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the food issue

A Welcome Guide to Northwestern Philadelphia and the Surrounding Suburbs






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ISSUE 5 / FALL • WINTER 2017-18

Photo: Pete Mazzaccaro For this, our fifth edition of “Welcome’ magazine, we decided to organize the premise of bringing readers useful information about Chestnut Hill and its surrounding neighborhoods and focus on the area’s superior food offerings. Anyone who has lived in the area already knows that the food scene is as good here as just about anywhere. We decided to bring you our choices for the best it has to offer. First, we looked at the region’s best brunch locations. From Chestnut Hill’s Cake to Keswick’s Village Diner, there are a lot of great places for late breakfast on a Sunday morning. Next, we decided to tackle the food offerings that define Chestnut Hill. From McNally’s worldrenown Schmitter to a scoop of Bredenbeck’s Ice

Cream, we report on the dishes that put Chestnut Hill on the foody map. Although the region is known for some pretty superior restaurants, it’s also home to wonderful neighborhood gastro-pubs – bars that mix superior comfort food offerings with top-notch craft beer lists. If you want a quiet hang for a burger and beer, we have you covered. We also talked with Danielle Jowdy, owner of Zsa’s Ice Cream. Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean we have to avoid ice cream. Jowdy’s homemade specialty ice cream flavors are good any time of year. Finally, we added an events calendar to keep you apprised of all the happenings for what is always the busiest time of year.

Copyright 2017 by the Chestnut Hill Local Welcome is published twice yearly by the Chestnut Hill Local, 8434 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19118, 215-248-8800, online at The Chestnut Hill Local is owned by the Chestnut Hill Community Association 215-248-8810 Associate Publisher: Larry Hochberger | Editor: Pete Mazzaccaro Designer and Production Manager: Ray DeJohn | Advertising Design: Cheryl Piehota Display Advertising Manager: Sonia Leounes | Advertising Representative: Maureen Gallo

With editorial assistance from: Lilly Soroko and Jan Alex Cover Photo of Tavern on the Hill by Pete Mazzaccaro For advertising, contact Sonia Leounes (215) 248-8133 or Maureen Gallo (215) 248-8816





Photo: Steve Feistel

TABLE OF CONTENTS 10 WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD An introduction to Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy, their history and institutions. 24 BET ON BRUNCH A guide to the best spots in the area for late morning meals. 28 BURGER AND A BEER If you’re looking for a laid-back bar hang with good burgers and craft beers on tap, we have you covered. 34 FLAVORS OF CHESTNUT HILL These signature food items define Chestnut Hill 40 ICE CREAM FOR ALL SEASONS Chestnut Hill’s Zsa’s Ice Cream is a great choice all year round. 44 CALENDAR OF EVENTS From art shows to Harry Potter, learn what’s going on in Northwest Philadelphia this fall and winter.


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Meet the Neighbors

Photo: Pete Mazzaccaro

WELCOME TO CHESTNUT HILL Chestnut Hill, located in the northwestern corner of Philadelphia, is one of the city’s most beautiful, affluent and historic neighborhoods. Anchored by Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike, Chestnut Hill is surrounded by Fairmont Park and adjacent to the Mt. Airy neighborhood as well as the Montgomery County suburbs of Oreland, Wyndmoor and Lafayette Hill. Chestnut Hill is known for its walkable, village feel and for the great shopping and dining options along its Belgian-block-lined artery, Germantown



Avenue. The neighborhood was designated one of the top seven urban enclaves in the USA by and selected as a 2010 Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Chestnut Hill is the home to Chestnut Hill College, Chestnut Hill Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum and the Woodmere Art Museum as well as the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Its housing stock ranges from modest row houses to architectural landmarks by Louis Kahn and Robert Venturi. (Continued on page 12)



WELCOME / NEIGHBORHOODS (Continued from page 10)

Shopping Chestnut Hill is home to more than 100 unique shops and businesses, most of them in convenient storefronts clustered on Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike. Antiques, gifts and clothes, banks and spas, two yarn stores, two cigar stores, two independent toy stores, an old fashioned candy store, a neighborhood co-op grocery, a farmers’ market, a country market and more than a few bakeries and cheese shops. Dining From fast food to fine cuisine and from neighborhood bars to BYOBs, Chestnut Hill has something for everyone. There’s a McDonald’s and also Mica, an acclaimed restaurant now under new management, and CinCin owned by the owner of Yang Ming, named America’s best Chinese restaurant. There are two coffee shops, a froyo and pretzel place (this is Philadelphia after all) and McNally’s (home of the famous Schmitter) as well as well as Cake, a restaurant in a former greenhouse. There is outdoor dining at the Chestnut Grille and a farmer’s market with a dozen restaurants of all cuisines. Chestnut Hill features no less than five bakeries.

