Kwane Haywood and his wife, Akiai Worthington not only put “welcome” in the name, they make sure all guests at their restaurant feel welcome at their restaurant.
“People like to feel welcome,” said Haywood. “I want to welcome them in and go above and beyond. I might not be able to please everyone but I’m going to try.”
Haywood, a Saint Vincent native, spent a lot of time in the kitchen watching and learning from mother who cooked fish brought home by his fisherman father.
With a unique style and a passion for the craft, Haywood brings fresh ingredients and inspired dishes to his Pottstown restaurant.
“My background is Caribbean food and I wanted to give it a facelift. Most of the Caribbean restaurants I know are takeout. I add an artistic flair to each dish. People eat with their eyes first. I want to make Caribbean food more spectacular,” said Haywood.
Popular menu choices at Welcome to the Avenue:
- Curry chicken (Won the award for Best Main Dish in 2017 at the “Carousel of Flavor” in Pottstown.)
- Braised turkey
- Quinoa and avocado hot pot
Who isn’t ready for a night out? The Blue Elephant’s dishes and dining room are Insta-worthy.
The beautiful restaurant in Pottstown has high ceilings, a fountain, velvet booths, leather booths, and foliage.
The Blue Elephant is owned by Win and Sutida Somboonsong. Their company, Win Signature Restaurants, also owns and operates four restaurants on the Main Line.
Some noteworthy dishes at this Asian fusion restaurant are drunken noodles, dumplings, short ribs, and sushi rolls
Good food and good deeds. Uptown Flavors Kitchen owner Zahmere Trott provided free lunches for local kids in March 2020 when the pandemic closed schools. Uptown Kitchen specializes in soul food.
Multiple locations across Montgomery County
This family-owned restaurant chain has two locations in Montgomery County – Plymouth Meeting and King of Prussia.
Plaza Azteca’s Mexican-influenced expansive menu is highlighted by tableside guacamole, enchiladas, chimichangas supreme, and OMG nachos. Live mariachi bands perform on some evenings, too.
Plymouth Meeting/Lafayette Hill
Two brothers, Bimal and Binod Moktan, have owned the Persian Grill in Lafayette Hill for over twenty years. They have a new location in Hatboro, too.
The Persian Grill has become a fixture and favorite due to their commitment to using only the finest imported spices and fresh ingredients.
The Basmati rice the Persian Grill uses is directed imported from the bottom of the Himalayas and prepared the same way their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.
Popular choices at the Persian Grill include the kabob combo, saffron ice cream, and baklava.
Blue Bell and Ambler
Kwabena Buatchi, owner of Buutchiis Grille in Ambler, has a background in supply chain management and logistics, a Master’s in organizational development, and a post-grad degree in cognitive behavioral therapy. In addition to extensive education, he is an artist both with the brush and with cooking utensils.
“It’s a passion of mine. Cooking is art. I use my pots and pans as the canvas. The ingredients I put in are my colors,” explained Buatchi.
He never went to culinary school and learned to cook from his family. Buatchi is a Ghana native who arrived to the United States in 2002 when he was 19.
“I watched and experimented. I tried different things when I was cooking. There is a way back home everyone cooks peanut soup. I cook it a little different to make it by own.”
What dish is his masterpiece at Buutchiis Grille which serves African and Caribbean cuisine?
“Jerk chicken, especially if I’m grilling it. Or ribs. It comes out very good. Jollof rice is regular rice cooked in tomato gravy, and the flavor depends on how good you can cook your tomato gravy. It is one of my best sellers.”
El Sarape’s new location hasn’t changed owner Louis Marin’s commitment to consistency to food and service.
“Our staff and food is known to customers. We are part of the community. We belong to them,” said Marin.
Marin, a native of Mexico, stays true to his roots by using his mother’s recipes with a modern twist.
Favorite dishes at El Sarape are red snapper (a whole fish cooked in garlic sauce filled with seafood mix) filet Toluca (center cut filet mignon), mole rojo (chicken with mild mole sauce, made of chocolate, nuts, herbs, plantains and peppers), and enchiladas.
Richard Rodgers opened Ambler Vegan Co. on Butler Avenue in Ambler in May. The vegan café’s menu is based on high-raw, whole-food and features salads, bowls, original creative raw entrees, smoothies, juices, and desserts.
A pandemic couldn’t hold back the energetic and passionate, Chef Keith Taylor. In addition to the food stand at Elmwood Park Zoo, other recent projects are:
Soul of Cooking Kitchen Experience: An interactive culinary studio in Norristown.
Zachary’s Commissary: Coming soon to 9 West Main Street in Norristown. Zachary’s Commissary has plans for Taylor’s signature BBQ in addition to comfort food and deli favorites,
Partnership with Five Saints Distilling: John and Amy George at Five Saints Distilling in Norristown chose Taylor to lead the kitchen and the multi-level event space for the five-year-old distillery located in an historic firehouse at 129 East Main Street in Norristown.
A few other diverse-owned restaurants in Norristown to check out: