Restaurant Review of The Pub at Wegman’s, 11/11/16
Ambiance: We have tried sitting in several locations in The Pub, but we have not found a quiet place yet. I find it is an extension of the store atmosphere, in that it is noisy and lacking in intimacy. The booths and tables are clean and attractive, but the lack of intimacy made me sorry—especially when we got the bill. Aside from the noise, it IS convenient to pick up some groceries after dinner.
We started out somewhere else to take advantage of a special offer for Veterans, one of which my fellow cheap eater and husband Bob is. They were packed, touchingly enough, with really old veterans. It was frankly heartwarming to see them with their insignia-laden hats, jackets, mostly using walkers and quad canes. This was a wonderful idea, and I salute those restaurants who promoted special deals for the Vets. The wait would be 70 minutes. So Wegman’s called out to our appetites.
Service: The service was good, except for the fact that my burger was inedibly overcooked after ordering medium-rare. Because it is a big, busy place, it felt more impersonal than we like. We usually ask the server’s name and let them know we appreciate what they are doing for us, but the chemistry didn’t make that happen. Corporate environment? Could be why.
Menu: They have a nice variety from dishes to share or enjoy as appetizers to sandwiches, to entrees. They regularly have themed specials such as Lobster Week or Oyster Week, etc. They serve craft beers and interesting cocktails.
Experience: We were attracted to the $13 burger and beer offer. I thought that would keep costs reasonable, and husband and son are big beef admirers. However, son got a salad only, and husband upgraded to a hanger steak meal . My deal included a beer from a nice selection (I chose a Dogfish Head 60-minute I.P.A.; husband had 2 Troeg’s Perpetual I.P.A.’s at $5.50 per 8 oz. My big problem was with the irradiated hamburger, which I asked to be cooked medium rare. I didn’t notice the “irradiated” part, but when it arrived, it was an 8-oz burger (which in my estimation is more than is right for a burger), and it was hard as a hockey puck. When I decided the only way to eat it was to cut it in half, it wouldn’t cut. I ended up sawing through it (with a sharp knife, no less) and eating it in bites, with the condiments and now-flattened roll squishing out as I cut.
On the other hand, Bob had fresh green beans that were unequaled in both taste and texture. His steak was one to rave about. Jay enjoyed his salad, which I believe was an Italian chopped salad.
Total Bill: However, our bill with tip was $68.97, which was dismaying to me. I left my burger on the plate, so went home hungrier than I’d like. If both of us had gotten the $13 burger and beer combo, the Italian salad would have only added on another $11.00. So we could have walked for $37 plus tip, so maybe $45. But then we’d both have been unhappy with the meal. As it was, Bob the Veteran-getting-treated-by-me, was grateful he didn’t order the burger and really enjoyed his steak.
REVIEW OF the Flying Pig Saloon, King Street, Malvern, PA 11/9/16
Ambiance: At 5 pm, warm friendly pub atmosphere with leather couches off the square roomy bar. Big black boards and menus listing well over 100 beers from around the world and flying pigs and even stationary pigs' images everywhere
Service: friendly smiling female servers who accommodated us beautifully by allowing us to split each of our two appetizer dishes we ordered and providing us with separate dishes and sauces. The utensils were wrapped typically in paper napkins and the plates were white china. She received a generous tip for this fine service.
Menu: Plenty of pig, but also seafood, beef, chicken and a few veggie dishes. The appetizers would be called "small plates" in an upscale atmosphere with $11 glasses of house wine, but let's call The Flying Pig a gastropub. I counted 21 appetizers, from roasted pork belly skewers (I was tempted) to small and large bowls of mussels, to seared scallops to baked brie, to some of the garden-variety stuff like jalapeno poppers. Chili dogs to goat cheese salads-lots to choose from, at fair prices.
Experience: We ordered a large salad at $6.95 which arrived in a deep bowl of spring greens, red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese, with separate large plates and dressing for each of us. It could have been a meal in itself. The Russian dressing was house made. Next we split barbecued jalapeno pork enchiladas at $11.95. These arrived on two separate sizzler plates with a large side of sour cream. The enchiladas were monstrous and absolutely delicious. They were loaded with pickled jalapenos and cheddar cheese, along with house-smoked pulled pork. If we had each ordered this dish we would have been overwhelmed at the amount of food-as it was neither of us finished our individual dishes and took some home for lunch tomorrow. The IPA beers were strong, bitter, and hoppy as a good IPA should be. They know how to tap a keg and pull a good beer.
By the time we finished our meal the Pig was fat with happy drinkers and diners, gazing with interest and anticipation at the blackboards. The young women were balancing great trays of beers in all shades of amber and Guinness-brown. People arriving were often greeted warmly and made the rounds to say hello. It had that great feel of a neighborhood bar right out of "Cheers." By 6 p.m. the bar was full, the couches were also, with chattering Millennials perched on the couches' arms and stacked up behind them.
