Archive: November, 2009
[Leslie] Pope and John Wagner were hauled away by police and charged with theft for not paying the mandatory 18 percent gratuity totaling $16 after eating at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. with six friends.
Pope claimed that they had to wait nearly an hour for their order and that she had to get napkins and silverware for the table herself.
After the $73 bill came, the group paid for food, drinks, and tax but refused to pay the tip. After explaining the bad service to the bartender in charge, Pope claimed he took their money and called police. The couple was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.
Arresting officers charged the two with theft, since the gratuity was considered part of the actual bill. Chang opined in the piece that the charge is unlikely to hold up in court, where the couple appear next month.
Seriously though, dinner for eight people ringing up to just $73 with tax?ï¿½ For that kind of deal, maybe you should be getting your own silverware and drink refills.
Adam Ritter of frequent Meal Ticket haunt The Sidecar (2201 Christian St.) tells us that he's just inked a deal for a second location. Located in a long-vacant bar space on the corner of Montgomery and Girard in Fishtown, his as-yet-unnamed project will be most comparable to a contemporary European bistro in both design and layout ï¿½ picture a 30-seat U-shaped bar in the middle of the space, surrounded by a smattering of picnic bench-style seating. The location, which'll be single-level to start out, is roughly twice the size of The Sidecar's floorplan.
Right now the plan is do between 20 and 24 beers on tap, plus growlers ï¿½ "It's going to take what we do at our place and put it on performance-enhancing drugs," says Ritter. The menu, which'll be handled by new Sidecar chef Brian Lofink (formerly of Matyson and Brasserie Perrier), will be focused on well-crafted smaller shareable plates. The spot should be open sometime in the first quarter of 2010.
By the by, Sidecar's plan to expand to onto a second floor is still a go.
When we dropped by Michael O'Halloran's Kong (702-704 N. Second St.) back in August, we got to check out his mother-in-law Ping (above) cranking out dumplings with the quickness. Tonight they'll celebrate their house specialty with a dumpling shindig of sorts. The NoLibs eatery is offering 10 different varieties of dumplings ï¿½ three pieces a plate, just 50 cents apiece. Check out the wrapped-in-dough lineup after the jump.
- Edamame and Tofu: Spinach dumpling wrapper, pan fried
- Curried Vegetable: cabbage, edamame, asparagus, shiitake
- Three Way Pork: Chinese bacon, braised pork, ground pork
- Sweet Potato, Bacon and Green Apple maple-soy dipping sauce
- Mongolian Lamb: pickled eggplant, toasted pine nut, fried
- Beef, Potato and Cabbage: ground beef, grated potato, scallion
- Shrimp and Pork Wonton: ginger and scallion
- Chinese Duck Confit: with leeks and cabbage
- Chicken and Shiitake: soy braised chicken and shiitakes
- Philly Cheesesteak: Beef, caramelized onions, mascarpone
If whimsical cocktail lore is to be believed, today, Nov. 19, marks the 100-year anniversary of the Cuban daiquiri ï¿½ rum, sugar, lime, water ï¿½ making its first appearance on American soil. Story goes that Navy Admiral Lucius Johnson caught wind of the drink and introduced to his boys at the Army Navy Club one century ago today in our nation's capital. To celebrate the occasion (why do cocktails always have such awesomely erudite backstories?), The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. (112 S. 18th St.) is offering $8 renditions of the classic today from 5 p.m. till last call. For a dollar more, they'll strawberry-ify it for you. Since all Franklin tipples are usually $12 across the board, this is a deal, so drink one or six in a salute to the good Admiral.
|Photo | Neal Santos
- We take you inside the meticulous and altogether meaty research process that produced Percy Street Barbecue, the new Texas-style venture from Steve Cook, Erin O'Shea and Michael Solomonov. Be sure to check out Neal Santos' excellent photo slideshow.
- Trey Popp finds that's there a whole lot to like about chef Joshua Noh's cooking at Paul, the unassuming BYOB on Pine Street.
- Erin Mae Szrankowski touches on Thanksgiving-themed goodness and more in this week's What's Cooking food events column.
- We fill you in on the latest openings in Feeding Frenzy ï¿½ check out the deets on Hawthornes, Vietnam Cafï¿½, Green Aisle and more.
French Laundry/Ad Hoc/per se superchef Thomas Keller, who you might've caught on last night's Top Chef, will appear at the Williams-Sonoma in King of Prussia tomorrow at noon to sign his new book, Ad Hoc at Home. Here's Erin Mae Szrankowski with details in her latest What's Cooking column:
Renowned chef/restaurateur/multiple James Beard Award-winner Thomas Keller will visit King of Prussia's Williams-Sonoma for a signing of Ad Hoc at Home (Artisan). Named after his casual Napa Valley restaurant that specializes in family-style comfort food, the cookbook provides recipes for dishes like their infamous fried chicken. Buy a copy of Keller's cookbook at Williams-Sonoma to get the superchef's signature. Williams-Sonoma, 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, 610-265-5970, williams-sonoma.com.
Originally slated for Sept. 2009, former Pod chef Hiroyuki "Zama" Tanaka will open the doors of his namesake restaurant, Zama (128 S. 19th St.), this December.