Attractions On the northern end of Chestnut Hill is the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, a 92-acre, Victorian landscape garden of winding paths, streams, flowers and special garden areas, featuring the new Out on a Limb tree adventure for kids of all ages as well as the Woodmere Art Museum, a 19th century stone mansion converted to a Philadelphia-centric museum and surrounding grounds. To the south is Fairmount Park, the nation’s largest city park with scenic trails for walking, biking and horseback riding and fishing along the Wissahickon Creek (including one of the area’s only covered bridges). There is ice skating at the Wissahickon Skating Club and tennis, golf and cricket at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, and indoor activities at the Water Tower Recreation Center. Events Fall in Chestnut Hill brings the fantastic Fall for the Arts Festival and spring the Garden Show which closes Germantown Avenue for tens of thousands of visitors who fill the streets for food, fun and shopping. Every other October a tent rises in the middle of Germantown Avenue for the elegant Black and White Gala and (Continued on page 14)






Photo: Pete Mazzaccaro (Continued from page 12)

every December hundreds of people pull on blue booties to tour some of the area’s most elegant homes in the Holiday House Tour. Summer nights bring the outdoor Pastorius Park concert series and outdoor movies. History of Chestnut Hill Chestnut Hill became part of Philadelphia in 1854 when the state legislature annexed some 129 square miles to the old city of Philadelphia, which occupied the land between the Schuykill and

the Delaware Rivers. The village of Chestnut Hill lay ten miles north of city hall and served as a way station for travelers and a gathering place for the surrounding farms and the mills operating on the Wissahickon Creek. According to Chestnut Hill College Prof. David R. Contosta’s definitive history, Suburb in the City: Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, 1850- 1990, prosperous Philadelphians first headed to Chestnut Hill to escape the summer heat of the low-lying old city. When the railroad provided a link in 1854, suburban development took (Continued on page 16)

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off. The village provided services to the new suburbanites and the new commuters lived in the comfortable, breezy enclave of Chestnut Hill while they depended on the city for their livelihood and culture. For more on the history of Chestnut Hill, please visit the Chestnut Hill Conservancy website at or stop by their office at 8708 Germantown Avenue. Civic Resources: Chestnut Hill Community Association - CHCA Chestnut Hill has remained a vital community since its annexation with the City more than 100 years ago, by controlling it destiny through a strong community. In the 1950’s and 1960’s local residents 16


established a formal organization, the Chestnut Hill Community Association, dedicated to the social and economic wellbeing of the neighborhood. Chestnut Hill Conservancy The Chestnut Hill Conservancy is dedicated to preserving the historical, architectural, and cultural resources and the open spaces that define the character of Chestnut Hill and its environs.

(Continued on page 18)




Photo: Pete Mazzaccaro (Continued from page 16)

Chestnut Hill Business Association The Chestnut Hill Business Association is a membership organization for the 125 retailers and restaurants located in Chestnut Hill, the beautiful Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood designated by as one of the top seven urban enclaves in the country. It also has more than 200 professional and sustaining members. Welcome to Mount Airy Mount Airy is just southeast of Chestnut Hill and is bordered by Fairmount Park, to the west, Germantown on the south and extending up to Stenton Avenue on the north which leads to West Oak Lane. History Originally named Cresheim Village, part of the German Township, the area



was later named after the sprawling summer estate of Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, William Allen: Mount Airy. Housing Much of modern Mount Airy was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spreading out from Germantown Avenue and two railroad lines. Large three-story, gray-stone Victorian, colonial revival, and Norman and Cotswold-style houses and mansions, with stained glass windows and slate roofs, are situated on many of the area's tree-lined streets. With a population of about 27,000, Mount Airy is nationally famous as one of America’s most diverse and successful city neighborhoods. Starting with the 1950’s and 60’s when neighbors banded together to stop block-busting and urban flight, Mt. Airy has proudly and continuously fostered (Continued on page 20)




