Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Mmmmm

I know – I have a knack for posting things that are happening on the same day of my post. Here’s about 17 hour’s notice for something going on tomorrow. Do you like to eat? I do. I’m also planning a fancy mushroom soup for dinner, and I know where to get those ‘shrooms: Reading Terminal Market. PLUS, tomorrow is their Souper Bowl and International Comfort Food Festival. There’s going to be a soup contest, as well as a jazz band and some children’s activities. Groovy. Watch out, kiddies! I’ll be getting there hungry.

Fast food by the sort of still new Target

Last night we had several errands to run in the City Line/Main Line area, including a Target stop so my husband could pick up the special two-disc edition of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean.

Since I’m always starving after work, I suggested we try the new Chipotle right there. We were both excited for a little pseudo-Mexican food, and I had heard good things about Chipotle. Well, we never did get to taste that food. The restaurant is very poorly designed, with nowhere near as much seating as necessary to accommodate dinner hour customers. I can’t imagine what a mess it is at lunch. We could have ordered and eaten in the car, but why bother?

We ended up just a few doors down at the Pei Wei asian diner. It was also crowded, but had more seating and an effective number system. They turn tables very quickly, and the meal definitely feels rushed. The food is pretty decent, though and the service extremely friendly and polite.

I was also shocked to find, lo and behold, alcohol! They serve beer and wine right there, no bracelets, no 21+ room, everyone mixed in. Parents could have wine with their meal with a child on their lap. PFCCB (corporate overlords of said chain) must have done quite the job on the LCB.

Philafoodie reviews Cochon

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Last Saturday night, I had the opportunity to eat at Cochon, the relatively new French BYO at the corner of Passyunk and Catharine in Queen Village. Scott and I went along with Philafoodie so that he could have one last taste of the food and take pictures for the review he posted today. David’s review is really wonderful and complete, but here are my two cents anyway.

The food at Cochon is deeply pleasurable. There were moments when I would take a bite and need to stop and close my eyes. The crispy chicken livers were so good, sweet and crispy on the outside but still retaining deep pockets of melting softness on the inside. I wanted that bowl to last forever. If you are like me, always looking for food experiences that make you stop, focus and enjoy (and you eat meat) I definitely recommend that you find the time to have a meal down there.

Photo <a href=”Philafoodie_s%20Cochon%20picture.jpg“>link

Bar Ferdinand

This past Saturday we celebrated not one but two friends birthdays with Northern Liberties as the chosen location. The liberties walk is somewhat odd to me, great little places surrounded by depressing vacant lots. Fortunately, the great little place we went to, Bar Ferdinand, was so good the vacant lots were quickly forgotten.

My one and only complaint about this place is they refused to seat us without our whole party. The bar was packed, and if they had given us a table they would have made some nice cash from our drink orders. tuna tuna tuna

The food though! The tapas selection is overwhelming, and our sweet waitress couldn’t help much as she listed at least four favorites from each section. We shared two pitchers of sangria, not quite in season but tasty nonetheless, and two people ordered a speciality drink called “Grenada” which also received very good reviews.

We each ordered at least two dishes and shared, although I kept my baked goat cheese (cabra) to myself. The fried calamari was deemed “the best I’ve ever tasted” due to the unique sesame not-quite breading. My tuna and duck were both perfectly rare and delicious while the birthday girls raved about their empanadas.

Bar Ferdinand offers a perfect setting for social eating. I wouldn’t recommend it for a romantic date as it gets a bit crowded, and the more people you have, the more dishes you try!

24/7

I’m not sure if they know it, but the owners of the new 24/7 Food Mart at 2nd and Christian are false advertising. I’m wondering if they know that 24/7 means shoppers are assuming that means they will be open 24 hours a day, all 7 days of the week. I’ve only been in twice since they took over the former Wawa, quite suddenly, last week. The workers are completely different, and very nice. The atm is still free. The food ordering screens are gone (boo!), but the deli is there, and there are more food items on the shelves (yay!). I have to say that, as a Wawa, it was pretty shoddy, compared to most. To my point: just today, I noticed the very prominent signs on their doors, which posted the hours as some morning hour (sorry, I didn’t notice the opening time) to 1a.m. every day. Huh??

