Archive: August, 2011
The Latin Farmer, the gourmet Puerto Rican food truck we introduced you to in June, makes its debut
tonight at The Food Trust's Night Market in Mount Airy, and owner Wilfredo Manzano has shared some details about what he’s preparing for the crowd. The health-conscious, nothing-over-$5 menu is rolling out with items like choripan, a cubano-like sandwich fixed with chorizo, homemade mustard and banana ketchup; veggie and skirt collard wraps stuffed with mofongo and chimichurri; plantain chips with avocado hummus on the side; and mojitos. With rum? "We don’t want to be shut down before we’re open," Manzano tells Meal Ticket. His virgin mojitos will have hints of cucumber, which sounds like a nice refresher for a summer night.
Next week, The Latin Farmer will setup alongside fellow food truckers in LOVE Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday, and you can expect to see even more additions to the menu. Teasers include steak/chicken/veggie patacons and yucca fries with homemade tomato aioli.
- Adam Erace jogs through the menu at The Piazza's Gunners Run to find out what the NoLibs pub has to offer Philly.
- Erace's pulling double duty this week: He also checks out Stephen Starr's Fishtown beer garden, Frankford Hall, to find out what food and drink goes best with ping-pong and Jenga.
- In Feeding Frenzy: Santucci's, Enzo's, Chicken.Org, Honest Tom's and more.
- In What's Cooking: Details on Varga Bar's impending crab bake, a new all-day happy hour at The Corner, where to get free-range chickens this weekend and more.
Photo: Neal Santos
SNACK TIME: Typewriter waffle irons, cook your way into D Rad’s heart, overused food words, Reading Terminal’s facelift, macaron and tea, and man-eating mushroom clothing
- Are you a fan of found objects turned awesome? Here’s a great one. Chris Dimino created this typewriter turned waffle iron for group exhibit at the School of Visual Arts. It’s not for sale and there aren’t directions to make it, but it sure is pretty.
- OMG it's a Harry Potter cookbook. Swoon. Recipe for Daniel Radcliffe to love me, please.
- I've read 'em, you've read 'em, we’ve all gotten sick of 'em — food writers overuse certain words. The number of times I’ve read "delicious"or "decadent" or (shudder) "flavorful" is obscene. I disagree with a few on this list (you gotta say something is vegan if it's vegan), but most are dead on. And infuriating, even out of context.
- Reading Terminal Market is getting a makeover. The basement is becoming storage, and the storage area around "Avenue D" is becoming space for five new retailers. It's going to be a big shuffle and the market plans to stay open through the renovations, which should be finished mid-February. The most exciting part? The bathrooms will be expanded. Women everywhere, rejoice.
- Alexis Siemons writes primarily about tea, but occasionally throws in a post about her adventures in macarons, further fueling my longtime obsession with them. Here's her short report on some pistachio and salted caramel macarons from Miel Patisserie (204 S. 17th St.). I suggest reading her posts in a quiet room with soft lighting and a good cup of something hot.
- On a slightly less calming note, here's a trained "mushroom suit" that will eat you when you die.
Photo: Chris Dimino on Coroflot
Two new joints of note are serving in Philly's Chinatown. The first is Yummy Lan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House (131 N. 10th St.), open for about a month in the old Ho Sai Gai space at 10th and Cherry. Don't get it confused with Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House (927 Race St.) just down the street — it's different owners, but the two are similar in approach menu-wise. While Nan Zhou (an Americanization of Lanzhou, the Chinese city famous for hand-draw noodles) focuses on soups, Lan Zhou also offers a selection of noodle dishes sans broth, topped with clams, beef tendon, pig ears and so forth. Both offer two of our fave starters, however — spicy pig ears and u-toy in oyster sauce. Here's the full menu (JPG). Hours: Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Also new — it grand-opened today, actually — is Jin Wei at 925 Race, located directly adjacent to (yes!) Nan Zhou. This is a steam-table operation, open for lunch and dinner, offering a selection of four items from the line for a total price of $4. (Yes, we asked twice to make sure this was correct. Four bucks yo.) Looks like the selection will be switching up daily, but today we spied whole steamed blue crabs, fried prawns and mixed veggies in sauce as options.
