Archive: December, 2009
We're hearing that chef Michael Schulson's Sampan (122 S. 13th St.), which we first noted back in July, will be opening next Friday, Dec. 18. More soon; for now, check out our interview with the dude and some menu details we posted back in August.
|TwitPic | Brauhaus Schmitz|
Back in November, we shared the disturbing news that Brauhaus Schmitz's autographed David Hasselhoff poster had been stolen out of the second-floor bathroom of the German beer bar (718 South St.). Elaborate thievery, too. Well, looks like the crew has ponied up for a replacement -- this time, it's The Hoff wearing a Santa-style robe while holding a surfboard and dropping a "hang loose" sign. IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!
Building a quality gingerbread dwelling is only a slightly less time-consuming and frustratingï¿½ project than taking on an life-size West Philly fixer-upper.ï¿½ Bob Vila, master of home improvement, takes the cursing out of the cheeriest season with his diagrammed instructions for building a gingerbread house.
The BobVila.com team provides free, downloadable .pdf plans for A-frame, colonial, saltbox and side gable houses, then shows you how to put it all together with handy illustrations, royal icing and a glass full of eggnog as a strut.ï¿½ Strap on your toolbelt and have at it.
We really enjoyed Stephen Starr's appearance on the last season of Top Chef -- he repped us well. Now comes word that the restaurateur will pull up a seat at the "Final Table" for tonight's episode, featuring cheftestants Kevin Gillespie, Michael Voltaggio and Bryan Voltaggio vying for the title. (Philly's own Jennifer Carroll was lamely sent home in part one of the finale last week.) We're sure he'll hold it down and provide some solid feedback during what is always our favorite challenge: When Padma and Co. tell the finalists to simply cook the best meal they've ever cooked. The results are always interesting.
Last week, we did a little poking around to try and determine which of the remaining chefs were hosting finale parties. Results here; do with them what you will.
SNACK TIME: Chainsaw chat-n-chew, vegetarian riffing on Southwark's meaty menu, the gourmet shop of the future, mid-rare blondies, sniffing out the stinkers with Madame Fromage
|John "Chainsaw" Taus, rising star|
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
-- Collin Flatt of Phoodie.info spends a few hours with John "Chainsaw" Taus, exec chef at the recently three-belled Snackbar. Find out from whence that tough nickname comes, where to find the best and possibly illegal kimchi and which common breakfast cereal terrifies him, all in Flatt's piece.
-- Messy and Picky re-create Southwark's "single, huge, 9" slab of delicious belly fat", otherwise known as smoked-and-barbecued pork belly with baked beans, wilted collards and Birchrun Hills Blue cheese sauce -- with Ray's Seitan.ï¿½ They are also interested in vegan-izing the blue cheese sauce, so if you have any hints, get at 'em.
-- Ashley Primis profiles the next generation of corner store, pointing up the gourmet treats and staple items at Good Food Market and Green Aisle Grocery in The Restaurant Club.
-- That precociousï¿½ Foodie At Fifteen evangelizes home-cooked holiday gifts in his school paper, even sharing his recipe for mid-rare blondies with his Lower Merion mates.
-- If you haven't yet sniffed out Madame Fromage, get over to Tenaya's blog toï¿½ learn how to host a Raclette party in true Swiss style or properly appreciate some California Purple Haze, by the makers of the legendary Humboldt Fog.
|April Saul, Inquirer Staff Photographer|
|Harry G. Ochs hefting a piece of his work|
Harry G. Ochs, Jr., butcher and owner of Ochs Prime Meats,ï¿½passed away Sun., Dec. 6 at the age of eighty.ï¿½ This much-loved elder statesman was often called "The Mayor of the Market" for his 50-plus years working in the Reading Terminal.ï¿½ Rick Nichols eulogizes him with great feeling in Monday's Inquirer; read it here.
A viewing will be held at Donohue Funeral Home (8401 West Chester Pike) in Upper Darby this Sun., Dec. 13 from 3-6 p.m.ï¿½ï¿½ On Mon, Dec. 14, a viewing (8:30-9:30 a.m.) and Mass (10 a.m.) will be held at St. Laurence Church (8245 West Chester Pike) in Upper Darby.ï¿½ A funeral lunch will be held at the Reading Terminal Market (12th & Arch) at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Mr. Ochs' family requests that donations be made to St. John's Hospice (1221 Race St., 215-563-7763), an organization serving homeless men that Mr. Ochs supported for many years.
|Photo | Drew Lazor
Open for about two months, Zack's Cafï¿½ (103 S. 12th St., 215-925-1804) is serving mind-boggingly cheap breakfast and lunch fare just off the corner of 12th and Chestnut, just down the street from the forthcoming Philly Cupcake (whose proposed Thursday opening has been pushed back to early next week.) Owner Megan Conlon, who's got 17 years of experience in the restaurant biz, is doing fresh-made breakfast sandwiches, hoagies, panini, wraps, salads and soups, plus daily specials they're broadcasting via Twitter. They also do delivery and catering. For now, Zack's is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Scheduled for this Friday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Penn Museum, XFest '09 will feature an insane lineup of Christmas/holiday beers from brewers around the world. Tix are available for $45 (or $55 at the door) ï¿½ but Team Meal Ticket's got a pair burning a hole in our blog pockets, and we want to give them to you! All you have to do is send the correct answers to the three holiday movie-related trivia questions after the jump to firstname.lastname@example.org ï¿½ first person to do so wins. Also, feel like we say this every time we do a giveaway, but people still do it so we'll say it again ï¿½ DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT LEAVE THE ANSWERS AS A COMMENT.
