Archive: February, 2010
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
... Kraftwork, in a nod to the fine "craft" of brewing beer and cooking tasty food, and not the seminal German electronica band. For more on the beer bar at Girard and Montgomery, which'll boast 24 draft lines, check out our Jan. 18 post. Chef Michael Thomas, formerly of Bar Ferdinand, will be handling the menu.
Being original on Valentine's Day gets tougher each year, especially if you haven't managed to scratch that ten-year itch. I mean, if you have been madly in love with one person for ten glorious years! Moving on...
Here's a fun fact: Did you know that this year Chinese New Year (year of the Tiger, raaarrrrrr) kicks off on Valentine's Day? If I had to choose just one to celebrate, I'd choose a carton of dumplings over a box of chocolates. Share this sentiment? Mix things up and pour a little spoonful of America's melting pot into your V-Day. Send your love kitten personalized, sweet-talkin' fortune cookies. What better way to say, âI love you, Tigerâ?
And who doesn't love a caffeine fix? Why not hand-craft pouches of tea for your hyper honey? All you need are some loose tea leaves, unbleached cheese cloth and twine or string. Truly a gift that is fit to be tied!
Of course, if it were me, I'd be down for a dish of fried rice and an order of Triple Precious from Charles' Plaza (243 N. 10th St.) in Chinatown. Maybe a little Tsingtao to wash it down, too.
When Kibitz in the City closed this fall, we knew it wouldn't be long till this sweet bit of real estate (703 Chestnut St.) got a new tenant. So here's early word on Delicatessen, from Michael Spector, an Elkins Park native and industry vet who was last the manager of North Bowl. The official title for the 40-seat concept is a "Modern Jewish Deli," with twists on the typical bagel/bialy/pastrami tradition: egg dishes, smoked fish platters ("Sephardic ceviche," anyone?) and sandwiches both traditional and "new school" (the "Oy Ve(Yeee) Haaaaa" is BBQ pastrami, slaw and BBQ Russian dressing on rye; the "Busted Belt Buckle" is brisket, chunky tomato sauce, onions and provolone on a long roll).
The spot, which should open sometime in the week of Feb. 21, will do breakfast, brunch and lunch daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with dinner coming in the spring.
Chef Ann Suk Miller, who introduced those much-hyped Korean tacos to Philly during her time at the late Ansill, now works with chef Anne Coll at Meritage (500 S. 20th St.). See where we're going with this? All next week, they'll offer the Korean tacos (marinated short rib, Korean BBQ sauce and kimchi on a crispy flour tortilla) for three bucks. This'll provide a unique opportunity for a Korean taco Pepsi Challenge of sorts, considering David Ansill has also been putting out the dish at his new gig at Ladder 15 (1528 Sansom St.).
|This winter weather makes me want to drink like a wolf.|
Last night's polar vortex has canceled air travel, halted school and made getting to the office impossible (wheeee!). The only thing it hasn't dampened is our enthusiasm for snowy-day revelry. Check out which bars are making the best of it with emergency brunches, dead cheap booze and sledding supplies for lushes.
Pub & Kitchen (1946 Lombard St.) will open at noon today, with $3 bloody marys until 3 p.m.; happy hour from 4-6 p.m. features $3 Yards Brawler and Stoudts Pilsner, $5 glasses of wine and $2 bar snacks. A special menu, including a tempting potato hash with chicken confit and fried farmer's egg ($13) runs all day.
Johnny Brenda's (1201 Frankford Ave.) is running an Emergency Brunch today -- look for tasties from the weekend menu, like homemade tamales with salsa verde, capicolla fritatta and ham and cheese grits.
Every Wednesday all cans of beer are half-price at Good Dog (224 S. 15th St.), plus 25-oz. bottles of Sly Fox Christmas Ale are just $10; all proceeds from that brew will go to Doctors Without Borders' relief efforts in Haiti.
Watch the snow from the loveliest vantage point on the Square at Rouge (205 S. 18th St.), offering $10 Grey Goose martinis, $8 Makers Mark hot toddies and $5 Coronas (for the island-wishful).
P.Y.T. (The Piazza at Schmidts, 1001 N. Second St.) has that aprÃ©s-ski spirit with Ski Patrol: Part Deux! Half-priced draft beers and jukebox karaoke sing-a-longs all day.
Skip across the Piazza to The Swift Half (1001 N. Second St.), serving $2 classic cans and $3 Sly Fox cans all day.
