January 12, 2012
MARIO ROMERO Bio: He's 30, from Northeast Philly. Lives in Lancaster with wife Alison, 8-year-old daughter Vivienne and 2-this-month son Cole. What's new? He's exec chef at the latest - first in Philly - Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. It opened last week in Chestnut Hill (8400 Germantown Ave., 215-948-5600, ironhillbrewery.com). Philadelphia restaurant connections: Tangerine, Angelina, Django, Striped Bass, Cuba Libre, Pumpkin. Why Iron Hill?
January 5, 2012
Menu: Looks French. Tastes American. You can't get thick crepes stuffed with Buffalo chicken or cheesesteak anywhere near Paris. Find it: Northeast corner of 13th and Norris streets, at Temple University. Hours : 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Friday. Look for : Well-worn silver truck painted blue, white and red, and papered with menu items and press clippings. Contact: 215-778-4771. Or search "Creperie at Temple" on Facebook. There since: February 2003.
December 29, 2011
FOR IDEAS as well as for individuals, New Year's is big-picture time: Where have we been, and where do we hope to go? As for the cause of animal-free eating, now that it's moved from weirdo fringe to an almost-mainstream concept, it's a good time to ask: Is this idea finally catching on? Maybe that's wishful thinking, but 2011 was a pretty big year for the plant-based diet: * A new study indicated that twice as many people are eating vegan compared with a couple of years ago. * Oprah Winfrey and her 378 staffers went vegan for a week, and other talk shows had strong coverage as well.
December 1, 2011 |
The health attributes of Philadelphia's signature foods are beyond debate. Hoagies and scrapple are salty and fatty. Soft pretzels and Krimpets are loaded with empty carbs. Cheesesteaks? All of that. But in this supersized America, a one-thousand-calorie sandwich seems to fit right in. Then why are two major Philadelphia sandwich players - Tony Luke's and Rick's Original Steaks - going smaller? Both have introduced 6-inch versions of the traditional 9-inch sandwiches at their food-court locations.
December 1, 2011
Every so often - perhaps weekly - someone futzes with the cheesesteak, removing the Philadelphia-ness from it. Enter Olivier Desaintmartin, chef-owner of Caribou Cafe in Center City, who has gone all Frenchy with his Parisian cheesesteak, which he bills as a more elegant and refined option. He starts with a Dijon-slathered French baguette, naturally, upon which he layers prime rib, haricots verts, frites, and - you say you want yours wit', pal? - gooey Brie. Get out of town.
October 30, 2011 |
Look out, Philly cheesesteak, sandwich of celebrity acclaim. The hoagie is about to put an end to your days of hogging the limelight. With the meat of a $12 million marketing machine, the region's tourism boosters are dishing out big helpings of publicity for the cold Philly sandwich that has gotten the cold shoulder as its blue-collar brother has become an A-list icon. A five-week publicity blitz effectively kicks off with a hoagie-themed tailgate competition at Lincoln Financial Field before Sunday night's Eagles-Cowboys game.
October 27, 2011 |
YOU'VE SEEN the commercial for Arby's new "Angus Philly. " How could you not? It's on all the time. In the ad, a guy hangs from the William Penn statue on City Hall, holding a sandwich. Beneath him, not-Occupy Philly-looking protesters hold signs and act angry at the dangling dude for enjoying his sandwich. Then the mad yuppies take bites of their own sandwiches. One says, "I know a good Philly, and that's a good Philly. " A "Philly?" "What is that, a 'Philly'?"
October 6, 2011
* If you live to cook as well as eat, you'll thrill at the arrival in bookstores this month of The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook , a feast of 2,000 "greatest hits" recipes meticulously tested and tenderly illuminated with photos and drawings for publication in that foodie's delight, Cook's Illustrated magazine. The hefty tome - well worth its $40 price but already discounted online - also skims the best of the magazine's advice on foolproofing culinary tasks. A must-have for every cook.
August 26, 2011
Did you agree with the late cheesesteak purveyor Joey Vento's sign saying orders must be made in English?
August 25, 2011
THE LOW POINT of Joey Vento's career probably was facing trumped-up charges that dragged him before the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. He was accused of discrimination, but no matter how high the kangaroos in the court jumped, they couldn't produce anyone who was discriminated against at his neon-loaded, nurse-clean sandwich shop. At the time of the hearing, Joey told me CHR "violated numerous civil rights of me . " The high point of Joey Vento's career was showing up at Geno's before daybreak to prepare his iconic sandwich shop for the day's business.