Food and Holidays
... and your favorite terrifying-portion-size chain, The Cheesecake Factory, is offering up any slice of their titular treat at half price. Ths includes a brand-new red velvet cheesecake ï¿½ and if you pony up for this variety today or any time throughout this year, they'll donate 25 cents to Feeding America. The Fac has locations locally in Cherry Hill, Willow Grove and KOP.
Nice deal and all, but I still don't think this tops Uncle Skeddy.
Eastern State Penitentiary has long been the perfect stand-in for the Bastille, the infamous French prison that fell on July 14, 1789, when commoners invaded the medieval fortress, snagging a cache of weapons and the 30,000 pounds of gunpowder stored there.
The Fairmount neighborhood's Bastille Day celebration takes liberal poetic license with historical events, compressing Le quatorze juillet with the public execution of careless queen Marie Antoinette. Terry Berch McNally, co-owner of London Grill, plays the monarch for the 15th time this year. Meal Ticket tries to adhere to a no-blockquoting-press-releases policy, but we'll make an exception for this because there is no way we could write the following any better:
A mob of enraged Parisian will storm Fairmountï¿½s Eastern State Penitentiary (a stand-in for the Bastille) as McNally makes her way to the very top of the historic prison. Armed troops will capture and drag ï¿½Antoinetteï¿½ to a real, functioning guillotine, ignoring her mocking cries of ï¿½Let them eat Tastykake!ï¿½ as she tosses over 2,000 Philadelphia Tastykakes from the prison's medieval towers. She will then be ceremoniously ï¿½beheaded,ï¿½ capping off this Philadelphia-centric re-enactment of the revolutionary scene.
The mayhem kicks off at 2 p.m., with Marie Antoinette beheaded at 5:30 sharp. Attendees are encouraged to dress as French peasants or aristocrats, but no guarantees can be made for the safety of the upper crust.
Visit Eastern State's Web site for full details of the three-day festival, which begins Thursday night with a French Fling bar crawl and winds up Sunday morning with Champagne brunches at participating restaurants.
Fairmount Bastille Day Celebration, Sat., July 11, 2-6 p.m., Eastern State Penitentiary, 2124 Fairmount Ave., 215-236-5111, easternstate.org
|Photo | Drew Lazor
You're having a bunch of hollow-legged friends over to cook out before booing Sheryl Crow taking in the fireworks on the Parkway. Problem is you haven't picked up a single foodstuff for your exceedingly elaborate Mediterranean-inspired menu yet ï¿½ and you gotta work late Friday night. What to do?
Before you stock up on a stack of Tombstones, peep game: Di Bruno Brothers' Emilio Mignucci tells Meal Ticket that about 90 percent of the businesses in the Ninth Street Italian Market will be open tomorrow, July 4, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Typically the strip is shuttered up for Independence Day, but since the Fourth falls on a Saturday this year, most all vendors have made the decision to open (adhering to traditional Sunday hours) to accommodate folks like you. What's more, most of the merchants will be selling $5 coupon books packed with clippable discounts you can use during your last-sec shopping sesh.
Nothing says USA like a deluge of dairy treats. Head down to the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the Welcome America!ï¿½ Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival.
A minimum $5 donation per person goes to the Joshua Kahan Fund while snagging you all the frozen cream you can lick from Ben & Jerryï¿½s, Hï¿½agen-Dazs, Edy's, Breyers/Good Humor, Bassett's, Turkey Hill, Jack & Jill, Philadelphia Water Ice and more.
Held every Fourth of July weekend in Philly, the fundraiser is now in its 11th year. To date it's raised more than $700,000 toward finding a cure for pediatric leukemia.
Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival, Fri.-Sun., July 3-July 5, noon-5 p.m., Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd. at Chestnut St., delawareriverevents.com
Eulogy owner Mike Naessens' Beneluxx Tasting Room (33 S. Third St., 267-318-7269, beneluxx.com) is a little more Euro than your average bar, but that doesn't mean they can't get down with the Fourth. To celebrate Uncle Sam's 233rd b-day, the subterranean destination's offering some all-American dealage this Friday and Saturday. They're doing a $9 cheese threesome featuring Nancy's Hudson Valley camembert (NY), Jasper Hills clothbound Cabot cheddar (VT) and Point Reyes blue (CA), as well as a red, white and brewed American beer flight (Victory Storm King, Pennichuck Pompier, Bell's Two-Hearted) for just $6. Get both brought to your table for $13.
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.
