Guide To Suburban Al Fresco Lunching

April 27, 2017 11:15 AM

(credit: Jay Lloyd)

Reporting Jay Lloyd

Starting with the first warm day of spring, suburban restaurants open their decks and patios. Jackets, pants and socks are gone. Shorts and tee-shirts shirts are back and the living is easy. So, where to go? Last week, we talked about chain eateries. Now here’s a sextet of some of my stand-alone suburban favorites. They’re chosen to accompany activities like shopping, golfing, biking, a drive in the country or just hanging around near home. The common thread is sunshine and sun umbrellas – the outdoors.

trappe 2 Guide To Suburban Al Fresco Lunching

(credit: Jay Lloyd)


I’ve written often on these pages about the Trappe Tavern in Montgomery County, simply because it’s where you’ll find me several times a week, parked on the deck overlooking the beach. Yes. a beach. Rather than have a dining deck facing a parking lot, the crew here had beach sand carted in, set up faux palm trees and a lifeguard chair along with beach chairs and games. Sit there or on the deck. Between hanging plants, you’ll get a view of sand and fun, rather than Fords. Trappe serves solid pub food with creative twists, changing specials and dinners that include whole lobsters and prime rib. There’s a large domestic, craft and imported beer list and a lively regional crowd.

skippack Guide To Suburban Al Fresco Lunching

(credit: Jay Lloyd)


Whether you’re golfing or just lunching, the Farm House Restaurant with a patio and deck on the Skippack Golf Course provides a pristine setting and a view of greens and fairways. Lunch fare is a familiar combination of sandwiches and salads drawn from a trending American menu. My favorites here after a round or just dropping in for lunch and a brew is the rich short rib sandwich or the crab cake without the sandwich part. Dinner goes more elegant but remains on familiar turf, and adds schnitzel and a seafood fricassee to the mix.

chadwicks pulled pork Guide To Suburban Al Fresco Lunching

(credit: Jay Lloyd)


Chadwick’s does double duty in Audubon, Montgomery County as the 19th hole on the Shannondell Golf Course and for lunch breaks in the tech, financial and pharmaceutical corridor between Oaks and Upper Providence. The outdoor patio allows a spectator view of the fairway and green on the final hole of this popular golf setting. The bar staff is experienced in mixed drinks for the luncheon set and taps cool brews for the golfers. The menu goes beyond pub lunch fare into creative turns on familiar flavors with a South of the Border drift. Service is crisp. On warm evenings, it’s a comfy outdoor spot for steaks and seafood or drinks and shared appetizers.

molly maguires Guide To Suburban Al Fresco Lunching

(credit: Jay Lloyd)


The landmark Irish pub in the heart of Phoenixville gets you above the strolling moviegoers, festival fanatics, boutique shoppers and pub crawlers with a second story outdoor deck that looks out over this revitalized town. The pub grub here represents the blending of food cultures that shaped the Irish rovers tastes over generations from a Madras curried chicken to a rich lamb stew with all the traditional stops along the way – the classic bangers and mash, beef and Guinness stew and a filling Irish breakfast at lunch time. Yes. There’s a range of Emerald Isle beers and stout on tap plus Irish Whiskey favorites.

st peters bakery Guide To Suburban Al Fresco Lunching

(credit: Jay Lloyd)


The sound of rushing stream below an outdoor dining deck is the setting for St. Peters Bakery in its namesake village just off route 23 in rural Chester County. It’s an ideal lunch stop on a quiet drive in the country. Most of us are familiar with the craft breads that are baked here for area farmer’s markets. They all come together for a parade of unique sandwich blends, served in a pristine outdoor setting. A honey mustard provides spark for the Black Forest ham with Swiss cheese, greens and tomato, nested on a signature multi grain. The French Hoagie is a favorite for its crusty baguette that cradles a full flavored brie set with the tang of onion and brushed with virgin olive oil. It’s the backdrop though that will keep you around for dessert.

peppers Guide To Suburban Al Fresco Lunching

(credit: Jay Lloyd)


When at the KYW Suburban Bureau in Norristown, a favorite lunchtime magnet was Peppers in nearby King of Prussia, now I still stop in when shopping at the region’s merchandise Mecca. This classic Italian eatery has crafted a small patio with sunbrella covered tables for a side of fresh air. Cocktails, Italian beers and wine are on the drink list while a familiar array of pastas and traditional Italian fin, fur and feathered fare splash across the menu. The sauces are full flavored (try the Bolognese). Lunch or dinner starts out with fresh roasted peppers and olive oil to decorate a basket of bread.


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