Monday, December 21, 2009


Wade's Take:

I'm PA Dutch... I'll admit it. Sure, I cover my Dutch phraseology as best as I can, trying not to end sentences with "with," avoiding phrases like "doncha know" and pronouncing it "shower" instead of "shahr." But that PA Dutchness is always there. Just like my taste for PA Dutch food goodness.

Whoopie pies, apple butter, fastnachts, shoofly pie, chow chow and pretty much anything cooked with lard... those are some classic PA Dutch foods. It's a warming, comfort cuisine, and it is scrumptious.

So, when December found us at Midatlantic, Daniel Stern's new PA Dutch / Philadelphia cuisine fusion restaurant, I was intrigued. How could anyone mess with chicken pot pie, or scrapple? Weren't it's fat-laden foods already good enough?

Fast forward to the end of the meal. I was pretty much happy. PA Dutch food plays well with others. It turns out that fat and lard are like the Switzerland of food... a happy medium where all cuisines can live in harmony.

The interior of Midatlantic is cool with its authentic multi-shaded hard wood on the walls, roaring fires all around, open kitchen, and field tool tchotckes all over the walls. It's a great place for a happy hour, and you could tell that night. Most of the guests were Penn docs in happy hour groups.

The appetizer arena was strong. We had the pretzel chips with horseradish cheddar dip. It hit the mark. The dip had a strong enough kick from the horseradish that was counterbalanced with the sour cream and cheddar. The chips passed the test... salty with heavy crunch.

The other two appetizers were the welsh rarebit fondue and the pig wings. My cohorts will take on those descriptions.

My entree was the grilled trout with chips. Not as good, I must admit. The trout was brined and salted - and pulled too tart. The fried chips were good - but were too much fried saltiness after the appetizer course. A green was needed to mellow this entree out.

Dessert and coffee made me happy. The cake we ordered was layers of cake, icing and flavored with stout. It was soggy and I didn't enjoy it at first. Paired with coffee though, it was better.

This is an after-work snack and drink kind of place, not a place I'd consider returning for a full meal. I will be back, albeit for happy hour snacks only.

Brunch at Midatlantic could be phenomenal, if they choose to offer it. Easy parking, PA Dutch breakfast foods, good coffee... it could be a winning combo.

3 out of 4 lards.

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