December 8, 2011
There are better falafel balls in Philly - perhaps even two blocks away at Mama's Vegetarian. But Crisp, a new Center City branch of the New York chain, still manages something notable. It gives the falafel a chance at going mainstream by putting those crisp little Israeli chickpea fritters into international poses - with Greek yogurt; with guacamole and corn salsa; with African peanut sauce; with goat cheese and arugula. The most intriguing bet may be Crisp's falafel "burger," a patty-shaped disc that has a familiar feel between the buns, but with an extra crunch that I'm starting to crave.
February 17, 1999 |
The Turkish coffee is not yet done this morning, but the phone is already relentess, demanding immediate attention. Everyone is speaking Arabic, and then a word in unfamiliar dialect has them literally scratching their heads. Adding spice to the early-morning action at Bitar's Specialty Food Store & Grill, the lemony-sage aroma of coriander mingles pleasantly with the nutty sharpness of cumin and the heady fragrance of cardamom. Amin Bitar, the senior brother at 36, runs this South Philadelphia Middle Eastern grocery and sandwich shop with Jude, 34. But it was their parents, Elias, 69, and Mariette Bitar, 69, who created the business, in 1974.
August 4, 2000 |
All week, celebrities have been eating at fancy restaurants: the Palm, Le Bec-Fin, Susanna Foo. VIPs have been chauffeured all over the city. Just yesterday, in fact, George W. was down the street, visiting Gerald Ford at Hahnemann. Al Sharpton was across the park, harassing the district attorney. Arnold Schwarzenegger and that junior hunk, George P. Bush, lunched three blocks away at Circa. But would anyone famous come to the King of Falafel, the Middle Eastern food cart at the corner of 16th and JFK?
November 20, 2015 |
The truck: Ohhh, look at that truck! The alluring typeface and pastel colors - heavy on the blues, with splashes of yellow and purple - make Unique Greek one fine-looking truck. Which, by the way, is the smart move these days. Truck owners are getting increasingly creative not only with their menus, but the designs of the trucks themselves. The food: It's Greek. But is it unique? Eh, not so sure about that. Who cares though. It's good! Obviously, you need to have a gyro ($6). They have the traditional beef and lamb, but also chicken, hamburger, sausage or falafel gyros with tomatoes, red onions and homemade tzatziki sauce and french fries.
May 19, 2011
The old "good and good for you" concept gets an appealing update from twins Kriti and Kunal Sehgal at Pure Fare, their locally sourced, organic grab-and-go cafe that focuses on salads, soups, and sandwiches - plus the first local coffee bar to feature Blue Bottle beans from San Francisco. All items are under 500 calories - with trackable nutritional data for those who obsess enough to sign onto Pure Fare's proprietary software. The lunch crowd, meanwhile, positively bustles with Penn students in yoga pants, nibbling away at kale salads and muffins made with quinoa flour.
July 7, 2011 |
Interested in going to tomorrow's Vendy Awards? Or checking out the winning eats after the event? Here's what's cooking, along with our over-under on which truck will clean up. - Lauren McCutcheon Gigi and Big R Caribbean/American Soul Food Been around: 10 years. Odds: 5 to 1. (Does mac & cheese ever lose?) Eat their: Jerk chicken, fried whiting, cabbage greens, macaroni and cheese. Find them: 38th and Spruce, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily (till 10 p.m. Fridays)
October 5, 1990 |
Calling all party animals. Philadelphia is throwing a little bash Oct. 14, and you're invited. The occasion is the annual Super Sunday spectacular on the Parkway. A Mummers parade will open this year's event, which will include displays from area organizations and a wide array of entertainment. New this year: a Battle of the Bands contest and a Family Fun Stage with Michael Weilbacher of WHYY-FM's Earth Talk Saturday performing in "Rollickin' Dinosaur Revue" and hosting other events.
April 16, 1993 |
If you can't afford an Aegean holiday, grab a bottle of Greek wine and head for the Greek Village Taverna on South Street, where the taramasalata is fishing-village fresh and the atmosphere is warm and homey. This is a relatively new place - nine months old - that already seems like an old hand at conjuring up images of a taverna on Rhodes, or a country spot somewhere north of Athens. It's rustic and basic, but not without an artistic touch. Decorations, which are minimal, range from the huge watering can on the stairwell to bright prints on the stucco-like walls.
April 1, 1998 |
Somewhere there is a place where Palestinian and Israeli neighbors share plates of falafel and hummus. Their children walk hand in hand and teach each other Arabic and Hebrew in a bilingual school. Nobody ever, ever fights about politics. That place exists in a land of make-believe - the joint American-Israeli-Palestinian production of Sesame Street. The television series, which debuts today on Israeli and Palestinian television, is an effort to foster "mutual respect and understanding," in the words of Lewis Bernstein, executive producer of the Children's Television Workshop, the American partners.
May 27, 2010
Reader: Coming to Philly on June 14 for four days to see my actor son in Fiddler at Walnut Street Theatre. Any vegetarian organic restaurants of note in that area? CL: Congrats on your son's part in Fiddler on the Roof . If you're looking for straight vegetarian, the nearest one might be Horizons, an inventive and very sophisticated vegan restaurant at 7th and Bainbridge. There are other spots nearby, though, that do good vegetarian things even if the restaurant is not entirely veggie-for one, I'm thinking of Bindi, the nouveau Indian BYO at 13th and Chestnut.