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FEATURING...

The growing movement behind the WEST CHESTER FOOD CO-OP Get the inside scoop on 24 of our FAVORITE LOCAL PIZZERIAS All the good deeds done by the WEST CHESTER FOOD CUPBOARD


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Computer Support (clothing optional)

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Remote technology support services you can trust. (Anytime, anywhere, in any attire)

Schedule your remote session today at RemoteWC.com Brought to you by West Chester Computer Doctors, located in the middle of the block at 28 South High Street www.computerwc.com  610.431.0400  support@computerwc.com SEPTEMBER 2015 THEWCPRESS.COM

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The

“The only think I like better than talking about food is eating.” –John Walters

Press PUBLISHER Dan Mathers dan@thewcpress.com ADVERTISING MANAGER Nick Vecchio nick@thewcpress.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Julie Ryan jryan@mathersproductions.com Nazarena Luzzi Castro nazluzzidesign.com COPY EDITOR Jon Roth jroth@thewcpress.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jesse Piersol jpiersol@thewcpress.com Kate Chadwick kchadwick@thewcpress.com CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Andrew Hutchins hutch@mathersproductions.com

COLUMNISTS Becca Boyd bboyd@thewcpress.com Diane LeBold dlebold@thewcpress.com Brad Liermann bliermann@thewcpress.com Jennifer Ozgur jozgur@thewcpress.com DJ Romeo romeo@thewcpress.com Published By... Mathers Productions 13 South Church Street West Chester, PA 19382 mathersproductions.com 610-344-3463 The WC Press is a monthly magazine distributed free of charge to more than 250 businesses. For a free digital subscription, visit thewcpress.com. For more information about specific distribution locations, visit thewcpress.com/distribution.

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Our no-nonsense table of contents

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dan Mathers’ monthly ramblings A MARKET FOR THE PEOPLE The West Chester Food Co-op’s plans for the future OWNER OF THE MONTH Vincenzo Tettamanti talks authentic Italian gelato THE WEST CHESTER PIZZA BOOM Profiling the best pizzas in the borough THE LOOK Baking with Cakes and Candies by Maryellen BARTENDER OF THE MONTH Getting to know Jen Jones of Boxcar Brewpub AROUND THE WORLD Our dining guide, composed by country LOCAL TALENT Meet the once and future chef of Kildare’s, Stephanie Gray HELPING HANDS The West Chester Food Cupboard is feeding your neighbors

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From the

Editor

“There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap.” –Kevin James

The classic question is, “What’s for dinner?” It’s a struggle for us all, but for me, the real issues only begin there; food is a ceaseless inner argument. The first question I confront is, “Do I eat something healthy, or do I eat something I actually want to eat?” Monday through Thursday the answer is “healthy.” Regardless of how many crunches I’ve agonized through, how many miles I’ve run, or how many times I picked up and put down heavy objects, I almost always choose grilled chicken and veggies or a salad during the week. By the weekend I’m sick of lettuce and the answer to the question is “what I actually want.” In which case, I get pizza. God do I love pizza. I love it so much the Mitch’s Gym scale tells me I put on about three pounds every weekend. The next question is, “Eat in, or dine out?” Now, I’ve never brought my lunch to work, and the list of times I’ve purchased an entire week’s worth of groceries is shorter than the list of horror movies I’ve watched. If you’re wondering: I’m a coward, and I don’t do scary movies. So, the argument continues: “Ugh, do you really wanna drive to Giant? No, but do you want to spend $10 on a salad again? No, but you’ll end up spending $20 at Giant getting all the ingredients you need anyway plus you’ll buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need because it’s on sale and you’ll only use half of what you buy and you know you won’t eat the leftovers and you’ll end up throwing away more than half of what you brought home.” In the end, I almost always dine out… except for breakfast. Breakfast is the only meal I regularly eat at home, and even so I’m able to order “The Usual” at Market Street Grill. Their breakfast burrito with egg whites is one of only a handful of food items that fall under both the “healthy” and “I want” categories. So the question becomes, “Where?” Sure, there are the usual suspects—I’m a creature of habit, as illustrated by my egg white burrito order. Before Mumbai Bistro opened their doors on Church Street, I’d never eaten Indian. Now I fill one of their loyalty stamp cards every month and have proclaimed the second day of the work week Vindaluesday, being that it’s the day Mumbai has Chicken Vindaloo on their buffet. But when I don’t want to eat at a go-to spot, I draw a huge blank. Luckily, in such dire situations, I have an awesome resource on hand: this magazine. In any given month, regardless of the theme, there are 20+ restaurants flaunting their fare in these pages, and I flip through in search of inspiration. But when the theme is “Food,” the profusion of good eats and good info is overwhelming. There is so much for a foodie to love about this town, and so much content for this issue (it’s our biggest mag every year). That means I work long and late during our deadline week, spending hours staring at and reading about delicious food. Luckily, when faced with this overabundance of edible info while working those late hours, the only food-related conundrum I encountered was, “Can I justify eating a fourth meal today?” The answer was usually “yes.”

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for the People The West Chester Food Co-op Delivers a Community-Owned Grocery Store (and More) By Jesse Piersol

Can I tell you about my eggplant and tomatoes? Suzanne Adams leans forward in her chair and her eyes sparkle in anticipation as she continues. “There’s a reason eggplant and tomatoes grow next to each other in the garden. It’s because they are perfect together.” The passion of the West Chester Food Co-op’s co-founder for delicious, locally grown food is palpable, but it is surpassed by her dedication to bringing a community-owned grocery store to downtown West Chester. But first, we’re having dinner.

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She describes how she harvests the tomatoes from her garden and roasts them into a chunky sauce that she then adds to a mountain of sliced eggplant, all of which bakes for hours. “There is a bond that is created when you go through that process of growing, gathering, and preparing food. We’ve lost track of that because we go to the store and buy stuff wrapped in plastic. We need to remember that eating is a communal and agricultural act.” On a cool evening in August, only the thrumming of cicadas infiltrates an otherwise quiet street a few blocks from the middle of town, and I have the good fortune of being Suzanne’s dinner guest. Her hair damp from spending the day in a hot kitchen baking an elaborate 9-layer cake for her mother’s 90th birthday, she pulls a steaming casserole from the oven, inverting it over a serving plate. The medley of roasted eggplant and tomatoes unfurls onto the waiting bed of penne pasta. Making small talk as I watch her put the finishing touches on dinner, I ask what she thinks the next big thing will be in the world of food. “I’m a farm girl. I still have a little dirt under my fingernails,” she says. “When you’re that connected to food, fads don’t have much of an impact on you. It’s from the dirt to the table, and everything that happens in between.” Inspiration for the West Chester Food Co-op sparked in June of last year when Suzanne and fellow foodie friend Joan Welch were at a meeting with the leaders of two local co-ops, Weavers Way and Swarthmore. “We were talking about the food part,” Suzanne recalls, “but as we talked more with Weaver’s Way, it became apparent that a food cooperative is really a community development project that aims to create a more transparent and just economic model to meet our most fundamental need: good food.” From that meeting, a vision emerged that proposes to unite the West Chester community directly with local food via a cooperative business.

The U.S. Small Business Administration defines a cooperative as “a business or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services. Profits and earnings generated by the cooperative are distributed among the members, also known as user-owners.”

Suzanne’s Eggplant Parmesan Suzanne elaborates on how co-ops differ from other business structures. “A co-op is a business re-purposed to serve people, not investors. By law, corporations are required to maximize return to investors; a foundational principle that makes them investor focused, not community focused. A co-op has no such obligation because investors and community are one and the same (co-ops have member-owners) and return is not on investment, but on patronage of the business. Co-op profits are shared among member-owners in proportion to their patronage of the store. This insures that the business will always be owned by those who use

A co-op is a business re-purposed to serve people, not investors. it as there is no incentive for “outside” investors. People invest in the co-op because they want to have the services it provides…service to the community is the Co-op’s ‘business’, not maximizing profit. This drives an entirely different set of behaviors than an investorowned business.” The cooperative business model is not new. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported producer cooperative development to help farmers make a better living, and to this day, the midwest is the most cooperative-dense region of the US. “Producer cooperatives enabled farmers to cooperate on marketing, distribution, and purchasing,” notes Suzanne. “Food co-ops are the consumer side of that movement. The USDA was instrumental there as well, creating a development model and infrastructure that West Chester Food Co-op has relied upon.”

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So what’s it like to shop at a co-op? “Everything will be there--dry grocery, prepared food, a produce section, meat and dairy, and a café. Co-ops source about twice as much local food as traditional stores, so a great deal of what you purchase will be produced by people in the community.”

As in all business start-ups, the project begins with building a base of equity. “Instead of recruiting a few large investors motivated by return on investment, the Co-op is seeking a small investment ($400) from a large number of memberowners motivated by a desire for what the Co-op can provide for the community: convenient and greater access to local food, support for local and sustainable agriculture, local economic development, transparency from farm to table, and food you can trust,” she says. “We need many members of the community to make a small equity investment in order to make this a community-owned endeavor. As a cooperative, it’s all about community ownership.”

