Roots Cafe

In need of an exceptionally delicious meal during a not so exceptional week, it seemed like the perfect excuse to eat the third installment of 'The Rest of the Cow.' This time, our restaurant of choice was Roots Cafe, a personal favorite of mine and Brit's, in downtown West Chester. 

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Local, organic and sustainable are the words that best sum up the menu at Roots. But please, don't be fooled. While healthy and extremely fresh, any meal you are served at Roots is light-years away from the boring lifeless slop often served at other health conscious restaurants. Every dish begs for its moment on Instagram and promises to up your brunch game by an insurmountable amount of likes and envy. Roots is actually my number one spot for brunch, and the place I recommend any out of towner go when visiting. In fact, I eat brunch at Roots so often that I forgot they also serve lunch and dinner!

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As you know by now our restaurant reviews strictly focus on burgers and fries at restaurants that serve organic and sustainable meat. To be honest I have to say that out of all the other reviews we have done so far, the burger at Roots is hands down my favorite. Perhaps their hidden talent is that they mix bacon into the lean beef patty making it utterly mouthwatering. The melted cheddar, pickles, shaved red onion, spring mix and Dijonaise definitely add to the Roots burger's decadence. And if you think your taste buds can handle it, all of the above-mentioned goodness is stacked between a buttery brioche bun. There is also tomato on the burger, but since I loathe tomatoes, I did not partake of this ingredient. 

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The potatoes. Oh, those potatoes! Cube cut and expertly seasoned, the Roots potatoes can be added as the perfect side dish to any meal. For a diehard brunch lover, the fact that Roots serves these same potatoes for breakfast and lunch makes for an easy transition between meals. Never too crispy, you won't even be sad that they aren't in french fry form. Also, you won't feel at all guilty eating this side dish of carbs. You see, you can convince yourself that because the potatoes are cut into cubes, they are healthier than french fries. Or is just me who thinks that way? 

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Lastly, I must touch on the overall aesthetic Roots provides. They know that taking pictures of your meal is a favorite pastime of many. Meals are served on dark wooden cutting boards while cold drinks are served in culturally acceptable mason jars. When sitting inside (there is also an outdoor patio for dining), diners are surrounded by brightly colored walls covered in art by local artists. All pieces of art are available for purchase so you can eat and shop at the same time. Pretty ideal, no? 

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Yeah, we liked our meal.

Well done as always Roots! 

The Mediterranean Bakery

When it comes to the number of restaurants and bakeries in town, I firmly believe the more the merrier. The Mediterranean Bakery, run by the owners of The Mediterranean (one of the best in town), is what Greek dreams are made of. Fresh and homemade baklava, cookies, breads, and cakes are sure to make even the most sinister smile.

Needing a little break from our day, Brit and I headed to the Mediterranean Bakery earlier this month. We walked in the door, our mouths watering with excitement, and were greeted by Margherita, one of the owners. Having just received a large order for a local country club she had her hands full, yet still took the time to explain what all the different desserts were and how there would be even more in the coming weeks.

Deciding on baklava for me and a chocolate raspberry brownie for Brit, we headed back to the office to devour our treats.

Hearing Brit making yum yum noises (mmmm, woah, so good) from my office, I had a feeling her brownie was more delicious than not. After coming down from her sugar high I asked her to describe her dessert in 3 words. Rich, moist (sorry, but there just is no other word to describe it), and large summed it up perfectly. More like cake than a brownie, Brit emphasized that the raspberry was spread throughout, so you got a little bit in every bite. Thick fudge-like icing topped off the brownie and sealed its status of pure decadence.

Chopped nuts held together by honey and lying between layers of filo, that is baklava. Margherita mentioned that she makes hers a little differently, but let me tell you, it’s fabulous. Hints of cinnamon could be tasted mixed in with the nuts and honey. Eating the baklava was like meditating. My mind was cleared except for the flavors melting on my tongue.

Rating: full lip nudity

Penn's Table

When in doubt, go to Penn’s Table. That’s pretty much a motto around here in West Chester, PA. Located on the corners of Gay and Church streets, Penn’s Table is the cornerstone of downtown West Chester when it comes to breakfast and lunch. 

