Today is my last day at the York Dispatch and my last day as your illustrious food editor and blogger. I’ve accepted a new position in Maryland, so I am packing my bags and my AP Stylebook and heading southbound on I-83.
When I came to York three years ago, I never expected to have a great foodie experience. What did Pennsylvania have to offer anyway?
Well, I was quickly proved wrong. Not only was I introduced to the wonders of Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish creations (though, if I never eat another Fastnacht again, it will be too soon), I became very familiar with some of York County’s delicious restaurants, delis and stands. Local food took me from an outsider to a local (or, so I like to think).
And if there is on thing I’ve learned for certain: If you leave York hungry, it’s your own damn fault.
I’ve had the opportunity to shop at the area’s farmers’ markets, which are plentiful, attended a Pennsylvania Dutch dinner at the Jefferson Fire Hall and became a staple at the York Fair’s Culinary Corner, where I met an bevy of local cooks who enjoy the thrill of competition.
I’ve found that people here are very proud of their heritage and if you try to dump on it, prepare to get an ear-full. Always being the proud New Yorker, I have a deep respect for people who take pride in who they are and where they’re from. And York County has no shortage of those.
In this blog and in the weekly food section, I’ve tried to avoid playing favorites. I am a journalist, after all. But since I’m leaving, I’m going to share some of my favorite eats in York County. This is in no way a complete list and I am sure there are a slew of delicious things I never had the chance to try. But I guess that gives me a reason to come back.
I have spent my three years in York living on the West side, so my list is probably a little skewed to my home base.
Favorite burgers – Reliance Cafe, 1413 W. Market St., York. The burgers here are just awesome. They’re big and flavorful and a steal at $7. You simply can’t wrong.
Favorite burrito - Roburrito’s, 1277 W. Market St., York. This one needs no explanation. Though, I am convinced the guacamole must contain traces of crack because it is just addicting.
Favorite sushi – Masa, 1720 Loucks Road, York . I’ve never had a bad experience here. Their prices are reasonable and the sushi is always fresh (and if you’re going to be eating raw fish, it’s probably best if it’s fresh). And the rice is never overdone … a big no-no in my book.
Favorite wings – Bistro 19, 19 N. George St., York City. My search for good wings in York County was a long one. And it wasn’t until just recently I found flavorful wings that weren’t overly fatty (something I have encountered more than once since I moved here) at Bistro.
Favorite appetizer – White Rose Bar & Grill, 48 N. Beaver St., York City. The White Rose was the first place I ever ate in York County and I’ve continued to go back repeatedly, whether it was meeting friends for lunch or taking out-of-town visitors out to dinner. And every time I’ve gone, I have never been able to resist the temptation to order the hot crab dip in a bread bowl. I’m pretty sure that is what they serve everyday when you get to heaven. Simply amazing.
Favorite Pizza – Genova’s, 2530 W. Market St., York. Whenever I find myself someplace new, the first item on my to-do list is to find good pizza. It took me a while, but when I finally found to Genova’s in West York, my search ended. Their plain pies are delicious. Perfectly thin with tangy tomato sauce and the right amount of cheese, Genova’s became a regular in my take-out rotation.
Favorite Specialty Pizza – Marco’s, 2150 White St., York. Another late discovery, but Macro’s (formerly Marcello’s) serves up the most delicious stuffed buffalo chicken pizza I have ever eaten. The slices are huge, and one is enough for anyone. It’s packed with flavor and at a depth of about an inch, it’s literally stuffed with buffalo chicken-y goodness.
Favorite Chinese Food – Shangrila, 2150 White St., York – Hands down the best Chinese food I’ve had. The food is always cooked just right – no rubbery chicken (a common issue with Chinese take-out) or dried out fried rice. And the staff is always super friendly.
These are just a handful of the places I’ve come to know and love in York. I know I am leaving off a ton of places, and this list could go on forever.
But, of all of the places to grab a bite in York, and all the great food I’ve eaten, I can say, without hesitation, the no. 1 thing I will miss is Central Market, 34 W. Philadelphia St. in downtown York. With our office just a few blocks away (at least for a few more weeks, anyway), I was a regular visitor during my three-year stint. During that time, I’ve seen a number of vendors come and go, but I’ve found there is always something new to discover. Market is something unique to York, Pa. and I am not likely to find anything quite like it when I move.
It’s been awesome to have had the opportunity to get to know York through my taste buds. Food brings people together and I’ve met quite the cast of characters in my time here because of it. People have been willing to share their favorite foods and recipes with me and tell me their stories and I am grateful to have had that experience.
I know that I’ll be back, but I don’t know it will ever quite be the same.
Eat well, York.