Two years ago I asked Beyond Scrapple readers if they knew of anything more exotic to eat than goat in Lehigh Valley. With offbeat meats like ostrich and bison, Allentown's newest restaurant, Four Aces Grill, has the answer, albeit delayed.
My family and I ended up there on a Saturday evening at 6:30. We selected a table on the awning-covered front deck - a nice, sheltered vantage point to enjoy the cool summer breeze and watch the incoming storm roll in.
The eclectic menu featured a wide variety of dishes of various persuasions. It's tough to characterize the cuisine by ethnicity; instead, I'd call it "adventurous."
We started with three appetizers: calamari, jalapeno poppers and salmon cakes.
The calamari were deep fried but were served with a curry-like dip. The petite salmon cakes (3) were sauteed perfectly to golden brown and finished with sauce that I cannot recall now other than it was a perfect complement. The poppers were homemade - not the institutional variety filled with cheese product - and served with a creamy lime sauce. Luckily, they were too spicy for my wife, so I got to enjoy three of them.
For entrees, I couldn't resist trying the ostrich burger. Seasoned with Moroccan spices, studded with pine nuts and topped with an apricot, it was one of the most original burgers I've tasted. (For the record, I place the taste of ostrich somewhere between turkey and ground beef.) The hand-cut fries were a perfect accompaniment.
The other members of my family ordered caesar salads topped with chicken, which arrived with the head of romaine intact and freshly grilled. Nicely done.
The service was a bit slow and inefficient; however, I think they're still working out the kinks. But it's BYO, so if you're looking to relax a bit and enjoy conversation with friends, bring a bottle of wine to share and don't rush it. It's worth the wait.
This post was written by Lehigh Valley InSite guest blogger Michael Drabenstott, who also writes the Beyond Scrapple blog.