UPDATE [2:50 p.m.]: Congrats to Meal Ticket reader Liza for winning! Answers after the jump.
- This actor, who starred in an all-time holiday classic, recently directed a movie featuring Jean Reno, among others. Give us the actor's name, the movie the actor starred in and the name of the movie the actor directed.
Peter Billingsley played Ralphie in the classic A Christmas Story, and directed the recent movie Couple's Retreat.
- Which late-night talk show fixture had a cameo in 1988's Scrooged?
David Letterman's bandleader, Paul Shaffer, played a Christmas caroler in Scrooged.
- Which controversial singer appeared in a 2007 Christmas movie alongside actors like Idris Elba and Regina King?
Chris Brown starred in 2007's This Christmas.
We're only six months away from the roughest, toughest week in drinking challenges (outside of Mardi Gras): Philly Beer Week 2010, June 4-13.
Fairmount brew mainstay Bridgid's (726 N. 24th St.) is celebrating PBW's half-birthday with a series of events that get you in fighting shape for this year's revelry. Tonight (Tue., Dec. 8) and tomorrow (Wed., Dec. 9) offer both drinking and shopping opportunities with Clean Out the Basement Nights. A variety of cellared bottles will be exhumed at deep discounts ï¿½ stock your friends up with some high-gravs perfect for cold winter nights or just swill on location. Bridgid's is also borrowing Tangier's famous Mystery Beer in a Bag game tonight ï¿½ $3 nets you a surprise bottle wrapped wino-style.
Eyeball the rest of the schedule after the jump.
Dec 10th - Thursday - Collaboration Night Three special and rare collaborations will be tapped at 9 p.m. ... Stone/Brewdog Bashah Belgian Black Double IPA, Bells/DeProef Van Twee "wild belgian Ale," Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head Life and Limb American Strong Ale.ï¿½ Bottles from all of these breweries will also be available ... a truly special night.
Dec 11th - Friday Christmas Vertical Tasting - St. Bernardus Christmas 08 v 09 and Corsendonk Christmas 08 v 09 ... holiday spice and malt at its best.
Dec 12th - Saturday Big American Flavors Vertical tasting - Founders Backwoods Bastard 08 v 09 and Troegs Mad Elf 08 v 09 ... two of the most asked-about beers ... one night to taste two vintages.
Dec 13th - Sunda Our personal favorite day - CLEAN THE LINES days ... have that Totally Unnecessary Drink and help us clean up our Lines after Half Way to Philly Beer Week ... all drafts - all day ... $3 and $4.
|Lights on the plaza|
Touring Nuremberg, Brussels or Bern in the weeks before Christmas is a bargain traveler's major-cash-saving method -- hostels are cheap and unlikely to run out of hot water when you have shampoo in your hair, museums are uncrowded. But, you're doing your tourist thing while the frosty winds blow and give the locals that adorably apple-cheeked look -- while your nose runs. Better warm up at one of Europe's seasonal Christmas markets with a mug of gluhwein (hot mulled wine) and a hearty grilled sausage.
The Christmas Village at Dilworth Plaza (west side of City Hall) harnesses this Euro vibe,ï¿½ with more than 50 vendors selling everything from traditional folk art to jewelry and 1200-count linen sheets and comforters.ï¿½ Seven food and beverage vendors are also on hand,ï¿½ offering classic winter treats like warm waffles with whipped cream, mulled wine and apple wine from Chaddsford Winery, weisswurst, knackwurst and bratwurst.
The Village is also offering special "Business Meals" from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on weekdays.ï¿½ The offerings change day to day and week to week, and the $6 meal includes a soda, roll and lebkuchen (German gingerbread cookie).ï¿½ï¿½ Check out the specials, after the jump.
Business Meals, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. weekdays; $6 including roll, soda and lebkuchen
Mon: Original Octoberfest weisswurst with potato salad
Tue: Weekly Special (see below for weekly specials)
Wed: Franconian bratwurst with German sauerkraut
Thu: Weekly Special
Fri: Knackwurst with potato salad
Weekly Specials (served all day long)
12/5-12/11: Berliner kassler with sauerkraut
12/12-12/18:Original Hungarian goulash
12/19-12/24: Baked leberkaese with potato salad
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