There is a certain pleasure that one gets from eating a garden-fresh tomato, or an apple off the tree.  We know that it hasn’t been touched by countless hands.  We know it wasn’t waxed, or washed, or anything that might take away from its natural delicious flavor.  This idea of getting food from your “backyard” is making a big impact on how dining establishments around the country are doing business.

David Steiger, General Manager of Harvest Seasonal Grill and Restaurant, let us know that “it is more expensive, but we have to give back to the community.”  They purchase only organic, local foods at this “seasonally changing, farm-to-table restaurant in Glen Mills, PA.  To accompany their award-winning local food, Harvest dedicates most of their draft lines to local beers, one of which is always from Victory Brewing Co.  Currently on draft is Golden Monkey, a Belgian-inspired tripel.  Try pairing it with their Ginger Pork dish, with mango salsa, coconut jasmine rice and bok choy.

Up in Blue Bell, PA, the restaurant at Normandy Farms, called The Farmer’s Daughter, is also known to take inspiration from locally sourced food and beer.  Donna Biesel, Manager of The Farmer’s Daughter, says that the reason “local” is so popular is because people are “brought home.”  They suddenly feel more proud of where they live, since they are getting exceptional food and beer that no one else can call their own.  “it really gives an impression that what they are consuming is healthy, natural, and good for the community.”  If you are searching for a good night to go out, pick a Thursday at The Farmers Daughter where they have a Featured Beer special and live music, from local musicians, of course.

As proof that more and more consumers want a place to eat local food and drink local beer, the White Dog Café now has two locations.  Originally, Judie Wicks established the White Dog Café in University City, Philadelphia in 1983.  Her strict social contract dictated that the White Dog would be local from the ground up.  Eventually Wicks sold the restaurant to Marty Grims so that she could concentrate on social activism outside the world of dining.  Last year, Grims opened up the second White Dog location in Wayne, PA.In speaking to the manager at the Wayne location, Tomas Szene, he emphasized the White Dog’s importance in the community.  Seeing as well over 90% of their produce comes from local farms he pointed out that they are giving the economic support that many of these farmers need desperately.  They have 8 draft lines; every single one is a local craft beer!  We suggest trying the Line Caught Jersey Fluke with a glass of Troegs Sunshine Pils.  And if you are out to dinner with a non-beer drinker, they have an exceptional “farm-to-bar” cocktail menu that is filled with unique alcohol infusions.

And there you have it: three local restaurants that have dedicated themselves to buying fresh and buying local!  Simply going to the McDonald’s down the street isn’t enough to say you are eating local food.  If you truly care to improve the local food and beer scene, you need to know that the places you are patronizing care as well, and these three are excellent places to start!