Archive: February, 2010
|Questlove on TwitPic|
Cafeterias have been getting lots of wack press lately. First the Inky's Craig LaBan finds a big-ass hair in the cheesesteak he orders at the already-health-code-violation-beleaguered Capitol CafÃ© in Harrisburg. Now ?uestlove, Roots Crew icon, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon bandmember and unapologetic Overtweeter, shares this pic of a Black History Month special in the NBC employee eatery, accompanied by the caption "Hmm HR?"
So is this racist? It's definitely the safe play to say yes, but peruse the comments section on Vulture, or on the TwitPic itself, for some alternate takes. Seems like a lot of people feel that labeling this whole deal insensitive is a knee-jerk overreaction. We've compiled a few of our favorite comments after the jump. One or two of them are notably insightful and the rest of them are pretty much just funny/true.
I don't know about the rest of ya'll FOOLS, but I eat that on the regular. And for the record the look of hurt on the BLACK chef's face when she was told that BLACK people were offended by her idea is really sad.
Um, it's not the soul food. It's the "in honor of Black History Month" part that's racist. Kind of like saying, in honor of Lunar New Year, we're going to give all Asian people driving lessons.
Racism aside, that is a lot of food for 7.50
I am going to make a huge issue with HR when our cafeteria does the corned beef/cabbage/sourdough bread combo for St. Patrick's Day. What, just because I'm Irish I eat corned beef and potatoes all the time and that's how you label me? Not to speak of the leprechauns and other such nonsense that patronizes our culture and reduces us to boorish alcoholic stereotypes who like listening to fiddles and causing fights. Outrage!
post-racial menu quandry of the day: do you eat the fried chicken even if it is racist?
Soul Food's not complete without a side of heart attack inducing Mac & Cheese. Sayin.
|Photo l Michael Persico|
|Isabella Rosselli and Stephen Starr pose for photo call|
Elite Chase Sapphire credit card members were treated to an uncommonly star-struck evening at Tangerine restaurant last night, when the Sundance Channel hosted a screening of Big Night, the critically acclaimed, food-focused indie flick starring Isabella Rossellini.
Rossellini and restaurant potentate Stephen Starr attended last' nights party in advance of Sundance's Tastemakers series, a collection of vignettes featuring influential persons in their fields (watch Starr's here) and Sunday night showings (10 p.m.) of award-winning films from festivals around the world.
Meal Ticket had a chance to speak with actress, model, director and writer Rossellini just before the screening; we used our two minutes to find out what role food plays in the beauty icon's life. Read the interview after the jump.
Meal Ticket: Green Porno, the short-film series you directed, wrote, produced and starred in for Sundance Channel, explores the sex life of marine animals and insects. Some of the films begin with scenes in the kitchen, moving on to the native habitats of the marine creatures -- when we return to the kitchen, your character has lost her appetite. Were you a vegetarian prior to or after this project?
Isabella Rossellini: The series is 18 short films; they are not all the same. Originally it was just the sex life of marine animals, but once a marine biologist got involved he thought we should have a more explicit environmental message. And of course, part of Sundance's mission is to experiment with new formats -- films for the Web, for phones.
I am almost a vegetarian. I do eat organic chicken and am careful what fish I select. There is a problem of overfishing; you have to ask questions. The place where you buy your fish should have the answers to questions like, where is this salmon from? Vendors should know this.
MT: What influence can these short films have on viewer's eating habits?
IR: You know, I think of myself as an entertainer. I am not an activist. That said, I did want to try to frame an environmental message in a comical way. The environmental message can be very... doomsday. Sundance makes these environmental films as part of their mission; it is a valid attempt to educate.
MT: Italians are often stereotyped as food-lovers. Is meal time and eating together very important to your family?
IR: No. My family life is not centered around food; but of course food is very important. I think being Italian influenced my taste -- you know, not eating processed foods, never anything from cans, TV dinners.
MT: I wonder if anyone eats TV dinners anymore.
IR: You know, I used to buy them as a kind of touristic attraction, when my friends from Italy would visit. We never had anything like that in Italy, and they would react with absolute horror.
MT: Do you enjoy cooking for yourself and eating at home?
IR: I do eat at home alot. Mostly so I know where it's from! Of course, I have a housekeeper, but I can cook better!
Falafel Factory (32 S. 18th St.), which we first told you about in late December, will open to the public this coming Tuesday, Feb. 9, says owner Rob Rimeris. For info on the vegetarian restaurant's grub and its "green" approach, check the post; for the full menu, hit up FF's Web site. One falafel with barbecue sauce, onions and pickles, please.
|Photo | Drew Lazor
Last week, we told you about chef Michael Thomas' plans to say adios to Owen Kamihira's Bar Ferdinand in Liberties Walk. Now comes word of his new gig: Thomas will be running the show at the as-yet-unnamed bar the Sidecar's Adam Ritter is opening up at Girard and Montgomery. See our post for the latest on that spot (right now it's up for an April opening). More details soon.
|Photo l Neal Santos|
|Pork belly buns are a standout dish at Chew Man Chu|
-- David Snyder visits Chew Man Chu and finds a busy, sorta-pan-Asian restaurant that appeals to diners whose yardstick of approval has no markings for authenticity.
-- Drew Lazor and the lunch crew visit Burger Maestro in the Bellevue Food Court, but the overdone beef and fry ensemble doesn't play as harmonious a tune as it could. Chicken sandwiches and a "Philly dog" do earn a nod for first-chair status.
-- Sparkly wine and chocolate at Le Bec Fin? Multi-course candlelit vegan feast at Horizons? By Hallmark, it must be Valentine's Day! Alexandra Harcharek runs down destinations for smoochy types in What's Cooking.
