Lunchtime Love: Dixie Picnic & Shoo Mama’s

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Amy’s Mama at Shoo Mama’s (img via website)

Looking for a break from the lunch routine? Though neither place is exactly new to the scene, two independent businesses are serving fresh, interesting and casual fare. First, Dixie Picnic in Malvern (in the shopping center with Giant). Started as a restaurant on the Jersey Shore town of Ocean City, this location opened a few years ago. The menu features a wide variety of sandwiches, many of which are available in Bette’s Box Lunch, which comes with a side salad, a deviled egg, and an “upcake”, the Dixie Picnic version of a cupcake (in which all surface area is covered with frosting).

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Mi Pais, Malvern (Frazer)

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Calling all people who subscribe to the overstated, but no less true theory that bacon makes everything better: report to Mi Pais in Frazer and order Colombian bacon, stat.

This stuff is ridiculous. Think of a normal lardon of bacon, but super-sized, with a crispy exterior, and moist, fatty interior, and you have a sense of the  awesomeness at play here.

Not being all that familiar with Colombian cuisine, we put ourselves in the hands of our friendly server (who is, I am guessing, also an owner). He suggested the¬†Cazuelita Mi Pais ($8) as a good introduction to the cuisine. “Its not too heavy, he told us. It has grilled steak, choirizo, and Colombian bacon, as well as beans, rice and plantains.” Who were we to argue with this logic? After all, he hadn’t suggested the larger version ($11), which also includes a fried egg.

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Rosalita’s Fresh Mexican, Malvern (Frazer)

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There’s something about the space in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center (the one with Giant; why don’t they just name these places after the flagship store?) that’s on the right side, across from the QVC outlet. Something that says “this must be a Mexican fast-casual restaurant”. Seriously, is it written in the real estate contract? As far back as I can remember, this has been a Desert Moon or a Mesa Grill or some such semi-chain creation.

It’s unclear whether the latest tenant, Rosalita’s Fresh Mexican, has any connection to these other places, but it appears not. This is an independent, single-location place, started by a few local (non-Mexican, as far as I can tell) guys, although it does have the trappings of a chain in the making. For now, at least, it’s not.

Enough of all that, however. Let’s get to the food. According to Rosalita’s website, they have been “generating buzz for their pork”, so we tried some soft tacos ($6.95) with their 10-hour smoked carnitas (which are also marinated in spices for 24 hours) and their signature salsa, a smoked jalapeno and tomato number. Each taco also included pico de gallo and some shredded lettuce, and there was a side of tortilla chips.

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Le Bus Bakery Outlet, King of Prussia

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File this under the “who knew?” category: In King of Prussia, just off Henderson Rd. (near Renaissance Blvd.), sits the commercial bakery and offices for Philly favorite breadmaker Le Bus. In addition, there’s an outlet store attached!

It’s almost strange to call this an “outlet,” because it’s much more than that. Almost all the bread has been cooked that day (day olds would be clearly marked), but instead is the result of overruns or bakery imperfections, which are still darn tasty. They serve breakfast (pastries, breakfast sandwiches, coffee), as well as lunch (salads and sandwiches), and carry just about all the breads that are made by the bakery.

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Armenian Delight, Broomall

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The Newtown Square / Broomall area is an interesting one for Main Line food-lovers. It’s likely that many people who live on the true “main line” (especially blue-bloods) don’t think of NS as a place to go for food, despite its proximity to just about every town between Bryn Mawr and Paoli. That said, there are some extremely interesting food options here, many of which are somewhat under the radar on the food scene.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that restaurants and food stores in this area tend to be very traditional and less trendy that what you might find on the Line. We’ve previously discussed the fantastic selection of Italian-style pork sandwiches along the Route 3 corridor, and old-school Italian restaurants like Valentino’s remain quietly successful after all these years. Along those same lines, Weinrich Bakery (which, for some reason, we’ve yet to profile on MLD) offers a great selection of traditional German (and PA Dutch) specialties like butter cake. A little further down Route 3 lies Armenian Delight, a small storefront selling Middle Eastern groceries and prepared foods.

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