Archive: March, 2013
On today's Afternoon Snacks, our veg scene in WaPo, last-minute candy recipes for Easter, and chatting with Ryan Berley of Shane (where you're probably headed if those recipes look a little too ambitious for your tastes).
Looks like the Washington Post, which is currently nursing a bit of a crush on our city's food scene if you hadn't noticed, took a tour of Philly's veg*n eats. The author shares his thoughts on the veggies at HipCityVeg, Blackbird, Zahav, Vedge and Vetri—and on the very idea of a vegan cheesesteak, which he initially thought was a joke.
Barely open two weeks, the praise has been laid on Fishtown's white-tiled Pizzeria Beddia (115 East Girard Ave.) like pickled chilies on the house pie. Now comes word owner/pizzaiolo Joe Beddia is adding baker to his resume. Every Wednesday, the dough whisperer will be turning leftover pizza bases into crusty brown loaves of Italian bread whose sour flavor comes from the dough's six-day fermentation. And it's only $5.
Loyal Meal Ticketeers know that we love sharing our food finds, especially our Notes from the Weekend. But sometimes it feels a little... one-sided. And while we're enthusiastic eaters, we're only a few people, and there's a big city out there, full of great eats.
That's where you come in. We want to see what you guys are eating! And maybe your Instagram pals are getting a little weary of your constant snackshots, and you could use a new (wider, more appreciative) audience. So share your best shots with us—like us on Facebook and share them there, or use the #mealticket hashtag on Twitter or Instagram—and together we can start building a more comprehensive resource of some of Philly's best dishes. And of course, we'll also highlight our favorites right here on Meal Ticket.
(And if you're in the anti-taking-photos-of-your-food camp, then by all means, share this with your embarrassing friends who insist that whipping out a mini-tripod at the table is totes necessary because of the low light—might as well provide them with an outlet!)
So we're not even officially into the weekend yet, but we're got to day that we kind of can't wait for Monday. Why? Well, for this month's edition of Industry Night at Alla Spina (1410 Mt. Vernon St.) David Ansill, the Willie Nelson of Philadelphia-area chefs, is bringing a little bit of Spanish flair to North Broad Street. Expect oversized pans of paella, multiple suckling pigs and a selection of verduras including pickled mushrooms, patatas bravas and charred scallions with romesco. Drinks-wise there will be sangria, calimocho (a don't knock it until you try it mix of red wine and cola) and Ommegang Witte and Hennepin. Holly Sue Allen aka DJ SnKpak is on the decks all night long.
Party starts at 10 p.m., food is free and drinks are cheap. Just be sure to bring that pay stub to prove your industry cred.
Poi Dog Snack Shop, Philly's first Hawaiian-themed food truck (Hawaiian-themed anything, really), starts serving next week on Temple's campus, according to owners/former Foo Truck-ers Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca. Aranita, who grew up on Oahu, is bringing traditional island grub to town: SPAM musubi, coconut butter mochi, plate lunches with rice and macaroni salad and more. (We'll have the full menu shortly.) "Outside of Hawaii and beyond the West Coast, Hawaiian food is pretty unknown to people. But it has extremely rich and varied traditions and its own unique identity," she says. "We want to serve the simple snacks Hawaii likes to eat but also version of them done our way with Philly in mind." Stay on Poi Dog's Twitter and Facebook to see exactly where on campus the truck will be parked next week.
These Easter specials from Shake Shack (2000 Sansom St.) are a little on the nose, but that's OK, because Easter is kind of an on-the-nose holiday. There are really only three acceptable shapes for anything (ovoid, bunnyoid, chickoid) and one acceptable meat (...it's ham). So if you want to pregame your Sunday meal of ham and eggs and egg-shaped candy, consider an Easter HAMburger, topped with Niman Ranch ham and pickled shallots, and maybe a Shackbury Easter egg concrete—vanilla custard with caramel sauce and milk chocolate chunks. Both are available right now and will be on the menu through Sunday.