But there’s something else. She adds, “You’ll spend time there with your neighbors. You’ll hang out there because it’s your store. You’ll know everyone. Grocery shopping will be social …and fun.”

CONNECTING EVERYONE Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the Food Co-op is its value beyond food.

Suzanne Raising Awareness Although anyone will be able to shop at the Co-op, member-owners will have access to certain discounts and additional services not available to non member-owners. “They will receive a distribution of store profits based on their patronage of the business. Member-owners will have a voice in the development process of the Co-op through voting privileges at member meetings and the right to run for and vote for the Board of Directors.” The Co-op also recently kicked off a member-benefits program that offers deals and discounts at local businesses for Co-op member-owners. The Co-op will serve West Chester and the surrounding communities. Everyone for whom a West Chester store would be convenient is encouraged to become a member-owner. They’re committed to making member-ownership available to all and have an assisted membership for those in financial need. “We want our member-ownership to reflect the community that we serve. We have assistance available so that everyone who wants to be a member-owner can be one.”

“Part of our mission is education---to bring people closer to the sources of their food. This can help people make better food choices, strengthen support for local agriculture, and foster respect for the natural world that promotes environmental protection.” Zukin Realty has offered the use of the parking lot behind the Rite-Aid for events, and the Co-op is planning a series of farm to table events there beginning in September. “These will be family-friendly events, where you will be able to talk with both local farmers and professional chefs who are working with the farm’s products. We will have farm products and prepared food available for tasting and sale. You will learn of the process beginning with the farmer’s stewardship of the soil, all the way to the chef’s garnish on your plate. More information on our first event, September 10, will be available soon.”

Part of our mission is education — to bring people closer to the sources of their food Another tenet of the mission is the idea of building community around food. “People working together to meet their most fundamental need: healthy, nutritious, great tasting

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food…it’s a recipe for strengthening our bonds to one another and building trust and understanding.” Everybody pitches in for the greater good. “When I think back to my childhood on the farm, I remember pea season when everyone would pitch in for days of non-stop pea shelling. That’s the kind of work you can ONLY do in company, as a shared burden. I realize now how that compelling that was. We lost some community when we lost our connection with food.” The Co-op will offer opportunities for community members to work in the store, in exchange for additional discounts and deals. The idea is to offer the experience of working together towards a common goal for the good of the community. “People have expressed to us that they want that experience. The Co-op will be much more than a grocery store; it will be a community institution.”

NEXT STEPS The Food Co-op needs 500 member-owners in order to secure a mortgage or sign a long term lease. “Our job now is to get the word out to the community. Once people understand what we are doing and what the Co-op is, they are extremely supportive. But cooperatives are not a well-understood idea. People have all kinds of misunderstandings about us—they think we are a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), or we are a food cupboard, or a non-profit, or a farmer’s market. We have a big educational task ahead of us.”

In Suzanne’s mind, food is the common denominator. “Food is a way to connect with that neighbor with whom you might not have a lot in common.”

THE TIME IS NOW The community has been ready for this for quite some time. According to Suzanne, “In the 2000 Comprehensive Plan, a grocery store was identified as a missing piece of the community. Now, 15 years later, we still don’t have one.” Elected officials including borough government, county, state and federal representatives are all supportive of the Food Co-op as a long overdue addition to the community. Best of all, the organization currently has the opportunity to nab the perfect location right in the center of town. “We really got going when the historic preservation community was looking for an adaptive reuse of the Post Office building on Gay Street. We couldn’t hope for a better location than that.” The Food Co-op is supported by the West Chester Business Improvement District (BID), and they are working to bring the Post Office site within reach. Suzanne notes that truly walkable communities need not just sidewalks and pedestrian linkage, but must include three basic things. “You need jobs for the people, you need food, and you need a place to recreate, for culture. Uptown! Entertainment Alliance is providing the culture opportunities, and the Food Co-op will provide the walkable grocery store.”

Rendering of the Co-op’s potential home at Gay & Walnut “The cause is advancing, but the perennial question is, ‘When will the store open?’ And I tell folks who ask that, ‘As soon as you become a member-owner.’ It is member-ownership uptake than determines our timeline to opening.” We’re discussing this progress while sitting down to Suzanne’s eggplant parmesan. It is beautiful and rustic, the flavors a celebration of the late-summer harvest. Even fellow dinner guest Mike Koenig, a self-described “meat and fruit guy,” is impressed. Certainly, the quality of the locally sourced ingredients is part of what makes the meal special, but it’s also the care with which Suzanne prepared them, her reverence for the farming process, and for the evening itself. Suzanne hopes that West Chester residents will be able to enjoy more of those moments themselves once the Co-op opens its doors. “This project is about the convergence of many things: the pleasure of eating; eating closer to the earth; respecting what you’re eating; appreciating what needs to be done so that the earth can keep producing food; and celebrating cultures around the world—even the most experienced foodies have only tasted a small sample of what’s out there.” At exactly 7:20pm, Suzanne has to dash off to a meeting. “This is what I do with my time. I explain the cooperative business model, I talk about transparency and food you can trust. When people understand what we are doing, they are on board. We’re going to provide convenient access to great food and our mission is to serve the community. What’s not to love?“

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Owner of the

Month

PHOTO Andrew Hutchins

INTERVIEW Dan Mathers

Vincenzo Tettamanti of Gemelli brought his passions from Italy to his gelato shop on Market Street Where are you originally from? I was born and raised in Ferrara, Italy. How long ago did you move to the states? I moved here in 2009, so it’s been about six years. That’s it? Your accent is phenomenal. My wife doesn’t let me speak Italian at home. Is your wife also Italian? No. She’s American. We met in Milan when she was studying abroad there. What were you doing when you first came to the US? I was working as the digital marketing manager for a publishing company in Malvern—I have a background in business. That’s what you were doing back in Italy? Yes. So why did you decide to make a change? I’ve been cooking and baking since I was twelve. I wanted to do something authentic and Italian, and I didn’t want to do a restaurant—there are already so many Italian restaurants. I grew up loving gelato, and since it seemed like there weren’t many gelaterias here, I thought it seemed like a good idea. Did you have much experience with gelato? Well, when I decided this was what I wanted to do, I trained professionally back home in Italy for a year, then I came back and trained here in America with Italian chefs. Took over a year off from work to study the trade? Yes. Pretty much. Have you found it rewarding? Yes. Very much. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it—it’s a lot more work than before, but I definitely enjoy it better. What brought you to West Chester? My wife was studying in Philadelphia, so we lived in Philly, then moved to Media. We had some friends here in West Chester, and found that we loved it here. Being from Italy, it had the feel of

the downtown, town center area where people where walking around and enjoying the town like back home. This was as Italian style as you can get around here, and I felt like it was a good match. So we opened up here and moved here about seven or eight months later. Does your wife work with you? She takes care of all the graphics and the design and marketing collateral. She handles the creative parts of the business. Sounds like you’re both creative people. Where do you draw inspiration for your gelato? I’m really attached to the classic Italian flavors: stracciatella, fig and ricotta, pistachio—the flavors I grew up with. But, being a baker, I like to incorporate my baking into the gelato, using my cookies or chocolate cake that we crumble into the gelato. I like to keep them connected and interesting, and I

like to try new things, like our almond milk gelato that’s vegan and has been really, really successful. Do you think that’s what sets you apart? The thing that I’m really proud of is that everything is made from scratch. I make my own peanut butter, hazelnut, chocolates. I even make my own toppings like, mascarpone sauce. Everything is done in-house, and we don’t buy anything pre-made, no powder bases or flavorings. I also try to source local ingredients as much as possible and work with organic ingredients—I make all the bases with local, organic milk and cream. You take your gelato seriously. Being from Italy, I don’t want to put out anything that’s not up to or above Italian standards. What we serve here is as good or better than anything you’d find in Italy.

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The West Chester

Boom

Profiling the best pizza in the borough

Story: Amy Strauss, Matt Cassidy and Kristen Kwiatkowski of The Town Dish Photos: Tom Boyd

It's nothing new.

The 19380 has long been crazy about pizza, but in a borough mixed with discerning, educated gourmands and always-hungry college students, passion for proper pies is at an all-time high.

Artisanal newcomers are setting up shop aside celebrated decades-old parlors, looking to tap into the ever-emerging food scene and satisfy our pizza-obsessed population. What makes a tech-savvy, new-age pizzeria like Rapidough pinpoint West Chester for its next location? Why did South Street Philadelphia’s iconic Lorenzo & Sons pick High and Gay streets as an “it” location for its second shop—and will it ever open? It’s not about competition, for every last one of them; it’s about contributing to the borough’s food community, which features close to—and counting—30 pizza shops. So, in an effort to tap into everyone’s fascination with our hometown pizzerias, we’ve gone cross-borough to identify who is crafting the ultimate slices. We want to help you discover the places that are doing it the best, from those creating the crunchiest crust with the proper cheese-to-sauce ratio to those concocting the coolest combinations of toppings. For the town’s serious traditionalists, those touting the most creative pies and even the leading late-night purveyors, read on to discover what winning pizzas we have our hungry eyes on... all 24 of them.

