I was somewhat surprised when my wife requested that we go bowling and out to lunch for her birthday – at least the bowling part was surprising. That’s an activity I would normally suggest. But when my wife says, “Let’s go bowling, Dude,” I’m not about to refuse; especially on her birthday. So we returned to Sproul Lanes in Springfield, PA this afternoon.
I think we both were a little dissatisfied with how we bowled, but we did work up an appetite and had a plan to take care of it.
We’ve been driving past an enticing-looking restaurant near Sproul Lanes for years and had talked about stopping in there to eat several times. The place had been called The Porch at the Lamb for a fairly long time, but switched over to Anthony’s Ristorante at some point in the past couple years; although they have the same classy outer appearance. Today was finally the day we gave them a shot.
Anthony’s outer appearance has always reminded me of a classic supper club, the type of restaurants parents went to for cocktails, steaks and a night away from the kids back in the middle of the 20th century. Their interior was also true to that theme.
Anthony’s lunch menu is fairly restricted in comparison to what they offer for dinner. It’s comprised mostly of soups, salads, a few seafood appetizers and sandwiches from their grill.
My wife isn’t much of a seafood eater, but she does like an occasional shrimp cocktail and ordered one of those today. I tried a shrimp and was very impressed. For my first course, I went with clams casino, a longtime favorite dish of mine. And this was one of the better renditions that I’ve had. It was moist with lots of chopped clams and a wonderful flavor. I would go back to Anthony’s just to eat those again.
I initially settled on bypassing the sandwich options and ordering fish and chips. I’m not Catholic, but it’s Friday, and I do like a good piece of fried fish. But I called a last second audible when the server informed us about their specials of the day and one of them was a roast pork sandwich with spinach and Provolone cheese. That’s a big favorite in the Philadelphia region; especially South Philly, where a few of the better known sandwich shops offer them instead of or in addition to cheesesteaks.
But this version wasn’t quite authentic. The long roll was toasted, which isn’t generally needed – or I think desired – when it’s fresh. The pork had a very nice flavor, but it could have been just a tad moister. And the Provolone wasn’t sharp, which is what they use at the places known for this sandwich. Broccoli rabe is more common than spinach, but I prefer the latter.
I enjoyed the sandwich overall, but I doubt I’d order it again. In fact, if I go back to Anthony’s, I’d prefer it be for dinner to try their pasta or another entrée.
My wife ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and seemed to enjoy it.
We were pretty full after finishing our sandwiches and were going to skip dessert. But I had stepped aside and told our server it was my wife’s birthday a little earlier. I asked her to put a candle in any dessert my wife orders. When she didn’t order one, the server was extremely kind to bring out this chocolate mousse cake with one any way. It was delicious.
We will be heading right back out to eat again, this time with my wife’s family, over the weekend. I’ll be back with a report on that meal, which should include a cheesesteak.