Archive: July, 2009
The Meal Ticket faithful have heard me rag on before about beer cocktails, those lowbrow mixtures of brew, hard liquor, juices and even wine, and now our favorite food section has picked up on the trend.ï¿½ Yesterday's New York Times profiled a few beer-loving bartenders, chefs and resto owners who are daring to blend and offend brewers.
Philadelphia gets represented by London Grill co-owner Terry Berch McNally, who was tapped to talk about the inspiration behind London's new beer cocktail program.
Indeed, the inspiration for the beer drinks that Terry Berch McNally serves at the London Grill in Philadelphia was Rudi Ghequire, brewer of Rodenbach beer in Belgium, who ï¿½suggested we add things like grenadine and cassis to his beer,ï¿½ she said. ï¿½You sell more beer this way, and you make more money.ï¿½
Scope London's full list of creations after the jump.
From London Grill's Beer Drinks Press Release:
Fascinating beer drinks include:
London Shandy, Fullerï¿½s ESB, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur and lemon;
Sierra Red Eye, Sierra Nevada pale ale with a shot of spicy house-made Bloody Mary mix;
Flower Bud, Budweiser, crï¿½me de violette and St. Germain elderflower liqueur;
Bank Robber, Stoudtï¿½s Willie Sutton lager, house-infused green tea vodka and Irish Mist;
Smoke ï¿½Em If You Got ï¿½Em, Victory Prima Pils with mescal, chipotle vodka, lime and a salt rim;
How Now Brown Cow, Brooklyn brown ale with Nocello and espresso vodka.
In all, London will offer 14 rotating beer cocktails, ranging in price from $5 to $8 with up to 10 varieties available daily.
Sometimes, you just gotta Mexify the Fourth of July. Cantina Dos Segundos (931 N. Second St., 215-629-0500) is doing just that this Saturday from noon to 4, offering half-price pitchers of 'ritas, mojitos and sangria in addition to "Mexican-style" dogs and burgers grilled out on the sidewalk. DJ Kyle Miller will spin.
If you've ever dreamed of running your own speakeasy or bringing your grandmother's cuisine to the masses, the Girard Coalition, Inc. is presenting a free workshop on how to open a restaurant on Tuesday, July 14.
Paul Kimport of the Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's, Munish Narula, president of Tiffin Indian Cuisine and Alfredo Aquilar, founder of Las Cazuelas will speak, as well as answer questions, on the hazards of opening and running a restaurant in Philadelphia.
The workshop is free but space is limited, so reserve a spot now by emailing email@example.com or visting girardcoaltion.org/restaurantworkshop.
How to Open a Restaurant Workshop, Tue., July 14, 6 p.m., Girard Coalition, Inc., 704 W. Girard Ave., 215-825-8821, girardcoalition.org
|Photo | Michael Persico
- If you've started a tab at APO or Noble, you know Christian Gaal, the shaker jockey with the mean 'stache, meaner fashion proclivities and meanest cocktails. Felicia D. introduces you to the man, lets you in on his unexpected professional origins and breaks down his fondness for complex drinks that are never too sweet.
- Speaking of those drinks ï¿½ sure, these endeavors are best left to the experts, but if you're feeling particularly saucy, try mixing one of Gaal's cocktails at the comfort of your home bar.
- You got plans for the Fourth yet? Let Lauren Fleming help ï¿½ What's Cooking has word of roving vegan barbecuers, festive ice cream, patriotic food crawls and more.
- Newbies in Feeding Frenzy: MIGA, Max Brenner, Brauhaus Schmitz.
Episode 3, on paper, sounded offal swell, with chefs Wilo Benet (Puerto Rico's Piyako and Paya), Cindy Pawlcyn (Napa's Mustards Grill), Rick Bayless (Chitown's Frontera, dumb goatee!) and awesomely French Ludo Lefebrve (L.A.'s Ludo Bites) being assigned the dubious task of feeding the Universal Studios crowd animal odds and ends. In execution, however, 'twas a touch duller than the Nerd Valhalla glory of Episode 2, due both to the humorless Quickfire guest judges and the fact that no tourists from the Midwest were shown barfing up tripe on the Waterworld ride.
Quickfire: The chefs were tasked with recreating the color challenge from Top Chef Season 2 ï¿½ composing a dish based around a randomly selected hue. Benet drew orange and whipped up a tartare-style deal with smoked salmon, tomato paste and coconut milk. The betatted Lefebrve got red and created a visually shocking steak tartare coupled with watermelon, red onions and a poured-on beet gazpacho that was likened to blood by one member of the frowning all-lady judges' panel, which consisted of a food stylist, a cookbook author and a food photog. (Not even close to a fair criticism ï¿½ you asked this guy to make everything red! If he'd drawn blue this chick probably would've whined about the shit looking like Smurf semen.) Pawlcyn pieced together an all-yellow veggie curry with sweet corn grits and crispy fried tortillas. Ricky B. did some roasted mole verde vegetable thing on a banana leaf, talking the whole while about how "intuitive" his cooking was. Though the stupid judges whined about the ring mold around Benet's tartare, they gave him the QF win with 4.5 stars.