-- Play Foosball and chug cans at Bar, chow down on critters at the new Italian Market Paesano's, or be amazed by what you can make by juicing 500 lbs. of carrots a week at Thoreau. Feeding Frenzy has the details.
Last week, Meal Ticket visited West Philly High to check out its culinary arts program, founded at the beginning of the '09-'10 school year. Run by UPenn's Netter Center for Community Partnerships and funded by the PHMC, the program comprises multiple groups of students, fro varying grade levels, meeting after school to learn culinary fundamentals from Thaddeus Duprey, a Teach for America instructor who's worked in a number of restaurant kitchens locally.
On this particular afternoon, the kids engaged in an Iron Chef-style competition â each team was tasked with coming up with a meal highlighting the "secret" ingredients of hanger steak, baguette, tomatoes and parsley. Michael Solomonov, chef/co-owner of Zahav, and Zahav pastry chef Sarah Corvasce joined us to judge the cook-off. Both plan on getting more involved with the program as it grows.
We got down on some really great food, but the group that brought it home was the threesome of juniors Rahmir Venable, Marie Hines and Jason Rogers. Their perfectly seasoned and grilled steak was killer, but what really stood out to the panel was their French toast dessert, topped with a blackberry sauce made from scratch.
Meal Ticket just touched base with Jeffrey Sotland (Mikey's), who, along with brother Steve and GM/partner Chris Lyons, will open Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar in the former Sal's on 12th at 200 S. 12th Street.
Slated to open in the first week of March, Tabu will bring together two concepts â a sports bar on the ground floor/in the basement, and a plush lounge with LED lighting and room for a DJ on the second level. The space is currently undergoing a cosmetic overhaul (no real structural tweaks); the sports bar portions of the space, which'll have multiple TVs and pool tables, will carry 12 beers on draft (lots of locals) and a comfort food-inspired menu that'll feature plates like "spa salmon" (a grilled filet in parchment paper), hanger steak with homemade tots, lobster ravioli, portobello mushroom sandwiches, kobe sliders and chicken wings both fried and roasted. No chef to name just yet.
Sotland makes no bones about the fact that Tabu is in the heart of Midtown Village/Gayborhood, and stresses that the bar will be a welcome spot for all demographics. They'll be open daily from 11 to close.
|Edible Crafts at CraftGossip.com|
|Edible valentines for all skill levels|
For those too poor to visit Tiffany & Co. but in search of a meaningful gift for Valentine's Day (be it for your mom, best friend, true love or awesome kiddie) Meaghan Mountford of Edible Crafts at CraftGossip.com has assembled a collection of DIY edible gifts.
A wide range of baking skill levels are represented, from simple-but-high-impact projects like a "candy box" of decorated miniature chocolate cupcakes (pictured, by Hello! Cupcake), to cookie Scrabble tiles (pictured, by Bake at 350) frosted in royal icing to spell out a heartfelt message.
Non-mushy projects like pink and red rock candy in You Rock! header bags (pictured, by Martha Stewart's Craft Department) are appropriate for kid-to-kid Valentines, while a pure white cake (pictured, by i am baker) hides a rich red velvet heart.
Non-bakers can even get in on the action by covering Oreo Cakesters with store-bought fondant to create pretty Valentine petit fours; i am baker has the tutorial here.
Project Skill Ratings
- Easy: You Rock! candy (purchase rock candy, package in cello bags, print and staple labels)
- Basic: Cupcake "candy box" (bake and decorate mini cupcakes with candies); Valentine petit fours (buy box of Cakesters and fondant, cover without ripping)
- Patient and Good at Following Directions: Scrabble cookies (baking tools required; steady hands with royal icing)
- Jedi Sugar Skills: Vanilla and red velvet heart cake (there isn't even a tutorial up yet! Also requires carving cake)
|Photo | Neal Santos|
Xochitl (408 S. Second St.), which has been run by chef Dionicio Jimenez to rave reviews since the Headhouse Square sit-down opened about three years back, is switching things up. Jimenez has left the restaurant to run Stephen Starr's as-yet-unnamed Latin concept planned for 2013 Chestnut Street. Taking over for him will be chef Lucio Palazzo (above), who opened Percy Street Barbecue with chef/partner Erin O'Shea. Palazzo will be executing a still-quite-Mexican menu (check it out in full after the jump) that has friendlier price points. Signature dishes â think the guacamole, the queso fundido, the parillada (a shareable mixed grill platter for $36) â are still available, but there are now entire taco and torta sections, with prices (as of right now) topping out at $13. The cocktail, beer, wine and tequila lists are also peepable after the jump.
Owners Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov will close Xochitl this coming Sunday, Feb. 7, for a two-week renovation that'll unify the bar and dining room sections of the restaurant (they're currently separated by a dividing wall). Starting the week of Feb. 21, they'll serve food seven days a week.
|Click to enlarge|
The move, which we first told you about in October, means that owner Jack Yoo now has close to 50 seats, two private dining rooms, a full sushi bar with seating and a liquor license (it's about two months out, but a full sake program's in the works). The space is super-clean and modern, with a color light-up wall along the banquette that pops at nighttime. Those awesome sushi-based movie posters we knew and loved at Shinju aren't hanging up â a staffer tells regulars have offered bids of $500 and up for them (!) â but some of the same imagery is worked into an elaborate mural on the eastern wall of the restaurant (see last pic).
Chef Shaun Yoo, Jack's brother, is offering the same menu available at Shinju, with a handful of new rolls and specials. Check out the menu in full after the jump.
Hours: Lunch Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (last seating at 2 p.m.); dinner Mon.-Thu., 5-10 p.m. (last seating at 9:30 p.m.); Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m. (last seating at 10:30 p.m.); Sun., 5-9:30 p.m. (last seating at 9 p.m.)
- 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