Archive: July, 2009
SNACK TIME: wineberries, you say?, a midsummer meat deal, Fuel for calorie-counters, why America is awesome, McGillin's increases their pouring potential
|In Season: Wineberries|
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
-- Adam Erace at Blogalicious hips us to lavish locavore chef Jim Burke's newest juicy treat at James: wineberries.ï¿½ Burke "bejewels his foie gras terrine over brioche with honey-duck jus" with the raspberry relative, whose season will be over by the time you finish reading this sentence.
-- The Illadelph gets hot and bothered over a serious deal at Butcher & Singer... let's just say burger whores should make a lunch reservation this very minute.
-- Grub Street Philadelphia has the menu for Fuel, a everything's-less-than-500-calories eatery cheffed by a deejay, coming to East P'unk Ave. September 10.
-- The brothers DiBruno bury a sweet 20 percent-off coupon in their Queso Files post on Why America is Awesome.
-- In anticipation of their 150 year anniversary in 2010, McGillin's has added a new 7-draft tower downstairs, says Joe Sixpack on Beer Radar.ï¿½ Joe has the current lineup, including a line devoted to family-friendly root beer.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
The three-day-old Sakana Sushi Cafï¿½ (1526 Sansom St., 215-564-0526) has taken over the elevated restaurant space that last housed Kami. (The slept-on Sansom Kabob House is right below.) Running the teeny 20-seater is husband-and-wife team John Sen (you may know him from Genji) and Emellia Juniarti, who hope to build the place up as a flexible destination for private parties ï¿½ that's why they're closing at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. (Fridays and Saturdays, they're open till 9; closed Sunday.)
The couple has instituted a sweet little deal to kickstart business ï¿½ 15 percent of all orders, eat in and takeout, until September 30.
Full menu after the jump. Large sushi/sashimi a la carte list, with not-so-common selections like giant clam, uni and scallop; specialty rolls include the Atlantis (salmon, salmon skin, salmon roe) and the Triplet Tuna (tuna, albacore and super white with scallion).
|Click to enlarge|
|Photo | Drew Lazor
Today's the day for Shank's Original (120 S. 15th St., 215-629-1093), the Center City reincarnation of the long-running Shank's and Evelyn's in South Philly. Much to A.D. Amorosi's disappointment, some of the more "traditional" Italian Market faves ï¿½ the tripe, for one ï¿½ have been nixed at the new place (formerly J.B. Pastrami's), but that doesn't mean Pamela Poppa (daughter of Frank and Evelyn Perri) is changing things up dramatically. On the contrary ï¿½ they're doing simple breakfast sandwiches, hoagies, burgers, dogs and salads to sate the a.m. and lunch crowds, in addition to signatures like their chicken cutlet sandwich and their $21.95 Giambotti (jam-bot), the feeds-a-crowd omelette that consists of six eggs and pretty much every meat and veggie imaginable. (For what it's worth, if you Google "Giambotti," this first result is this 2007 Finding Philly post, and the second is a geneology site that employs the phrase "average life expectancy.") The Insider's got the full menu. They're open till 6 p.m. on weekdays only for now.
I was thisclose to a all-out anxiety attack today, when it seemed my grocery store was no longer stocking Stonyfield Farm Organic Yogurt.ï¿½ï¿½ I scanned the shelves, my heart rate increasing at the thought of traveling to another store to pick up my daily breakfast supplies, or worse yet, having to SWITCH grocery stores entirely.
It wasn't until my dear boyfriend (and his laser-like vision) noticed the new Stonyfield package.ï¿½ The old green-and-yellow stylized field motif on a cream container has been replaced with a more realistic blue-and-green rendering of dairy cows in a pasture.ï¿½ The word "farm" has disappeared, as well... which probably makes the name more more truthful, since Stonyfield's milk comes from multiple certified organic dairy farms spanning more than 100,000 acres.
In perusing Stonyfield's Web site today, I came upon a startling fact about recycling. Stonyfield has a long, well-researched explanation for the type of yogurt containers they use, which are #5 polypropylene plastic rather than the more common HDPE #2 plastic.