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Brother’s Pizza & Pasta 670 Downingtown Pike 610.431.1000 originalbrotherspizza.com

Pepper Mill

Las Vegas Pizza

813 N Chester Rd 610.692.0100

515 E Gay St 610.692.4785 lasvegaspizzaonline.com

The Bistro

701 W Nields St 610.793.1000

Cafe Fiorello's

Pizza Peddlar

730 E Gay St 610.430.8941 fiorellosinwestchester.com

1177 Wilmington Pike 610.399.3300 piozzapeddler202.com

Tommy’s Original Bistro & Pizzeria

Carmine’s Pizza & Eatery

1257 West Chester Pike 610.719.9900 tommysoriginalpizza.com

947 Paoli Pike 610.436.6009

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What legendary pizza shops house the borough’s purist pie producers? Who keeps it classic through refined technique and execution? These eight institutions know pizza and continue to rank highly, year after year, against the region’s fierce competition. Start here and visit often.

The Bistro

Tucked away off of Route 52, just outside of town, The Bistro can be counted on for friendly service and traditional slices and pies. We favor their light, buttery crust and well-portioned toppings here, with the Special pie layered with salami and sweet peppers ranking high on our repeat list. Additional perks include the seasonal dining patio, stuffed pies and full Italian menu. 701 W Nields St, (610) 793-1000 facebook.com/thebistro.westchester

Café Fiorello’s

If you’re searching for a stellar brick-oven pizza, Café Fiorello’s makes the top of the list. Thin slices topped with veggies, meat and even seafood make ordering what you crave easy as can be. Those who like a simple yet tantalizing selection will go wild for Fiorello’s plain cheese pizza, while those who want something more creative will find satisfaction with the Frutti Di Mare, a pizza laden with shrimp, calamari, clams and mussels 730 E Gay St, (610) 430-8941S Fiorellosinwestchester.com

Pepper Mill

It's safe to say that if a place has award-winning cheesesteaks, the remainder of the menu is executed with similar gusto, too. For those on the hunt for pizza with generous sauce, this is your stop—which also means you can expect some cheese slides (you know what we're talking about; pizza isn’t always glamorous). Pro tips for this decades-old hub: add roasted garlic to the veggie pie, consider trying the wheat crust (killer flavor!) and be prepared—this spot is cash only.

Carmine’s Pizza & Eatery

Between purchases at the West Goshen Shopping Center, have a moment with West Chester’s best Sicilian pie. The airy, almost cake-like dough with a crisp, delicate bottom has given us more than enough reasons to carb overload—sometimes we don’t even need the cheese (tomato pie, please!). Looking for a thick-crusted alternative? Try the baked potato pie. Bonus: they deliver beer with your pizza. Really. 947 Paoli Pike, (610) 436-6009

Tommy's Family Bistro & Pizzeria

This Goshen Crossing Shopping Center–based pizzeria is as much about its beer selection as its pie. We prefer to pop open a bottle, stick with the Neapolitan pies and order up the namesake Tommy. All pizzas can be stuffed for a slim $2 upcharge, and that’s absolutely the attack we suggest. For the health-conscious, gluten-free and whole wheat crusts are also available. 1257 West Chester Pike, (610) 719-9900 tommysoriginalpizza.com

Pizza Peddler

Situated in the Westtown Village Shopping Center, this oldschool pizzeria slings iconically classic pies, with crunchy, crackling crusts proving to be their most attractive quality. Boasting a snappy exterior and chewy interior, this crust will never get thrown to the wayside. Add in bubbling Wisconsin cheese, homemade tomato sauce and daily made-fromscratch dough, and we must be clear that we can’t stop pulling slices from these pies. Consider straying with a pizza sandwich—almost like you’re folding your slice—or go big for an upcoming bash with the 28-inch pie—round yet sliced into party-appropriate squares, not triangles. We kind of love that. 1177 Wilmington Pike, (610) 399-3300 pizzapeddler202.com

Brothers Pizza

No delivery is available, so you’ve got to swing by for this doughy delight. With its ideal proportions of subtly sweet sauce, globs of cheese and chewier crust, this pie—in the words of Goldilocks—is "just right." The thin-crust New York–style pizza’s dough is made fresh daily, with the standard margherita pie ranking as the shop’s hot pick.

Nestled in the Bradford Plaza since 1991, this “original” Brothers location sticks to the farm-fresh basics by loading pies with in-season veggies—all of which their hearty, lightly charcoaled crust can deliciously uphold. Contemporary with its rotating chalkboard menu and industrial stainless steel chairs, the shop keeps current with offerings like gluten-free pizzas (which receive rave reviews). Their white pies are our top picks, including the CeCe, a variety loaded with goat cheese and proscuitto, and the Southwestern, with scallions, grilled chicken and BBQ sauce.

515 E Gay St, (610) 692-4785 lasvegaspizzaonline.com

670 Downingtown Pike, (610) 431-1000 originalbrotherspizza.com

813 N Chester Rd, (610) 692-0100

Las Vegas Pizza

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Limoncello

America's Pie

9 N Walnut St 610.436.6230 limoncellowc.com

323 E Gay St 484.947.5115 somuchmorethanpizza.com

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant 3 W Gay St 610.738.9600 ironhillbrewery.com

Carlino's Market 18 W Market St 610.696.3788 carlinosmarket.com

Rapidough Pizza Pies 30 S High St 484.266.0681 rapidoughpizzapies.com

Benny's

Avalon

114 N Church St 610.696.0754 bennyspizzawc.com

116 E Gay St 610.436.4100 avalonrestaurant.net

Couch Tomato CafĂŠ

31 W Gay St 484.887.0241 thecouchtomato.com

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West Chester is home to new-wave pizza purveyors, too. The following eight-pack excels with its thought-provoking pies and eclectic compositions. There’s even one restaurant on this short list that is after all millennials’ hearts with iPad ordering—we kid you not. Keep it fresh and discover something intriguing.

sweeter marinara sauce. Although many loyal customers stick to cheese or pepperoni, the shop prides itself on savory barbeque and buffalo chicken slices as well. Warning: closes at 11pm. 114 N Church St, (610) 696-0754 bennyspizzawc.com

Couch Tomato Café

Rapidough Pizza Pies

The owners of Couch Tomato, Craig Mosmen and Michael Cassano, cater to the multi-faceted tastes of pizza-lovers by offering a bevy of crust varieties, such as organic white or organic wheat blend, along with a mouth-dropping array of toppings. With the organic dough and fresh mozzarella made in-house, you better believe that freshness is a primary factor with these brick oven pies. Whether you want to design your own pizza or choose from one of the inventive selections on the menu, such as the Fig’in Burrata or Italian Stallion, a stop at the Couch Tomato Café will appeal to the most choosy of all pizza noshers. 31 W Gay St, (484) 887-0241 thecouchtomato.com

America’s Pie

Pizza aficionados who like variety when it comes to their choice of slices flock to America’s Pie. Many pizza places offer one or two pizza styles. America’s Pie offers six: hand-tossed, Sicilian, deep-dish, gluten-free, stuffed crust and Brooklyn style. Marvel over the extensive topping offerings, ranging anywhere from the popular pepperoni to the zesty barbecue pulled pork. At America’s Pie, variety is the spice of life! 323 E Gay St, (484) 947-5115 somuchmorethanpizza.com

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

West Chester diners visit Iron Hill for its award-winning brews, but there is also a devoted following for the food, too. The hearthbaked pizza satiates your hunger for a filling and memorable meal. Select a traditional artisan or malted barley dough crust and then add toppings of your choosing, such as exotic mushrooms, or choose an already-created concoction from the menu. May we recommend the Voodoo Chicken Pizza for those who like their pie spicy? Deal alert: two pizzas and a growler special available—only $25, take-out only. 3 W Gay St, (610) 738-9600 ironhillbrewery.com

Benny's

With all of the local competition, the oldest spot in town hasn’t waivered since opening for business in 1959. Owner Sal Inzone bought the shop from the original proprietor in 1981, keeping his successful recipe and only changing the order of sauce and cheese. Straying from traditional high-gluten pizza flour (they’ve landed on creatives list for offering gluten-free pizza) Benny’s homemade dough produces a crispy crust to complement its

Rapidough is the new kid in town (opened mid-August), but it’s definitely not a new addition to the pizza scene. Having previously wowed the Collegeville pizza-loving masses, Rapidough has moved its location to West Chester. With your choice of handmade, signature dough pizzas topped with both beloved favorites and unique topping twists, those who adore nothing more than an exceptional pie with local vegetables and meat choices galore will be making their way ASAP to this fast food pizza parlor with slow-cooked flavor. 30 S High St, (484) 266-0681 rapidoughpizzapies.com

