Archive: November, 2009
I have 5 daughters!
Here's to you, Bobby ï¿½ a real American hero. Enjoy the event!
Welcome back, Top Chef! I was getting tired of watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion show (parts one and two) On Demand over and over while I waited out your return.
Quickfire: There are more than 67,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas, but there's only one that features the transcendently beautiful Padma and her wingwoman Nigella Lawson wearing bathrobes and lounging in bed like two oversexed debutantes just back from an Upper East Side sex toy party. They direct the remaining six ï¿½ Kevin, Mike, Bryan, Eli, Jen C and Robin ï¿½ to a kitchen "deep in the catacombs" of the Venetian and tell them they need to whip up and then deliver a breakfast-in-bed dish in 30 minutes.
Jen, whose 10 Arts is in the Ritz-Carlton here in PHL, is wholly comfortable with room service, so she rocks out shit on a shingle. Nigella makes a face. Eli does a reuben-inspired eggs benedict with 1000 Island hollandaise, which sounds like it would kill you in the tastiest way possible. Mike does some Cuban shit and acts real serious about it. Robin does wack blintzes, Kev puts together a delicious-sounding coffee-dusted steak and eggs plate and Bryan does something with egg and crab that also elicits Nigellaface. Eli takes it home, earning a page in the Top Chef Quickfire cookbook. Nigella says the tang of his sauerkraut "slapped the jet lag out of me," which, disappointingly enough, was probably the most sexual comment the notoriously randy British TV cook dropped on this episode. So for the Elimination, the chefs had to ... wait, what's that, Nigella?
Yes, I would love some cherries, thank you. So this week's Elimination challenge involved the cheftestants heading to the ... wait, I'm sorry?
Pasta? Why not? I really appreciate you feeding me and all, Nigella, but I have to get back to
Dessert already? How'd you eat that pasta so fast? You're too kind. But seriously, we're getting off topic. The Elimination had ...
Christ, who invited you, Giada? You're getting tomato everywhere. Sorry, I meant POMODOROOOOO. NOW CLEAN IT UP.
Elimination: Each of the cheftestants draws a random Vegas casino from which to cull inspiration for a dish to serve 175 guests. Jen C visits the Excalibur, where she meals out on a Cornish game hen at the Tournament of Kings and watches wizards and knights doing medieval magical shit; she goes with a NY strip dish meant to ape the sword in the stone. Bryan gets Manadalay Bay and decides on a sustainable seafood dish. Robin's inspired by the vibrant, colorful Chihuly sculpture on the ceiling of the Bellagio, so she does a ... panna cotta. Kevin's sockeye salmon dish comes to him after a visit to the Mirage. Eli gets Circus Circus and makes the troubling decision to put peanut, caramel apple and raspberry frothy elements into a soup. Mike, who draws New York New York, does a slightly trippy buffalo wing-inspired plate. "Firefighters, it's something they eat," he explains of his thematic inspiration. There's probably some truth to that, but I would've just gone with the fact that Buffalo is located in New York.
At the top: Kevin, who's praised for the tomato broth element on his plate; and the Voltaggio bros, who seem to be fostering more and more unspoken disdain for each other as we get closer to the finale. Toby calls Mike's food "effeminate," to which the chef replies that he's a "strong believer in putting your personality on your plate." Haha, you just said you're a girl. She He wins, though, taking home a big-ass bottle of wine and probably an off-camera reacharound from Nigella, since she's so
Oh, you're still here? If that's the case, then yes, I would like a Bellini.
At the bottom: Jen C, who Tom criticizes for her apparent "lack of knowledge of medieval cooking" (you tend to stay away from the Ren Faire, huh Jen? GOOD); Eli, whose Barnum and Bailey soup was deemed a textural failure; and Robin, whose panna cotta, according to Nigella, lacked "the quiver of a 17th-century courtesan's thigh," which is apparently an imperative on the bizarre sex planet Nigella lives on. Robin also screwed up the hardened sugar meant to represent the Chihuly glass, so she's sent home. Seems about right.
Next week: Thomas Keller and Mike dissing the shit out of Kevin.
|Photo | Jessica Kourkounis|
- Trey Popp digs the burgers, cocktails and stagecraft of Jose Garces' Village Whiskey (look at those truffled artichokes!), but can't look past the exorbitant per-ounce brown-liquor markups.
- David Snyder visits Tazia, formerly Ly Michael's in Chinatown, and is thoroughly confused by the mixed-up, multi-culti small-plates menu.
- So much to do this weekend as far as eating and drinking goes ï¿½ Erin Mae Szrankowski has details on Winter Beer Fest, a red gravy-off and more in What's Cooking.
- Joey's Stonefired Pizza, Con Murphy's and a handful of other projects are chronicled in the latest edition of Feeding Frenzy.
