FYI Philly visits the birthplace of strombolis, Philly's 1st Cheesesteak bar and more

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Monday, July 8, 2024
Philly's cheesesteak bar, stromboli originators | FYI Philly July 6
Christie Ileto and Alicia Vitarelli visit the birthplace of the stromboli, a spot for unique cheesesteak flavors, and a 24/7 spot for cheese.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Christie Ileto and Alicia Vitarelli visit the birthplace of the stromboli, a spot for unique cheesesteak flavors, and a 24/7 spot for cheese.

Delco family business Romano's Pizzeria celebrates 80 years of strombolis

Pete Romano, Jr. runs Romano's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant in Essington, just like his father and grandfather did.

His grandfather, Nazzareno Romano, immigrated from Italy. He was a stone mason, turned pie maker.

"My father opened up the business December 1, 1944," says Pete Romano, Sr.

It was first called the Essington Pizzeria.

They moved to their current location in 1954, and now, Romano's is famous for its Stromboli.

"Grandpop started with three types. It was Original Sweet, Original Hot and Original Pepperoni," says Romano, Jr.

"My Uncle Bill said, 'Why don't you call it Stromboli?'," he says.

The name stuck, and 74 years later, it's still a hot item.

They have cheesesteaks, meatballs, pizza steak, buffalo chicken, and chicken Florentine Stromboli, just to name a few.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of Romano's first opening.

"There's pride in it," says Romano, Jr. "I just turned 70, and I'm the last Romano."

He says the business has been a lot of hard work, but he has enjoyed spending time with his dad.

"It's so gratifying that people remember you for your food, and who you are," says Romano, Sr. "It means a lot to me."

Romano's Stromboli

246 Wanamaker Avenue

Essington, PA 19029


Philly's 1st cheesesteak bar serves the taste of Philly with a twist

Taste Cheesesteak Bar is inviting you to flirt with flavor on JFK Boulevard!

This first-of-its-kind eatery offers an inventive take on the traditional cheesesteak and signature cocktails that pair with the Philly favorite.

Owner Kevin Dolce has coined and trademarked the phrase "cheesesteak bar" as he says it's the first restaurant to exclusively serve cheesesteaks alongside cocktails.

Dolce is a first-generation American fusing this Philly staple with his Haitian culture.

He strives to celebrate Philadelphia's rich heritage and culinary ingenuity through every bite.

The cheesesteaks are all infused with a flavorful Haitian blend called epis.

It is unlike anything the Philly food scene has tasted before.

The menu is full of a variety of cheesesteak sandwiches and "side jawns", the restaurant's loaded French fries.

You can try a traditional beef cheesesteak or try something new such as Oxtail, Salmon or Jerk Chicken cheesesteak.

Vegetarians can enjoy a cheesesteak with cauliflower and portobello mushrooms.

Their lineup of specialty cocktails includes a drink composed of a Lemon Drop with a splash of lemonade and simple syrup known as "Drop Your Location."

Cocktails pair well with the cheesesteaks and the space has a full bar full of options to suit your palate.

Philadelphia's first cheese dispensary opens in Kensington

With no disrespect to vending machine staples like soda and chips, the 24/7 grab-and-go experience just got elevated in Philadelphia's Kensington section.

Perrystead Dairy is the city's first-ever cheese dispensary.

It's all digital - no cash required.

You simply choose your selection, swipe your card, and voila! Cheese is dispensed.

Yoav Perry opened Perrystead Dairy three years ago.

"I've been in cheese for a really long time," he says. "I had this idea. I really wanted to do an urban creamery."

Philadelphia's first cheese dispensary opens at Perrystead Dairy in Kensington

They're crafting award-winning cheese that's sold in markets coast to coast and served in the country's most elite restaurants.

But there was one little problem.

"People kept knocking on the door and asking to buy cheese, but I don't have retail space," says Perry.

