Friday, July 31, 2009

Home, Sweet Home: Route 100's coziest deli & bakery strives to treat guests with care

BECHTELSVILLE - Rhona’s Bakery & Deli may look like a snug little home nestled alongside Route 100... but boy is it sweet.

Not only does owner Rhona Farrence serve up a variety of homemade baked goods like pies, cakes and cookies all week long, but the eatery is also a deli and grill which provides fresh, savory breakfast fare, hoagies, cheese steaks, angus burgers, hoagies, and many other made-to-order sandwiches.

It’s the ideal place to stop in for a quick and affordable bite to eat, whether you’re on the run, on your way to work, or are looking to sit back and relax with a cup of coffee and some freshly baked pastries. There is a school teacher who stops in to grade papers. There is a guy who drives from Oley to get a breakfast sandwich “just the way he likes it.” And there is even a truck driver from Connecticut who stops in every chance he gets when driving down Route 100.

But it’s the manner of care Rhona puts into her food that makes the place so sweet and homey.

“I love to cook,” she said. “The biggest complaint I get is that I give too much. So if you walk out of here hungry, it’s your own fault.

“If someone asks me for something not on the menu, I do my best to accommodate what they are looking for,” she said.

Earlier this summer, Rhona whipped up some blueberry pancakes for a guest who brought in some freshly picked blueberries, even though pancakes aren’t listed on the regular menu. It’s that caring attitude which makes Rhona’s one of the greatest little spots in the area.

That, and everything is as home made and fresh as can be. Everything from sausage patties to meatballs, to the chicken in her famous chicken cheese steaks is made by Rhona, and made to order. She even breads her own chicken tenders. Indeed she does love to cook.

Rhona has owned and operated the place on her own since opening last November.

Some of her homemade bakery specialities include Jewish Apple cake, carrot cake, butter cake and peanut butter candies. But there is always a fresh assortment of cakes, pies and pastries on display to choose from.

The breakfast menu includes a number of sandwiches, including the famous sausage, egg & cheese sandwich, and Rhona occasionally features breakfast platters like french toast and scrapple.

The sandwich menu includes triple decker clubs, grilled cheese, roast beef, albacore white tuna salad, a fish sandwich, and a popular variety of hoagies and cheese steaks.

The menu also includes a number of salads, sides and a soup of the day.

Rhona is also available for catering your next event.

Rhona’s Bakery & Deli is open Tuesday through Sunday and is located at 1171 Route 100 in Bechtelsville. Hours are: 6 a.m. - 2 p.m., Tuesday & Wednesday; 6 a.m. - 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; and 8 a.m. -1 p.m. on Sunday. Call 610-473-DELI for more information.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bridgeside Deli: A little place with a big following

PHOENIXVILLE — It might have a little store front, but don’t be mistaken. The Bridgeside Deli & Grille holds a big place in the community.

Since opening in 2005, the corner deli & convenience store has earned a devoted following of locals who stop in every day for breakfast, lunch, dinner or groceries, says owner Eliana Bellos, who runs the shop with the help of her family.

Part of this following may exist because the food is fresh, filling and priced affordably, but it is also a likely sign of the pride and care the Bellos family puts into serving the community.

“It’s a really wonderful area and we have a great group of regulars,” said Eliana. “So we go as far as we can to make sure every guest who walks in the door leaves happy.”

In fact, the only complaint she gets is that the sandwiches are too big! Go figure.

But if you’re looking for a place with fresh, top-quality made-to-order food and a lot of choices to pick from, Bridgeside Deli more than satisfies.

The fast pickup & delivery menu is packed with dozens of slamming sandwiches, specialties, platters and sides to please any appetite for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

All sandwiches are made with premium Dietz & Watson deli meats & cheeses, and they use only the freshest eggs, meats, vegetables and bread.

Breakfast sandwiches are made with two extra large eggs on your choice of bread; hoagie, kaiser, white, wheat or rye.

Stacked club sandwiches are made with crisp bacon, lettuce and tomato on your choice of toasted bread.

Because they are made with higher quality meats, Eliana said their Italian hoagies are a crowd- pleasing specialty.

The large variety of steak sandwiches include a half pound of sirloin steak served on a 12” steak roll.

Still hungry? The menu also features 100% sirloin burgers, greek gyros served on grilled pita bread, cold deli sandwiches on your choice of bread, hot and cold wraps, grilled sandwiches & grilled chicken, seafood platters & sandwiches, as well as some sides like pizza or gravy fries, chicken fingers and brocoli & cheese bites.

And then there’s the speciality menu which features 18 sandwiches and deli classics like their Grilled Reuben and Homemade Roast Pork with Broccoli Rabe & Sharp Provolone.

They also have fresh baked goods every day.

