Eat-a-Pita - you can guess the menu's focus - nods toward healthful eating. You choose proteins, produce, and a "pour" (various vinaigrettes, a curry sauce, honey mustard, and the like) to fill a white or wheat pita (they're sourced from the nearby Maoz).
The idea is to pour on as you dig in. Basics are $8; you can spend a bit more to get such proteins as shrimp po'boy, salmon croquette, and lamb shawarma (which roasts right behind the counter next to a rotisserie for chicken). They also offer panini, soups, and salads. It's open for lunch and dinner daily.
Magpie Artisan Pie Bakery & Boutique dispenses sweet and savory pies from an 18-seat storefront at 1622 South St. that's decorated in a homey style that owner Holly Ricciardi dubs "nanna chic." Ricciardi, a graphic designer and amateur pie specialist making the move to the pro ranks, offers her wares for $4.50 to $8.50 a slice, and $28 to $35 for a whole (advance orders). Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Flavors are posted at iluvmagpie.com.
A latte education
There are schools for chefs and restaurant management, but how about formal training for coffee baristas? Counter Culture Coffee, a roaster out of North Carolina, just opened a training center above the soon-to-open Ultimo Coffee shop at 22d and Catharine Streets.
Sessions are free for employees of Counter Culture's customers (including Ultimo, Shot Tower, a.kitchen, and Odd Fellows), but are open to all ($75 for half-day, $150 full day) - home users and baristas at local shops who want to caffeinate their game. Courses range from basic espresso to milk chemistry. Milk chemistry? "Everyone calls it 'latte art,' " says Phil Proteau, Counter Culture's regional representative, who has trained hundreds of baristas up and down the East Coast. When he got into the business in 1994, "it was 'push that button, do this, stick it in there,' " he said. Nowadays, the bar has been raised. Info: www.counterculturecoffee.com.
When the Field House (1150 Filbert St., 215-629-1520) reopens Friday across from the Reading Terminal Market, it will have a new chef - Andrew Brown, late of Center City's Opa. Field House's sports bar/beer hall theme is being localized; besides local items on the menu, 90 percent of the beers on its 40-tap system are sourced from within 100 miles of Philadelphia. Field House will serve dinner daily. Lunch will start the week of Sept. 17. As for Opa: Brown's successor is sous chef James Wells.
Han Chiang's dynasty of Han Dynasty Chinese restaurants will expand. In October, he will open a branch in Cherry Hill's Saw Mill Village in the former Nagoya.
Photos, menus, and additional details about these restaurants, plus dining news, can be found at www.philly.com/mike. Contact Michael Klein at email@example.com.