Archive: August, 2009
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
It's been awhile since we played the Where'd We Eat/Drink game, huh?
This beer, Cane and Ebel Red Rye Ale, is produced by Two Brothers out of Warrenville, Illinois. A really interesting little pour ï¿½ it's got that bready rye tang up front, but the inclusion of Thai palm sugar means it finishes with unexpectedly sweet lilt. So who's got this on their list?
Nifty Fifty's, a five-outlet, family-run chain that opened its doors in 1987, harkens to the era before giant corporate conglomerates took over the American fast-food market.
The flat, old-school burgers are ground and shaped in their own on-premises butcher shop. French fries are hand-cut; glasses of orange and grapefruit juice, as well as lemonade, are squeezed to order.ï¿½ The generous milkshakes are made from homemade ice cream and served to you in a frosty mixing tin, but they are not health food. Wholesome is a better word to describe both eats and atmosphere.
Families with multiple children, giggling teenagers working out their new licenses and cops breaking for lunch populate Nifty's Delaware County location, in Folsom, just off I-95. I grew up around the way, begging my mom to take me for a milkshake when I earned a quality report card.ï¿½ We revisited our old favorites the other day ï¿½ a Royal burger topped with an onion ring for her, chicken nuggets rolled in super-spicy "Pistol's Pete's" cayenne-heavy blend for me ï¿½ and were pleased to find nothing changed.
The milkshakes, just as they were 20 years ago, are dreamy. Choose from the standard menu of shakes (Choc-Cherry, Strawberry, Double Bubble, Coconut) or the amped-up exotics (Peanut Chew, Fluffernutter Cheesecake, Mint Oreo Chocolate Chip, et al);ï¿½ the results are thick enough to stand up a spoon. New York egg creams, ice cream sodas and floats (from the World's Largest Soda Fountain, boasting more than 100 flavors), coffee-cup sundaes and pie a la mode round out the sweet selection.
Though tempted by the array of candy-enhanced shakes, I had to stick with my old standard: Black & White with fresh bananas, which still tastes like home. Adding authenticity to the retro vibe were the old-fashioned prices ... lunch for two, including a burger, nuggets, fries, two iced teas and two milkshakes, was $23.
Nifty Fifty's, five locations in PA and NJ, visit NiftyFiftys.com for more information and full menus.
Apparently, news travels fast when hoagies are involved: On Tuesday, we wrote about CNN.com's glorious decision to post a picture of just-freed journalist Laura Ling posing with a delicious-looking sandwich. On Wednesday, it was the subject of a bit on The Colbert Report. We don't need credit, Stephen ï¿½ we do, however, need you to ship Team Meal Ticket a hoagie or 90. No cheapo pre-packaged ham, please.
Today, local Cosi locations ï¿½ including the ones down here at 12th and Walnut and 15th and Locust (Third and Chestnut doesn't seem to know if they're participating or not is not participating) ï¿½ are holding a "Community Benefit Night" to raise funds for the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. Each restaurant will donate 10 percent of all sales (not counting alcohol and catering) accrued from 3 p.m. to close to the charity, which to date has drummed up more than $25 million nationally for cancer research.
|Photo | Drew Lazor
Avril, the Bala Cynwyd BYO we told you about last week, officially opens for business tonight. Check out feature for background on the spot, and peep the most up-to-date lunch and dinner menus after the jump.
|Click to enlarge|
The Center City District, which oversees the successful Wednesday-night Sips happy hour promotion, has been running this photo contest ï¿½ submit a pic of you and your friends hanging at a Sips locale, and if R. Bradley Maule of Philly Skyline likes yours best, you win $200 in restaurant gift certificates.
Well, get ready to thank us, Brad, because we've just saved you a lot of time ï¿½ Meal Ticket's got your winner right here.
|CCD on Flickr
- It appears to be at Rouge, the Center City Sips-iest of all Center City Sips locations.