Photo: Pete Mazzaccaro (Continued from page 18)

harmony among different groups of differing, races, religions and sexual orientations. It was cited by Oprah’s O Magazine and US News and World Report for its successful diversity and by CNNMoney in 2013 as one of America’s top 10 best bigcity neighborhoods. Dining As you would expect in Mt. Airy, the dining options tend to be varied, informal and tempting. There are a couple coffee houses and everything from a diner and ice cream parlor in a real trolley car to Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, soul food, pastries, and bistro pub fare as well as wide selections of craft beer; all in several short blocks on or near Germantown Avenue. Shopping Mount Airy is home to not one but

two independent bookstores, as well as a variety of vintage clothing stores, boutiques and other shops as well as the original Weavers Way coop food store. In the center of Mount Airy is the Art Deco Sedgwick Theatre, which now serves as the home to the Quintessence Theatre Group. Civic Resources: Mt. Airy has two main civic association dedicated to those halves of the neighborhood based on both sides of Germantown Avenue. East Mt. Airy Neighbors West Mt Airy Neighbors (Continued on page 22)





WELCOME / NEIGHBORHOODS (Continued from page 20)

Mt Airy USA Mt. Airy USA was founded in 1980, by residents of East and West Mt. Airy who had tired of blighted and dilapidated buildings on Germantown Avenue, the community’s business corridor. Driven by a desire to revitalize this historic avenue, the dedicated residents established Mt. Airy USA to solve these problems.

Mt Airy Business Association/ Business Improvement District The Business Association of Mt. Airy (BAM) launched in April 2012. BAM, an initiative of Mt. Airy USA (MAUSA), is managed by MAUSA’s dedicated staff and provides a high level of service to its members, with an emphasis on marketing and educational programming.




Photo: Pete Mazzaccaro




Brunch offering at Paris Bistro

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Bet on Brunch by Lilly Soroko

When most people think of a meal, they probably think of the standards: breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is one, however, that in my opinion rises about the rest. Brunch, the classic combination of breakfast and lunch, served traditionally on Sunday, is by far the best part of any day. Going out to brunch can be reserved for special occasions or can be a weekly (and even daily) routine. Therefore, we have compiled a list of well-known – and maybe not so well-known – restaurants in and around the Chestnut Hill area that serve delicious brunch, so that everyone can truly start to appreciate the best meal of the day.

Best Brunch Spots: Cake (Sunday only) 8501 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill A Chestnut Hill staple, Cake is a popular destination for Sunday brunch, with menu items like Belgian buttermilk waffles, crab cake BLTs, and Eggs Madame. The former Robertson’s greenhouse, Cake is a beautiful setting for a classic BYOB brunch. Fairlane Grill 617 Bethlehem Pike, Erdenheim, If you like breakfast, you will love Fairlane Grill, a neighborhood favorite and decade-old breakfast and lunch spot just outside of Chestnut Hill. They serve breakfast/brunch every day of the week, and (Continued on page 26)



WELCOME / BRUNCH (Continued from page 25)

some of their popular menu items include their specialty pancakes and omelets. Village Diner 299 N Keswick Ave., Glenside Located in the heart of Glenside’s Keswick Village, Village Diner is a local favorite that serves breakfast every day of the week. Their large menu includes a long list of breakfast specials, farm fresh eggs, and kid-friendly options. Rollers Express-O 8142 Germantown Ave (Chestnut Hill) One of the two Rollers restaurants in Chestnut Hill, Rollers Express-O specializes in breakfast and lunch, and serves brunch all day Sunday. Enjoy some of its popular menu items like the three-grain pancakes and Nutella-stuffed French toast while relaxing in a family friendly environment. Bruno’s Restaurant 9800 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill Located on Germantown Pike right on the Philly/Lafayette Hill border, Bruno’s is famous for its great location and reasonably priced breakfast menu, which includes items like freshly baked cinnamon buns and assorted omelettes. Open every day from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.



Paris Bistro and Jazz Bar 8229 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill Opened in 2014, Paris Bistro and Jazz Bar has become a local favorite. And for those who can’t get enough, you can enjoy brunch at Paris accompanied by live French music every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests select an appetizer, entrée and dessert for a fixed price. A children’s menu is also offered along with a variety of brunch cocktails. Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange 7152 Germantown Ave., Mt. Airy This Mt Airy favorite known for its rustic atmosphere and vegetarian-friendly menu started serving brunch in 2016. Stop by on Saturday or Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to try their stuffed crawfish frittata, chicken and waffles, homemade buttermilk biscuits or any one of their brunch cocktails. Trolley Car Diner 7619 Germantown Ave., Mt. Airy Trolley Car Diner is a local favorite and is known for its classic interior furnishings and delicious food. Breakfast is served all day every day, and popular menu items include a wide variety of pancakes and homemade donuts. There is almost always a wait-for weekend brunch –the wait, however, is definitely worth it.




