Archive: June, 2009
Robert Kenner, director of Food, Inc., will visit Whole Foods' location at 929 South Street this Friday, June 5, at 3 p.m. His doc takes a hard look at the American food industry. There'll be demos and discussion.
CP's Holly Otterbein recommended the flick as part of our 2009 CineFest coverage:
How can Eric Schlosser still eat hamburgers? The author of Fast Food Nation and narrator of Food, Inc. orders a patty at a greasy spoon in the beginning of the film, suggesting that the industrial food complex is so wholly disturbed that there's no point in fighting it. True, but the film argues that you still should. Food, Inc. is muckraking journalism at its finest ï¿½ animal lover or not, you will leave it weary of the affair between government and industry, disgusted with the alpha crop corn, baffled by the laws that protect corporations more than they do people and revolted at the idea of eating anything that's not cage-free. Do dinner before you arrive.
SNACK TIME: time travel in Old City, Mike Solo & Steve Cook going down South, meet our Next Food Network Star, LaBan chokes down Kentucky Grilled Pigeon, the Glinch still serves a good dog
|Fete Day on Elfreth's Alley|
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
- If you've ever wondered how life in colonial Philadelphia tasted, visit Elfreth's Alley annual Fete Day this Sat., June 6. UWISHUNU has the lowdown on the Fete, a block party complete with early-American food, crafts, demonstrations and tours of the oldest residential street in America.
- Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov ï¿½ the duo behind Marigold Kitchen, Xochitl and Zahav ï¿½ï¿½ have signed a lease for the former Crescent City space on on the 900 block of South Street, reports Michael Klein on The Insider. The restaurateurs will install a Texas-style barbecue restaurant to open mid-fall; name and chef to be announced.
- MenuPages Blog picks up a cute Food Network video of Philly girl Katie Cavuto, a registered dietician, personal chef and former gymnast competing on the upcoming season of The Next Food Network Star. You can read a Q&A with her on Philly Mag's Restaurant Club blog, or meet her perk in person at the Sidecar Bar & Grill June 13. (She's also featured in our May 7 piece on Philly Kitchen Share.)
- Craig LaBan doesn't get much sympathy from anybody. As food critic for the Inquirer, he gets to eat and nitpick as a career. The pity embargo was lifted today, when I read his review of KFC's new Kentucky Grilled Chicken. The appetizing descriptors dry, flabby, flaccid and " half-rendered puddles of fat" were all used.
- If you haven't mangled a McGlinchey's chili dog in a while, Hawk Krall of Drawing For Food wants you to rest assured they haven't changed at all. Scrounge some change out of the sofa and slouch into the Glinch for a porter and a dog. Things are gonna be alright.
|Photo | Neal Santos
Back in April, I previewed the Phillies' 2009 season from an eater's perspective with the piece "Crowding the Plate." I made mention of Citizens Bank Park's plethora of vegetarian options, for which they've been honored:
... CBP, which PETA has named the No. 1 vegetarian ballpark in Major League Baseball two years in a row, is aiming for the threepeat this season with meat-free eats aplenty ï¿½ black bean burgers with cilantro sour cream and pepper jack cheese, veggie quesadillas, vegan burgers, veggie cheesesteaks and veg-friendly hoagies courtesy of Planet Hoagie will be available at various locations throughout the stadium.
They aimed for it, and they got it ï¿½ CBP's been named best vegetarian park in the majors once again! It's the first stadium to take the honors home three years in a row. (Granted, they've only been doing this since 2002, but that's still hot.) From a PETA statement:
With the addition of the new Southwestern black-bean burgers and mock crab cake salad to a lineup that already featured Philly-style faux-steak and faux-chicken sandwiches, veggie dogs, and meatless wraps, CBP was a shoo-in. And ranking number one with PETA could portend good things for the Phils: After receiving a first-place ranking from PETA last year, the team went on to win the World Series!
... did PETA seriously just try to take credit for us being World F. Champions?
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Di Bruno's Emilio Mignucci recently gave us a few details on the as-yet-unnamed wine bar the cheese pros are putting into the Di Bruno Brothers Prono space at 920 S. Ninth Street. They're currently in the design phase, with construction to follow soon. Inside will be a 12-seat bar and between 12 and 14 tables, for a total capacity of around 40; outside, they plan on having sidewalk seating as well as expanding into the Frank Rizzo mural lot across the way, dressing it up a bit like a European piazza.
The idea, Mignucci says, is to offer affordable wines by both the bottle and glass, along with lunch and dinner menus featuring harder-to-find Euro (not just Italian) specialties ï¿½ think jamon iberico, rabbit panini, wild boar ragout and the like.
