May 5, 2011
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: Welcome to this very special Philly Food Chat! Special because I've finally gotten on Twitter (@ CraigLaBan ) wa-hoo! Now you get to see a steady stream of my deep, mercifully brief thoughts on food and drink all the time. Check out my second Tweet of the day, a picture of one of my favorite new breakfast indulgences at the long-awaited, finally opened Spread Bagelry. A note on Popeye, and why he's my Twitter pal: He was my first food idol ever, and the reason I have a deep appreciation for Stouffer's Spinach Souffle (and all things spinach)
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)
January 16, 2015 |
Over the last few months, I've been souping it up in Pho-ladelphia. Home to the third largest Vietnamese population on the East Coast, this city has long been a destination for many great renditions of the deeply warming and aromatic noodle soup. Few meals in the world deliver more satisfaction for $10 or less. And since the winter chill settled in, slurping through a steamy pool of exotic broth, rice noodles, Thai basil, and sundry cuts of meat has been the equivalent of hitting the "defrost" button.
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.
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.
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)
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....
July 16, 2012 |
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Six-foot-tall speakers blare norteño music across a grass field as members of the overwhelmingly Latino crowd fan themselves and wait for the bulls to be led into a makeshift rodeo ring. Beers are drunk and tacos de lengua , made with cow's tongue, are consumed. Some watch as cowboys stretch like gymnasts against the metal fencing. Others wait their turn to dance with a young woman in cutoff-jean shorts. On the edge of the crowd, Ciro Lopez shuffles his brilliant white boots, to the amusement of his mother and son. Between crescendos of tuba and accordion, the 34-year-old warehouse manager says the event is identical to those he attended when he lived in Mexico City and visited family in the countryside.