ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania — A food truck offering fresh food and friendly conversation has expanded to include a brick-and-mortar restaurant in downtown Allentown.
Red Ticket Cafe, which launched as a mobile business in the summer of 2021, last month opened its first quick-service restaurant at 840 W. Hamilton St.
The space, on the ground floor of the Alvin H. Butz Corporate Center, previously housed other dining establishments, including American Continental Restaurant Sangria and more recently Billy’s Downtown Diner for breakfast and lunch. lunch.
Red Ticket, known for its “home-cooked food that promises to deliver big flavors,” offers online ordering for pickup as well as on-site dining.
Breakfast and lunch are served Monday through Friday, and evening events with partner breweries, live entertainment and more are set to begin November 11.
“Running a restaurant business together has been our dream for about seven years, and it’s amazing to see it blossom so quickly,” said Christine Serrill, who operates Red Ticket Cafe with her fiancé and the executive chef of the restaurant. company, Alan Gaul.
“In the first three months of launching our truck in late 2021, the response has been overwhelmingly positive and we have booked appearances for the rest of the year. The restaurant eventually became necessary as we continued to grow and had need a bigger kitchen for catering orders.
Over the past year, the Sellersville couple have built a solid reputation for Red Ticket by visiting several Lehigh Valley craft breweries, including Taylor House Brewing Co. in Catasauqua, Lost Tavern Brewing in Hellertown, Yergey Brewing in Emmaus , Rising River Brewing in Lower Macungie Township. , Sherman Street Beer Company in Allentown, Seven Sirens Brewing Company in Bethlehem, and Retriever Brewing Company in Lowhill Township.
A weekly rotating menu offers American cuisine prepared from scratch, including specialty burgers, sandwiches, salads and soups.
Popular breakfast items include avocado toast, coffee cake, stacks of French toast, mixed fruit yogurt parfait, pork roll sandwich with egg and cheese, prime rib Benedict with house fries, sliders (your choice of meat, egg and cheese) and Red Ticket breakfast (fresh fruit, nuts, cubes of Munster and cheddar cheese and lightly toasted multigrain bread with a medium poached egg).
Lunch offerings include soups such as Broccoli Cheddar, French Onion, and Bacon Corn Chowder; fondants and sandwiches such as a ham and gouda fondue and a grilled chicken sandwich; and loaded fresh cut fries such as “The Little Piggy” (cottage cheese sauce with pork, shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, red ticket sauce and green onions).
“Our top sellers, which are almost always on the menu, include a pulled pork macaroni and cheese, a Red Ticket Rachel sandwich and a cowboy burger,” Serrill said.
Gourmet coffee drinks, including lattes and macchiato, are also available. Customers can prepare their own drink using a Nespresso machine, various syrups and other products at the espresso bar or have a worker prepare the drink for them.
Homemade cookies, cakes and other baked goods are also featured.
“We specialize in comfort foods, but we offer a bit of everything,” Serrill said. “We’ve done everything from Chicken Marsala and Italian Braised Pot to Cheddar-Crusted Burritos with Pulled Pork and Mac and Cheese. We put our own spin on most dishes, and everything is homemade – from our sauces, croutons and curly onions to our soups, desserts and meats that we braise for eight hours.
Opening Red Ticket Cafe is a “dream come true” for Serrill and Gaul, who both have extensive experience in the restaurant industry and have long sought to merge their talents into a new venture, Serrill said.
Serrill has cooked most of his life, recently launching his own gourmet dessert business, Cookie Gourmet, while Gaul has over 25 years of experience leading culinary teams in local restaurants, retirement communities and Wegmans grocery stores.
Working in downtown Allentown is a looping moment for Gaul who, after graduating from Northampton Community College’s culinary arts program in 1993, worked in the kitchen of the popular Patio restaurant inside the old Hess department store opposite where Red Ticket is now. located.
Gaul remembers making many of the Patio’s most popular dishes, including his famous strawberry pies, cream puffs and other desserts, which he plans to introduce down the line at Red Ticket.
“We want to meet the needs of the downtown Allentown community,” Gaul said. “We want to provide great food as well as a fun place to socialize with friends and family before a hockey game or other downtown event.”
The Red Ticket Cafe is open 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for breakfast and 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for lunch Monday through Friday.
From November 11, the restaurant will also be open for dinner, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, with live entertainment and sales of local craft beers. Serrill and Gaul also plan to bring games like Connect 4 and giant-sized Jenga for customers to play.
“On Fridays, we’ll have what we call a ‘reverse food truck,’ where Taylor House Brewing will come in and sell their craft beer alongside our food,” Serrill said.
“We will have a special happy hour menu, and we will also have events such as game shows, karaoke, open mic nights and maybe even a paid comedy event. Our goal is to eventually offer dinner on Thursdays and Saturdays as well, but how quickly that happens depends on our hiring process and Taylor House’s ability to produce enough beer.
The Red Ticket Cafe, which features booths and coffee tables, offers online ordering for pickup at red-ticket-cafe-togo.square.site. For more information call 484-999-0964 or email [email protected].