I'm a little too busy for cooking this week, so I'll be sharing the meals from Philadelphia from last week. Normally we try to enjoy some of our favorite haunts when we return, but this wasn't really that kind of trip. After a hard day working on Saturday, we were trying to decide where to go for dinner. We considered the convenient byo Thai restaurant in the suburbs we used to like, which attracted us with its parking lot and the chance to compare the candy-sweet Cincinnati Thai food to something else, but I wasn't really feeling Thai food.
I had a craving for a burger and fries or Italian food. We were watching network TV and saw the weather report. (I don't always pay attention to the weather, but they mentioned there was 100% chance of rain, and that really caught my attention. There really was 100% rain, though, so I appreciate their honesty and accuracy.) Back to the point ... Alex saw Kennett Square on the weather map and he put on a funny face, stretching his eyes and looking intently at me, waiting on me to guess what he was thinking. Kennett Square is the mushroom capital of the world, claiming to produce more than half of the world's mushroom crop. It's true that when I get packaged mushrooms, they sometimes say they're from Kennett Square, PA.
Back to my point again: we've been to a restaurant near Kennett Square a few times for a real delicacy for us: mushroom burgers. These aren't like a grilled porotbello sandwich or Boca's mushroom burger. These are patties of chopped mushrooms and that absolutely delicious and well worth the long drive to Centerville, Delaware to Buckley's Tavern.
What I have to tell you next is one of those things that even surprises me -- I did not check to see that mushroom burgers were still on the menu. If we'd had internet access at his mom's house, I would have checked that the downtown bar I wanted to go to still served veggie burgers, or that the Thai place was still BYO, but I didn't even think to check that Buckley's still has mushroom burgers.*
The meal wasn't a total bust. We asked our waiter what happened to the mushroom burgers, and he kindly offered to check with the chef. At this point, I was getting excited, thinking we'd lucked out and would get something that wasn't on the meny. Upon his return, he said he'd only been working there for three months and was unfamiliar with them and the chef said they take six hours to prepare. Whatever. I found a description on the web from an outdated menu:
Wild Mushroom Burger Asiago cheese and roasted garlic vegetarian burger, pesto aioli
I can't believe this wasn't a big enough seller in the Mushroom Capital!
We ordered four appetizers and had a really good time. At least we sat by the fireplace and could keep an eye on the baseball game. First, I got the wild mushroom soup, which was turned out to be chicken even though the waiter knew we were looking for meatless food. I think they guy was a little bothered by us, because after he took our order we never saw him again. Another waiter came the rest of the night.
The other dish that disappointed was the Cheesehead Mac & Cheese. The menu says it's aged cheddar, brie, and Gruyere, topped with breadcrumbs and shallots. Alex polished this off, but I didn't like it after a few bites. It was more oily than cheesy and really just bland.
Now, on to the things we like. My favorite was the wild mushroom flatbread, pictured below. This is a crisp flatbread spread with marscapone and goat cheese, then topped with marinated mushrooms and a balsamic glaze. This was served on top of some arugula and was, I repeat, the highlight of my meal. Well, that and the Yuengling.
We also got the shoestring sweet potatoes, which are thin fries served with a spicy and sweet mustard dip. These were pretty good.
In all, I guess it's just as well that we won't even be tempted to make the hour drive to Delaware to return to Buckley's. I think the next time we get back to town, we'll branch out and try some new places. I'm open to suggestions.
*Oddly enough, I ran into the same situation the next day when I checked the date of the bread, eggs, and orange juice out of Alex's mom's fridge, but not the cheese. We ended up eating feta that expired four months ago! Well, I noticed it didn't taste right and gave my plate to him... he ate it all.