Archive: March, 2010
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|Medi-Veggie Snack Wrap|
In 2006 McDonald's introduced the American eating public to the $1 Snack Wrap. Fried or grilled chicken, or even a shuddersome wedge of what passes for a burger, are dressed with shredded lettuce and cheese and wrapped in a flour tortilla. We don't know why the Snack Wrap exists, what deep ravenous need it fulfills, but we knew we could make a better, healthier and worlds more satisfying 3 p.m. bite.
Bitar's Market (947 Federal St.) in South Philly is a Lebanese sandwich shop/market with two equally appetizing faces. The tiny sandwich shop-side vends combinations like the grilled chicken Angelo Cataldi sandwich with roasted red pepper spread, lettuce and string cheese ($5.50) as well as more traditional lamb gyros, chicken kebabs and falafel-stuffed pitas. On the market side lives any Middle Eastern ingredient your cookbook can send you out for -- beautiful handmade pita in a multitude of sizes, the essential herb blend za'atar and creamy, salty Bulgarian, French or Greek feta by the pound.
Our Bitar's-sourced snack wrap is a vegetarian assortment of hummus (or baba ganouj, or both) spread on pita toasted on one side in olive oil, a few slices of that sharp feta and crisp cucumbers topped with a heaping handful of mixed winter greens. Crushed into a portable cylinder, the contrasting textures and bright flavors snap against the warm delicate pita, crispy on the inside and soft outside.
Learn how to assemble our Medi-Veggie Snack Wrap after the jump.
Medi-Veggie Snack Wrap
Yields one wrap
Go Get This:
One 8-inch Bitar's hand-stretched pita
Few tablespoons of hummus or baba ganouj, or both
Few slices of Bulgarian feta to taste
Half a cucumber, peeled and sliced
Big handful of raw greens (spring mix, arugula, weeds, whatever you like)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Now Do This:
Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil into a 10-inch or larger skillet. Heat until shimmering over medium heat. Tilt pan so olive oil covers the surface in a thin layer.
Place the pita in the warm oil and allow to toast, about 1-2 minutes. Do not flip; you want the outside of the wrap to stay nice and clean and soft.
Remove warmed pita and place toasted side up on a plate. Spread with hummus or baba ganouj or both, just 3/4 of the way across the round. See photo.
Layer sliced feta over spread(s). Add sliced cukes. Place big handful of greens on top.
Roll wrap, starting with side that has lots of ingredients on it.
Eat. Feel smugly healthy.
Meal Ticket would like to direct your attention to a screening of an odd and delightful documentary about booze and music and booze. This Saturday, March 20, at 10:30 p.m., head to the Trocadero to catch Blood Into Wine, a film about Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer frontman Maynard James Keenan's quest to grow grapes in the Verde Valley of northern Arizona. "Wait, it's possible to grow wine grapes in Arizona? Ain't that the desert?" you may ask. Yes, it is very possible, especially when you're Maynard from goddamn Tool.
The doc features a few celebrity cameos Philly's Tim and Eric appear in a series of fake interview segments with Keenan but it's adamant in its focus on the musician's passion for viticulture. Even if you're not particularly into wine or particularly into progressive metal, it's worth checking out.
Check out the trailer after the jump. And peep out the food section of this week's City Paper dropping Wednesday night online and Thursday a.m. on the streets for a full review of Blood Into Wine.
Tomorrow, green-clad revelers will crowd neighborhood bars and corporate chains alike, toasting with Irish whiskey and sharing cheer over Guinness. They can credit their day of revelry to the Irish-Catholic tradition of celebrating the religious feast day and death anniversary of St. Patrick with an evening off from the privations of Lent. With the 40-day ban on flesh-eating and boozing temporarily lifted, our predecessors were free to consume bacon, cabbage and beer and generally carry on.
Swift Half in the Piazza at Schmidts (1001 N. Second St.) is prepared for the green tide of the Irish High Holiday with $3 Irish-inspired snacks and $3 draft half-pints beginning today and running through Sun., March 21.
The $3 menu by chef Jessica O'Donnell includes potato pancake "boxty," mini fish and chips, stuffed cabbage, ham and cheese potato pierogies in Guinness brown butter and bangers in a blanket, described by co-owner and Cork native David Garry as "just like the sausage rolls I had every morning in college back home." Among others, Sly Fox Seamus' Irish Red Ale and O'Reilly's Stout are on draft.