Most people know that Philadelphia's recycling program accepts only #1 and #2 plastic containers in our single-stream system.ï¿½ What they don't know is that wide-mouth containers (like yogurt or deli cups) have a different melting point than #2 plastic bottles (beverage containers).ï¿½ Municipalities collect all #2 plastic to avoid confusing people, and landfill or incinerate all the wide-mouth #2 containers you thought you were recycling.
Unfortunately, #5 plastics, though they take less energy to produce and are lighter, are almost never recycled.ï¿½ The Preserve company, which make razors, toothbrushes and food-storage containers from recycled polypropylene plastics, has partnered with Whole Foods and Stonyfield for the Gimme 5 program to collect #5 plastic from consumers.
No Pennsylvania Whole Foods are participating in the Gimme 5 program (but the Web site promises the program will expand in the coming months), so our current solution is to buy larger sizes or fewer of hummus, cottage cheese, food takeout and yogurt containers.
Reduce, reuse, recycle, but pretty soon I will be one of those crazy ladies who carries Tupperware around in her handbag to take home her restaurant leftovers.
|Photo | Dominic Savini
While Team Meal Ticket tries its very best not to pass out from swine-based overexertion at tonight's snout-to-tail pork dinner at Mï¿½mï¿½, some of the city's best barkeeps ï¿½ Christian Gaal of Noble, Katie Loeb of Oyster House, Doug Fitz of Snackbar and Andres Sanchez of Positano Coast, to name just a few ï¿½ will be mixing drinks from 7 to 9 at Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) as part of a ROOT cocktail competition. What's ROOT? It's the whimsical 80-proof liquor Art in the Age just put out. Trey Popp had the full story on the stuff back in June:
Straight up, it smells like birch and vanilla beans suffused with gentle wisps of pipe smoke. An ice cube releases some of the spices, dominated by the allspice. Its off-dry sweetness makes it appealing as a shot, but I found that mixing it brought out its best qualities. Bourbon highlighted its affinity for tobacco. With rum and lime juice ï¿½ a recipe from Paul Dellavigne of Southwark, who adds a dash of simple almond syrup ï¿½ the warming spices took center stage, reminding me of the nutmeg-laced rum punches of Barbados. Dropped into a Guinness, ROOT undergoes some kind of alchemy that outstrips my descriptive powers, but I was almost embarrassed by how much I liked it.
Admission's free if you RSVP to email@example.com.
Fork restaurant owner Ellen Yin has invited Allagash Brewing brewmaster Jason Perkins to town for a dinner going off Thursday, August 13.ï¿½ Executive chef Terence Feury has been tearing it up since his arrival at Fork, earning three bells from Inky arbiter Craig LaBan and proletariat diners alike for his expertly made charcuterie, delicate whole fish and lavish lamb belly confit.
The Allagash dinner matches three savory and one dessert course with the brewery's Victor, Victoria, Dubbel, Curieux and Black beers. A welcoming reception at Fork: etc will feature summer staple Allagash White. The signature complexity of Allagash's Barrel-Aged Series, of which all but the Dubbel and White are a part, should make happy companions to Feury's technically perfect and layered food.
The dinner is $55, including beer pairings and excluding tax and grat; or join Perkins at Fork: etc. for a $15 beer tasting from 6-7 p.m.
View the full dinner menu, after the jump.
Allagash Dinner at Fork, Thu., Aug. 13, 6:30 p.m., $55, 306 Market St., 215-625-9425, forkrestaurant.com
Allagash Beer Dinner, Thursday, August 13,ï¿½ featuring Jason Perkins, Brewmaster
$55 including beer, excludes tax and gratuity
6:30 - 7:30, Welcome Reception with Allagash White
Grilled spanish mackerel,ï¿½ baby carrot escabeche, baby cilantro
Victor or Victoria
Gratin of mussels, baby spinach and soubise
Grilled Quail, quinoa, black olives, pickled green tomatoes, hot peppers
dark chocolate cake with molasses
Carroll will use focus on locally sourced ingredients (10 Arts' credo since the outset) to produce dishes like wild salmon with wasabi pea purï¿½e and citrus vinaigrette and steak frites (grilled hanger steak from Jersey's Pineland Farms) with shallot sauce. Glass'll do sweets like carrot cake with Philly cream cheese mousse, hazelnuts and carrot sorbet.