Elimination: Host Kelly Choi (who, apparently, isn't allowed to drop a "hands up, utensils down!" call, so she just yells "hands up!" in her impish little voice) tells the foursome that they're going to cook up offal ï¿½ you know, those "non-traditional" animal parts/organs ï¿½ in a street food setting for a bunch of people touring through Universal Studios. Benet gets beef hearts, which he's never messed with before. Lefebrve is assigned tough and unruly pig's ears, and promptly explains that he knows exactly how to cook them, in addition to knowing exactly how to cook all the other contestants' items. Pawlcyn receives tripe, a Meal Ticket favorite. And Rick ï¿½ RICK! ï¿½ Rick gets tongue, which, OF COURSE, Rick LOVES.
Perhaps I should expand on my slight disdain for Rick Bayless. I've never really dug him, ultra-manicured beard notwithstanding ï¿½ he's just smarmy, and the worst part about it is that he seems to believe that his self-congratulatory prattling about how much he knows about Mexican cuisine is serving some sort of lofty didactic purpose. I understand that he's an extremely accomplished and eloquent chef ï¿½ perfect for TV ï¿½ but everything he says is tainted by an off-putting self-satisfaction. Please understand that I've never eaten at his restaurants ï¿½ I base these grumbles solely on the many hours of Bayless-based programming I've taken in over the years. Also I just realized that Rick is Skip Bayless' brother, and I'm not sure whether or not this makes me like him less or more.
Watch the Rick video above and form your own opinion.
Back to organs: After dropping $300 on Whole Foods ingredients, the chefs return to prep their dishes for street service. Lefebrve decides to make a pig's ear quesadilla ï¿½ "Everybody love quesadilla," he states matter-of-factly ï¿½ prompting Bayless to hate him for being French and trying to do something Mexican. The pleasant Pawlcyn decides to do a hangover-erasing menudo (a Mexi stew) with her stomach. Benet stuffs his heart into a pita sandwich with ham and chicken ï¿½ a slick and meaty move.
Quickfire winner Benet comes very close to punching a ticket to the finals with a 19.5, but in the end, Rick edges him with 22.5. BAYLESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!
Next week tonight: Neil Patrick Harris.
Everyone's favorite dungeon-meets-ski chalet bar, the Pub On Passyunk East, celebrated its third birthday yesterday with half-priced drafts of fine craft beers, Jersey-perfect cock rock from the bewigged Welcome To My Face (fronted by Jose Pistola's co-owner Casey Parker) and much intoxicated revelry.
The night progressed with a visit to Ray's Happy Birthday bar down the block, where smoking is still cool and Paulie will make you popcorn if you're good.
You know it's been a swell party when the night ends at a friend's house, making good use of the spinning stripper pole. Thank you, P.O.P.E.!
SNACK TIME: food for fancy lads, coffee and cow, together at last, digesting Jose, Akoya takes off, tasteful tomes at The Restaurant School
|The Fancy Foods Show only comes but once a year|
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
- Unbreaded treks to NYC for the 55th Annual NASFT Fancy Food Show, a glutton's fantasy of multi-hued olive oils, cured meats, deluxe chocolate, candy of every sort, teas, coffees and every other thing that makes your credit card vibrate when you step into Di Bruno Bros.
- Apples and Cheese, Please unites two of America's obsessions with Bon Appetit's coffee-rubbed burgers. Two great tastes that taste great together? Girlfriend gives it a hearty hell yeah; you get the recipe just in time for Fourth of July cookouts.
- Foobooz has conveniently chewed over Lauren McCutcheon's Philadelphia Magazine profile of our favorite cook, Jose Garces, and spit out the highlights. Peep it to find out if Village Whiskey will open before brown liquor goes out of fashion, and why the man missed the James Beard Awards.
- Akoya, the restaurant below Pearl nightspot, is taking the summer off, according to Michael Klein at The Insider.
- Foodaphilia tours The Restaurant School's library before enjoying a multi-course dinner in the student-run restaurant, including a whipped goat cheese infused with herbs that she plans to make at home.
Tasting Table is a free daily e-mail that delivers food and drinks news like Daily Candy spits out fashion and shopping tips Editions are currently divided into New York, L.A. and Everywhere, with Chicago and San Fran up next. Though Philadelphia has not yet rated a dedicated letter, local heroes Capogiro and Jose Garces as well as Stephen Starr's hot boites Parc and Butcher & Singer have already garnered praise in Everywhere mails.
Even better than the restaurant news are Tasting Table's writeups on fun kitchen tech toys, like yesterday's paen to a post-modern chefs' new favorite tool, The Smoking Gun. Just point, shoot and add smoke flavor to anything that will hold still long enough, from simple syrup to ceviche.
Today, Slack's Hoagie Shack (2499 Aramingo Ave., 215-423-4020) is offering half an Italian hoagie for a paltry three bucks. They're open till 10 p.m.
Getting all four of my hellishly impacted wisdom teeth yanked out of head tomorrow morning. Though I'm sure they'll give me all sorts of post-op literature about this, I wanted to put it out there to all you Meal Ticketers first ï¿½ what the hell should I eat? I know saltwater taffy is out (dammit), but I need suggestions of things that are not creamed corn. Who out there has had this procedure done? If you have, what'd you nosh on with your swollen-ass face? Who's got good advice for me? I need your help bad. Also, pudding party at my place tomorrow.
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