Tuesday, November 3, 2009

POLICE & FIREFIGHTERS: Free slice & drink at Monte Carlo, Wed., Nov. 4

GILBERTSVILLE - To those who serve and protect, Monte Carlo Pizza & Family Restaurant has a special serving for you.

To celebrate their one year anniversary at their current location, the Italian eatery located at 18885 Swamp Pike, Gilbertsville will offer a free slice of pizza and a drink to all police and firefighters who stop in Wednesday, Nov. 4 between noon and 2 p.m. for a bite.

It's just a little way of saying thanks.

But even if you aren't on the police or fire force, it's a great time to stop in and try Monte Carlo as their celebrate their one year anniversary.

Call 610-326-4501 for more information.

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A COLLEGEVILLE CLASSIC: Family-run Speck's has served 'real food, real fast' for more than five decades

The flourishing Collegeville area has seen a lot of change through the years, but few places have been a part of the community’s growth as much as Speck’s.

In business since 1953, and at their Ridge Pike location since 1965, the family owned and operated Speck’s has become a renowned community staple, thanks largely in part to their tradition of serving all guests “real food, real fast.”

And their trademark broasted chicken certainly hasn’t hurt their reputation either.

Speck’s began by serving serving burgers, hoagies and steak sandwiches, but business really began to boom after they introduced the broasted chicken in the 70’s.

Today, Speck’s is still run by the Landis family and retains their classic 70’s look in a clean, welcoming atmosphere. And the food is served as fast, and as fresh as ever by a friendly and dedicated staff.

Speck’s broasted chicken is available by the piece (breast, leg, thigh or wing), the bucket (4, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, 50 or 100 pieces) or as dinners, all at an affordable price. Guests who plan to order a bucket of more than 24 pieces are advised to call ahead.

But there is more to Speck’s than just chicken.

The sandwich menu features quarter-pound burgers, chicken or beef steaks and cheese steaks, hot dogs (with cheese, chili, or kraut), hot ham and cheese, tuna with tomato, fish (cod) fillet, chicken fillet and chicken nuggets. They also offer small and large hoagies (regular, tuna, ham, or turkey).

Sides include french fries, cheese fries, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and garden salads. Macaroni & cheese, baked beans and mashed potatoes & gravy are available by the cup, bowl or large size. Chili is available by the bowl Wednesdays only.

Coleslaw, potato salad and macaroni salad are available daily by pint, quart, gallon or individual size.

Speck’s is open for dine in and take out, seven days a week and is located at corner of Ridge & Germantown pikes, Collegeville. Hours are 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday thru Friday; 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m, Sunday. Call 610-489-2110. More info online at www.dineindie.com/specks.

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Argento's Pizza & Family Restaurant celebrates 17th anniversary with community

BOYERTOWN — What began as a donut shop 17 years ago has become one of the most beloved family restaurants in the community.

Argentos Pizza & Family Restaurant, located at 833 E. Philadelphia Ave., is celebrating their anniversary this month with a number of great menu specials.

“We would like to thank the community for supporting us for the last 17 years,” says Vinnie, owner. “Without them, this wouldn’t be home.”

But any regular customer can tell you that it’s Argento’s who make it feel like home.

Over the years, Argento’s has held many fundraisers for the community, including car washes, award ceremonies, and feeding the football team every Friday.

After all these years, no one is questioning Argento’s pride in the community or spirit. But what about the food?

Well, that’s pretty special too.

Argento’s has built a renowned reputation throughout the area for their trademark pizza menu and wings. And their award-winning cheese steaks are comparable to any of Philly’s hot spots.

The impressive pizza menu includes a vast amount of varieties, styles and toppings suitable for any taste or appetite. From Sicilian to Hawaiian to classic meat lovers and stuffed pizzas, the menu does not disappoint.

Argento’s menu also features a number of burgers, melts, hoagies, grinders, clubs, wraps and other sandwiches — hot and cold.

Dinner selections include lasagna, ravioli, eggplant parmigiana, spaghetti dishes, stuffed shells and other platters. They also offer family platters large enough to feed four people. Soups, salads, sides and kids meals are also available.

New to the menu is Argento’s new Broaster Chicken, available by piece or in snack boxes and meal deals.

