Category Archives: Food

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.

INFORMATION:

  • Aci Halal Turkish Restaurant
  • 34 N. Second Street, Allentown PA
  • HOURS
    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.

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Filed under Allentown, Food, Restaurant

LOOKS TASTY: “Good Taste” is a Freshly Prepared Culinary Resource

If pizza and chinese takeout aren’t doing it for you, hope is not lost. The Valley boasts hundreds of unique and delicious eating establishments. “Hmmm:”, you think to yourself, “If only there a was beautiful, user-friendly website full of local restaurant information and maybe a few recipes I can make if it’s raining ice and sludge from the sky (again)…”

Welcome: Good Taste.

Good Taste is a BRAND NEW website features 25 eateries with full descriptions of ambience, signature dishes, a few of the chef’s favorite recipes and contact information.

Did you ever hear about the Spinnersville Hotel Restaurant? (Did you ever hear of Spinnersville?) If you like a good selection of craft brews – say, well over 300 of them – you will be thrilled to know about this place. Interested in farm-to-table fare with an indian spiced bloody mary? YES. With as much enthusiasm as I can muster, YES. You can get both at the Farmhouse in Emmaus.

Take a few minutes to read about the places and people who love them with this welcome new addition to local online reference. If it involves food, I’m pretty sure we’re all board.

Go HERE to learn more about this new site and it’s featured restaurants. And when you’re done, want to grab lunch?

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Filed under Bar, Food, Lehigh Valley everywhere, Website