BG Eats: Local Meets Delicious

 A Reuben with black rye bread, swiss, horseradish mustard and local beef bologna with a side of potato salad and a mushroom artichoke pizza topped with basil pesto, marinated artichoke, mushrooms and mozzarella at Home Cafe & Marketplace. Alyssa Pointer/HERALD

John Greer

Sitting at the intersection of the local food movement and foodie culture, Home Cafe serves delicious food that satisfies the taste buds and the sustainably focused mind. 

Home Cafe offers up inventive dishes that adeptly accommodate and highlight the local in-season food. They can’t always use local ingredients, but they try to whenever possible. It presents itself as a casual sandwich spot, but that does not mean that the restaurant takes a casual approach to the food it serves. The simple and sophisticated combinations are the real deal. 

Take their Reuben sandwich. Substituting the normal corned beef was a thick mound of beef bologna procured from nearby Marksbury farms. It’s been smoked to create a more intense flavor, giving the sandwich a distinctive twist while maintaining the spirit of the original. Every other ingredient stayed true to the Reuben formula. A slathering of Thousand Island dressing and dash of sauerkraut imparted the needed tanginess. 

If the interior is any indication, Home Cafe really likes chalk. Lining one side of the restaurant is a giant blackboard filled with chalk drawings and quotes. Above the front counter hangs another blackboard outlining the options available. Yet another chalkboard lists all the local purveyors that have supplied the ingredients for Home Cafe’s dishes. 

A lot of the food preparation occurs within plain sight of customers. The centerpiece was the giant, wood-fired pizza oven. A short trip through this high-powered furnace created a crust that’s both chewy and crisp with a bit of char. The mushroom and artichoke pizza was no exception. Classic flavors found their complements here. Earthy notes from the mushroom mingled with the sharp Parmesan shavings and the dark green pesto swirl. It may have been more on the subtle side, but there was depth to be found. 

Those looking for dessert should check out the rather large snicker doodle squares. The chewy and crumbly shortbread base layered with a blanket of salted caramel and a thick slab of white chocolate dusted with cinnamon sugar was about as rich as it gets. 

For those who want a truly local restaurant that serves great tasting food, Home Cafe is an ideal spot.