September 14, 2012 |
We've all been there. Lectured about "how it works here," and how wonderful the chef is and what great reviews he's gotten - all before there's so much as a glass of water on the table. We've endured the shameless up-sell of side dishes and desserts when everyone has already ordered quite enough food, thank you very much. Or watched, stunned, as the server brings the meal then lingers awkwardly, murmuring, "Wow, that looks really good, doesn't it? I'm so hungry. " The point is, service is at the heart of the restaurant experience.
August 23, 2012 |
I don't know whether this is a tale about the glories of pesto or one of faulty memory. With summery basil pesto on my mind, and the desire to do something other than dressing pasta, I recalled a favorite dish from the famed Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich. It was a cold chicken, pesto, and fresh tomato salad, the alchemy achieving greatness beyond the simple ingredients. But I couldn't remember: Did it have walnuts too? Or another something? It was years ago, nearly 20, so memory failed.
August 16, 2012
WHAT'S a local who sticks around the sticky city to do if he or she is jonesing for a fancy meal? Sit outside: Pick a place with sidewalk tables, which typically aren't reserved. "If outdoor seating is there, the wait is never that long," said Val Safran, co-owner of Lolita, Barbuzzo and Jamoner. Go early - or late: "In Philadelphia, everybody likes to eat between 6:30 and 8, so if you're flexible, you can always get in," said Yin. Keep at it: OpenTable's Scott Jampol keeps tabs on summertime business.
May 11, 2012 |
"What exactly are we making here?" asked my son Tim as the blender whirred with liquid neon. "It looks like green sludge. " "It's Petits Pois Sauce, a lovely springtime accompaniment made with, well, little peas," I told him. "It's French. " We had only just begun the cooking endeavor: teaching my kids a recipe they could prepare on Mother's Day. And already I was getting, shall we say, gentle resistance. "Who do you think is going to eat this stuff, really, Mom?" he continued.
May 7, 2012 |
If this is May, it must be pumpkin-seed-encrusted chicken breast. Or pesto grilled mahimahi. Or portobello mushroom stuffed with wild rice on a bed of sautéed spinach. The advent of spring brings many seasonal imperatives. Birds fly north. Flowers bloom. Airline food changes — slightly. Swap out the beef tenderloin with bernaise sauce, swap in the beef tenderloin with teriyaki jus. Orange chipotle chicken gives way to barbecue chicken. Out with the tortellini with vodka Alfredo sauce, in with the cavatelli with garlic olive oil. Airlines are refreshing their menus for the busy summer flying season, wooing first-class and international travelers with fare as ambitious as cramped, low-humidity, low-pressure cabins will permit.
May 6, 2012 |
My mom and dad came from Puerto Rico to stay with us after the birth of each of our sons. One of the best gifts they gave us during those weeks was to cook for us. They cooked many things, but most important, they cooked Puerto Rican rice and beans — the best comfort food for exhausted new parents. In our family, my mom, Michelle, makes the rice, and my dad, Ernesto, makes the beans. Mama takes pride in the perfect consistency of her rice: not too dry, not too oily, with just enough salt and a bit of "stuck rice" at the bottom of the pan for the crunchy-rice lovers.
May 5, 2012 |
Fewer students will be eating free breakfast and lunch in summer school this year because budget troubles are forcing the School District of Philadelphia to reduce the number of academic and enrichment programs it offers. This year, about 10,000 students will be enrolled in summer programs, nearly half of the 19,000 who attended in 2011, a district representative said. Summer school will be available only to high school seniors who need credits to graduate, special-education students, and students who qualify for education programs funded by federal grants.
April 15, 2012 |
I want government to leave me alone. I'm sick of it. Whatever happened to personal freedom? Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Government should just go away. Except for the garbage men. I love throwing stuff away. I want that to continue. I pay $11 a month for it, and that doesn't cover all the costs, so I want government to pay for the rest. Forget recyclables. I don't remember the Founding Fathers saying anything about recycling. Once the trash gets picked up, government should leave me the hell alone.
March 22, 2012 |
An excerpt from the blog "My Daughter's Kitchen. " From the first time I discovered it in the south of France, Salade Nicoise has held favored-nation status in my world of salads. My first encounter, as a 20-year-old college student traveling abroad, was an introduction met with sheer gratitude. I was a not-too-adventurous eater, trying to get by on a meager budget, and was thrilled to find something made of ingredients I actually recognized. Tuna, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, olives, onions, tomatoes.
March 22, 2012
TIME WAS, a chef could do one thing exceedingly well and make a name. But chefs and eateries in Philadelphia are starting to take pride in their versatility, adapting their cuisine to specialized needs. And yes, a big one is plant-based eating. Derek Davis, whose restaurant, Derek's, is a fine-dining fixture in Manayunk, told the Daily News earlier this month: "When I look at my menu, I see we're lacking things that are strictly vegetables, without any dairy, without any animal fats.