- Egregious boob grab on the left-hand side of the photo. Though there has been some debate here at CP HQ that this is simply an optical illusion, and the girl in red is not in fact groping the girl in the orange, the fact that it even appears that way in this submitted-for-public-consumption wins major points. Bonus points for orange's complete and utter compliance with being fondled by her friend, though it could just be that the shutter clicked mere nanoseconds before orange yelled at red and/or orange and red made out.
- They're drinking two different sizes of Fiji. Staying hydrated and looking goddamn rich while doing it ï¿½ something every Center City Sipper should be striving toward. Get y'all water games right!
- That tiny standing dog is simply adorable.
- A DEUCE
- IN A
Deadline for contest submissions is Sept. 14, but don't even bother trying unless you're gonna come harder than this.
Oct. 1 is the projected opening date for Sweetie's Pie Diner, an all-pie restaurant (yes!) from Stephanie Thaw and her partner Kathy Tench. Located at 1822 Spring Garden, the 42-seater will be an entirely vegetarian operation, serving both sweet and savory pies in addition to fresh-made salads and soups.
Thaw, who worked as the pastry chef of Friday Saturday Sunday from 1976 to 1989 before leaving for a career in the non-profit realm, founded a wholesale baking operation called Eat Sweet about a year ago. Sweetie's, she says, is a natural progression for her baking biz. The diner, which'll be run as a BYOB, will feature all manner of becrusted choices ï¿½ an heirloom tomato, cheese and roasted garlic pie; a corn and shiitake mushroom tart; vegetarian shepherd's pie; and lavender, honey and pine nut in a cornmeal crust are just a few of the varieties Thaw has planned.
Thaw will be using organic and locally sourced dairy and eggs for her pies, and hopes that a majority of her produce will be able to be acquired in the region, as well.
Adrienne Shelly would be so proud.
SNACK TIME: drink this, travel there, roll-your-own saison, one sommelier minus the attitude, eat this after you drink that, Scotch eggs: a little Brit different
|Even nicer with ale: Scotch eggs|
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
- Beer Lass Suzanne Woods reveals two of Philly Mag's beer-centric Best of Philly awards. Hints: if a beer were a person, this one would be in fifth grade; the other does nothing to improve the publication's perceived bias toward suburban readers.
- Iron Hill Brewery is running a contest where employees get a shot at seasoning their own saison. Bargoers will vote for their favorite, and the ultimate winner will be brewed in quantity. Lew Bryson at Seen Through A Glass approves.
- The Femme Fermental tosses appreciative roses at Best of Philly sommelier winner Melissa Monosoff, whose chill style and reasonably-priced reccos have endeared her to patrons at the newly renovated Savona/Bar Savona in Gulph Mills.
- Philly Mag is rolling out their biggest issue with guns blazing! Everyone with a laptop is linking their Best of Philly decisions, then they reveal on the Restaurant Club blog where you can get poutine, Montreal's signature drunk food, in Philly.
- Wrapping up this week's boozy Snack Time edition is I Am Beer Wise, who whisks you through two of Jersey's best beer bars in a single afternoon. He also scores the latest bar-snack-of-the-moment, a Scotch egg ï¿½ a deep-fried, sausage-wrapped little number guaranteed to appear on Philly menus for fall.
Now, things are looking up for the project. Ritter tells Meal Ticket his expansion has officially received the blessing from both the South of South Neighborhood Association and the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment. Plans have been scaled down ï¿½ the second floor bar/dining area will still happen, but the Ritters, who own the bricks, will keep the third floor residential as a compromise with neighbors who expressed noise concerns. They hope to have the expansion completed somewhere in the first half of 2010.
The bar recently expressed its gratitude for its supporters via this Philadelphia Speaks forum post.
Talk about a quiet opening ï¿½ turns out The American Pub at Centre Square, located literally right underneath the giant clothespin at 15th and Market, debuted in July, right under our usually-hyper-sensitive opening noses.
For now, The American Pub's open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. More details in a bit.
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