By Chrysa Smith

As a NYC food snob who resides in the Pennsylvania burbs, it’s taken me awhile to accumulate a list of favorite dining halls. I get into Center City maybe six or more times a year, NYC maybe about the same. That’s where my search for great eats began—inner city. But with a travelling husband, years as a soccer mom and mother to two mini-poos, much of my eating out happens within a 30 mile radius of my home. Sad? It was to me until I hit somewhere in my 40’s. That seemed to be when there was an explosion of higher quality digs within a stone’s throw of home, and the desire for good and easy surpassed the quest for top chef and trendy. You know what? I’ve got some favorites that I can always get into, always deliver as expected and one or two like the old show ‘Cheers’—where everyone even knows your name.

One for a civilized lunch or evening out/another to grab a good bite:

Slate Bleu—Comfortable, classic dining–traditional French cuisine in a simple, elegant dining space in the heart of Doylestown. Linen tablecloths, large bar and a menu of regular dishes like Steak Frites, Shrimp with Saffron Pasta, Gnocchi in a delectable broth stock, Chicken Paillard , soufflés, and omelets served up by classically trained French Chef Mark Matyas. Menu additions include revolving treats like Bronzino or Skate (the fish, not the frozen activity). Smart casual describes the dress code. Always good for lunch or dinner, with a hit of urban ambience. Mark’s wife Susan is truly the perfect hostess—-remembering my favorite wine or suggesting new items she thinks I might enjoy. 100 S. Main St., Doylestown, PA, in the Ag Works Bldg, across from Talbots. 215.348.0222.

Bagel Junction Deli—OK, I’m a girl from Queens, so naturally, I occasionally need a good deli. Bagels, lox, chicken, tuna salad and even Cel-ray soda. How much more NYC can you get this close to home in Newtown? A good black and white and a Hammentachen and I am good to go. Located in the Village of Newtown Shopping Center, near Genuardi’s: 2826 South Eagle Road, Newtown.

Got some great bistros to share? Please do. More favorite spots from Chestnut Hill to Center City in a future blog.

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