Friday, February 18, 2011

Nikka’s Kitchen Cafe shows you don’t have to drive far for great Greek food

DOUGLASSVILLE – Nikka’s Kitchen Café offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu of recipes that combine modern innovation with the best of traditional cooking styles.

Owners Nikki and Karen (from which the name Nikka’s in derived) loved the charm of the building in which the restaurant is housed. This convinced them to offer their family recipes to the public when they opened in July 2010. The open-concept dining room is artistic and reminiscent of a quaint city-style dining establishment – without the city prices.

There are not many places in the area you can get Greek food, and adapting traditional meals with a personal chef’s touch separates Nikka’s from the rest. Spanakopita is one such dish. This rich spinach puff with ricotta and feta cheese, eggs and chopped onion wrapped in filo dough.
Chicken Byzantine is made of artichokes with capers, olives and wine with a zesty tomato sauce. The dish is a Greek delicacy. Ouzo tomato sauce is sautéed, and tomatoes and olives are added. Feta cheese is placed on top and the dish is baked in the oven.

For pizza lovers who love toppings, the flatbread pizza is a must-eat. Made with Roma tomatoes, caramelized onions, green peppers and goat cheese, this is an eclectic dish packed with plenty of flavor.
Soups are different each day, and offer a twist on traditional recipes. For example, a Tuscan clam chowder is made with penne pasta and chick peas instead of potatoes. To cap a fine meal, delectable desserts such as cheesecake, tiramisu, and Greek pastries like baklava complement popular offerings of brownies and cookies.

The Muncher tried the baked lemon chicken with pasta cooked with olive oil and white wine. The chicken was tender and seasoned perfectly – without an often common emphasis on salt – which combined with the pasta to create a delicious meal.

Tuesday night is pasta night, featuring a number of different pasta dishes, such as homemade mushroom ravioli. Fresh pasta is stuffed with mushrooms, seasoning and garlic. A half-chicken dinner is served on Thursdays.

The chicken is served with rice or lemon potatoes, Greek salad with homemade dressing and sliced bread. The healthy chicken dish is marinated in lemon juice and fresh herbs then baked.
Nikka’s is open for lunch Tuesday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located at 7 Old Swede Road (422 East) in Douglassville. The restaurant opens again for dinner at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and offers personal catering services. For more information call 610-914-0117 or visit

Labels: , , , ,

Penny’s Pizza wants to know: Got cornmeal?

ROYERSFORD — When Penny’s Pizza closed its doors almost four years ago, there was a resounding feeling of disappointment in the Royersford area.

When the renowned pizza shop opened back up last October, the only disappointment associated with Penny’s was that the wait time for pizza grew as high as six hours, with the last pizza typically coming out of the oven at 1:15 a.m. But for devoted Penny’s fans, the wait was well worth it.

Penny’s Pizza’s claim to fame comes from their sweet sauce and use of cornmeal in pizza-making. Each pie is made backwards. Cheese is laid on the dough, then sauce is added, a method that few pizzerias employ. The dough is kneaded with a healthy dose of corn meal to give it the signature Penny’s taste.

“It’s an old family recipe that we have kept,” said owner Jen Pengelly, pictured below. She added, “the sweet sauce is what the customers like most.”

The Mercury Muncher has sampled a fair share of pizzas, but nothing was quite like the crunchy corn meal concoction that Penny’s offered. Combined with the sweet sauce, the pizza was a tasty treat with distinctive character, something that does not come with just any slice.

Penny’s serves a small menu, but what they do serve they serve right. Available are Neapolitan and white pizzas with a wide variety of fresh toppings, lasagna, strombolis and calzones.

One of the most defining characteristics of Penny’s is the commitment level of their customers near and far. The restaurant has shipped their food via next-day-air to California and Florida. Two customers come from Lancaster twice a month to get pizza and strombolis for parties, and others from Penn State and the District of Columbia will order 10 to 15 strombolis and freeze them.

In the spirit of being back in action, Penny’s Pizza will host their first annual pizza - eating contest in the spring, and will have more details on their website,

Penny’s Pizza is located at 68 W. Ridge Pike, Royersford and is open Thursday to Sunday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m for pickup customers. To place an order, call 610-489-3636.

Labels: , , , , ,