So, Perry opened the dispensary. He says these machines are common in rural European towns.

Inside the machines, you'll find everything you need to build a charcuterie board - including the board itself!

Perrystead Dairy has won nine international cheese awards. Perry is also passionate that every ingredient is hyperlocal.

"We use milk strictly from local family farmers that do amazing work with our herds right outside the city," he says.

Perrystead Dairy

W.P. Palmer Distilling Co. makes gin that dates back to the American Revolution

In 2015, Walter Palmer III started charting a new course in life, founding the W.P. Palmer Distilling Company with his wife, Katy.

The two co-own the business together.

"Our main product that we make is Palmer's Liberty Gin," says Palmer. "We do small batches."

He says they didn't want to make a gin infused with cucumbers or rose hip, instead choosing to focus on "a classic gin spirit."

Palmer waded into new waters, so to speak, out of necessity.

"I was president of the General Building Contractors Association," says Palmer. "For over 27 years I had a job there. One day I had a job and the next day I didn't."

Because he couldn't sit still, he decided to distill.

He says he makes the gin in an 800-liter copper pot still that was made for them in Portugal.

And, because his business is rooted in Philadelphia, Palmer chose a gin recipe fit for the founding fathers.

"Our recipe comes from this 18th-century Dutch manuscript of a trading ship that comes through Philadelphia around 1780," says Palmer.

It's made with six botanicals that include juniper, cardamom, coriander, angelica root, lemon peel, and grains of paradise.

"We wanted our gin to be a gold standard of gin," he says.

He says the name for the gin was inspired by Philadelphia, the birthplace of liberty, since "liberty is a spirit."

"And it's made right here," he says. "It's really kind of wonderful."

W.P. Palmer Distilling Co. | Palmer's Liberty Gin | Instagram

Take a trip to Bushkill Falls, the Niagara of Pennsylvania

At Bushkill Falls in the Pocono Mountains, there are multiple trails that allow you to find peace and serenity while venturing toward the falls.

Walk at your own pace and enjoy the picturesque views all throughout the trails.

For those looking for an escape from the city, this hidden oasis is the perfect way to relax and connect with nature.

There are eight different waterfalls that can be accessed by wooden bridges, allowing for hikers of all ages and abilities to trek toward the glorious waterfall.

Bushkill Falls has 300 acres of natural beauty, eight waterfalls and more than two miles of hiking trails and walkways.

Those who have made the trip, say there are multiple trails that allow you to walk as much or as little as you choose.

With the variety of trails, there is also an opportunity to see something different each time you visit.

Those who explore the trails will experience the peaceful sounds of the rushing water and chirping birds.

Black Hen, Baba's, IDK & Crisp Chick'n feeding Philly's Chicken craze

A variety of fried chicken is on the menu at the brand new BlackHen in Old City.

Located just a few doors from Amina - the Southern cuisine spot from the same owner - imagery of the lady hen is prominent throughout.

Felicia Wilson is the restaurateur behind both locations, with future openings of even more restaurants in the works.

Chef and business partner Darryl Harmon, of The Waterworks and numerous New York establishments, brings his special spice blends, barbecue sauces, and some family recipes to the mix.

BlackHen | Instagram

120 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106


At Baba's Hot Chicken & Brews, the Osmanollaj brothers have created a menu featuring chicken sandwiches, tenders and a variety of other savory side dishes for a fast-casual experience that will spice things up.

The brothers also include beer from their Mt. Airy brewery, Tosca, to cool things down with your meal.

Baba's Hot Chicken & Brews | Facebook |

725 South Trooper Road, Audubon, PA 19403

Crisp Chick'n specializes in spicy chicken.

They have varied heat levels for taste buds of different degrees.

The space has been open for three years with a menu that has expanded to include salads, wraps and smash burgers.

Crisp Chick'N | Facebook | Instagram

27 North Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050

IDK in Old City opened in March.

