Adventures in Allentown: Country BBQ and Syrian (Don’t Flag me) Food

For some reason, I recently found myself in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Whenever I visit somewhere new, I research all the potential spots for good food, especially food the area is known for. For this itinerary, the first stop was the Allentown Farmer’s Market.

Like Reading Terminal, the facility hosts stands selling both prepared foods and groceries. Here, they are generous with the samples. I picked up fruit, sausage, and “Hillbilly” beef jerky.

For an early meal at Dan’s BBQ we ordered ribs, roast chicken with wedge fries & stuffing, and a chicken pot pie. The ribs could have been more moist, but I loved the flavor of the BBQ sauce. The simple chicken pot pie was a steal for $6. No complaints about the roast chicken or stuffing, but I could not stop eating the potato wedges.

 Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market17th and Chew St, Allentown

Later in the day, we dined at Damascus, a restaurant serving Syrian food. Allentown currently has a large Syrian population and is continuing to accept refugees. Midtown Lunch is not a launch pad for socio-political beliefs, but I am glad that I can share my experience with the cuisine of  this culture.  (Am I allowed to type “Syrian?”)

We enjoyed babaganouj and “surkey” a salad made with tomato, parsley, olive oil and a zesty, feta like cheese called “shankleesh.”

That cheese came in handy to balance the fried slices of zucchini that came with a sweet pomegranate sauce.

A simple meat pie didn’t have quite the zing as the other appetizers.  Pro tip: if you are in Allentown on a Saturday, order the kibbeh naya; raw beef served with sizzling onions and butter. Looks like what you would make burgers out of but is absolutely addicting.

So guys, Allentown? So hot right now? What about Syrian food?

Damascus, 449 N 2nd St, Allentown, 610432-2036


1 Comment

  • So many things to say about this post.

    1) What is “hillbilly” beef jerky exactly? Jerky that’s slept with its sister?

    2) How can there be a post about Allentown without a Billy Joel reference? Is this why you were forced to leave Queens?

    3) No flagging for sharing the delicious looking Syrian food, but I’m pretty sure using “addicting” in lieu of “addictive” violates Sharia law. Or at least should.

    4) Finally, did you know in the Pacific Northwest they call those potato wedges “jojos.” Weird, right?

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