Five or six years ago, I bartended at the Fogelsville Hotel, home of the biggest and best quesadillas on the planet! Since that time, new owners took over and some serious changes have occurred, making it one of my favorite Lehigh Valley restaurants.

First change: the name. It's now called Hops Fogelsville Hotel.

Second change: no smoking. But that's a state thing, not a "new owner" thing.

Third change: the bar area. The old ratty carpet was ripped out, exposing beautiful hardwood floors and the bar area was tripled in size. Plus, they installed high-def flat screen TVs everywhere. Never again will I have to miss a Penn State football game when I go out to dinner!

Fourth change: the menu. Although they kept a lot of the "oldies but goodies" like homemade pierogies and the classic Fogelburger (burger topped with sauteed onions and a fried egg), they've added some new stuff too. My favorites: mozzarella moons and the lemon chicken pasta.

I love mozz sticks, but Hops' mozz moons are better than any I've ever tried - it must be the moon shape. The lemon chicken is two breaded chicken filets sliced over a bed of linguini covered with a light lemon alfredo sauce, instead of that heavy cream sauce you're used to with alfredo, which means it's possible to actually eat the entire thing without having to unbutton your pants.

Fifth change: outdoor dining. I drove by yesterday and saw a banner proclaiming "outdoor dining coming soon" and a brand new patio/deck built out back. While there's nothing wrong with sitting in any of the Hops dining rooms (although Kent and I like to sit at the bar to eat), I love to eat outside when the weather is comfortable, which in PA is usually in May and September.

So, whadda say? Wanna try my favorite restaurant?