Notes from the Weekend is a feature that sees the members of Team Meal Ticket compiling all the food/drink highlights uncovered during prime eatin' time, Friday to Sunday. We'd love to hear all about YOUR weekend eating adventures in the comments. Go for it! (View past NFTW installments at citypaper.net/notes.)
Adam Erace: AE
Carolione Russock: CR
Somehow I managed to do a little (okay, a whole lot, single malts and Meursault are as traditional as turkey and cranberries, right?) more drinking than eating on Thanksgiving which meant waking up on Friday feeling, oh, let's just call it a little rough around the edges. In other words, in serious need of a burger. I had a hunch that the new University City location of Shake Shack would be the spot to avoid the Black Friday masses. My assumption was correct and the Shack burger, cheese fries and root beer float helped immensely, as did the rest of the day spent laying on the couch.—CR
I started the holiday weekend early with my buddies for our annual Guys' Night Out (TM) dinner. This is the third year we'e been doing it at Modo Mio, whose $35 turista menu you still cannot beat, especially for a group. Twelve of us took over a long table in the dining room, where we proceeded to gorge on the chewy, thick-crusted molassesy bread served, as usual, with whipped ricotta in a pool of olive oil. I had the mussels, floating in a potent white wine, lemon-and-butter elixir, followed by toasted carrot gnocchi and unctuous short ribs. It was all terrific, especially for the price. The fellas headed to Frankford Hall, but I had to get home to get on Thanksgiving prep: sunchokes and parsnips for 30 roasted with garlic and sage, and a giant fruit salad with blueberry whipped cream.—AE
Thursday morning C and I strapped the pups in the car and hustled up to BuxCo for Thanksgiving brunch at her parents'. Thanksgiving brunch is a new creation of our own sadistic designs from last year; whoever's parents we do the turkey dinner wither, we do brunch with the opposite. This usually works well (and her dad makes a mean egg fried in bacon fat) but this year involved some serious mileage, since dinner was at my cousin's way out in Vineland, New Jerz. Cousins A and N did up a meal to make the drive worth it: two turkeys (one roasted, one fried), a Champagne, brown sugar-and-orange-glazed ham butchered from a pig A's pal raised organically on his farmland, sweet potatoes slathered with a buttery walnut topping, artichokes and string bean casseroles, mashed potatoes, fresh cranberry sauce and the hit of the side dishes, roasted cauliflower with pine nuts and dates.—AE
Friday all I wanted was leftovers. I guess that's the downside to not hosting Thanksgiving yourself. Settled for nachos, tacos and clacoyos at Taqueria El Maguey instead. Really excellent for such an unassuming place. (Though they should mop their floor sometime soon.)—AE
Since two Thanksgivings on Thursday were obviously not enough, I planned a third on at my place for friends on Saturday night. I headed out around noon to pick up supplies and was back in the kitchen by one ready to tackle a Thanksgiving feast for 10. On the menu was a bacon-draped turkey stuffed with apples and tangerines, cremini-prosciutto stuffing, mashed Yukon golds, whipped sweet potatoes mashed coconut cream, roasted brussels sprouts with fish sauce vinaigrette, miso creamed kale, pull-apart dinner rolls, and cranberries with fresh ginger. I know I'm probably not going to make a lot of friends by admitting this but I'm not a big fan of pumpkin pie (or cheesecake or beer or lattes or really, anything pumpkin flavored), instead I opted a banana cream pie for dessert plus some chocolate-peanut butter cup brownies, chewy ginger cookies and almond-bourbon blondies. Reds, whites, sparkling and a whole bunch of whiskey rounded out the evening. Dishes were going to have to wait until Sunday.—CR
We spent Saturday and Sunday on Christmas gift excursions, with breaks for dinner at High Street on Market (more on that in a couple weeks) and assorted take-outs of the embarrassing (Wendy's) and not not so embarrassing (Mekong River chicken salad!) varieties. I'm headed to Mexico this week, so I should be looking nice and chunky in my bathing suit.—AE
Before tackling the state of emergency that was my post-Thanksgiving kitchen, I made myself a plate of always better the next day leftovers. Later in the afternoon there were bowls of black bean and beef chili and basmati rice and then a plate of chicken nachos a little later on.—CR
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