Mignucci, who's president of the Italian Market's business association, says there aren't too many after-dark destinations in the Market, excluding Gleaner's and Anthony's; he hopes this spot will attract those who want to sit "from lunch through dinner, if [they] so choose."
As far as the name goes ï¿½ they started with 150 possibilities, which has since been whittled down to 30. The building renderings say "Osteria Di Bruno," but Mignucci jokes that Marc Vetri's already got that term unofficially locked up here in Philly.
They're shooting for a mid- to late-August opening.
After the jump, check out a few larger pictures of what the space will look like. I like the Sims guy's messenger bag.
Bravo's Top Chef Masters, featuring all manner of cantankerous, egomaniacal celebrity chefs fighting with each other in the name of sodding charity, starts next Wednesday, and Team Meal Ticket could not be more excited. (Yes, we'll be doing recaps. Aren't you excited? No? Hello? Wait, where are you going? You just got here!)
But what about the regular Top Chef season? Where will it be? We're sure you've heard the Philly rumors, partially spurned by the March casting call held at XIX. No dice on that, unfortunately ï¿½ those crazy kids are heading to Sin City. This just in from the network (looks like the stratifying Toby Young will be back!):
"Top Chef: Las Vegas" Set For Season Six
NEW YORK ï¿½ June 2, 2009 ï¿½ What happens in Vegas airs on Bravo ï¿½ "Top Chef" moves to Sin City for season six.ï¿½ The Emmy and James Beard Award-winning No.1 food show on cable, "Top Chef," returns with host Padma Lakshmi and head judge chef Tom Colicchio, alongside judges Gail Simmons and Toby Young.ï¿½
"Top Chef" offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. The series features aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef." "Top Chef: New York" was the series' highest rated season ever, averaging almost three million adults 18-49 and almost four million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Additionally, the season five finale was the highest rated telecast ever for the series among adults 18-49 and total viewers (with almost five million).
We've heard plenty of rumors about a few Philly cooks who may or may not be appearing on this season, but nothing substantiated as of yet. If/when we get confirmation, you'll be the first to know.
|Chef Jeff Michaud|
The tools and treats at Foster's Homewares can compel even the most minimal of cooks to gleefully hand over his AmEx. In addition to the shiniest KitchenAids and sharpest Japanese knives, Foster's hosts some of the region's newsiest chefs for demonstrations and classes.
On Thursday, June 25, Osteria executive chef and co-owner Jeff Michaud will demonstrate the pizza-making skills he first learned at age 13 at his hometown pizza shop in New Hampshire.ï¿½ After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Michaud worked at the Caribou Club in Aspen, Colorado. He came to Philadelphia to work as sous chef to chef Marc Vetri at Vetri, and later followed in his boss' footsteps by jetting off to Bergamo, Italy to further hone his craft.
Michaud's pizza has been acclaimed by every critic local and national with a taste for pie; most recently, Osteria made number 9 on Alan Richman's top 25 pizzas in the U.S. list for GQ. Michaud's two-hour Foster's 'demo will cover the basics of dough making and forming, baking pizza at home and sampling of pizza margherita, pizza tonno (tuna) and pizza capra e zucchini (white pizza with zucchini, ricotta cheese, and pesto).
The cost of the demonstration is $49 and you may register online here.
Jeff Michaud pizza-making demonstration, Thu., June 25, 5:45-7:45 p.m. at Foster's Homewares, 399 Market St., 215-925-0950, shopfosters.com
|Photo l Michael Persico|
|The pig of legend.|
Jonathan McDonald, chef and co-owner of G-Ho hotspot Pub & Kitchen, can do no wrong. Even chef-wunderkind Paul Liebrandt (of NYC's Corton) paid homage to his kitchen cred last week, donning a P&K "pabbit" shirt for a photo that ran on gourmet.com.
Not that the attention is turning Mac into some kind of spoiled schmoozer. He's still behind the line in his snap-front white dishwasher's shirt, concocting new ways to pad your belly. His spicy pulled pork sandwich, topped with swiss and layered with chipotle mayo on a grilled brioche bun, is good enough to flip even the most dedicated burger eater.
McDonald, like most good barbecue masters, is keeping his method close to the chest. When pressed, he noted that his was a labor-intensive recipe: Pork shoulders are dry-rubbed and hung for a day, then cooked low and slow overnight. The pig is pulled and dressed with a not-too sweet and hauntingly spicy barbecue sauce. Mac described his inspiration for the sandwich, which involves movie stars and murder.