Limoncello

Look no further than Limoncello if you like your pie in a more formal setting. Although you can’t create your own pizza, don’t worry: Limoncello offers options that are sure to please all palates. From meatball and ricotta for the carnivore to caprese white for the veggie-lover, you’ll be perfectly satisfied with the offerings on the menu. This spot is ideal for date night when you feel like nibbling on pizza slices but want to do so in an elegant location. 9 N Walnut St, (610) 436-6230 limoncellowc.com

Avalon

With a new oven firing up perfectly cooked pizzas with crisp edges and a delectable cheese-filled center, Avalon is an ideal upscale spot to enjoy perfect pizza and creative cocktails at the same time. Veggie-lovers will find themselves drawn to the margherita pizza, and those seeking out something with more of a meat focus will not be disappointed either. Avalon pizzas are perfect for happy hour snacking with your favorite cocktail or as a complete, unforgettable meal. 116 E Gay St, (610) 436-4100 avalonrestaurant.net

Carlino’s Market

Why head to a fast food restaurant on your lunch break when you can pop into Carlino’s Market for some slices to go? Toss the idea of a greasy burger aside and choose a veggie- or meatcovered slice to curb your lunchtime (or anytime) hunger. You’re sure to love the thick crust and generous toppings. Carlino’s signature tomato pie, the cold pizza alternative, is a popular item with West Chester’s pizza-craving masses. 128 W Market St, (610) 696-3788 carlinosmarket.com

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Great Food, Great Drinks

& Daily Specials 15 S HIGH ST  610.696.1400 BARNABYSWESTCHESTER.COM

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Culinary Deliveries

348 W Gay St 610.696.4102 culinarydeliveriespa.com

Saucey 12 E Market St 610.696.9770 getsauceddubc.com

Riggtown Oven 551 S Matlack St 610.431.3900 riggtownoven.com

Just Baked 7 W Gay St 610.918.1116

New Haven 18 N Church St 610.436.5814

Amore 316 S High St 610.430.1800 amorepizza.net

Sam's Pizza Island 445 Hannum Ave 610.692.7177

Pizza University 929 S High St 610.692.9444 pizzauniveristywestchester.com

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Who do you call when you need an after-dark pizza fix? What local shops are burning the midnight oil by slinging high-quality pies loaded with addictive toppings? This eight-deep short list features your best bets for stops pre- and post-bar visits. Do note: hours fluctuate per parlor depending on time of the year and if college is in session. Dial ‘em up and soak up the booze.

New Haven Pizza

Teddy, Bessie and Don Bottos established their shop—a West Chester staple since 1970—with a unique take on Greek-style pizza, which quickly developed a fanatical following for thickcrust pies with absolute chew-to-crisp perfection. Hopping their pizza hub to North Church Street five years ago couldn’t have been a better idea. They continue to use cornmeal as their secret weapon, which lends to the texture of each pie's base. We must admit we always stick to the basics (plain cheese or crispy pepperoni) and savor their generous cheese-to-sauce ratio. Great lunch specials are also offered, as well as takeout beer. 18 N Church St, (610) 436-5814

Riggtown Oven

With a prime location—next to Jake’s Bar!—Riggtown began its reputation by being the go-to after-midnight shop, slinging $1 slices. On more than one occasion we’ve caught piles of their pizza boxes at college basement parties; they’re the perfect complement to a night well-spent. They've made addicts of us with loaded pies—from honey mustard–dressed, crispy chicken finger–topped pies (the dressing is housemade and top-notch) to the heavy-on-the-meat Merkel, and cheesesteak-stuffed Big Dog, notoriously a neighborhood favorite. 551 S Matlack St, (610) 431-3900 riggtownoven.com

Amore

Trying to keep the night alive? Amore doesn’t close down until the customers stop pouring in. The whole gang should be able to satisfy its late night hunger with Amore’s choice of thin crust, Sicilian and pan pizza options. The hand-tossed pizzas are topped with homemade Italian marinara, which has a lively character made up of fresh tomatoes and local basil leaves. 316 S High St, (610) 430-1800 amorepizza.net

Saucey

By swirl-saucing each pie, Saucey guarantees superior taste in every bite, whether it’s covered in marinara or ranch. The shop is known for quality slices and quick service, even with an inebriated late night crowd. A good deal of the clientele is on a firstname basis with the staff, who value the fun atmosphere even after last call. Big sellers include the chicken-bacon-ranch and the Sweet and Sassy, which includes ranch, chicken fingers and

red chili sauce. Cashier Mary Kathryn O’Malley says her favorite remains the 420, a regular pie covered in chicken tenders, french fries and mozzarella sticks. 12 E. Market St, (610) 696-9770 getsauceddubc.com

Sam’s Pizza Island

This pizza place is a hotbed for the neighborhood’s brew-lovers. Known first for its incredible grab-and-go craft beer selection, this is the “it” spot to stop if you’re looking to load up on booze to keep the party going... and also snag a slice. Warning: you’ll only score the basics here, folks—i.e. plain cheese. 445 Hannum Ave, (610) 692-7177 facebook.com/SamsPizzaIsland

Just Baked

Formerly Peace a Pizza, this shop makes its dough on-site from scratch with unbromated and unbleached flour. The pies are supported by a firm, lean crust; not paper-thin like a New York-style pie. Spilling out of Kildare’s, most late night customers come for the piquant buffalo chicken or gooey mac-n-cheese slices. For the meat-lovers, owner Ryan Hydutsky suggests a savory piece of chicken-bacon-ranch, while veggie-fiends might prefer a slice of pepper and onion, which is sprinkled with aromatic chunks of garlic. 7 W Gay St, (610) 918-1116

Culinary Deliveries

Since 2001, owner Ed Knight has been serving up original gourmet pizzas on the west end of town. With claim to the first chicken honey mustard pie in town, Culinary Deliveries offers an array of slices using a lighter, fluffier dough than most. Knight assures that his dough is made fresh daily on the premises. What’s great about the pizza is how well it holds up the following day. For all of those groggy college mornings, Culinary’s pizza can be heated back up to perfection without the usual rubbery texture. 348 W Gay St, (610) 696-4102 culinarydeliveriespa.com

Pizza University

With its collegiate-theme, this no-frills stop garnered attention for its affordable delivery options. Crunchy crusts and gluttonous topping options (from a Pat’s and Geno’s cheesesteak-themed pie to the “undergraduate”—with curly fries). Grab a Hawaiian pie—our favorite—loaded with hunks of imported ham, pineapple and bacon. We dare you to take a pizza break (maybe just once?) to explore the bakewiches and baby bakes. These stromboli and calzone hybrids, with cheeky names like the Chuck Norris, throw the shop’s notable pizza dough on the pedestal. Parkway Shopping Center, 929 S. High St., (610) 6929444, www.pizzauniversitywestchester.com

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Children in

Tow

Jennifer Ozgur is a mother, wife and teacher who still finds time to get out and about with her family

September has developed into a time of mixed emotions for me. In one sense, it’s a time for a new beginning with the start of a new academic year. But it’s also the end of a series of carefree weeks of vacation. This time, it’s even more conflicted for me since half of my family will be away for the better part of the first marking period. My husband is from Turkey. Though I'm writing this in early August, by the time you this, his “baby” sister will have gotten married, and it will have been just two days before my first day of school. That means that I'll have had to stay behind, along with my daughter who is starting her last year of elementary school. My son is three, so he’s pretty much a free agent, and since my husband is in-between clients with his business, we agreed he should get the most out of those expensive international airline tickets and make his stay in Turkey as lengthy as possible. I am going to miss my two men, but to be perfectly honest, part of me is also looking forward to it because it will give my daughter and me some serious Girl Time—something that got cut drastically when I remarried four years ago. She’s with me half the time, so that means we’ll have about four weekends to hang out, and I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait for our first Saturday morning: we can go for a nice run through town and reward ourselves with outdoor seating at one of the downtown establishments and enjoy a relaxing treat. I’m also anticipating the events in town, like the Chili Cook-Off and the Restaurant Festival. At ten years old, she’s at the stage where we can have deeper conversations, but she’s not yet at the point where she’s embarrassed to be seen with me; I intend to take full advantage of those times we can attend a public function. She’s also starting to develop her own interests independent of mine, and I want to foster them by taking her to the library more often. I have intellectually romantic visions of her looking through the stacks as I work on my writing. We then have philosophical conversations over dinner at a café in town that we’ve been denying ourselves because her brother acts like he’s got ants in his pants at the dinner table. My third fantasy is to fully exploit the spontaneity we will have during these next two male-free months by whirling into town on a whim whenever we get the inkling. That’s what I love about West Chester: there’s always something to do, and it’s constantly changing and revitalizing. I say all the time how fortunate I feel to live in this town, but sometimes life zips by and before long, an entire season has passed without re-visiting its charms. Yes, these eight weeks will be an interesting paradox. With the commencement of a new school year and new set of responsibilities, I am also going to be more carefree and whimsical. And with the departure of part of my family, I am going to rekindle some relationships I’ve let slide: with my daughter, my town, and myself. Sometimes, the only way to come back to something you lost is to do the complete opposite of what got you there in the first place. jozgur@thewcpress.com

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Tell Me something

Good

Kate Chadwick takes a moment to spotlight local citizens for doing something swell.

