Archive: March, 2010
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
Our usual Eat This Immediately picks veer unhealthily towards the rich and fatty (like foie gras scrapple, 12-year cheddar, this insane burger), so we were shocked-- shocked-- to fall in love with this entirely vegan jicama salad on Distrito's (The Hub, 3945 Chestnut St.) brunch menu.
Served parfait-style in a flaring glass, chef de cuisine Tim Spinner layers brunoise jicama and Galina melon with orange supremes, pomegranate seeds and pepitas in a lemon vinaigrette, topping it with a perfectly tart quenelle of lime sorbet.
Sweet, tart, bright and crunchy, this salad was a tour de force of flavors, and certainly the maximum fruit alchemy $7 can buy.
Eat this immediately.
Thanks to Meal Ticket tipster DO for this one: Unitea is the name of the tea bar aiming for a March 29 opening at 265 S. 44th Street, right on the same block as Local 44 and Tampopo in West Philly. Owner Kashif Ahmad is an accountant by trade, but he's got some family connections to the food/drink biz his aunt, Tayyaba Khanum, owns Nanee's Kitchen in the Reading Terminal Market. Ahmad will offer a lineup of 25 or so international teas (Ahmad's landed a top-of-the-line Brasilia espresso machine that can simultaneously brew coffee and tea), fresh-squeezed juices, a few sandwiches and crepes on weekends. Lots of halal and vegetarian options, too.
Alexandra Harcharek touched on this in her latest What's Cooking column, but we figured we'd remind you here, too: Tonight at 8, drop by Devil's Den (1148 S. 11th St.) for a taste of Duvel Green, the first beer the time-tested Belgian brewery developed for draft. (Glasses will be a buck off from 8 to 10.) A Duvel rep will be on hand to remind you that Duvel is, in fact, readily available in Philly once more.
|Kraftwork on Flickr|
Kraftwork, the set-for-April Fishtown bar from Sidecar's Adam Ritter, got its webby game going this week, formally launching a Twitter, a Tumblr and a Flickr. Hit up that latter link for a few sneak peeks at the signage and branding, including their growlers (above). Check our previous post for more info.
Take PATCO, Philly Car Share or your own set of wheels (whaaat, we have FREE parking lots!) to one of 44 restaurants participating in South Jersey's Restaurant Week, scheduled for April 11-16. Depending on which place you choose, the four-course menus will run you either $25 or $35 call or visit your pick's Web site for more details and reservations.
South Jersey Independent Restaurant Association (you can call them âSJ Hot Chefsâ) celebrates independently owned restaurants and their contributions to adding flavor to the area's largely corporate restaurant scene. At these chefs' spots, though, freshness, locality, creativity and real food are what matter. Added bonus: most places listed are BYO.
Among my favorite SJ Hot Chef members are Blackbird Dining Establishment (619 Collings Ave. = PATCO + 2-minute cab ride), The Little Tuna (141 Kings Highway = PATCO + 5-minute walk), Los Amigos (461 Rte. 73 North = gotta drive to this one) and Coriander (Ritz Plaza, 910 Haddonfield-Berlin Road = gotta drive here, too). If end up at Coriander for dinner, you should walk a few feet to fellow Hot Cheffer Ritz Seafood and get a piece of their famous triple coconut cream pie.
When there's less than a week left before opening, restaurants tend to enter what we like to call "hyper scramble mode" this is the time when ordinary men and women can achieve extraordinary feats of speed and strength to work out all the kinds before a grand debut. 500Â° (1504 Sansom St.), the quick-serve burger joint from Rouge owners Rob and Maggie Wasserman, is deep in hyper scramble, as evidenced by the flurry of hardcore activity going on inside earlier this morning.
500Â°, which will open Tuesday with free burgers for the first 100 heads who come through, is not huge 23 total seats, some counter stools, some at a pair of communal table. The slate you see in the first image above is a prototype of what the walls will look like next week paint man Jason Marzano is in color-splotch mode now, then he'll cover all of that up with a coat of white before applying a treatment that'll create a weathered industrial finish. (This space, on the corner of 15th and Sansom, was President Obama's local campaign quarters in '08.)