Here's the dinner menu for Tabu (200 S. 12th St.), the brand-new lounge and sports bar we told you about in detail yesterday. What sounds good? Cajun-battered cauliflower, Jim Beam-glazed wings and a $9.99 Blue Plate Special of homemade meatloaf with garlic smashed potatoes and a side of veg.
|Click to enlarge
|Photo | Felicia D'Ambrosio
Which reliable pizza spot features this stern-but-fair signage? Clue: It has more than one location in Philly.
|Photo | Felicia D'Ambrosio
In her very first Spirit Sister column, Meal Ticket's Felicia D outlined the big changes going down at Ladder 15. Tonight starting at 8 p.m., chef David Ansill will be handing out free samples off his new menu (check it out in full here) at the bar/restaurant (1528 Sansom). Read Flea's column for more on the redo; here's more info on Spirit Sister.
Left image: The Vapur roll-up water bottle, as seen on Philly Design Blog. Manufactured entirely in the USA, this BPA-free bottle stands upright when filled with water, when empty, it can be rolled up to fit in a pocket or bag, or even pressed flat between the pages of a book. $8.95; available at vapur.us.
Right image: The Bobble bottle by Karim Rashid, which we spied on Selectism, has a replaceable carbon filter built in that can purify 150 liters of water, is BPA-free, and only $10. It's also made in the USA of recycled PET plastic and is completely recyclable. Check it at waterbobble.com.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
Named for St. Benedict, who founded monastic communities all over Europe that produced fine artisanal cheese, preserves and wine, Sonoma County's Saint BenoÃ®t Yogurt is made in small batches with a similar attention to the concept of terroir, "food of a place".
Available only in certain markets in California, the whole-milk yogurt is sold in quart glass jars and 7.5-oz. earthenware crocks (pictured), for which the purchaser pays a small deposit that is refunded upon return of the crock. Both the plain and fruit-on-the-bottom cream-top yogurt are made from organic milk from Jersey cows and cultured with a French yogurt culture.
Reusing the earthenware crock and glass jars at home, or returning them to Saint BenoÃ®t to use again, saves resources in addition to adding an additional sensory pleasure to eating the hand-made product. Lightweight #5 polypropylene plastics, the type most commonly used to make yogurt and deli containers, is almost never recycled, but rather incinerated at recycling centers. Though Saint BenoÃ®t is not available outside of California, their deposit model is an interesting approach to the standing problem of responsible consumption, and delicious in the bargain.
RELATED: Don't Panic... it's just a new (but still not recyclable) package [29July09]
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
As we mentioned back in December, David Katz of MÃ©mÃ© (2201 Spruce St.) will be doing his thing at the James Beard House next Tuesday. That translates to a hell of a lot of prep work. But instead of closing his restaurant outright, Katz tells Meal Ticket he's got a low-impact evening planned for this coming Monday, March 22. He'll offer four or so varieties of rose (including a sparkling), some charcuterie and a few cheese selections from Hendricks Farm and Dairy in Telford, Pa. (Katz isn't sure which varieties just yet, but he's thinking Cow Pie, a bloomy Camembert-type dealie, and the mild, earthy "Telford Tomme.") Everything is $5 a pop. He'll run his usual dining-room hours, 5:30 to 10 p.m.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
John Yusko opened Gaetano's Italian Deli at the corner of Second and Christian (902 S. Second St.) back on March 1. A carpenter by trade, Yusko says he and his wife have been kicking around the idea of opening their own deli for a few years now, and nowhere else than in South Philly, where they're both from. They're doing breakfast sandwiches, coffee, danishes and muffins in the morning, then hoagies, wraps and panini using Boar's Head meats for lunch and dinner. (The "Jewish Deluxe" specialty hoagie has roast and corned beefs, turkey and Swiss all up on it.) They also have a rotating selection of hot dishes, including chicken cutlets and homemade soups, roast pork and beef sandwiches, etc. Deli meats and sides to go, too.
Gaetano's is open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 am. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Full menu after the jump. See the comments for a menu PDF download link.
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