La Porta (restaurant, 2014)

La Porta is a new find for me, a little place in the Philadelphia suburbs that I wish I had stumbled into sooner. The restaurant has a Media, PA address, and is located on Route 352 on the way to Edgemont. Not hard to find and exploring is half the fun. So, let’s talk about the food. Well, started with a couple of appetizers, one being this portabello mushroom topped with a fried egg that was a creative and tasty treat. Take a look:

"Portafoglio"… a crispy portobello mushroom with fried egge, sharp provolone, and caper butter.

“Portafoglio”… a crispy portobello mushroom with fried egge, sharp provolone, and caper butter.

Also had a delicious and varied chop salad with all my favorite ingredients including golden raisins, almonds, and more! Here it is:

Chopped salad with all the good stuff at La Porta, Media, PA.

Chopped salad with all the good stuff at La Porta, Media, PA.

Greens are good for you. Eat them often! Next we enjoyed a couple of entrees, one being this salmon over various greens:

Salmon over arugula and radicchio at La Porta.

Salmon over arugula and radicchio at La Porta.

Yes, that salmon was cooked perfectly. Then there was a pizza, which had to be tried because this place is known for pizza. Take a look:

Pizza special at La Porta, Media, PA.

Pizza special at La Porta, Media, PA.

This pizza was a special. It included caramelized onions, some exotic cheeses, and a great sauce. AND, it was baked to absolute perfection with just a touch of char on the bottom. Really, some of the best pizza I’ve had in a decade. Here’s the menu for a look at the selections and prices:

Current menu (spring 2014) at La Porta, Media, PA.

Current menu (spring 2014) at La Porta, Media, PA.

La Porta is worth your visit. Service is good, wine selection plentiful, and the food terrific. If you’re in the area, give it a try, or make the journey. Enjoy every meal!

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Don Jacinto Restaurant, Aruba

Don Jacinto is a Colombian restaurant located in Oranjestaad, Aruba. The place serves all your favorite Colombian dishes in an air-conditioned environment. They do a busy lunch trade, so plan accordingly.

Don Jacinto Restaurant, Aruba.

Don Jacinto Restaurant, Aruba.

I enjoyed lunch here recently. Ordering a couple of favorites to test the quality of the food. First, here’s a quick look at the seating area:

Main dining room at Don Jacinto, Aruba.

Main dining room at Don Jacinto, Aruba.

Plenty of tables for groups large and small. Good service, too. Now, here’s a look at the grouper filet with sides of rice and potato.

Grouper filet at Don Jacinto, Aruba.

Grouper filet at Don Jacinto, Aruba.

Fish was perfectly prepared and that potato on the side is boiled with an onion flavor that really was clever and delicious. Next, you see their version of the bandeja paisa platter:

Bandeja paisa platter at Don Jacinto, Aruba.

Bandeja paisa platter at Don Jacinto, Aruba.

This version of the platter was slightly different from what I’m used to. Instead of a steak, it was shredded beef in the upper center of the tray. Also, the beans were on the plate instead of in a separate bowl to the side. It was all quite tasty, however, and went down well with the local hot sauce. Finally, here’s a look at a page from the menu for a look at some other dishes and current prices (February 2014):

Menu at Don Jacinto, Aruba.

Menu at Don Jacinto, Aruba.

If you’re on the island of Aruba, this may be an easy stop with reasonable prices and decent food as well as something different. Enjoy every meal.

Bavaria Restaurant, Aruba (Feb. 2014)

Bavaria Restaurant is a unique spot in Aruba, a rare German restaurant among all the other eateries. I’ve been here several times before. The food, hospitality, and beer selection are all consistent. Let me repeat, if you like German beer, you’ll find it here, such as this example:

German beer selection at Bavaria Restaurant, Aruba.

German beer selection at Bavaria Restaurant, Aruba.

As mentioned above, the food is authentically German, such as a potato pancake appetizer.

Potato pancakes at Bavaria Restaurant, Aruba. (apple dipping sauce on the side)

Potato pancakes at Bavaria Restaurant, Aruba. (apple dipping sauce on the side)

Or maybe you’d like to have a real pretzel with mustard like this one:

Pretzel with mustard at Bavaria Restaurant, Aruba.

Pretzel with mustard at Bavaria Restaurant, Aruba.

There are a nice selection of entrees, including this mixed sausage platter with red cabbage and mashed potatoes.

Mixed sausage platter at Bavaria Restaurant, Aruba.

Mixed sausage platter at Bavaria Restaurant, Aruba.

So, when you’re on the island and hankering for the different, give Bavaria a try. The people are friendly, the food good, and the prices very reasonable. You’ll also find some zany decor, including cuckoo clocks and various scenes from Bavaria. Enjoy!

Development? Rogers Beach, Aruba

During a drive around the southern end of Aruba today, I noticed some changes. One of the most interesting is the location above Rogers Beach, where there used to be a small police trailer parked. There I saw the police trailer moved, the parking lot asphalt scraped away, and a container bearing a sign for new residences. Here’s the panorama to prove it:

New development at Rogers Beach, Aruba? Maybe.

New development at Rogers Beach, Aruba? Maybe.

One thing for sure… the view is spectacular as long as you don’t turn north and see the refinery. Otherwise, a great spot. The water is sapphire blue, the sand soft, and the sunshine bright. Check it out. Maybe it is for you.

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