Archive: February, 2010
A Meal Ticket reader just checked in with this query, which is making us pretty damn hungry, we gotta say:
I have an overwhelmingly uncomfortable craving for Yorkshire pudding. Where in this city can I find it, because I'm entirely too lazy to cook it myself?
If you're unfamiliar, Yorkshire pudding is an English side dish that traditionally accompanies roast meats (usually beef). It's made by combining the fat drippings from a roast with flour, butter, milk and about 8,000 eggs to form a crispy-on-the-outside, custardy-on-the-inside carb bomb that becomes all the more delicious when it's used as an edible sponge to sop up pools of salty brown gravy.
Our reader tells us he actually has a Yorkshire pudding pan at home (whatta bum!), but is hoping there's a restaurant out there that cooks up the specialty, either as a regular menu item or as a feature during a weekend feast (the pudding's typically associated with Sunday meals in the UK). Let us know in the comments if you've got any pan-dripping-soaked leads.
Chatting with Tria co-owner Jonathan Myerow over the years, we've learned one thing: He's very, very good at controlling his message, despite our best nosy-blogger-type efforts to glean the deets on his latest/greatest project. So here's what we've gathered so far on his recently announced wine bar, set for the space that was the Intermezzo CafÃ©, in the Left Bank building at 3131 Walnut.
"The space was too small for a Tria, but we really liked it," explains Myerow, who right now has two Tria locations, and has come close to opening a third. "It'll be a wine bar, very streamlined ... the prices will be very reasonable for the wine. There'll be some beers, but we're calling it a wine bar. There'll be a few cheeses, too." There'll be food via a "small but always changing" menu.
Is there a ballpark-ish opening month set yet? "We're looking at the summer." Does this place have a name? "Not really."
MYEROW! He's too good, y'all.
The cook's methods for tenderizing the chewy flesh of the octopus are as various as the rainbow of colors the molluscan cephalopod's skin can flash though for camouflage. Varga Bar (941 Spruce St.) chef R. Evan Turney (pictured) cited at least half a dozen anecdotal prescriptions for its preparation, from parboiling the creature with wine corks or cylinders of cut-up copper pipes to applying daikon radish to the tentacles.
Turney put wives' tales aside and shared the method that makes Varga's wood-grilled octopus with potato masala, English peas and black olive vinaigrette (pictured) as tender as the inside of your elbow. Learn it after the jump.
Basic Octopus Method
by R. Evan Turney, exec chef of Varga Bar (as told to Felicia D'Ambrosio)
Bring a large pot of courtbouillon (fish stock, lemons and aromatics) to a full boil.
Hold octopus by the head; if using several, tie their heads together to make next steps easier.
Holding octopus by the head(s); dip tentacles completely into boiling stock and lift out after a few seconds.
Allow pot to fully boil again; dip tentacles again into stock and lift out.
Allow pot to fully boil a third time; dip octopus into water and release.
Turn heat down until stock is just simmering (small bubbles). Allow octopus to simmer for at least two hours; check for tenderness by removing octopus from pot and attempting to pull away one tentacle. It should detach from the body when done.
Working carefully while octopus is still hot, strip away suction cups with a kitchen towel (if desired; some people enjoy the texture of the suction cups).
Marinate cleaned tentacles in a mixture of olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, herbs and a splash of good vinegar. Allow to rest in marinade for at least an hour.
Heat a grill pan, charcoal or gas grill to medium-high; grill tentacles to order to crisp the skin and warm through; be wary of drying the flesh out.
Serve as you like, immediately.
SNACK TIME: "the world's lightest beer", SF writer envies us, calorie conspiracy theories, chilling cheese 101, kind treats from South St. to stage door
|Anheuser-Busch, via SlashFood|
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
-- Anheuser-Busch will release the ultra-low calorie Select 55 just in time for the year's biggest, most bloated football game next Sunday. Slashfood passes on "the world's lightest beer", banking the 55 calories towards a future visit to Grant Achatz's upcoming molecular cocktail bar.
-- San Francisco Chronicle critic Michael Bauer spends a long weekend in Philadelphia and finds things he wishes he could plunk down in his hometown -- namely Zahav, James, AmÃs and John's Roast Pork, among others.
-- As of Feb. 1, Philadelphia is requiring calorie counts to be posted on the menus of chain restaurants with more than 15 locations. Inquirer staff writer Don Sapatkin illuminates the fine print, while Philly.com commentors share completely logical concerns about the "nanny state" controlling our diets.
-- Serious Eats answers the age-old question, How do I wrap this cheese for maximum happiness and minimal mold? Check out their detailed guide on wrapping cheese in wax paper, the science behind leaving the plastic baggie unsealed and why blue cheeses should be stored separate from other, more innocent fromages.
-- The Insider reports that just-opened, gluten-free, vegan bakery Sweet Freedom took a star turn over the weekend, fielding and hand-delivering an order to Alicia Silverstone. The vegan actress is treading the boards in the play Time Stands Still in Manhattan.
