Archive: February, 2013
Well, the U-City outpost of Shake Shack is old news but we've got two more for you this afternoon. Eater's caught word that Umami Burger, the L.A. chain serving over the top creations like the Manly Burger (beer-cheddar cheese, smoked salt onion strings and lardons) and the namesake Umami Burger (shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, Parmesan crisp and umami ketchup) has secured a $20 million dollar loan. What does that mean for us? A Philly outpost of Umami Burger. We're psyched.
Update: Well, looks like we spoke a little too soon. Zagat is saying that while a spokesperson for Umami is calling Philadelphia an ideal market there are no concrete plans for a Philly spot just yet.
Over in Jersey The Insider is reporting that Five Guys and Bobby's Burger Palace are about the get a little competition. Zinburger, a wine and burger bar is opening up shop at the Towne Center at Garden State Park. Looks like you'll be able to bookend that trip to the Cherry Hill Mall and Wegman's with a Nueske's applewood smoked bacon and Thousand Island topped Samburger and a glass of Kunde Cab on March 5th.
Giveaways for the lead-up to St. Patrick's Day, Top Chef wrap-ups, and a Lady Sushi Chef Stampede, all on today's Afternoon Snacks!
Brace yourselves: tomorrow begins the countdown to St. Patrick's Day. That means license to eat as many Irish potatoes as you please (hint: PA General Store and Shane are both good sources), and Irish pubs all over starting to get in the spirit with all kinds of specials. Kildare's (4417 Main St., Manayunk; also in West Chester) gets things going tomorrow with 17 days of giveaways. Depending on the day, you'll find free drinks or free food (see the full calendar after the jump); for all 17 days, if you kick a keg of Guinness, you'll win a gift certificate for $17.59 (explanation for that one can be found below, too).
Earlier this week Steve Wildy told us that that next Weekly Wildy was going to be the weirdest yet and, well, we're not sure about weirdest, but it's kind of the best one yet. In this week's Harlem Shake edition we've got a guest appearance from Mike Solomonov and holy shit, that dude can dance! Our buddy Wildy? Well, we'll leave that to Solo:
"Way to go Steve, you killed the Harlem Shake. Thanks a lot."
And in honor of the passing of this short lived meme, Monday's Industry Night at Alla Spina (1410 Mt. Vernon St.) is hosting an R.I.P. Harlem Shake party with all of the Cook + Solo restaurants.
On the menu for this hook the hook Industry Night is laffa and shish kebabs from Zahav, Percy Street brisket sliders and fresh hot donuts from the Federal donut robot. Alla Spina ia providing squid and saffron fregola, beer barbecue rib sandwiches and maple fried chicken bocconcini. Drink specials come in the form of Israeli Gold Star bottles, cans of Dale's and Arcadia and Harlem milkshakes. Oh, and if you come in costume you get a free beer.
As per usual the buffet is gratis and drinks are cheap, just bring in that pay stub to prove your industry cred. Party starts and 10 p.m.
In this week's South Philly Review resident restaurant critic Phyllis Stein Novack boards the bus and heads up to Fratelli's Italian Bistro (1339 Chestnut St.), a fairly new restaurant in the former Marathon spot. Hopes for Fratelli's weren't too high from the get go:
"I’m not sure Center City needed another Italian restaurant, especially since Fratelli’s opened across the street from the Olive Garden. Still, I was curious about the menu and wanted to see if a few dishes had what it took to tempt my taste buds."
Aside from a robust bottle of Sangiovese shared with trusty dining companion/hisband Edward nothing really stood out during dinner at Fratelli's. A Caesar was less than mediocre, fettuccine Alfredo (a famous Rome creation) needed the help of some added Parmesan to up the salt factor and although Edward liked his plain veal cutlet, PSN deemed it dry.
On the upside, PSN's tuna Livornese was pretty tasty and not overcooked plus service was excellent and informed throughout the meal.
