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.
March 26, 2014 |
PHILLY-BORN AND -RAISED comedian Craig Shoemaker is retiring from the stage for good. But for his next trick, he'll bring a little Philly to the West Coast. "I've decided to say goodbye to my stand-up career and move on to more purposeful things," Shoemaker said. Before he says goodbye to the bright lights once and for all, Shoemaker will play two shows (one is sold out) at the Sellersville Theater on Saturday. So what are these purposeful things Shoemaker speaks of? The L.A.-based comic will open three locations of Tony Luke's in Southern California.
March 21, 2014
THE cheesesteak question for area vegans has long been: "Who's got the best vegan version in Philly?" That's aside from the other cheesesteak question for vegans: "Why would you or anyone want to eat a vegan cheesesteak?" This week, the first question was finally and decisively answered - and maybe the second one, too! A month ago, I announced the V for Veg/ Daily News Vegan Cheesesteak contest and asked you to nominate your favorite spots. Well, more than 1,000 votes were cast for 23 Philly-area venues.
March 20, 2014 |
TWO WEEKS ago, Geno Vento stood in the back of the the Penn's Landing Playhouse. It was the VIP performance of "The Calamari Sisters' Big, Fat, Italian Wedding," and Vento, wearing a short beard, thick gold chain and T-shirt beneath a loose-fitting gray suit, unobtrusively watched the wacky musical comedy's two characters, Carmela and Delphine Calamari, sing, dance, crack jokes and cook sausages. The 42-year-old cheesesteak heir, the guy named after his family's South Philly steak shop (and not the other way around)