In the vast wasteland of the Bucks County culinary landscape where you have to travel up to forty five minutes to find meals prepared that don’t require cheese steak, marinara or something that is deep fried , it is rewarding when you reach the destination of a number of restaurants, taverns and BYOB eateries that reward you with locally produced vegetables, meats and cheeses painstakingly prepared by cooks who sincerely care about what they are cooking and who they are cooking for.   

I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts about truly great gems that we’ve stumbled upon in Bucks County that we still frequent today. Places like La Campagna in Quakertown, the never missed Hachi in Chalfont, Slate Bleu in Doylestown, Blue Moose Cafe in New Hope and Bowman’s Tavern in New Hope are just a handful of eateries that get it. They really understand how to menu plan and execute great meals.

We’ve also enjoyed a robust brewery scene that is continually growing in the region which include consistently great Freewill Brewing in Perkasie, Mad Princes Brewing in Buckingham and Vault Brewing in Yardly. This a just snippet of wonderful craft breweries that are in the South East Pennsylvania area.

Getting out and about trying to find new places to visit is hard. Restaurant work is tough. It gobbles up any free time you have and you end up either sleeping your entire day away or on the couch watching Netflix with box wine and sandwiches from your local Italian hoagie joint.

My wife has been trying to drag me up to Easton Pennsylvania for over two years now. I’m not a big travel guy. I work a lot so when I have time off, my battery is pretty low so even getting off my ass to get to the shore has been met with failure for three years and counting. I just love being alone and relaxing and the thought of strolling down a boardwalk in 90 degree temperatures being bumped into by one tone deaf family after another with the waft of cotton candy and sunblock is nothing short of cringe worthy.

This time I acquiesced.  I recently left my job and after a week have discovered new found energy not only physically but mentally. Jude brought up the idea of going to the Easton Market. They have Ramen place there and it’s been over three years since I’ve relished in the wonderful concoction of noodles, vegetables, eggs and proteins you normally don’t find in soups like togarashi dusted fried chicken or slow braised pork belly. Mr.Lee’s Noodles in the Easton Public Market offers pretty decent Ramen. It’s not most amazing Ramen we’ve had compared to Portland Oregon and San Francisco but for a small community in Eastern PA, I would definitely go back and have it again. The value of the product offered and the ingredients were solid.

The Easton Market was a breath of fresh air. I’ve never been to Easton before nor did I know of its history. Founded in 1752, it was a major hub during the Revolutionary War and one of three places where the Declaration of Independence was read. It resides by two rivers, the Delaware River and The Lehigh River. The layout of the town is interesting because you can see how they have preserved much of the city’s historical buildings and were still able to create new businesses without razing structures to be replaced with new construction.

The Easton Market itself is housed in a two century old building which is an outgrowth of the Easton Farmer’s Market which to this day is the oldest open air farmers market in the country.  The schematic of vendors is planned out well. They have a wood fired pizza restaurant, an east coast crab shack, a chocolatier, a spirits booth, a crepe restaurant, a bbq restaurant and various craft gift and vegetable stands. We tried the Ramen and Crab shack. Both were good but the Lobster roll we tried did not really seem like a value for $22.00. We are excited to try the crepe and pizza booths when we make our next trip.

We didn’t have a lot time to visit much of the town on our first trip. It was getting later in the day and we both were getting tired. I think the next trip will be an overnight stay so we can really get a chance to see what Easton has to offer. I personally enjoyed the architecture and how the town was split up by the two rivers. It was a gorgeous place. We spoke to a young server named Cody from the Ramen booth. He mentioned how the city is in transition and ten years ago it was a very rough place to live. I could see what he was talking about. Many of the towns outside of Philadelphia never survived the smoke stack industry decline and fell into tough times and disrepair. Easton seems to have addressed this and it shows by the businesses currently occupying the downtown.

The diversity was also a welcomed sign. Families, kids with purple hair, artisans, chefs, every ethnicity you could fathom were all together enjoying what the market had to offer. You tend to forget about this when you reside in an area that has no diversity what so ever. We actually laughed about this when chatting with Cody. We were like,  “When can we move here????” I think the only other area that remotely resembles this type of diverse environment is New Hope. Another place that we really enjoy.

I have no clue what my future has to offer me. Job hunting, getting grounded, not obsessing about the future is just a few things on my plate. It was refreshing though to see a new and interesting spot that is only forty five minutes away. Easton, you’ve found a new fan.

Upon my recent unemployment revelation, Jesse Friedman from Beer and Nosh was kind enough to pass on valuable information about a new venture his wife Elianna was coordinating. It’s called The New Taste Market Place. This is where people who love to create and sell their own goods are given a venue to do this without all the beauracratic hassles that are normally associated with market places and farmers markets. The experience has been very valuable and we are certainly learning the ropes of how to create a small business for ourselves. It has also opened the doors to networking with other marketing potentials like the underground farmers market and meeting people who have done this for years. To say the least, it has been challenging and quite fun! My lovely wife Jude wandered around snapping random pics of the vendors and hopefully this will be a regular gig for me and for us. After almost 30 years working in big and small kitchens, this has been a breath of fresh air for me. Being my own boss even on a small-scale such as this is very rewarding. I do what I want to do and I feel this path has tremendous growth potential for me as well as giving something back to the community such as the food pantry. A list of vendors can be seen at Enjoy the photos. It was a very fun day.

Me attempting to smile!

Me Attempting to Smile

Jesse the alchemist of Beer and Nosh works his soda magic