June 13, 2011 |
A Yahoo headline today makes quite a claim: "How to Make the Perfect Steak Sandwich. " With mayo, arugula and cheddar? And open-faced? No, it's not from the Washington-addled brain of Sen. John Kerry, who once tried to order a cheesesteak hoagie with Swiss here in Philly. It's from a Left Coast gourmet place, with its own ideas. To be fair, the billing doesn't say "Philly cheesesteak," so nobody's arguing authenticity. Still, "perfect" invites comparisons.
August 19, 2010
Reader: Craig, any recommendations for the best lobster meal down the Shore? Have tried the lobster pot pie at SeaBlue at the Borgata, which was very good, and have been to the Lobster House in Cape May, the old standby. Any new places? Craig LaBan: I don't know about any "new" places: I've always felt that lobster was one thing this Shore region didn't do especially well, compared with New England. Still, if I had to get a lobster dinner down the Shore, I'd consider returning to two places - classic Busch's, one of the few places that still knows how to properly broil a lobster (my favorite way)
August 18, 2010 |
WHEN AGNES White arrived in Philadelphia in 1955 from her native Glasgow, Scotland, she lived at Front Street and Allegheny Avenue. There was a bank on the corner and Agnes decided that she would take out a loan to establish her credit in her adopted country. Perish the thought! But you didn't say no to Aggie White when she had made up her mind to accomplish something. After making her feelings known to the manager, in no uncertain terms, she got her loan. You might say that that was the beginning of a lifetime of activism and fierce determination to fight injustice wherever it reared its head.
August 5, 2010 |
The bullet holes on the front of Raseesha Brightman's Point Breeze house are a painful reminder of the day her friend was killed by two men with assault rifles. Early that morning of June 3, two men riddled her home on 21st Street near Titan with bullets as she and five others, including victim Joseph Addison, 22, sat on the stoop. "The gun was thundering," said Brightman, 23. "It's never going to be out of my mind. " Three days later, Richard Pagliarella opened the second location of his Ricci Bros.
May 3, 2010 |
THIS WEEK, one of my childhood heroes makes a pit stop on his road to redemption right here in Philadelphia. As a youngster who came of age in the waning greatness of Mike Schmidt and the patchwork teams put together with free-agent busts in the late '80s, I sought out greatness to emulate in the former Philadelphia team now on the West Coast, the Oakland A's and their Bash Brothers, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco. Before that, I looked for guidance on the ball field and, I guess, in life to Pete Rose, whose nickname, Charlie Hustle, I tried to make my own. I can hear you laughing right now, saying, "Man, this guy picked some heroes, didn't he?"
March 14, 2010 |
Passersby on 13th Street near Sansom at midday last Friday may have spotted a line spilling out the door at Sampan, the trendy, "modern" Asian spot recently opened by Michael Schulson. The draw was for something that's said not to exist, at least not outside the imagination - a free lunch. In this case it was a Vietnamese hoagie called a banh mi , offered gratis as a one-day special to promote Sampan's new lunch service. Schulson's careful upgrade of the traditional sandwich - he uses freshly grilled marinated Berkshire pork belly (not lunch meat)
December 9, 2009 |
In a crowded sandwich-eating world of hoagies, grinders, subs, heroes, and po'boys, Norristown's own zep flies somewhat beneath the radar. But in certain quarters, the intensely local, seven-decade meat-on-a-roll tradition is so closely associated with its birthplace to qualify as the Montgomery County version of Proust's madeleine. "You take any Norristown kid from the '50s and you give him now, 50 years later, a zep," said Jerry Spinelli, 68, a children's book author and Norristown native, "and he will be transported back to his hometown.
September 13, 2009 |
There's nothing glamorous about Joseph Zenobi's property near 54th and Master Streets - a broken-down warehouse next to a vacant lot fenced in with razor wire against the hazards of a hard West Philadelphia neighborhood. For a dozen years, Zenobi, 73, has used it only as a place to park trucks and machinery for his small paving company. Suddenly, this humble slice of land looks like a gold mine to the city's Board of Revision of Taxes. In its new project to overhaul property assessments, the BRT suggests the land's value has soared from $216,600 to $3.9 million - more, per square foot, than lots surrounding fashionable Rittenhouse Square.
July 9, 2009 |
You've heard of meta-analysis? That's a mash-up of multiple studies in search of a better conclusion. Apply that idea to hoagies, and, well, you've got yourself a medigan -analysis. ( Medigan being Italian-American slang for "American. ") The hope: Create a better "best hoagies" list. WIP's Great Hoagie Hunt may have sampled more than 50 sandwiches, but was that the final word? What about Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philly" picks? Or the advice of other educated palates?
July 2, 2009
If you've had the pleasure of meeting the Vietnamese hoagie, may we introduce you to another strange-but-true hybrid - the Korean taco. It was born on a roving lunch truck in Los Angeles. But it made landfall in Queen Village a few months ago at Ansill, where a Korean-American cook does an astonishingly good version. The meat is a beefy shred of braised short rib and London broil, marinated in soy, sesame oil, garlic, scallion, and honey, then stuffed into a warm, crisped flour tortilla, drizzled with barbecue sauce, and topped with brightly crunchy daikon radish kim chi.