May the 4th has become a real nerdy holiday for Star Wars fans and Philadelphia bars and restaurants have been getting in on the fun all day with Star Wars related specials. The fun will continue all night as Stargazy is doing a special Star Wars (“StarWarzy”) themed pop-up at the Garage and Standard Tap goes way overboard with a Star Wars themed galactic pageant, amped up by the presence of the Craft Brewers Conference.
Old City’s Fork is showing off its creativity on Wednesday nights. Every Wednesday, chef de cuisine John Patterson, pastry chef Samantha Kincaid and the entire Fork team are creating special one-night-only menus for $55 per person.
Each week’s menu is guided by a theme or central ingredient; Chef Patterson will change the focus of the menu so that no two meals are ever alike. Tonight’s menu is being described as “fun shore/picnic kind of dream menu.”
Last week, the Washington Post published an article about the Philadelphia restaurateurs coming to Washington D.C. and wondered if the next export from Philadelphia might be the Liberty Bell itself. The Post chronicled the southerly march of Philadelphia’s culinary elites like Stephen Starr, Jose Garces, Todd Carmichael and Marc Vetri, as well as the fast casual concepts like Honeygrow and HipCityVeg. Six concepts originating in Philadelphia are on the drawing board for D.C. Those will join seven Philadelphia businesses that have already landed in the nation’s capital. And then there are the future hopes of the likes of Starr, who says he’s close to nailing down two more spots and Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby (Vedge, V Street) who are actively looking for a D.C. location.
Among the reasons Philadelphia restaurants are considering D.C., proximity, demographics and it isn’t New York, which is seen as a daunting place to open and operate.
Big Gay Ice Cream is celebrating its first birthday in Philadelphia with a special collaboration sundae with Federal Donuts. The sundae includes horchata soft-serve ice cream with cinnamon donuts. The sundae will be available Friday, May 6th through Sunday, May 8th at the Broad and South location of Big Gay Ice Cream.
If you’re going to take on this Big Gay behemoth, share it with a friend, or at least skip the box of lard.
Big Gay Ice Cream [Foobooz]
The James Beard Awards were held in Chicago last night and Philadelphia will have to stick with boasting about Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s double victory at last week’s James Beard Awards for Broadcast and Journalism. Solomonov did not win for Outstanding Chef and the other Philadelphia’s chefs and restaurateurs up for awards were shut out.
On the other hand it was quite the victory to see chef Eli Kulp and the Fork/High Street team at the awards. Kulp was paralyzed in last year’s Amtrak 188 accident but was in Chicago and looking dapper for the awards ceremony.
It’s officially May in Philadelphia, and that means we’re about to embark on a month with a summer’s worth of festivals crammed into the three weekends before Memorial Day weekend. For the eaters and drinkers among us, there’s no shortage of beer festivals, cider fests, Kentucky derby block parties and — wait for it — even a goat race. Happy spring, Philly.
Last night, Kevin Sbraga showed off his Little Fat Ham at a media preview of Spruce Street Harbor Park. The Hot Fish, a seafood take on the Fat Ham’s hot chicken warmed the curious on a cool spring night. But that’s far from the only news coming from the Sbraga camp this week. Sbraga officially announced what we told you about on April 1st, the Fat Ham is opening a location at the King of Prussia Mall.
The King of Prussia location of the Fat Ham is slated to open late this summer. The 1,400 square foot, 67-seat restaurant will join more than 50 new stores and eateries in the mall’s expansion. In addition to Sbraga’s take on Southern comfort food, KoP’s Fat Ham will also offer shoppers and eaters a top-notch, whiskey-centric beverage program.
In today’s review of the Hungry Pigeon, Jason Sheehan praises chef/owner Scott Schroeder’s breakfast and lunch. He does however have some issues with dinner, namely the amount of un-stemmed greens placed on top of the goat stroganoff, a definite pet peeve of Sheehan’s.
Until, on top of all this, the kitchen adds a literal pile of rough-cut dill and green herbs so thickly applied, it’s like they were dumped on with both hands. It is a distractingly large amount of greenery, and, worse, the rustic, casual, un-fussy way it’s chopped leaves the entire dish threaded with stems that are both unpleasant in texture and astringent in flavor and do nothing but get caught in my teeth. From bite to bite I hate the dish, then love it as I catch some resonance between sweetness, sourness and the creamy, warm richness of the sauce and want more.
Tonight, The Trestle Inn’s Spirit of Wednesday features a new rye whiskey from Bethlehem’s Social Still. The not-available in stores rye is pouring tonight via complimentary tastings and $10 for a neat pour.
Social Still Rye Whiskey is 70% rye and 30% malted barley and aged for 192 days. The rye is described as having a subtle fruity aroma, and a pronounced rye flavor with a long spicy finish.
Social Still, just one of the most recent Pennsylvania distillers to hit the market focuses on obtaining Pennsylvania corn, wheat, rye, barley and other grains from family farms for their organic practices. The grains are then milled, cooked and fermented in their Bethlehem distillery. Social Still has a bar and restaurant on site if you find yourself in Bethlehem.
Philadelphia gets a six page spread in Bon Appetit’s May issue on travel. Bon Appetit’s Editor in Chief himself, Adam Rapoport spends 32 hours in town with co-worker and former 12 Steps Down employee Amiel Stanek. The pair get local help from W/N W/N Coffee Bar co-founder Anthony Fulvio as they eat and drink their way through town.
On the high end, the crew hits Vernick Food and Drink, Zahav, Kensington Quarters and a.kitchen. But they also hit small spots like Stargazy, Philly Style Bagels, Tortilleria San Roman, South Philly Barbacoa and Café Diem.
It’s an impressive 32-hours of food and drink. And at six pages, is as many as any other city is allotted in the issue.