Category Archives: Allentown


Infinite Thank You’s to everyone who helped make HEART OF STEELcity the Best Neighborhood Blog as per the local Best of Blogs contest. (My other blog, Save the Kales! won Best Food Blog. Cheers!)

With so many inspiring people and projects popping up all over, I can hardly keep up and was recently discussing inviting some guest bloggers to help us all know about this ever-growing bounty of Awesome.

For example:

  • The new SteelStacks building is going to be home for really amazing local entertainment, music and non-music like independent film, comedy and wacky collaborations. (Horror film geeks, you are going to be pleased.)
  • A new video web series  that documents people and indie business all over town!
  • Art Battles (stay tuned)
  • Local people getting national television shows – these people are local, still live here, and the shows are being taped here (there at least TWO that I know of right now!)
  • DIY ethics and organizing are creating new forces to be reckoned with


If you’d like to be a contributing writer, or just want to send some info my way, do it early and often! Coming soon, I’ll post a link to all the blogs that won the BEST OF BLOGS contest. We’re all so excited, and we love you too.


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Filed under Allentown, EVENT, Lehigh Valley everywhere, North Bethlehem, South Side Bethlehem, Website, Writer

I CAN’T PRONOUNCE IT, BUT I’LL EAT IT: Dinner at Aci Halal Turkish Restaurant, Allentown

One of my favorite things about the Valley is that you can live here for nearly 10 years (like me), and still uncover new treasures all the time in the way of shops, architecture, pleasant main streets, and restaurants. Today I’m talking about the latter.

When a friend asked if we wanted to double-date at a place in downtown Allentown, and described it as “the part of Allentown you would never go to on purpose”, I was intrigued.  The only other information I got about this place: it’s in an old converted car repair garage (I love adaptive reuse buildings!), but most importantly, the food was reallllllyyyyy ggggooooooodddd.

In the car on the way there, I was discussing that I’m surprised I never ate here before, and seasoned eater Jon said “Well, it does say MEAT on the side of the building in huge letters”. Quite true. Vegetarians and vegans may see a place like this and keep driving – but inside is a wonderful world of Turkish foods, and despite what the exterior of the building proclaims, half of it happens to be vegetarian and vegan.

Inside is a small market, four aisles of packaged desserts, pantry staples, beverages and frozen foods. Behind a wall, there is a large dining room full of families and groups of friends enjoying food that smells so good you can’t help but salivate.

I immediately notice that everyone seems to be engaged, sharing, laughing, telling stories, smiling. This is a place happy people go to eat.

Four of us shared two orders of falafel and two appetizer samplers – don’t think TGIFriday’y.  Think piles of hummus, baba ghanoush, THE BEST stuffed grape leaves I’ve ever had, and about seven more delicious things I don’t know the names of. Doesn’t matter.  Your focus here should be on the fact that everything is made in house, fresh, impeccably flavored – even old standbys like hummus have new flair. You know everything is made with love and care.

What I love about a place like this is while other restaurants feature these foods on the appetizer-only menu, Aci Halal knows them to be meals.

Everything we ordered included 12 (TWELVE) different foods, 10 of which were vegan, the other two contained yogurt (I think?). So veg*ns, rejoice! This may very well become your new favorite place. Please invite me when you make dinner plans.

As much as you may want to shovel everything down your gullet, they provide you with the  softest, cripy-on-the-outside, cloud-like-in-the-middle bread to pull  apart and use in place of forks. Pass the bread, dig in, put your hands full of food to your mouth. Share.

No wonder everyone is so happy.


  • Aci Halal Turkish Restaurant
  • 34 N. Second Street, Allentown PA
    Tues – Thurs: 10:00 am – 6:30 pm 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Fri – Sat: 10:00 am – 6:30 pm 11:00 am – 9:30 pm Sun: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Turkish Market, Deli and Restaurant. Stay and eat or take some home!
  • Weeknight seating shouldn’t be a problem, Make reservations on weekends to be safe
  • B.Y.O.B! (No corking fee!)
  • Very friendly staff, Happy to help you pronounce the menu items
  • Dishes vary in price, from $5 to $20  (Four of us ate for a little over $40)

Go here to see their FACEBOOK page! And I wasn’t kidding about inviting me for dinner.


Filed under Allentown, Food, Restaurant

WE CAN DO IT: Allentown Brew Works holds a Show TONIGHT! Let’s Make this a New Venue!

This is a call to all of you with ears and hearts:

TONIGHT, Allentown Brew Works is holding a show in their Silk Lounge (downstairs). Whoever thought of this is a genius (reveal yourself and I’ll applaud you!) because that space is REALLY fantastic for live music.

It’s a good, clean venue – lots of parking across the street, a huge and comfortable space to see shows, and FOOD and DRINKS (alcoholic and otherwise). Everyone wins!

PLEASE, please show your support for this by attending the show tonight! Bands include Sports for Kin (above) and Funeral Flowers.

Check back next week for an interview with Sports for Kin! In the meantime, though, go to their WEBSITE and make your ears happy until you see them live tonight.


  • Allentown Brew Works; Silk Lounge (downstairs, take the elevator)
  • 812 W. Hamilton St., Allentown
  • Starts at 8:00pm
  • Bands: Sports for Kin, Funeral Flowers
  • Drink Specials!

TIP: For free lot parking, drive just past the Brew Works (on Hamilton) and make a LEFT at 8th Street. Go about half a block and turn LEFT into a free public parking lot (free after 5pm).

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Filed under Allentown, Brew Works, EVENT, Music

MIX WELL WITH OTHERS: Civic Theatre of Allentown hosts “Young Professionals” Networking Event

If you feel you fit the title “Young Professional” (for me, it means I’m finally getting old enough to take myself seriously… not TOO seriously, of course) you may be interested in this great networking event tomorrow, Thursday May 12th at Civic Theatre of Alletown’s Theater 514.

Adrian Shanker, human rights activist on so many levels and Community Relations Coordinator of Civic helps explain what all the fuss is about:

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Filed under Allentown, Civic Theatre