All the Best of All Things Local

Archive: Sep 2007

Laurel Vista Farms, Somerset, PA (Part II)

  1. Laurel Vista Farms, Somerset, PA (Part II)

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    Try our…Sweet Onion & Potato Soup and Marian’s Potato Pancakes

    I’m a HUGE potato fan. Well, for that matter I’m an equally huge onion fan. There is nothing that tastes better than potatoes and onions freshly dug from the ground.  So this time of year is one of my favorites – when Pennsylvania potatoes and sweet onions are unearthed from their fields and make their way to our markets…and eventually my table.

    In Somerset County in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, the bitter cold winters prepare the land for perfect potato growing conditions. And although Pennsylvania is one of the largest potato growing states for chip potatoes, the folks at Laurel Vista Farms have transitioned from decades of chip potatoes to growing absolutely delicious red, white and Yukon Gold table potatoes, best enjoyed this time of year. Potatoes fresh from the farm–there is nothing that tastes better! Try them and you’ll learn how potatoes are REALLY supposed to taste!

    In addition to the incredible potatoes they grow amazingly sweet Somerset SweetsTM onions. Once you’ve tasted sweet onions grown in Pennsylvania, and particularly Somerset Sweets, you’ll never go back to Vidalias! Especially given that these are grown right in our own state and travel less than 100 miles to our stores. They’re so sweet that Rick of Laurel Vista Farms even bites into them and eats them like apples!

    Laurel Vista Somerset Sweets onions and Somerset Spuds can be found in select Giant Eagle and their Market District Stores, as well as McGinnis Sisters stores. If you don’t see them, as the produce manager to give them a call to get their farm-fresh products in a store near you!

    Learn more about Laurel Vista Farms at

    Laurel Vista Farms
    1665 Coxes Creek Road
    Somerset, PA 15501

    Phone: 814-443-2415 or 814-443-1112

  2. Three Sisters Farm, Sandy Lake, PA; Eleven, Pittsburgh, PA

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    One life’s greatest pleasures is going to restaurants who are committed to and inspired by food raised in their own region. These are the restaurants we seek out when we travel and certainly the ones we enjoy most when at home because we know we will always be surprised, extraordinarily satisfied, and never disappointed. Eleven in Pittsburgh’s Strip District is such an establishment. Chef Derek Stevens is brilliant. I recently stopped in for a light lunch and was mesmerized by his crab bisque, creamy without cream, with a mildly spicy blend of flavors reminiscent of cioppino, and topped with a littleneck clam and crouton. But, it was for the baby greens salad with shallot vinaigrette that I went.

    The day before I traveled about an hour north of Pittsburgh to visit Darrell Frey at Three Sisters Farm, supplier of gourmet baby and wild greens to Eleven and other select Pittsburgh-area restaurants. On the five acres that Three Sisters Farm occupies, Darrell and his family grow an incredible array of organic greens, vegetables, and harvest wild edibles. We walked among cultivated rows of greens, rambling patches of wildflowers and what looked like ordinary weeds (to me!). But to Darrell we were walking through a veritable Seasonal Salad garden. He plucked dandelion leaves, Chinese chrysanthemum, chickweed, lambs quarters, tet soi, wild amaranth, nasturtium blossoms — handing each to me to taste as we walked along. We continued throughout the farm gathering cultivated and wild edibles that have given me a completely new view on what constitutes the perfect salad. The unique flavors and textures of the greens and wild edibles Three Sisters Farm provides are expertly presented in Eleven’s salad I had at lunch. The shallot dressing was merely a hint, letting the delicate flavors of the greens to shine. Thank you, Derek and thank you Darrell!


    Three Sisters Farm

    contact: Darrell Frey

    134 Obitz Road

    Sandy Lake, PA 16145


    visit them on the web, here



    1150 Smallman Street

    Pittsburgh, PA 15222


    vist their website, here