Archive: September, 2012
Add Chestnut Hill’s Heirloom (8705 Germantown Ave.) to the list of spots unveiling new fall menus. (All apologies to the flip flop mob, but we could read about braised and roasted beasts and cider-pomegranate vinaigrettes alllll day.) We think their Southern slant takes quite nicely to fall’s hearty produce, resulting in intriguing little notes like kale marmalade and minted Vidalia jam, while Brussels sprouts get friendly not just with near-obligatory bacon but sautéed grapes as well.
While Restaurant Week starts up this weekend, don’t forget about all the other spots running great deals at the same time. Ela (627 S. 3rd St.), for one, will have a 3-course prix fixe dinner for a mere $25. And at the same price point, Pizzeria Stella (420 S. 2nd St.) will let you pick an antipasto, a pizza, and some gelato to finish it off. (Stella’s deal applies to lunch and dinner alike.) Doesn’t get much easy-breezier than that.
With Philly’s beer scene being what it is, seasonal beers snag an awful lot of column inches… or, um, whatever the online equivalent of that is. So lest you think we’re willfully ignoring the wide world of non-alcoholic pumpkiny one-offs, here are a few brief notables: Green Aisle (1618 E. Passyunk Ave.) has pumpkin and butternut squash pastas in from Severino; Pure Fare (119 S. 21st St.) is slinging pumpkin soft serve; and Magpie (1622 South St.) is rolling out their fall offerings, including pumpkin and pecan pies, in a mere two days.
No one is going to argue that there's a shortage of food trucks in this city. We've got everything from soul food to fruit salad, Korean cheesesteaks and everything in between.
But there's a newcomer to the Philly food truck scene that's worth a mention, Birds of Paradise Mobile, "a CHRIST-honoring, non-traditional, grassroots food truck serving refreshment and nourishment to help people feel alive and keep people alive. We are intentional about eliminating the effect disease has on our world."
Okay, so that's intriguing enough on its own but the real question here is what does this non-traditional nourishment come from?
Yesterday we introduced you to Rhett Vellener, the new chef at Resurrection Ale House. Last night we headed to over to the Gray's Ferry beer bar to celebrate their third anniversary and sample some of Vellener's new fall menu paired with a tap takeover courtesy of Allagash.
Top bites off the new menu include a braised pork slider topped with kimchi and sesame seeds, brussels spouts with pistachios and balsamic, and a pumpkin pudding. That pork slider is reason enoigh to get yourself down to Resurrection ASAP.
No need to worry, Resurrection's fried chicken is still on the menu alongside newcomers like maitaki mushrooms with polenta and celery root hash, harissa cauliflower with fried chickpeas and a brisket reuben with beer-braised cabbage on house-made rye.
The 11th Street spot formerly occupied by Santa Fe Burrito is getting a Detroit-style makeover courtesy of Gregg Methot and Dawn Hone. Fans of Hot Diggity and Underdogs should know that aside from burgers and kebabs, Famous Detroit Coney Company is going to be serving up Detroit Coneys i.e. Koegels hot dogs topped off with onions and a secret recipe chili that may or may not be made of beef hearts and bacon grease.
Famous Detroit Coney Company is still a few months out but Michigan transplants are already looking forward to Coneys, Vernor's Ginger Ale and the possibility of Roseanne-style Maid-Rite burgers.
Fall menu changes are in full swing with all sorts of dark, leafy greens, crisp apples and brussels sprouts.
Fairmount's Lemon Hill (474 N. 25th St.) is introducing a lineup of ciders including the amazingly tart Basque Isastegi and Dupont from France to pair with new menu items like charred brussels sprouts with lamb bacon and Pecorino, veal sweetbread stew and roasted chanterelle flatbread.
Over at Meritage (500 S. 20th St.) they're beefing up their menu with warm curried sweet potato soup, grilled quail with cheddar polenta, collards and an apple cider gastrique and absolutely over the top banana, Oreo and caramel pudding topped off with whipped cream. The folks over at Meritage are saying that it rivals Barbuzzo's salted caramel budino, a statement that obviously requires a trial taste off.
Welp, guys, it’s that time again: Beer Olympics time, that is. (More accurately, it will be that time tonight starting at 7 p.m.) What can we even say about the Beer Olympics at Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Ave.)? Well, for one, we can say that they sound more like Beer Double Dare, but we’re perfectly OK with that! Hosted by hardcore darling Eli Shaika, the games will see contestants throwing beers and sausages around, and trying to avoid excess sloshing of their full liter drafts while engaging in various activities—you know, doing the limbo, navigating an obstacle course, sliding glasses to teammates waiting to fill a bucket with their contents. NBD.
