Tag Archives: commonwealth on queen

Lancaster in Love

Ok, on one hand, I am a romantic. I am guilty of singing along to cheesy love songs, crying at Hallmark commercials, and quoting the Moulin Rouge. On the other hand, I have never thought much of the commercial side of Valentine’s Day. I am a firm believer in presence versus presents and the importance of sharing priceless experiences with those we love. This holiday weekend, there are plenty of ways to both love Lancaster and experience Lancaster in love.

First, there is the Fire and Ice Festival in Lititz this weekend from February 13-16. See over 50 amazing ice sculptures, have fun at the Block Party and the Winter Wonderland Carnival, and support local charities while eating your way through the annual chili cook-off. I will be rooting for the Ephrata VFW and my good friend Rebecca Gallagher, owner of the Smithton Inn. Check out her 3Bs Chili – made with Beef, Bison, and Boniface.  If her chili is anything like her breakfasts, you will fall in love at first bite.

Looking for a unique culinary experience? Several local restaurants are hosting pop-up BYOB dinners this Valentine’s Day.  Tomato Pie Café in Lititz will feature a special Prix Fixe dinner with local chef Katie Horst on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Commonwealth on Queen is hosting a four-course dinner from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Saturday in Downtown Lancaster.

Rather have brunch? Have you been to Wynridge Farms yet? This weekend is the perfect excuse. The site features a tasting room, their own craft beer, cider, and soda, and a rustic backdrop for weddings and special events. You will fall in love with the view alone. Their “Celebrate Love” event not only features dinner on both Friday and Saturday nights, but also a brunch on Saturday morning. Check out the gallery of pictures below from my tour of the site and click here to view the menu.  I also do not want to forget Pour. Their Valentine’s brunch this Sunday features everything from banana pancakes to fresh-squeezed mimosas.

Want to stay in on Valentine’s Day and avoid the crowds? The Lancaster Central Market will have everything you need to cook a special breakfast, lunch, or dinner that features local favorites. I have often created my own pop-up meal by stopping first at Central Market for fresh produce, breads, meats, and cheeses. I will then grab a bottle of “Family Reserve” olive oil from the Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom, a bottle of Baron red wine from Waltz Vineyards, and dark chocolate truffles from Cafe Chocolate. It may be cold outside, but the location for a private pop-up dinner is only limited by your imagination.

Both Cafe Chocolate and Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom even have special products available to purchase this Valentine’s Day. Seasons has a Valentine’s Day sampler that includes Blood Orange Fused Olive Oil, Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar, and a recipe card to make a delectable chocolate cake with both ingredients. Yum! So, no excuses! If you are looking to partner any experience this weekend with amazing food, Lancaster has got you covered.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans this weekend in Lancaster? How do you like to celebrate? A show at the Fulton? Music at Tellus360? An outdoor adventure at one of our County Parks? Are you going out or staying in? We want to hear from you! Tag your favorite photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with #LancasterinLove and let us hear your weekend story! We may feature the 10 best on the site next week!

Click here to see Andrea’s blog.

P.S. Just in case you were looking for a soundtrack for the weekend…Here is Billboard’s current list of the 50 greatest love songs. I swear I was not singing along to David Cassidy as I wrote this.

A Prince, a Fox, and a Queen Walk Into a Room

I am currently working towards my Ph.D. in American and Urban Studies and I spend a lot of time writing, photographing, and (most importantly) eating my way across New York City, the subject of my dissertation. I have a go to restaurant in most neighborhoods – establishments at all price points that feature every type of cuisine imaginable. One of the greatest myths is that dining in Manhattan is expensive; it doesn’t have to be.  All of this to say… I like food, a lot! I am willing to try (just about) anything once.

Don’t hate me, but I will be the first to admit that I was slightly hesitant about the available options for dining in Lancaster. Where would I find that magical spot with character and coffee to write? Who would do brunch well? Who would not only have fresh food and craft cocktails, but would also offer great happy hours and affordable dining options? Little did I know that some of my favorite culinary spots would turn out to be right here in my own backyard!

My Prince
Starting with the Prince Street Café. Have you ever sat at one of their window seats on a snowy day? Have you ever left with a piece of art you just had to have from the
6 x 6 show by Infantree? Have you ever had an unforgettable meeting there that turned out to be about much more than the coffee? (You will want to answer yes, yes, and yes by the way.) My daytime drink of choice is a London Fog (warm or iced) – Earl Grey tea steeped in vanilla steamed milk. While it sounds like a simple concoction, no one makes that drink the way that Prince Street can and no one makes it well iced. Believe me, much to the chagrin of my friends, I have asked baristas all over the country to try and replicate it.  Nothing can come close. So, good coffee (and tea)… check. Character… check. Spot for potential romance…check.

The Dapper Fox 
Now to brunch!  How does candied grapefruit with whipped Mascarpone and blackberries, chicken and waffles, and a Bloody Mary sound? Not hungry yet? How about a Crab Benedict and a Pear Bellini? Aussie and the Fox does both brunch and cocktails extremely well. As a matter of fact, some of my most memorable cocktails have been mixed there. You will discover that I have a weak spot for anything with Gin, St. Germaine, or Chartreuse in it. I still reminisce about both their Berry Basil Smash and their Frankenstein. Their offerings change seasonally and incorporate the freshest of ingredients. Plus Aussie and the Fox now features occasional movie nights and a cozy atmosphere, perfect for snuggling up and sharing a plate with someone on a cold winter night.

Fit for a Queen 
Since I like to do a lot of my work from cafes, I have had the pleasure of experiencing breakfast, brunch, and lunch at Commonwealth on Queen. However, it was a special experience on a Saturday evening with Chef Nick Furrow this past fall that really “wowed” me. The restaurant, which is typically closed for dinner, opened its doors for an Italian pop-up dinner event, “Mangiare Bene.” Chef Furrow personally greeted each table and explained his menu choices.

Plus the event was BYOB as is their weekly Sunday brunch. Red wine, fresh local food, and good company, there is simply nothing better. The Commonwealth on Queen team is also fabulous at photography. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to check out their Snickerdoodle Belgian Waffles and other fabulous drinks.

Just like photography, food (and drinks) will play a major role in this column each week. I will return to these favorites in much more detail, but will also feature some of my other beloved haunts such as Sa La Thai, Checkers Bistro, and Pour in future entries.  While admittedly I am a city girl, I also promise to include culinary choices throughout the county too.

http://urbansocialblend.org/2/category/aussie%20and%20the%20fox/1.html

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