Last night we had the pleasure of checking out the soon to open Cheu Noodle Bar (255 S. 10th St.), the pop-up come to life from Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh and we've got to say that after sampling a sizable portion of the menu we're pretty stoked. The space is gorgeous, with a wall of ramen noodles, sleek bar seating and graffiti-inspired murals.
But eye-pleasing aesthetics aside, the menu is killer. Off the vegetables list we tried crisp broccoli with Vietnamese sausage, soy and peanuts and brussels sprouts with XO sauce, radish and a perfectly poached egg. Barley congee with smoked tofu, mushrooms and pea was a hearty take on typically delicate rice porridge and raw scallop with pickled rhubarb, cardamom and avocado was bright and elegant.
Off the noodles menu we checked out the hand town noodles with lamb neck and pickled mustard greens and cumin with just a touch of sweetness lent by dates. And since it is still officially Passover, we went for the brisket with egg and matzo balls, awesome. There are all sorts of additions for the noodle menu including some very serious scrapple (A+) and house-fermented kimchi.
Cheu is soft opening this weekend for friends and family and opening up shop to the public on April 1st at 3 p.m., we suggest you go there immediately.
In this week's South Philly Review Phyllis Stein-Novack hits up South Street newcomer Ralic's (119 South St.), a place that she happened on simply driving around the 'hood. After checking out Ralic's website, PSN and husband Edward made it in just in time for happy hour.
A round of martinis and Rob Roys were ordered ($10 each, the right price) and the menu was perused. Large and straightforward, PSN was pleased with the lack of gimmicks and trendy dishes.
The duo started off with a happy hour-prices plate of fried calamari served piping hot with just a few hot peppers.
White wine and garlic mussels were free of grit and sand and served in a very generous portion considering the price point.
Things started to go down hill with a bowl of New England clam chowder made too sweet by the inclusion of carrots. PSN swapped it out out for a bowl of Manhattan that fared much better.
Edward's fried seafood combo, a childhood favorite from the days of eating at long gone Fisher's on Broad, was seriously lacking in the salt department.
The underseasoned theme continued with a retro plate of crab-stuffed broiled shrimp and spinach in need of garlic and herbs.
A glass of New Zealand sauvignon blanc was priced right at $8.
All and all a pretty luke warm two tips of the toque for Ralic's.
Yesterday we rounded up all sorts of important Easter news covering wide-ranging topics from candy making to brunch options and today we've got even more Easter intel for ya. If you're looking to get a little weird this Easter Sunday head over to Fair Food (51 N. 12th St.) at Reading Terminal and pick up a few of their over-sized emu eggs.
No need to dye these beauties, they're already a gorgeous shade of green, But they are great to cook with, one egg equals approximately a dozen chicken eggs and they're lighter in texture making for fluffier stratas, quiches and fritattas,
If you're in the market for other odd eggs, Fair Food also has duck and goose eggs on hand in colors ranging from beige to pale blue.
Wood-themed birthday parties, Drew Lazor gives Spam its due, Francis Lam talks weeding, and Saveur rounds up the best of Passover, all on today's Afternoon Snacks!
Is it just us, or does the crew at Devil's Den (1148 S. 11th St.) take time out to celebrate wood awfully often? Between their wood- and smoke-themed fireplace parties and their upcoming wood-themed fifth anniversary party, if you were to concoct an absurd analogy that re-imagines Philly as the whole of Europe, the Den would be our Norway. And who doesn't love Norway? So make a note to drop by on Sat., Apr. 6 to help them celebrate the momentous 5-year mark with price breaks ($1 off all drafts from 1-5 p.m.) on an awesome list of barrel-aged brews. They'll have a firkin of Round Guys' bourbon barrel-aged K-I-N-tucky Saison, which you won't have another chance to taste anywhere until Philly Beer Week hits—and you GoT fans will be happy to hear that the day's taplist will also include Ommegang Iron Throne.
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