Total bill: $36.29, including 3 pints of great beer! Without drinks, $18.98. (We'd eat a whole
lot cheaper if we didn't consider drinks an important part of the meal.) The Cheap Eater awards
top honors to the Flying Pig on King St. in Malvern, PA. Anne and Bob Pounds,
www.thecheapeater.com an affiliate of WelcomeNeighborpa.com
Brandywine Prime Seafood and Chops
Oysters make us happy, especially when we can slurp them down, in season, in an elegant establishment with great service at a buck a shuck. No sand, no grit, and East-Coast briny. We enjoyed that experience recently by making a point to show up at Brandywine Prime’s Wednesday night Happy Hour. Before long, our happiness extended well beyond those oysters, but they were a good starting point.
Ambiance: Brandywine Prime Seafood & Chops is a fine dining restaurant in our small village of Chadds Ford on Rte. 1 at Rte. 100, very near to the Brandywine River. It has been an inn and “publick house” since 1717 when young John Chad operated the ferry across the Brandywine and felt the need to turn his family home into an overnight inn. It has a long and loved history in our little village. The front porch of the inn was the site of the original “Great Pumpkin Carve,” now held in the meadow at the Chadds Ford Historical Society around the corner on Rte. 100. It all began on that porch in the early 1970’s when Andrew Wyeth and his son, Jamie, were convinced to carve pumpkins for decorating the inside of the Chadds Ford Inn (today Brandywine Prime). Other Chadds Ford artists joined in the carving and, within a few years, the event spread from the Inn’s front porch all the way across the lawn of the Chadds Ford Gallery. Today, you can enjoy both Andrew’s and Jamie’s work hanging throughout the restaurant, which has a number of dining rooms up- and downstairs.
We always find that the thick stone walls dating from 1708 nicely muffle sound to the point where we can actually have a nice conversation in a crowded and lively bar! The lighting is just right, with recessed spots shining on the high-top tables.
Menu: I will cover only the Happy Hour menu, since that’s what we came to enjoy. At every Happy Hour BP serves a wonderful pear martini for only $3.00. Draft beers are $3.00. The wine list has earned the restaurant the 2016 Wine Spectator Award. I have never had a bad [$5.00] glass of house wine, I will mention. Wednesday night is Wine Wednesday: half-price bottles of well-priced wines, by the way. Monday night is BYOWine, no corkage fee ($6 other nights). There are many more delectable items with different menus each Mon.-Thurs. night, 5 to 7 p.m.. But then there are those Fridays, with half-price Philly or Battlefield Burgers all night long, which are huge and out of this world!
To view all their menus including the bar menu, http://www.brandywineprime.com
Service: Unobtrusive but attentive, Keegan was our server; and his service was another aspect of this nice experience. Every [appetizer] entrée was served HOT. He apparently watched unnoticed to see when we looked ready for either food or drink, and he appeared just at the right moment. He gave us the same level of service he would give to someone enjoying a full meal with after-dinner drinks, desserts and coffee.
Experience: I had two of those fine pear martinis; my partner-in-cheap-eating-in-fine-places Bob had a gin martini, which was well made, a restaurant rarity. And then those beautiful oysters, served properly embedded in ice, with mignonette sauce, fresh lemon and spicy cocktail sauce. We then moved on to shared shrimp spring rolls served with apricot and ginger dipping sauce. Next came LOADED potato skins, which were crisp and flavorful and more like potato wedges, topped with sour cream, chives and crumbled bacon! We shared again, with plenty for both of us. What a satisfying end to the oyster beginning!
This turned out to be a full meal for The Cheap Eaters, with a check of $36.90 including tip.
I should also mention that Brandywine Prime’s Sunday Brunch is a special event, only $19.95 including bounteous buffet and entrée of your choice, plus superb desserts and coffee if you can still walk to the dessert table! But reservations are important—we learned the hard way. Visit their website to view that Brunch menu.
They also cater on- and off-premise and do very personalized rehearsal dinners, showers and birthday celebrations, as well as corporate events. Michael Majewsky and his team make every event one with their personal touch.
Disclosure: cheapeater.com is an affiliate of Welcome Neighbor, LLC. Brandywine Prime is a Welcome Neighbor sponsor and advertiser on Chadds Ford Live
Chadds Ford Restaurant – Brandywine Prime Seafood and Chops at Chadds Ford Inn – Chester and Delaware County Restaurant & Catering, Rehearsal Dinners, Brunch
Chadds Ford Restaurant – Chester and Delaware County Restaurant & Catering, Rehearsal Dinners, Brunch in historic Chadds Ford location near Brandywine River Museum.
Anne & Bob Pounds, the owners of Welcome Neighbor, the new home owner personal visitation, community orientation service and deliverer of special housewarming gifts from sponsoring business owners, enjoy having the best eating out experiences... at the lowest prices, hence thecheapeater.com They love sharing their "finds" here and in their monthly newsletter: the Neighborly News. Enjoy!