Bridgeside Deli & Grill is also a convenient store to hit for some light groceries. All deli meats and cheeses can be sliced to order and fresh baked hoagie & kaiser rolls are available daily. Plus, they carry a large variety of Rosenberger’s Dairy products and teas, Coke and Pepsi products, Stroehman breads, Tastykakes, chips, snacks, candy and much more.

The menu is for fast pickup and delivery only, but they do have limited seating outside for anyone who cares to enjoy a meal on a sunny day. Call 610-933-7737 to place an order today.
Catering and party trays are also available upon request.

Bridgeside Deli & Grille is open Monday - Saturday for pick-up and delivery, and is located at 402 W. High Street, Phoenixville. Hours are: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Wednesday; 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Thursday & Friday; and 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday. Call 610-933-7737 for call-ahead take out or delivery.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Savory new sauce stirs up Nino's Pizzeria

POTTSTOWN — Plain and simple, you gotta try the new sauce at Nino's Pizzeria.

Under new ownership, brothers Lee & Adam Phaneuf are intent on bringing the quiet little pizzeria in the Shoppes at 100 W. Schuylkill Road back to life as a classic family pizzeria.

And their new sauce is just the beginning.

The brothers took ownership of the restaurant earlier this summer and have since been working on a number of renovations to reinvigorate both the restaurant and its menu.

In addition to sprucing up the food, they recently installed a wi-fi network so guests can bring in their lap top and log online for free while enjoying a bite. Lee said they're dedicated to bringing in more little things for the family, such as games for kids, a new look, a new Web-site, new specials and coffee.

But even while all these changes are happening, the food and service offers plenty reason to stop in today for a delicious bite to eat.

The menu provides a little bit of everything, and all meals are made to order. Nino's makes their own dough fresh every day, and sandwiches are all served on fresh rolls.

As far as pizza goes, Nino's can serve up just about any pizza you desire, offering traditional, Sicilian, and a variety of speciality pizzas which include BBQ Chicken, Chicken Cheese Steak, Hawaiian and a Chicken or Beef Taco pizza. And any pizza can be stuffed at your request.

Lee said the stromboli and calzones are a big hit with guests, as are their trademark cheese steaks.

And they serve dozens more varieties of sandwiches, including half-pound beef burgers, hoagies, clubs, wraps and specialities like The Red Rooster (grilled chicken, fried onions, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and pepper jack) or parmigiana sandwiches such as veal, eggplant or meatball which are made fresh and heated in the pizza ovens.

Nino's also serves a number of fresh salads, appetizers, wings and Italian dinners such as chicken, eggplant or veal parmigiana with spaghetti, sausage pepper and onions with spaghetti and fettucini alfredo. All dinners are served with a side salad and garlic bread.

The kids menu includes chicken fingers, grilled cheese, mac-n-cheese. chicken quesadilla, spaghetti and a ham & cheese sandwich, all served with soda and a choice of fries or fruit cup.

Nino's also delivers to the greater Pottstown area and is happy to provide catering to your next party or event.

Nino's Pizzeria is open seven days a week for dine in, take out and delivery, and is located in the Shoppes at W. Schuylkill Road, Pottstown. Hours are: 10:30 a.m. -9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday. Call 610-323-0606 for call-ahead take out or delivery, or go online to for the full menu, directions and printable coupons.

For more from The Mercury Muncher, check out the Mercury Muncher blog online at

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fry-R-Tucks puts new spin on Fridays this summer

Are you the type of person who can't wait for Friday? Me either.

But this summer, Fry-R-Tucks is putting a new spin on Fridays with their "Fry-Day Cruise & BBQ" nights.

Every Friday from 6-9 p.m., Fry-R-Tucks invites guests to bring out their show cars and appetites for a night of good food, outside barbecuing, cars, and fun! Just park your car in the grass and mosey on over to the outdoor BBQ pit for some ribs, hotdogs or hamburgers. And the best part is that show-car owners who bring out their ride get a 10 percent discount.

Fry-R-Tucks is located at 500 Gravel Pike in Collegeville, right across from Perkiomen Valley High School. Call 610-489-3336 if you have any questions.

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Don't be chicken: Try Fry-R-Tucks this summer

COLLEGEVILLE — There’s lots of spots around here that serve some great food, can’t argue that. But the food at Fry-R-Tucks is in a league of its own.

Owners Jim and Valerie Pizzo pride themselves on serving some of the best home-style meals and fried specialties around.

Since opening last December, the full-service eatery has already established a number of signature menu items popular among regulars, including deep fried turkeys, deep fried hot dogs, dry-rub pork ribs and a unique offering of sandwiches.

“I wanted to separate myself from what’s around,” said Jim, discussing the menu. “We really try to give our customers something new.”

And if you’ve seen the full menu, you know he ain’t pulling your leg. (Although, you can bet he pulls plenty of turkey legs!)

