Afternoon Snacks, Avocado Edition: Chip Dipping 101, Frying and freezing avocado, Chili waffle sandwiches
If we're being really honest, my attempts at eating seasonally often only apply to foods I could take or leave anyway (raw tomatoes? I'll wait until July, thanks). I continue to let avocados, on the other hand, make me look like a total jerk all winter. I just keep buying them thinking I've lucked into a decent specimen, until I take a bite and the avocado's all, "Haha, jk, I'm still a tasteless, watery mess!"
Point being, now that the weather has warmed up and avocados taste good again, I've been downing them with abandon. (Now I'm not a nutritionist, of course—but I wouldn't listen to them anyway, because they always recommend you eat 1/4 of an avocado per day, which is the kind of thing someone would only say if they've never eaten an actual avocado in this actual universe where oxygen exists and avocados are DELICIOUS.)
Either I'm not alone in this, or everyone else just overbought for their Cinco de Mayo parties, because here are a bunch of things about avocados:
- NPR's Weekend Edition came through with a clinic in chip-dipping (dippery?), because duh, though they got the kind of answer you can only expect when you ask an engineer about food (hint: it has to do with Tostitos Scoops). Also, since you were probably looking for one, they helpfully include a recipe for guacamole that has raisins in it (bonus points for the cringeworthy dad pun in recipe's title)!
The Insider is reporting that Nick Elmi, the Le Bec-vet talent behind Rittenhouse Tavern has given his notice and will be leaving at the end of the month. He's planning on taking it easy this summer and venturing to become the chef-owner of hiss own venture sometime in the near future.
In Le Bec news it appears as though owner Nicolas Fanucci is no longer involved in the project. Fanucci was brought in from The French Laundry along with recently departed chef Walter Abrams to take over Le Bec 2.0 back in March of 2012. The Insider has got word that Le Bec-alum Chris Scarduzio has been called in to assist in the kitchen. Eater's caught word that Michelin starred Gilt chef Justin Bogle has been tapped to replace Abrams.
It's the first Monday of the month and that means it's time once again for Industry Night at Alla Spina (1410 Mt. Vernon St.)! Tonight the Vetri crew is welcoming Rocco Whalen and The Fahrenheit Food Truck all the way from Cleveland. So what's on the menu? Whalen will be serving kimchi dogs (!!!), tempura shrimp with chili aioli and scallions, grilled corn with cojita cheese and garlic mayo, pork belly BLTs, Vietnamese chicken spring rolls and Thai meatballs. Alla Spina's Mike Deganis is going to be heading up dessert offerings with mini moon pies, croquembouche and a flaming baked Alaska.
Drinks-wise Alla Spina is going to be cracking open bottles of Peroni and the new wide mouth Sly Fox Helles cans and mixing up bourbon smashes and Ghost Witch cocktails with Strega, grapefruit and white whiskey.
As per usual the party starts at 10 p.m., the buffet is free and the drinks are cheap, all you need is a pay stub to prove your industry cred.
The writing was on the proverbial wall. Over the past few months, the business hours of Little Snuff's Luncheonette were shrinking... and shrinking... and shrinking. Friendly owner Joe Last Name Unknown, briefly a permanent presence on the cafe stoop, was seen less and less. And last week, a "For Rent" sign went up in the window. This snug Soufilly spot marks the third that's given it a go at 1702 South 11th, an address that's struck them out in order one, two, three. Real estate doesn't stick around long in this part of town, so I'm sure some other sucker will sneak into the space soon enough. Meanwhile I'll fondly remember the excellent chicken-cutlet sandwich you see above. Rest in peace, Snuff's.
Monday, April 29
Tuesday, April 30
Wednesday, May 1
Thursday, May 2
Between the forecast for this weekend (sunny and warm) and the two very important holidays happening on Saturday and Sunday, the experts here at Team Meal Ticket are predicting a tipsy weekend.
Saturday i.e. Derby Day Khyber Pass Pub (56. S. 2nd St.) is celebrating all day long with Juleps (both frozen and on the rocks), Sazeracs and Kentucky-inspired fare like Burgoo, Benedictine and Bourbon Balls. The big race will be broadcast live, there's promises of prizes and the costume inclined are encouraged to wear Derby-themed attire in exchange for discounted drinks.
