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Since it always seems so difficult to pick out birthday presents, going out to a nice meal has become our default gift. My wife chose Emeril’s Chop House at the Sands casino in Bethlehem to celebrate her birthday last weekend. They’ve removed the phone number from the website – instead directing you to OpenTable.com to book your reservation. While it’s always reassuring to make a reservation with an actual person, web reservation sites let you see what times are available. I originally tried to book a table for Saturday but nothing was available between 5 and 10pm. Yikes. Friday’s options were 6:45 and 9:15. We went with the 6:45. That Emeril’s was so booked up was a fair indication that the food would to be good. We’d heard from a friend who attended the restaurant’s opening that the food was so-so. We optimistically assumed they just hadn’t worked out all of the kinks. Then my mom chimed in that the food was “too salty” at the Emeril’s in Las Vegas, though my dad said otherwise. We were undeterred!

We forgot the camera but snagged some inferior pics on my wife’s phone. I’ll post them if I can clean them up in Photoshop.

They started us with some toasts covered with a mouthwatering mushroom paté. I ordered a half-bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and my wife had their sangria – a delicious mix with a subtle taste of cloves. It took a while for the waiter to return to take our food order, but that was our only criticism of the night. We started with salads – the iceberg wedge slathered in Pennsylvania blue cheese for me and the grilled peach and chevre salad for my wife. Both were great – fresh and flavorful. And mine was so filling that I got a bit nervous knowing I had a 22oz ribeye on the way! My wife had the shrimp arrabbiata for her entrée.

Their steaks are accompanied by 3 sauces including bearnaise, Worcestershire, and horseradish. They were good but the steak was seasoned and cooked so well that I used the sauces only sparingly. Side dishes must be ordered separately, but I wanted to save room for dessert.

I was excited to see Penn State Creamery ice cream on the menu and was definitely going to get the Bittersweet Mint if it was one of the selections. It wasn’t (though they did have Peachy Paterno) so we shared the coconut cream pie. Yummm.

We had a great night and highly recommend it. The decor is great, the waitstaff was professional and the food was top notch. It was one of the pricier meals we’ve had in a while (though my steak and wine threw off the curve) but i can confidently say that we got our money’s worth.

Outside Easton, on Tatamy Road across from Palmer Nursery you’ll find a little strip mall with a The Breakfast Table at one end. We’d heard good things from friends and here so we gave it a try the other weekend. We were out that way to grab some raw milk at Klein Farms so I could try my hand at making some homemade mozzarella. (It was time consuming but the results were good in case you care.)

The staff was extremely friendly and the place was clean and neat. They had a number of quiches that all sounded great but i went with the Bananas Foster French Toast special. Really good – maybe a bit too much syrup. And real whipped cream would have held up better than the canned stuff that melted almost immediately in the warm syrup. I love whipped cream, so it sorta forced me to wolf it down before the cream totally vanished.
BrkfstTable-8-15-E

My wife continues her search for the perfect omelet. She hasn’t found any better than those that she’s had at Tracy’s Cafe on Cattell St on College Hill. (Tracy’s homefries are also the best.) This one was good but the mixing-the filling-with-the-eggs technique is a definite turnoff for us. I guess it makes the omelet easier to execute, but it seems to make the whole thing somewhat more dry.

BrkfstTable-8-15-J

I’d say each dish averaged a buck or two more than we usually pay for breakfast, but the portions were good and the menu had a number of contemporary options you won’t find at your average diner. We hope to try more of the menu though we’re not into driving for breakfast unless we’re multi-tasking like we were that day.

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  • hummus heaped with tomatoes and cucumbers
    Like clockwork every summer, I decide that the only thing I want to eat, maybe forever because when it’s warm out I completely forget winter is coming (I’m sorry, I had to), are variations on tomato-cucumber salad. We did a world tour of these last year and it might take me another decade of Smitten Kitchen-ing but I will get to them all. Left to our own dev […]

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