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Dec 29, 2008 10:27 AM


Just moved into the area from Newtown. Been to a few restaurants in Doylestown, but what do you recommend as your faves?


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  1. In Doylestown I think the better restaurants are: Honey; Il Melograno; Cafe America; Cross Culture (Indian); Ooka; Thai Spice; and some people say Slate Bleu (though I've never been). I am NOT crazy about Pagannini, Domani Star, and Cafe Alessio. If you want to hear some live music in a very nice setting check out Puck, but skip the food. Hope these help!

    10 Replies
    1. re: Schpsychman

      I think you are dead on with regard to Honey and Il Melograno. I would add The Knight House to your list, and second the recommendation for Slate Bleu. I would also add the Waterwheel on Old Easton Road, and Bacci over in Buckingham (5 minute drive from downtown Doylestown.) Venturing out further I would throw in Just Eat by BrownGold as well in Buckingham.

      Another honorable mentions would be Lil's right next door to Cafe America. I find it to be good bbq, though not as good as say Lucy's in Northeast Philly.
      I would also rule out Freight House which I find to be pretentious, (valet parking in a parking lot.. come on!) loud and over priced.

      Thai Spice is ok.. not great. But better than Siam or Black Oak. I do not like Ooka, though it is an ok place to go if you like a Benihana like atmosphere. If I want local sushi, I would go to Madam Butterfly instead.

      I will also have to disagree about Cross Culture, which I find to be very expensive (for the type of food) and severely under spiced (and not just heat.. ). I would sooner drive to Fort Washington to go to Palace of Asia.

      For pizza I would either recommend Jules Thin Crust, or Italian Delight over on Veterans Lane. Honorable mention to Pina II though their crust is not thin enough for me.

      I am not a fan of Mesquite Grill. I went there for their bbq and was underwhelmed. While their beer list is impressive, I do not think they turn over their bottles enough to be in good condition. Last time I was there, had a bad bottle of Fullers London Pride.

      1. re: cwdonald

        Just had a lovely late lunch at Thai Spice. It was my first time there. There were two other tables there when we arrived but by the time our food came, we had the place to ourselves except for a couple of take out customers. The service was how I like it, casual, friendly, but efficient. I enjoyed the mushroom soup and the pineapple fried rice with chicken that I got for the two course lunch special, and my friend liked his won ton soup and tofu pad thai. The presentation on the fried rice was charming, there were three half slices of cucumber covered by three half slices of tomato, I thought they were mini watermelon wedges at first glance. Well, they had me when my hot green tea was served in an elephant shaped teapot. Anything you pour out of an elephant's trunk has got to be good. :) It may have been that the planets were aligned but the relaxing and tasty lunch felt like a mini-vacation. I walked down the street to cookies and cream for a mocha latte and then stopped by the night kitchen bakery, only to see that tomorrow is their last day at that location. Sigh. That makes me miss my beloved Hornberger's Bakery even more.

        1. re: givemecarbs

          Just wondering how you ever have time to work! You are the roving "Hound".

          1. re: givemecarbs

            Hello to all I am new to this website. However I do have the fondest memory of the Hornberger Bakery in the Doylestown Plaza many years ago when I was very young especially in the Autumn when they would be baking the Apple Cider doughnuts. Like you Givemecarbs, I will certainly miss their baked goods alot. Could anyone please help me find out the actual day that Hornberger's closed their two bakeries down? I would greatly appreciate the information, as my mother used to live in Doylestown many years ago. In fact right across from the plaza they lived. Thanks to all.

            1. re: foodie64

              That was a sad day indeed foodie. I'll ask around. Not sure they both closed on the same day. As I remember one location lasted longer than the other But I could be wrong.

          2. re: cwdonald

            I haven't run into your problem with the beer at Mesquito Grill, but I definitely agree that their bbq is not very good. It's frustrating to me that they have two things that are excellent (wings and beer) and come up so short on bbq, their burgers, and just about everything else on the menu. But I will always go back for the wings....

