Archive: July, 2009
Paper Street's Tommy Up, who's doing P.Y.T. in the Piazza at Schmidts, just tweeted that his burger and shake joint will be open for drinks this weekend. Food presumably to follow in the next few days.
UPDATE: They'll open Friday, July 10, at 6 p.m.
|Photos | Drew Lazor|
Not exactly sure how we first heard about the happy hour at Aki (1210 Walnut St., 215-985-1838), but we're glad we hit it up: Weekdays from 4:30 to 7, they do $3 beers, $5 wines and cocktails, and half-price appetizers. Yesterday evening, Meal Ticket downed a handful of Asahis and took advantage of some of tasty and dirt-cheap small plates, like miso-marinated black cod (above; usually $11) and soft-shell crab tempura (usually $10). Cheap!
|Photo | Mark Stehle|
- David Snyder hunts for the connection between pinup girls and craft beer at Varga Bar. Does he find it? Not quite, but that's OK: This pub mostly excels thanks to its smart bar program and chef R. Evan Turney's beer-friendly American comfort food menu.
- Few people in Philly know barbecue better than native South Carolinian Trey Popp. So when he says Bebe's in the Italian Market is his new favorite smokehouse in the city, y'all definitely need to take note.
- What's Cooking this week? Lauren Fleming's got Carolyn Wyman's cheesesteak bike tour, a Doris Day-themed brunch at Q, closer-than-your-average Brooklyn beer tasting at World Cafï¿½ Live and more.
- Summer is usually dead for openings, isn't it? What the hell is happening this year then? Feeding Frenzy has word of three still-got-that-new-eatery-smell places: Yogorino, Leila Cafï¿½ and Sycamore.
- Not in the food section, but you still need to read it: Andrew Thompson explains how opening a food co-op in Philly is not nearly as simple as it may seem on paper.
Eastern State Penitentiary has long been the perfect stand-in for the Bastille, the infamous French prison that fell on July 14, 1789, when commoners invaded the medieval fortress, snagging a cache of weapons and the 30,000 pounds of gunpowder stored there.
The Fairmount neighborhood's Bastille Day celebration takes liberal poetic license with historical events, compressing Le quatorze juillet with the public execution of careless queen Marie Antoinette. Terry Berch McNally, co-owner of London Grill, plays the monarch for the 15th time this year. Meal Ticket tries to adhere to a no-blockquoting-press-releases policy, but we'll make an exception for this because there is no way we could write the following any better:
A mob of enraged Parisian will storm Fairmountï¿½s Eastern State Penitentiary (a stand-in for the Bastille) as McNally makes her way to the very top of the historic prison. Armed troops will capture and drag ï¿½Antoinetteï¿½ to a real, functioning guillotine, ignoring her mocking cries of ï¿½Let them eat Tastykake!ï¿½ as she tosses over 2,000 Philadelphia Tastykakes from the prison's medieval towers. She will then be ceremoniously ï¿½beheaded,ï¿½ capping off this Philadelphia-centric re-enactment of the revolutionary scene.
The mayhem kicks off at 2 p.m., with Marie Antoinette beheaded at 5:30 sharp. Attendees are encouraged to dress as French peasants or aristocrats, but no guarantees can be made for the safety of the upper crust.
Visit Eastern State's Web site for full details of the three-day festival, which begins Thursday night with a French Fling bar crawl and winds up Sunday morning with Champagne brunches at participating restaurants.
Fairmount Bastille Day Celebration, Sat., July 11, 2-6 p.m., Eastern State Penitentiary, 2124 Fairmount Ave., 215-236-5111, easternstate.org
|A Christmas beer for all seasons.|
Two noted Philadelphia beer bars have been sitting on kegs of benchmark Christmas ales for the last six months, biding their time for the sticky summer day when they can crank the AC and swill some serious brews.