Argentos Pizza & Family Restaurant is open for dine in and take out seven days a week and is located at 833 E. Philadelphia Avenue in Boyertown. They deliver to the surrounding five-mile area. Hours are 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., Monday thru Thursday; 10:30 a.m. - 11 p.m., Friday & Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sunday. Phone is 610-367-4144.

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Great food made from scratch with best ingredients: That's Italian!

When a New York Times restaurant reviewer visited Gennaro Esposito’s former restaurant in Hopewell, N.J., the writer found that looks can be deceiving.

The nondescript building housing the former “That’s Italian Trattoria” was seen as an ordinary eatery — until the food came out. The reviewer raved about Esposito’s native Italian dishes as standouts in any location.

Three years ago, Esposito moved his restaurant to North Charlotte Street in Pottstown. Again, the exterior of the nondescript building that formerly housed the Blossom restaurant and then a pizzeria at 1483 N. Charlotte St. can be deceiving. Inside, a cozy dinner spot awaits with food that is among the best to be found this side of Naples, Italy.

“I like good food, and I put my passion into what I do,” said Esposito, a native of Naples, who adopted his mother’s expertise in the kitchen.

The ingredients used at That’s Italian are fresh and high-quality; sauces are made on the premises from fresh vegetables (no paste or concentrate), and the trademark mouth-watering bread is baked fresh daily and served warm at your table with olive oil.

On a recent visit, the Muncher sampled Capriccioso panini, a sandwich on homemade Italian bread stuffed with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil and served with a side of greens ($8.25) The quality of ingredients and respectable portions in this mouth-watering sandwich was an example of just one of several paninis that emphasize flavor over tradition.

That’s Italian also features a complete selection of hot and cold subs, cheesesteaks. chicken steaks, and burgers on their sandwich menu, and all rise above the norm because of the quality of meats, cheeses, sauce and fresh-baked rolls or bread.

The Old World Margherita Pizza is a thin crust with plum tomato, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. Even the Muncher, who considers himself a margherita pizza connoisseur, was impressed!

Other speciality pizzas include a bruschetta loaded with diced tomatoes, red onions and basil (another Muncher favorite); the Godfather with pesto, three cheeses and prosciutto; Tomato Pie Brooklyn style; a pizza stuffed with Philly cheesesteak, and gourmet white with mozzarella, spinach and ricotta.

The spotless front of the restaurant opens in the back to a candlelit dining room, perfect for dinner or a party. The restaurant is BYOB. Esposito is reluctant to name a house specialty because he says their specialty is making the best Italian food they can, and everyone has a different favorite.

Muncher’s is Veal Francese, with a side of linguini and red sauce. “We make everything fresh here, so you can’t go wrong,” says Esposito. Indeed, the thin-sliced veal is fork-tender, coated in light egg batter, in a white wine lemon butter sauce with fresh pasta and the Muncher’s requested red sauce, light-bodied but flavorful.

The dish — with enough to take home for lunch the next day — comes with soup (made-fresh specialities such as cream of portobello or white bean and sausage) or salad and all the fresh bread you can eat for $18.95

Other popular entrees are chicken or veal marsala, parmigiana, piccata, or cacciatore. ($15.95, $17.95); or sorrento with eggplant, prosciutto and fontina cheese in a pink cream sauce ($19.95), as well as seafood entrees including mussels, clams, or tuna.

The Muncher has also tried the house lasagna (Mama Esposito’s recipe) and found it an amazing taste of Italy for just $9.95. Other Italian dishes include stuffed shells, baked tortellini and baked gnocchi.

Since moving his restaurant to Pottstown three years ago, Esposito says he has encountered many customers with different tastes but all with an admiration for quality food.

This is the place to find it. Not a fancy building, not high prices, just great food.

That’s Italian.

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ROLLIN' ON: Collegeville Italian Deli & Market moves across street to bigger, better establishment

COLLEGEVILLE — The folks at Collegeville Italian Deli & Market know what makes a great sandwich. Great ingredients, of course!

That’s why the family-owned and operated eatery, located at 3855 Ridge Pike in Collegeville, makes every sandwich fresh with their own bread and rolls baked daily on the premises.

The freshness doesn’t stop there either. Every sandwich is filled with the finest ingredients, including Boars Head meats and imported cheeses.