I was inspired by the movie Once Upon A Time In Mexico ï¿½ Johnny Depp's character was in search of the perfect PUERCO A PIBï¿½L and every time he ate a good one he would kill the chef. On the DVD they have the director showing the recipe and how to make the dish as part of the extras, so I took it, tweaked it and added my own BBQ to make it American.
The sweet richness of the grilled brioche bun, the layered spice from chipotle mayo, dry rub and barbecue sauce and the tender, charred-at-the-edges meat make for a sandwich that will plague your dreams ... all for $10. EAT THIS IMMEDIATELY.
Pub & Kitchen, 1946 Lombard St., 215-545-0350, thepubandkitchen.com
|Photo | Michael T. Regan
|" ... and a double cheeseburger in the hand of every
man, woman and child ... "
Great Daily Beast piece this past weekend from Sandra McElwaine, who examines Barack and Michelle Obama's influence on D.C. dining. It's no secret that the President and the First Lady are, ahem, "foodies" (check Barry on Check, Please!) ï¿½ but you should note that they've made it a point to ditch the fully kitchen-staffed White House and grace all manner of local spots, from high-end eateries to everyman lunch joints:
Whether out for date night or lunch with chums, the restaurant-hopping first couple exude a heady sense of glamour and excitement. Every maitre'd and restaurateur is hoping for a drop-by: After all, the Obama food chain means big bucks. Take Michel Richardï¿½s award-winning but pricey Citronelle in Georgetown (dinner for two with wine can hover around $300). It was packed when it opened 15 years ago, but had recently become somewhat lackluster in both food and service. You could walk in and get a last-minute reservation on almost any eveningï¿½that is, until the Obamas arrived a few weeks ago. Now for weekends, reservations are required eight weeks in advance; for weeknights, better book one to two weeks ahead.
The decidedly cheaper and more low-key Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia, is still another eatery to attain star status thanks to Obama [...] Things have changed since the president stood in that line to order a basic cheddar cheeseburger medium-well, with lettuce and tomato and then asked for fries and Dijon mustard. Neither were available. Now there is a sign inside warning, "due to media exposure, the wait may be a little longer than normal." Count on 20-30 minutes at lunch time on weekdays. As for weekends, who knows?
Obama recently caused yet another griddle-centric stir when he dropped in for some burgers at a Washington Five Guys while filming an NBC segment. (Clip after the jump.)
Should all this be interpreted we eat out a little more often to fatten up our asses the emaciated economy? I am in.
This morning, Meal Ticket visited Oyster House (1516 Sansom St.), which we first told you about in January. Sam Mink, who's running the show with his father David, says they're shooting for a Thursday opening for dinner, with lunch to follow about a week later.
The Mink clan were the original proprietors of the Sansom Street Oyster House, as this space was known before the family sold the business (but not the bricks) to Coquette's Cary Neff. Now that it's back in their hands, Sam has applied a dramatic but smart modern overhaul. Kitschy by its very nature, the old O-House featured two distinct areas ï¿½ a casual barroom and a dining room ï¿½ separated by a big wall. That's come down, ensuring that the drinking bar, the raw bar (two to three shuckers will be popping shells live in front of your eyes) and the dining area all breathe the same air.
Many of the design elements of the 118-seat space are reclaimed ï¿½ the hardwood floor features timbers from the Academy of Music, for example, and the hanging lights are sourced from old ships. The exposed brick in the back is decorated with some beautiful oyster plates dating back to the mid- to late 1800s ï¿½ the full collection, which numbers in the hundreds, is a Mink family heirloom.
Slurpers will get their pick of six oyster varieties at any given time, with plans for a $1 oyster deal at happy hour. Other specialties will include a lobster roll, snapper soup, pan-roasted seafood (oysters, scallops, mussels) and family-style options like a clam bake for two (steamers, mussels, lobster, potatoes, corn).
Chef Greg Ling's full working menu after the jump.
|Click to enlarge|
|Photo | Drew Lazor
Arch Gourmet (2200 Arch St., Unit 103, 215-567-1796), a big, bright deli, grocery and convenience/prepared food mart, opened just up the way from Trader Joe's last Wednesday. They offer all your between-bread prereqs (breakfast sandwiches, wraps, clubs, hoagies, hot and cold sandwiches) and plenty of snacks and drinks, too. They also cater and deliver.
Hours: Mon.-Thu., 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 7 a.m.-mid; Sun., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Check out the full menu after the jump.
|Click to enlarge|
- 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