Where to Find Fresh Produce in Philly

philadelphia-produce-farmers-market

Michael Anastasio Produce, Inc.

Italian Market911 Christian Street
When to Go: Year-round, Monday through Saturday.
Why to Go: Though Anastasio is primarily a wholesaler (it supplies many restaurants in the area), on weekends, staffers set up right in front of the Christian Street warehouse and offer the same fresh herbs, salad greens and Italian specialties to the general public that they sell to their restaurant clients.
Don’t Miss: Kennett Square is known as the “Mushroom Capital of the World” (because the world needs a mushroom capital?), but the variety of mushrooms on offer here could make it Philly’s go-to spot for edible fungi.

Farmer’s Daughter Farm Market

Spring City3190 Schuylkill Road
When to Go: Year-round, seven days a week.
Why to Go: This market, not far from Phoenixville, started almost 30 years ago in the back of a pickup truck, selling the pickings from just a half-acre of sweet corn. Today that famous crop is grown on 40-plus acres and sold in a proper market.
Don’t Miss: The sweet corn obviously remains a big draw during the summer, and the homegrown, seasonal vegetables, beans and fruits are always worth the trip. But Farmer’s Daughter is also one of those farms that offer family events throughout the year, so if you’re looking for somewhere to pick pumpkins with the kids, this is the place.

Doylestown Farmers’ Market

Doylestown25 S Hamilton Street
When to Go: Saturday mornings, April through November.
Why to Go: Perfect for your locavore sensibilities, since most of the vendors at the market come from within 15 miles. For those after more than just beets and kale, vendors offer prepared foods, baked goods, fresh flowers and meats.
Don’t Miss: Out of the 20-some vendors at Doylestown Farmers’ Market, not one but two stands specialize in pickles: Don of Don’s Gourmet Pickles has been making his classic (not Vlasic) bread-and-butters for more than 50 years, and Philly Bill’s Dills offers preservative-free dills. Pick your pickle first, then build a sandwich around it from the local breads, cheeses and produce.

Kennett Square Farmers’ Market

Kennett Square101 East State Street
When to Go: First and third Fridays, December through April; every Friday, May through November.
Why to Go: For more than 10 years, cooks have been cashing in here on the bounty of this region: heirloom tomatoes, mountains of berries, cheeses, prepared foods, fresh veggies and meats from local farms.
Don’t Miss: The Rambling Roots Farm and London Vale Farm stands are some of the greenest out there: fresh herbs, collard greens, arugula, radishes and kale are all yours for the grabbing.

Upper Merion Farmers’ Market

King of Prussia175 West Valley Forge Road
When to Go: Every Saturday, May through November; every other Saturday starting November 23rd.
Why to Go: This is a producer-
only market, meaning vendors must come from within a 100-mile radius and are only allowed to sell the breads, meats, fruit butters, ciders, sauces, and fresh fruits and vegetables they produce themselves.
Don’t Miss: The fresh guacamole and salsa prepared on-site by Anita’s.

Phoenixville Farmers’ Market

Phoenixville200 Mill Street
When to Go: Every Saturday, May through November; every other Saturday, December through April.
Why to Go: This market, which sets up every week under the Gay Street Bridge, is another that accepts only local growers and producers. You can pick up everything from John & Kira’s Chocolates and locally raised bison steaks to Asian pears, salad greens and all-natural vegetables.
Don’t Miss: If you get stressed out by all the local farmer and artisan stands, stop by Steve Waldman’s “Back to Health” massage stand, or Ocean Earth Wind Fire for an early-morning, family-friendly yoga class.

Sook Hee’s Produce

Center City1701 John F Kennedy Blvd
When to Go: Year-round, Monday through Saturday.
Why to Go: In the hustle and bustle of shops at the Comcast Center, Sook Hee is the ultimate urban grab-and-go produce stand, with fresh fruits and veggies to take home and to-go salads for lunch.
Don’t Miss: Stop by the popular juice bar anytime for juices and smoothies made with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fair Food Farmstand

Reading Terminal Market51 N 12th Street
When to Go: Year-round.
Why to Go: This repeat Best of Philly winner packs a whole farmers’ market’s worth of local produce, meats, cheeses and baked goods into one small stand. We named FFF “Best Way to Take Advantage of the Buy Fresh, Buy Local’ Craze” back in 2005, and haven’t changed our minds since.
Don’t Miss: The best in local produce, all in one place. Think of it as an expert curator, taking all the guesswork out of your produce shopping.