Burger and a beer by John Russo

There’s nothing like a burger paired with a beer. It’s as true in Northwest Philadelphia as it is anywhere. Chestnut Hill and its surrounding neighborhoods are known for fine dining, and that tradition extends to neighborhood bars which not only have great selections of craft beer on tap, but extend the touch of top chefs to burgers and other comfort foods. (Continued on page 30)


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WELCOME / BURGER AND A BEER (Continued from page 28)

TAVERN ON THE HILL Tavern on the Hill – Once a genuine dive bar (and I say that with affection) the Egans transformed the space into one of the best neighborhood bars with a cozy menu prepared by chef Gerard Strenger. The burgers, simply labeled “chargrilled cheese burgers” on the menu, are cooked to order with your choice of cheese. If you’re looking for something unusual – or don’t eat meat – they offer a veggie burger topped with red pepper mayo. Favorite: Burger with cheddar cheese and roasted red peppers paired with a Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale Tavern on the Hill, 8636 Germantown Ave., 215-247-9948 CAMPBELL’S PLACE Campell’s Place has been an institution on the Avenue for several generations now. Recently taken over by Chef Rob and Vanessa Mullen, the neighborhood bar has emerged a genuine gastro pub with a focus on fresh food and an expansive beer menu. Traditionalists can opt for the “Paulie Burger,” made with 100% Angus beef while the more adventurous can try the Tuna Burger constructed of sushi grade tuna diced with lemongrass and ginger, topped



with wasabi aioli. Favorite: Pair that tuna burger with a Philadelphia Brewing Company Kensinger Campbell’s Place, 8337 Germantown Ave., 215-242-1818 MC MENAMIN’S TAVERN Owner P.J. McMenamin took this Mt. Airy mainstay over form his father when he wasn’t event old enough to drink. Today it’s the neighborhood go-to pub for good eats and an interesting beer list. McMenamin’s burgers are a build-it-yourself system with beef, chicken turkey and vegetarian options that can be fixed with dozens of extras. Favorite: Grilled Chicken with hot buffalo sauce and blue cheese, side of spicy fries and a Guiness Stout McMenamin’s Tavern, 7170 Germantown Ave., 215-247-9920 BLUE COMET A genuine hidden gem in Glenside, the Blue Comet has fantastic food and an equally voluminous beer list. Like McMenamin’s the tap selections are supplemented by well stocked cooler of bottles. Whatever your favorite flavors are, you’ll find them at The Comet. For burgers, The Comet offers a few exotic options including peanut butter and (Continued on page 32)



WELCOME / BURGER AND A BEER (Continued from page 30)

bacon. If you’re looking for something a little different, the specialty cheesesteaks are among the best I’ve ever had, particularly the Cajun chicken cheesesteak. Favorite: Burger topped with provolone and red pepper with a Yards Brawler. Blue Comet, 106 S Easton Rd, Glenside, 215-572-9780 FATTY’S Another neighborhood hot spot that rose from an old dive (Val’s), Fatty’s brought a good food oriented pub to the Willow Grove Avenue corridor of Wyndmoor with lots of burgers, beer and even more flat screen TVs for sports. Perhaps the most casual on this list, Fatty’s has a similar build-your-own burger system to McMenamin’s but also includes a couple of pre-made favorites like the “Fatty’s Fillet” featuring fillet mignon and “The Louie Burger,” which is topped with BBQ sauce and a fried onion ring. Favorite: Dave’s Angry Black and Blue Burger (Cajun seasoning tomatoes and blue cheese) and a Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA Fatty’s, 812 E. Willow Grove Ave., Wyndmoor, 215-233-5909

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A Taste of Chestnut Hill – Food favorites on the Avenue

McNally’s Schmitter.

by Jan Alex

It is no secret that Chestnut Hill is a neighborhood steeped in tradition. Since its founding, the neighborhood has remained an easily distinguishable section of Philadelphia with distinct features that set it apart from its neighbors. Part of this unique identity, as anybody who has lived here will tell you, is its foods. Along Germantown Avenue, visitors and locals alike can find a plethora of food establishments catering to a variety of different tastes and atmospheres. However, there are a few that standout



Photo: Facebook

as essential flavors to the Chestnut Hill experience. McNally’s Tavern The Schmitter McNally’s is about as iconic as it gets when it comes to Chestnut Hill’s signature eateries. In its almost 100 years of operation, the family-style tavern on Germantown Avenue has established a reputation that is recognized far beyond Chestnut Hill. McNallys was established in 1921 as “McNally’s Quick Lunch” in a (Continued on page 36)



