Blues Street couldn't be more different (same location). First owner was widely reputed to have personal and substance problems (rumor) at any rate they did have good food but were wildly erratic. New people (Blues Street) are a couple local pastors and their wives. Smart, attentive, consistent and clean. It's pretty darn good. Try a cup of their gumbo with your meal. Bones grill is more of your mediocre Bennegans type experience.
Sadly, Blues Street BBQ in Harleysville PA closed suddenly in late 2007. Drove up there to find the windows were blocked off with white paper. A very recent visit shows that the windows are no longer blocked but that the restaurant is empty and there is a "for rent" sign in the window. No other note or written notice.
Their website recently went down too.....
I feel sorry for anyone with gift cards from the place! Nothing in the local paper that I saw about it - and they covered their opening.
Iron Hill off of 309 is decent, casual, moderately priced with some interesting items on the menu. It's a brewery with locations in DE and I think Phoenixville. The one in North Wales is about a mile from the Montgomery Mall.
They have delicious appetizers...good burgers. and good service.
Pheebee- I have to respectfully disagree on Iron Hill. Food is good. Service stinks. They are very slow and rarely get your order right on first try. The location in North Wales is the only one I had this experience with (three times) and will not return. Other locations are good, though.
Arpeggio in Springhouse
Blues Street Bar-B-Q in Harleysville
Tokyo Japanese in Skippack
Black Dog .... well basically ANYTHING in Skippack with the exception of Basta Pasta
My FAVORITE - Cedars Cafe in Cedars - AWESOME, small BYOB chef owner Jenny is super creative. Small - reservations a must.
I 2nd pretty much what mstrong said, but will add the Drafting Room in Springhouse as an option.
Personally I don't have a problem with Basta Pasta. The food is good and reasonably priced. It does get a litte loud in there, but aside from that there's nothing wrong with it.
I'll disagree a little with Cafe at Cedars. The food is good, but the menu is rather limited and sometimes Jenny gets a little too creative. The portions are sometimes less than generous.
Iron Hill is hit or miss. I've had very good service there one night and then horrible the next. The food is good as the beer is very good.
If it's good Jewish deli you want, then Pumpernicks is a good choice.
Golden Sea at Broad and 309 is good for Chinese. Some like Chongs Dumpling House in Lansdale for dumplings.. (take out).
My experience at Iron Hill have been better than the hounds above. I would suggest that if you are a small party, you can get very good service at the bar. My one complaint is that the brewer has not fixed the cask condition engine. Their beer is good not great, and I usually go for their seasaonal special beers rather than the house beers.
They revamped the menu at the North Wales site a few months ago. Good options include the pizzas, the tuna tataki appetizer, the chicken gumbo soup has a nice kick to it.
They do have beer pairing menus, where you get a prix fixe meal with appetizer entree and two beers for around 20 dollars which isnt a bad bargain.
The other criticism of Iron Hill is that the space can get quite noisy.
For a different type of food, drive to Telford and get Vietnamese at the Vietnamese cafe (20 mins from Lansdale).