Check out the menu here Rouge chef Matthew Zagorski is relying on the same beef blend and Wild Flour roll used for the Rittenhouse Square spot's famed burger. The first-100 promo is not the only launch special they'll do Tuesday, either. After that group's showed up to claim their eats, they'll offer a buy-one get-one burger deal if you bring a friend (that'll run till 3 p.m.). After that, free fries with a purchase.
Though the burgers are cooked to order, turnaround will be fast, says Rob a student of the crank-'em-out griddle ballet perfected by the big burger boys, he hopes you'll be able to go from placing your order to food in your hands in roughly one minute.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Tom McCusker's Honest Tom's Taco Truck, which usually sets up shop at 33rd and Arch and at Clark Park, is wheeling their tortilla-filling operation down to Logan Square today, from around 11 a.m. till the sun goes down. (It'll be hard to miss the paint job.) McCusker will be dishing out the fish tacos we became obsessed with over the summer.
UPDATE: McCusker tells Meal Ticket that he plans on making Logan Square (corner of 18th and JFK, to be exact) a weekly Friday stop. Sweet!
|Photo | Mark Stehle|
Lee Styer, chef/partner over at Fond (1617 E. Passyunk Ave.), is in the process of overhauling his dinner menu for the spring season. While hit dishes like his crispy sweetbreads (above) remain, he's introduced a slew of new plates, which you can check out after the jump. As of today, only the appetizer section has been overhauled (he did add one new entrÃ©e so far), but Styer says the entirety of the menu will get its seasonal makeover in about a week's time.
For more thoughts on the spot, read Trey Popp's glowing October '09 review.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
arugula, smoked paprika yogurt, white anchovy
oyster mushrooms, truffle
dried Mexican chili, jicama, cilantro
Seared Foie Gras
rhubarb-tonka bean jam, almond cookie
New Zealand Lamb Rack
eggplant caponata, pinenuts, spiced cracker, lamb jus
|Photo | Neal Santos|
- First off, be sure to check out Team Meal Ticket's spring supplement! We crewed up to bring you this feature on Philly's regional pizza styles, and Felicia D checks in with this piece on the growing trend of bartenders making their own bitters.
- Trey Popp eats at popular new bruncherie Green Eggs CafÃ© and leaves pleased with both the grub and the non-preachy approach they take to environmentally sound restaurant habits.
- This Saturday night, drop by the Trocadero to catch a screening of Blood Into Wine, a pecuiliar and awesome documentary about Tool frontman Maynard Keenan growing wine grapes in northern Arizona. Here's our full review.
- In What's Cooking, Alexandra Harcharek details hella events, including tonight's $35 Bar Ferdinand tasting, the Yards Real Ale Invitational and Monday's cheese-meat-rosÃ© night at MÃ©mÃ© and more.
- Word on Tabu, Gaetano's, King Kabob, Pub & Kitchen's new floor and more in Feeding Frenzy.
- A culture of beer fear? In Opinion, editor in chief Brian Howard wonders if the PLCB's recent crackdown on Philly bars will have a chilling effect on our local brew-heavy culture.
- In Agenda, Alexandra Harcharek checks in with a preview of this weekend's Yelp Philly Homegrown Party, which'll feature food and drink from a dozen different bars/restaurants.
Columnist Rick Nichols catalogs the fallout from recent unregistered beer raids - but holds out hope for a happy Beer Week - in today's Inquirer, while restaurant critic Craig LaBan talks beer in his weekly online chat. Via Jack Curtin's Liquid Diet.
Excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat, posted March 18
Reader: What do you make of this whole beer raid situation? Maybe this will begin the overthrow of our Prohibition-era liquor laws.
CL: I think the situation is complicated: There are good reasons to have basic liquor laws - but the Keystone Kops execution (to quote Don Russell) really irked people, smacking of overreaction and control-state bureaucracy and even a little personal vendetta on the part of one anonymous complainant who apparently launched the whole thing. These confiscated beers were at other unraided bars, too. Overall, it's a black eye for our liquor control apparatus to have so clumsily taken a swipe at our growing beer scene - one of the most vital engines for restaurant growth, not to mention urban renewal, such as what Resurrection Ale House has brought to the neighborhood south of South. In the end, the bad publicity may end up having a positive effect in terms of reform (there's a hearing in April, says colleague Rick Nichols, who has followed this story in today's column). But don't count on the demise of the PLCB any time soon.
- 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