Eating Phoenixville

Took the wife out to Phoenixville to eat. She originally wanted to go to Molly Maguires and I wasn’t huge on the idea. Kildares recently went south at the King of Prussia mall and became the Tilted Kilt. It’s probably the same ownership. The problem with Kildares is that it wanted to be Hooters but it was an irish pub. Clearly at some point someone got the idea that we could make it a hooters with an irish theme by putting everyone in schoolgirl plaid. Don’t get me wrong I like the costumes as much as the next guy, but its about as far as it gets from an american-irish eatery as it possibly can be. The Kildares never really lived up to it’s name anyway being more bar than pub, and it was a poor one at that.

Back to Molly Maguires, Phoenixville has this thing going on which is almost collusion – its hard to eat in Phoenixville for under $20 a plate. When you have kids (the babysitter only wanted to watch Alex) it’s impossible to go to one of those places. People are expecting quiet (although I don’t really give a shit) and since the restaurant is supposed to have an atmosphere the service is going to be slow and at $20 a plate I want to sit and enjoy it, which is hard to do when I’m trying to handle the baby. It’s not to say it’s wrong, it’s just to say that as a parent your eating options are limited.

Maguires actually has reasonably nice seating, which is a nice change from the bar scene. We requested to be seated indoors because it was late enough there was a fall chill in the air. The interior is well lit and looks like a restaurant. Despite it being like 8pm-ish they seated us in the far room so they could keep serving dinner. While the bar was in operation and people were starting to filter in they kept the lights up and the music down. Good too, because more people filtered in for dinner which I was a bit surprised at.

My wife got the sampler, I got the bangers and mash. The prices are reasonable and the menu is full. They have burgers and such but why not try some americanized takes on the dishes? My wifes stuff was all really well done and they used different bases for each stew. It gave everything a nice unique flavor, although the mint lamb is probably not irish. It is good, however. My bangers and mash turned out to be sausage, potatoes, browned onions and peppers. It was really, really good. The sausage was charred which was nice since it was mild, the onions were sweet and the potatoes were buttery. It probably cost me my caloric intake for the week but it was entirely worth it.

Would do again.

Buckwheat Honey

I stopped by the local farm here to buy produce. One of the highlights for me is fresh cilantro. If you don’t use the whole stock, they pick it so the tubers are still attached. Giant, offwhite hairless almost-potato bulbs hang down under each stalk. Good thing it’s not sold by weight anyway. The dirt still clings to the produce and the loamy earth grits your teeth. Homemade salsa is good stuff, minus the sand.

My wife is not nearly as in love with the flavor as I am. She turns her nose up at onions, too. What is salsa without onions or cilantro? Well, I’ve had better – squeezed from a Heinz bottle.

On the shelf, sitting at me quietly below the “on sale” tag is a bottle of honey. Not just any honey, but buckwheat honey.

I felt the bee guy whispering in my ear and a stirring in my loins. That stirring was me going for my wallet.

I bought a small jar of it, taking Hexabeesial’s advice that not everyone likes the flavor. The honey itself is, well, honey consistency but it’s really dark. Not quite like molasses, it still passes light, but definitely a noticeable shade darker than your typical bee puke.

The flavor is complex. It’s not even obvious that the flavor is so many layered until you start eating the honey with other foods. Peanut butter reveals mint notes. Molasses imparts a grainy flavor. Eating it with pancakes has a kind of rummy taste, like extremely dark maple syrup but with more spice. However, tasting the honey after trying a coke results in a flavor exactly like dark malt extract used in brewing. It is absolutely uncanny.

Buckwheat honey is now a staple in my pantry.