March 12, 2009 |
Let's cut to the chase: The reaction to the news last week that Tony Luke's, the gritty South Philly sandwich stand, was coming out with a frozen, microwavable/boil-in-a-bag version of its venerable cheesesteak was not exactly positive. "Sounds gross," was one of the milder e-mailed posts. "Two words," went another: " Nas-Tee . " "Blechhh," spat another. Then they got personal: "Tony sold out to The Man!" They had another thing in common. None of the commenters (except one, a defender)
January 7, 2010
A few things that Mumbai, India, ingrains in you: a taste for Bollywood, a tolerance of traffic, and a love of chaat , the street food of old Bombay. So I lit up when I saw Desi Chaat, a tiny, West Philly take-out storefront. The samosa had spent a little too long under the heat lamp. But the papri chaat (distinguished by boiled potatoes and chickpeas) made me smile. Your typical chaat employs a mixture of savories, in this case tossed with mango and pomegranate seeds and dotted with yogurt and mint, tamarind-date and plum sauces that you stir into crispy bits made here from (slightly oily)
January 24, 2012
The Asian street-food bandwagon has picked up some Main Line polish, as Nectar chef Patrick Feury has taken the steamed pork bun to a dangerous place: potential addiction. Feury has sourced a perfect bun, a palm-sized white cloud of fold-over pastry. But it's the pork belly inside that got me, which Feury gives the expected fusion approach, the well-trimmed meat rolled up like Italian porchetta, then basted in a dark, gingery Asian braise. Perfectly rendered, but still tender and juicy, the pork roulade is shined with hoisin, then dabbed with sriracha-spiked Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise.
December 13, 2013
What to eat: We asked co-owner Mike Sultan what's good. "Everything," he replied. Not wanting to take his word for it, we ordered a sampling of most of that day's menu. Turns out, Sultan was right. From the smoked pork carnitas with pickled vegetables and serrano aioli to the adobo-spiced carne asada beef torta with fried egg, cheese, red salsa and spicy creme, Taco Mondo instantly became one of our favorite food trucks in Philly. Don't miss: Crispy brisket tacos with house-made barbecue sauce (13 ingredients)
June 22, 2015 |
When workers at Surf City Squeeze clean fruit for the day's juices and smoothies, they use a section of the sink where they also wash dishes. Though that might be usual practice at home, in a commercial setting it would be a health-code violation if the business hadn't secured special permission from the Philadelphia Health Department. Surf City operates in Amtrak's 30th Street Station food court, where retailers and regulators have learned to improvise to fit modern sanitation standards into a historic building.
March 3, 2011
_ It's not National Pancake Week (that was in February), or even National Pancake Day (you just missed it Tuesday), but Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man (1420 Walnut St., 215-344-8150) wants to celebrate anyway, with some weekend brunch specials: Illegal Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes, with dark chocolate truffle cream, milk chocolate shavings, spiced pecans and caramelized bananas; and Royal Berries Pancakes, with candied blueberries, blood orange maple syrup. _ Philadelphia chef Jose Garces and master brewer Phil Leinhart, of Cooperstown, N.Y.'s Brewery Ommegang, will join forces at JG Domestic (2929 Arch St. at the Cira Centre, 215-222-2363)
April 16, 2009
Fans of the old-school Continental elegance that once was Overtures will likely be in for an anti-ambience shock when they step into the old Passyunk Avenue haunt to discover the bare-bones banquet-chair decor of its new tenant. But what the fledgling S&H Kebab House lacks in style, it more than makes up for in flavor and value. This Turkish grill from owners Sal Kucuk (he's the "S") and chef Hussein Yuksel (he's the "H") is all about spot-on, homemade Ottoman classics, and this iskender kebab is one of my favorites.
October 7, 2010
It's more a ripple than a wave, but we'll take it - the uptick in Indian street-food eats beyond the buffet-alley along the Penn campus. There's Desi Chaat House, serving up the fried crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt at 42d and Baltimore. And for steam-table classics, tiny, tidy Mumbai Bistro, at Ninth and Locust. Now say hello to dosas, those grand, paper-thin moons of rice crepes, debuting in the no-frills precincts of the new Philadelphia Chutney Company, 16th and Sansom. There's other South Indian vegetarian fare there (tikka, and idli and uttpa)
November 1, 2012
What is it? The owners of Calypso (formerly of the Chestnut Hill Farmers Market) went mobile last year with Mini Trini, featuring a simple menu of delicacies from the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Real street: Owner Iman Marcano said their most popular item is the traditional street food called double. "The same way you buy hot dogs on the street, [double is] what people are selling on the corners in Trinidad," Marcano said. A double is fried dough (bara) filled with curried chickpeas (chana)
July 10, 2015 |
Opa's new chef, Bobby Saritsoglou, has been on a mission to modernize Greek food by reviving some of its old-school techniques. On the tender octopus platter, for example, some lacto-fermented cauliflower pickles and a garlicky bread- and almond-thickened skordalia sauce show off some throwback moves (modern skordalia, he says, is more commonly thickened with potatoes). House-brined grape leaves get stuffed with grass-fed beef touched with fenugreek and clove. My favorite update, though, is Saritsoglou's reclamation act for gyros.