The grab-and-go spot puts Nashville hot chicken and smash burgers front and center.

You can try everything from a Wagyu smash burger to loaded fries with Nashville hot chicken.

Everything is made to order with a menu that is expanding each week.

IDK Philly | Facebook | Instagram

6 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Enjoy golfing in the Poconos at these 3 courses

Are you a golf enthusiast looking for the perfect escape to cooler climes?

Our friends at the Pocono Television Network have you covered with their top golf holes in the region.

Our first stop was Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort, which features the beautiful number seven on the blue course.

Head golf pro Nick Lussier shared insights about the newly installed permanent bridge, a welcome upgrade for year-round play.

Next up is Woodloch Springs.

Take on Hell's Gate Gorge, the 577-yard double dogleg par five at hole 14.

Director of Golf John Pillar guides us through this thrilling course.

Historic Pocono Manor's iconic par 3, hole seven, presents its own set of challenges, showing their signature hole surrounded by water and trees.

Director of Golf Greg Wall reminisces about Arnold Palmer's visit, adding a touch of history to this memorable hole.

At Split Rock Country Club, hole 11 is known for its beauty and challenge.

This signature par 5 demands precise shots, making it a favorite among golfers.

Finally, Skytop Lodge's hole 2 a par 4r, offers stunning vistas and a strategically challenging fairway.

Head Golf Pro Justin Alunni provides tips for mastering this course.

Take advantage of these fantastic golf experiences in the Poconos!

Pocono Mountains | Facebook | Instagram

Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort | Instagram | Facebook

100 Shawnee Inn Drive, Shawnee on Delaware, Pennsylvania 18356

Woodloch Springs | Facebook | Instagram

731 Welcome Lake Rd, Lackawaxen Twp, PA 18435

Split Rock Country Club | Facebook:

Address: 140 Wolf Hollow Run Road, Lake Harmony, PA 18624

Pocono Manor | Instagram | Facebook

395 Manor Dr, Pocono Manor, PA 18349

Skytop Lodge | Facebook | Instagram

1 Skytop Ldg, Canadensis, PA

Meditations on the Human Condition' on view Michener Art Museum

'George R. Anthonisen: Meditations on the Human Condition' is a celebration of the sculptor's entire 65-year artistic career.

"The work really has to do with the human family, the family of man," says Anthonisen.

There are 45 works on display, both indoors and out.

Lisa Tremper Hanover, guest curator at the Michener Art Museum, worked with Anthonisen to put this exhibition together, which includes sculptures, bas-relief and fresco.

Anthonisen was born in Boston, but he's lived and worked in Bucks County for more than half a century.

"I grew up in the art world studying from life," he says. "I really zeroed in on the female figure."

He works primarily in bronze, with a focus on figurative sculptures.

Anthonisen says much of his work shows "the similarities of all different kinds of people throughout the world."

There is a piece called 'Give Us Grace,' which he says, "speaks to harmony amongst peoples."

His works are divided into groups. Hanover says these groupings deal with different aspects of George's work, like 'Portraiture.'

There is also a 'Female Empowerment' grouping, and 'Social Commentary.' In that section, visitors can view a piece called 'Death and Starvation.' Tremper Hanover says there is a focus on what would be historical events, but interpreted through George's lens.

"I've always read. I've been interested in history and literature," says Anthonisen.

That influence can be seen in 'Storied Figures.'

"You see a progression of how the artist works, how he thinks, how he interprets," says Tremper Hanover. "It's a very emotional journey."

"We live and we die, and everyone goes through that cycle," says Anthonisen.

He says he hopes when visitors see his work that they "understand the pitfalls of being human; at the same time, the elevation of what we could do, what we have done."

'George R. Anthonisen: Meditations on the Human Condition' is on view through October 13 at the Michener Art Museum.

George R. Anthonisen: Meditations on the Human Condition | Tickets

Michener Art Museum

138 S Pine St, Doylestown, PA 18901