There's no hurry at Uncle Buck's BBQ. The chefs slow-cook and smoke meats such as ribs, brisket, and chicken, imbuing each plate with a tenderness that can't be rushed. Even the Old World-style pizzas have to bake inside a traditional brick oven long enough for the cheese to melt over and around the assorted toppings, such as pulled pork, sweet peppers, and garlic. Sub sandwiches and hamburgers, wings tossed in one of four sauces, and hefty steaks round out the menu of neighborhood-style American cuisine.
With its wood-paneled wainscoting and robin's-egg blue walls, the restaurant's dining area embraces the same casual, down-home charm as the menu. Outside, a wooden patio seats diners beneath an aluminum roof that provides better sun protection than a parasol slathered with sunscreen.
The Brown Barn Café is homey inside and out, from its wooden walls and house-life façade to its open kitchen filled with family recipes. Owners Bryant Belknap and John Costello, friends for more than 35 years, make foods they know and love, including Jack's lemonade—a recipe John Costello's son Jack devised when he was 10 years old. The internationally influenced menu also includes samosa pies and Vietnamese-style coffee, as well as café favorites such as tuna salad and quiche. And for dessert, the café sources fresh-made treats from Ah! Some Chocolates, which tack a sweet ending onto meals.
The night after John Chacko, a hardworking man about to realize his dream, purchased the Jimmy's Central Lanes bowling alley, a roiling flood ripped over the banks of the Susquehanna River and destroyed the site. As a solitary man standing amid the wreckage, it would have been easy to walk away, but that wasn't his style. Instead, he rolled up his sleeves, ripped down the walls, and pulled up the floors. Not even a nail could be salvaged, but his love for the alley was still fully intact.
Today, it's hard to believe Chacko's was once under water. New lanes run as far as the eye can see, marked by fluorescent purples and blues, and a Memory Lane Lounge offers respite with draft beer and flat-screen TVs. But Dan Chacko still remembers the deluge. Bowling-alley patrons can stop into his pro shop and pick his brain about that breathtaking flood, or they can seek his advice on bowling-related matters such as how to pick up a split or how to match your wardrobe to your bowling shoes.
Inspired by her Jewish family heritage, Susan Herlands opened My Mother's Delicacies Inc. in 1988 to share her grandmother's respected rugelach recipe and other traditional treats that are certified kosher dairy. Shoppers can peruse an assortment of the coveted, hand-rolled rugelach ($14.99/lb.), a crescent- or square-shaped pastry crafted using a buttery, flaky, cream-cheese-infused crust and speckled with cinnamon, sugar, or nuts. A pound of Hungarian hand-rolled kipfel cookies ($14.99) bubbles over with raspberry, walnut, or apricot fillings, and a small tin of black and white cookies ($21.95) dazzles dessert lovers with a duochromatic treat as decadent as snacking on a 1920s film star. The shop sells pastries individually and by the pound as well as platters and gift towers sizeable enough for parties or a high tea with longtime frenemy Betty Crocker.
The chefs of Four Seasons Asian Bistro pull culinary inspiration from countries across Asia, from the spicy curries of Thailand to the tangy teriyaki dishes of Japan. They fold fresh seafood into a variety of creative sushi rolls, garnishing them with innovative toppings such as honey wasabi and mango sauce. At table-side hibachi grills, the chefs dramatically sizzle up plump morsels of steak, lobster, and scallops before audiences of captivated diners. Their guests perch on soft red chairs and banquettes in the elegant dining room, sipping on passion fruit martinis and lychee sangria.