Bridgid's, in Fairmount, will tap at least one holiday keg every Friday afternoon, the identity of which they will reveal on their Twitter just prior. In the lineup: Corsendonk Christmas, St. Bernardus Christmas, Affligiem Noel, Delirium Noel andï¿½ Brasserie Dupont Avec Les Bons Veux, as well as local cult favorite Mad Elf from Trï¿½egs.
Brasserie Dupont Avec Les Bons Veux, which means "with warmest wishes," is unlike other holiday beers in that it is not dark. It is instead a burnished golden-orange and rich in peppery hops in the traditional saison style, and most appropriate any time of year.
Grey Lodge Pub goes a step further, tapping all of their cellared goodies in one blowout event tomorrow. At 6 p.m., Friday, July 10, Mike "Scoats" Scotese will unleash Trï¿½egs Mad Elf, Rogue Santaï¿½s Private Reserve, and Corsendonk Christmas, among other seasonal beers.ï¿½ The Grey Lodge extends even more holiday spirit, throwing in a free Christmas treat from Hesh's Bakery with the purchase of any entrï¿½e.
Lift a hearty toast to that fictional, generous fat man whose existence lets us drink cheering high-gravity brews not once, but twice a year.
Bridgid's Christmas in July, each Friday in July (7/10, 7/17, 7/24, 7/31), 726 N. 24th St., 215-232-3232, bridgids.com
Grey Lodge Christmas in July, Fri., July 10, 6 p.m., 6235 Frankford Ave., 215-825-5357, greylodge.com
Patti Brett, owner of frequent Meal Ticket haunt Doobies (2201 Lombard St. 215-546-0316), knows sloppy, rainy days tend to bum her customers out. That's no good for anyone, so she decided to do a little something about it.
The corner bar typically runs happy hour, with cheap beer, wine and booze, weekdays from 5 to 7. But now, if it starts pouring between the hours of 7 p.m. and midnight Sunday through Thursday, they'll reactivate the discounts. (Psst, says here there's a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms on Sunday.)
Galoshes? Check. Umbrella? Check. Burning desire to consume inexpensive craft beer regardless of the weather? BIG CHECK. See you and your damp T-shirt at the Doob.
Jason Evenchik, who owns Vintage and Time with wife Delphine, is working with Time GM Terrance Leach to open Bar ï¿½ which will be a bar ï¿½ at 1309 Sansom. They hope to launch it in time for the Midtown Village Fall Festival, scheduled for October 3.
Evenchik, who actually looked at this space for Vintage (129 S. 13th St.) back in the day, says the place will be a "relaxed little corner neighborhood bar ... [we're] not trying to be a fusion restaurant." Bilevel, with a mezzanine that'll feature billiards. Other diversions will include a MegaTouch machine, foosball, darts and maybe one of those awesome tabletop shuffleboard games. No food. Eight or so beers on tap. Two types of glassware ï¿½ pint glasses and rocks glasses. (Mixed drinks will come in pints.)
I know what you're thinking, you black-lunged bastards: No kitchen, so smoke 'em if you got 'em! Sorry ï¿½ the team kicked around the idea of allowing cigs inside for a hot second, but decided against it.
SNACK TIME: does Whiz wit still apply?, swallowing his guilt, dropping know-how on the NY Times, more and less at Swift Half, 13th and Sansom pops off
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
--Phoodie.info picks over Ralph Cipriano's Philly Mag piece on woebegone ex-senator Vince Fumo's new culinary chops.ï¿½ Cipriano namechecks the politico's Viking range, documenting Fumo's penchant for mid-rare T-bone steaks and calling a certain South Philly staple sauce "gravy".
-- Stephen Starr's been on a pizza-finding mission for the past few weeks, along with Inky food writer Rick Nichols, and the NY Times took notice, according to The Illadelph.ï¿½ The mega-restaurateur dropped some know-how on the Times, in case they didn't know opening a pizza parlor is a shade easier than a 400-seat Asian-fusion palace.