Loved for its old time diner feel and outstanding food and service, consider yourself #blessed to score a table here, especially on the weekends.

Brit and I frequent Penn’s Table often, whether for take-out or a late breakfast and we have never been disappointed. Most recently, deciding against going grocery shopping (yet again) we justified our decision by doing a review on 2 of Penn’s Table’s best lunchtime options, a club and a wrap.

Turkey club on rye

Oh, how I love a turkey club from Penn’s Table. Let me count the ways:

1.     You can get it on toasted rye bread. I love toasted bread and I love rye bread. Match made in heaven.

2.     They have no problem modifying the sandwich. Some restaurants are very bothered by this, but Penn’s Table always takes out the tomato and gives me the mayo on the side (for dipping fries into no less).

3.     The french fries. Brit thoroughly covered them so there’s really nothing left to say on the topic.

4.      The freshness. All of the ingredients are fresh and taste like they are prepared with love (corny, but every bite feels like a hug).

5.     The service. When dining in, the staff is so friendly you almost offer a chair for them to sit and join you.

6.     The portions. The turkey club is pretty massive and usually lasts me 2 meals. Talk about bang for your buck (yay to my fellow ladies with Dom Pérignon taste on a Burnett’s budget!).

7.       The interior. Always warm and positive, with that charming old school diner vibe you just can’t get enough of. Many glorious Sunday morning conversations have taken place in those wooden booths between me and my friends.

So to sum it all up, I am crazy for Penn’s Table anytime, any day, any dish.

Rating: full lip nudity

Limoncello

Like we’ve said before, West Chester overflows with restaurants and we like (LOVE) to eat, so it’s really a match made in heaven.

Limoncello is one such establishment that we simply cannot get enough of. To us, it is so good that we cry a little just thinking about its awesomeness.

It is a family owned Italian jewel located on Walnut Street (within walking distance from our office and apartment. How terribly wonderful).

To put into perspective for you the level of holiness Limoncello exudes, remember that Brit lived in Italy for a year and as a result, has become a tad snobby about what she puts into her mouth. To Brit, Limoncello is on the same level as the delicacies she noshed on in Florence. And just a warning, if you ever spot her in, near, or around an Olive Garden, call the police because she has been kidnapped.  

Feeling the need for a bit of luxury, we got all spiffied up after our most recent blog shoot, and partook of Limoncello’s lunch buffet.

We know this saying is overused but there are truly “no words” to describe our experience.

Upon walking up to the buffet you are faced with anywhere between 15 to 20 options of authentic Italian food. It is overwhelming in the best way possible. Three different types of salads, roasted zucchini, eggplant, and peppers, mushrooms, fritters (Em would take a bullet for them), potatoes, green beans, seafood risotto, ravioli, meatballs, and chicken are just some of the offerings you can choose from. Brit jumped the gun and removed her lipstick before even taking a bite. Pre-full lip nudity is a first for us. The bar has been set.

Realizing that rounds were necessary to try everything (obviously. If you only have 1 plate at a buffet you are doing it all wrong) we dove in. Brit made a good point that, in the words of Jon Snow, “winter is coming,” and we must be prepared. The more you eat the warmer you are. That’s a fact right?

Brit began her descent into happiness by selecting veggies and salad for her first plate, and Em chose basically a little of everything. Em was actually blissfully silent during the meal and only opened her mouth to talk about the fritters (with cinnamon and sugar on top), or to say that she was getting another.

The order in which we ate the food sort of became a blur in the end, but we can safely say, that combined, we had 5 plates.

The seafood risotto had equal parts seafood and rice in a light yet creamy sauce. Calamari, which was perfectly cooked and not at all chewy (Bravo Limoncello!), mussels, and clams were scattered lovingly amongst the rice.

Both of us could not resist the song of the ravioli (they called to us like the song of the mythical Greek Sirens). As Brit noted, the ravioli (done in a wonderful marinara), must have been homemade. The dough was thick and flavorful and the ricotta filling was as it should be, perfection.  

