April 2, 2015 |
Doug Oliver, the youngest Democratic contender for mayor, got the biggest cheers at a forum planned and executed Tuesday by Central High School students. Melissa Murray Bailey, the lone Republican candidate, won applause when she said one-party rule had gone on for too long in Philadelphia. And Nelson Diaz, who told the audience of 12th graders they were the most important people on his schedule, surprised the audience when he said his favorite pop star was Jennifer Lopez. On policy answers, the candidates hewed to more familiar answers: Jim Kenney wants universal prekindergarten.
March 27, 2015 |
A drive-through for cheesesteaks? Fast-food veterans Jim Nasuti and John Marsella, who own 82 Taco Bells, KFCs and Burger Kings in the region, have launched a quick-service concept of South Philadelphia-style street food. At Zio Gio (3901 Veteran Highway, Levittown, 267-583-3575), they've applied fast-food efficiencies to the typically window-service fare such as cheesesteaks, roast pork, and pasta. A second location, in Southampton, Bucks County, is being planned. Both are former Taco Bells.
March 27, 2015
THE GRAND FINALE of the 2015 Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly contest was a blast - a blast of very-late-winter snow! On Friday, three hours before spring's start, Philly was covered in wet, white stuff, jamming traffic and slamming our final judging event at Weavers Way Chestnut Hill. Two of our perennially prompt judges arrived late, as a fallen tree closed Lincoln Drive, and many of those expected wound up being thwarted from attending. Still, a healthy throng of vegan and vegan-curious spectators cheered our judges (Frank Olivieri Jr., Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Dr. Ana Negron and dietitian Ed Coffin)
March 20, 2015
THE PEOPLE have spoken in this year's contest to name the Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly , with more than 1,800 votes cast by more than 1,500 interested voters since the contest began on Feb. 26. It was a hard-fought race for the finals in the last few days, as Royal Tavern staked out the top spot, while Blackbird, Vegan Commissary and Jerry's Kitchen wrestled back and forth over second and third places, with Blackbird nailing second...
March 13, 2015
WITH SNOW melted, temps in the 50s instead of the 20s and evening daylight, spring suddenly seems imminent. And next Friday, March 20, on the first day of spring, Weavers Way in Chestnut Hill will host the final judging event of our contest to name the Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly. This will be part of an all-day celebration of the Great American Meatout at Weavers Way, which also will feature vegan cheesesteaks at its hot bar that day. Our panel of judges - author and M.D. Ana M. Negron, Councilwoman Cindy Bass, registered dietitian and activist Ed Coffin and Pat's Steaks proprietor Frank Olivieri Jr. - will taste the top three qualifying sandwiches on the philly.com ballot (find it at philly.com/vegancheesesteak )
March 11, 2015 |
'When all goes wrong . . . smile a lot. " Such was the advice that conductor Scott Terrell gave to the everyday people who stepped up to lead a Philadelphia Orchestra contingent Monday at the Reading Terminal Market. Orchestra players have performed pop-ups from Macau to the Comcast Center, and Monday morning word went out on the Internet that this one would be a "Conduct Us" program, where listeners could become participants and get a souvenir baton. No way the entire orchestra could fit at the northerly end of the crowded market, of course.
March 6, 2015
WITH 25 NOMINEES and counting, the 2015 Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philadelphia contest is in full swing, and the competition is already getting fierce. If your favorite is among the existing nominees, you can vote for it once per calendar day here: philly.com/vegancheesesteak . And if it's not, write it in! The top 10 vote-getters will be listed in the Daily News on March 19. The top three qualifying finalists will submit sandwiches for final judging at a gala event at Weavers Way Chestnut Hill on March 20 at 4 p.m. Our judges will be: * Frank Olivieri Jr., proprietor of Pat's King of Steaks and grandson of cheesesteak co-originator Harry Olivieri.
February 27, 2015
LAST YEAR, the Daily News inaugurated our contest to find the best vegan cheesesteak in Philly. We were curious to see how many places offered a meatless, cheeseless version of the iconic Philadelphia sandwich. The public nominated 23 venues, and, in the final tasting event, Blackbird Pizzeria took the honors. Yet, even as the greasy foil wrappers were being wadded up for disposal, cries of "wait till next year!" were heard among the runners-up. Now Blackbird aims to defend its title as we seek the 2015 Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly . Voting opens today and ends at noon on March 18. One voter chosen at random will win dinner for two at Flora Restaurant, in Jenkintown.
December 11, 2014 |
NOTE TO VISITING CELEBS: If there's one way to get Philadelphians to love you, it's to publicly disparage any football team that is not the Eagles. Yesterday, comedian Chris Rock , a brilliant man, started his introduction of his new movie, "Top Five," with a rousing "Go Eagles. F--- the Ravens. " The crowd at the Ritz Five went wild. Of course, the next stop on Rock's five-city promotional blitz was Baltimore, where he tweeted, "You guys were great. " Could it be that Rock was being insincere about his distaste for the Ravens in order to promote his movie?
September 2, 2014 |
Among many enlightenments realized from the controversy over the "Speak English" sign at Geno's Steaks was this: The cheesesteak experience in Philadelphia is a situational one, varying from vendor to vendor and griddle to griddle. Now comes a former financial planner whose goal is to bring consistency to the recipe - with a franchise. At Wit or Witout? - Philly-speak for whether you want onions - gentility in addition to high-quality products will be served in sun-splashed, roomy dining areas, says Tony Altomare, the man behind what is now a two-store chain (in Mayfair and Red Lion)