Archive: February, 2010
Greg Ling left the chef gig at Oyster House (1516 Sansom St.) in October, but not before getting a good look from our Trey Popp and quite a few others. Now he tells Meal Ticket that he's been hired as the new chef at Paul, the neighborhood BYO at 1120 Pine run by sisters Effie Boukidis-Schweich and Christina Jimenez. He starts this Saturday, and will introduce a new menu (more seasonally focused, he says) a week from then.
SNACK TIME: green goodness, Dogfish takes Manhattan, A-muse-ing, a clickable doughgirl, Philly Cooks! winning dishes
|McDonald's via Serious Eats|
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
-- McDonald's Shamrock Shake is BACK. Serious Eats takes the green meanie for a reviewing spin.
-- Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione will one of four brewers creating house beers for a rooftop restaurant in Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's upcoming Manhattan uber-food complex, Eataly. Grub Street Philly has the details on the Best News Ever for NYC hopheads.
-- Tasting Table pimps Food in the Louvre, an art book far more delicious than the typical tome. "The museum's head chef, Yves Pinard, and Michelin-starred chef Paul Bocuse step out of the kitchen to lead us through a culinary-based art history lesson, dissecting the museum's endless collection of still lifes and grand feasts."
-- The Insider posts the winners of last night's Philly Cooks! event hosted by Philly Mag. Click over to see who had the baddest display, the most appetizing appetizer and who won $1,000 for their Dish of the Year.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Meal Ticket recently received a sweet package of Reese's Pieces-ified (?) candies in the mail from the nice folks at Hershey's and decided to eat way too many of them in the name of Testing.
Reese's Pieces, as we all are intimately aware, are M&M versions of Reese's Peanut Butter cups. They debuted in the late '70s and got really famous after E.T. ate a shitload of them in the movie E.T. (In a particularly memorable and altogether shameless rip-off, Mac from 1988's Mac and Me loved Skittles with the same passion. He also liked dancing with fully uniformed football players inside McDonald's.) We've always wondered why similar candy bars couldn't get the same hit-with-a-shrink-ray treatment. Now they're here â Hershey's Special Dark candy bars now come in an array of foreboding crimson candy-coated colors, while the York Peppermint Patty Pieces rock a blue reminiscent of the KU Jayhawks jerseys.
Our favorite variety of the new Pieces line is Almond Joy, which was a surprise since that candy bar sits relatively low in our checkout-line impulse buy desirability rankings. Something about how the coconut starts tasting like gobs of shredded plastic if you chew too long. Anyways, there's none of that here, as each Joyful piece boasts near-microscopic amounts of almond, milk chocolate and coconut crammed into the shell (the elements aren't spit up separately by color, as we initially thought). How do they do it, fitting all that perfectly calibrated molar-aching goodness into such a petite package? Leave your best guess in the comments.
The kids at Penn Glee Club are putting on a show inspired by some of our favorite kitchen dramas. "Top Chef: A Soup Opera" debuts this Thursday at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theatre.
"Think Ratatouille, Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen, all at the same time," says cast member Chris Wogan.
In a comedic musical revue directed by Eduardo Placer, the show follows Darren, a failing restaurateur obsessed with his own fleeting celebrity and known for having "the fastest blade in North America." While Darren tries to revive his failing career by opening a new restaurant, a famous critic whose harsh reviews have been known to close restaurants faster than you can say mise en place sets his sights on our blade-slinging protagonist. The critic returns, disaster strikes, '80s power ballads are sung â good times.
You can catch performances this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available online.
Konstantinos Pitsillides, chef/owner of Kanella at 10th and Spruce, is someone we very much like to talk to, because aside from being a knowledgable, passionate chef, he's also pretty damn funny and outwardly opinionated. (You might've caught one of the written rants he likes to post in his kitchen window.) Here and there, he'll call us out of the blue, just to share what's on his mind. Today was one of those days. After the jump, check out the chef's thoughts on the so-called trend of chefs serving organ meats (note: Pitsillides does not think this is a trend) and on his recent James Beard nod.
On the offal "trend": People are saying secondary cuts of meat are taking over. I've been doing this from day one, if you know what I mean. Nobody ever says, "This guy believes in what he is doing, with head-to-tail cooking." I'm not chasing after anything. I grew up with all these kinds of things. We're not trendy restaurant. Even when I started cooking 20 years ago, I will tell some chefs, "Let's skin the rabbit," and they won't even touch it. [They don't know] how to kill an animal and remove the skin. To feel the food.
[With offal], I run everything on specials. Now I'm doing guinea fowl and other poultry, goat and rabbit, but I do specials like lamb tongue, lamb testicle. I did a duck platter and sold it out. Duck's liver, duck's testicles and duck's tongues with a Greek salad. Grilled, sautÃ©ed and braised. We're doing it because we feel it. We've been doing it for awhile.
On his Beard semifinalist nod for "Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic": They called me and of course I'm not going to say no. But what I really care about is what I have on my window. What really matters to me is to see smiling faces from my customers when I give them food. I'm not 24 anymore. I'm 41. I passed by the primadonna stage.
|Photo | Sparks|
Well isn't this nice? Philadelphia Weekly doffed its alterna-cap to Meal Ticket's very own Felicia D. in its new "Better Than the Best" awards package, which honors things that are THE BEST!
