Archive: September, 2009
|Sprinkles on Facebook|
Sprinkles Yogurt will open its first Philly location this coming Friday, Sept. 18, says Matt Mealey, who owns the growing local brand with sister Ryan. Located at 3620 Chestnut, the new spot will feature indoor/outdoor seating for about 30. Here they'll do a rotating selection of 14 self-serve fat-free frozen yogurt flavors, with more than 30 topping choices (Sour Patch Kids!). Opening hours: Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-midnight.
These kids are seriously freaking me out.ï¿½ I don't know if this is possible, in reality or Photoshop.ï¿½ It does, however, make me want some sweet sweet Cadbury chocolate.
h/t Bogus Blog
|Image courtesy Quaker City Mercantile|
Quaker City Mercantile was known in its former life as Gyro Worldwide, a Philadelphia advertising firm operating on the mantra "consumption, free living, and hedonistic disregard".ï¿½ï¿½ Gyro founder Steven Grasse altered his course from promoting mass consumption to do something "more benevolent and meaningful."ï¿½ More benevolent, in this case, was the creation of Sailor Jerry rum, Hendrick's Gin and ROOT liqueur.
So says Aaron Gell in October's issue of Vanity Fair, which features a short piece on the transformation of Grasse from a ruthless ad man to spirited distiller and creator of charmingly retro marketing for his new babies.
The content isn't available online, so do you part to keep Condï¿½ Nast in business and pick up an issue of VF.
Understandable excitement accompanied our August 5th news that Sweetie's Pie Diner (1822 Spring Garden St.), an all-vegetarian, all-pie eatery, would be opening October 1.ï¿½ Now Stephanie Thaw and partner Kathy Tench are in the thick of menu development:ï¿½ sweet and savory pies (think tarts, bread puddings, phyllo turnovers), soups and salads.
Organic and locally sourced dairy and eggs, as well as local produce, will fill out Thaw's shopping list.ï¿½ The duo will run Sweetie's as a BYOB, practically requiring you to pick upï¿½ a warming, 8 percent ABV Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale to pair with the root vegetable and mushroom potpie and a scoop-topped apple pie slice.
Kale, Porcini mushroom, and pumpkin gnocchi soup
Sweet potato corn chowder
Three Sisters Salad; Vegan Israeli cous cous, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, corn, in a lime cilantro dressing
Root Vegetable & Mushroom Potpie; carrots, turnips, Yukon gold potatoes, leeks, and red field peppers in a vegetable gravy topped with herbed biscuits
Portobello Mushroom Tart; served with of fresh field greens, mushrooms, ricotta, roasted peppers in a cream cheese pastry
Wild Mushroom Turnovers with Salad of Fresh Field Greens; Wild mushrooms, chestnuts and cranberries wrapped in phyllo dough
Spinach and Feta Turnovers with Salad of Fresh Field Greens Fresh baby spinach, sheepï¿½s milk feta wrapped in phyllo dough. Served with a side of field greens and house vinaigrette.
Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding; bread pudding with shitake, portabella, and crimini mushrooms. Served with salad of Fresh Field Greens
|Photo l Michael T. Regan|
|Vegans take Manhattan.|
On November 3, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of Horizons (611 S. 7th St.) will become the first vegan chefs to work the hallowed line at the James Beard House in New York City.ï¿½ The pair has fired off their tentative menu to JBH, which you can check out in all its cruelty-free glory after the jump.
Appetizers will be passed around at a 7 p.m. cocktail reception; the sit-down portion of the meal, complete with wine pairings for each of the five courses, begins at 8 p.m. Prices have not yet been posted for the event.ï¿½ï¿½ Call the Beard House at 212.627.2308 or 800.36BEARD for reservations.