Meal Ticket's very own Felicia D. stopped by Supper (926 South St., 215-592-8180) to have a look at chef/owner Mitch Prensky's DIY hot dog kit. For $25, you get four ready-to-cook house-made bacon-wrapped hot dogs, four house-baked buns, and toppings like BBQ onions, sauerkraut, beer mustard and house-cured bread and butter pickles. Ideal for a football game, no? (If only there was a big one coming up ... ) Prensky's also offering his birch beer-glazed wings, with black pepper/buttermilk dressing, for 12 bucks a pound. Place orders by noon this coming Friday, Feb. 5, to secure your kit for Sunday.
Ladder 15 (1528 Sansom St.) has scored a major coup, signing chef David Ansill to consult on a brand-new menu until he takes over as on-site executive chef in four to six weeks. Co-owner Max Tucker confirmed Ansill's hiring today for Meal Ticket, adding that Ladder 15 will be overhauling the beer, wine and cocktail menus as well as the food.
"We're making massive changes," said Tucker. "Mixologist Zach Smith is creating an entirely new upscale cocktail list, and our draft lines will be devoted to specialty beers, especially Belgians, craft and local. We will have new craft bottles, as well."
"The new menu will be out this spring," Tucker said. "It'll be bar food with the Ansill stamp."
UPDATE: Check out Ladder 15's new beer list, available by the end of next week, after the jump.
New Draft Beer List
Bells Two Hearted IPA (MI)
Dogfish Head Indian Style Brown Ale (DE)
Southern Tier Seasonal (NY)
Harpoon IPA (MA)
Flying Dog Old Scratch Lager (MD)
Leffe Blonde (Belgium)
Victory Prima Pils (PA)
Victory Hop Devil (PA)
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (CA)
Hogaarden Original White Ale (Belgium)
Stella Artois (Belgium)
Guiness Stout (Ireland)
Flying Fish ESB (NJ)
Flying Fish Belgium Style Duvel (NJ)
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter (OH)
Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale (Philadelphia)
Allegash White (ME)
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA (DE)
Longtrail Blackbeary Wheat (VT)
Terrapin India Style Brown Ale (GA)
Smutty Nose Old Brown Dog Ale (NH)
Woodchuck Pear Cider (VT)
Rogue Chipotle Ale (OR)
Coors Light (CO)
Bud Light (MO)
Amstel Light (Holland)
Heineken Light (Holland)
Michelob Ultra (MO)
Yuengling Lager (PA)
What goes better with peanut butter and jelly than a little love? Radio station BEN-FM, ShopRite grocery and PhilAbundance, our region's largest hunger-relief organization, have teamed up this Valentine's Day to collect the makings of the sticky sandwich staple for people in need.
âAlthough something of a staple in many people's cupboards, peanut butter and jelly are two food items rarely donated by the food industry,â says Melanie Jumonville, Philabundance's COO. âWe are excited about the partnering with BEN-FM and Shop Rite on the Spread the Love food drive which will help us meet a great need for delicious and nutritious foods that are protein rich and have community appeal.â
Donors can drop off peanut butter and jelly at three sites across the Delaware Valley:
- Farmer's Market at Suburban Square, Anderson and Coulter Ave., Ardmore, PA
- most stores at the Promenade at Sagemore, 500 Route 73 S # E1, Marlton, NJ
- Philabundance's 3616 S. Galloway Street location in South Philadelphia
ShopRite is expanding the effort into the realm of social media, donating one jar of peanut butter or jelly for every new Facebook fan PhilAbundance acquires between now and February 14; 100 new fans equals an additional 20 cases of peanut butter, while 200 new fans scores PhilAbundance another 20 cases of jelly.
|Philly Cupcake on Twitter
Philly Cupcake (12th and Chestnut) is putting out these bad boys today in honor of Pennsylvania's most bizarre cultural ritual. Co-owner Johnny Columbo tells Meal Ticket that the custom cupcake toppers â the lil' guys are crafted out of marshmallow fondant by pastry chef Jill Wong â are available if you pre-order a minimum of half a dozen (five bucks a pop for these particular ones). The order pictured above was sent out to a law firm this morning. Phil saw his shadow already, so why not bulk up for the remaining six weeks of winter with a little sugar, ya know?
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|The Bain's Boys. Sigh.|
In honor of our blessedly single brothers and sisters this Valentine's Day, we kick off our Simply Edible photo series featuring the hottest food servers in our fair city. Our first installment takes us into the depths of the Bellevue Food Court to admire the boys of Bain's Deli.
Do you take your turkey sandwich with a side of Hot Damn? 'Cause that's what you're getting from the hunky ham-handlers of Bain's Deli in the Bellevue Food Court (200 S. Broad St.). Tattooed biceps under fashionably tight T-shirts? Check. Rockabilly hair? Yep. Smoldering gazes over the sneeze guard? All day long, ladies. Add in the sauna-like temperatures of this basement paradise and the lunch-room fantasy is complete.
Due to outrageous demand (Meal Ticket's Felicia D and many others told us the restaurant was wild the first time around), Stephen Starr's Pod (3636 Sansom St.) has decided to host $25 all-you-can-eat sushi nights every Tuesday this month. The promo packed the dining room during the first installment, which ran Jan 18 to 21. Check out the full AYCE menu right chyeah; call 215-387-1803 for rezzies.
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