I don't know about you, but I would rather eat at a locally owned restaurant any day versus those pre-fab meals that you find at most chain restaurants. And, being that I grew up in the outskirts of Lehigh Valley's main cities, I know a lot of the back roads that lead to some incredible finds for these types of establishments. One, which has changed names a few times, is The Apple Wood Grille in Orefield. It is only a little off the beaten path, but a find that is worth the trip.

As the name suggests, it sits amidst an apple orchard. The views from the fairly new and casual dining side of the restaurant gives you a nice glimpse of the surrounding countryside. It has a warm country feel with vaulted ceilings and sometimes you can catch a live musician here. The middle section of The Apple Wood Grille is the bar area filled with a nice u-shaped bar complete with TVs. And then there is the dining room, a dark, romantic area.

The food at The Apple Wood Grille has always been great. I love their unique appetizers. I would highly recommend the crispy calamari served with wasabi peas, lemon grass mignonette and herb-cured tomato coulis. They also have a couple of theme nights, which are always fun; Wednesday is "Build Your Own Gourmet Pizza" night, Thursday is "Sushi, Sake & Song" night and they have brunch every Sunday, something I definitely would like to check out.

Rumor has it that on February 6 The Apple Wood Grille is having an open house with free hors d' oeuvres. I am not sure what time it all begins, but I know it is Super Bowl Sunday and I know that this girl isn't going to miss that game! (Go Pittsburgh!) I hope it's earlier in the day so I have an excuse to eat out before cheering my team to victory.

Have you ever been to one of Lehigh Valley's off-the-beaten-path gems like The Apple Wood Grille?