WELCOME / FLAVORS OF CHESTNUT HILL (Continued from page 34)

corrugated steel building attached to the trolley tracks. The sandwich shop was one of the few businesses in the privileged neighborhood where working men were welcomed, but it soon became a favorite for locals of all classes. It gained its claim to fame in the form of a signature sandwich, the Schmitter. The sandwich is a combination of sliced beef, salami, fried onions, extra cheese, and the “secret sauce”. It’s a heart-stoppingly delicious cousin of the cheesesteak that was originally invented by Hugh James McNally, the original owner’s son. He named the sandwich after his friend and regular patron, Dennis Krenich, aka Schmidter. He had earned his nickname because of his preference for the local beer, Schmidt’s, and after Hugh McNally whipped up a special sandwich for him one night, and the Schmitter was born. The sandwich became so popular that it was drafted into service at both the Eagles and Phillies stadiums in 2004. Since then, it has been a special guest at New York’s Shea Stadium, Super Bowl XXXIX, and two World Series. Besides the Schmitter, guests can enjoy a variety of delicious sandwich platters and a full array of craft beers in its’ simple, comfortable, and family-friendly tavern-style environment. McNallys Tavern, 8634 Germantown Ave., 215-247-9736 Cosimo’s Pizza Cafe Author’s Choice: Grandma’s deep dish BTR Pizza (Bacon, Tomato, Ranch)

For anybody who has spent a significant part of their youth in Chestnut Hill, Cosmo’s is an undeniable classic. The walls of its brightly lit dining room are adorned with the crests of all the area 36


schools – and even a CHA class picture dating back to the early 1900’s. This is because Cosimo’s is a weekend/afterschool favorite among teens and preteens who live in the neighborhood and attend school here. Ask just about any local kid, and they will tell you that Cosmo’s is the go-to spot for meeting up with friends, or simply grabbing a hot slice after school. They also deliver and cater. As a resident of Chestnut Hill, I can’t remember the last time my family went a month without ordering in from Cosmo’s, or the last time I went a day without seeing their delivery car makes its rounds through the neighborhood. For older patrons, Cosimo’s’ diverse menu offers a variety of quality alternatives to pizza. Whether it is one of their generous pasta dishes, quality hot sandwich, or even a salad, Cosmo’s consistently dishes out simple, tasty food to a loyal base of customers. Cosimo’s Pizza Café, 8624 Germantown Ave., 215-242-9900 Bredenbeck's Bakery & Ice Cream Author’s Choice: Guatemalan Ripple Ice Cream Bredenbeck’s is yet another Chestnut Hill staple whose reputation for food excellence has reached beyond the neighborhood and Philadelphia at large. The bakery and ice cream parlor has been in business in Philadelphia since 1889, when Bavarian immigrant and baker Frederick Robert Bredenbeck opened the original bakery in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. In 1954, the Bredenbeck family handed the business over to Walter and Otto Haug, two longtime (Continued on page 38)

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WELCOME / FLAVORS OF CHESTNUT HILL (Continued from page 36)

employees who had proven their loyalty to the company. In 1983, Walter’s daughter, Karen H. Boyd-Rhode opened Bredenbeck’s current location in Chestnut Hill. Ever since, the bakery has become an essential part of the Chestnut Hill palette and has gained a national reputation. Their cakes are ordered by customers across the country, and the bakery has made cakes for the likes of Sesame Place, the Philadelphia Phillies, Tastykake, and the Philadelphia Zoo. Despite gaining such fame, Bredenbeck’s has stayed true to its traditions of baking everything from scratch, seven days a week. The ice cream parlor has also gained local acclaim for its variety of delicious creations, all using Philadelphia’s own Bassett’s Ice Cream. Bredenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Cream Parlor, 8126 Germantown Ave., 215-247-7374 Baker Street Bread Author’s Choice: Everything Bagel or the Pumpkin Scone(seasonal) Although Baker Street Bread Co., Philadelphia’s first artisan bakery, no longer bakes its bread in-house at its Germantown Avenue storefront, the tantalizing aroma of their artisan baked goods still permeates the block on which they reside. Baker Street moved its baking operation to a larger, non-commercial space in the past year, but even so, you can find their delivery truck unloading warm goods out front every single day. It is an essential culinary asset to the neighborhood and its award-winning, hand-shaped loaves are consistently stocked in pantries throughout the area. Their bagels, cookie, and baguettes have all been staples in my mother's kitchen since as long as I can remember, and it’s not uncommon to find their bread stocked 38