In decidedly more sedate news, the Greensgrow Community Kitchen at St. Michael’s Church (2139 East Cumberland St.) has an incredibly useful class lined up for you: Whole Fish Cooking & Cleaning with Standard Tap Chef Carolynn Angle. Maybe you had one of those idyllic childhoods where every summer was spent at the lake, where your parents taught you important lessons in self-sufficiency. In that case, you probably already know everything about gutting and butchering a fish and can save yourself the $35 registration fee. The rest of us, however, should consider keeping our schedules clear on Saturday, Sept. 29th from noon to 2 p.m. (You can register and pay for the class here.)
And one more quickie: Missouri’s Askinosie Chocolate is some of the best small-batch chocolate being made in the U.S. (so says Bon Appétit mag), and you can snag a taste tomorrow at DiBruno Bros. Rittenhouse (1730 Chestnut St.) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A rep from Askinosie will be on hand to demo their products, and we don’t know about you, but we happen to think it’s pretty rude to turn down free chocolate.
By now you're all well aware of impending doom that is the purported bacon shortage. According to a report released by the British National Pig Association this dip in pork production is going to be a worldwide epidemic due to the soaring costs of pig feed. To combat this potentially disastrous situation you can certainly stock the freezer with pork bellies and applewood smoked bacon, follow breaking porcine happenings over at Save Our Bacon or head over to Wendy's (1101 Arch St.) on October 2nd to show your support for everyone's favorite cured pork product.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the generous folks at Wendy's will be giving away free Sons of the Baconator, that's two beef patties topped with four strips of bacon piled onto a buttered toasted bun. Oh, and that comes with a Frosty and the potential for bacon-themed t-shirts and gift cards.
Whether this bacon burger giveaway is going to help or hurt the bacon shortage remains to be seen but a free burger is a free burger, right? For more info check out Facebook.com/Baconator or @IAmBaconator on Twitter.
We don’t much get into politics here at Meal Ticket, but we are awfully interested in this upcoming series of talks on hot-button issues in food politics and the way we eat, to be hosted by the Academy of Natural Sciences (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway) throughout the next month or so.
Those of us whose exposure to the Academy came mostly through school field trips might be embarrassingly unaware of the work they and their Center for Environmental Policy do with regards to issues of sustainability in food production and distribution. But they’ve previously worked with some other local groups we know and love that are involved in next month’s programming: Fair Food collaborated on a program on sustainable meat production last fall, and Farm to City has been a frequent contributor to events like the Urban Sustainability Forum on High Tunnel Farming held earlier this year. (As of this year, the Academy is also participating in Farm to City’s very cool Delaware Valley Farm Share partnership, which conveniently delivers the CSA experience right to urban workplaces.)
For this next series of public discussions, the Academy has locked down some big names to talk about some big issues. First up on October 9th, the directors of Fair Food and SHARE Food Program will attempt to elucidate our urban ecosystem and just how much work it takes to feed Philadelphia. And on October 18th, things could get a bit contentious during a panel discussion on the complexities of our attempts to go green and where we might be getting it wrong. The CEP’s Sara Steele tells us that their goal in bringing together speakers like James E. McWilliams and Blake Hurst was to create “a dynamic presentation where varying viewpoints were juxtaposed on stage,” and we suspect they've succeeded.
An event on Oct. 21st will bring in heavy hitter Anna Lappé (yes, that’s Francis Moore’s daughter) to discuss sustainability and the hunger epidemic on a global scale. On that evening, there will also be a post-panel reception featuring a menu prepared by the Academy’s in-house caterer with food provided by Common Market, and Victory will pitch in beer for the event as well.
Finally, the keynote event on November 8th will bring it all together with a talk by professor/columnist/blogger/activist/household name Marion Nestle. We don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say that there aren’t many people alive better equipped to talk about the issues at hand, and that the strength of this final event speaks for itself. Click through to browse the full listings with all the times, prices, and registration info you’ll need to attend any of the talks.
Remember when Anthony Bourdain was in town filming an episode of The Layover? Well, the new season is premiering on Monday, November 19th with Tony visiting Chicago, Atlanta, Dublin, New Orleans, Paris, Seattle, Taipai, Toronto as well as our fair city.
According to a pretty hilarious press release we can look forward to a kick-off Chicago episode where Tony "drinks in dive bars galore, samples hot dogs, Polish sausages and Italian beef sandwiches (he prefers them hot, sweet and wet), and conducts an informal poll on whether native Chicagoans really eat deep-dish pizza."
No word yet on the Philly episode date but with a whirlwind of check-ins at DiBruno's, Paesano's, Amis, Stateside, Zahav, the Pen & Pencil and Han Dynasty, the show should be a pretty thorough guide to some of the most worthwhile places in town.
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