Archive: March, 2013
How does it happen that some things—like pre-Lenten pigging out—catch on like wildfire, spawning heaps of pancakes and paczkis and fastnachts all over the world, while at the same time Swedish people are scarfing waffles on Annunciation Day and the rest of us don't even try to glom on? Our point is, we like waffles. Consider this our official notice that we are hereby glomming on big time.
If you care to join us as we hop on this bandwagon, we'll be hitting the American Swedish (1900 Pattison Ave.) this Sat., Mar. 16—a.k.a. tomorrow—from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for an early Waffle Day celebration. Confusing note: Waffle Day, traditionally tied as it is to Annunciation Day, is actually on Mar. 25. Except that Annunciation Day is actually in April this year, because the 25th falls during Holy Week. So no, this Philadelphian version of Waffle Day falls neither on Actual Waffle Day nor on the Catholic holiday it celebrates that is also not on Waffle Day. The good news is: who cares? You’re spending your Saturday munching on waffles with whipped cream and jam, and your $10 entry fee also includes beverages and museum admission.
PSN begins with a scathing dig at Krispy Kreme, the makers of donuts so cloyingly sweet that she spit out her one and only bite. Luckily Fed Nuts fared much, much better. Although the concept of a shop that sold only donuts, fried chicken and coffee sounded a bit strange to her at first, after sampling all of the above, she was sold.
The hot donuts had PSN revisiting childhood memories of her Austrian grandmother frying them up during mornings spent at the shore. She savored all of the fancies with a cup of tea while watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Opting to take a whole chicken home for dinner, she heeded the clerk's advice and reheated the perfectly fried bird in the oven. PSN enjoyed the moist, juicy and tender fried chicken with a side of homemade cole slaw and Japanese pickles.
Donuts plus chicken equals a very nice three and a half tips of the toque to Federal Donuts but even better than the stellar rating is this gem:
"Homer Simpson is probably America’s most famous donut lover, even if he only exists on TV. I can imagine what his life would be like if Federal Donuts opened a branch in mythical Springfield."
Today's edition of Afternoon Snacks celebrates Greek Independence Day, veganism, and good old-fashioned bartering.
At the risk of insulting a bunch of made-up food holidays (btdubs, we forgive you for not sending us a Happy Beef Carpaccio Day! Hallmark greeting, though it did sting a bit at the time), we really do love a good, actual holiday with actual food traditions attached to it. And if we can all declare ourselves Irish on March 17th, then we see no reason why we can't all be Greek for a day on March 25th. That's Greek Independence Day and hey, we happen to love Greece's independent nature!
You know what else we love? Gigantic homestyle feasts that cost $25. Clearly, Opa (1311 Sansom Street) really gets us. For one day and one day only, $25 gets you a serious dinner—and maybe leaves enough budgetary wiggle room for you to tack on an optional $25 pairing option (wine or Greek digestifs; your call).
While the kosher for Passover boxes of Manischewitz mixes don't really get us too excited, Mike Solo's Passover tasting menu certainly does. In honor of all things Passover-realted (escape from Egyptian slavery, desert wandering, ten plagues...) Zahav (237 St. James Place) is offering a six course prix fixe for $48, beginning on March 25 and running through April 8. Four glasses of wine and four questions optional and no gefilte fish in sight. Here's what's on the menu:
Salatim and Hummus with crispy lamb’s tongue and hand-made matzah
Matzah Ball Soup with brisket, tomato and Yemenite curry
Salt Cod Cakes with pickled cucumbers, English peas and horseradish
Matzah Brie with sautéed chicken liver and charoset
Whole Grilled Chicken with artichokes and favas
Chocolate-Almond Tart with almond ice cream.
Remember that Food Writer Menu we told you about, the one The Industry's (1401 E. Moyamensing Ave.) Pat Szoke was collaborating on with culinary media (including Team Meal Ticket) around town? Well, it's going live over the course of the next three weeks, with each featuring two or three of the writer-inspired dishes; diners can then vote which deserves a permanent spot on the menu via the Industry's Facebook page. So will it be Drew Lazor's fried rice, eggs and SPAM? CR's gnocchi Parisienne with duck and kimchi? Yours truly's kampachi crudo with pomegranate and jalapeño? Or a dish by one of the city's other illustrious food writers? Go eat, starting March 18th, and vote. We'll try not to sway you.
Aside from a certain whiskey-soaked brunch, we're most likely going to be keeping our St. Patrick's Day festivities close to home and away from the green beer swilling masses. But don't get us wrong, we're certainly not haters. In fact, one of the things that we love about St. Patrick's Day in Philadelphia (no, not Finnigan's Wake) are the curious regional candies, Irish Potatoes. We've never spotted the little cinnamon sugar coated coconut cream spuds outside of Philly but we certainly do have a soft spot for 'em. Candy shaped like a potato? Who thinks this stuff up?
Over at Zagat Philly they've lined up an Irish Potato guide lining up all sorts of places to get your bizarro candy potato fix this St. Patrick's Day.
Editor's Note: Hello and welcome to the first installment of Ask Meal Ticket, a new column were we try our best to answer all of life's greatest food and drink related queries. Got a question? Send it our way and out team of experts will get to the bottom of it.
Dear Meal Ticket, I'm hoping you can help me. I have two adult daughters. The younger of the two has serious drug problems and has been in and out of rehab for years. She has no job and nowhere to go, so I let her stay with me and I've been giving her some money now and then. Lately, I've had some jewelry and other things go missing, and I worry that she's stealing from me and using the money to buy drugs. I've talked to her about it, but I just can't bear to put her out on the street. My older daughter is not sympathetic and insists that I cut off all contact. She says that she won't see her inheritance go up in smoke and that she'll never talk to me unless I kick my younger daughter out for good. I can understand my older daughter's point, but I just can't bear to let my other baby go and I've really been struggling with this situation.
So my question for you is, what do you think is currently the best noodle shop in Philly, whether ramen, pho, Chinese, or something else?
Scratching My Noodle
Well, Noodle, choosing one Philly noodle spot is pretty much exactly like having to pick a favorite child we're going to break it down by style.
Beginning next Tuesday, March 19th, The Mildred (824 S. 8th St.) is launching happy hour weekdays form 5:30 to 7 pm. "We are doing a killer boudin dish with pickled veggies and mustard," chef Mike Santoro promises, as well as mussels with mussel butter and toast, duck confit spaetzle mac 'n' cheese, grilled beef tongue with new potatoes and gruyere sauce. Look out for half-price drinks, punches and wines, plus mysterious "free treats." See you there.
Thai New Year collabs updated, bottle art competitions, and regional specialties, all on today's Afternoon Snacks!
With the start of those Circles collab dinners we told you about only a week away, we've got some chef shuffles to update you on: chefs Ben Puchowitz and Peter Woolsey have had to drop out, so Jen Choplin (new exec at SoWe) will be cooking on Apr. 4 and Sean Magee of Time will be there on Apr. 11. And we guess George Sabatino has some time on his hands now, as he'll be joining The Corner's John Taus for the Mar. 28 feast. The first dinner, with chef Jeffrey Powers of Ambler's Dettera, is still on as scheduled—and now we've got our hands on the full menu! Anyone up for some duck heart confit or roasted banana beignets with black cardamom, salted peanut custard, and ginger glaze? (Anyone besides us, we mean.)
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