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.
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)
June 26, 2015 |
A stack of Vetri family cookbooks sits on a low wall beside the open kitchen at tiny Los Jiménez Cocin on Oregon Avenue as a proud reminder of owner Justino Jiménez's decade-plus of cooking in the Italian kitchens of Vetri and Amis. But his new Cocin (short for cocina) is a pure authentic throwback to Jiménez's taqueria roots before coming to Philly from Mexico in 2001. His specialty, the tacos al pastor you'll see spinning on a vertical spit in back, is especially worth a taste.
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.
December 18, 2015
Congee comfort beyond Chinatown Riffs on Asian street food, from spring rolls to bao, have become common in mainstream restaurants. But the gruel-like rice porridge known as congee had yet to make that leap beyond Chinatown - until now. In Queen Village at the Living Room, which replaced Cups & Chairs in September, Ting Wang was hoping to create her own version of the American-style brunch places that have apparently become trendy in her native China....
January 1, 2016 |
It's a custom among some Philadelphians to spend New Year's Day covered in sequins, walking along Broad Street, drinking beer and dancing. Others adhere to an alternative tradition, best practiced in private, involving abundant groaning and clutching of the head and the toilet tank. That is, of course, the New Year's hangover. How best to treat this annual affliction is a matter of some debate. So we turned to the pros - local chefs, who tend to put in late hours and, perhaps, partake in the occasional, end-of-the-night-shift drink.
May 16, 2014
The Flying Deutschman What to get: Start with the bratwurst ($4), because if you're having German street food, you gotta start with some sausage. This juicy, grilled link is The Flying Deutschman's best seller, served with their German mustard on a piece of cardboard with a tiny slice of bread. Rip off a small piece of the cardboard and use that to hold the bratwurst as you eat it, says truck owner Stirling Sowerby, a native of Germany. Other main menu items include five types of schnitzel ($5 to $6.50)