Drop by Center Court at Reading Terminal Market this Saturday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for RTM's first-ever Festival of Forgotten Foods, a celebration of odd and/or esoteric delicacies from the area. (There's never been a more appropriate time to apply our "Weird Regional Foods" category.) You'll be able to sample specialties like fried catfish and waffles, black walnut cupcakes, teaberry ice cream and the like, which'll likely freak out (or win over?) a few hungry tourists.
It's worth noting that many of these "forgotten" regional foods are still available here in Philly, and many in new contexts, as touched upon by Rick Nichols in the latest Inquirer. Daniel Stern's MidAtlantic is doing multiple varieties of from-scratch scrapple, among other PA Dutch dishes; Oyster House does a tasty snapper soup and the fried oyster/chicken salad combo; Cape May Salts are available via tons of local buck-a-shuck deals; stalwarts like City Tavern have been serving pepper pot soup for years.
Jennifer Zoga's Good Food Market (12 W. Willow Grove Ave.), the Chestnut Hill upscale grocery we first told you about in July, is opening to the public this weekend. You can meet chef Amy Kunkle on Saturday; then check out demos/samples from a number of local purveyors, including Di Bruno's, Amy's Organics, Bell and Evans and more. Good Food's posted a full schedule of grand opening festivities on its blog.
Tonight ï¿½ starting right now, actually ï¿½ Royal Tavern (937 E. Passyunk Ave.) is showing a little love to the vegans and vegetarians of Philly by populating their famous chalkboard specials board with nothing but vegan/veg dishes. There'll also be some specialty cocktails to mark the event, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). This one-night-only event marks the kickoff of the Royal's anniversary celebration, which we told you about last month.
CP food events guress Erin Mae Szrankowski previewed this weekend's Winter Beer Festival in her upcoming What's Cooking column, which'll go live here on citypaper.net shortly:
'Tis the season to start getting into holiday beers, and the Winter Beer Fest is the perfect opportunity to find your favorite. Head down to the Navy Yard to grab winter beer samples from about 50 breweries, including Clipper City Brewing Co., Wild Goose Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery and Dark Horse Brewing Co., along with local faves like Dock Street and Flying Fish. Elsewhere, there'll be cooking demos from Robert Legget of Cuba Libre and Jeremy Nolen of Brauhaus Schmitz, a history presentation from local beer historian Rich Wagner, home-brewing classes and more. There are three sessions on both days of the fest, with various entry prices; tix available online. Navy Yard, 5100 S. Broad St., winterbeerfest.com.
Meal Ticket has two passes to Session 1 of the Fest, which is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 14. We exhausted our trivia brains earlier today with that Naked Pint quiz, so we're gonna make this one nice and simple ï¿½ send ONE SENTENCE to email@example.com convincing us why you deserve the pair. (You can also leave it in the comments ï¿½ just make sure you input your real e-mail address.) We'll choose the best and post it here. Happy sentencing!
Meal Ticket just got back from Adam and Andrew Erace's Green Aisle Grocery (1618 E.ï¿½ Passyunk Ave.), which officially opened to the public earlier today. The spot, which we first mentioned back in June, is a one-stop shop of sorts for greater-South-Philly home cooks and locavore types, as they carry a wide array of products sourced from the area in addition to harder-to-find boutique products (they're the only spot in Philly to snag Q brand tonic waters, for example). Nearly all the produce they're carrying is grown locally; they also have a number of products sourced from restaurants, including hummus from Zahav, barbecue sauce from Pub & Kitchen and (coming soon) fresh pasta from James. Bread and sweets come from the likes of Wild Flour Bakery and E of Foodaphilia. Vegetarian/vegan customers are accommodated, too, as Green Aisle's stocking stuff like Ray's Seitan and soups from Miss Rachel's Pantry. (They're also about to stock Stumptown Coffee, joining the likes of Honest Tom's, Hub Bub and Savona as one of the few local places to get it.)
Adam, who's Philadelphia Weekly's restaurant critic, tells us he was initially paranoid about how running his own business might compromise his anonymity, but at this point he's decided not to stress about it too much ï¿½ after all, he and his brother have got a business to run. He does, however, admit that it's "weird to be on the other side of it" ï¿½ usually it's him who's bugging budding local food-biz owners for details, but now he's the one getting bugged by people like us.
UPDATE: Here are the correct current hours, our bad: Mon.-Thu., noon-8 p.m.; Fri., noon-9 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Also, Green Aisle is currently cash only.
Cali-based beer sommeliers Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune's The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer, which dropped last week, is an exhaustive road map for the craft beer curious, touching on beer varieties, history, food pairing, home brewing, tasting and more. The ladies will be in town next Monday, Nov. 16, for a book launch party and beer dinner at Fork, and female reps from breweries like Sly Fox, Victory, Stoudt's, Dogfish Head, Ommegang and Rogue will be in attendance. Check out the menu and beer pairings after the jump.
Want your own copy of The Naked Pint to have and hold? Just be the first to correctly answer the following beer/lady-related trivia questions. E-MAIL ANSWERS TO DREW.LAZOR@CITYPAPER.NET, SUBJECT LINE: THE NAKED PINT. DO NOT LEAVE ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS. Good luck!
