Archive: November, 2012
Phoebe Esmon, head bartender at the Piazza's forthcoming cocktail bar Emmanuelle and pres of the US Bartender's Guild's Philly chapter, is organizing a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Superstorm Pain in the Ass Sandy. Beginning this Friday, a thoroughbred list of local bars and restaurants (The Franklin, Khyber, Southwark, to name a few) will be selling $10 special drinks made with donated booze from Bluecoat, Buffalo Trace and other sponsors. No less than $5 from each drink sale will be donated to the Red Cross's Jersey Shore recovery efforts.
Psst...did you know that tomorrow's City Paper is the MEAL TICKET issue? No? Well, consider yourself warned. For this edition we went with wine and cheese as the theme. Look forward to some totally not cheesy profiles of local cheese-makers, a look at Pennsylvania-vinified wines though the eyes of seasoned sommelliers, a trip to cheese-and-wine mecca Tria and guest appearances from some Meal Ticket's dearest oeno- and turophile friends.
And yeah, turophile is the real deal term for a connoisseur of cheese or cheese fancier.
Yesterday, we got a first look at a preview clip from Anthony Bourdain’s new CNN show, Parts Unknown, and it had nothing to do with food. (To be fair, it’s only a 30-second teaser, but it should still set the tone.) And last night, Bourdain made his first appearance on CNN to officially discuss the show, sitting down with Piers Morgan, where the conversation was far more food-centered. (Iceland’s famous fermented shark gets no love; Jiro Ono and Fergus Henderson do.) HuffPo has a clip (and write-up) from last night’s appearance here.
Of course, while Bourdain seems more than ready to be done with the Travel Channel, the Travel Channel is nowhere near done with him. Season two of The Layover—which will include an episode in Philly, though there’s no confirmation on a specific airdate yet—begins airing this coming Mon., Nov. 19 (9 p.m. on Travel; the premiere episode takes Tony to Chicago).
And while we're here, we'd just like to note that the David Chang-focused, Bourdain-produced and -narrated show The Mind of a Chef (which began airing this past Friday) is really engaging. Just further buttresses our firm belief that PBS has all the best food programming, and always will.
Tonight at Stateside (1536 E. Passyunk Ave.), you'll have the chance to get a first taste of Duvel Rustica, the Belgian-style golden ale that's the result of a collaboration between Cooperstown's Brewery Ommegang and Belgium's Duvel. The beer is made similarly to the Duvel classic, but with Ommegang's own yeast, turning the conversation to one of terroir.
And with Stateside being Stateside, and chef George Sabatino having already proven his Ommegang-pairing skills as reigning Hop Chef champ, it's probably safe to say the food will be great. It's all pay-as-you-go tonight, with the beer available on tap or in 750ml format, and you'll have the opportunity to chat with Ommegang brewer Phil Leinhart, too. The release kicks off at 6 p.m. tonight.
Yesterday, we shared Victory's Red Wednesday event with you, which takes care of your Thanksgiving Eve morning plans. But what of Thanksgiving Eve eve? How about another brewery, this one offering up all the burgers you can possibly eat?
That's exactly what Yards Brewing Co. (901 N. Delaware Ave.) has planned for Wed., Nov 21: Burger Palooza 2012, a holiday pregaming celebration of brews and the burger art being produced by some of the area's best food trucks. The trucks in question are Chewy's, the MOO Truck (from Bucks Co.), Street Food Philly, and SpOt Burgers—and each of them will be bringing along three brand-new burger specials.
That's a dozen different burgers, and you can try them all twice if you're up to the task. On their Facebook page, SpOt's been teasing us with promises of bison and caviar—and coming from the guys that were serving up mussels out of their cart the other day, you know they've got some interesting ideas up their sleeve. They also specify that this is a no-substitutions, no build-your-own option event.
Tickets are on sale now through Tue., Nov. 20 at all four participating trucks. Advance tickets are $29; they'll be $35 at the door. Either way, your entry fee gets you 2 drink tickets and AYCE access to burgers, burgers, and more burgers.
Notes from the Weekend is a feature that sees the members of Team Meal Ticket compiling all the food/drink highlights uncovered during prime eatin' time, Friday to Sunday. We'd love to hear all about YOUR weekend eating adventures in the comments. Go for it! (View past NFTW installments at citypaper.net/notes.)
Adam Erace: AE
Caroline Russock: CR
Emily Kovach: EK
Pictures can't adequately describe the wonder of a South Philly serenade, which is where I spent my Saturday night. Cousins of Meal Ticket A and L tie the knot next week, so in proper form, the groom sang to his bride-to-be while friends and family feasted on roast pork sandwiches, Jell-O shots and snowflake-shaped pizzelles. A's songs of choice: Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," Brad Paisley's "She's Everything" and crowd favorite "I'll be Lovin' You" but the one and only Stevie B.—AE
On today's Afternoon Snacks, we've got holiday cookie platters, a heads-up for the Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar, and a curated look at yet more delectable holiday side options.
