Hidden Gems for Foodies
There are plenty of great eateries and restaurants in the Lehigh Valley and a quick Google search should result in plenty of options for an evening out or a nice weekend lunch spot. Skip Yelp and check out a few of the gems that we visited. We think they deserve five stars.
If you’re fresh off an episode of Diners, Dive-Ins and Dives, then you’ll feel right at home at Blondie’s, located a short drive outside of Bethlehem in Catasaque. Blondie’s features two things: hot dogs and cupcakes. Those might seem like an unusual combination but the dogs in these buns take a backseat to the toppings. Blondie’s has 50 different hot dog varieties. One definitely worth trying is the Jaguare Dog, which features fired pork with steamed cabbage and onion sautéed in duck sauce. Or the “Spartan Dog” a juicy beef hotdog topped with fried onion, salsa, cheese and jalapeño. If that doesn’t pique your interest, then you can try the Boilermaker dog which features mac and cheese, ground hamburger, bacon, crushed nachos and cheese sauce. Blondie’s takes an American staple and changes the game by layering it with savory toppings so make sure you arrive hungry.
Once you’ve had a dog your tank might be nearly full but be sure to give their incredible french fries a try. If you have a sweet tooth pick up some cupcakes on your way out. These aren’t your usual sized cupcakes, they’re advertised as muffin sized for a reason. With two cases filled with creative flavors, they knock it out of the park. Each cupcake is essentially its own “mini-cake” so one might be enough but we recommend taking at least half a dozen home for yourself because you won’t want to share. Each cake has a cute and delicious topping. One of our favorites was the Banana Foster with a banana chop of S’mores, graham cracker and mini- marshmallows. Some of Blondie’s selection involves filled cupcakes like Chocolate Cream Pie; a butter cake filled with chocolate custard, topped with cream cheese frosting decorated with a chocolate custard dollop and a sprinkled with graham cracker crumbles.
- We recommend getting any of the hotdogs with a side order of fries.
- The Butterfinger cupcake is worth its weight in gold.
- Check out their catering options for your next party!
Blondie’s charges $13 for a half dozen but you’re getting 3-4 lbs of cake to take home. Remember it’s for yourself, we don’t recommend sharing (it’s just THAT good) but if you’re feeling generous a half dozen means there’s more than enough to go around. Blondie’s caters to allergies and gluten sensitivities and if you can’t make it to Catasaqua they have two other location. Check out their spots on Hamilton Street in Allentown or at the Allentown Fairgrounds.
If you’re an Easton, Pennsylvania resident or have found yourself on 25th street at rush hour you have probably passed by Koja Korean Barbeque more than a few times. At the corner of S 26th and N 25th, this restaurant is truly a diamond in the rough. Koja serves up incredible Korean and Japanese cuisine and they should be on your must visit list when you’re in the area. If you have never visited a Korean Barbeque and aren’t sure what to expect don’t worry, we were also newbies but the staff was super helpful.
When you arrive or call for a reservation they will ask if you’re there for Korean or Japanese and if it’s the former you are seated at a booth with a circular stove top at the center of the table. The booths and seating arrangements give the feel that Koja was most likely the home of a former diner before it became the Korean eatery it is today. Its got that old diner feel with lackluster decor but don’t let that deter you from eating there because, as with most diner’s decor, the food makes up for it!
- If you like K-pop there’ a large TV in the dining room that plays the latest Korean music.
- Come hungry and be ready for some truly delicious foods.
- Plan for a second trip to order from their Japanese menu.
If you’re not a fan Korean cuisines or don’t enjoy the sight of raw meat, you can always check out their Japanese menu (it’s available even if you’ve chosen the barbeque). Koja has some truly fantastic udon noodle bowls and great sushi options. The only thing we might advise against is getting Japanese and Korean in one go. It will equate to a lot of food and if it’s just you and a partner dining it might be too much in one sitting.
If you order from the combo menu you’ll have enough food to share between two people and a few delicious side choices like Kimchi, Jjigae, Soon Tofu and Dwenjang Jjigae. If those words are as alien to you as they were to us when ordering then let us help you out. Kimchi is salted and fermented vegetables that usually include cabbage and radishes. Jjigae is a kind of soup that includes vegetables with meat or seafood and a variety of Korean seasonings. Soon Tofu is a soft tofu that includes broth, beef, pork or seafood. Dwenjang Jjigae is a soybean paste based stew with jjigae, vegetables and meat or seafood. Once you’ve chosen your meal a server will bring meats to the table and will lay them onto the stovetop to cook and a few moments later, depending on how well you like your meat cooked, you will have some flavorful and tender short rib, beef, chicken or sesame oil soaked sliced brisket. Regardless of which barbeque option you go we promise that you won’t go wrong.
Have you ever been in the mood to make your own Indian dishes but have no idea where to start so instead you order delivery? We understand and we have found the answer for you at Deep Indian Grocery in Bethlehem, PA. Deep Indian Grocery has everything you could possibly imagine from frozen premade dishes like garlic naan and paneer cubes to an entire aisle of snack items. If you have a recipe list but can’t find the things you need in your grocery store’s international section then it’s time to take a trip to Deep Indian Grocery. Deep Indian Grocery has a huge variety of everyday cooking items used in the Indian community so if you’re looking for fresh produce or you need a certain flour for making some naan at home, they have it. It is a smaller store with only a few aisles to browse but everything is well laid out and there’s more to shop through that you can imagine. If you’re into premade, low mess, no-stress type dishes there is a section that sells jars of curry and prepared meals.
If you’re looking for a completely hassle free meal Deep Indian Grocery has you covered. In the back of the store next to their produce cooler, you’ll find a sign hanging over a hallway entrance that says “Taza Cafe Always Fresh”. The hallway brings you to a modest dining area with a cafeteria style counter to order your food. The Taza Cafe covers all your Indian staples like paneer, chicken tikka, rogan josh, tandoori and curries. It’s reasonably priced and it is a great option for delivery on a weekend night. The minimum order is $20 but that is really easy to reach if you order 5 or 6 garlic naans. We recommend their butter chicken and any of their goat dishes but honestly you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. If you’re in store to shop you can place your order in the back and continue your shopping in the front. Deep Indian Grocery has some great Google reviews which we read before visiting. All the reviews ring true! They have an extensive selection of groceries and a friendly staff manning the register and cafe.
- Make sure to take a look at the merchandise to the left of the register. You can find hair treatments, sheets of bindis, tubes of henna and cute bangles.
- The cafe is open seven days a week from 10:30 am – 9:30 pm and has catering options available.
- Take a look at the selection of foreign candy near the front register to satisfy your sweet tooth.