at all manner of food establishments throughout the city. Baker Street Bread Co., 8009 Germantown Avenue, 267-336-7410 Chestnut Hill Coffee Co. Author’s Choice: Triple Shot Latte Although Starbucks does a strong business at its Germantown Avenue location, true coffee connoisseurs know that the realest roast on the hill can be found just a block down the street, at the Chestnut Hill Coffee Co. Tucked away next to Hideaway Records, the Coffee Co. is a local favorite for those who appreciate fine coffee and a relaxed atmosphere. Modeled after the upscale expresso bars of Seattle and Europe, this storefront cafe offers patrons the chance to enjoy artisanal espresso beverages and pastries in a warm and welcoming two story space. The coffee itself is the main reason the Coffee Co. has established itself as a Chestnut Hill signature. The beans are roasted by experienced roasters who, according to its website, “roast the beans by sight, smell, and experience alone, to have the greatest mastery over the beans’ flavor.” Coffee enthusiasts travel from all over the city to pick up a bag of freshroasted beans and savor the complimentary cup of coffee that comes with it. A great place to get work done, or simply grab a cup for the road, Chestnut Hill Coffee Co. is a must visit for any visitor to Chestnut Hill. Chestnut Hill Coffee Co., Phone: 215-242-8600




While summer is over, ice cream is always in season

Photo: Sue Ann Rybak

by Sue Ann Rybak

Just because summer is over, it doesn't mean ice cream season is over. After all, there is always room for ice cream. And nothing says I love you like a warm piece of pie topped with one of Zsa’s signature fall flavors: Caramel Apple Crisp, Pumpkin Gingersnap, Maple Toffee Graham, Sweet Cinnamon and more. Chestnut Hill residents Danielle Jowdy and Parker Whitehead are the owners of Zsa’s Ice Cream. Growing up in Connecticut, Jowdy loved making and eating ice cream. So, it should come as no surprise that one of the few things she took from her childhood home before her parents sold it was an old hand-cranked ice cream maker. “I was always making ice cream as a hobby,” said the former stained-glass artist. 40


It wasn't until she was laid off and rehired twice between 2010 and 2011, that she considered turning her ice cream hobby into a viable business. “Both of my parents were small business owners, so it wasn't an odd concept to me,” she said. “But I knew, I didn't have enough experience, proof of concept or funding to open a brick and mortar store.” In 2011, her business partner Whitehead bought her a 1963 International Harvester MetroVan on eBay, which they later named Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” because as Jowdy said, “It seemed like he would fit in where there was a lot of merriment.” The company’s name Zsa’s is a nick(Continued on page 42)



WELCOME / ICE CREAM FOR ALL SEASONS (Continued from page 40)

name that Jowdy and her sister used to call each other because they thought their own names were boring. Their motto is “Seriously from Scratch,” because everything is homemade, including the caramel in their salted caramel and caramel apple crisp ice creams. Their ice cream doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or colors. “In addition to making all the ice cream from scratch, we also make all the inclusion items,” she said. “In each of our ice cream flavors, there are three or four items that have to be prepared. We want to make everything ourselves. So, we’ve gone the extra step not only to make our own cookie dough, but to find heat treated flour and use a recipe that doesn’t have eggs in it.” One of their most popular year-round flavors is Black Magic. Jowdy said they make their own coffee infusion that goes

into the ice cream base and then add her Mom’s recipe for chocolate cake. “My mom used to make it for my Dad,” she said. “As kids, we always used to eat it with a scoop of ice cream on top. Because the cake is so dense, it really absorbed the ice cream. So, Black Magic is really two desserts in one.” Jowdy said while the ice cream truck won’t be on the Avenue during the winter, customers can still pick up Zsa’s Ice Cream at local stores including Weavers Way Co-op, The Night Kitchen Bakery, the Foodery in Roxborough, certain Whole Foods Markets including Plymouth Meeting, Callow Hill and Cherry Hill, Fair Foods in Reading Terminal, several Kimberton Whole Foods and many more. To book Zsa’s Ice Cream for a special event or find a store that sells their ice cream go to

Photo: Facebook 42




WELCOME / CALENDAR OF EVENTS Sunday October 1 Springfield Township Community Day and 5K Race 9 a.m.-1 p.m. A 5K Race and 1-mile fun run will be held starting at 9 a.m. at, followed by Community Day at Cisco Park, 200 Montgomery Ave Erdenheim,. The race is $15 or $25, The Community Day is a free event with food, activities and entertainment, sports challenges, face painting, shelter dogs, and a dj. For more information, visit Friday October 6 Chestnut Hill Night of Lights 6:30-10:30 p.m. The first-ever Night of Lights brings a

street-long historical spectacular to Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill with colorful lights, illuminations and hundreds of historical images and quotes projected through storefront windows and on buildings accompanied by music, collectable “past-ports” of history and stores open late to benefit the Conservancy’s archives. For more information, visit Saturday October 7 Whitemarsh Township Community Yard Sale 8 a.m.-noon Those interested in selling can rent a space for $15 or $25; those interested in browsing can shop the rows of treasures to find what they are looking for at

BOYD’S ANTIQUES Priscilla Boyd Angelos The largest selection of quality 18th & 19th century antiques in the area 1510 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, Pa 19031 215-880-6268 44


(Continued on page 46)


Black and White Gala.

