Archive: May, 2009
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|Traditional white gazpacho with green grapes|
Say gazpacho and immediately think tomato. Say white gazpacho, the Andalucian purï¿½e of olive oil, almonds and garlic, and think again.
This Spanish soup is a traditional summer starter course, served in restaurants fancy and humble all over Andalucia. Also called ajo blanco, the smooth soup is an easy purï¿½e of blanched almonds, raw garlic and green grapes. The chilled, finished product is shockingly refreshing, yielding spoonfuls more flavor than its milky white appearance suggests.
The major flavors here are clean and simple: sweetness from the grapes, earthy nuttiness from the blanched almonds and a bite from the garlic. If you can find locally grown garlic, by all means use it, as it has a less sharp flavor than commercial bulbs from Cali.
I've tried several recipes for white gazpacho, with mixed results. Starting with just one clove of garlic is recommended ï¿½ it can become a powerful element.
Searching "white gazpacho recipe" on Google turns up 54,200 matches. I filtered for you.
The Good: The best recipe (flavor, ease, good instructions) was adapted by Sean of San Francisco's Hedonia blog. His tips are way useful, and his ajo blanco is supreme.
The Bad: I don't know why I didn't look at the URL of this terrible, one-dimensional recipe. It should have tipped me off immediately.
The Complicated: Bobby Flay adds all kinds of luxe ingredients to his version, including verjus and walnut oil.
North Philly native Ben Golloti, 71, got into the sports memorabilia business more than 35 years ago after putting in eight years in the Army. Now he's the proud co-proprietor of one of the more inspired combo businesses in the city ï¿½ B & G's Sports & Ice Cream Bar. (The G in the name is Golloti's wife and partner, Gloria DeLuca.)
Located on Ninth Street between Christian and Catharine, B & G's specializes in sports memorabilia (it's decorated with vintage pennants/pics; there's a selection of collectible trading cards in the back) and ï¿½ yes ï¿½ ice cream! In terms of treats, they're offering Breyer's ice cream by the scoop, milkshakes, sundaes, banana splits and frozen novelties from Ben and Jerry's and Good Humor. Coming in the next month or so: sundaes with fresh-cut exotic fruit. You can grab something to take out while you're walking through the Market, or take a load off in the small seating area. Hours of operation: Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat,. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mon.
One more thing: If you walk by, you'll notice a sign for the "Mikey Wild Art Gallery" in the window. The painter and Philly punk rock fixture is Golloti's stepson. He's got a small space in the back of the ice cream parlor from which he sells his pieces.
Looks like Bish Bish Cafï¿½, the pizzeria/Middle Eastern eatery that took over the old Philly Falafel space back in March, has closed already. A Meal Ticket tipster spots a "For Rent" sign in the window, and while the Web site is still active, the phone number is disconnected.
|Later, Uncle Jerry. I'm
going to P&K.
Rain, rain go away ... come again some other day, like when it's not the first holiday weekend of the damn summer. We're going to let the sun today color our outlook on the weekend, though.ï¿½ There are plenty of indoor and outdoor events planned for those staying in the Illadelph this Memorial Day. It looks like everyone at the Shore will only be doing heavy drinking of crap Miller Lite and going to see Star Trek, anyway.
