Fresh produce is all around, now that we are in the midst of summer. Pennsylvania is full of farms that provide area restaurants with locally sourced ingredients.
You may have heard the phrase “Buy Local” once or twice. Eating at restaurants that use ingredients from local producers has several benefits. There is, of course, the plus of supporting several local businesses, therefore helping the area’s economy. It’s also good for the environment because you’re not eating food that took lots of fuel to travel across several states or even countries. When produce doesn’t require long travel times to make it to your plate, then it’s more likely to be fresher and have more nutritional value.
“I’m a big fan of local. It doesn’t get any better than farm fresh stuff in the summertime,” said Judy Henry, owner of Judy’s on Cherry restaurant in Reading.
Like many other local eateries, Judy’s on Cherry serves dishes made from local ingredients. Here are some of the restaurants throughout the area that not only buy local but serve local produce in their dishes.
JUDY’S ON CHERRY IN READING
Judy’s on Cherry is a Mediterranean-inspired fine dining restaurant. Owner and Chef Judy Henry said she’s supported local farms for several years. She buys a lot of her ingredients locally from Berks and Chester Counties. Henry said of the local produce used in their dishes are peaches, sweet corn, green bell peppers, summer squashes, blueberries and melons. She said area restaurants and residents have easy access to fresh, high quality produce; especially in the summer. Judy’s serves lunch and dinner. It’s located at 332 Cherry St. and the website is judysoncherry.com.
HEIRLOOM IN PALM
The Heirloom restaurant is a fine dining establishment with a farm-to-table theme. The restaurant creates the menu based on the season and what’s fresh. The menu constantly has new items and evolves with the seasons. Heirloom is currently using produce from Primordia Mushroom Farm of Lenhartsville and Wild Fox Farm of Barto. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner. It’s located at 914 Gravel Pike and the website is heirloom1830.wixsite.com/heirloomfinedining.
ROOTS CAFÉ IN WEST CHESTER
Roots Café is a farm-to-table eatery serves locally grown, homemade food. The dinner menu rotates monthly and uses organic, local ingredients. There are dishes for both vegetarians and meat eaters. The August dinner menu includes items such as asparagus soup, stuffed zucchini and other seasonal vegetables. In addition to dinner, Roots Café also serves breakfast and lunch. It’s located at 133 E. Gay St. and the website is rootscafe.com.
WHITE DOG CAFÉ IN HAVERFORD
White Dog Café creates dishes using organic ingredients from local farm in order to promote sustainability, good health and the local economy. More than 95 percent of the café’s farm purchases are from local farms. The menu changes as the season changes. The café serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Menu items include local artisan cheese, summer berry salad and blackened shrimp tacos. The White Dog Café is located at 379 Lancaster Avenue in Haverford Square. The website is www.whitedog.com/haverford.
LILY’S GRILL IN POTTSTOWN
Lily’s Grill offers farm fresh American cuisine for lunch and dinner. Chef and owner Adam Burke said he uses several local producers for the ingredients in the dishes he makes. He gets his microgreens from True Leaf of Phoenixville. The tomatoes, lettuces, spinach and arugula come from Butter Valley Harvest in Bally. He uses produce from Tine & Toil Farm of North Coventry. Burke also has three plots at the local Pottstown community garden where he grows herbs, lettuces and peppers. Lily’s Grill is located at 115 E. High St. and the website is lilysgrill.com.
CAFÉ SWEET STREET IN READING
Café Sweet Street has breakfast and lunch menu options that are made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. The café even has an herb garden that it uses. Menu items include farm fresh eggs, house-made soups and sandwiches. Chef Brenden Jones said the café gets its local ingredients primarily from four main farms. The farms are Taproot Farm of Shoemakersville, Epic Acre Farm of Mertztown, B & H Organic Produce of Morgantown and Primordia Mushroom Farm of Lenhartsville. The restaurant is currently in the running for “Best Burger, Best Outdoor Dining and Best Lunch” in Berks County. Café Sweet Street is located at 722 Hiesters Lane and the website is cafesweetstreet.com.
TALULA’S TABLE IN KENNETT SQUARE
Talula’s Table is a gourmet market that also serves prepared foods at their community-style farmtable or bar. The menu changes every day and the food is created with local and natural ingredients that are available at the time. There’s organic poultry, daily fresh fish, local soups and more. After eating there, customers can head to the market to get local cheese, eggs, milk and more. After the market closes every day, a group of 10 to 12 people are served a farm-table style dinner with eight-courses. The reservation for this special dinner must be made a year in an advance. Talula’s Table is located at 102 W. State St. and the website is talulastable.com.