They even have a fresh new location. After a decade at their previous location, owners Alex and Barbara recently moved the deli across the street to a bigger establishment to better serve their growing family of loyal customers.

But it’s the variety of their menu that’s really grown the most over the years. The deli started by serving hoagies, but has gradually expanded to include dozens of other specialty sandwiches, cheese steaks, clubs, burgers, specialty pizzas, sides, Italian import cookies, pastries, soup, salads, wings, homemade breads, pastas and more. The menu is lined with specialties and customer favorites. When the Muncher stopped by for a bite, one customer mentioned she treks all the way from Allentown for their pulled pork sandwich.

Other customer favorites include chicken salad sandwiches, their classic Italian Hoagie and the Chicken Italiano (a chicken cheese steak with spinach and imported provolone cheese).

They also have a wide selection of imported and domestic dry and canned goods, cooking needs, espresso coffees, candies and other assorted snacks.

The deli also provides full menu catering service which is popular during football season and around the holidays. Especially if your party is looking for a 6-foot hoagie.

But even as the Collegeville Italian Deli & Market has grown throughout the years, one thing has remained constant.

“Great customer service,” says Barbara.

Visit them online at their Web site www.collegevilledeli.com.

The Collegeville Italian Deli & Market is open for eat in and take out seven days a week and is located at 3855 Ridge Pike in Collegeville. Hours are 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call 610-489-1850 to place order for take out.

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SLICE OF HAVEN: Bob's Haven Deli serves area's freshest sandwiches, pizza & deli meats

PHOENIXVILLE — The family-owned and operated Bob’s Haven Deli, located at Charlestown & Buckwalter roads for nearly 60 years, has earned a local reputation for expert service, fresh dough and delicious sandwiches.

And for good reason. If you’re looking for a great take-out place with fast, friendly service and top-quality made-to-order food, then Bob’s Haven is what you’re looking for.

The menu features dozens of slammin’ zeps, steak sandwiches, grinders, hoagies and other sandwiches served on fresh rolls from a local bakery. Other hot sandwiches on the menu include meatball, Italian sausage, kielbasa, hot beef, BLT, devil crab, egg plant on roll, veal, oyster, hot dog, chicken tender parmesan, reubens and a variety of burgers all made with fresh, lean ground beef. Cold sandwiches can be prepared on your choice of white, rye, wheat, kaiser or toast.

As satisfying as their sandwiches and deli meets can be, one of the best parts about Bob’s Haven Deli is the fresh dough they use for pizza and stromboli. All dough served at Bob’s is made fresh daily on the premises. The pizza menu includes red, vegetable, white and Sicilian pizzas, all which can be added to with a wide variety of toppings. And the stromboli is some of the best around. Choose from regular, ham, steak, meatball, vegetable, mixed cheese, chicken steak, Italian or pepperoni.

All dinner platters are reasonably priced and served with French fries, coleslaw and a buttered role. Featured platters include breaded chicken tenders, breaded veal, deviled crab, shrimp, oysters, chicken, scallops, seafood combo, breaded flounder and more.

Bob’s also serves box lunches with French fries, wheat or garlic herb wraps, nachos, wings, breakfast sandwiches, sides, appetizers, and salads.

While the deli provides take-out and delivery only, the service is fast, friendly and accommodating.

“We get a lot of long-time regulars,” said owner Barb Smith, who runs the deli with husband Bob. “We know the locals’ names and have memorized their regular orders.”

They also like to do special things for their customers, such as student discounts and Eagles & Steelers themed specials during NFL football season.

“We’re always looking for new ideas and trying new things out,” said Barb.

The Smiths have obviously put a lot of heart into serving the area with great food over the years, but Bob’s Haven Deli is also known to occasionally make hearts with their food. If you’ve ever eaten a heart-shaped pizza, chances are it came from Bob’s Haven Deli, or was an imitation.

“We were one of the first around here to do something like that,” said Bob. “And we still do.”

Bob’s Haven Deli is open for take out and delivery seven days a week, and is located at Charlestown & Buckwalter roads in Phoenixville. Hours are 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., Monday; 10 a.m. - 11 p.m., Tuesday - Thursday and Saturday; 10 a.m. - midnight, Friday; and 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sunday. Call 610-933-8788 to place an order for take out or delivery.

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