Sweet Freedom (1424 South St.) has these gorgeous, allergen-free cookie platters available for holiday orders, and we’re taken with how homemade-perfect they look. You can see the different sizes, assortments, and prices here. And if you still need a vegan or gluten-free dessert option for Thanksgiving, they’re also taking orders for pies (apple, blueberry, sweet potato, or pumpkin) until this Thu., Nov. 15. You can call 215-545-1899 to place orders for either.
Located within stumbling distance of Meal Ticket HQ, we already spend a significant portion of our lunch hour at Fork, etc. (306 Market St.) and now it looks as though we're going to be frequenting Fork even more often for civilized sit-down lunches.
New York transplant chef Eli Kulp is introducing a $25 two-course lunch option that comes complete with sweet little extras like the mini bialys with house-made cream cheese and doughnuts that Adam was so stoked on in his recent review. Lunch at Fork is also a great way to preview what's happening in Kulp's kitchen before signing up for the full $65 house menu available at dinner.
The menu will change with the season but for now fall highlights include a lamb burger finished with yogurt and pickled onions, buffalo mozzarella with treviso and preserved melon, and a crème fraîche dressed kale salad.
So if you're wondering why Meal Ticket is a little quiet around lunch hour, feel free to blame it on this new lunch option.
As the best holiday (and in fact, the best Thursday) of the entire year creeps up on us, we find ourselves asking: how can we cram more Thanksgiving into this month? Happily, there are some years where the particulars of family schedules necessitate multiple Thanksgivings, and 2012 is one of those magnificent years. Even so, the fact remains that we could eat stuffing every day of the month of November and still enter December wondering, “What if?” What if we had found just one more niche to cram full of cranberry sauce, one more potatoey something to douse in gravy? What if we had thought to factor in breakfast?!
In this spirit, we’d like to take a moment to salute the local spots that humor us and our fixation on all things related to the Thanksgiving feast:
Jake’s Sandwich Board (122 S. 12th St.) brought back a couple of perennial favorites that they’ll be serving until the end of the month: their pumpkin pie shake (it’s topped with gingersnaps, people!) and turducken sandwich, which seems like the perfect culmination of Jake’s over-the-top approach to the sandwich arts. It’s got the turkey, chicken, duck, and stuffing the name would lead you to expect, plus cranberry sauce, gravy, and hash browns. (It's also worth mentioning that Jake's has a year-round sandwich that features turkey, cranberry spread, and gravy—to get you through the 11 turduckenless months of the year.)
In other gingersnap-pumpkin news, we'd just like to note that Zsa's Ice Cream bakes their own snaps to crumble and fold into their pumpkin ice cream. NBD. (Check out their Facebook and Twitter to find them.)
We’ve mentioned these before, but it bears repeating: the Hot Diggity (630 South St.) put up the Pilgrim Harvest dog as their November special—that’s roasted veggies, apple-Brussels sprout slaw, orange-cranberry mostarda, and crispy fried onions on a sage butter-toasted bun. And while it’s always on the menu, Underdogs’ (132 S. 17th St., 1205 S. 9th St.) Tryp dog can’t be overlooked, with its smoked turkey sausage, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce.
Shake Shack (2000 Sansom St.) fans wait for November’s special Pumpkin Pie, Oh My! Concrete all year, and we think the “why” of it is pretty self-evident: it’s a hunk of pumpkin pie blended into Shack custard, and that’s good enough for us. Unlike most Thanksgiving specials that are cruelly ripped away from us by Nov. 30 (or, in some particularly dismal instances, on Nov. 23), this one is available through Sun., Dec. 2.
Speaking of things you can’t get after Black Friday, Square Peg (929 Walnut St.) has a good one: Thanksgiving poutine. Sweet potato fries make up the base, turkey gravy replaces standard brown (natch), cheese curds are still cheese curds because it’s poutine after all, and toppings of turkey and cranberry sauce complete the picture.
And of course, we have to give a nod to the Blind Pig (702 N. 2nd St.) for making their Thanksgiving Balls available year-round. They remind us so much of our long-time go-to solution for the very last of the Turkey Day leftovers*, but with one major improvement: they’re just always there.
* Mix up the dregs of the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and turkey bits with an egg; adjust the seasoning as necessary; form into patties; roll in a mix of breadcrumbs seasoned with poultry seasoning and finely grated parmigiano; pan-fry. Eat with leftover cranberry sauce (and gravy, we guess, if you somehow ever manage to have leftover gravy). Best breakfast of the year!
Quick heads-up for tonight if you're thinking about heading out: Iron Hill will donate 20% of your check to the Red Cross' post-Sandy relief efforts. All you have to do is print out this voucher and hand it over to your server when you dine at the brewpub tonight.
The offer's good all day today at any of Iron Hill's 9 locations throughout PA, NJ, and DE. Find one or get more info right here.
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