FIREFLY CAFÉ IN BOYERTOWN
Firefly Café is a recent addition to the Boyertown area and opened in April. The vegetarian restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to create plant-based dishes. The café has vegetarian, vegan and even gluten-free options. It’s open for breakfast and lunch. Menu items include a Philly ‘cheesesteak’ made with Portobello mushrooms and vegan mac and cheese. The café gets a lot of its ingredients from local producers. The breads come from Frecon Farms of Boyertown, the greens from Butter Valley Harvest in Bally and the dairy cheeses from Valley Milkhouse in Oley. The café is located at 12 N. Reading Avenue and the website is fireflycafeboyertown.com.
ICREATE CAFÉ IN POTTSTOWN
iCreat Café serves Mediterranean, plant-based vegan dishes. A lot of the food is made with legumes such as chickpeas and fava beans. When customers order the food, it is made right there in front of them. If someone asks for a salad then owner Ash Khalil will cut up the tomatoes right then and make a fresh olive oil based dressing. Khalil is a big believer in fresh produce and whole foods. He doesn’t like to use produce with chemicals and preservatives in them. A lot of café’s foods are made with fresh ingredients from Daniel’s Produce and Dairy Store of Pottstown. The vegan café is located at 130 King St. and the website is www.icreatecafe.com.
SHOO MAMA’S IN WEST CHESTER
Shoo Mama’s is a farm fresh café that believes freshness and taste go hand-in-hand, according to the website. The café buys many of its ingredients from local farms. The meats and cheeses comes from John F. Martin & Sons of Lancaster County, the milk from Baily’s Dairy, angus beef from K&M Farms, and mushrooms from Phillips Mushroom Farm. Local produced is purchased from Thornbury Farm, Wynnorr Farm and Pete’s Produce. The café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menu items include local yogurt, Panini sandwiches and salads. Shoo Mama’s café is located at 66 E. Street Road and the website is shoomamascafe.com.
COMMUNITY FOOD MARKET COOP IN SWARTHMORE
The cooperatively owned food market has a mission to promote healthy living and to support organic, locally grown produced products. The market also makes prepared dishes such as balsamic fig seared flank steak with roasted fingerling potatoes and a side of roasted asparagus. The meals are prepared using fresh ingredients from local sources whenever possible. Artificial ingredients and preservatives aren’t added to the food. The market also takes meal requests. The catering menu includes items such as vegetable spring rolls, roasted vegetables and shrimp skewers. The Community Food Market Coop is located at 314 Dartmouth Avenue and the website is www.swarthmore.coop.
TERRAIN GARDEN CAFÉ IN GLEN MILLS
The Terrain Garden Café uses local produce, meats and dairy products. The menus are created to reflect the seasonal harvest at the time. The café serves brunch, lunch, dinner and sweets. Menu items include local yogurt, seasonal soup, and pan seared chicken breast. Customers can enjoy lunch in the greenhouse, brunch on the café terrace and dinner under the night sky. The Terrain Garden Café is located at 914 Baltimore Pike in Glen Mills and the website is www.shopterrain.com/menus.
FARMER’S DAUGHTER IN BLUE BELL
The Farmer’s Daughter is inside the Normandy Farm Hotel uses locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that reflect the seasonal harvest. The restaurant serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Menu items include fresh fruit, a Cuban Farm Panini, and New Jersey Seared Duck Breast. The Farmer’s Daughter is located at 1401 Morris Road and the website is www.farmersdaughterpa.com.
WYEBROOK FARM MARKET IN HONEY BROOK
The restaurant at Wyebrook Farm Markets creates dishes using meats and vegetables from the sustainable farm. The meat includes all grass fed beef, heritage pork, pastured chicken and more. The restaurant sources vegetables from local farms but Wyebrook Farm is in the process of using part of their pasture to grow their own produce. Guests are seated outdoors in the courtyard during the warm months. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Menu items include a roasted mushroom omelet, chicken salad, and beef and beet soup. The restaurant is located at 150 Wyebrook Road and the website is wyebrookfarm.com.
HARVEST SEASONAL GRILL
The Harvest Seasonal Grill serves farm to table dishes made with locally produced ingredients. The “Under 500” calorie menu changes along with the season every three months. The restaurant works with 75 local farmers to source fresh produce. There are locations in Philadelphia, Glen Mills, North Wales, Harrisburg, Moorestown and Randor. For more information, visit the website at harvestseasonalgrill.com.
Digital Firs Media is engaged in a long-term effort, Fit for Life, designed to promote healthy living. In addition to articles in the newspaper and on our website, Fit for Life features a blog with recipes, health tips such as getting fit without breaking the bank and other tools all available free online. Visit the website at pottsmercfit4life.com, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MercFit4Life and follow our efforts on Twitter @MercFit4Life.
Michilea Patterson is the Fit for Life reporter and is funded in part by the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.