Vegans often find themselves out of the loop come barbecue season, when carnivores are too busy filling their faces with charred flesh to pay any mind to the grazers and their sad, soggy plates of macaroni salad. That's just not right, says the folks on The Vegan Bus ï¿½ that's why they're making a trip from Northampton, Massachusetts to Clark Park this Fourth of July.
The Vegan Bus is a two-year-old program founded by Derek Goodwin and a rotating collective of activists, performers and speakers, all of whom use art and entertainment to expose a compassionate vegan lifestyle to a national audience. They're managing all this while puttering around the country in a school bus powered by waste vegetable oil.
All money that the group raises at its events is used to expand the org, and though they don't officially have non-profit status just yet, theyï¿½re heading in that direction. "We're actually in the process of becoming a valid organization right now," says Goodwin, "and Philly will host our first big event in helping to get us to that non-profit status."
At the day-long event, the crew will be hanging at West Philly's Clark Park ï¿½ we're invited to bring a picnic blanket, delicious vegetarian grub and a hula hoop or two. The Bus will be handing out samples of burgers, dogs and other fare courtesy of vegetarian company LightLife. The Bus has teamed up with Public Eye Philly and its Kids Club in putting on this event, so much of the stuff theyï¿½re planning will be family-friendly ï¿½ performance activities, art projects, etc.
After the BBQ, the Bus will be heading to Chinatown's New Harmony Vegetarian Restaurant to party with dim sum and drinks alongside Vegan Drinks Philly, a social networking organization dedicated to promoting veganism. Twenty bucks will get you in to the restaurant for dinner, and you can BYO whatever youï¿½d like. (RSVP required; flyer after the jump.) Do the Bus peeps have any special plans for this evening portion of their Independence Day escapade? ï¿½Weï¿½ll have the bus on display for anyone interested in taking a look inside, but weï¿½re mostly excited to just chill out with you Philly people," says Goodwin.
|Click to enlarge
The Bruegger's bagel chain, which has a location at 1900 Market, is loving all over America this holiday weekend by offering these intriguing-looking red, white and blue bagels. They'll be sold from Friday, July 3 to Saturday, July 4, with a portion of sales benefiting the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Look at those things! I bet if you lobbed one into a crowd of hippies it would come sailing gently back to you within seconds.
|Later, Uncle Jerry. I'm
going to P&K.
Rain, rain go away ... come again some other day, like when it's not the first holiday weekend of the damn summer. We're going to let the sun today color our outlook on the weekend, though.ï¿½ There are plenty of indoor and outdoor events planned for those staying in the Illadelph this Memorial Day. It looks like everyone at the Shore will only be doing heavy drinking of crap Miller Lite and going to see Star Trek, anyway.
Locals Only Beer Weekend at Local 44: This event isn't about the Penn and Drexel twerps going back to their mommies for the summer and leaving the real residents to the good beer bars. No, it's about enjoying more than 45 kegs of all-local brews.ï¿½ Quite a few casks are in the lineup, as well as limited brews like Yards Smoked Polish Wheat and cult faves like Legacy Brewing Hoptimus Prime and Dogfish Head Festina Peche. See the full lineup here. The revelry runs all three days of the weekend, with Local T-shirts for sale for the first time onï¿½ Saturday. Local 44, 4333 Spruce St., 215-222-BEER, local44beerbar.com
Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout at SPTR: Foobooz has got the gossip on the extra-special relationship between Founders Brewing Co. and the South Philadelphia Taproom. SPTR taps ï¿½ and shares ï¿½ PA's only keg ofï¿½ their brewery pal'sï¿½ Canadian Breakfast Stout on Saturday at 5 p.m. The brew is the same rich stout that forms the basis of the better-known Kentucky Breakfast Stout, but is aged in a Canadian maple syrup barrel rather than a bourbon cask. One keg should last at least a few minutes.ï¿½ SPTR, 509 Mifflin St., 215-271-7787, southphiladelphiataproom.com
Cherokee Festival at Temple Ambler: A celebration of Cherokee culture will visit the leafy campus of Temple University's Ambler campus this weekend. From 10 a.m. to sundown May 23-25, visitors will be invited to learn traditional, hoop, fancy and shawl dances, learn to build a teepee or make beaded jewelry, and taste Native American foods. Fry bread is a flat, leavened round of dough, deep-fried in fat, often topped with sugar, honey or savory meat and cheese. Buffalo burgers will also be available at the event. 16th Annual Cherokee Festival, $5-8, Temple Ambler football field, 580 Meetinghouse Rd., Ambler, 215-549-4191, secherokee-confederacypa.org
Smokeout: Some of us are masters of the pit, king of the coals. Some of us consider it an accomplishment to get through supper without slopping sauce down our shirt. If you fall on the dribbly end of the continuum, there's plenty barbecue to be had in town. The satisfying-but-cheap trend is established all over the city, from the brand-new Bebe's Barbecue in the Italian Market to longtime smoker the Rib Crib in Germantown. More deets on this later, but Jonny Mac's new pulled pork sandwich at Pub & Kitchen is a strong contender for Sandwich of the Summer. Pork shoulder gets a dry rub that hangs for three days, before a slow braise in not-so-sweet BBQ sauce. The shredded meat is heaped on a buttery brioche roll (grilled for max sexiness) and topped with melted Swiss. P&K server Cathy, a native Texan, turned us on this this and we thank her most excellently.