Horizons' James Beard House Dinner (tentative menu)
Oyster mushroom fritters, aguardiente creamed spinach
Black olive blinis, truffle cream, golden beet relish and seaweed caviar
Edamame puree on crispy sushi rice, gochujang, daikon and nori dust
Grilled seitan, crispy tortilla, whipped avocado, cilantro and green olive relish
Amuse:ï¿½ Smoked eggplant parfait, preserved lemon aioli and piquillo peppers
Portobello Carpaccio, crispy capers, rosemary mustard, spaghetti squash latke
Saffron Cauliflower Bisque, confit fennel crostini, oloroso sherry crema
Caramelized Celery Root Ravioli, charred Brussels sprouts, smoked royal trumpet mushrooms, sage and grain mustard emulsion
Peppercorn Seared Tofu, creamed leeks and truffled parsnip puree, salt-roasted golden beet with hazelnuts and apple cider vinegar reduction
Heirloom Pumpkin Cheesecake, chestnut candy and pinot noir jam
The Good Word is a new weekly Meal Ticket feature where we ask Philadelphia food people questions. Weï¿½re going to start by highlighting the cityï¿½s many excellent food writers and bloggers, with eventual plans to extend beyond the scribeosphere. The questions will be different every week unless we come across a really sweet one we want to reuse. Want to nominate a future Good Word candidate (yes, you can nominate yourself), or submit ideas for questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this installment of The Good Word, weï¿½re chatting with Amy Strauss of Apples and Cheese, Please, who describes herself as a "Philadelphia suburb-based food fiend who lives to chomp up and down the East Coast." The craft brew fanatic and accomplished baker/home cook has also contributed to CP's food section ï¿½ in fact, the name of her blog originates with this 2007 Top 5 piece.
You grew up Mennonite ï¿½ strong cooking traditions there. What's your first food memory?
If ever there was a baker's hall of fame, my grandmother, Naomi Strauss, would be the star. As a Mennonite and a Pennsylvania Dutchwoman (same as myself), she crafted killer traditional sweet treats that were mixed, mashed and pinched to perfection, and I am forever grateful to her for passing on to me all that she could. With a childhood flooded with rounds of funny, shoo-fly and apeas cakes, mountains of fluffy Dutch doughnuts and delectable sweet buns and rolls, I never questioned whether I should skip a night's dessert.
Although it's still surprising that I possess a petite frame, a typical Sunday afternoon scene from my youth went like this. Multiple folding tables packed, corner-to-corner, with a smorgasbord of covered dishes with lines of Mennonites, including myself, surrounding the perimeter, piling our plates with a ton of ever-changing tastes: simple sausage sandwiches, spicy chilis, ham and sweet potato casseroles, cold salads, homemade breads ï¿½ and, of course, calorie-killing desserts.
Going off the name of your blog ï¿½ you believe that "two separate tastes can together define why life's worth living." What are two disparate ingredients that you've combined in your cooking with good results?
I gush over the idea of combining two tasty things that wouldn't normally be considered able to accent one another. Honestly, one curious baking adventure proved one thing true ï¿½ everything's better with a bit of bacon. I concocted a maple butter vanilla muffin blended with a tad of bacon fat and meaty crumbles, and smothered it with a maple-sugar buttercream and candied strips. The mini-cakes screamed for attention from breakfast hounds, but also helped me realize that experimentation is one of the better things to come to my baking/cooking.
More recently, I've been mixing and matching frozen yogurt homemade recipes, because really, anything that milk can be soaked into can easily be made into a creamy iced treat. As a fan of WD-50 and Wylie Dufresne's everything bagel ice cream, I believe there's an endless world of ice cream concoctions. Currently, I'm trying to perfect sweet corn cream ice with agave nectar, and quite possibly, I am thinking of soaking a Pennsylvania Dutch Fastnacht in milk for a truly traditional treat.
You were vegetarian for eight years before hopping back on the meat train last year. What precipitated this change? Ever feel guilty about it?
At age 15, I exchanged steak knives for salad forks, and with that, I delved deep into animal rights, activism and an awareness of the food I was eating. It wasn't that of a hard thing to do, because honestly, I wasn't raised on the best meats (sorry mom and dad, but well-done burgers and steaks don't satisfy), and becoming actually interested in what I was then eating made me generally more interested in food, its sourcing and its ability to be amazing while still being healthy.