The prix fixe, also available with a two-glass wine pairing for a supplemental charge of $15, is available Tuesday through Saturday.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
The Philly food press has been skyrocketing their cholesterol levels frantically covering this summer's two new burger joints: Stephen Starr's SquareBurger in Franklin Square Park, and Paper Street promoter Tommy Up's burger lounge in the Piazza at Schmidt's,ï¿½P.Y.T.
No matter which sandwich you find superior, both derive major taste and texture from their signature bun: Martin's Potato Rolls, a product of Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe in Chambersburg, Pa. Founders Lois and Lloyd Martin perfected their recipe for the pillowy, golden bread in the 1950s before taking their family favorite commercial. By 1978, demand required the construction of the plant at 1000 Potato Roll Lane, now fully modernized with "continuous proofers, spiral coolers, automatic baggers, and robotic packaging machines."
It's not just Philly consumers who love the buttery buns, either. Jason Perlow, founder of eGullet, lauds the rolls as critical to the appeal of his favorite hot dogs from Amazing Hot Dog in New Jersey. Danny Meyer, who installed Shake Shacks in New York's Madison Square Park and new Citi Field in homage to the roadside burger stands of his native St. Louis, has Martin's buns griddled to toasty perfection before they meet up with their meaty middle. Ditch Plains, in NYC's West Village, goes absolutely wild with their Ditch Dog, slapping a Sabrett into a toasted Martin's bun and then smothering the whole thing with macaroni and cheese, which we can definitely get behind. The magic of Martin's is all in the way the bun merges with the spreads, toppings and juices, unlike most supermarket rolls, which just keep your hands dry as you bite.
At home, potato rolls are a perfect match for sweet and spicy pulled pork sandwiches or a eggy breakfast sammy; they also lend richness to a veggie or turkey burger without adding a ton of fat.ï¿½ Dianna Marder of the Inquirer recommended Martin's smaller, cuter Party Potato Rolls as the ideal vehicle for tiny "slider" burgers.
Are you not yet convinced of the absolute superiority of Martin's Potato Rolls? Then check out the many thrilled video reviews on product review site ExpoTV.com.
Martin's Potato Rolls are available at grocery stores up and down the East Coast; a package of eight sandwich-sized rolls is usually three bucks and change.
|Craft beer + hometown pride = NJ tattoos|
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant (124 East Kings Highway, Maple Shade, N.J., 856-273-0300) opened its first-ever Jersey brewpub last week, the local chain's eighth location. Lance "Chris" LaPierre, former brewer at Iron Hill in West Chester,ï¿½ crossed the river to get the new place up and running. The multi-medal-winning LaPierre is also working the computer, writing a blog that provides an insider's view of the opening of the brewpub.
Uno Chicago Grill (2803 Route 73 S., Maple Shade, N.J., 856-722-5577) has been flaunting its 10 craft taps on a giant LED billboard for a while now, so we got in touch with general manager Sean Dunleavy to find out what's what.
Meal Ticket: What are you pouring right now?
Sean Dunleavy: We rotate our drafts all the time, except for Rogue Dead Guy, which stays on. I also have tons of beer backed up in the cooler, so we change most drafts every week.
- Left Hand Sawtooth
- Southern Tier Cherry Imperial Saison
- Rogue Dead Guy
- Green Flash West Coast IPA
- Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
- Allagash White
- Allagash Black
- Weyerbacher Zotten
- Stone Russian Imperial Stout
- Dogfish Head Burton Baton
MT: Not bad. Everyone is looking for that Green Flash IPA in Philly and almost no one has it.
SD: Yes, that one is tasty. It was just approved in New Jersey like two weeks ago.
MT: Does the selection extend into bottles?
SD: Yes, we have 50 craft bottles at all times, plus the big brewery beers, for a total of 90.
MT: Is this interest in craft beer a chain-wide thing? Or is Uno a franchise?
SD: We're a franchise, a part of The Bock Group, a Philadelphia-based group that has eight restaurants in the greater Philadelphia area ... but none in Philadelphia. We all have at least two craft beers on draft, and most stores participate in the American craft beer market.
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