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FOOD
February 14, 2014 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last week was something of a watershed for Nicholas Elmi: His victory on Top Chef New Orleans aired on Bravo, and - even more important, according to Elmi - his 3-month-old Passyunk Avenue restaurant, Laurel, was reviewed by The Inquirer's Craig Laban. Though Elmi had said he would "give up everything" for four bells, he had to settle for a three-bell rave. Over the past season, we learned that Elmi is both intense and intensely talented, that his desert island foods would be bread, butter and Pont l'Évêque (the latter, a cheese, appears on Laurel's dessert menu with chestnut honey)
TRAVEL
February 10, 2014 | By Ilene Raymond Rush, For The Inquirer
KEY WEST, Fla. - I'm sitting in the audience at the San Carlos Institute on Duval Street in Key West, my stomach churning the glass of Montepulciano that I consumed to quell my nerves, surrounded by 50 or so aspiring writers of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. We're in Day 2 of our four-day workshop, led by such writers as poet Billy Collins, humorist Daniel Menaker, and novelist Susan Richards Shreve. While fellow snowbirds focus on their third mojito at Coyote Ugly or croon karaoke during the female drag show down the street, the auditorium where I sit is jittery with ambition and fear.
NEWS
January 30, 2014
B ARBARA DEVAN, 32, of Southwest Philadelphia, is chef, owner and CEO of Tasties, a soul-food restaurant on 52nd Street above Girard in West Philadelphia. This month she got city approval to run a food truck in University City. She plans to open a second Tasties restaurant next month on Germantown Avenue near Queen Lane in Germantown. Q: How did you come up with the idea for Tasties? A: I started Tasties in North Philadelphia in 2007. But after a year, I took a break to really find myself.
NEWS
January 12, 2014 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
RESTAURANTS Banana Leaf 1009 Arch St., 215-592-8288; bananaleafphilly.com This Penang spin-off has overtaken the original as my favorite Chinatown Malaysian due to consistency and vivid flavors. Don't miss the delicate roti canai pancakes with chicken curry, spot-on satay, steamed poh piah jicama spring rolls, crispy whole fish in tangy Thai sauce, fried squid with funky "special sauce," or the richly curried beef rendang. Bar-Ly 101 N. 11th St., 215-922-2688; bar-ly.com Come here to drink and watch a game more than to eat. But Chinatown's first craft-beer bar has 60 taps with a generally high-quality lineup (Great Lakes, Unibroue, Staropramen)
NEWS
January 9, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
ARDMORE The mixed-use residential and retail development proposed by Dranoff Properties would add 36 public parking spaces in downtown Ardmore, a representative of the firm said during a presentation to the Planning Commission on Tuesday. Josh Weingram, Dranoff project manager, also said the firm was negotiating to bring a "celebrity chef" restaurant to the planned development on Cricket Avenue. One Ardmore Place would include a three-story parking structure, 110 underground parking spaces for residents, and some surface parking.
NEWS
January 3, 2014 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
OCEAN CITY, N.J. Just as Marie Repici and her husband, Thomas, happened upon the then-for-sale Chatterbox almost 42 years ago, when they came to town to buy a pizza-dough machine and ended up buying a restaurant instead, perhaps a new owner will again stumble on the place. Marie Repici, 82, who has been through floods, deaths of close family members, and the day-to-day stresses of running an eatery, hasn't formally listed the property for sale after recently deciding that it's time to retire.
NEWS
January 3, 2014
SO, a Trinidadian auto specialist and a Guyanese-Muslim business strategist walk into a combination restaurant, grocery and carpet-installation center in Delco . . . That sounds like the setup to the most convoluted crack in comedic history, but it's not a joke - it's the seed that sprouted Bad Habit, a distinctive Caribbean restaurant in diverse Upper Darby. Exploring the cuisine of the islands through American-influenced street food and a halal-friendly approach, owners Sheldon Crosbie and Zahid Khan are addressing a void many don't even realize demands filling.
FOOD
January 2, 2014 | By Michael Klein, For The Inquirer
The crystal ball for the 2014 Philadelphia-area restaurant scene shows assorted bright spots: a Jose Garces restaurant where he himself will cook, a Marc Vetri project at the Navy Yard, George Sabatino's solo debut in Rittenhouse, a Mexican restaurant in Rittenhouse, a few brewpubs, a restaurant within a butcher shop, two vegan bars, a locavore-themed bar-restaurant for Washington Square West, and Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery . ...
NEWS
December 24, 2013 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writer
One woman was sitting in a window seat at La Colombe, lost in a discussion about a Macy's sale, when someone snatched her wallet from her purse. Alyssa Abbott had just finished lunch at a Chestnut Street cafe when she noticed how light her tote bag felt. And Temple University student Rachael Young was packing up her laptop at Starbucks when she realized her wallet was gone. Pickpockets. Or, more precisely, the work of what police now call "sneak thieves. " If the best friend of the coffeehouse thief is distraction, then the holiday season, with its crowded shops of hurried shoppers, offers the pickpocket prime opportunities.
FOOD
December 20, 2013 | By Michael Klein, For The Inquirer
Cuban diner from Garces Rosa Blanca - Jose Garces' Cuban diner that opened this week at 707 Chestnut St. - might be his most ambitious restaurant to date. He and his crew are executing several different concepts. It's a diner, takeout shop, rum bar, and sit-down restaurant with dishes from chef Yun Fuentes, last at JG Domestic. Hours are 7 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, so there will be breakfast served in a part of town short on options.
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