Monday, February 8, 2010

The whole enchilada: Tortugas serves best authentic Mexican around

COLLEGEVILLE — Around here, there are plenty of local hot spots to frequent for good, authentic Italian, Asian and Pennsylvania Dutch food. But where do you go to satisfy your hunger for authentic Mexican? Tortugas Mexican Eatery, of course, located at the MarketPlace at Collegeville Shopping Center, 305 Second Avenue.

“We are the best Mexican food around,” says owner Cathy Hvazda who takes great pride in the quality of their ingredients and homemade sauces. “Everything is fresh made to order, and nothing comes out of a can. All sauces are made from scratch and our chips, salsa and guacamole are made daily.”

The area’s eaters seem to agree with such sentiment, having voted it “Best Mexican” the past three years in The Times Herald.

And like any good Mexican eatery, the kitchen cooks up much more fare than just nachos, burritos and quesadillas. The hefty menu also includes a number of tasty delights made with fresh seafood, huevos (eggs), pollo (chicken), mexican sausage and carnes (beef).

Hvazda says their most popular dish is the Creamy Chipotle Chicken, a grilled chicken marinated in their trademark chipotle sauce (a smokey jalapeno cream sauce), served over rice with a side of beans and flour tortillas.

Other specialties include their Chipotle Shrimp, Carne Asada and Pescado Acapulco which is fresh catfish marinated in lime and cilantro, served with lettuce, tomato, rice and sauteed veggies.

To get some extra Mex for your buck, the Platos Combinados menu lets you make your own meal by choosing any two or three main items and filling them with your choice of fillings, all for a low price.

The menu also features a number of entremesas (appetizers), sopas (soups), ensaladas (salads), sandwiches, burritos and quesadillas.

Hvazda opened the restraurant nine years ago because she thought the area was in need of a good Mexican place. At the time, her sister was already running a successful Tortugas in Princeton, N.J., which has now been open for 18 years.

The dining room can comfortably accommodate large parties and is BYOB. They also provide take out service.

Phone 610-489-0600 or go online to for their full menu.

Tortugas is open for dine in and take out seven days a week, located at the MarketPlace at Collegeville, 305 Second Avenue, Collegeville. Hours are Mon. thru Thurs., 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. (lunch) and 5 - 9 p.m. (dinner); Friday, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. (lunch) and 5 -10 p.m. (dinner); noon - 10 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.

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Bravo Pizza thrives on serving quality ingredients, variety

POTTSTOWN - Bravo Pizza, located at Pottstown’s Suburbia Shopping Center, 40 Glocker Way, offers a little something for everyone with their excellent selection of specialty pizza.

But it’s not the variety so much as the quality that makes the Italian restaurant stand out from the rest. Customers often rave about the fresh ingredients Bravo tops their gourmet pizzas and sandwiches with, especially the cheeses.

One of the finest examples is the chicken buffalo pizza, topped with finger-smacking hot sauce and bleu cheese. It’s baked on thin crust in a brick oven, and is delightfully non-greasy for a slice of pizza so tasty.

Because Bravo features a great selection of their specialty pizzas and other items at the counter display, it’s easy, and enjoyable, to chow down on a variety of pizza at once. Why not have a slice of of Chicken BBQ Pizza with your Bianca Pizza (topped with American cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, provolone & romano)?

The variety of quality toppings and brick oven crusts are certainly Bravo’s strength, but they also offer basic Neopolitan, Sicilian and stuffed pizzas.

Bravo’s stromboli and calzone menu is just as equally matched, offering a variety of options all customizable with Bravo’s long list of toppings. All personal sized ‘bolis and calzones are $5.49 and all larges are $15.99.

All hot subs and steak sandwiches are served on fresh, foot-long hoagie rolls. Options include mushroom, green pepper, pork steak and buffalo chicken cheese steaks as well as the cheese steak special which includes mushrooms, sweet peppers, fried onions, pepperoni and american cheese. They also serve chicken, meatball, sausage and eggplant parmesan sandwiches.

Cold sub options include Italian, ham & cheese, salami & provolone, cheese, tuna & cheese and turkey & cheese.

Pasta dishes include spaghetti, baked ziti, lasagne, ravioli, manicotti, chicken parmesan, chicken alfredo, eggplant parmesan, spaghetti with clams, penne alfredo, penne vodka sauce, chicken marsala, sausage scaloppini and more.

Sides include hot or BBQ wings, cheese fries (mozzarella or cheddar), brushetta, chicken fingers, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, rice balls stuffed with meat sauce and mozzarella cheese and more.

Salad options include Italian garden, Italian pasta, Cajun chicken pasta, Greek, antipasto, tuna, buffalo chicken and more, with a choice of dressing.

Bravo is also proud to help out in the community. They currently run a program with Owen J. Roberts where 10% of their profit every Wednesday and Sunday go to the school’s swim club.

They also offer an extensive catering menu for personal and business gatherings, specializing in birthdays, luncheons and other special occasions.

Bravo Pizza is located at Suburbia Shopping Center, 40 Glocker Way, Pottstown and is open seven days a week for eat in, take out and delivery. Hours are 10 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., Monday thru Thursday; 10 a.m. - 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sunday. Call 610-323-8003.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fine Fixin’s Deli takes bite out of recession, offers $4 hoagie

POTTSTOWN — While the economic recession has forced some eateries to hike up their prices, Fine Fixin’s Deli choose to do something a little different to face down the recession. Instead, they cut the price of their trademark hoagie down to $4.

“We offered the $4 Hoagie to help our customers during these tough times,” said owner John Lettiere who manages the shop with wife Ellen.

The Lettieres opened the deli — located at 16 S. Keim — four years ago because Ellen likes to cook, and it was a dream they had always wanted to pursue together.

And just because the hoagie is now a bargain, doesn’t mean Fine Fixin’s got cheap on their fixin’s. In fact, they are just as locally renowned for the quality and freshness of their ingredients as they are their bargain hoagie. They use Corropolese Bakery rolls - fresh as can be from Limerick, Boar’s Head Meats, and their soups and salads are homemade.

The menu is packed mostly with standard deli-sandwich fair, but certainly isn’t limited to it. Platters, finger-smacking wings, gourmet pizzas, breakfast sandwiches and a number of sides such as their homemade boardwalk-style French fries and onion rings help round out the menu. They also sell a limited selection of grocery items for added customer convenience.

Hoagies are made to order with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and a choice of American, Provolone, or Swiss cheese. Regular additions like salt, pepper, oil, vinegar and oregano are available upon request. Choices for the $4 hoagies include ham, italian, tuna salad, three cheese, or vegetarian. Turkey ($5.50), Chicken Salad ($6) and Roast Beef ($6) hoagies are also available.

Cheese steaks, clubs, burgers and wraps round out the rest of the menu, as well as a number of cold and grilled sandwiches, such as grilled cheese & bacon, the tuna melt, and the Haddock sandwiche. Other speciality sandwiches include a meatball parmagiana, as well as ruebens and grinders.

Inside seating is available, and they also deliver to all businesses and homes in the Pottstown area. Party trays, catering service, as well as hoagie & pizza fundraisers are available upon request.

And why stop there? The Lettieres are also fixin’ to soon open a second eatery on High and Franklin streets, called Scoopsters, which will feature 18 flavors of ice cream, eight flavors of true Philly-style water ice, gourmet hot dogs, and of course, the $4 hoagie. Take that, recession.

Fine Fixin’s is located at 16 S. Keim Street, Pottstown and is open seven days a week for dine in, take out, and delivery. Hours are: Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Call 610-323-0180.

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