Over time, however, I became the ultimate poster child for what not to do as a vegetarian. I ate embarrassingly poorly. Eventually I began to incorporate poultry and seafood into my more-recent diet, until I embraced carnivorism wholly. That probably sounds awful to serious vegetarians, but each individual independently decides what's best to stuff their jaws with, and now, a balance between the two diets works wonders for me, as I am at my healthiest.
Any recent restaurant visits that you entered with low or no expectations, only to be blown away by the quality of the food/experience?
A highly received restaurant out here in the suburbs is The Epicurean in Phoenixville. In repeated conversations, people would tell me about its spiffy fusion/Americana repertoire. But I don't trust everyone else's taste buds and if you say something is "to die for," you may make me curious, but you won't convince me you are right. Obviously, I eventually dined there, and let's just say their tasteless tapas menu, sketched out by the restaurant's entire staff, should just be glanced over, and not grubbed on if you want to experience the true flavors the eatery is capable of producing. But when revisiting on an unenthusiastic return trip, their certified and exceptionally juicy Angus beef patty, layered with homemade guacamole, roasted red peppers and crumbled goat cheese, is by far one of the better burgers I've chowed down upon on since going for a pro-beef lifestyle.
College students, don't say Jose Garces never did anything for you.ï¿½ By now you know that the megachef has transformed the first floor of his Mexico-city inspired, flamingo-pink funhouse Distrito (3945 Chestnut St.)ï¿½ into The Cantina at Distrito, a casual-but-still-flourescent gathering place where no menu item tops $10 and Tecates can be had for $2.
A welcome-back-to-school fiesta this Sunday, Sept. 13 introduces the Cantina at Distrito's mission-style quesadillas, tacos al carbon and fresh-fruit loaded margaritas and caipirinhas to West Philly.ï¿½ From 8-11 p.m., live music by Adrian Hardy and complimentary snacks will accompany those $2 Tecates and $5 margaritas.
Entrance is free but space is limited; hit up email@example.com if you plan to attend.
After the jump, take a look at the Cantina at Distrito's full food and beverage menus.
Local and seasonal are descriptors that apply equally well to both food and sports.ï¿½ Brendan Smith, chef/owner of Smith's Restaurant-Lounge (39-41 S. 19th St., 267-546-2669) is a self-professed Philly sports fanatic as well as a classically trained chef.ï¿½ Smith merges his twin loves by offering fresh, locally-sourced iterations of classic pub food at special prices during Sunday Eagles' games shown on his bar's ten flatscreens.
The Birds kick off their season at 1 p.m. this Sunday, when they take on the Carolina Panthers in North Carolina. ï¿½ Smith's is offering a few healthful, discounted choices for hungry fans: jumbo wings that are grilled rather than fried (15 for $9, 20 for $18, 45 for $27), turkey chili loaded with white, black and pinto beans ($8.50) and onion skins (definitely fried, $7.50) with chipotle ranch.
In addition to 8 craft taps, look for $2 Miller Lites and Bud Lites during Sunday games.ï¿½ "Bucket specials" of five Miller Lites for $10 are available during Monday Night Football.
Visit smiths-restaurant.com for the full Sunday specials menu.
Posting in the next week will be a little lighter than usual, as this half of Meal Ticket is trucking it up to the great state of Maine for some much-needed R&R. But we've got some good stuff in the works to tide you over in the meantime. For now ï¿½ anything that's important for us to see/eat/drink up there? Let us know in the comments ...
... Meal Ticket reader Jeff, who submitted this response to our Tuesday contest query: "If Andrew Zimmern came to visit you in Philly, where would you take him to eat and why?"
Iï¿½d take him to a cheesteak place that also sold Taylorï¿½s Pork Roll. Then Iï¿½d ask the steak maker to combine them both into a sandwich and weï¿½d eat that. This would confirm my suspicions that this might be the greatest culinary combo that hasnï¿½t (to my knowledge) been attempted yet.
On a weirdness scale, does this even stack up to some of the "bizarre" stuff Zimmern's eaten over the years? Not at all. But we gotta give it to this dude for one simple reason: Putting pork roll on a cheesesteak is a GREAT IDEA.
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