            1. re: cwdonald

              I agree with Knight House but talk about expensive? For that money I'll drive into the city (though the bar out back is lovely on a warm evening). I have not been to the Water Wheel though I have heard good things. I'll date myself and say the lat time I was there it was The Sign of the Sorrel Horse and before that The Pear and Partridge Inn! I would not call Ooka Benihana like. Yes they have the group tables but sitting at the bar having some good sashimi and sake is very nice, beats Madam Butterfly in my book.

              Cross Culture is somewhat expensive but I think yu're paying for the setting, which I think is very nice. Under spiced? Perhaps a bit compared to places lik Tiffin. Thai Spice i standard Thai, on the same level as Nadia in Lansdale I'd say, but both way bette than Siam for sure.

              The Freight House does suck for food and is pretentious. My wife likes to dance there and it is a quintessential meat market for sure. I dont know what the big deal is about Jules??? It's OK but I'll take Pina's in Chalfont or Dominicks in Plumsteadville any day.

              1. re: Schpsychman

                We are having dinner at the Knight House this evening. Have you been lately? Anything new I should know about?

            2. re: Schpsychman

              Friends are planning to take us to Domani Star as it is their favorite restaurant. What don't you like about it? I have not been there.

              1. re: crazyspice

                I went a couple times, this was years ago, and food was good, the room was a little cozy (prepare to get close with your neighbors), service was friendly, and it was very expensive. Certainly not worth the cost, but not horrible also. Again, this was a while ago so I'm sure there are others that can provide a more accurate review.

            3. I'd add Mesquito Grill for great wings and an excellent beer list, Smokin' Lils for bbq, and Crossroads Bakery for a morning roll pastry and about anything else they make.

              8 Replies
              1. re: JCap

                Crossroads Bakery rocks but I have to drive past La Maison du Cheese to get to it. Ever had their croissants when they are still warm?

                1. re: givemecarbs

                  Hmm, warm croissants....that sounds delicious. I love their croissants at room temperature, warm they must be outrageous! Very charming spot, though I wish they put a bit more effort into their coffee.

                  1. re: JCap

                    The warm croissants are a spiritual experience. The coffee seems fine to me, they have only one size. But then I might be seriously distracted. The coffee is always piping hot and I only drink it after I have gobbled up the croissants. When the weather is fine I like to walk around town and then finish up with a soft pretzel for the ride home from the Doylestown Inn place. I always gaze sadly across the street for a moment in remembrance of Kinney's News Agency.

                    1. re: givemecarbs

                      You mentioned Kenny's, someone else mentioned Hornberger's Bakery....I grew up in Doylestown and I am saddened that so many old iconic places are now gone. I had a buddy who used to rent the apartment above Hornbergers. We (in our younger days....much younger) used to party all night and crash in his apartment. Invariably at 4am the smell of fresh pastries would fill the apartment to the point that sleep was impossible. We'd be down at the door right when they opened at 7:30 or 8, all hungover and tired and ready to devour whatever it was we were smelling. Boy I miss that place. Another casualty to.........gentrification, I guess.

                      1. re: G Goo

                        G, I was the one who also mentioned Hornberger's. While the Night Kitchen was no replacement at least it was a bakery in town. I can remember one drunken walk around Doylestown where the siren smell of Hornberger's pulled us in. The kitchen door was open, releasing seductive aromas into the night. But there was no way we were gonna make it til opening. I miss little bakeries and news agencys. Oh, and the Woolworth's lunch counter. I live near Lansdale now and I still wince every time I drive by the former Lansdale News Agency, it lasted quite a while longer than Kinney's, but both were beloved to me.

                        1. re: givemecarbs

                          I agree about the thumbs down on ooka and the freight house.

                          It's worth driving to Osaka in Hatfield for sushi, in my opinion. One of the few places outside the city that uses the correct temperature rice. I also like thai show in Quakertown, but not as much. They are good, Though.

                          The farmhouse tavern does a pretty good burger in doylestown.