Best Person to Talk to When Entertaining the Idea Of Becoming a Beer Expert In Your Next Life:
Here at PW we have no problem giving credit where it's due. That said, City Paper's food blog Meal Ticket helps us with our daily dose of procrastination, as it's a must read for anyone hoping to get the scoop on restaurant openings, specials and foodie news. Felicia D'Ambrosio is half of the stellar team over at Meal Ticket, and she really knows her stuff. A long-time bartender at beer mecca Belgian Cafe, she is like a walking, talking encyclopedia of brew knowledge, and can spout off a hundred different facts about the suds you're sipping like she's some sort of spooky reincarnation of Michael Jackson. (The beer writer, not the King of Pop.) Next time you want to know more about your vice, pop in at Belgian and have her pour you a pint.
Definitely didn't peg Anthony Bourdain as a Yo Gabba Gabba! fan, but turns out his daughter loves the show so he is now the coolest dad on the block. Only question: Why is he playing a doctor and not a chef or something otherwise food-related? The prospect of placing one's health in the hands of Bourdain is a terrifying one. The episode airs March 10. (via Serious Eats)
Preeeeetzeeeeeeeeeels! Get your pretzels he-ah!
I can still hear that guy bellowing from the middle of Mountain Street and I wish it weren't just in my head. No such tactics exists in the suburbs. There are also no corner stores vending Tastykakes. For me, these are only fond memories. If I wanted to be less dramatic and more pragmatic, I could do more than reminisce. I could stop by Bridget Foy's (200 South St.) to sample their new Philly Foods, Philly Beers menu.
From Fri., Feb. 26 through Sun., March 7, diners can revel in three courses of hometown-inspired delectables (scrapple-stuffed pork loin with lager glaze; Herr's-crusted fish and chips), each served with a locally produced beer (choices from Flying Fish, Dogfish Head, Stoudt's, etc.). Ten days gives you plenty of opportunities to try all nine options on the $35 prix-fixe, plus an extra day to go back for your fave combo.
Check out the full Philly-ed up menu (a deconstructed hoagie salad, you say?) after the jump.
Paired with Flying Fish ESB
Roasted pork & broccoli rabe spring rolls
Paired with Stout's Scarlet Lady
Deconstructed Hoagie Salad
Dogfish Head 60 Min. IPA
Sausage & Peppers over creamy provolone polenta
Paired with Sly Fox Seamus Red Ale
Herr's Crusted Fish & Chips made with Kenzinger beer batter
Paired with Philadelphia Brewing Co. Kenzinger
Scrapple Stuffed Pork Loin with lager glaze
Paired with Victory
Butterscotch krimpet Tiramisu made with Dock Street Sexual Chocolate
Paired with Dock Street Sexual Chocolate
O'Reillys Stout Float with Basset's Vanilla Ice Cream and cookies
Chocolate Pretzel Cheesecake
Paired with O'Reily's Stout
|Schulson getting down|
The bÃ¡nh mÃ¬ was undoubtedly 2009's prom queen of sandwiches. Whether stuffed with pork liver pÃ¢tÃ© or strips of marinated tofu, the Vietnamese sandwich was on the lips of hungry seekers looking for a bargain lunch (Fu Wah Mini Market's delicious < $4 version) or upmarket crunch (crispy squid bÃ¡nh mÃ¬ at Supper).
Chef Michael Schulson vaults into the game on Friday, March 5 when he launches lunch hours at Sampan (124 S. 13th St.) by giving away a free pork bÃ¡nh mÃ¬ complete with chips and a non-alcoholic drink to guests between the hours of 11:30 a.m and 5 p.m.
The regular lunch menu will also be available, including bÃ¡nh mÃ¬ stuffed with Berkshire pork belly, tuna or meatballs. Shrimp pad thai, ramen noodle soup, salads and chicken bim bim bop round out the selection, which is priced from $6 to $9. Lunch will run 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov's Headhouse Square restaurant Xochitl (408 S. Second St.) will open tomorrow night at 5 p.m. with a renovation that has subtracted both white tablecloths and double-digit entrÃ©es. (Check out the new menu here.)
The wall the once divided the bar from the dining room has been cut down to a half-wall, supported by wooden beams that conceal steel load-bearing columns. Provenance Architectural Salvage provided all of the wood, including the salvaged ceiling beams that now lend the space its cantina-like vibe. A coat of saffron paint with a distressed plaster finish visually unites the bar and dining room and provides the backdrop for local artist Don Thompson's wall paintings of loteria cards, used to play a sort of Mexican bingo. Catholic vigil candles are arrayed in circular chandeliers over the bar, where the formerly mirrored shelves have been lined with antique azure glass.
Smaller changes include refinished tables set with colorful ceramic tiles; Cook was excited for the delivery of new, resin dining room tables topped with Spanish-language versions of American movie posters, including Star Wars, Bruce Lee and Clint Eastwood films.
Perhaps the most exciting development is the juicing-up of the Thursday night "Staff Meal" special, which now runs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. in every part of the restaurant and discounts the entire menu by 50 percent. Five-dollar house margaritas will be available during Staff Meal, as well as during the weekday happy hour (5-7 p.m.) and weekend late-night happy hour (Thu., Fri. and Sat. in the downstairs lounge, 10 p.m.-midnight).
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