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)
August 15, 2014 |
In Philadelphia, any time is the right time for a cheesesteak - which is why, at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, members of the committee deciding whether the city will host the 2016 Democratic National Convention found themselves at Pat's King of Steaks, eating wit or wit'out under the glare of television cameras. It's a political ritual usually reserved for candidates, but in this case, Frank Olivieri, owner of Pat's, ponied up the sandwiches for the greater good. "I think it's amazing for Philadelphia," said Olivieri, who believes the city will reap economic benefits if the Democrats choose it over rivals Birmingham, Ala.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; and Phoenix, Ariz.
August 15, 2014 |
In Philadelphia, any time is the right time for a cheesesteak - which is why, at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, some 20 members of the committee deciding whether to pick Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, found themselves at Pat's King of Steaks, eating wid or wid'out under the glare of television cameras. It's a political ritual, usually reserved for candidates, but in this case, Frank Olivieri, owner of Pat's, ponied up the steak sandwiches for the greater good.
August 8, 2014 |
BREAKFAST at the Comcast tower in Center City. Lunch at Pat's King of Steaks in South Philly. Dinners and drinks at some of the city's swankiest joints. That's the flavor of Philly that 18 members of the Democratic National Convention's 2016 site-selection committee can expect to taste Wednesday and Thursday when they come calling, right after spending two days touring Brooklyn, N.Y., to see how that borough fails to measure up to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.
June 19, 2014 |
FIRST THINGS FIRST. Here in Philly, we spell our signature sandwich in one word, not two. We sometimes shorten it to "steak. " You, know, like "Angel. " Or Whoopi. (We don't call it a "Philly. " You shouldn't, either.) Steak slingers operate all over town. They ply their wares "wit" or "witout" sauteed onions, with cheese - usually sharp provolone or gooey goldish "Whiz," as in "Cheez. " Add hot peppers for free. Here's a list of where to find 'em, in order of closest to the Con. Really close * READING TERMINAL Gotta get one for breakfast?
April 11, 2014
SURE, IT'S based on the infamous episode sparked by the late cheesesteak impresario Joey Vento posting a sign at Geno's insisting patrons place their orders in English. But at its essence, "Down Past Passyunk" is a legal drama. As in the law of unintended consequences. The A. Zell Williams ensemble piece is having its world premiere staged by InterAct Theatre Company through April 27 at Center City's Adrienne Theatre. It is an intense, thought-provoking piece that starts out as what appears to be the kind of wise-guy riff on working-class Philadelphians that Bruce Graham has taken to the bank for decades.