The former Loie space got a chic makeover by Jun Aizaki of Crï¿½me Design Collective, the design-brain behind Jose Garces' Amada, Chifa, Tinto, Distrito and Village Whiskey. In a June interview with Meal Ticket, Tanaka used the term "wa" ï¿½ that crisp, distinct design style that's immediately recognizable as Japanese ï¿½ to describe his vision for the 80-seat eatery. Aizaki delivered an ultra-simple space with backlit, light-colored maple wooden slats framing the walls, concrete floors sparkled with with shimmery aggregates, maple wood butcher block tables and a vaulted ceiling.
Hot menu items will range from $5 to $28. Highlights include "Lob-Temp," tempura lobster with uni sauce and teriyaki truffle; and "Sizzled White Fish," striped bass with citrus-soy and finished with hot sesame oil.ï¿½ Soups, salads and a few entrï¿½es round out the selection ï¿½ look for Genmai Vegetable Spring Rolls with spinach, wood ear mushroom and pickled vegetable wrapped with brown rice paper and the cooked-tableside Zama House Tofu. More than 30 items, including maki and vegetable choices, will be available a la carte from the sashimi menu.
A full bar will be stocked with Japanese and domestic beers, a variety of sakes and wine, as well as specialty cocktails (like the Tokyo Martini, a blend of bourbon, ginger brandy, St. Germain and grenadine). More menu items and cocktails after the jump.
Featured Food Items
Lob-Temp, tempura lobster with uni sauce and teriyaki-truffle
Hama-peno Mango, yellowtail with jalapeno and chili-mango
Bullish!!!, seared Kobe beef on top of sesame-soy wrapped sushi rice with spicy ponzu
Sizzled White Fish, striped bass with citrus-soy, finished with hot sesame oil
Akadashi Soup with tofu and scallion
Salmon Skin Salad with mixed greens, kawarie sprouts and sesame onion dressing
Genmai Vegetable Spring rolls with spinach, wood ear mushroom and pickled vegetable wrapped with brown rice paper
Zama House Tofu, cooked tableside with choice of two sauces
Kirin Ichiban Braised Short Ribs served with sautï¿½ed udon noodles
Yuzu Pepper Chicken, oven roasted free-range chicken with grilled maitake and Tokyo scallions
Black Cod Misoyaki with pickled root vegetables
Grasshopper-san, Zen green tea liquor, melon liqueur and Calpico soda
Sake Punch, Nigori, black cherry vodka, raspberry puree, mango juice, lime juice and garnished with dragon fruit
Tokyo Martini, bourbon, ginger brandy, St. Germain liquor and grenadine
|Photo | Monica Simpson
There is no alcoholic beverage that I enjoy more than champagne. But letï¿½s get real, I usually just drink it ï¿½ I know very little about the stuff other than the fact that it's carbonated, and if itï¿½s not from the region of Champagne, France, you have to call it "sparkling wine." But last week's Phiz Fest, at the Grand Ballroom at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue, was just as much for the champagne connoisseur as it was for the novice ï¿½ both received an education in pairing possibilities.
|Photo | Monica Simpso|
My education began with the crispness of Taittinger Brut La Francaise. I then fell for the light and sweet Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rose, but my particular favorite of the night was the Kitaya Ai No Hime "Princess of Love" sparkling sake. Princess of Love (with a name like that, it better be good) is fermented in such a way that the result is not only fruity-forward, with flavors of mango and guava, but also pink. It was the most unique drink of the evening.
To accompany the bubbly, there were a variety of foods on which to feast. Who knew champagne went so well with pizza ï¿½ specifically, the honey lime chicken pie from Peace A Pizza? World Cafï¿½ Live provided a smorgasbord of vegetables and a cold roast beef spread that my companion eloquently described as "ballin'." To sweeten the deal, there was cake from Elizaï¿½s Bakery topped with delicate champagne icing (I took three pieces).
Given the swanky Bellevue locale (and after observing a handful of attendees), there were moments when the fest seemed more like an excuse for people to simply get drunk and unknowingly audition for The Real Housewives of Philadelphia than to expand their palate. But it's still an event I would recommend to anyone. Sixty bucks gets you all you can eat and drink and a fancy Phiz Fest tasting glass to go ï¿½ serving as a classy reminder that you could very well pour yourself some bubbly the next time you get a pizza delivered.
The Stoudt's -brewed McGillin's 1860 IPA has been available exclusively on draft at McGillin's Olde Ale House (1310 Drury St.) since it debuted Aug. 4, 2009, 150 days before the tavern's 150th birthday on January 1, 2010.ï¿½ Now three distributors have just 200 cases total of the first bottling of the secret-recipe India Pale Ale, which is hopped with Centennials and Amarillos and left unfiltered for historical accuracy.
Pick up a case ($35) at Springfield Beer Distributor (27th & South St., 215-546-7301),ï¿½ Bella Vista Beer Distributors, 755 S. 11th St., 215-627-6465) and Fishtown Beverage (1511 Frankford Ave., 215-634-4883).ï¿½ Six-packs ($11.95) can be had at both Foodery locations (837 N. Second St., 215-238-6077 and 324 S. 10th St., 215-928-1111).
Licensing is also in the works for bottles and to-go six-packs to be sold at McGillin's, as well as other area restaurants and pubs.
Email McGillins[at]aol[dot]com with requests for bottles and kegs of 1860 IPA at your preferred distributors, take-out shops and public houses.
A Meal Ticket reader checked in with the following query this morning:
I'm trying to track down a market, florist, or retailer who sells edible flowers (edible flowers being specific varieties of plants that are farmed organically without pesticides). Any leads?
We're gonna leave this one to you, Meal Ticketers ï¿½ have any suggestions on where one would acquire such a specialty item?
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