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)
March 14, 2014
WITH 23 venues competing and more than 1,000 votes counted in our contest for the Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly, our top three finalists have been selected: * Blackbird Pizzeria (507 S. 6th St.) * Cantina Dos Segundos (931 N. 2nd St.) * Hibiscus Juice Bar (4907 Catharine St.) Congrats to all! The three finalists will be judged in a blind taste test at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Grindcore House Cafe (1515 S. 4th St.). Thanks to everyone who eagerly volunteered to judge, but our judges are already lined up: Jonathan Bagot, of veganjawn.com; Uptown Soul Food's Takia McClendon; Christina Pirello, of "Christina Cooks"; and cheesesteak maven Frank Olivieri Jr., of Pat's Steaks.
February 21, 2014
FROM THE BEGINNING, the Philadelphia cheesesteak has been evolving. The original sandwich that caught on at Pat and Harry Olivieri's South Philly hot-dog stand in the early 1930s had no cheese - much less "Whiz," which only came along in 1952. Provolone - sorry, John Kerry haters - * was the original cheese add-on, followed soon by American. Variants of the basic item flourished around town throughout the 20th century and are still going strong in the 21st. One variant that is showing up in more and more Philly joints is the vegan cheesesteak, a seemingly self-contradictory phrase, like "icy hot" or "nonworking mother.
January 6, 2014 |
Sixty-six days after his father died in bed of a massive heart attack, Geno Vento counted backward from 10 in an operating room in South Jersey. Rattled by his father's death and haunted by a family history of heart disease, Vento had decided to enlist a surgeon's help in his lifelong battle with obesity. Heir to one of South Philadelphia's cheesesteak empires, Vento was 40, 5-foot-8, and 366 pounds. He could not bend over to tie his shoes. He could barely hoist himself off a toilet.
November 10, 2013 |
TEL AVIV - Mayor Nutter says he has learned some lessons. His commerce chief thinks he has some fish on the line. Business owners traveling with Philadelphia officials on this two-nation marketing tour say their expectations have been more than met. That is the synopsis of the self-graded report card for some of the principals in the mayor's 10-day trade trip, which started in London before flying on to this city Thursday. With the trip not to end until Monday, the consensus among participants is two thumbs up. Certainly that is the feeling of Bob Moul, president of the software company Artisan Mobile, who traveled on the London leg of the trip in part as an ambassador for the city and a dealmaker for his own firm.