UPDATE (12:36 p.m.): Holy crap, Meal Ticket read Kara just schooled y'all with the fast fingers. Congrats, your copy of The Naked Pint is in the mail. Answers below.
1. Stoudt's Scarlet Lady is an ESB ï¿½ what does it stand for and what does it mean?
"Extra Special Bitter" ï¿½ ESBs typically have higher alcohol content (and are more balanced) than your average English bitter, AKA pale ale.
2. What beer ingredient is said to affect estrogen levels in the body?
3. Since 1999, the "St. Pauli Girl" has been represented seven times by models from what magazine?
spicy tuna confit with capers on focaccia toasts ï¿½ grilled flatbread with artichokes and saffron aioli
Victory, Prima Pils, Downingtown, PA
Stoudtï¿½s American Pale Ale, Adamstown, PA
chefï¿½s selection of tapas
grilled house made chorizo with spicy white beans ï¿½ salmon rillettes ï¿½ grilled shrimp with grits and smoked tomato jam ï¿½ vegetables ï¿½ la grecque ï¿½ marinated olives
Sly Fox, Saison Vos, Royersford, PA
seared sea scallops
coriander, caramelized brussels sprouts, meyer lemon jam
Ommegang, Rare Vos, Cooperstown, NY
lightly smoked duck breast
spiced croutons, caramelized onion, bacon, parsnips
Dogfish Head, Raison dï¿½Etre, Rehoboth, DE
chocolate caramel tart
lemon-thyme chantilly cream
Rogue, Chocolate Stout, Newport, OR
|Photo | Mark Stehle|
On a summer afternoon, one could likely amble into Premium Steap (118 S. 18th St., 215-568-2920) and find owner Peggy Stephens (right) perched alone at the store's cash register, patiently waiting to help customers. But recently, as a cold drizzle fell on a mid-autumn morning, Stephens had her hands full, unloading new drink accessories while simultaneously schooling a new employee about Steap's expansive selection of of 160 looseleaf varieties. "Christmas is crazy for me," Stephens told us, her neck wrapped with a red scarf to fend off the chill that comes in after the constantly swinging-open door.
Though her holiday gift lineup features contemporary cookware, Pantone mugs, travel containers and Indian drinkware, tea is Stephens' priority, and she finds that sales always get a boost when customers start jonesing for a warm cup to distract from miserable weather.ï¿½ The store's "more cozy drinks" now dominate the shelves, she explained ï¿½ ones that complement holiday desserts or make a brisk trip across town a little more bearable.
The store's black teas, which are typically harvested late in the season, are currently at their freshest. Steap's Indian black spiced chai has just enough bite from cinnamon, black pepper and cloves to coerce drinkers away from more conventional morning teas like Earl Grey or English Breakfast. The Chinese black Cozy Almond, our new favorite to wake up to, is flavored with cinnamon and safflower blossoms along slices of rich nut; it's delicious straight or dashed with milk.
Stephens also touted her Japanese Genmai-Matcha, a hearty green "sushi tea," with bits of rice garnished with a Japanese tea powder that give the finished product a deep, hearty flavor that's tasty alongside a spicy roll. The organic Yin Gou Chinese green, a great post-lunch pick-me-up, is smooth and never bitter. Then there's the selection of green and white teas flavored with real dried fruit: blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and everything between, all subtly touched with ginseng. Since they're naturally sweet on their own, there's no need for added sugar ï¿½ and they make great iced teas, Stephens reminded us.
Walking away from the store, as the frigid rain drops turned to steam atop the warm plastic lid of our paper to-go cup, the mere thought of anything iced gave us the chills ï¿½ but Stephens' collection of teas is doing its part to make winter seem a little shorter.
- barstool scientist
- Brew Revue
- Chef Salad
- Dirty Dishes
- Don't Front
- Eat This Immediately
- Field Trip
- Food and Art
- Food and Holidays
- Food and Movies
- Food and Music
- Food and Politics
- Food and Sports
- Food and Web
- Food Blogs
- Food Books
- Food Events
- Food News
- Food TV
- Happy Hour Hopper
- In Print
- Meal Ticket
- Menu Time
- Not So Quickfire
- Notes from the Weekend
- On Wheels
- Patio Drinking
- Philly Beer Week 2010
- Private Chef POV
- Product Placement
- Snack Time
- Stiff Drank
- Ticket Stubs
- Top Chef
- Weekly Candy
- Weird Regional Foods
- We're Here to Help
- Where'd We Eat?
- Drew Lazor's Ill-Advised Rant Factory
- Ill-Advised Ranting
- The Week Without Meat
- Philly Beer Week 2009
- Real Big
- Where'd I Eat Last Night?
- Top Chef Masters
- The Good Word
- Next Iron Chef
- Arterial Terrorism
- Food and Radio