A resident of Middletown for 30 years. A 1996 graduate of Middletown Area High School and 2000 graduate of Delaware Valley College. Very active in the community with a variety of different organizations. An avid sports fan, supporter of all Philadelphia sports teams and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Family oriented and a strong faith.
Well it’s been awhile but I finally had a chance to get out and try a new place to eat this past weekend. I decided to stop down at Cone A Cafe. Remember that’s the place down on Emaus St near the Fire House. Once was Ierley’s, then Cona Cabana and then Mars Grub Hub. Well now it’s Cone A Cafe and has been for a year or so now. This was only my second visit because frankly I never think to go there to eat. I stopped in for lunch. The menu is small and has typical items you would find on an ice cream shop menu; hamburger, cheeseburger, hot dog & French fries. They do offer a Ruben for $4.95 and a Chicken Cheese stake for $4.75. There’s this sandwich called the Super Bird for $4.95 which is a breaded chicken breast, provolone cheese and coleslaw on a nice roll. I decided to get the Buffalo Chicken Bites. These were not your average popcorn chicken. They were nice size and you got 12 of them for only $4.75. I added on a small order of fries for $1.50 and a large coke for $1.75.
Now you would think that being at an ice cream shop I would have had some ice cream but honestly I was too full to have anything else. So I passed on all the delicious sweet treats. I will have to visit again in the near future and try out the "Ultimate Banana Split" for $5.75. This thing looks large enough for two people to dig into. Other treats on the menu include 12 different flavors of Hershey's ice cream and your typical vanilla and chocolate soft serve. The hand dipped will run you $1.95 or $2.90 and the soft serve $1.90 for a small, $2.35 for medium and $2.85 for large. They also offer up 3 flavors of Italian Ice, milk shakes can be made with any of the hand dipped ice creams and they also have floats for $3.60.
Now that I have made you hungry or have you craving an ice cream sundae, be sure to stop down at Cone A Cafe. They have 7 tables inside where its air conditioned. They also have a walk up window and seating outside. They are closed on Mondays but open Tuesday through Sunday 11a.m. - 9p.m.
I give Cone A Cafe 3 out of 5 bites. It’s off the beaten path and really doesn’t offer up much of anything different to really draw you to its location. Maybe after I visit for a sweet treat I will change my mind. This place sits in a residential neighborhood and is kind of a forgotten location. Also when I hear the name Cone A Cafe I instantly think soups and wraps and small salads and of course ice cream since the word cone is right in the name. Maybe the menu options need to be re- thought out. And the outside seems underutilized and not all that attractive. All in all it’s still a local business with a hard working owner worthy of going to visit and support.
Stop down to 503 East Emaus St in Middletown. 717-930-0330 and like them on Facebook; Cone A Cafe.
Week two of my restaurant review and I headed over to Midtown Pizza in the Midtown Shopping plaza. You know the pizza shop near Giant. Many people see this place as just another pizza shop but they couldn’t be more wrong.
Midtown Pizza offers up a whole lot more than just pizza. With a full stocked bar and restaurant attached patrons can sit back and relax and enjoy some good classic Italian dishes. Of course there are the traditional pizza shop items on the menu as well. Speaking of the menu WOW its huge. If you cannot find something on this menu to fill you up I don’t know what menu could. For me the menu is kind of over whelming and i never can figure out what to order so I go with the usual, a Buffalo Chicken Sub with extra hot sauce and blue cheese. Typical subs run $6.26 - $7.25 and sandwiches range $4.50 - $5.75. Be sure to check out the nice selection of Gourmet pizzas, smalls come in at $11.50 - $15.05 and a large will cost you $13.85 - $19.85.
Now on to what makes this place more than just a typical pizza shop. How about the 20 beers on tap? Yes i said 20 and from what i was told by Max the owner of Midtown is that they will soon be selling growlers for patrons to take on the go. There are 7 spacious booths in the dining room with another 9 tables adn the bar seats about 14. Each booth has a flat screen TV at it for your entertainment while waiting on your food. Additional to the pizza, subs and sandwiches Midtown has a variety of entrees on the menu. How about their Seafood Platter or BBQ Platter? Or maybe pasta is the way to go with their Create your own pasta dish. Choose from Spaghetti, Linguini, Penne, Angel Hair, Fettuccini, Bogattini, Bow Tie & Gnocchi and then have them place your favorite sauce over the top like Vodka Sauce or Bolognese, how about el Diablo or Alfredo?; all your choice for $9.99. Add chicken, shrimp, clams, meatballs or artichokes for an additional cost. There are also the classic Italian dishes like Lasagna, Eggplant Parmigiana or Pork Marsala. These dishes range in cost from $11.99 - $16.99.
During my Friday night visit, the place was hopping. The server was friendly and the food came out fast. There was this one male server however that was a bit overly friendly and loud, almost to the point of being obnoxious.
I give Midtown a 4 out 5 bites, great food, great atmosphere, but the one server needs to tone it down a little, the menu is a bit overwhelming and man the parking can get crazy due to the location.