|Image courtesy of XIX (Nineteen)|
|The view from the top: one of four balconies at XIX|
Every human ï¿½ and foodie ï¿½ is of woman born. Whether mom packed your lunchbox, or an aunt, grandmother or sister played the role, every one of us has a woman to thank on Mother's Day.
Show the lady you love her with a right proper dine out ï¿½ a classically lavish brunch or Sunday dinner sans dishes and football. Since no mama wants to think she raised a stingy bastard, May 10 means white tablecloths and crystal juice glasses at a pretty venue.
If you haven't made plans yet, scope our roundup of Mother's Day destinations for every maman, mï¿½mï¿½ and mom-mom; 'cause flowers wilt in a few weeks, but the memory of a great meal lasts a lifetime.
ï¿½lï¿½gance Finale: With or without Michelin stars, Le Bec-Fin is one of the most impressive restaurants in the city. Treat mom to Georges Perrier's three-course, $50 brunch, complete with patisserie chef Jesse Prawlucki's gateaux straight from the famous dessert cart.ï¿½ Mothers can relate to the Georges' iron will and legendary work ethic ï¿½ Philly's culinary patriarch is the first person to arrive at Le Bec in the morning, and still washes dishes at the end of the night. 1523 Walnut St., 215-567-1000, lebecfin.com
Beach Chic: Chip Roman's Blackfish Stone Harbor opens Saturday, May 9 in the former Henny's Cafï¿½ space on the waterfront. Mother's Day brunch runs $40 per adult and $20 per child under 10, with stationary hors d'oeuvres like watermelon lollipops with black sea salt and corn, crab and leek fondue. A omelette station will be featured on the main buffet, accompanying poached salmon with English cucumber, French toast gratin and poached shrimp, among other selections. We've said it before and we'll say it again ï¿½ this place is guaranteed MILF city! 9628 Third Ave., Stone Harbor, N.J., 08247; 609-967-9100, blackfishrestaurant.com/blackfish_stoneharbor.html
High Class: For the first time since the 1950s, all four of the balconies at XIX (Nineteen) are open for the highest dining in the city. Reserve pronto for the sweeping view and bountiful brunch ($65 for grownups, $32 for pipsqueaks). Look for crab with hearts of palm and lemon curry dressing, ricotta-filled crepes with raisins and granny smith apples and smoked prime rib with creamed spinach and mushroom sauce. If that's not rich enough, a dessert buffet loaded with blackberry panna cotta and strawberry shortcake parfaits should finish everyone off. Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut Streets, 215-790-1919, nineteenrestaurant.com
Mellow Yellow: Go west, young person, to Marigold Kitchen and their unbelievable $30 three-course Sunday dinner. Choosing any app, entreï¿½ and dessert from the menu means mom can create a custom prix-fixe. Try chef Erin O'Shea's oh-so-delicate halibut with roasted fennel and tomato fumet, finished up with a dessert lemon trio marrying fluffy citrus custard with homemade lemon curd and strips of candied zest. Toting your own wine makes this one of the most spectacular culinary deals in the city. 501 S. 45th St., 215-222-3699, marigoldkitchenbyob.com
Reservation Vacation: Silly Peter Woolsey! Sunday is a great dining day, so why is your Bistrot La Minette closed on the brunchiest day of the week? Lucky for the Francophile his foie gras specials, salmon tartare with lentils de puy and heavenly sweets are good enough to juggle your Mother's Day schedule around. Escape Philly by booking seats on the shaded patio for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, or gather a group for a private French family dinner around the long table. 623 S. Sixth St., 215-925-8000, bistrotlaminette.com
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