Friday, December 29 2023 2:39

Publisher’s Letter

Written by Edwin Malet

January 2024

Happy New Year! For its 20th year, County Lines is celebrating the outstanding restaurants of our area with a Local Dining Guide. And making several suggestions regarding our eating habits.

“Best of the Best” represents the work of our whole writing team. We’ve chosen over 100 of our favorite eateries and drinkeries in County Lines country to share with you. We also welcome several new restaurants, highlight a bunch of new steakhouses, and recognize the top spots to dine morning, noon and night, plus for Happy Hour.

Marci Tomassone adds a 2024 Dining Guide and checks the calendar for the best upcoming food events this year. She’s found a lot! Food festivals, restaurant weeks, weekends of chocolate and wine … My favorite, though, is the 22nd annual Taste of Phoenixville, coming up on January 18.

Our Brandywine Table writer, Courtney Diener-Stokes, has spent the past year looking for inspiration on farms, in farm markets and with the cooks of County Lines country. Now she turns to an eye to her own kitchen, combing through family recipes and writing “Family Food Traditions Worth Keeping (or Tossing Out).”

Looking farther afield, Mimi Liberi of the Wellington Bookshop recommends several new cookbooks in “Out With the Old, In With the New,” as she considers new approaches for preparing meals.

All well and good, says Shannon Montgomery, but there’s no time, most of the time, to shop, slice, dice and otherwise prepare — don’t forget cleaning up afterwards — a healthy and hearty meal. Nor is she satisfied with the fast-food version of eating. Luckily, she finds solutions — “Ready-Made Meals” — and tells us where to find them.

In “Sustainable Sustenance,” Brittany Knick of ChristianaCare offers six tips to reduce our impact on global warming while simultaneously improving our health. In other words, win-win.

Finally, Olga and Brian Dressler, of Dressler Estate, offer us “Hard Cider 101.” What is it? Why should we try it? Read how ciders are made, what makes them hard, learn some cider history and find out where to get good ones.

As always, we’ve included plenty of ideas for Family Fun and things to do in our Best Local Events section.

At, you can read the January issue’s articles online. And at, you can enjoy the complete digital issue FOR FREE. You can also click Get A Copy on the website to find locations to get a print copy.

We hope you’ll subscribe to County Lines. Do it online or call 610-918-9300. For single issues, try Carlino’s, Kimberton Whole Foods, Janssen’s, Crop’s Fresh Market, Country Butcher, the Well, the Foodery, Harvest Market, Wellington Square Bookshop, Reads & Company, Main Point Books or your local library.

Copies are also available this month at nearly 400 locations. Visiting an advertiser is a great — and free — way to find copies!

Our best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

Ed Malet, Publisher


Best of the Best

Even after 20 years, we continue to be awed by the amazing culinary talent that been attracted to our corner of the world. As always, we highlight the stars, the steakhouses, the new restaurants and the new locations, and the pubs. We also have recommendations for morning, noon, brunch, afternoon tea, evening and Happy Hour noshing. We encourage you to make a list of places to dine with you friends and family. Dine locally and dine often!


Ready-Made Meals

Meal planning can be stressful. Choosing what to make, accounting for everyone’s preferences and requirements, getting all the ingredients, cooking, plating … the whole process can be a real chore. Fortunately, many of our markets and restaurants have taken meal-prep off the table. Carlino’s, DiBruno’s, Westtown Amish, Foresta’s, Limoncello, Janssen’s, the Lancaster County Farmers Market … all places where you’ll save the drudgery and enjoy a good, healthy meal.


Sustainable Sustenance

Good nutrition is a key to good health. But the choices we make affect not only our personal health, but also our community and our environment. A direct link exists between climate change and our consumption of food. Here are six tips to improve our health and the health of our planet: 1) consume less meat, 2) choose sustainable seafood, 3) buy seasonal and local, 4) eat a plant-forward diet, 5) reduce food waste and 6) make sustainable beverage choices.

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