Em went into an early food coma, so she wasn’t able to fit in a meatball, but Brit did and said they were everything she hoped they would be.

In addition to all of the above mentioned food, we also tried a plain slice of pizza and classic Italian white bread with olive oil. The olive oil was so pure and reminiscent of that of Florence, that Brit said she would pay for it by the drop.

Are you finally getting the idea that we would recommend this buffet and restaurant to every human being in the world? If you eat here and are not over the moon happy and running to a chapel to marry your lasagna, then you must have brain damage.

At only $10.95 per person, plus the variety and high authenticity of the food, we not only give Limoncello full lip nudity, but full body nudity as well.   

Frances' Deli

As I said in my recap of our Chicago trip, it was imperative I do a review on one meal in particular. Brunch at Frances' Deli most definitely deserves a moment in the gleek spotlight. The first non-local restaurant to be reviewed on gleek, they should know what an honor this is. Since all five of our readers will see this, maybe gleek can get a plaque or something hung on your wall Frances? No? Yeah, I didn't think that would happen just yet. That's ok, we'll still give you the review you deserve.

Not wanting breakfast but still starving for something good, I was feeling particularly thankful for the meal that is brunch as we walked into Frances' Deli. My appreciation for the impending feast got me thinking. Brunch has got to be what Miley Cyrus was signing about in her hit song "Best of Both Worlds." Forget Hannah Montana! It was all code to let people know the unlimited options (breakfast and lunch foods at once) of eating brunch. Had people caught on to the true meaning, there would have been brunch mayhem. Imagine (or don't, nightmares may occur), if so many people suddenly began brunching that there was a shortage of bacon or champagne. This would not have helped the world work its way towards global peace. Let us collectively take a sigh of relief for avoiding such a catastrophic disaster.

Making my way back to reality (it was a really long walk and grossly hot out. I hadn't eaten. Was still drunk from previous day. Explains above paragraph), I realized we were seated and it was time to pour myself over the never-ending menu. What is it with Chicago? All of their menus are  so jam packed with endless food options, even I, a seasoned eater, felt overwhelmed. Knowing I did not want breakfast food, I was directed to the sandwich section thanks to the table of contents on page eighteen (just kidding, I found the sandwiches myself). 

So basically, Frances' Deli is club heaven. Calm down neon wearing, techno loving, molly swallowing party people. I don't mean that kind of club. I'm talking turkey and avocado club, chicken avocado club, or the wild card...an avocado burger club. You even have the option of getting your club on challah bread, but not the burger club (get that on a pretzel roll!). Seriously though, who cares about the bread (I still do) when all that avocado is staring you in the face.

After all this buildup you may be surprised to find out that I did not get a club. Wasn't in the mood for bacon or avocado. Sorry, I know that's a horrible terrible awful thing to say but I was feeling adventurous. Brit ordered a club though and its beauty was really unparalleled. As you can see from the below photos, her club got its own photo shoot. Basically the Gigi Hadid of sandwiches. And yes, she (Brit, not Gigi) claims it tasted as wonderful as it appeared. 

Please do not think that just because Brit's meal got all the attention mine was any less important. Truthfully, I didn't take a photo of my sandwich for two reason. 1.) I was really hungry and just wanted to eat it. 2.) I didn't actually think I was going to do a review of this place. Every time I dine out I have the intention of writing a review, but more often than not I find myself putting the final bite into my teeth filled mouth realizing the meal is over. Too late. Better luck next time. But yay for proving myself wrong and actually doing what I say I'm going to do. Progress! 

For real though, let's focus on what I ordered. My poor Reuben, it would be nice to give it a paragraph or two. And yes, I ordered a Reuben (my favorite type of sandwich should anyone feel the need to buy or make me one. I'm here all day folks and I've already eaten all my snacks. It's noon). Ordered on rye because it's a Reuben, duh, it was dripping with 1000 island, coleslaw and piled to the skies with "real roast turkey" (it actually is real. Not lunchmeat). Oh, and Swiss cheese (just Googled if the Swiss in Swiss cheese is capitalized by the way. It is). Very yummy and not overwhelming, which is very important, I am not going to sit here and bore you with a long list of adjectives describing my experience. All you have to know is that it was a well made quality Reuben and if you are ever in Chicago, make sure you go to Frances' and order it. The turkey was a nice change from the corned beef although, I don't think I'd make the switch permanent. After drinking and eating plates of cheetohs the previous day, turkey seemed more sensible than corned beef, although who am I kidding, the sandwich was covered in cheese and dressing. And about the french fries, Brit and I ate all of them and ordered more at a rooftop bar later that same day. 