Locals Only Beer Weekend at Local 44: This event isn't about the Penn and Drexel twerps going back to their mommies for the summer and leaving the real residents to the good beer bars. No, it's about enjoying more than 45 kegs of all-local brews.ï¿½ Quite a few casks are in the lineup, as well as limited brews like Yards Smoked Polish Wheat and cult faves like Legacy Brewing Hoptimus Prime and Dogfish Head Festina Peche. See the full lineup here. The revelry runs all three days of the weekend, with Local T-shirts for sale for the first time onï¿½ Saturday. Local 44, 4333 Spruce St., 215-222-BEER, local44beerbar.com
Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout at SPTR: Foobooz has got the gossip on the extra-special relationship between Founders Brewing Co. and the South Philadelphia Taproom. SPTR taps ï¿½ and shares ï¿½ PA's only keg ofï¿½ their brewery pal'sï¿½ Canadian Breakfast Stout on Saturday at 5 p.m. The brew is the same rich stout that forms the basis of the better-known Kentucky Breakfast Stout, but is aged in a Canadian maple syrup barrel rather than a bourbon cask. One keg should last at least a few minutes.ï¿½ SPTR, 509 Mifflin St., 215-271-7787, southphiladelphiataproom.com
Cherokee Festival at Temple Ambler: A celebration of Cherokee culture will visit the leafy campus of Temple University's Ambler campus this weekend. From 10 a.m. to sundown May 23-25, visitors will be invited to learn traditional, hoop, fancy and shawl dances, learn to build a teepee or make beaded jewelry, and taste Native American foods. Fry bread is a flat, leavened round of dough, deep-fried in fat, often topped with sugar, honey or savory meat and cheese. Buffalo burgers will also be available at the event. 16th Annual Cherokee Festival, $5-8, Temple Ambler football field, 580 Meetinghouse Rd., Ambler, 215-549-4191, secherokee-confederacypa.org
Smokeout: Some of us are masters of the pit, king of the coals. Some of us consider it an accomplishment to get through supper without slopping sauce down our shirt. If you fall on the dribbly end of the continuum, there's plenty barbecue to be had in town. The satisfying-but-cheap trend is established all over the city, from the brand-new Bebe's Barbecue in the Italian Market to longtime smoker the Rib Crib in Germantown. More deets on this later, but Jonny Mac's new pulled pork sandwich at Pub & Kitchen is a strong contender for Sandwich of the Summer. Pork shoulder gets a dry rub that hangs for three days, before a slow braise in not-so-sweet BBQ sauce. The shredded meat is heaped on a buttery brioche roll (grilled for max sexiness) and topped with melted Swiss. P&K server Cathy, a native Texan, turned us on this this and we thank her most excellently.
Executive chef Jessica O'Donnell tells Meal Ticket The Swift Half, Team Good Dog's new pub in the Piazza at Schmidts, will officially open for business at 4 p.m. today. They'll do 4 to 2 on weekdays at 11:30 to 2 on weekends.
For more info on the spot, check out my Piazza at Schmidts restaurant rundown from Monday.
Last night, Meal Ticket popped by a reception celebrating the new Capogiro location in the Radian building at 3925 Walnut Street. It's now officially open to the public; they start early in the a.m. daily to do the cafï¿½ thing, with closing times of 11:30 p.m. weekdays and 1 a.m. weekends. (Sometimes, after several hours of heavy bourbon consumption, I start fancying a pistachio gelato-stuffed brioche, so this is a boon.)
The space, executed by URBANSPACEDEVELOPMENT, gently horseshoes around the gelato case/counter for a spacious feel. There are two major distinctions with this one from its Center City siblings (and the new one at 1625 East Passyunk ï¿½ "Capoyunk," as co-owner Stephanie Reitano calls its fondly): a liquor license (we sampled a tasty cocktail with lemon sorbet and Prosecco) and an expanded food menu that features panini (BLT, mozzarella, ham and cheese, etc.), salads, crostini, bruschette and tramezzini (crustless sandwiches).
Blowuppable version of the menu after the jump.
|Click to enlarge
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
A New Jersey-born homage to Belgian saison (which means season), Flying Fish Farmhouse Summer Ale is brewed from Belgian two-row pale and Cara Pils malts, as well as 7 percent white wheat. The ale is bittered and preserved with Magnum and Styrian Golding hops and lightly filtered.
Not as bitter or piney as an IPA, but with enough crisp, lemony notes to be refreshing, the saison style is an ideal for those who have graduated from feather-light white beers but don't want to clobber their tongue with hops and huge booze.
At 4.6 percent, this ale falls squarely into the sessionable category, and should pair nicely with food, especially lighter fare like summer salads, fish and grilled vegetables. Flying Fish's Web site also suggests using it as a marinade.
Tasting Notes: The beer pours a bright golden color with a substantial pure white head that fades quickly. It is highly effervescent. The nose is of cut grass. The major flavors I tasted were citrus, mostly lemon, as well as a subtle underlying malt sweetness. The hops are peppery and spicy but not overwhelming.
This beer is a good 101-Belgian style and a gentle introduction to craft beer for the industrial lager drinker, as well as being lighthearted enough to go down easy while barbecuing or playing softball. It was a wise choice to market it as a "summer ale" and not a saison, because hopheads and aficionados will find it wanting compared to Saison Dupont and Saison d'Erpe-Mere.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Aladeen (619 South St., 215-922-0233) has replaced the short-lived La Perla Tapatia on South Street. A Meal Ticket tipster says it opened its doors about a week back.
Posted hours: Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-mid; Sun., noon-9 p.m. (I should note that I was there at around 11:10 this morning and they weren't open yet, so perhaps they're starting off slow?)
