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Lost in the Poconos/Swiftwater Area

Eaterlover Oct 1, 2008 05:21 PM

So I had the great fortune of getting a project in the Poconos. The gorgeous mountain views makes for some of the best runs I've ever had, and subsequently works up a huge appetite. However, the place still seems like a culinary wasteland--mostly because, I suspect, I don't know where to look! My hotel is near Stroudsburg and my work in Swiftwater, but I'm willing to commute up to 30 mins for a good restaurant/shopping tip. The Shop Rite/Mr'Zs in Stroudsburg are disheartening at best and while I found a cool little Turkish grocery store on Main street in Stroudsburg, but Ayran will hardly feed me for months. Does anyone have any tips for me? I do prefer ethnic food over American, but I will eat anything that is fresh, well seasoned, and full-flavored. I do like healthy food more than fried foods, but I'm wiling to eat the best damn fried sandwich if there is one near the area. Can a girl get some culinary love?

Thank you!!!

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  1. k
    KitchenVoodoo Nov 4, 2008 04:03 PM

    I'm an infrequent corporate commuter to Swiftwater too, and I think we're working at the same company, unless you work at the gas station in Swiftwater, or the place that sells the wooden bear carvings? :)
    Chow is a bit of a struggle.... ethnic you can probably forget about. Here's what I found back in September:
    In East Stroudsburg getting someting to eat after 9 p.m. means the Irish pub - which isn't bad if you pick judiciously - the grilled trout was fine and came with lots of al dente veg and decent mash. But our French colleagues, coming as they do from Lyon the gastronomic capital of France looked like they'd hit culinary hell as they perused the pub grub menu. The deep fryer works hard in that place. Service was very good. I also tried Sarah Street Grill where I had a steak, and it was fine. College girls were cranking out sushi at the bar downstairs.... which seemed very popular with the local crowd but I'm saving for a SERIOUS sushi spend in Vancouver. Another night I tried the Stone Bar Inn, sat on the covered patio. I honestly can't remember precisely what I had, only that both appetizer and main dish (duck confit in an overpowering lake of Vietnamese fish sauce with mashed potatoes and about a dozen other things....) were a bit of a car crash, too many flavours and textures all fighting each other. The best thing was the mild salsa garnish made with local tomatoes - I would have been happy with a whole dish of that! Based on hype about the chef, I was hoping this place would be geared towards simple fresh local stuff, but it's as though the kitchen drops acid all morning and by dinnertime the menu is a psychadelic mess. But it's a nice place, with great service, although the interior is terribly gloomy and reminiscent of a older generation's "special night out" where low lights, tinkly elevator muzak and lots of wood panneling brings on that "life is good" ambience.
    Being hotel based is a bummer because you can't prep your own stuff - the caf at work wears thin after a while!
    I will probably be back there in late Nov or early Dec, if you want to try finding something decent in the area let me know!

    5 Replies
    1. re: KitchenVoodoo
      t
      TinaMarie Nov 6, 2008 12:52 PM

      Try Shiro's the new sushi restuarant on 611. Wonderful!

      1. re: TinaMarie
        k
        KitchenVoodoo Nov 6, 2008 04:05 PM

        Thanks! I'll give that a go! How fresh is the fish?

        1. re: KitchenVoodoo
          Eaterlover Nov 19, 2008 03:58 AM

          Once you've had one hibachi, you've had them all. I went to Shiro yesterday and while the hibachi grilled food wasn't bad, I always feel like this type of cooking blends all the flavors together. The grilled proteins were a standard mix of shrimp, steak, scallops or chicken. Our teppan chef overcooked the shrimps until they were a little rubbery and undercooked the scallops. As for the rice and noodles, they were forgettable. But I don't understand why they would charge $2 extra for crab miso soup when it is obvious just a few pieces of imitation crab dunked into miso soup?
          I had a only two pieces of uni from the sushi bar and the the little pieces of sea urchins were right on in flavor. I'm hoping that this place bodes better for the sushi bar than the other entrees.

      2. re: KitchenVoodoo
        Eaterlover Nov 17, 2008 01:07 PM

        I feel terrible for all the visiting french coworkers too--I don't want their only culinary experience to be sodexho inc. I'm a little surprised that there aren't more places like Stone Barns or Blackberry Farms in the area (not that I would be able to expense that type of meal), since it seems primed for a type of resort/farm with its gorgeous geography. I will definitely attempt some of the places on the list-I've been in a rut and I'm excited that I have new suggestions.

        1. re: Eaterlover
          i
          ivylil2 Nov 19, 2008 05:18 AM

          I can only imagine the frustrations...please do share with others my list of places to try. I have more but I think what I listed is a great place to start.
          I love Istanbul's turkish coffee.
          I'm not sure of your timeline here but you could try many of these places with out breaking the bank.
          As far grocery stores..best of luck. I'm a TJ's fan and stock up whenever I am near one..the next best thing which is closest proximity would be the Wegmans of 33 above Bethlehem.
          Around this area, I prefer Mr.Z's (Tannersville location has most options).
          Keep me posted as to your findings

      3. i
        ivylil2 Nov 16, 2008 03:53 PM

        Ahh yes it is a struggle if you don't know where to go but I have found some great places as of late.
        Istanbul on Main St On Main St in Stroudsburg is good&straight-forward. I have heard great things about Shiro on 611. Another god sushi is on 940 W Tokyo Teahouse..not much for ambiance but again strigt forward good food.
        Thai Thani(above Water Gap, 611 South) is a good place to try as well Sean(Delaware Water Gap area) ...good true thai.
        Check out the Frogtown Inn and 6 Acres...they are past Buckhill area. They do some awesome dishes. Ceck out the Blakeslee In, you'll be surprised.
        There is also Cedars off of Main St which is mainly daytime.
        MMM mexican...one off main st in stroudsburg across from Sweet Creams Cafe(another plac to try) there is one not far from Swiftwater too..MT Pocono, KNob Rd...(remodeling of a motel) but you will see the mexican rest., authentic
        Best Bakery yet is off Main St..Sonya Organic Bakery..(near Josphines gift shop)
        Panteros is portugual bbq joint
        Good dining...Cherry Valley Bistro so very good
        I hope this helps. I've been out and about trying to satisfy my exotic taste as well.
        Kreative Kuisine is also fabulous, very organic,fresh daily.
        I think that most of these places do have a website believe it or not. There are some very good restaurants here , it is just getting someone to share with you.

        Best of luck...it is truly beautiful here and the dining is coming around slowly. To stay alive
        they need to compete with other culinary destinations.

        1. b
          bedelia11 Dec 14, 2008 04:46 PM

          Pangea on Rt 611 has ethnic, Indian food, healthy choices if you like Indian food that is...
          The prices are reasonable. Well seasoned and full flavored would describe Indian cuisine.
          Try Tandoori items as they are very healthy - fish, lamb or chicken.

          1. k
            KarenNYC Feb 4, 2009 01:26 PM

            did you ever find anything decent to eat up there? we are heading that way next week and I need a decent meal while at Great wolf Lodge.....

            1 Reply
            1. re: KarenNYC
              Eaterlover Feb 6, 2009 03:47 AM

              I haven't made a huge dent into the list above, but near the Great Wolf Lodge is Tannersville Inn--we had a company lunch there and almost half the table ordered the "kobe" burger, which despite its highly improbable "kobe-ness" was delicious. Mt. Airy Casino/Hotel nearby also has 3 restaurants inside which might be good too (I am going next week with the bosses so I will report).

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