West Chester Growers Market

West Chester200 N Church Street
When to Go: Every Saturday, May through December; first and third Saturdays, January through April.
Why to Go: Since opening in 1995, this has been a vital link between the region’s many farm families and the community that supports them. Almost 20 years on, four of the founding farmers who helped start the market are still here, alongside the 20-odd other vendors.
Don’t Miss: If you need Asian vegetables, Queens Farm’s got plenty of them. Started in 2003 to remedy the dearth of Asian vegetables in the region, Queens Farm has seen demand grow for the huge variety of produce it offers, from the well-known (bok choy, soy beans) to winter melon, kabocha, malabar spinach, and other things you’ve never heard of.

Joe Coffee Open and Serving Talula’s Daily Bites

Joe-coffee-ucity

Great news for caffeine addicts and returning students in University City: Joe Coffee officially opened its new location on Drexel’s campus. “Joe Chestnut” is the first business to open in Drexel’s Chestnut Square complex, though Shake Shack is getting close.

In addition to Joe brand coffee, the bi-level shop is offering local food coming from Aimee Olexy’s Talula’s Daily, pastries, muffins, scones and cookies arriving every day from the flagship Ovenly bakery in Brooklyn.

Talula’s Daily offerings » 

Zama Now Offers a Sbraga Roll

Sbraga Roll at Zama

Today, Global Philly 2013 kicked off with a special event at ZamaHiroyuki ‘Zama’ Tanaka and Kevin Sbraga were on hand to unleash the “Sbraga Roll.” The sushi roll is the latest collaboration from Tanaka who has conspired with many of Philadelphia’s best chefs and top celebrities to create a series of unusual rolls. Chef Sbraga suggested some of his favorite ingredients for the roll that will be served at Zama over the course of Global Philly 2013, from September 15 to November 1. The Sbraga Roll is a sushi roll with dill, jalapeno, avocado and crispy shallot topped with a Panko-crusted bite of dorado.

Global Philly is an international exposition, presented by the Global Philadelphia Association. Sbraga, who is leading the culinary part of the initiative, has rounded up some of his chef contemporaries to participate in the month-and-a-half long event to offer “Global Philadelphia” appetizer specials.

Starting at $12, the appetizers will be found at Sbraga’s eponymous modern American restaurant as well as at restaurants like Tashan, Bistro La Minette and Zinc , La Calaca Feliz, Zama and Han Dynasty.

  •  Sbraga will feature a steak tartar with French onion dip and a pea tendril salad.
  •  Tim Spinner (La Calaca Feliz) will spotlight the Al Pastor Pork Taco.
  • Bistro La Minette’s Peter Woolsey created a salmon tartare with lentils and a blood orange vinaigrette.
  • Han Chiang of Han Dynasty will offer a lamb dumpling with garlic sauce vinegar sauce.
  • And of course Zama will feature the Sbraga roll.

GlobalPhilly 2013 [Official Site]

Back to School in University City

shake-shack-chestnut-square

The best part of going back to school is seeing your friends again and hearing about what they did this summer. And if you consider University City a friend, you’ll be excited to hear what happened over the summer to the neighborhood as new restaurants have opened and even more will swing open their doors this fall.

What, you didn’t know one University City campus is getting a Shake Shack put in right by the school cafeteria? And did you see that Irish bar take over space in the Left Bank? Did you hear about the anniversary discount happy hour at one of University City’s finest Mexican restaurants? No?

Catch up with look at what’s new, what’s opening soon and what events are coming up in the land of Penn and Drexel.

What’s new, what’s coming to University City » 

The List: 7 Great New Jersey Songs that Have Nothing to Do With Superstorm Sandy

You’ve heard “Stronger Than the Storm.” You’ve heard it so many times.

At last, there’s a new batch of eff-Sandy songs now that the Stronger than the Storm Jersey Shore Soundoff has announced three finalists for the Jersey Shore song of the summer competition. You have until Aug. 25 to vote for your favorite.

But the winner will have pretty stiff competition in the Best Jersey Song Ever department. For a state everyone likes to dump on, New Jersey sure has a lot of songs written about it.

 

On the Way to Cape May” written by Maurice “Buddy” Nugent
You’ve probably heard this musical tour of the Jersey Shore playing on the radio while stuck in Friday traffic en route to the towns mentioned in the classic anthem — Ocean City, Sea Isle, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Wildwood, Cape May Court House and, of course, Cape May. Regional artists like Al Alberts and Philly Cuzz and the Shoobies helped popularize the song for a national audience.

 

Jersey Bounce” by Ella Fitzgerald

The Queen of Jazz became an honorary Garden Stater when she recorded this classic big band song for not one but two of her albums.