Check out the expansive Middle Eastern menu, as well as a classic rendition of "A Whole New World" by Peabo Bryson (what up, P!) and Regina Belle, after the jump.
Aladeen's Hommus $6
A blend of chickpeas, tahini, crushed garlic, lemon juice, sprinkled with paprika & olive oil & topped with pine nuts & ground beef. Served with pita bread.
Baked layers of thin pastry sheets, stuffed with chicken, almonds & saffron. Sprinkled with cinnamon & powdered sugar.
Baba Ghanuj $4.50
A blend of roasted eggplant, tahini, crushed garlic, lemon juice, sprinkled with paprika & olive oil. Served with pita bread.
A blen dof chickpeas, tahini, crushed garlic, lemon juice, paprika & olive oil. Served with pita bread.
Homemade creamy thick strained yogurt, sprinkled with crushed mint & olive oil. Served with pita bread.
Stuffed Grape Leaves $4.50
Grape leaves, stuffed with rice, onion, tomato, parsley & spices.
Chopped fresh spinach & Greek feta cheese rolled in flaky fillo dough.
Spinach Pie $4
Chopped fresh spinach, chopped onion, lemon juice & olive oil rolled in flaky fillo dough.
Sambosa Fingers $4.50
A mixture of potatoes, peas, carrots & curry spice, stuffed in dough & deep-fried.
A seasoned chickpea/fava bean mixture, deep-fried. Served with lettuce, t omato, pickled turnip * tahini sauce. Served with pita bread.
Kibbi Mihshiyya $5.50
Ground beef marinated with salt and onions. Deep fried.
SANDWICHES (PITA WRAP)
Lamb Pita Wrap $6
Lamb marinated & grilled. Served wit lettuce, pickled turnip, parsley, tomato, onion & tahini sauce.
Kafta Pita Wrap $5.50
Grilled ground beef, parsley, onion & spices. Served with a choice of: Tabouli, feta cheese & tahini sauce (Middle Eastern Style) or Tatziki sauce, tomato & onion (Greek Style).
Chicken Pita Wrap $5.50
A chicken breast, grilled. Served with lettuce, pickled turnip, parsley, tomato, onion & tahini sauce.
Shawarma Pita Wrap (Homemade Gyro) $5.50
Thin-sliced roasted chicken. Served with tomato, pickled turnip, onion & Aladeen's gyro sauce.
Lamb & Beef Gyro Pita Wrap $5
Roasted lamb/beef combination. Served wiht a choice of: Tabouli salad, feta cheese & tahini sauce (Middle Eastern Style) or Tomato, onion & our homemade gyro sauce (Greek Style).
Falafel Vegetarian Pita Wrap $5
A seasoned chickpea/fava bean mixture, deep-fried. Served with lettuce, tomato, parsley & pickled turnip with tahini sauce.
Add Hommus $.50
Add Baba Ghanujï¿½ $.50
Add Tatziki $.50
Add Tabouli $.50
Add Feta Cheese $.50
BITZZA (PITA PIZZA)
Tomato, onion, feta cheese, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds & olive oil.
Tomato, onion, feta cheese, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds & olive oil. Topped with roasted peppers & artichoke hearts.
Tomato, onion, feta cheese, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds & olive oil. Topped with kalamata olives.
Homemade Vegetarian Lentil Soup $3
Tomato, on ion, feta cheese, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds & olive oil
Aladeen's Salad $6
Fresh lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, with lemon juice, ground mint leaves, olive oil & special spices. With Feta Cheese $8 With Grilled Chicken $9
Fattouch Salad (Lebanese Bread Salad) $6
Pita crisps, cucumber, tomato, parsley, green pepper, onion, lemon juice, olive oil & special spices. With Feta Cheese $8 With Grilled Chicken $9
Tabouli Salad $6
Cracked wheat, parsley, tomato, onion, lemon juice & olive oil. Served on a bed of lettuce.
Tatziki (Cucumber Yogurt Salad) $5
Homemade yogurt with chopped cucumber, crushed garlic & spices. Sprinkled with olive oil & mint.
House Salad $5
Chopped cucumber, tomato & green peppers, with fresh lemon juice & olive oil dressing.
Moroccan Carrot Salad $5
Carrots, garlic, onion, parsley, white vinegar, olive oil & special spices.
Moroccan Green Salad $5
Tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, garlic, parsley, onion, vinegar, olive oil & special spices.
Moroccan Eggplant Salad $6
Eggplant slowly simmered in oil, special spices, tomato, onion, parsley & garlic.