The comically oversized Scorpion Bowl at Sampan (124 S. 13th St.) is a fishbowl of a drink -- literally. This mind-erasing blend of rum, gin, white wine and pomegranate juice drops from $24 to $12 tonight from 4 p.m. until close.
London Grill (2301 Fairmount Ave.) opens at noon today with egg, cheese and butcher bacon sammies; growlers and six-packs of pounders ($16) are available to-go for sledders.
Brauhaus Schmitz (718 South St.) has half-priced bottles all day.
Meme (2201 Spruce St.) will be serving homemade hot chocolate, hot ham and cheese sandwiches and bean soup, all for $15, tonight.
James (824 S. Eighth St.) opened at noon today, and will be serving snacks and $2 stouts at the bar, fireplace roarin' all the while.
Meal Ticket boozin' homebase The Khyber (56 S. Second St.) is open all day, and they're serving hot drinks (Russian hot chocolates, hot applejack) for four bucks.
Cantina Dos Segundos (931 N. Second St.) is pouring $3 Bloody Marys all day.
Today and tomorrow, Alfa (1709 Walnut St.) is doing $3-$4 drink specials, lots of snacks, $20 bottles of wine and more. They're also offering survival items like microwave popcorn, gummy bears and condoms. Gummy bears and condoms, yeah! Full rundown on Phoodie.
Sidecar (2201 Christian St.) opened at 10:30 a.m. and will offer their weekend brunch menu till 3 p.m. Business as usual after that.
Mention that snow sucks at Han Dynasty (108 Chestnut St.) and owner Han Chiang will give you 15 percent off your bill.
Noble (2025 Sansom St.) is offering a five-course tasting for $38, plus happy-hour pricing at the bar all night.
Eulogy (136 Chestnut St.) is doing $3.50 Stella, Hoegaarde and Leffe all night.
Tattooed Mom (530 South St.) is offering 50-cent pierogies, $1.50 PBRs and $4 drafts all night.
Calling all opinionated foodies: Zagat Restaurant Survey needs your help to compose its 2011 Philadelphia edition. Whether you are long-winded or short and to the point, whether you have been to 200 restaurants or two, log on to zagat.com/vote to rate spots on food, service, dÃ©cor and estimated cost. Surveys in-progress can be saved, allowing you to revise your opinions or just get back to it when you have more to say and more time to say it. (Say it Zuh-GAT, not Zaggit, while you're at it).
To tempt participation, reviewers who speak their piece by March 21, 2010 will be rewarded for their time with a copy of the finished product, a 90-day subscription to Zagat.com, or a chance to win âA Night on the Townâ worth about 500 big ones. Sounding off for Zagat sounds good to me.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
...is when the sommelier preserves the label of the bottle of wine you liked so much, as shown above. As with skinning cats, there's more than one way to get the label off the bottle without ripping it; fancy-pants steakhouses tend to use ready-made label removers like Oenophilia Label Lift, a product similar to the one shown in the photo.
Since ready-made label removers can be expensive, there are a few other ways to get the label off the bottle without destroying it; they work for beer bottles, too.
Hair-Dryer Method: Turning the hair dryer to its hottest setting, hold the nozzle directly over the label, moving it all around to cover the entire area. The heat from the dryer will melt the adhesive that attaches the label to the bottle, making it easy to peel. This also works on any kind of irritating sticker (i.e., prices on the glass of picture frames) you need to remove, and has the benefit of being free if you already own a hair dryer.
Packing/Shipping Clear Tape: Place a large piece of tape, leaving as big a margin around the label as possible, over the label. Smooth down any air bubbles with the back of a spoon and let the tape rest on the label a few hours or overnight. Starting at a corner, peel the tape up slowly. This will lift up the colored part of the label and leave the gluey backing behind.
Hot Water & Dish Soap: Soak the bottle in very hot water, adding just a few drops of dish soap. Allow to soak for at least 15-30 minutes; gently peel label away. Too much soap will disintegrate the label, so use sparingly.
Meal Ticket dropped by the friends/fam of Falafel Factory (32 S. 18th st., between Chestnut and Market) last night for a peek at Rob Rimeris' quick-service chickpea-ball slinger. The all-veg, mostly-takeout operation, which we first noted in December, officially opened this morning. Rimeris offers a small menu of specialty falafels (get yer balls fried or baked), plus fries, hummus and veggie dip. Everything's under 10 bucks. Their traditional falafel, featuring hummus, cukes, tomatoes, cabbage and a garlicky sauce, definitely got the job done, but it's FF's more irreverent varieties that will like catch the most attention. For example, check out the sweet/salty combo of the "Hawaiian," packed with pineapple chunks, carrots, cabbage and a teriyaki sauce.
