The Chilly Dog's fast-fare fabricators pack fresh ingredients into a fully functional lineup of specialty sandwiches. Tubular meat titans festoon 100 percent all-beef Sabrett frankfurters with chili, cheese, and onions ($2), filling gullets with the tastiest molten meal since the fortuitous eruption of Mount Tapioca. Lunch quests can pit intrepid diners against formidable sandwich behemoths that include the Reuben, a heap of corned beef, russian dressing, and swiss cheese tangled in sauerkraut ($7) that can also shapeshift into a Reuben hot dog ($2). Years of python-impersonation classes finally pay off as jaws unhinge to accommodate the girthy gooiness of tuna-melt grinders ($6). Duos or foursomes can also sink incisors into smaller bites of barbecue pork sliders ($5), which land on tables alongside fresh coleslaw and a choice of soft drink.
Owner and head chef Kristofor Sandholm curates an evolving menu of sustainable and locally farmed fish and seafood, all creatively crafted and artfully plated. Current selections include appetizers such as Montauk fluke ceviche with fried tortillas ($9) and stingray oysters on the half shell sourced from Rappahannock, Virginia ($13). Dishes hailing from the surf range from the tandoori-spiced Maine haddock served with curried vegetables, peanuts, and wild rice ($21) to the Montauk sea scallops ($23), otherwise known as “mermaid ruffles.” Turf natives include the new york strip steak, rolling to tables with a posse of roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli ($24), or the house-smoked pork loin with mashed sweet potatoes and grilled broccoli rabe ($18). Round out meals with spoonfuls from a menu of house-made dessertsthat, like the slowest county-fair ferris wheel ever, rotates nightly.
True Blue Mediterranean Café brings fresh Mediterranean food to a pair of Lehigh Valley locations—one in Bethlehem set amongst historic buildings, and another in Emmaus with a seasonal outdoor patio. At both, diners can fuel up with protein-packed bites of lamb kabob, or a steak gyro loaded with marinated hunks of steak and Mediterranean pickles. They can also crunch into meat-free dishes, such as the vegetarian sampler, which features hummus, babaganoush, and grape leaves served alongside warm pita bread.
The Steel Pub’s interior draws its inspiration from the location’s former tenants—Bethlehem Steel—by incorporating decorative flourishes such as red- and white-striped walls, exposed duct work, and a horseshoe-shaped bar encased in corrugated steel. An industrial-style garage door crafted from steel and glass opens up to an outside patio where patrons can sip beers amid the otherworldly glow emitted from the nearby Bethlehem Steel blast furnace. A 40-foot window near the bar bestows guests with views of the pub’s other neighbor, The Steel Ice Center, whose hockey players and rogue ice sculptors choreograph a steady stream of activity on the sidewalk.
Out of sight, chefs compile 15 different handheld meals using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. They infuse Stryker Farm bratwursts with Weyerbacher craft ale and blend beef chuck and brisket to serve as the base for burgers topped with fried shallots or wing sauce. To accompany these rib-sticking morsels, they slave over pots of homemade sides and starters such as french 5 onion soup and buffalo-chicken dip.
Sands Bethlehem Event Center was constructed only in 2011, and its striking charcoal-colored box still has the sheen of a piece of just-released technology. The space was designed so that no seat would be more than 137 feet or 20 Shaquille O�__