Who she is: Ellie Vanderslice What she does: Ellie’s day job is at the courthouse, where she works as the juror coordinator. Why she’s on this page: She’s on this page because she volunteers her time on the weekends—Saturdays, usually—at the West Chester Food Cupboard, where she’s been helping out in various capacities for over two years now. And how did that come about? “One day, I saw a homeless man sleeping near the courthouse, and I said something to one of my coworkers about it. She said that she often recognized some of the homeless people around town as patrons of the breakfast that her church serves each week. So I started going with her. It’s not even my church,” she added with a laugh. As it turned out, some of the patrons of that church breakfast were also patrons at the West Chester Food Cupboard on Gay Street, so Ellie literally followed their lead. “I looked into it, and then I asked about volunteering there as well. Now I go right from one to the other each week.” What she likes about West Chester: Ellie loves walking around the borough, and the fact that there is always something going on no matter the time of year. And the dining in WC is also a big plus in Ellie’s book. She even has a secret weapon. “We keep a menu box at the office. So when a new restaurant opens, I go and grab a menu from them, because then I can order the juror lunches [and hers] from there. This way I get to check a new place out right from the start.” Her current favorite eatery is The Couch Tomato, on Gay Street. “It’s always so good, and always fresh.” What we like about her: She looked outside herself instead of turning inward when times were hard. “My husband passed away four years ago, and my sons are in their twenties now,” Ellie said. “I had to find something to do to occupy my time. I knew that I should be doing more with my life besides working all week and sitting around the house on weekends.” Not only that, she knows that sometimes the best way to help yourself is often found in helping others, especially at the local level. “You never know when you might find yourself in a position of needing assistance,” she said. “It’s so rewarding, doing this—I can’t even tell you.” Moral of the story: Sometimes our path through life doesn’t necessarily go in a straight line. “If I hadn’t started that conversation about the homeless people with my coworker, I wouldn’t have ended up helping out at her church with the breakfasts. And then that led directly to volunteering at the Food Cupboard,” Ellie said. “And I truly love doing this. It’s probably one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done in my life.” For more information on donating to or volunteering at the West Chester Food Cupboard, please call 610-344-3475, visit westchesterfoodcupboard.org, or follow them on Facebook. Do you know a WC resident who’s doing good things and deserves a little recognition in Tell Me Something Good? Let us know! Email details to kchadwick@thewcpress.com.

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The

Look

Making Monkey Bread with Cakes & Candies by Maryellen

A

s the weather cools, our tastes change, and what may have seemed too rich in mid-August might seem justright come mid-September. That's why we're so excited about these monkey breads by Cakes & Candies by Maryellen. According to owner Maryellen Bowers, "Monkey breads are incredibly decadent, and they offer a whole lot of variety. They can be rich, they can be sweet, we even make a spicy variety with jalapeños."

Best of all, they're easy to portion. "Monkey breads are made to be pulled apart. Whether you bake a big one or a bunch of inidividual cupcake-sized ones like we have here, you can pull them apart in sections and avoid eating them all at once."

Monkey Bread Recipe 1/2c granulated sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 2 cans Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated biscuits 1c firmly packed brown sugar 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cupcake sheet. 2. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. 3. Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut into quarters. Coat with cinnamon and sugar. Distribute evenly on cupcake sheet. Add desired toppings. 4. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces. 5. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown. 6. Decorate with desired toppings.

Some tips from Maryellen on achieving the look (and flavor) of the monkey breads pictured above: 1. Remember that they don't look pretty when they bake. All the attractiveness comes after they're removed from the oven. 2. If you want consistent flavor throughout, you've got to layer your batter with toppings—like building a trifle—before baking. Just covering the monkey bread after isn't enough. 3. Get your monkey breads out of the pan as soon as they come out of the oven. They have a tendency to harden and stick to the pan. 4. There is no wrong way to flavor your monkey bread!

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for Lunch ,D & Sunday inner Brunch

Boxcar Brewpub is the ideal spot for happy hour, a big night out or a relaxing weekend meal with the fam. Award-winning beers and a new homemade menu makes Boxcar the tastiest new place to be: • West Chester-crafted Boxcar brews • Seasonal beer cocktail menu • Local PA wines & ciders • Delicious cuisine sourced local from scratch • 6-packs and growlers to-go Check out our ever-expanding event schedule online including an extensive line-up of live music. Consider us for your next private event in our upstairs lounge.

142 East Market Street, West Chester | www.boxcarbrewingcompany.com | 484.947.2503 BC15-WCPress-Half-Page-Ad-Food-v2.indd 1

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7/30/15 9:11 AM


Bartender of the

Month

PHOTO Andrew Hutchins

INTERVIEW Dan Mathers

Talking fun and games, fermentation and good food with Jen Jones of Boxcar Brewpub So, how’d you get into bartending? I actually got into it in sort of a sideways way: I have a degree in microbiology, and I got a job as a oenologist, a wine scientist, at Chadds Ford Winery. Sounds like an awesome gig. It was a pretty fun job to get after college, and I’m still doing it—I love it. But, that doesn’t answer the question: how’d you become a bartender? Well, I’ve had a few random jobs, but I’ve mostly done private gigs with Swig Bartending and Events. They provide bartenders and servers for private events. It’s a really fun

gig. And, I’ve been friends with Kym and Jamie Robinson [owner of Boxcar Brewing Company] for over 20 years now, so when they were opening this bar I wanted to help them pick out their wine list, and with my bartending experience, I just said, “Hey, I’ll pick up a few shifts.” It’s turned into a lot more than that. Is that a good thing? It’s a great job. I’m really happy to be doing it. Is there something particular about Boxcar that makes you feel that way? I really like the mix of clientele. We don’t have a set demographic. Any day of week or time of day, you’ll find hop heads—people who are super into craft beers—people who’ve come from all over the place to check it out, then there’s people in their mid twenties and early thirties who are coming in for open mic night, or quizzo or playing Jenga. Playing Jenga? There are games all over the building, and it’s a great part of the environment. We also have some old school video games like Centipede and Pac Man. It’s a fun place to hang out. Do you hang out there when you’re not working? I do.

And what do you order? It’s hard to choose. When people ask me for recommendations, I go through the menu and end up naming everything, because it’s all so delicious. I'm a burger fiend, and I really think we have the best burger around— there’s this amazing local bacon on there, Kennett mushrooms, and it’s always cooked to perfection. I also love that we have unique items on the menu, like deviled eggs, shrimp and grits, and scallops with sweet corn purée and succotash. Sounds delicious. And, the best part of our menu is how much of it is locally farmed and locally sourced, and that makes a huge difference in the freshness and flavor. And what beer do you order? My favorite's the 1492 American Pale Ale. Does your background with wine influence your choices in beer? It is an influence. I’m really into fermentation and the whole brewing experience. Being in winemaking and quality control for so long—I was a full-time oenologist for seven years, was a winemaker for a few years—I’ve found it’s a lot of the same process, but different ingredients, and once you have the fermentation bug, you have it for life.

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Our Definitive Dining Directory, Conveniently Composed by Country By Janae Fecondo

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Our Family, yOur TOwn, yOur FlOrisT, since 1957

29 S. Church St 610-696-5200 halladayflorist.com 50

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Gramm's Kitchen

America Barnaby's of West Chester

15 S High St, 610.696.1400, barnabyswestchester.com That upbeat sports bar atmosphere, plus you can enjoy an extensive menu featuring variety of appetizers, burgers, wraps and plenty more.

Boxcar Brewpub

142 E Market St, 484.947.2503, boxcarbrewingcompany.com The local and fresh brunch, light fare or dinner menu provides for a perfect casual dining experience.

Buddy's Burgers & Fries

11 W Gay St, 484.631.1006, buddysbbf.com A perfect place to find a burger featuring fresh, ground beef on a seeded bun paired with a side of hand-cut fries.

Couch Tomato Cafe

31 W Gay St, 484.887.0241, thecouchtomato.com The cafe is the only rooftop BYOB restaurant in town with a menu concentrated on healthy and creative ingredients.

DeStarr's Restaurant & Bar

112 E Gay St, 610.692.4160 A local breakfast, lunch and dinner spot for over 30 years offering an American menu with a Greek twist.

Doc Magrogan's Oyster House

117 E Gay St, 610.429.4046, docmagrogans.com The restaurant to visit when searching for a delicious seafood dinner in a vintage and inviting environment. Also referred to as the local oyster house, known for their raw bar.

577 E Gay St, 610.429.3903, grammskitchenfr.com Casual, homemade meals offered at all times of the day and extensive menu to appeal to the whole family.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restuarant

3 W Gay St, 610.738.9600, ironhillbrewery.com The brewery best known for its handcrafted beers and varied menu creating an upscale but casual atmosphere.

Jitter's Sports Bar

146 W Gay St, 610.696.0427 An inviting atmosphere providing for a relaxed dining experience while enjoying live music and affordable drinks.

