Monday, February 20, 2012
Market Street Grill - West Chester, PA
On a recent weekend spent down in Pennsylvania with Trish, we explored the little town of West Chester. About 15 minutes from Tricia's place in Malvern, West Chester is a unique and food-filled locale about 30 miles west of Philly. Lined with boutique-style shops and small upscale eateries, West Chester has the hybrid feel of a college town merged with a ritzy village. While there, Tricia and I sampled the renowned Eclat Chocolates at their storefront location (they are partners with Iron Chef Jose Garces in one of his markets in Philly and their truffles are marketed nationwider through Williams-Sonoma), went olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting, and shopped at a local Italian Market for fresh prosciutto and taleggio (Carlino's - awesome place/highly recommended!). But the highlight of our visit, as always, was the meal that we had. After being tantalized by all of our food shopping (and shots of pressed oil), we were starving and looking for something hearty. Chatting around, it was recommended that we try out the Market Street Grill for eats. As soon as stepping in, we were struck by the decor - old-style diner with walls lined with pop art prints depicting comic book heroes, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and movie posters. All of the art was by John Stango, a Philly-based artist (Website) (see his work above!). Very cool.
The brunch menu at Market Street Grill included all the standard fare (pancakes, French toast, etc.), but it also contained some notable additions: an entire category of eggs benedict (i.e. "Bennys"), Philly classics (i.e. scrapple!), and a host of interesting specials. Chipped beef featured in many of the dishes. We started with some fried pickles, because it was available, and that's an opportunity to never pass up:
A solid start - the breading was crispy and flavorful, but not dripping grease. The pickles were standard (must have been Vlasic or the like). As I said, not something I'd pass up, and that holds for future visits!
Next, unable to decide if I wanted a sweet or savory breakfast, I went ahead and ordered their Monte Cristo sandwich. Now there is some confusion as to what a Monte Cristo actually is - to me, it involves French Toast (i.e. bread dipped in custard and fried), ham, cheese, and raspberry/strawberry preserves. This is exactly what I got at Market Street Grill, so I couldn't complain. The side of hashbrowns was solid, and when I asked for hot sauce and was given Sriracha (not tabasco), I was thrilled.
For some reason, when I placed the order, I figured a side blueberry pancake might be nice. I expected a cute silver dollar, but I got this monster:
The pancake was good too - crisp edges and not skimpy on blueberries. It wasn't as light as a homemade pancake might be, but that's to be expected at a diner.
Tricia, unlike me, is very much into hollandaise, so the 10 or so different options on eggs benedict really fit her fancy. She had never tried chipped beef, so she decided to order the eggs topped with it and served on top of grilled ham and toast.
Tricia really liked the chipped beef in the sauce, and that the whole plate was delicious. The eggs were a little overcooked for her liking (the yolks were pretty much solid), but she couldn't complain about the overall taste.
We were, above all, full when we left Market Street Grill. It fit the bill as a low-cost diner option with some flare. The food wasn't the most refined or expertly prepared, but it was a perfect representation of what a lot of us crave at a weekend brunch (hot, hearty, tasty, and filling!). That they showed creativity in making their menu was an added bonus, and we hear that their lunch/dinner selections are equally diverse.
For those in the area, we highly recommend checking out the town of West Chester in general. It's not short on eateries, and given how many we still have to try, you just might run into us!