Samke Harra $16
A flaky fresh salmon filet, baked with tahini, garlic, cumin, onion, pine nuts, lemon juice & parsley. Served with a side of tabouli salad.
Aladeen's Vegetarian (Shrimp) Platter $13
Grilled shrimp with vegetables, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, tabouli salad & tahini sauce.
Shrimp Kabob (2 Skewers) $11
Grilled shrimp with vegetables. Served on a bed of Middle Eastern rice, or with a side of hommus and tabouli salad.
Shish Kabob (2 Skewers) $12.50
Skewered lamb cubes marinated & charbroiled. Served on a bed of Middle Eastern rice, or with a side of hommus and tabouli salad.
Kafta Kabob (2 Skewers) $11
Charbroiled ground beef, parsley, onions & spices. Served on a bed of Middle Eastern rice, or with a side of hommus and tabouli salad.
Chicken Kabob (2 Skewers) $10
Cubes of chicken breast marinated & grilled. Served on a bed of Middle Eastern rice, or with a side of hommus and tabouli salad.
Moroccan Chicken $12
A choice of chicken with lemon & olives or chicken with harissa cumin sauce (spicy). Served withaï¿½ side of two Moroccan salads (carrot, green).
Dajaj Marshwy $10.50
A fully marinated home-style baked chicken. Served on a bed of Middle Eastern rice & garlic sauce, or with a side of hommus and tabouli salad.
Vegetarian Platter $9
Falafel, stuffed grape leaves, baba ghanouj, tabouli & hommus. Served with tahini sauce.
Mujadara (Vegetarian) $7
Cracked bulgur wheat, cooked with lentils & browned candied onions. Served with tatziki sauce.
|Chimay's Grand Cru cheese|
Tonight, beer bar/taqueria Josï¿½ Pistola's will pair legendary Trappist brews with the equally delicious, but less-well known, cheesesï¿½ of Abbaye de Notre Dame Scourmont.ï¿½ Both are the produced by the Cistercian Trappist brothers of the abbey, whose beers and cheeses are sold under the label Chimay.
Since 1862 the monks at Scourmont Abbey have produced beer and cheese,ï¿½ sold to support the abbey and fund their charitable works.ï¿½ After expenses, all monies generated by the international sale of the three signature brews (Grand Rï¿½serve, Premiï¿½re and Cinq Cents) and four cheeses go to supporting good causes.ï¿½ At a Chimay anniversary event during Philly Beer Week 2008, longtime Chimay importer Bobo Van Mechelin raised his glass high and proclaimed, "80 percent of the money you pay for a Chimay goes to the orphans!"ï¿½ï¿½ Never have so many intoxicated Philadelphians raised a raucous cheer in honor of Belgian orphans.
This evening, guest will have the opportunity to try all three Chimay ales paired with two cheeses.ï¿½ Cinq Cents (White) is the only Chimay brew kegged and made available on draft, while Grand Rï¿½serve (Blue) and Premiï¿½re (Red) areï¿½ available in bottles. Each of the three will be available in 5 ounce pours, paired with a chunk of cheese and little accompaniment, for $7.
The two cheeses featured tonight are Grand Cru and Le Chimay ï¿½ la Biï¿½re.ï¿½ Josï¿½ Pistola's co-owner Casey Parker described both cheeses in an email:ï¿½ "The Grand Cru is a softer creamy cheese, very stinky.ï¿½ The Chimay ï¿½ la Biï¿½reï¿½ is washed in Chimay Red,ï¿½ a little bit more firm than the Grand Cru and very aromatic."
As a Catholic by birth and education and a European by ancestry, sometimes I think the Faith gets a bad rap. All that old-fashioned banning of contraception and gay-bashing doesn't put me in the mood to party.ï¿½ Here, the Trappist brothers prove that Catholics can drink high-gravity beers, eat stinky cheese and support orphans and nice widow ladies all at once.
Chimay beer and cheese pairing, Thu., May 21, 5-10 p.m., Josï¿½ Pistola's, 263 S. 15th St., 215-545-4101, josepistolas.com
Michael T. Regan snapped the photo above ï¿½ many know it as the pic with the guy in the Flyers yarmulke (look below "Hummus") ï¿½ during the Zahav crew's March 2008 journey to Israel. Check out a blown-up version of the shot in person tonight; more of Regan's work from the trip here.
Zahav, 237 Saint James Place, 215-625-8800, zahavrestaurant.com
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