Photo: Courtesy CHCA

Infants through Pre-Kindergarten Afterschool Program servicing J.S. Jenks Elementary School Music, Sports, Computer Classes & Large Outdoor Play Yard

Christ Lutheran Child Care Center 8300 Germantown Avenue s 215-247-1330 An Equal Opportunity Care Provider • Est. 1975 WELCOME | FALL • WINTER 2017-18


WELCOME / CALENDAR OF EVENTS (Continued from page 44)

Saturday October 7

St. Thomas Church, at Camp Hill Road & South Bethlehem Pike. For information or to purchase space, call 610 828-7276. Saturday October 7 Revolutionary Germantown Festival 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This annual festival attracts thousands of history buffs and begins with a re-enactment of General George Washington’s battle with British Colonel Thomas Musgrave’s 40th Regiment on Germantown Avenue at Benjamin Chew’s Cliveden House, 6401 Germantown Avenue, and the Allen Home across the street. For more information, visit

The Harlem Wizards 6:30-8:30 p.m. Springfield District school teachers will take to the court to face the spectacular showmanship of the Harlem Wizards basketball team in a benefit game for the Enfield/Erdenheim Home School Parents at Springfield District High School, 1801 Paper Mill Road, Flourtown. $10-$15. For information visit Saturday October 14 Black and White Gala 7-11 p.m. An outdoor parking lot is transformed into a tented ballroom dance floor as (Continued on page 47)

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS / WELCOME (Continued from page 46)

the Chestnut Hill Community Association presents a black-tie dance, fundraiser and honors outstanding Chestnut Hill citizens, 7-11 p.m. under an outdoor tent near the Chestnut Hill Hospital, 8835 Germantown Avenue. For information or tickets, call 215 248-8810. Friday-Saturday October 20-21 Harry Potter Festival and Chestnut Hill College Quidditch Tournament Chestnut Hill is transformed for this annual fun-filled event that has grown in size each year and closes the avenue in Chestnut Hill for tens of thousands thousands of Harry Potter fans from around the globe. A seminar at the college Friday afternoon gathers Harry Potter

scholars for lectures and discussion. Events Saturday start with the train to town followed by a read-a-thon, seminars, concerts, fortune tellers, school-sorting, music, costumes and more. A day-long Quidditch Tournament at Chestnut Hill College completes the experience. October 21,22,28,29 Whitemarsh Township’s Haunted Barn 7-9:30 p.m. Cedar Grove Barn , 100 Cedar Grove Road (at Wells St.) is converted to a house of horrors for those who dare to enter. A family hour for younger ghouls is 6-7 p.m. October 28. Admission is $5 for pre-purchase and $7 at the door . For more information, call 610 828-7276. (Continued on page 48)



WELCOME / CALENDAR OF EVENTS (Continued from page 47)

Thursday, October 24 Teenie Halloweenie 10 a.m.-noon A Halloween party for little ones in costume featuring games, crafts, music and treats will be held at the Whitemarsh Township Parks & Recreation Building, 4021 Joshua Road, Lafayette Hill. $5 per child. For more information, call 610 828-7276. Friday October 27 Ghost Walk 6-9 p.m. Halloween festivities begin with a spooky ghost walk through the haunts of Awbury Arboretum, 1 Awbury Road in Germantown Scary Stories for young

and old. As the evening gets darker the stories get scarier. Professional storytellers engage little ones with tall tales and spook teens with urban legends throughout the gardens. Zombie and Dia de los Muertos costumed teen guides walk groups through a creepy crawly outdoor experience sure to set the tone for this Halloween. Games, snacks and more. $5. Run by and benefitting the teenagers of Teenagers Inc. For more information, call 267 368-6411. Sunday October 29 Haunted Horses Costume Parade and Open House Noon-2 p.m. Haunted Horses is Northwestern Stables’ annual Halloween costume parade and open house. Guests are invited to come out to see the funniest, (Continued on page 50)

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(215) 247-5700 or visit 48



Harry Potter Festival.