Lincoln Park's oldest deli, Frances' was established in 1938 and has been going strong since. They serve breakfast all day, are open seven days a week and serve things like spiked milkshakes. For those that are still skeptical (the problem lies with you clearly), let me also mention the weekend build your own Bloody Mary bar and one dollar beer backs. Finally, this place is affordable! After leaving Frances' the only thing you should feel is joyously full. Completely guilt-free. Now name one thing about this place that makes you not want to hop on a plane or drive thirteen hours to Chicago. What? I can't hear you. Oh, right, NOTHING.  

Overall rating: full lip nudity

The Charcoal Pit

Any time I would go to Delaware with my parents, we would all point and laugh as we passed by the Charcoal Pit. With its dark shabby appearance and sky-high neon sign, my parents and I thought it looked like the type of joint that gave you complimentary salmonella with your burger. 

"Emily," my parents would say, "that's where your wedding reception will be one day." 

"Never!," I would protest from the backseat. 

Well, fast forward to 2014 and none other than President Obama decides to grab lunch at the Charcoal Pit. So now you're telling me this place, I thought should have been condemned decades ago, is now at the Presidential level? Absurd. Has to be a joke. 

Horrified, I started asking my inner circle of foodies and found out this place is actually sort of really popular. Known for their milkshakes and burgers, it is a local staple. How did I not know this? Oh right, because I immediately judged it based on appearance and never gave it a chance. Oops.

I knew what I had to do. It was time to eat my words, literally.

Two years after President Obama left his mark on the place and I still had yet to go. Just so happens that I don't go to Delaware all that much (even with the tax free shopping). I wasn't avoiding going, it was just a bit of an inconvenience.

About two weeks ago, my moment came and this time, it was convenient. Almost as convenient as a champagne cork popping as I walk through the door after a long day at work (if only).  Brit and I had an event in Wilmington for Tesoro and had to setup the Friday before the show. Our setup time was 1pm, so we left around 11:45 in case we happened to get lost. Lost we did not get, but we knew we would be hungry after setting up, so a brainstorming session ensued. 

Like magic, the Charcoal Pit seemed to appear our of nowhere just as our stomachs pressured us to make a quick decision. "The Charcoal Pit!" I exclaimed. "Uh, what?" asked Brit with understandable hesitation. Explaining to her how they were known for their burgers, she was instantly sold and we agreed to stop on the way home. 

I couldn't wait to tell my parents. They would be shocked. This is how I shock my parents, by going to restaurants we made fun of. Guess you could say I've been an easy child. 

Lucky for us, setup took no time at all. Back in the car and towards the Charcoal Pit we went. 

Practically skipping with delight, we walked in to find that the Charcoal Pit is an old-school diner.

Mind. Blown. 

Instantly cool (they have little jukeboxes on each table), it was like stepping back in time. At least I imagine that's what the 50s would have been like after watching countless episodes of Laverne & Shirley and Happy Days. 

Barely needing to look at the menu, we instantly put our order in for a burger and fries each, hold the milkshakes. Brit was distracted for a moment when she spotted soft shell crab on the menu but quickly came to her senses.

Not kidding when I tell you the food came out before I had a chance to finish my word search on the children's placemats they gave us. Disappointed I had yet to find all the words (I'm not competitive...), I quickly got over it when I saw my burger. 

Luscious.

You know when you go to a BBQ and your uncle does the grilling, but you love it because the burgers have that made with love taste? This was like that, but so much better. I wasn't surrounded by family (Brit was there but she's family by choice) and there weren't tons of little kids coughing on all the condiments. Quite the Kodak moment. 

