|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|Feed your head|
- Two quarts of ripe, ruby New Jersey strawberries;
- One bunch local asparagus;
- Two zucchini, all from from A.T. Buzby Farm
- One bunch dinosaur (Tuscan) kale and one bunch baby Russian kale;
- One big bunch French breakfast radishes, from Blooming Glen Farm (They're back! With tons of stuff!)
- Giant pile of petite snow peas from Culton Organics (2 lbs.)
- Another bunch of fresh-dug radishes, these from Queen's Farm (home of the epic oyster mushrooms)
Philadelphia History Museum will host a panel discussion exploring trends in Philadelphia dining over the past three decades. The event, which will feature commentary from several of the city's top restaurateurs (Ellen Yin, Fork; Jack McDavid, Jack's Firehouse; Steven Cook, Zahav, Xochitl, Percy Street Barbecue), seems timely. With new restaurants opening weekly and interest in food at a seeming record high, we all might find it palate-cleansing, so to speak, to pause between bites and reflect on how much has changed. "Philadelphia dining now is light years ahead of where it was back in the 1980s, and mostly for the better,â says Michael Klein, columnist at the Inquirer and moderator of Thursday's event. The diversity of options has improved considerably, he stresses; Philly now has "much more depth and variety" across many types of cuisine. "Take Chinese," says Klein. "In the 1980s, we had some Hong Kong-style [restaurants], plus Cantonese and a rare Szechuan. I can count specialists from all over China now. We had ... a handful of sushi restaurants. Now we have hundreds.â He credits "the Food Network and its ilk for much of the progress in the mid-'90s. Food and cooking are very visual, and shows inspired kids and career-changers to seek a life in the kitchen.â From his perspective, the so-called ârestaurant renaissanceâ was largely an industry-driven transformation. It would be hard to argue that Americans were demanding sweetbreads and braised pork belly in restaurants before such delicacies became commonplace on TV and chefs began catering to expectations the burgeoning American foodie class was only beginning to know it had. Perhaps Klein is right. After all, it was the food-loving French who came up with the word entrepreneur.
"Three Decades of Dining in Philadelphia: the 80s, the 90s, and the 00s" | Thu., May 20, 6-7 p.m., Reading Terminal Market (12th and Arch streets) meeting area, accessed through Arch St. North side entrance. Seating is limited; call 215-685-4825 for advance tickets, $5.
|Photo l Collin Flatt for Phoodie.info|
|The Lovely Package|
|"Pie fashion" by Jeff Cohn for Darling's Diner|
|River & Glen|
The expression "in the biz" may provoke irritation from those who regard restaurant work as an unskilled profession, but there's no sneezing at the economic impact of service industry workers on the restaurants they patronize. Hungry, thirsty and eager for a bite to brag about, food service staffers congregate at spots with satisfying food, strong drinks and a vibe with a pulse.
Smart restaurateurs tap into this market by providing in-the-biz discounts and industry nights with gratis treats. Owen Kamihira, owner of Bar Ferdinand (Liberties Walk, 1030 N. Second St.), offered a 20 percent discount off the $65 ticket price of his upcoming River & Glen sustainable seafood dinner today in a press release. This small local purveyor has earned major buzz among chefs and diners alike for his pristine selection of non-threatened fish and mollusks.
Tickets can be reserved for the Sun., April 25 dinner by calling Ferdinand at 215-923-1313; restaurant employees should bring a pay stub to receive their 20 percent discount. See the preliminary menu after the jump.
River & Glen sustainable seafood dinner, menu by chef David Kane
Mystic Oysters Three Ways
Bouchot Mussels with roasted grapes, tarragon and hazelnuts
Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops with foie gras stuffed morel mushrooms and sherry gastrique
Great South Bay Wild Hand-Harvested Clams
Line-Caught Chatham Bay Cod
|Photo courtesy Cooler Fun LLC|
|Such a seductive pose|
Stadium beers are horrifyingly expensive, and baseball games are long, dry endeavors. Cooler Fun LLC feels your pain, and offers up their solution: The Beerbelly. Composed of a polyurethane bladder that fits inside a neoprene sling, the Beerbelly is designed to be filled with up to 80 oz. of your hot or cold beverage of choice and worn under clothing. Protruding from the whole thing is a hose (with valve flow control) that dispenses the illicit liquid.
At $34.95 for the basic model, we can see this paying for itself in just one overpriced-beer event!
For ladies who can't embrace the drunk-while-preggers look, there's also The Wine Rack, a sports bra that holds an entire bottle of vino. We'll let you click over to see the photos of that special invention.
Do you want a Starbucks at 42nd & Woodland? Community meeting tonight @ SHCA (257 S. 45th St.) 6:30pm to hear their plans.
"I don't have much information," said Witmer in a phone call. "I found out through the neighbors some of our customers work at University of the Sciences and they told me about the meeting. I'm going to it to find out more."
Witmer, who co-owns two Green Lines in West Philadelphia, elected not to speculate on the tone of tonight's meeting, but he did add, "I feel that Starbucks kind of represents a giant corporate identity to people in this neighborhood."
UPDATE: We're now told that tonight's zoning meeting, which would involve the University of the Sciences accepting community feedback regarding a zoning variance to open the Starbucks, has been postponed. We'll update when we have more info.
Craving Buddakan's wasabi-crusted filet and lobster mash but just can't face the crowds swarming around the golden Buddha? You're in luck; Starr Restaurant Organization (SRO) has just announced a partnership with DiningIn.com, a Web-based food ordering and delivery service.
In addition to perusing menus from restaurants already linked up with the service, like Sang Kee Peking Duck House, Chifa, Auntie Anne's soft pretzels, Amada and TGI Friday's, you can now receive delivery from SRO mainstays Jones, Buddakan, Butcher & Singer, Pod, El Vez, Continental Mid-town and Alma de Cuba. Each restaurant sets a minimum dollar amount to qualify for delivery; the delivery fee is $6.99. Order at DiningIn.com or by calling 215-829-1500.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|The Bain's Boys. Sigh.|
In honor of our blessedly single brothers and sisters this Valentine's Day, we kick off our Simply Edible photo series featuring the hottest food servers in our fair city. Our first installment takes us into the depths of the Bellevue Food Court to admire the boys of Bain's Deli.
Do you take your turkey sandwich with a side of Hot Damn? 'Cause that's what you're getting from the hunky ham-handlers of Bain's Deli in the Bellevue Food Court (200 S. Broad St.). Tattooed biceps under fashionably tight T-shirts? Check. Rockabilly hair? Yep. Smoldering gazes over the sneeze guard? All day long, ladies. Add in the sauna-like temperatures of this basement paradise and the lunch-room fantasy is complete.
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