So the next time you think Midtown pizza, think beyond just pizza and subs. Dine in or carry out. They also offer delivery or go online to place your order and get 10% off at www.midtownpizzaonline.com
Visit their Middletown location 717-944-2195 or their Eisenhower Blvd. location 717-982-6169
So the weekend was here and gone, but as promised I did make it out to visit a local establishment to let everyone know about. That establishment was Middletown’s newest restaurant; JD’s Junction.
First off I got to say what an improvement this place is from what it was previously. The owners have taken the time to really make this place shine and become a go to spot for local dinning. Right off the bat the atmosphere is wonderful and the staff is extremely friendly and welcoming. Service was quick but it was rather busy on Friday night and the kitchen seemed a little bogged down.
The interior dining area seats 33 with a separate fully stocked bar area that seats 16 at the bar but also has 2 high-tops seating 4 each. There are 4 flat screen televisions and a juke box for entertainment. Then there is the exterior patio area which is beautiful that seats up to 44. The exterior has a covered pavilion area with construction already under way on an exterior bar.
The menu is not large but not small either offering a nice variety of salads, sandwiches, wraps and burgers & a kids menu. Salads range in the price of $5.99 to $7.99 for small and $7.99 - $8.99 for large and from what i hear the Spinach Salad is amazing. There is a very nice selection of freshly patted 8oz. burgers on the menu, $6.99 - $8.99.
JD's also offers daily specials and on Friday night the list contained a Delmonico steak with mushrooms & onions served with mashed potatoes and vegetable for $17.99, a Western Tenderloin served with mashed potatoes and vegetable; 5oz. $16.99 & 10oz. $21.99 and who could go wrong with Fried Haddock served with Backed Mac & cheese & stewed tomatoes for $10.99 or how about the Tune Steak with rice and asparagus for $17.99? There were also three selections of soups to choose from, chili, white chicken chili and shrimp & crab bisque.
After checking out the menu I went with the BBQ Chicken Sandwich. Now I have to admit I have been to JD's before this point and this sandwich is my absolute favorite on the menu. A Grill 6oz. chicken breast topped with bbq sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese and what sets it apart from other restaurants version is JD's ads frizzled onions on top. Priced at $7.99 it comes with chips but I upgraded to french fries for an additional $1.50.
If you go to JD's i promise you will not walk out hungry. The portions are large and worth the price and even if its busy and the kitchen is a little slow, sit back have a drink, enjoy the atmosphere with family or friends because this place is worthy of a visit.
I give it 4 BITES out of 5 - The kitchen times could be better even when they are busy and you can only use your credit/debit card on checks over $25. There is an ATM available inside the bar area.
So stop by 15 Mill St. in Middletown and visit Joe and the gang at JD’s Junction. You can also like them on Facebook to get the daily specials before you go. Or call fro take (717) 616-8952
Well hello everyone, sorry I have not posted anything in the last month. As you may know from previous posts I am very involved and volunteer a large portion of my time to a variety of organizations. I think I may have over done it this past month though. Anyway enough about why I have been a slacker and not posting. I have decided I am going to switch gears and write about some of the local restaurants. I enjoy cooking but I also really enjoy going out and letting someone else do all the work for me. I grew up in the restaurant industry and worked in it for a good number of years. So for the summer months I will visit a variety of eating establishments and report back as to my personal opinion about them and let you know how the prices are.
So again sorry for slacking and I hope you enjoy my new blogs on our local restaurants.
I need your help! I am working on compiling a list of local volunteer organizations and non-profits that people can get involved with. I would like to make sure i get all of them. I am looking for those in Middletown mostly however i would be happy to add others from outside of town. Please comment on this page if you know of any volunteer organizations or non-profits that can utilize volunteers. I hope to have the full list developed by the end of May.
Thank you for your help!
Of course I had to write about this one. A huge KUDOS goes out to Adam Breneman, 18, and Devon Rodriguez-Cayro, 14, both of Mechanicsburg. These two were recently honored for their VOLUNTEER service. It is great to see two locals receiving this award and from what I have read it was a rather nice award. Now as I have said before people who volunteer do not expect any reward than the internal gratification they get, but it is nice when one does get something monetary in return as well.
Hopefully we can all learn from these two young men and not only be encouraged to volunteer but also teach our children about volunteering and its importance.
Below is the link to their volunteer stories.
OK so back to the topic of volunteering. I think I got my political comments out of the way; at least until the regular election in November.
I decided to take a quick look at the word "Volunteer", what does it mean? How do you do it?
The word "volunteer" was first recorded in 1755. WOW that happens to be the same year Middletown was founded! Anyway, the word volunteer is a verb which is an action. It is a selfless act. It is when one does something for an individual person or group without to need or desire for anything in return. However if you volunteer you most certainly get something in return.
In return for volunteering you get a feeling of respect, self- worth, a sense of accomplishment. I have never walked away from volunteering thinking I have wasted my time or it was a total loss. In fact it's the complete opposite. Knowing that I just did something for someone or a group that could better their life or that organization is a feeling of gratification.