For instance, you can get a steak sandwich at just about any place these days. But at Tucks, you get a juicy Grilled London Broil Steak Sandwich with homemade horseradish and your choice of cheese on your choice of roll (try it on a kaiser roll with swiss for some extra mmmm).

Other popular sandwiches at Tucks include the Turkey Dagwood (turkey, homemade stuffing and cranberries on a steak roll), Turkey Salad Sandwich, Turkey Club and an Open Face Hot Turkey Sandwich.

They recently expanded their menu to include hoagies and angus burgers too.

Some of the popular fried specialties at Tucks include deep fried hog dogs, hot sausage, red bliss potatoes and fresh sliced french fries or sweet potatoes fries, which make great sides.

Of course, the deep fried turkey makes for quite a meal too.

Likewise, the wings aren’t to be missed either. Flavors include mild, hot, suicide, sesame-teriyaki, cajun or garlic.

For breakfast, Tucks offers basic fare including eggs, sandwiches, meats, hashbrowns and coffee.

But perhaps even more noteworthy than the food is the amount of care the Pizzos put into it.

Pizzo says everything is made from scratch, including the stuffing, gravy, mac & cheese, and soups. All sandwiches are served on Conshohocken Bakery bread.

“I won’t serve anything here that I won’t eat,” says Pizzo. “And we cater to anyone as best we can.”

That includes bike riders and trail users from the Perkiomen Trail which runs right behind Fry-R-Tucks. Parched trail users can come in from the trail, which goes from Schwenksville to Phoenixville, and enjoy some world famous Via Veneto water ice, a cold beverage or even a bite to eat.

Every Friday this summer at Tucks is Fry-Day Cruise & BBQ night from 6 to 9 p.m. Not only will Tucks be firing up their outdoor BBQ to serve ribs, hotdogs and hamburgers, but guests can bring their show cars along with their appetite for a 10 percent discount on the bill. Just bring your car, park it in the grass, and stop by the BBQ.

Fry-R-Tucks is open for dine in and take out Tuesday through Sunday. Hours are: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Friday; 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday; and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Sunday.
Fry-R-Tucks is located at 500 Gravel Pike (Route 29), Collegeville, across from Perkiomen Valley High School. Call 610-489-3336 for call-ahead take out, or visit for more information.

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Phoenix diner is more than diner; it's a place for family

PHOENIXVILLE — The sign might call it a diner, but you won’t find a noisy counter lined with ranting “regulars” or any rude, raspy-voiced waitresses named “Alice” either.

Instead, what you find in the Phoenix Diner is a cozy, cafe-styled family restaurant where the food is plentiful, appetizing, affordable and the staff treats you like family.

Because of this attentive service, inviting atmosphere and a delicious menu, the Phoenix Diner has become something of a community fixture since opening last July.

Owner Alex Elsayed, a resident of the area for more than ten years, opened the restaurant because he likes the community and wanted to give back something special.

“I felt Phoenixville needed a place like this,” he says. “It’s the only place like it around. We have some really good relationships with the people here, and we try to treat them like family.”

While the family mentality may be the Phoenix Diner’s bread and butter, Elsayed says the food is pretty good too.

“We definitely have a dining crowd that comes here. People love the food,” he says, citing the seafood, quesidillas and the homemade creamed chipped beef as customer favorites.

One thing that is very “diner” about the restaurant, however, is the amount of food you get for low prices.

“You get more than what you pay for,” says Elsayed. “We want the door open for everyone and keep the prices fair.”

Customers can order from the breakfast or lunch menu all day long.

The breakfast menu is extensive and includes traditional fare like eggs, omelettes, buttermilk pancakes, french toast and belgian waffles. The lunch menu includes a variety of fresh salads, their trademark Mexican quesadillas, wraps, deli sandwiches, triple decker clubs, a dozen gourmet sandwiches, burgers and chicken sandwiches, as well as a number of appetizers and sides like BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Wings and Gravy Fries.

Dinner entrees include pasta dishes, Young Tom Turkey, Grilled Baby Beef Liver, Breaded Milk-Fed Veal Steak, and much more.

The popular seafood menu includes a variety of popular dishes, both broiled or deep fried. The broiled Maryland Style Crab Cake and The Fisherman’s Fancy (includes deep friend flounder, crab cake, shrimp and scallops) are popular.

The restaurant also features a number of money-saving breakfast and dinner specials each week and serves fresh pies and cakes for dessert.

If you haven’t tried the The Phoenix Diner yet, there’s no better time than now. The restaurant will celebrate it’s one year anniversary all through July with specials for the whole family.

The Phoenix Diner is open all week long with 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday through Thursday hours are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Phoenix Diner is located next to the Acme shopping center at 785 Starr Street in Phoenixville. Call 610-935-3566 to learn more.

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