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Positively Philadelphia: The History Behind A Tavern In Wayne

By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Black Powder Tavern on 1164 Valley Forge Road in Wayne is now a bustling restaurant, but in the 1700s, it had a secret.

"Well, basically it was a farm, it was a meeting place for people during the Valley Forge time.  They would come here and they would also store gunpowder in the basement and different things like that. Those kind of things had to be hidden. They couldn't just be out in plain sight."

That's general manager Phil Cugliotta, and the menu says it's been raising spirits since 1746, and filling stomachs.  It was a covert rendezvous point for George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, and other leaders of the American Revolution. It's also believed that during the infamous winter of 1777–1778 at Valley Forge, a major figure in the Continental Army, master military mind Friedrich Von Steuben, designated the tavern as a secret black powder munitions stash for Continental Army couriers.

Today, Cugliotta says,

"A  lot of our dishes are named after, for instance, Lafayette's French onion soup, cheesy devils on horseback, you know, kinda go back to the colonial times of people riding on horses, or meatballs we call cannonballs."

Okay, you got me, what are cheesy devils?

"The cheesy devils are a date that's hollowed out then filled with bleu cheese and then wrapped with Applewood smoked bacon."

The tavern also served as a respite for stagecoach travelers heading west.



And for this week, that's "Positively Philadelphia!"

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