So how do you volunteer? It’s very simple. Often people will volunteer in their area of expertise such as medical, construction or education. Volunteering can be done in many ways. From the all out taking charge and being the lead man or woman with a project or traveling overseas to assist with a disaster all the way down to maybe making phone calls or stuffing letters into an envelope. Each and every volunteer action is just as important and impactful as the next.
Volunteering is FUN, it’s a social experience and I guarantee you will walk away with new found friends.
So get out there, VOLUNTEER, promote good and assist someone or some group in need.
Leave a comment and let me know where you are volunteering and the results of how you felt from performing this selfless act.
First off I want to give KUDOS to the New Beginnings Church Youth Group for VOLUNTEERING and cleaning up a few locations in Middletown. Your hard work has not gone un-noticed.
As we approach the Primary Election Day May 21st, I encourage everyone who is registered voter to get out and vote in the primaries. Your vote does count! Middletown is currently sitting at a cross roads. Many people are at odds with our current borough council and quite honestly I am one of those people. I will be voting for new people to be seated on borough council. I feel we need a new direction; we need to IMPROVE this great town we live in. All i have seen is Middletown being ripped apart and nothing positive happening.
Yes you can say this council has lowered the electric rate woo whoo, I have saved $20 bucks a month on mine. But it has been at the cost of departments closing, our 87 year old library being placed on a slippery financial slop themselves and numerous persons losing their jobs.
We need a council that can not only fix the problems we have but also move forward with new ideas and development projects. Four years have gone by and nothing has improved.
We need to IMPROVE the communication between the borough and the residence, IMPROVE our parks system, IMPROVE our police department, IMPROVE our tax base, IMPROVE the aesthetic look of the town, etc.
So on May 21st I am asking you to get out and vote and vote for new. Vote for IMPROVEMENT.
Well now that hopefully I have gotten peoples juices flowing and ready to volunteer, today I want to highlight an organization who is worthy of volunteering for. How about the Elk's Theatre and the SAVE THE ELKS! Campaign (STE)? The Middletown Elk's Theatre is 101 years old and will be 102 this October. The theatre is owned by the Greater Middletown Economic Development Corporation (GMEDC). Back in September 2012 a group kicked off the SAVE THE ELKS! Campaign to raise funds to help bring the theatre into the 21st Century.
Movie technology is changing and forcing movies theatres to change over to a digital projection system rather than 35mm reals. This change alone will cause many small hometown theatres across the country to close their doors. Well the SAVE THE ELKS! Campaign hopes to prevent that here in Middletown. Through a variety of fundraising efforts the STE VOLUNTEER team hopes to raise over $200,000 to purchase the new digital projection system as well as a new historically appropriate marquee for the front of the theatre and make cosmetic upgrades throughout the theatre.
This is where you come in. The STE team is always in need of volunteers. Part of the fundraising efforts is the classic film series. All throughout the year the Elk's Theatre will be showing some old favorites in 35mm. They need volunteers to assist with ticket sales, surveys of guests as well as general custodial maintenance. As some of you may know our little hometown theatre is actually rather large and seats over 400 people and is in constant need of cleaning.
If you or anyone you know may be interested in volunteering to help SAVE THE ELKS! Please contact Max Einhorn @ 717-576-9508. Please help save this town treasure and make sure that it remains open for another 100 plus years.
Please comment on this blog and tell us about your memories of the Middletown Elk's Theatre
So by now if you have read my previous blogs you realize that I love to volunteer and I think that it’s extremely important that we all do regularly. On Sunday April 21 I was on my way to Turkey Hill; I had to get my Ice Tea fix. I notice people walking down the street and on the sidewalks carrying plastic bags and had rubber gloves on. These people were picking up trash that had been thrown on the ground or perhaps blew into the area. They were even picking up those nasty cigarette butts that had been haphazardly flicked about all over the place.
On my way home back from Turkey Hill I couldn't help myself, I had to stop. I put my window down and I asked the gentleman nearest to me what group this was out picking up the trash. This gentleman was Pastor Donald Potter from the Middletown Presbyterian Church located on the corner of Union and Water streets. The pastor stepped up to my vehicle and proceeded to tell me that it was the Youth Group from the church. He mentioned that they "had some extra time" before they were leaving to VOLUNTEER serving a meal at the Ronald McDonald House. Well I thanked Pastor Potter and those that were with him and continued on my way home.
On that short drive back to my house I knew I needed and wanted to include these persons in today’s blog. I mean this is exactly what I am talking about, people out volunteering, making the grass greener right where they are. The Presbyterian Church Youth Group was out giving of their own time to help clean up the streets of Middletown to make it a cleaner, green and better place to live. This is what I call watering the grass! What was so astonishing about this was that not only were they out volunteering but they didn’t just clean up around their church, they were blocks away from their church and they were just killing some extra time VOLUNTEERING before they were leaving to VOLUNTEER at another location.
So KUDOS! to the Middletown Presbyterian Church Youth Group and Pastor Potter for stepping up and stepping out to volunteer to help make Middletown a better place. We all need to learn from and follow this example. When will it be your turn? Comment on this blog and let me know when and where you are volunteering to help make your neighborhood and town a better place to live.