Local favorite foods to survive the summer

by April Lisante
Posted 8/11/21

Because foodies love company, most of the fun is passing along our foodie finds to others, so they can join in our obsessions.

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Local favorite foods to survive the summer


Recently, I was chatting with an acquaintance and she was expounding lovingly about the Weavers Way Magic Carpet sandwich, a naan-filled special featuring hummus, olives, cucumbers and feta, among other Mediterranean delights.

Of course, I headed straight for Weavers the following day, incredulous I hadn’t had it before. Needless to say, the sandwich was immediately added to my list of local foodie faves.

The whole experience made me realize that there are local favorite munchies we all love, delicacies so worth celebrating we go out of our way to find them and to buy them, even if it means going to several stores to make sure we get our weekly fixes. And because foodies love company, most of the fun is passing along our foodie finds to others, so they can join in our obsessions.

I probably hit at least three different stores and restaurants a week for my favorites. So this week, I thought I’d pay tribute to some of the local foods I frankly don’t know how I’d have survived this summer without.  While there are so many foods I love locally, here are the ones I seek out about once a week.  If you have time to drop me a line, I’d love to hear what local goodies you’re obsessed with. (aprillisante@gmail.com)

The Fresh Market’s Kitchen Sink cookies. If you are a chocolate chip cookie, oatmeal cookie, or just about any kind of cookie lover, this is something you’ll need to try. The soft, chewy cookies include butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, raisins, rolled oats and brown sugar for a combination that is beyond belief. The bakery makes them fresh right there and boxes them up to take home. One recent day, I lucked out and the bakery boxed me up a fresh batch they’d just made. (The Fresh Market, 8208 Willow Grove Ave.)

The Abyss Coffee Mocha Monkey smoothie. Ok. This smoothie has to be on your to-try list. Made with fresh bananas, cocoa, ice and most likely a lot of love, it is the best morning pick-me-up for heated weather. There’s no sugary syrup aftertaste, because it’s made fresh, and the banana and chocolate combo is perfect. (Abyss Coffee, 30 S. Bethlehem Pk., Ambler.)

The Weavers Way Magic Carpet sandwich.  I had to add this to my repertoire, since it was love at first bite. This truly is a slice of Mediterranean diet heaven. Prepared foods manager John Adams uses fresh pita and stuffs it with hummus, kalamata olives, cucumber, and feta cheese to make the sandwich fresh to order. (Weavers Way, 8424 Germantown Ave.)

Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Samosas. These triangular little gems saved me all summer when guests dropped by. They are as good if not better than many local restaurant versions, they cook up in about ten minutes and they give off a little curried heat, perfect for a summer night. I keep them in the freezer at all times now. They come in veggie versions too. (Trader Joe’s, 933 Old York Rd., Jenkintown.)

Karla’s Kitchen Chicken Empanadas. I am embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve thrown up my hands at 5 p.m. when dinner is nowhere in sight and given in to my kids’ obsession for these half-moon shaped pillows filled with chicken tinga and made with Karla Salinas’ homemade dough. They have become a once-a-week go-to for us. Each one can be a full entrée for the average person, and served with sour cream and some guac, they are amazing. She makes beef empanadas too. (Karla’s Kitchen, 1666 Bethlehem Pk. Flourtown.)

Darcy’s Barbeque The Chicky Six. We got hooked on this one pretty quickly this summer. It’s a fried chicken breast served on a roll topped with “smokey BBQ mayo” and pickles. It’s like family reunion fare meets Southern BBQ. The combinations are generous and the chicken breast is bigger than the roll. While you’re there, also try the Brisket of Brotherly Love. (Darcy’s, 1800 Bethlehem Pk., Flourtown.)

Barry’s Buns Sticky Buns. When the Market at the Fareway is open, I am there for the gooey sticky buns. Heat these babies up and sit back with a crossword and some coffee on a weekend morning. I did. Almost every weekend. (Barry’s Buns, 8221 Germantown Ave.)

Starbucks Bacon Gouda breakfast sandwiches. This one I attribute to my teenagers, who got hooked on the sandwiches mid-school year, and craved them incessantly all summer, when they’d wake up at 11 a.m. No, we didn’t get them every day, but I’d say once a week is a fair estimation. The bacon, gouda and egg combo served on ciabatta somehow ticks off all the breakfast cravings boxes. Get there early, because there’s sometimes a shortage late morning – when my kids are waking up. (Starbucks, 8515 Germantown Ave.)

Oreland Pizza Chicken, Spinach and Ricotta white pizza. This is our most regular order from this neighborhood pizza shop that has dine-in, but we typically order it to go. The grilled chicken mixed with fresh ricotta and spinach is perfect mostly because they get the garlic content exactly right. There’s a lot of it. (Oreland Pizza, 1350 Bruce Rd., Oreland.)