Photo: Courtesy CHBA

“Providing faithful, loving care in the comfort of your home.” OUR SERVICES: Personal Care I Companion Care Home Health Aide I Skilled Nursing 8431 Germantown Avenue sBased Philadelphia, PA 19118 Home & Community Services Private Duty I Therapy (PT, OT, ST) 215-274-0100 Home Safety Assessment

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WELCOME / CALENDAR OF EVENTS (Continued from page 48)

scariest and most creative horse and rider teams, and tour the historic barns to learn more about the horses and programs. Everyone is invited to join in the fun and come dressed in costume. Proceeds and donations from this funfilled event help sustain our lesson and community programs. For more information, visit Sunday October 29 Halloween Parade 2-4 p.m. Children in costume can enjoy a parade, the famous Woodmere straw maze and music by the Springfield High School township pep band at 2 p.m. in this annual parade on the grounds of the Woodmere Art Museum. No extra charge with $8 admission to the



Woodmere Straw maze ($20 for families of three or more). For more information, call 215-247-0476. Saturday November 11 A Toast to Mt. Airy 7-11 p.m. East Mt. Airy Neighbors raises funds and has fun at its annual event featuring food and drink from around the world the reflects the diversity of Mt. Airy along with music by Adornment. Tickets are $100. For more information, visit Saturday November 18 Circle of Lights and Tree Lighting 5:30-7 p.m. (Continued on page 52)


Circle of Lights.

Photo: Courtesy CHCA



WELCOME / CALENDAR OF EVENTS (Continued from page 50)

Family and friends come together to celebrate the annual tree lighting and the beginning of Chestnut Hill’s holiday season at Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue. Enjoy live music, hot chocolate, cookies, and a special surprise guest. Families are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to a charity for underprivileged children. For more information, visit November 21 – December 31 Holidays on the Hill Weekly events and sales along Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill leading into the Holiday season. For more information, visit

Saturday November 25 Morris Arboretum Holiday Garden Railway Celebration 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Morris Arboretum’s famous miniature garden railway runs a quarter-mile dressed in its wintry finest! Take part in a fun craft for the kids and enjoy carolers in the winter garden. Free with admission ($9 children; $17 adults) to the arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue. For information, visit Saturday November 25 Small Business Saturday Merchants in Chestnut Hill -- almost all of them small, independent, familyowned businesses, open their doors to (Continued on page 53)



CALENDAR OF EVENTS / WELCOME (Continued from page 52)

holiday shoppers eager to find unique local holiday gifts. Saturday December 2 Northwestern Stables Holiday Bazaar 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Holiday Bazaar at Northwestern Stables, 120 Northwestern Ave., features holiday photos with Santa and his horse, children’s crafts and games, a silent auction and raffles. “Reindeer” Riding Lessons, the opportunity to purchase handmade crafts and gifts from our holiday vendors, as well as enjoy plenty of food and beverage throughout the day. Visitors can tour the barns and meet the horses. For more information, visit

Saturday December 2 Architectural Hall of Fame Gala 7-10 p.m The Chestnut Hill Conservancy celebrates its 50th anniversary celebrating and preserving Chestnut Hill architecture with a cocktail gala and dance 7-10 p.m. at the historic Guilford Manor (formerly the Wharton Sinkler estate) to support the Conservancy’s efforts to protect the community’s most treasured structures and landscapes. Tickets are available for $175 and up., 215 247-9329 x 202.

Sunday December 3 Gingerbread House Decorating Party 1-3 p.m. (Continued on page 54)




(Continued from page 53)

Get set up with pre-assembled gingerbread houses and decorating materials and join the fun decorating your own holiday masterpiece at the Whitemarsh Township Parks and Recreation Building, 4021 Joshua Road, Lafayette Hill. $12 per house. To register or for more information, visit or call 610 828-7276. Saturday December 9 Chestnut Hill Holiday House Tour 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Hundreds of visitors ride trollies and put on blue paper booties to visit five of Chestnut Hill’s unique homes beautifully decorated for the holidays, sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Tickets are $110-125. For tickets or more information, call 215 248-8810

Chestnut Hill Holiday Parade 9-10 a.m. In one of Chestnut Hill’s newest old traditions (after it was discontinued for decades, the parade was revived a few years ago) Germantown Avenue closes as vintage cars, school bands, floats, Santa and maybe even the Philly Phanatic strut and ride down the street for an appreciative crowd sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Association. To participate or for more information, call 215 248-8810. Wednesdays December 6,13,20

Stag and Doe Nights In one of Chestnut Hill’s oldest old traditions, stores stay open late for holiday shopping along the avenue. There’s often also refreshments, live music and other treats. For information, visit

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