November 13, 2015 |
Four months after signing a historic nuclear accord with the U.S. and other western powers, Iran now has a seat at the world political table. Many details remain to be settled, though, and since negotiations generally go better over a shared meal, what better time for Iran's complex and unique culinary culture to get the spotlight? "The nuclear accord can only bode well to introducing people to Persian culture and food, which has been obscured for years by a veil of political animosity," said Louisa Shafia, the Philadelphia-born author of The New Persian Kitchen (Ten Speed Press)
December 11, 1992 |
As the daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, the little girl lived a privileged existence. She had everything: a private school, a chauffeured limousine - and a bad case of lead poisoning. Mexico City is notorious for its toxic smog, yet it didn't seem possible that this 9-year-old was contaminated in 1991 merely from breathing bad air. For one thing, none of her siblings had anywhere near the dangerous levels of lead in their blood. After conducting an extensive survey of the home of Ambassador John Negroponte, U.S. health officials traced the culprit to an unlikely source: the rustic Mexican bowl used for the punch served at diplomatic parties.
November 28, 2004 |
It had been some time since I enjoyed a good meal while a nearby phone rang off the hook. The last time was in high school, when dinner theaters were in vogue, and the phone in question was a stage prop. This time, the phone was real (though it had a theatrical r-r-ring) and merely part of the bustling take-out scene. At Ricardo's Restaurant, a cheery 65-seat eatery in one of Bryn Athyn's oldest buildings, you can get take-out as well as unhurried, sit-down meals with excellent service.
January 6, 2008 |
Jim Barnes remembers David Fogleman the kid, as just a twentysomething pup, cooking with wide-eyed ambition at the Inn Keeper's Kitchen attached to his Dilworthtown Inn. "He was constantly using all these expensive ingredients, experimenting with new food items and flavors from [magazines like] Art Culinaire," says Barnes, whose clientele at the classic inn might be described as anything but "experimental. " "I told him, 'You're killing me [on food cost],' " Barnes said. " 'If you'd like to go put someone else out of business, please, call me back when you figure it out.' " Barnes retells the story with some glee now, several years later, only because Fogleman eventually did call him back.
January 24, 1988 |
On one of the coldest nights in recent memory, Cafe Einstein had the welcome coziness of a ski resort. A fire glowed through the see-through doors of the wood stove. There was soothing music mingling with the sounds of conversation in the background. Even the life-size bathing beauty in the painting on the back wall seemed comfy-warm. With the cafe's liquor license still in limbo, the guy behind the bar (Einstein's owner, as it turns out) was unhurried enough to recognize me as a reviewer.
July 29, 1990 |
There will be soul food aplenty today as the Black Family Reunion wraps up a three-day festival in Fairmount Park. The reunion, a celebration of the black family and black traditions, kicked off in Philadelphia and will travel to four other cities this year. It will include a variety of events and lots of food regularly found in the homes of black Americans. But it's hard to imagine any food to rival the dishes served up in Eva Ritter's West Mount Airy kitchen. Ribs and chicken.
January 7, 2001 |
Many years ago, I hitchhiked across Europe on my own, staying at and cooking my meals in youth hostels. I kept two foods in my backpack at all times - they really had to be significant because I had to schlepp them everywhere: several lemons and a head of garlic. With those two ingredients I could cook dishes that would make me happy at the end of a long day of walking and sight-seeing. Even today, I can't eat fish or seafood unless I have a nice fat wedge of lemon to squeeze over top. I find that almost anything I put in my mouth tastes livelier and fresher finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
April 16, 2013 |
Tara McConnell has taken simple stoneware and turned it into kitchen gear QVC shoppers can't seem to get enough of. As chief designer and president of Temp-tations L.L.C. in Exton, McConnell is on the shopping channel twice a week, demonstrating tried-and-true 9-by-7-inch baking dishes and 21/2-quart cow-figure bakers. "This is so stinking cute," she said on a recent broadcast with host Mary Beth Roe, the camera lingering on a hand-painted casserole set. Only about 10 minutes into an hour-long show, Roe said 600 shoppers had already placed orders for cow- and chicken-theme ceramics.
February 10, 1991 |
Pasta Blitz, the latest venture by the indefatigable Lamberti family, has opened without fanfare but with lots of good, home-cooked Italian dishes. The restaurant on Route 70 quietly replaced the unlamented Boccaccio 70 in September, but it was only a few weeks ago that a banner was strung alerting us to the new ownership. Despite its name, Pasta Blitz offers a lot more than just pasta dishes. The extensive menu includes a familiar range of southern Italian cuisine, all nicely prepared at moderate cost.
October 2, 2015 |
Noord team branching out Chef Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan of the Passyunk Square hit Noord have ventured farther south (culinarily) as they've headed a new blocks north (physically) to open a second restaurant. Restaurant Neuf (943 S. Ninth St., 215-309-5847) offers dishes from southern France and north Africa in the distinctive Italian Market storefront that formerly housed the restaurant 943. Lachman's menu is studded with such seldom-seen-locally dishes as shakshuka, pan-roasted squab, a mutton burger, and the heady, cumin-scented Tunisian beef stew known as kamounia.