But all in all PSN was disappointed with the menu. She was looking for something a bit less run of the mill, a more upscale menu highlighting the different Italian regions. But, "if I had a choice between the Olive Garden and Fratelli’s, I would choose the latter."
One and a half tips of the toque for Fratelli's.
Calling all curd nerds and fermenation fans: this weekend Amanda Phickle is teaching two classes at Indy Hall covering all manner of fermented foods. On Saturday she's tackling countertop kimchi (seriously super easy) and on Sunday she's talking lacto-fermented pickles, dairy culture and kombucha. Classes run from noon to 2 p.m. on both days and tickets are $10.
Zagat is reporting that Tom and Chris Molieri, the two brothers behind Point Breeze roastery, GreenStreet Coffee (a little background on those dudes right here) are taking over the former Spruce Street Espresso spot at 12th and Spruce.
Nothing solid yet, but the plan is to open up sometime this year and really hone in on the back story of the beans that they're roasting. The Molieri brothers have yet to choose a name for the shop. If you have any ideas head on over to Zagat, leave it in the comment section and if your name is chosen BAM free coffee for a year.
Because who doesn't love to watch Gordon Ramsay fake yell at a bunch of bumbling line cooks we're pleased to announce that there are three Philadelphia-area-based contenders on this season of Hell's Kitchen.
First up we've got Michael Langdon who put in some time at Brasserie Perrier before taking over as the exec at the swanky Huntsville Golf Club in Shavertown, PA. Not too much info on the other two: Jon Scallion of York (pretty tight chef name, amiright?) and Zach Womack who cooks somewhere in Philly. The winner of the eleventh season lands a head chef position at Gordon Ramsay Grill at Caesars Palace in Vegas.
The season kicks off on March 12th at 8 p.m., and yeah, we're totally going to be watching.
Opening a kosher restaurant obviously means doing things differently—we took a look at the challenges of creating a kosher bar program last week, for instance. And then there's the fact of closing up shop through Shabbat, which happens to run through prime dining-out time for the non-Jewish and non-observant. Citron and Rose (370 Montgomery Ave., Merion Station), the three-month-old Main Line kosher spot, has been taking both Friday and Saturday nights off. But now that they've settled in a bit, they've announced they'll be opening up on Motzei Shabbat—the period immediately following the end of Shabbat, or as we gentiles know it, "Saturday night."
Of course, since Shabbat is tied to the sunset, the times change week to week. Officially, Citron and Rose will be opening their bar 30 minutes after Shabbat, and food service will begin one hour after Shabbat. (This weekend, that means they should be opening their doors a little after 7 p.m., with food service to start rolling around 7:30) The menu will be limited to a "cafe menu" consisting of a handful of appetizers, sandwiches and desserts.
Just a few minutes ago this gem landed in our inbox courtesy of Meal Ticket founder Drew Lazor:
"If you woke up thinking "Man, I really need to listen to Action Bronson rap about consuming poutine today," YOU'RE IN LUCK."
Since there aren't many days that we wake up not wanting to listen to Action Bronson, we were super stoked to find out that Emynd of Crossfaded Bacon fame has put together a 40 track mixtape for the Fourth Annual Philly Chili Bowl.
Before getting into the awesomeness that is The Hunger Mixtape, we should probably tell you a little about the Chili Bowl. It's happening March 9th at RUBA (414 Green St.) at 5:30. 25 chilis are going to be simmering for tasting and judged by a star studded panel that includes Jason Cichonski (Ela), Angela Ranalli (Le Virtu), Joe Bernstein (BigBite resident judge) and Drew. If you'd like to compete head over to BigBite for details.
Okay, back to the mixtape. It's a solid hour of all over the place songs about food with a whole lot of references to chicken: Think The Beatnuts "Fried Chicken," The Meters "Chicken Strut" and Leroy & The Drivers "The Sad Chicken". Head on over to BigBite for a free download. Plus we're hearing that there's a Volume 2 in the works.
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