South Philly Tap Room

I spent a big part of the day tagging along with a friend, her boyfriend and her realtor as they looked as houses in South Philly. After three hours of power walking up and down streets south of Washington Ave. and going through more rowhouses than I can count, we needed food and headed to the South Philadelphia Tap Room.

I realize that the Tap Room has been open for at least a couple of years, but this was my first visit down there. Hopefully it won’t be the last though, because the beer list is amazing (this was the first time in my life I’ve come across a bar with organic beer on tap) and the food. Oh, the food. I had a Wild Boar Burrito that was filled to bursting with tender, spicy meat and topped with smoky sauce that had more than a little kick. It came with a mixed green salad that had a cooling ranch-style dressing drizzled on top. The plantain nachos (I nabbed a bite from the house hunter’s plate) were a tasty reinterpretation of a stand plate of nachos and the towering burger was filled with beef that had to be ground in-house. I’m already trying to find a time for my next visit.

Minar Palace returns!

And I begin to weep in joy! According to Foobooz, who got his information from a thread over at PhillyBlog, the much-loved and much-missed Minar Palace will be returning to Center City sometime in January. They’ll be opening in a store front at 1304 Walnut, an area that already has a concentration of Indian places. Oh happy day!

Pretty Lucky Dessert

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I like burritos. Yesterday I decided to try Lucky’s Mexican Spot, located at 225 South Street, where I’ve been a few times before, and found it pretty good. I usually stick to some type of burrito, but in my Mexican food search, I am always looking for two other things: tamales and plantains. The minute I walked into Lucky’s, I smelled the plantains. Pleased. Very pleased. I ordered and ate my chicken burrito. No complaints, and I discovered the nice sauce they put on all the tables was very delicious, as well. The burrito was unadorned, just set in the middle of the plate, and nothing fancy.

My surprise, and “the best part of my day, so far,” was when I received my dessert. See, the plantains were barely mentioned on the menu, which is a little confusing. When I asked questions, I was also not really getting answers. There was a language barrier, I think. So, I took my chances and ordered the only thing I found mentioning plantains, on the back of the menu. “Plantains with sweet cream sauce.” I pictured a plain dish of plantains with a little bowl of cream on the side. Nah. Instead, I got a white plate, garnished with a chocolate drizzle, containing a fried tortilla bowl filled with fried plantains, peaches, strawberries, and also drizzled with the “sweet cream sauce.” So beautiful. So tasty. So unexpected. Yay, Lucky’s!

Best five buck food in town

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The above pictures is, in my humble opinion, the best plate of food you can get in Philadelphia for $5. It is the tacos al pastor from Plaza Garibaldi on Washington Ave. (between 11th and 12th Streets). Tasty crumbles of cooked pork with pineapple, corn tortillas, guacamole, cilantro and onion that just get better when you squeeze a little lime over them. If you aren’t a pig eater, you can get shredded chicken for the same price. It is definitely worth the trip.

Cheeeese!

Ok, so you will not believe me when I say I don’t shop a lot, but here’s another new place, on the east side, to buy cheese. I love cheese!! (Remember the Christmas commercial, when the little girl says, “I gave him cheese,” and there are so many presents under the tree? Love that!)

Yesterday, I was in Sonny’s, getting my cheesesteak, which turned out to be quite disgustingly drippy, and the cashier told me about the new cheese shop in Old City. So I checked it out on my lunchbreak today. It’s the Old City Cheese Shop and Restaurant, at 160 N. 3rd. St. (215-238-1716) There’s one of those old-timey dangling signs out front, so you can’t miss it. I went inside to browse, and it’s pretty cute! The owner was gracious enough to walk me to the back, where he has a “garden seating” area, closed in by high walls of other buildings, but at least there’s some fresh air for the 6 or so tables and a little fountain. He told me all about movie nights on Wed. at 8:00, in the garden area, when they have tasting plates. It’s BYOB, they boast of weekend brunch, catering, cooking classes, eat in or take out. Today, the menu board featured panini, salads, soups, and quiche. I noticed their quiche of the day and the chef preparing some quesadillas right in front of me. ON the shelves were some gourmet-type products, bread, and other cheese accoutrements. And, of course, on display in the case, there it was – lots and lots of cheeses!

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