Out of the Fire Cafe

7 Apr

On the way back from visiting family in PA a few weeks back my dad and I stopped to have a little lunch along the way, foregoing the drive-through for a meal at the Out of the Fire Café in Donegal, PA. Just up the road from the middle of nowhere Donegal is a sleepy little town catering (in my estimation) to nearby ski resorts and weekend antiquers.  Like its food, the restaurant mixes country sensibilities with modern touches (think rustic wooden tables and bar with copper pendant lamps over head). A wide variety of fishy decorations (think fish paintings, fish plaques, even a wooden fish bench) not so subtly encourage you to order the kitchen’s specialty, house smoked salmon.

On this visit we were seated in a prime table, a booth under one of the café’s massive windows looking out over the mountains. It was a lovely view even on a grey and drizzly day. To start we went with one of the daily specials, an appetizer of tuna tartare with a little cucumber salad and wasabi aioli. It did not disappoint. The fish was fresh and tasty. Its accompanying wasabi aioli lent the tartar a creamy texture and a bit of a kick and we scooped up every last bit with our wanton crisps.

Tuna Tartare on a montain in Western PA. Who knew?

For my main course I knew I wanted something incorporating that infamous smoked salmon so I took the waitress’ suggestion of the smoked salmon quesadilla and was glad I did. The salmon was awesome, flaky smoky goodness melting into fresh mozzarella and a creamy dill sauce. Simple and delicious. I finished every last bite of it as well, full and content with my two fish-filled courses. And then the dessert menu arrived and convinced us that we needed some key lime pie to cap the meal off. Tart and tasty with a graham cracker and almond crust it was a worthy finish to a lovely off the beaten path dining experience.

If I were Rachel Ray I'd say Yum-O (But I'm not and I won't. You can't make me).

Perhaps I’ll be frequenting the middle of nowhere a bit more often….



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