Landmark Americana

158 W Gay St, 610.701.9900, landmarkamericna.com American fair, with southern and southwestern inspiration, plus classic bar food favorites and a casual atmosphere.

Nick's Roast Beef

125 W Chester Pike, 484.999.8721, nicksroastbeef.com A great place for a sandwich paired with a cold draft with a relaxed and friendly vibe.

Pietro's Prime

125 W Market St, 484.760.6100, pietrosprime.com Like the name suggests, this upscale dining establishment is known for some remarkable steaks, but don't forget their wide seafood selection.

Ram's Head Bar & Grill

40 E Market St, 484.631.0241, RamsHeadBarAndGrill.com Enjoy massive burgers, decadent nachos and other gastro pub favorites alongside a fantastic craft beer list.

Roots CafĂŠ

133 E Gay St, 610.455.0100, rootscafewc.com The focus on locally grown and organic ingredients make for a menu that changes with the season and the availability of fresh produce.

Saloon 151

12 E Market St, 610.701.8489, saloon151.com The newly established whiskey bar offers a country-style feel with a menu full of America's favorites, like slow-roasted sandwiches and a long list of loaded fries.

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Side Bar & Restauarant

10 E Gay St, 610.429.8297, sidebarandrestaurant.com A great gastro pub experience with brunch options on Sundays, gourmet dinners and three different bars to please guests who have a taste for high-quality and rare brews.

Spence 312

312 High St, 610.738.8844, spence312.com This upscale BYOB with a casual atmosphere offers organic and locally grown produce, meat and seafood from a name that consistently means good dining in West Chester.

The Social Lounge

29-31 E Gasy St, 610.738.3948, thesocialwc.com Dine on cajun and creole-inspired dishes and enjoy live music four nights a week.

Timothy's West Chester

929 S High St, 484.887.8771, mytimothysrestaurants.com A great, locally owned sports bar with an extensive menu of comfort food and plenty of TVs.

Vudu Lounge

322 S High St, 610.696.7435, highstreetcaffe.com Formerly known as High Street Caffe, Vudu offers up flavorful cajun and creole dishes in an intimate atmosphere.

China

Oriental Pearl

1550 Paoli Pike, 610.692.5888, orientalpearlwc.com Unique sushi and Asian cuisine prepared fresh to satisfy guests' taste buds.

China King

327 E Gay S, 610.692.8383, chinakingwestchester.com Delicious Chinese dishes offered at a wallet-friendly price in a casual atmosphere.

King's Garden Express

308 S High St, 610.918.9000, kingsgradenexpress.com A quick and convenient spot with a wide selection of Chinese cuisine.

Wave Noodle

316 W Gay St, 610.436.8020, wavenoodleus.com Traditional and affordable Chinese dishes offered in a casual setting.

Fusion

1107 West Chester Pike, 610.429.9999 A contemporary, BYOB Chinese restaurant with mouth-watering plate presentations and a friendly setting.

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Ireland

India

Kildare's Irish Pub

Mumbai Bistro

Ryan's Pub

Star of India Restaurant

18-22 W Gay St, 610.431.0770, kildarespub.com Kildare's pub offers a delicious and originial Irish experience in a casual setting.

126 W Gay St, 610.344.3934, ryans-pub.com This inviting and classic pub offers a unique Irish menu to create a memorable eating experience.

18 S Church St, 484.887.0014, mumbaibistro.com This casual dining spot offers a daily buffet bar with options for meat, vegan and even lactose-free eaters.

155 W Gay St, 610.429.0125 Authentic Indian cuisine offered in a casual environment.

The Blarney Stone

1227 West Chester Pk, 610.436.5222, wcblarneystone.com Offers a traditional Irish feel with a beautiful bar, updated food menu, and a more relaxed atmosphere.

Bon Bon Sushi

Japan

22 N Darlington St, 610.696.3069, bonbonsushi.com A unique and affordable sushi experience featuring fresh ingredients and the one-of-a-kind sushi burrito.

Kooma

123 N Church St, 610.430.8980, koomarestaurant.com Fresh, palatable foods and a trendy atmosphere makes Kooma one of West Chester's most popular sushi spots.

Michi Sushi Cafe

909 Paoli Pike, 610.429.8946, michisushicafe.com Offering a blend of Chinese, Japenese and Thai dishes in a casual dining arrangement.

Nagasaki

113 W Market St, 484.887.8532 A warm, inviting setting to enjoy a lucious bowl of ramen or one of their popular sushi rolls.

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Lebannon

The Mediterranean

150 W Gay Street, 610.431.7074, themedwcpa.com A fine dining experience in romantic setting offering a menu of Lebanese and Italian-inspired dishes.

Mexico

Baco Juice & Taco Bar 8 W Gay St, 610.436.4177, bacojuiceandtaco.com Quick service best known for fresh ingredients wrapped inside tacos, burritos, smoothies and fresh juices.

Burrito Loco

701 S High St, 610.918.1112, burritoloco.us The place to find a delicious and healthy burrito packed with fresh ingredients at an extraordinary price.

Don Gabriel's

611 W Strasburg Rd, 610.431.3214, dongabrielrestaurant.com Generous portions and a wide variety of authentic Mexican favorites at the family-owned establishment paired with a mini-market stocked with traditional Hispanic products.

La Mamba

39 W Gay St, 610.344.7784, lamambabyob.com A fun, authentic dining experience to indulge in a flavorful enchilada, fajita or quesadilla dish.

Mas Mexicali Cantina

102 E Market St, 610.918.6280, mas-mexicali-cantina.com Traditional Mexican menu items with a kick of flare offered in affordable and relaxed setting... oh, and—depending on the season—you can eat at their rooftop bar.

Spain

Olive Branch

142 W Gay St, 610.431.7141, olivebranchwc.net An intimate ambiance, tapas-style menu and a BYOB option all offered in a casual setting.

Thailand Baan Thai

704 W Nields St, 610.696.0800, baanthaiwestchester.com An extensive menu of flavorful, authentic Thai dishes presented at an affordable price.

Lunchbox Cafe

234 W Market St, 484.999.2150 A wallet-friendly cafe offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with an infusion of American and Thai styles.

Tsunami

10 W Market St, 610.430.3300 Standing in the newly renovated space where Noodi Thai once stood, Tsunami still serves the same Thai food, done right, but has added other Asian flare to the menu, with a focus on sushi.

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Local

Talent

PHOTO Andrew Hutchins

INTERVIEW Dan Mathers

Chatting with the once and future chef of Kildare’s Irish Pub, Stephanie Gray How’d you get started? As a kid, I would watch cooking shows, and I would play with empty bowls and spoons and pretend I was cooking. I’d watch all the greats on TV, and I always wanted to do it. That’s going way back. Let’s talk about how you got started in this industry. Well, even when I was in college, I waited tables, because it was the perfect job. I went to college for clinical psychology, but all I wanted to do was cook. With a few years under my belt in a career I pursued with my degree, I sat my dad down, said, “I’m not doing it anymore,” and enrolled in Culinary Institute of America. From there I started working in restaurants even before graduation.

Where was your first job working in the kitchen? At an Italian restaurant in Flourtown, PA. I started out making salads, and I worked my way up to sautée, but then I left for school in New York. What was next for you? An internship in New Orleans. Part of the curriculum is that you have to do an internship, and I always wanted to work in New Orleans. I got an internship at the Marriott on Canal Street. I worked in all aspects, from banquet, to fine dining, to pastries, just everything, and at the same time. I was in New Orleans and experiencing the food and culture—it was just an unbelievable experience. What’d you do after graduation? I worked at Brasserie Perrier in Philly and some of the best restaurants in the city. I became an executive chef about a year and a half after I graduated and was running two kitchens. How did you get involved with Kildare’s? I met Dave Magrogan, and he told me about this Kildare’s idea that he had. He sold me, and I was with the company for the next 12 years. I guess you started as chef? I started as the chef, then after my husband Dane and I had our first son, I moved into purchasing, inventory and cost control for a while.

And now Kildare’s is under new ownership. Probably maybe six months ago, not even that, Dane and I looked at each other and decided that maybe we should try to run this show together—it’s what we know. I know the back of the house, and he’d been managing the front of the house here. Have any plans for changes? I’ve already instituted a couple changes, but we’re going to keep them gradual—we’re not going to just throw everything out. We have our crowd pleasers, but there’s some new stuff on the horizon. Any hints? There’s some new tacos on the menu, a fried fluffernutter on the dessert menu that’s selling like crazy (it’s so good). And I’m going to do more vegetarian options, so it’s not just like an afterthought. Still, everyone will be able to come in and get the wings they love, we’ll still make our corned beef in house, but we’ll do new and exciting things, too. The town has come so far culinarily in the last decade that I think there’s more we can do food-wise; I’m so excited to be able to do that now. I think the town is ready for new and exciting things. Sounds like you’re happy to be back in the kitchen. Back where I started, and it’s where I’ve always wanted to be.