-- The Swift Half at the Piazza at Schmidt's opened with a limited menu; now they have expanded things significantly, along with dropping almost all the prices, says Foobooz.ï¿½ Click over to check out the new offerings.
--Michael Klein, The Insider, has the deets on mulitiple projects happening at 13th and Sansom. The shuttered check-cashing shop will become Za Vino, while next door Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran are planning a Medi concept. The owners ofï¿½ Time and Vintage scheme away on Bar, set for around the corner, and a new orange liquor-license app has appeared at 122 S. 13th St.ï¿½ It's Saturation Station!
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|Sweet, tart, tender... and fast.|
A classic accompaniment to roasts, lamb and duck, or even just spread on bread, onion confit is sweet, tart, tender... and it takes a looong time.
I sped the onion confit processï¿½ along by making a small batch, just enough to top up turkey burgers for four, eliminating the need to make a massive quantity and then preserve it.ï¿½ Streamlining the ingredients to just the basics -- onions, salt, vinegar, sugar, herbs and black pepper -- also saved time.ï¿½ If you wish to make a truly traditional onion confit, check out this recipe from The Epicurean Table.ï¿½ Otherwise, grab your knife and favorite little saucepan for my method, after the jump.
Quick Onion Confit
(serves four as a condiment)
Go Get This:
One onion, red or Vidalia
One Tablespoon sea salt (Maldon preferred)
Three Tablespoons butter
Small splash extra-virgin olive oil
Four Tablespoons apple cider or champagne vinegar
Two Tablespoons light brown sugar
Three sprigs fresh thyme
A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
Now Do This:
Slice your onion in half lengthwise (root to stem end) and remove skin.ï¿½ With a sharp knife, slice as thin as you can across the grain, or use a mandolin.
Place a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over moderate heat.ï¿½ Melt the butter and add a small splash of olive oil to help keep the butter from burning.ï¿½ Add onions to pan, then salt.ï¿½ Allow onions to sweat down five minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
Add sugar to pot and stir to combine, then pour in vinegar (do not inhale vinegar fumes from pot) and allow to bubble and reduce, approximately three to five minutes, until mixture resembles a loose marmalade.
Strip thyme from branches and add to onions, stir to combine.
All liquid should be absorbed or evaporated at this point and onions should soft and golden-brown.ï¿½ Season with pepper, then taste to check for seasoning.ï¿½ Add salt if needed.
Serve warm or room temperature as a condiment for burgers, lamb, roasts, duck, grilled vegetables or as a spread on bread.
There's never been a Philly contestant on Top Chef. But Season 6 ï¿½ Vegas ï¿½ just revealed its lineup, and we've got two cooks repping. Who?! Find out after the jump. (The new season debuts August 19.)
Jennifer Zavala is the Executive Chef at El Camino Real in Philadelphia where she brings "border food" to a new light, focusing on Norteï¿½a and Tejas cuisines. Born into a Mexican and Italian family, she grew up with mostly Mexican cuisine and takes great pride in her ability to cook Latino food with great knowledge and skill. She uses fresh, local ingredients in her homemade style of cooking and hopes to learn more about the ever-changing culinary scene. If she could have her last meal with anyone, it would be with Julia Child, and Jennifer says, ï¿½hopefully, sheï¿½d cook.ï¿½
Jennifer Carroll started as a Law major at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. But the kitchen wooed her and she went on to culinary school and quickly became a sous chef at both Julia and Cafï¿½ Kati in San Francisco. After returning to her hometown to work in the kitchens of Sonoma and Arroyo Grill, popular eateries in Philadelphia, she then went on to become sous chef at Eric Ripertï¿½s revered Le Bernardin in Manhattan. She was recently personally selected by Chef Ripert to lead his kitchen at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia as Chef de Cuisine of 10 Arts. Her favorite thing to make is a really good sandwich, especially late at night after work. And she is sure to keep fine sea salt, espellate citron vinegar, black peppercorns, high fat unsalted butter and setia extra virgin olive oil on her at all times.
Y'all look good!
- 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