Wert’s Café is a well-established family-run business that has been operating since 1968 in a residential/retail neighborhood in the West End of Allentown. For patrons who are regulars—and clearly many are—Wert’s offers an “everybody knows your name” familiarity.
Any discussion of the food at Wert’s needs to begin with the burgers and the onion rings. The burgers with their distinctive toppings have been named the best in the Lehigh Valley numerous times. Varieties include bacon and bleu cheese; provolone, hard-boiled egg and mayo; homemade BBQ sauce; and a broiled salmon burger with dill sauce, to name a few. As a starter, Wert’s Famous Onion Rings are a heaping, shareable helping of wispy, twisty batter-fried crunchables.
On Mondays, diners can choose any burger and also get a single portion of the onion rings and a piece of homemade chocolate cake. Tuesday is the day to try Wert’s popular seafood bisque. Jumbo lump crab cakes and crab cakes sandwich are also staples on the menu.
Among the full dinner entrees are filet mignon, N.Y. strip steak, barbecued baby back ribs, country ham, broiled scallops, broiled haddock and seafood stir-fry. Vegetarian options include vegetable lasagna and eggplant parmesan. Beyond burgers, Wert’s serves classic hot sandwiches (tuna melt, reuben, Monte Cristo) and club sandwiches and salad platters.
Sides are not just the usual. In addition to French fries, there are curly fries, sweet potato fries and eggplant fries, as well as batter dipped cauliflower, broccoli and vegetable sticks, corn nuggets, homemade creamed cabbage and spinach balls.
Whole homemade cakes and pies are available to go on order. The dessert list is full of traditional goodies: cherry cheesecake, N.Y. apple cake, rice pudding, apricot crumb, apple crisp and pumpkin walnut crunch. Wert’s Café also offers beer, wine and full bar service.
In the cozy quarters of this converted brick house, tradition quietly but unmistakably reigns, from the tried-and-true food, to the comfortable feeling between staff and customers, to the art on the walls of nostalgic Allentown landmarks.
For those who are still craving a few more bites of Thanksgiving tradition, the waning days of November remain to sample Wert’s Burger of the Month: the Thanksgiving Burger, a plain or garlic turkey burger topped with filling, gravy and cranberry sauce.
515 N. 18th St., Allentown, PA 18104. 610-439-0951.