Down at Cantina (1651 E. Passyunk Ave.) they're celebrating fake Mexican Independence Day all weekend long with drink specials ($3 Tecates, $6 watermelon and peach margaritas and a dangerous sounding Puebla Punch) served from a patio bar along with menu items like wild mushroom queso fundido and chicken thigh mole rojo. There will also be complimentary tequila samples and face painting all weekend long.
Up at Dos Segundos (941 N. 2nd St.) they are celebrating on Sunday with $5.55 margaritas and the ever festive Mexican Car Crash, that'd be a Coronita upended in a frozen margarita.
Ladies and gentlemen please put your hands together for rol, winner of our Burger Brawl ticket contest. The challenge was to tell us about a burger that you'd enter in this Sunday's Burger Brawl and we had to go with rol's "The Illegal One" made with a medium rare horse meat patty, Casu Marzu (Sardinian maggot cheese) with absinthe mayo, crunchified with double deep fried Kinder Surprise eggshells and served on a bun made with unpasteurized milk. Well done, rol. Shoot us an email with your info and we'll get you those tickets for Sunday.
Alright guys, Morgan's Pier (221 N. Columbus Blvd.) is reopening in just six short days and we've got some more intel for you.
We already knew that George Sabatino is heading up the kitchen, crafting an intriguing menu of summertime eats like St. Louis style, brown sugar rubbed ribs and a sous vide-liquid nitrogen-deep fried burger topped with housemade American cheese plus all sorts of vegan, vegetarian and family friendly options. But if you're looking for something a bit more refined, Sabatino will also be offering a $30 prix fixe menu in a new elevated dining area overlooking the river. Think scallop crudo, steamed whole fish and salt-baked chicken as well as sharable seafood plates like soft shell crabs with pickled bacon and watercress.
Pretty exciting, huh? Well there's more.
The folks at MP have built an elevated "crow's nest" seating area for taking in the waterfront vista. R5 is booking a series of free shows on Wednesdays (Cold Cave! Small Black!) and Making Time is bringing in an insane lineup of DJs like, say, James Murphy and Simian Mobile Disco.
It's going to be a good summer.
Headhouse, the crown jewels in the city's farmers' market line-up, is back for its seventh season this Sunday at 2nd and Lombard. Sheltered by the brick colonnade called the Shambles, this runway of stalls will be overflowing with asparagus (Tom Culton), canele (Market Day), coffee (Philly Fair Trade Roasters), apples (Three Springs) and more; for eats look for the Lucky Old Souls burger truck and Zsa's Ice Cream stand. The market starts at 10 a.m., and the best piece of advice we've culled from years as customers: Get there early and do a walk-through. Then you'll know exactly what you want and need when the market bell rings.
In this week's South Philly Review restaurant critic Phyllis Stein-Novack heads to Old City BYO Chloe (232 Arch St.) Before diving into the review, PSN makes it known that she likes to take her time reviewing new restaurants, allowing them to "gain their kitchen legs." She gave Chloe plenty of time, in fact it took 13 years for PSN and husband Edward to make it in.
The meal got off to a good start with hummus and grilled pita. Extra points for an extra serving of pita.
Appetizer-wise PSN was taken back to childhood Sunday mornings with smoked trout served with horseradish cream and capers. Indonesian shrimp were perfectly balanced and served with a sauce tasty enough for PSN to scrape it up with her knife.
When it came time for entrees salmon over polenta with sweet and sour eggplant and pesto hit the mark. PSN is quick to mention that there was a lot going on on the plate but it worked. Pork Milanese wasn't quite as successful with a salad that was a wee bit overdressed and a panko crust in need of some salt.
Desserts pleased, particularly a flourless chocolate cake topped with a scoop of Franklin Fountain's chocolate hazelnut ice cream. "It was a double-aand-not-at-all-sweet chocolate delight."
PSN noted that although the dining room could have been a bit brighter she was more than pleased with Chloe, saying that they "serve their guests good, honest fare. They are never trendy in the kitchen."
Wrap up? A solid three tips of the toque.
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