Naturally, on the way out we had to take a few pictures. No way was I leaving without photographic evidence that I did indeed eat at the Charcoal Pit. 

And you know what else...I loved it. 

Consider my words eaten. 

Overall rating: full lip nudity

La Baguette Magique

I guess you could say I'm a little biased. French bakery, La Baguette Magique in downtown West Chester, PA is like stepping into France, only you don't need your passport and $2000 for airfare. For about $6 you can experience the tastes of the chicest country in the world. If only that cool French girl je ne sais quoi attitude and hair (why do they have such good hair?!) could come as a side with your chocolate almond croissant. 

My biased opinion is based on the fact that I was an employee at the bakery the first 6 months they were in business. As a self-proclaimed dessert addict/genius and having lived in Paris for 9.5 months, I have done my fair share of croissant and pastry eating. Once I found out that the owner (Catherine) was a woman, who actually is French, I knew this was not another American fast food hub serving wannabe French cuisine.

You know what I mean. Dunkin' Donuts you have coffee that can give me more energy than a monkey on adderall, but that thing you serve is not a croissant. It's okay Dunkin', no one expects you to be authentic. America runs on you because you're cheap, quick, and easy.  Own it. And my college campus would have been catatonic if it weren't for your three locations within a five mile radius. 

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Back to the baguettes...while LBM's main focus is the bread, I need to start by talking about the aroma that sweeps you off your feet upon entering. It's like you left earth and went to a planet made out of bread and butter. A nightmare for anyone who believes carbs are evil. Lucky for me, and hopefully all of you reading this, carbs are a way of life and I don't care if I never see another piece of kale for all of eternity. Seriously, I dare you to go in and not smile. You can't do it. You may even shed a happiness tear. 

That chocolate almond croissant though. Words can't describe its decadence. Filled with melted chocolate and almond cream, it takes over your body and makes you beg for more. Yes, you can taste the butter, but you never feel like you imagine you would after eating something so rich. Using fresh ingredients and only the best (very French of them) dare I say it, but you feel a bit rejuvenated after giving yourself such a scrumptious treat. Sprinkled with powdered sugar and almond slices, it all blends together filling your need for sweet, savory, and heavenly. 

As hard as it may be to imagine, the rest of their products are just as delicious. May I recommend the bacon quiche (quiche Lorraine), the baguette sandwiches, and a slice of peach tart. And to wash it all down you have many options, including locally brewed kombucha. 

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Like any respectable French eatery, a good espresso or cappuccino is a must. And now that I am no longer making them they will taste even better. Rumor has it, some of the current employees can attempt a design or shape in the foam of your caffeinated beverage. Not sure if a full on mermaid in your latte is doable, but test it out and let me know if this is indeed true. Always a little envious of the regulars who could consume two espressos in one sitting, my heart would explode if I drank that much of the potent liquid. But from the scent alone, I can promise you it'll get the job done.

The atmosphere is not the kitschy eiffel tower, fluffy beret wearing cat that we have all become so accustomed to. Giving off a very real French country vibe, Catherine has decorated the space with items that adorned her home in France and things her family has given her. Subtle, simple, and well done, the beauty is in the details. Tile that looks like it was woven onto the walls will make you stop for a moment to stare. Everything about this place makes you slow down. It's as if one believes they are actually in Europe and mimics that of a European (no longer includes the UK #Brexit). Not in a rush, people take their time choosing just the right item to buy. Sitting alone or with friends, you become mellow and all the trivial matters of your day are put on hold if only until the crumb from your last bite of croissant falls to the floor.  

Overall rating: full lip nudity, obviously.

-Em 

The Spicy Pig Cafe

For the longest time I never went to Lunchbox Café. I meant to, but never did. One of those things you always remember, but not until after the moments passed. Like buying an E-ZPass. You realize you want one as you are going through the toll booth. Every time. Not that Lunchbox Café is out of the way, but sitting on the corner of Market and New Street I don't exactly pass it on my daily commute. I tend to hang on the East side of town. Anyway, the point is, I finally tried it and could've smacked myself for not getting there sooner.

That was over a year ago.

