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.
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.
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.
August 15, 2011
THE SIMPLE mathematics say they are on pace for 106 victories. A lot can slip between the cup and the lip, as Don King used to say, but the math says the 2011 Phillies will win more regular-season games than all but a handful of teams in baseball history, and more than they ever have in theirs. And this makes you what? Thrilled? Happy? Excited beyond belief? Of course not. That would be like putting ketchup on a soft pretzel or Gouda on a cheesesteak. You're anxious already.
July 12, 2011 |
It's been a tough week for one of Philadelphia's original cheesesteak shops. Nearly a week after the co-owner of Jim's Steaks, William Proetto, passed away, a 60-year-old manager was robbed over the weekend of $32,000 he was taking to the bank. The third-generation employee, whose identity has not been released, was tackled as he left the shop at 4th and South streets Sunday night, police said. He was not seriously injured. But tragedy can't shake the 72-year-old, family-owned and -operated business.
May 17, 2011 |
On Saturday, expect a great lifting up and incredible rumbling. Super-quake freeing corpses to rise to Heaven as the world clocks out that evening, as some are predicting? No, we're talking lifting cheesesteaks and rumbling digestive systems - as well as roller coasters - as world-class eaters chow down on Subway sandwiches in the afternoon at Dorney Park. Last year, the contest's first, the world's top-ranked eater, Joey Chestnut, consumed 19 six-inch segments - 9.5 feet - to set the world Philly cheesesteak eating record, according to the Major League Eating association.