                          1. re: givemecarbs

                            I live in Mt. Airy and the Night Kitchen has another location right near us in Chestnut Hill. We've bought a couple of cakes there and they were excellent. I'm sure the D-Town location is similar in quality.

                            As for Kenny's, I went to Lenape Jr. High where my friends and I would occasionally ride our bikes to and from school. We always stopped at Kenny's (not Kinney's btw) and load up on comic books, Mad Magazines and candy for the ride home. We would get kicked out if we hung around too long.

                            1. re: G Goo

                              That's kewl G. Yeah the d-town Night Kitchen is no more. Kenny's was my haven and my sanctuary and I waited too long to thank Mrs. Kenny for providing such a wonderful place. I never got kicked out for browsing even once although I was so enthralled by a magazine one time that I sat down in a daze on top of some other mags and got asked to stand or sit on the floor.. Mrs. K. was very patient with me. Even after she got her wheels my girlfriend Donna would stop at Kenny's after school for her favorite snack, a candy bar and a coke. Comic books, Mad Magazines and candy, what else does a kid really need? Dreamy sigh.

                2. KNIGHT HOUSE, DOYLESTOWN- Husband and I got a gift certificate and finally used it last weekend. We won't be back here anytime soon. It wasn't HORRIBLE, it was just...not worth the money-expensive and you can make these dishes at home. We both shared the tuna tartare--this was decent!-not bad-small portion but surprisingly good. The wedge salad? Forget it, the dressing had no flavor, not a lot of bacon and the lettuce was watery. ew. I got surf and turf. the filet was sort of dry which is hard to believe since we order med.rare all the time--it just wasn't juicy. The crab cake was all filler...I would have prefered to have a smaller crabcake with more crab then to have a huge hunk of crab patty plus globs of roumelade (sp) sauce on top. we also got the seafood trio (hey, we had a big gift certificate to use up) it came with salmon, tuna, 1 oyster and the same crab cake. The salmon was steamed with DRY herbs on top of it! It was rubbery and had no flavor and no sauce. The tuna was grilled but was chewy and WELLDONE! Not a bit of pink...tuna is supposed to be med.rare unless specified, either way it had no flavor. Overall the entrees were not good and if it weren't for the gift we would not have chosen this place. We would have gone to Honey! By the way, the baguette was yum. The hostess was an older woman who looked angry and didn't crack a smile (we noticed that she did this to others so it wasn't just us!). It's a shame the food is not good because the location is adorable and the building has so much character--also, they have a decent wine list!

                  1. Knight House is a great place for a solid meal. Sushi to Go has the best sushi around and if you're looking for a burger, then Basically Burgers is a solid choice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: HamOnMyBones

                      Don't know why, but I always forget about the Knight House when people ask about Doylestown restaurants! It's a really good spot.

                    2. there are a lot of great places to eat in d-town and some places overpriced and not so great. . i have lived there for 16 years. iI melograno, cafe america (great nachos!), slate bleu (wonderful for the ambiance and the food, plus they have a prix fixe menu).ooka is awesome. been going there for 11 years, always great food. domani star was good when I tried it a couple of years ago, but not crazy for the ambiance. paganinni was good when he was in the small place where pag's bar is now. but since then, not so good. plus, he often speaks badly about america and americans, so why would I want to patron his restaurant. knight house, never had a good meal there and tried it 3 times. black walnut - very very good. cross culture, too expensive for what you get. basically burgers, not crazy for them, prefer 5 guys. jules is awesome and healthy. not wild about cafe allessio, had a couple of bad meals there. freight house is not what is used to be so i no longer go. i wasn't crazy for bacci, it was just okay. lily's is good, smokin lil's is good, mesquito grill has the BEST wings but other things not so great, nats has good pizza and the best water ice. pina's by kmart has awesome gourmet pizza, beltemonte brick oven (used to be spatola's) is really good pizza too. pa soup house is good, but don't get the kobe beef burger.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: singingariesgirl

                        I love the soup house soups but haven't tried their burgers. What was wrong with it?