Falafel Factory is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
This is the time of year we're supposed to crave nothing but whiskey drinks and comfort food, infusing our layers of fat with anesthetizing oaky potions to sustain us through this wintriest winter since recordkeeping began in 1884.
I say, to hell with that. What I want are raw vegetable salads bright with chopped parsley and lemon juice, the watery crunch of cucumbers and affirming bitterness of endive. Such food needs a drink partner with a lighter touch, something to remind us that the sun will melt the heaps of dirty, porous snow eventually.
Enter the Bronx cocktail, allegedly invented by Johnny Solon at the Waldorf before Prohibition. Gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, freshly-squeezed orange juice and bitters are shaken hard into a cocktail that's not too boozy to serve as an apertif, stiff enough to be manly and refreshingly sweet, tart, bitter and spicy.
Locally distilled Bluecoat Gin, with its restrained botanicals, provides a blank canvas that allows good quality (or at the very least, fresh) vermouth to shine; Bluecoat is the ideal gin for folks who claim to hate the spirit. I'm one myself, having had the bad judgement as a teenager to sneak swills straight from the Tanqueray bottle one grim night.
With Angostura bitters currently in short supply in the U.S., Fee Bros. Old-Fashion Aromatic Bitters make a cinnamony, complex addition. Since citrus is in season and dead cheap right now, I juiced a few sweet tangerines to add the final touch.
adapted from Dale DeGroff, The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks (Clarkson Potter)
1.5 oz. Bluecoat Gin
0.5 oz. Punt e Mes Italian sweet vermouth
0.5 oz. Tribuno dry vermouth
1 oz. fresh-squeezed tangerine juice (or orange, or clementine)
Dash of Fee Bros. Old-Fashion Bitters
Tangerine or orange peel for garnish
Combine the gin, sweet and dry vermouths, tangerine juice and bitters in a mixing glass with ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a tangerine or orange peel.
|Photo courtesy Marie DiFeliciantonio|
|You can just call her LP|
Over the past 17 months, there's been many a deadline day when Team Meal Ticket has bemoaned our lack of a competent, food-crazy intern to write witty posts while we frantically hammer away at print articles, attend the events we'd accidentally triple-booked ourselves for and provide insight to the eternal question, "Where do we go for lunch?"
Now our prayers have been answered in the form of chef-writer Marie DiFeliciantonio, whose surname manages to mash all of Felicia D.'s monikers together with those of her immediate family. Marie, henceforth known as "Lucky Porkchops" or "LP" to avoid confusion with her blogging brethren, has a degree in communications and culinary arts, once served as private chef to a very swanky family and has never met an unfamiliar ingredient she didn't long to ingest.
We put our newest player through the Q&A routine after the jump.
Meal Ticket: Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you want to break into the food-writing realm.
Lucky Porkchops: I firmly believe in doing what you love and success will come. Eating and writing are my favorite pastimes. Combining my Communications degree with my Culinary Arts degree and writing a food blog is something I enjoy doing.
MT: What do you plan on contributing to Meal Ticket?
LP: I want to bring my view to Meal Ticket as a chef-writer and expose readers to my side of the bridge (NJ) and my side of the story as it pertains to food life. I'd like to share my experience as a caterer, personal chef, and restaurant addict.
MT: What bars or restaurants in Philly might we find you hanging out at on the regular?
LP: I am an experience junkie. I want to do it all (as long as it doesn't involve insane heights), see it all (as long as it isn't a horror movie) and try it all (as long as it isn't poison). That being said, in conjunction with the constant amazing additions to the Philly dining scene, you most likely won't find me making reservations at the same place twice. I have to try them all! To not totally evade the question I will say that there are a few places where you will find me in the near future including Cichetteria 19, Fish, Village Whiskey, and Modo Mio.
MT: What is your favorite dish to cook at home, or for a dinner party to impress your friends?
LP: It is hard to say what dish I enjoy making the most. Dinner is like the nightly improv show in which I perform. You never know what will end up on that plate. I will say that if I have a party and don't make hummus, I will hear about it all night.
MT: Is there any certain item you can never resist on a restaurant's menu? Why?
LP: As a self-proclaimed experience junkie, if there is an item that has never crossed my tastebuds before on a restaurant/bar's menu, it is most certainly the one I will order. I have taken it on as my mission to leave no flavor untasted. I'm usually not disappointed, either.
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