59 Almshouse

In early October I started my Master Gardener Certification course with weekly classes about 20 miles from home. The trek, most of which runs by way of Almshouse Road, brings me through several Bucks County towns, including Richboro. Along the way, I had noticed an old restaurant haunt, Patagonia Bar & Grille, now closed and breathing new life as 59 Almshouse, which looked busy every time I passed it. Time for a culinary road trip…

Tagging along with us were fellow diners Brad and Barb. Upon arrival we noticed the parking lot was packed—a good sign—we mentally patted ourselves on the back for making reservations ahead of time! One enters into a large rustic foyer with a busy receptionist’s desk, and off to the right is a beautiful showpiece bar area featuring a 24-foot ceiling and gorgeous natural wood trusses (also packed.) Dining areas are down a few steps to the left.

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Once seated, we started discussing the earthy-toned urban decor which showcased lots of wood and brick elements, and Edison lightbulbs in a variety of drum-fashion metal “cages.” While they worked exceedingly well as rustic elements within the restaurant, Barb and I agreed the light fixtures were not to our particular personal tastes.

The restaurant menu, which changes often, stars a wood-burning grill and a variety of unique menu items using locally-grown, fresh farm products. It is conveniently located within 25 miles of over 70 farms—growing produce from asparagus to zucchini, and raising poultry and beef—perfect fodder for Chef Norm’s locally-sourced creations.

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A blurry photo, but at least it masks our wrinkles 😉   

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Presented with large menus and an additional “dinner specials” sheet, we diligently scanned our options, featuring an assortment of soups, salads, flatbreads, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, pastas and entrées. While deciding, a basket of fresh bread was brought to our table containing two types of fresh crusty bread. Not one to often indulge, I chose a slice of the whole grain bread with walnuts and dried cranberries. Very good indeed!

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For starters Russ and I chose to split the “special” appetizer Grilled Lamb Meatball Skewers threaded with onions and peppers, with sides of hummus, tzatziki and grilled pita, shown above. We were so psyched to start eating them that it was half gone before Brad reminded me I hadn’t yet taken a photo!

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Speaking of Brad, he jumped right into an entrée salad choosing the Cobb Salad—a common choice for him—plated with a bed of romaine, bacon lardon, avocado, hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and bleu cheese crumbles topped with a peppercorn ranch dressing. He amped it up by adding the grilled chicken breast option.

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While I haven’t had fajitas in ages, it is one of Barb’s go-to choices, so without much hesitation we both selected Chicken Fajitas as our entrées. They came plated in a hot cast-iron skillet with onions and peppers and many sides including pico de gallo, queso, olives, avocado, sour cream, and of course, jalapeños. With such ample portions, a take-home bag was an added bonus.

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Russ was the most adventurous of the group ordering the Duck Pot Pie, new to the Fall menu. It consisted of an oblong crusted pie stuffed duck confit, wild mushrooms, carrots, peas and potatoes along with a small caesar salad. Needless to say, he loved it!

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Most weekday evenings they offer certain specials such as “Sunday Gravy,” “Monday Burgers,” and “Tuesday Chicken and Ribs.” On Friday and Saturdays they provide live music and as we headed out to the parking lot, the band was on their way in with instruments in hand—the party was just getting started…

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