I was so excited to see that the Franklin Street Station in Reading, Pa, an old passenger train station that was built originally in the early 1930s and also a place where my parents use to catch a train in the ’70s is now a great place to grab a bite. I also love the fact that the now Saucony Creek Franklin Station Brewpub kept its old-world charm but yet has an eclectic selection of beers and food options and all this within walking distance to many downtown locations.
In this edition, I would like to feature Executive Chef Martha “Martita”, born to Dominican parents raised in New York. She graduated from the Culinary Institution of NY, has been on Iron Chef, and featured in several magazines. I love her New American Gastro style of cooking and I love her body art which I learned has so much emotional & motivational significance. I asked Chef Martita what her BOMBA tattoo meant for her. I learned that in her native country when you say something is Bomba, it means it’s explosively good.
I always love personally meeting or chatting with a chef before eating their creative bites. The reason why is because every plate comes with a story and I believe everyone, every place, and experience has a story but when it’s food experience and you know where the idea was born it makes every bite extra explosive. Many times we don’t enjoy our food and we gobble it down fast but if you have a chance to meet the chef beforehand I think it challenges you to appreciate the ingredients that you are eating.
I will tell you what I’ve had to eat so far at the station and it was surely “Bomba”. I’ve had “Mama Olga’s Salt Cod Fritters”, the Franklin Station Burger with Fresh cut fries, Fish Tacos, and the Maple Stout Glazed Crunchy Pork Belly Bites w/Salsa Verde & Peach Couli. I also had a flight of beer that included their Maple Mistress, all I will tell you that it’s like a strong delicious dessert. They also have many other beer pairings that I haven’t tried yet among their “Melt-in-Your-Mouth” Octopus and many other options on the menu but I will be back again. And because this is a scratch kitchen you may find many vegan and gluten-free options as well.
If you are so Reading, I dare you to stop by and experience something different and pair it with a flight of beer but most importantly make sure to pause and take in all the history mixed with its new world eclectic twist. And if the train happens to pass by when you are there, make sure to applaud this great unique experience.
Congratulations to everyone involved in making this project happen!
Rosa Julia Parra