Recently I remembered that there is more to this town than the 4 or 5 places I tend to go to regularly. Like any only child who has been single most of their life, I like a routine and tend to stick to it. Sometimes though, living like I'm Bill Murray in Groundhog Day can become redundant. Just a little. Time had come to switch things up. 

Saying no to Carlino's or Rapidough, I ventured an extra block down the street and walked into the foyer of Lunchbox Café. Feeling equal parts vacation-like and refreshed, I had the same sensation I felt last time/the first time I cam here. WHY DO I NOT COME HERE MORE OFTEN?! 

Sometimes it takes a lot for me to learn a lesson. Whether it's almost crashing the student driving car (lesson definitely learned on that one) or that sewing machines and I do not mix, the point is I figure it out eventually. Same can be said for Lunchbox Café. Another year cannot pass before I go back. My meal was just too darn delicious. 

Not on their online menu, even more reason to actually go in, the Thai or Vietnamese noodle salad is my number 1 pick. Green leafy romaine lettuce, rice noodles, chicken, what I believe to be cucumber or bamboo, carrots (in thin strips), and green onion all dressed nicely in a light dressing. The dressing is similar to what you would find on classic shrimp or chicken noodle dishes. 

If you are anything like me (congratulations), then you are probably wondering how this dish could be good. Warm noodles and chicken on cold salad? Wouldn't the lettuce wilt and become, shall I say, nasty? Absolutely not! Served a little warmer than room temperature, all mixed together the flavors are explosive and just the right degree of warmth. Both times I've had this dish a complaint of any sort never entered the complexity of my mind. Too busy praying that no matter how much I ate, it would never disappear, I can't imagine saying anything negative about this meal. Not able to speak for their other dishes, I would assume they are just as delectable, but I can not be certain. I guess you'll just have to pay Lunchbox Café a visit and form your own opinion. 

Conveniently, you can dine in or take-out. Choosing not to call ahead and place my order, I had about a 15 minuet wait, which I did not mind. Sitting at the bar style seats along Market Street, I throughly enjoyed people watching until my order was ready.

Beginning as a food truck on West Chester University's campus, Lunchbox Café grew such a following they were able to move things to a permanent address at 234 W Market Street. Popular for their breakfast sandwiches, I have yet to try one, but most definitely would love to. You see, the problem with West Chester is there are so many breakfast places that are all insanely mind-blowing, it's near impossible to choose. Peeling myself away from Penn's Table or Roots for brunch is harder than you'd think. It's not ridiculous to say I feel a sense of loyalty to my chosen few spots. But, for the sake of not falling deeper down the rabbit hole that is my organized life, I will venture to the other side of the street and see just how sunny (side up) it can be. 

Overall rating: full lip nudity

-Em

Shake Shack

For the first installment of what I like to call "The Rest of the Cow," Brit and I went to the King of Prussia branch of Shake Shack. 

Since this is the first time I am introducing this segment of the blog, let me explain. It is not very complicated, but you know how all of our bags are leather (aka cow)? Well, burgers are cow (one hopes), and Brit and I love burgers and fries so obviously we found a fun way to work that into our business. Once a month we will dine at a local restaurant that serves organic and non-GMO burgers. The meal will be documented with pictures and a review will follow. All will be posted right here on the blog for your viewing pleasure. 

As previously mentioned, our first adventure took place at Shake Shack.

Rarely leaving my apartment because I'd rather be playing with my kitty cat, I have been living under a rock and had no idea Shake Shack serves 100% natural beef that is vegetarian fed, humanely raised, source verified, and hormone and antibiotic free.

Shocking!

Conveniently, Shake Shack is located in the back parking lot of King of Prussia Mall, so we were able to do some cardio (dressing rooms are hot, which makes you sweat, which gets your heart rate up) before stuffing our faces. This was only the second time either of us had ever stepped foot in a Shake Shack so we actually had to look at the menu. Brit chose a hamburger with lettuce, tomato, onion and ShackSauce. I ordered the exact same thing, minus the tomato. Of course we both ordered crinkle fries. 

After placing our order, we were given a buzzer and took a seat while our food was prepared. We only had to wait about 10 minutes, which was far from a catastrophe. Although, we were on the cusp of hangry...

