by Chrysa Smith

Remember I said that looks matter?
Yes, they really do, and today, I’m recommending that you put on your sunglasses and think past the outer packaging. Because these two Bucks County BYOB’s are outstanding on the food quality, despite their modest locations. BYOB makes them especially affordable.

Augusto’s—I love the food and the chef. I interviewed him several years back for a magazine feature, so got a sneak peek behind the scenes in the kitchen. South American background with Le Bec Fin experience serves up some Latin/Mediterranean specialties that are worth a cookbook cover shot and the short trek to feel like you had a great urban meal. Located off the beaten path in Warminster—-try it with some lady friends for lunch; and definitely call for dinner. It’s small and often booked. What I found especially cool? Salad towers surrounded by thinly sliced cucumber walls—that, and the use of fried plantains; a yummy treat not found everywhere. Location: 530 Madison Ave., Warminster, PA. 215-328-0556.

Pistachio Grille–I haven’t met the chef, but the dining room staff is so gracious and the interior decor is surprisingly inviting for a strip center location. Red walls, dim lighting and black accessories set a trendy stage for well-tuned dishes on a menu with wide offerings. Yet the neighborhood friendliness surpasses what you often find in metro areas (My mom actually got a hug from the waiter who believed she looked like his aunt). The pasta dishes are very good—fresh ingredients, pasta cooked just right. I’ve had the Fettucine with Grilled Shrimp and highly recommend it, but there are so many other dishes that sound tempting—like Chicken St. Mason, with sundried tomatoes, asiago cheese and balsamic butter—uuummm. That’s gotta be more than a bike ride to work that off, but probably well worth it. End the evening with a complimentary dish of what else, but pistachios. Located at 521 Limekiln Pike, Maple Glen, PA.