Help in Montgomeryville!
I have lived in the Montgomeryville area for 5 years now and have tried so many places and nothing has wowed me yet! I am a foodie and am pretty good and cooking and baking so I am very picky. I do my shopping at Whole Foods and prefer good quality. Does anyone know of anywhere in the area that I can order dinner and dessert that would be better than what I can make at home? I am no professional chef, but can kick out some good stuff at home. I get so disappointed when I go to places because I spent all that $$$ for crap. I want to go somewhere that I can tell a REAL chef works there.
I tried try Allison's of Blue Bell and it was very good, but the portions were small and it was not very cheap. I don't think that Normandy Farm is all that great either, althought last time I was there I had "white chocolate key lime" bars that were faboulous.
We live in Blue Bell and have tried most of the restaurants in the area. There are not any in the area that have wowed us, but we have had consistently good (and somewhat inspired) meals at Parc Bistro in Skippack village. PB is not BYOB.
Have lived in the Montgomery area for 18 years now and, sadly, there is not much that wows me either. That being said, the places I do like are:
Fuzion in Worcester, BYOB
Costello's in North Wales - no longer BYOB
Sultan right next store - BYOB
Il Melograno in Doylestown - not BYOB
Yalda Grill in Willow Grove - VG Afghani food, BYOB
Vietnam Cafe in Telford - BYOB
Bocelli - Gwynedd train station, BYOB
White Elephant (Thai) - Huntingdon Valley, BYOB
Nadia's (Thai) - Lansdale, BYOB
Aman's - Norriton, BYOB
Hamlet Bistro - Chestnut Hill, BYOB
That being said, if you want inventive and really good food, alas you'll have to venture into the city.
Hey! I think that is quite a large list of good restaurants in the area. We are really lucky to have such good restaurants nearby. So, you really don'y have to trek it into the city for a good meal.
I completely agree on Yalda and Costellos, great places! So sad that Castello's is no longer BYO. that is the only way we could stay within budget there!
I'd also like to add La Cava and GeeChee Girl Cafe (ok, technically the city because it is Chestnut Hill). You will get a fabulous meal at both places.
We ate at the Mainland Inn this past Saturday night. The restaurant was not very crowded (from 7:00 to 8:30 PM). We had a nice meal, but not exceptional. It has been said before that "inn" food is not that adventurous. I had the rack of lamb (perfectly cooked, 4 nice ribs, but pricey at ~$34). My wife had the duck breast (tasty but salty). We had the apple tart and banana "something" for dessert. Both were okay. Service was very good. All in all an okay meal, but nothing that would compel us to go back again.
Had the antithesis of the above meal a few nights ago at Yalda Grill in Willow Grove. For an app we had fantasic samosa's, for entrees tender tender and tasty lamb with basmati rice and lamb and shrimp with brown rice, carrots and raisins. Way too much to finish so it provided an excellent lunch the next day. It is BYOB of course and the family that runs it couldn't be nicer. Total bill? $35, cost of one entree at the above mentioned restaurant. For NYE they were doing a $25pp all you could eat anything off the menu dinner, which unfortunately we could not make.
My husband and I adhere to this policy: we only go to relatively expensive, quality places because we can make food at home better than most restaurants and far cheaper. So, when we go out, we go for quality, which is going to cost you something. Because of this, we go out for dinner only like once every 3 weeks but we spend at least $50 a person plus drinks/wine. We figure that we would rather eat out far less but enjoy a far better experience than what most people seem to do.
I came to this thread from a link in another (about PF Chang's) so I can't help you for you local quandry but your comment about something being very good but having small portions and not cheap led me to offer up our dining out philosophy for your consideration since you say you can cook well at home. Restaurants that use high quality ingredients and turn out a great product aren't going to be cheap - their costs, overhead, and expected profit for their superior product doesn't equate to "cheap."
I have become a fan of Zacharias in Worcester. They have a great menu and really creative specials . They just released their winter menu which has a lot of creative dishes. The chefs are always in the kitchen and the portions are generous. Give it a try, you will not be dissappointed.
We've eaten at Zacharias twice and have yet to have an inspired meal (especially considering the salads are close to $10 and most of the entrees are in the high $20's). We may try it again (primarily because we live close by and it is BYOB), but will not be in a hurry to do so. Parc Bistro in Skippack Village has similar prices and better food (but is not BYOB).
I agree with most of the bloggers above, we've been here 3 years and aren't wowed by any place. We do like Magnolia Cafe on Horsham Road. It's a small BYOB, Bistro fare, but well done and varied. Last time four of us went - we had a hearty lasagna, sea bass, pasta with duck ragu and a chicken dish. They also have several vegetarian dishes and the soups and salads are good. Reservations are a must, as the place is fairly small and they do two seatings per night. My advice would be to get there a little early for your seating so that you are seated and can order before all the other tables come in. We also like Jumbo sushi, in the same strip mall. It's never crowded, he must do a decent lunch menu, as he has been in business for at least 5 years now. Jay, the owner, moved down here after 9/11. Before that he worked at Windows on the World and had his own place in NYC. He still goes to NYC everyday for his seafood, so it is very fresh and his prices are reasonable. Sit at the sushi bar and share your drink with Jay - he'll slip you some free samples and it's much more fun than the tables. Although it is a chain, we also have had some decent meals at Iron Hill Brewery. Nothing gourmet, but good decent food. I agree with the above comments about Yalda Grille - food is delicious, and the family is so friendly.