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Home

Becca Boyd has a passion for good food

Beccanomics

I welcome the changing of the seasons, but even if you don’t have kids and pay no mind to “back to school,” September’s earlier and earlier sunsets mean you’re “back to the grind.” Keeping this in mind, I’m sharing a recipe for a lightening quick, flavorful weeknight dinner and a lunchbox snack that is low on sugar and high in nutrients. As the busy schedules set in, you’ll be glad to have these in your arsenal. Sweet and Spicy Beef with Grilled Scallions Serves 4 1 3/4 c. brown rice; 3 c. water; 1 tbsp. butter; 1 tsp. salt; 1 onion, diced; 1 1/3 lb. ground beef; 1/4 c. brown sugar; 1/3 c. low sodium soy sauce; 2 tbsp. minced garlic; 2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger; 1 tbsp. sesame oil; 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes; 1 bunch scallions; 2 tbsp. olive oil; Kosher salt and pepper 1. For rice – preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place rice in an 8x8” baking pan. Bring water, butter and salt to a boil in a small saucepan and pour mixture over rice. Top with foil, sealed tightly over the edges, and place in preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour. 2. For beef – heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium hight heat. Mist pan with cooking spray. 3. Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until softened – about five minutes. 4. Add beef and cook, breaking up with a cooking spoon, until no pink remains. 5. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer to meld the flavors. 6. Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium high. Trim the top and bottom several inches of the scallions and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. 7. Place scallions directly on grill grates and let cook until marks appear. Flip with tongs and cook on second side until marks appear. 8. To serve, plate rice and spoon beef on top – place scallions on beef and serve. Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Bites Makes 2 dozen 3 overripe bananas; 1 c. pitted dates; 1/4 c. coconut oil; 2 c. old-fashioned oats; 1/2 tsp. cinnamon; 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; 1/4 c. finely chopped walnuts; 1/4 c. bittersweet chocolate chips 1. In food processor, blend bananas, dates, and coconut oil until dates are fairly well chopped and mixture is uniform. 2. In a second mixing bowl, stir oats, cinnamon and salt until combined. Add banana mixture to oat mixture and stir to combine. 3. Let mixture rest, 10 minutes, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. 4. Add nuts and chips to batter and stir gently to combine. Scoop batter from bowl with cookie scoop or two spoons – about 1 heaping tbsp. amount. Arrange on parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread – place 12 on each sheet. 5. Bake for 25 minutes (if baking both sheets at the same time, switch sheet locations midway through). Cool on sheet for several minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely. 6. Store cookies in a partially sealed container at room temperature or refrigerate. bboyd@thewcpress.com

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Helping Hands The West Chester Food Cupboard is helping feed your neighbors by Kate Chadwick SEPTEMBER 2015 THEWCPRESS.COM

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HE STATISTICS ARE SOBERING:

The average benefit amount for food stamps (SNAP program) in Pennsylvania in 2013 was $128.43 per person, per month. Only 67% of those eligible for the program even participate in it. More than half of those who are participating in the program are children and the elderly.

Between the years 2000-2010, the poor population in the nation’s suburbs has skyrocketed, climbing past increases in the nation’s rural and urban poor populations by a staggering 64%. There are 4.8 million Americans over the age of 60 who qualify as “food insecure,” meaning that they skip meals, cut portions, and don’t eat a balanced diet simply because they cannot afford to do so. This figure has more than doubled since 2001. Chester County is the highest income level county in the state of Pennsylvania, and the 24th in the nation. The West Chester Food Cupboard is one of 32—THIRTY-TWO—in Chester County, feeding families and individuals who are food insecure.

The West Chester Food Cupboard is a volunteer-run nonprofit that provides food and personal care items (more on that in a bit) for families and individuals in West Chester and the West Chester School District every month. Let that sink in for a moment. We’re not talking about Chester County residents; we’re talking about West Chester area residents – there are other food cupboards located in Kennett Square, Downingtown, and other nearby towns. The Cupboard is staffed and operated ENTIRELY by volunteers—something else to think about—and they operate solely on monetary and product donations by a dozen local businesses, as well as local individuals and families, and grants. While there are plenty of countries in the world where poverty and hunger are, sadly, a way of life, the contrast between the haves and the have-nots seems starker in the United States. As Fiona Allison, the secretary of the board of directors of the West Chester Food Cupboard and also the lead volunteer coordinator, puts it, “We are living in the wealthiest county in Pennsylvania, in the wealthiest country in the world, and we have hundreds and hundreds of people right here in our own community who can’t make ends

There are 4.8 million Americans over the age of 60 who qualify as food insecure. meet well enough to put food on the table,” said Fiona. “To have food insecurity anywhere is appalling, and the Food Cupboard is helping to meet the simple dayto-day needs of people experiencing food insecurity locally.” When Fiona says “hundreds and hundreds,” she’s not kidding. The West Chester Food Cupboard serves an average of between 580-640 families— translating to about 2,000 individuals—every month. How? “Through our wonderful neighbors and the volunteers who devote their time here—there are a LOT of things that go on behind the scenes that keep the cupboard running successfully,” Fiona said. “I could spend an hour discussing the myriad of tasks they do to keep the Cupboard going.” Indeed, the West Chester Food Cupboard utilizes the services of between 130-140 volunteers, who perform such tasks as cleaning up around the store, stocking

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shelves, sorting through donations, accompanying clients around the facility while they shop, running the register, picking up donations from a dozen or so area businesses who regularly contribute, and office and data entry tasks. “Some people put in a few days a week, others maybe a two-hour shift per week,” Fiona said. “Since we are fully staffed by volunteers, we don’t even pay a cleaner—even cleaning the store is done by volunteers.” Fiona says that they try to marry the interests of a particular volunteer with whatever needs to be done. “Some people man the table at events going on in the area, marketing the cupboard and spreading the word about what we do.” The board of directors “oversees the goings on of the Cupboard,” says Fiona, and the volunteers do the rest. In the last fiscal year, those “goings on” at the Cupboard broke down as follows: 56% of the Cupboard’s cash donations came from private citizens, 19% from non-profits, 16% from local businesses, and 9% from grants. They also received 579,000 pounds of donated food, and distributed 755,909 to clients. “We’re so lucky to have such charitable neighbors and business owners in the community,” says Fiona. Senator Andy Dinniman, whose office is on Church Street in the borough, concurs. “As the founder of the Chester County Gleaning Program, I’ve been involved in helping to feed the hungry in this county for many years,” he said. “My office and I work closely with the West Chester Food Cupboard, who provide food to a large number of households in our area. I’m grateful to the generous residents in our community who drop food off regularly at my district office for the West Chester Food Cupboard, as well as the West

56% of the Food Cupboard’s cash donations came from private citizens Chester Salvation Army. We’re very fortunate to have these food cupboards in our community.” When Matt Hagnauer became beverage manager at Doc MacGrogan’s Oyster Bar in the borough, one of his first orders of business was “trying to make sure that we establish a positive relationship with the community,” he said. “We held a fundraiser, and donated a portion of the proceeds to the Food Cupboard. There are so many great organizations for important causes, but sometimes I feel the smaller ones can get overlooked. We want to support them.” The local Wawa stores even pitch in, donating the breakfast foods and hot dogs to the Cupboard that are still perfectly sound, but have exceeded their own strict standards for sale. “Those are always a huge hit,” said Fiona. “Who doesn’t love Wawa, after all?” The Cupboard also picks up donations from Acme, Whole Foods, Target, Costco and Entenmann’s, among others. And then there are the clients. “There are so many different stories here,” Fiona told us. “These are just people who may have lost a job, or lost a home, or a marriage, or even simply had their hours cut back at work. It’s the working poor—we have clients who are working two jobs, but the wages are so low that they still can’t manage. So it’s not that they’re lazy—so many of them are working so hard, but they still can’t make ends meet.” There are also those clients at the Cupboard who are trying to get by on fixed incomes. “There are those who are elderly, who are handicapped, there are veterans, who are trying to make do on fixed incomes, but it’s still not enough,” Fiona said. “This is particularly true for elderly people who also have to pay for medica-

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tions, heating and cooling and so on. Food can come fairly low down on the list of priorities for things that they have to spend money on. “

It’s not that they’re lazy—so many of them are working so hard, but they still can’t make ends meet.

Contrary to what some people may think, according to Fiona, it’s not the same people frequenting the Cupboard for months and months at a time. “We have clients who shop at the Cupboard for a month or two when they are in need, and then we don’t see them again,” she said. “They’re not just coming here because they can, they’re coming here because they need it. It’s a wonderful resource.”

tion to the much-needed food items. They’re simply necessary.” As far as donations from the community, Fiona said, “We get money, we get gift cards, and we get food. Food is coming in all the time. We get donations from local farms, from nursing homes, from schools,” Fiona said. “People walk in with grocery bags, and this time of year, we have a lot of donations of fresh produce from people’s gardens. The clients are simply delighted by these treasures of produce,” debunking, Fiona says, yet another myth that people won’t eat healthy fruits and vegetables given the choice to do so.