Rosé-loving David Katz has designated muggy-ass August as "Rosé Month" at Mémé (2201 Spruce St.) — that means he's offering four Rosés by the glass for just five bucks a pop through the 31st. He's starting with two pure-blooded wines for all the purists — a 100 percent Barbera from Piedmont and a 100 percent Sangiovese from Tuscany — and he's rounding out the foursome with offerings from Spain and France. Katz adds that the $5 glasses will be available at both Thursday fried chicken lunch and Sunday brunch in addition to dinner.
Photo: Drew Lazor
Here’s a reason to extend your mid-week boozing into the wee hours: Jet Wine Bar's (1525 South St.) new Wednesday night happy hour, Turbulence, launches tonight. From 9 p.m. until last call, the bartenders are pouring $5 house wines and cocktails (tonight’s specialty: margaritas on the rocks), and the kitchen is dishing out a handful of small-plate variations. This week's snackage includes $6 shrimp/cheddar quesadillas and beef empanadas, fresh guac for $8 and housemade potato chips coming in at $3. In addition, DJs are spinning all night, and owner Jill Weber tells Meal Ticket the good times aren’t just here for the summer — "Expect this to run for the rest of the year."
Photo: Drew Lazor
Today happens to be National Watermelon Day, and City Tap House (3925 Walnut St.) will salute the fruit with a seed-spitting celebration. The event, which kicks off at 4 p.m., will feature $5 watermelon cocktails and $4 watermelon beers on tap, including Roy Pitz Lovitz Watermelon Lager and 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon. The highlight, though? A full-on watermelon eating contest. The competition will be $5 to enter, and it ain't just for play-play — Phillies tickets are on the line. Contestants will start with a base time of 4 minutes to stuff as melon as they can into their mouths. If they come wearing face paint or a partial costume, that's good for an extra 30 seconds. A full costume will get you an entire extra minute. (Proceeds from the contest will benefit Ronald McDonald House.) Things may get sloppy, but at least you'll be well-hydrated.
It was the ultimate Montreal-style bummer when an on-the-fritz oven and subsequent fire shut down Spread Bagelry (262 S. 20th St.) just days after its early May debut. They flirted with reopening a few times since then, but now owner Larry Rosenblum tells Meal Ticket he's dead-set on this coming Thursday or Friday — today they re-lit their brick oven, which takes 48 or more hours to heat up to fighting temperature, so keep your schmear-lovin' fingers crossed for fresh hot bagels for the weekend. "We used the time to make more improvements, add more refrigeration and air conditioning, hire more staff, make more refinements and more," says Rosenblum. "We're really excited to start baking again."
UPDATE: In case you need photographic evidence, check out a pic of the lit oven after the jump.
Have you guys heard of Subway's new barbecue pulled pork sub? I sure hope you have.
I’m a pulled pork enthusiast — I'll eat it from anywhere at any time. Those old dudes eating cheesesteaks at Pat's at 9 a.m.? That's me with pulled pork sandwiches. So naturally I was excited to try Subway's; my thought process was, "Even if this isn't awesome, it can't be that bad."
South Philly is getting its very own cupcakery — Ms. Goody Cupcake (1838 E. Passyunk Ave.) is planning to open its doors this coming Sunday. They meant to open last Sunday, but owner Gigi Andrew broke her ankle the day of ("For good luck!") and they had to push it back. She's hoping to get a pink cast to match their color scheme, pink and beige.
Ms. Goody Cupcake will offer 12 different cupcakes a day. There will be five regulars, which will include "Plain Jane" (vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing), "Crazy For Chocolate" (chocolate and chocolate), "Philly Love" (red velvet cake with cream cheese icing), her "Elvis" cupcake (banana cake with chocolate chips, peanut butter icing and chocolate-covered bacon piece on top) and one monthly special. Other flavors will change daily. Andrew's also taking orders for specialty cakes. Store hours for August will be Tue.-Thu. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hours will change in the fall to include an early morning on Sunday.
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