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Fresh, flavorful, and fantastic was how our meal tasted. The fries were the perfect degree of crispiness. They made that satisfying crack when bitten into, but the interior was soft and warm. Every mouthwatering bite of the burger was packed with color. By that I mean, every veggie and even the burger itself had a bright healthy natural color.

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Not overly enormous, we finished our meals feeling satisfied but not disgustingly full. We decided to fix that and ordered milkshakes. 

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Besides the food that a restaurant serves, it's level of cleanliness is rather important. At Shake Shack, the kitchen is basically the counter you order from so you are up close and personal with the people preparing the food. Honestly, it looked extremely clean. No need to worry about finding things in your burger that shouldn't be there. I also must note that the bathroom was particularly tidy for a fast food joint. Not going to lie, I tend to hold my breath when walking into public restrooms. Happy to report I could inhale freely during my time spent in the Shake Shack restroom. 

With that being said, I would like to thank you for reading our first installment of "The Rest of the Cow." Please keep an eye out for round 2, coming March 2017.

Split Rail Tavern

A burger is just a burger, right? 

Well, we believe the answer to that question is no, which is why Brit and I have decided to selflessly eat one burger per month then right a review on it in a little segment I like to call, "The Rest of the Cow."

Also, it is important to add that the burger we choose must be grass-fed and locally sourced.

Last month, for the first installment, we had a fabulous meal at Shake Shack in King of Prussia.  Although milkshakes were not involved in this month's restaurant of choice, tequila and vodka sodas were. Our destination was Split Rail Tavern in downtown West Chester, PA, conveniently just a block and a half from our office. 

Yes, our meal was delicious and I will tell you about it in a second, but the best part was that it was completely unplanned. Very unlike us, we ventured to Split Rail that Friday night to celebrate our friend Andrea's birthday and not at all in search of our next meal. It wasn't until our eyes began desperately seeking out a menu after finishing our first drinks, that ordering food even crossed our minds. 

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Both Brit and I have eaten at Split Rail many times. Their falafel wrap is typically my go-to, but given we were there on St. Patrick's Day (my second least favorite holiday) I decided to switch it up a little. I highly recommend the falafel should you ever find yourself at Split Rail while feeling particularly indecisive.  

 Everything on their menu is delicious, but this post is about the burger (and fries) so let's focus on that. 

Split Rail understands the power of the burger and has given it a special section on its menu emphasized with stars next to the very grand title, "Split Rail Commonwealth Burger." 

What does such a regal burger hold between its two buns? Let me tell you.

"6 oz of Dutch Meadow Farms 100% Organic Grass-Fed beef accompanied by a Russian dressing, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion, choice of sharp cheddar, american or swiss, a spicy pickle, and house-cut french fries, served on a Big Marty's sesame seed bun."   

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For those of you out there who never order anything without politely asking to change or substitute a few ingredients, you will love this burger (unless you're a vegetarian, than nvm). The Russian dressing is served on the side so you can use it for your fries and control the amount that goes onto your burger. Also a huge plus, the tomato was very easy to pluck out. A truly beautiful thing since I strongly dislike tomatoes and forgot to request my burger be made without one. 

Juicy and fresh, the Split Rail burger is a gem, but alas, it was not the star of my plate that night. The MVP of my meal was 100% the house-cut french fries. A sucker for fried potatoes to begin with, I had to use a little self-control to not ask for a second helping.

Part of the reason the fries were on another level that night was because we got a tip on a secret Split Rail dipping sauce from an inside source. Birthday girl, Andrea is a regular at Split Rail and knows the menu so well they should just put her on the payroll already. To help you understand the power of this condiment, I'll tell you that before trying it the three most powerful words you'll ever hear are, "I love you." After trying the sauce the three most powerful and meaningful words in your vocabulary will be, "garlic basil aioli." Trust me. 

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The massacre above is the aftermath of our meal. Luckily, the only true tragedy was that we had to pay the bill. 

Thank you Split Rail for another glorious meal! 

Stay tuned to see where we will decide to dine in April.