The food is free at the Cupboard, totally free. The amount clients are permitted to take and the number of particular items they can choose is based on the number of family members. And the difference between the West Chester Food Cupboard and other such organizations is that you are not simply handed a bag of pre-packed groceries and sent on your way. “You get your cart and you shop and pick out what you want and need, just like in a regular grocery store. Everyone can take milk, butter, eggs, cheese, meat, fresh produce, and canned goods, rice, beans, pasta, soup, canned fruit.” One of the most important things that the Food Cupboard also makes available to clients is personal care items: diapers, feminine hygiene products—things that are not eligible purchases through SNAP. (Yes, you read that right.) “We’ve had the good fortune of increased financial donations from the community lately, and then we have to decide how we’re going to spend that money, because we spend every single penny of it,” Fiona said. “And we did make the decision to spend money on those items in addi-

The Food Cupboard is serving the community in yet another way – as a lesson. “We take groups of children on tours of the Cupboard—Brownie and Cub Scout troops, things like that,” said Fiona. And those lessons aren’t lost on anyone who passes through the doors of the Food Cupboard. “I’ve had people tell me that they’ll work here for a bit, and then drive through town to see people eating and drinking and enjoying themselves out on the sidewalks of some of our beautiful restaurants. It makes you stop and think.”

T

here are over 90 food cupboards and meal sites in Chester County. If you need help putting food on your table, a comprehensive list of food cupboards is available at chestercountyfoodbank.org/find-a-food-cupboard. Residents must go to their local food cupboard and provide proof of address. To donate or volunteer at the West Chester Food Cupboard, please visit westchesterfoodcupboard.org

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Home

Diane LeBold and the West Chester Food Co-Op examine local food production and bring eaters closer to the source of their food.

Grown

Home on the (free) range in Chester County.

Oh, give me a home where the ostriches roam… and it’s not where you’d expect them to be. They’re at Canter Hill Farm in Charlestown Township, where a dozen of them, each weighing about 200lbs, gathered by a split-rail by farm owners Wayne and Jeannette Grabe. We’d come here to learn about free-range and humanely raised animals and were expecting to find sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys and ducks—but these six-foot-tall, inquisitive youngsters surprised us—especially when one of them reached over the fence and snatched a notebook out of my companion’s hand. More on the ostriches shortly. But first, a quick look at other animals at Canter Hill, one of the farms ready to provide lamb, pork, poultry, and eggs to the West Chester Food Co-op. There was a lot to learn. Jeanette explained that the animals at the farm live in their natural environment, free-roaming, on well-caredfor pasture, and in the company of their kind. “We raise them in ways they were meant to be raised,” she said. The sheep are 100% grass fed. All the other animals are fed at least some grain, she said, but all the grain and hay are certified organic. Raising healthy—and healthful—animals is more complicated than most of us realize. Take chickens, for example. The breed raised for meat put on weight fast and ready to be processed when they’re 12 weeks old. But, this breed isn’t interested in ranging around the farm. They mainly just sit. To keep these chickens safe and their environment healthy, the Grabes constructed portable cages that they move around in the meadow periodically. The egg-laying hens, on the other hand, are truly free-range. They feed around the farm and the nearby woodland during the day and return to the chicken house at night—flying over a 6-foot fence to get back into their protected yard. The fence keeps them relatively safe from predators like foxes and raccoons—although the Grabes say they lose an average of a bird a week to these predators. Wayne, who had been a game keeper in South Africa, is okay with this. “The predators have to live, too,” he said. The farm’s pigs are free-roaming as well. They’re released from their pen during the day and forage in the neighboring woodland for acorns, apples, and other goodies. Although this provides them with a natural diet, Jeannette pointed out that this behavior means their diet can’t be certified as organic. But they do have a good time in the woods. There’s more to be said about Canter Hill, but let’s get back to the ostriches: According to Wayne, they can grow to 300lbs and are a source of cholesterol-free meat. They mate for life, he said, so they’re very picky about choosing a partner. Consequently, although the farm’s current flock could be sent for processing at 18 months of age, the Grabes will wait to see if any mating pairs emerge to use for breeding. Hopefully, the result will be native Chester County ostrich chicks! –dlebold@TheWCPress.com Canter Hill Farm is located at 2138 Valley Hill Road, Malvern. 610-827-1594, www.canterhillfarm.org

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BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: It's everyone’s favorite bar game, in print (and you won’t have to pay 50 cents). You can actually WIN money. Compare the two photos at right. They may look the same, but there are five subtle differences between the two. Find those five differences and identify the items that have been changed. Then send an email to contests@thewcpress.com listing those items. You’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card to a local business. Winners will be chosen at random, and their name will be posted to Facebook along with the solution at the end of the month. So make sure to like us and follow along if you want to play. Enjoy! Facebook.com/thewcpress 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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September

Hit List

DJ Romeo curates a list featuring the top tracks you'll hear played on the radio this month.

The following is a list of songs that will take over the radio stations in the next few months—you'll soon know them by heart and play them 'til they're tired. But, good news: you can download them first and look like the cool musical genius to all of your lame friends. djromeo@thewcpress.com

soundcloud.com/d-j-romeo

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “S.O.B.” Maroon 5 – “Feelings” The Weeknd – “Hills” Dillon Francis & Kygo ft. James Hersey – “Coming Over” Robin Thicke ft. Nicki Minaj – “Back Together” Felix Jaehn ft. Jasmine Thompson – “Ain’t Noboby” X Ambassadors – “Renegades” Sam Hunt – “House Party” Austin Mahone – “Dirty Work” Elle King – “Ex’s & Oh’s” Hailee Steinfeld – “Love Myself” One Direction – “Drag Me Down” Fetty Wap ft. Remy Boyz – “679” Griz X Big Gigantic – “Good Times Roll” Baio – “Sister of Pearl” Shawn Mendes – “Stitches” Luke Bryan – “Strip It Down” Johnny Stimson – “So. Good.” Lana Del Rey – “High On the Beach” Alexander Cardinale – “Made For You” Carly Rae Jepsen – “Run Away With Me” Drake – “Hotline Bling” A Great Big World ft. Futuristic – “Hold Each Other” Mac Miller – “100 Grandkids” K Camp – “Comfortable” Icona Pop – “Emergency” Skrillex & Diplo – “To U” The Band Perry – “Live Forever” Aggro Santos ft. Andreea Banica – “Red Lips” Breanna Rubio – “More Than A Feeling”

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Local

Personalities PHOTO Andrew Hutchins INTERVIEW Dan Mathers

Inside the busy lives of Dana and Eric Seaman of Riggtown Oven. So, Mr. Sea… sorry, Eric. I knew you as my seventh grade teacher at Fugett—how’d you come to own Riggtown? Eric: I used to work for the guy that owned South Side Pizza, which was where we are now. One day, he was gone—he closed up, locked the door. At the time I was a teacher, I was off in the summer, and I talked to Jake, of Jake’s Bar, and he suggested I buy the place. I told my wife that I thought it was a good spot, and she agreed. Dana: It wasn’t the best timing in the world—when we opened our kids were six months and three. So, I said, “As long as you don’t quit your job teaching.” What’d you do with the kids? E: Closets. D: No! One babysitter in the morning until they woke up, then run them to school. One after school. A lot of the girls working for us at Riggtown babysat, too. E: Sometimes you got a Riggtown shift, sometimes a babysitting shift. How long did you continue teaching? E: I taught for three more years while we owned Riggtown, then I left public school and went over to Glen Mills for another three years. I did that because at Glen Mills I would work from 1pm-9pm, which made it easier for my schedule here. What were you doing at Glen Mills? E: I was a councilor for the kids at the golf course. Kids on campus who were doing well were eligible for jobs. We’d teach them the process of getting hired and make sure everything was on the up and up. What were you doing at the time, Dana? D: I was running Riggtown. E: If I wasn’t there, she was. And before Riggtown? D: I was a teacher, but I’ve worked in the restaurant industry since I was 15. E: She was the reason we were able to do this—I did nothing; I knew nothing. Well, I did know how to make pizza. What was the key to success? D: Just hard work, I guess. Perseverance

E: A solid marriage! A good husband! D: Yeah, that... E: For me, number one was being on this corner. It’s a unique spot—it’s college, it’s industrial, it’s a neighborhood. And, we wanted to be a productive part of that neighborhood; we want to be good neighbors. Also, it’s where the name comes from. What do you mean? E: Originally, this part of town was all mushroom farms. A guy named Riggs built a bunch of tenement houses and sold them cheap. As Turks Head Grew bigger, the two merged and became West Chester.

I’d always just thought of students there. D: A lot of people think we’re just a college pizza place, but during the day we get a very diverse crowd. Also, everything is homemade—soups, dressings, roast beef, everything. More than that, we’re a momand-pop establishment, and we’re both still really involved with the schools. I don’t know how you find the time. D: Nothing will ever seem as busy or difficult as when we first opened. E: It builds your threshold, multitasking. D: It was also a matter of getting used to working with him... E: It’s not easy.

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Profile for The WC Press

The WC Press Food Issue - September 2015  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Food Issue - September 2015  

Voice of the Borough