 

The Diamond Church Street Choir” by The Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem and its Red Bank-born lead singer Brian Fallon have been called the heir to Bruce Springsteen’s Jersey rock throne, and the band has not shied away from referencing both New Jersey and The Boss. “The Diamond Church Street Choir” is an ode to the New Brunswick bar at which the band played its first show.

 

Everything’s Going to Be All Right” by Naughty by Nature

The East Orange hip-hop trio introduced a new Jersey Sound with this song — titled “Ghetto Bastard” in explicit versions — that reworked Jamaican icon Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” to detail life growing up in New Jersey.

 

Fear and Loathing In Mahwah, NJ” by Titus Andronicus

The punk/indie rock band from Glen Rock doesn’t directly mention New Jersey in the lyrics like it does with other songs, but with a title like that, it doesn’t need to.

 

Anything by Bruce Springsteen

You didn’t think we forgot him, did you? The Boss’s reign also extends to New Jersey music — we could make a whole separate listicle about Bruce Springsteen songs about New Jersey. After all, his first album’s called Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.

Springsteen started his Jersey Shore Sound career with obvious hits like “Atlantic City” and “4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy),” but The Boss hasn’t forgotten about his home state just because he lives in houses that aren’t in the Garden State. On the title track of his latest album, Wrecking Ball, Bruce starts off saying he “was raised out of steel here in the swamps of Jersey, some misty years ago.” And then there’s the digital download of “A Night With the Jersey Devil” that The Boss released on Halloween five years ago; it’s about the mythical creature Coheed & Cambria also sang about in “Devil in Jersey City.”

 

Anything by Bon Jovi

Oh, right, the other big rock ’n’ roller from the Jerz. Like Springsteen, Bon Jovi gave his state an album (simply, New Jersey) but some of his biggest hits, like “Livin’ On a Prayer,” pay homage to his Jersey roots.

Bon Jovi loves New Jersey so much, he wrote a song about it, lovingly called “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and recorded both a rock version and a country version (above), featuring Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland.

 

The List: 5 Philly Sports Promotion Fails

To get fans pumped for the upcoming season, the Philadelphia Flyers invited fans to the Wells Fargo Center today to … watch paint dry. The Facebook event encouraged people with nothing better to do on a Monday morning to bring cameras so they, too, could capture the Kodak moment of … paint drying and come home with a souvenir to remember that time they … watched paint dry.

Of course, this is not the first time the marketing department of a Philadelphia sports team has missed the net on a promotional event. Here’s a list of other “what were they thinking?” Philly sports promotions:

1. 1972: Philadelphia Phillies, “Kiteman

For the opening day of the 1971 season, the Phillies’ backup catcher threw the first pitch out of a helicopter, so the team knew they had to top that for the opening day of the 1972 season. Team chairman Bill Giles decided to hire a man known for jumping off cliffs with a kite on his back to throw the first pitch, but when the players went on strike and pushed the start of the season back a week, the original “Kiteman” wasn’t able to do it. Scrambling to find another “Kiteman,” the Phillies hired a hardware store owner with experience flying kites in shows. Because obviously flying kites is basically the same as jumping off a cliff wearing a kite.

Shockingly, the replacement “Kiteman” was too scared to ski down then jump off the 140-foot ramp to deliver the ceremonial game ball to Mayor Frank Rizzo at home plate, even after his name was announced over the P.A. multiple times and the crowd of 38,000 Phillies fans started booing. The booing continued after “Kiteman” finally took a step off the ramp, was blown off the chute, and fell down rows of seats before crashing into the railing of the upper deck of the 500 Level. Though he miraculously survived the fall and managed to hold on to the ball, the poor guy tried to make up for the gaffe by throwing the ball to home plate, though he ended up throwing it into the Phillies’ bullpen located 400 feet from the diamond.

Perhaps starting a tradition of trying the same thing and expecting different results, the Phillies asked the same “Kiteman” to try the stunt again the next season — though he failed just as spectacularly. A second “Kiteman” was similarly unsuccessful. A third “Kiteman” in 1990, however, finally delivered the ball to home plate.

2. 2012, Philadelphia 76ers, National Constitution Center Prank

To bolster their home -court advantage for Game Four of the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Sixers tried to intimidate the Boston Celtics by turning the National Constitution Center’s statues of Massachusetts delegates into Sixers fans. For a brief, glorious moment, the life-sized statues were decked out in Philadelphia 76ers jerseys, hats, pennants and foam fingers. Uh, good one, Sixers! That’ll show those Massholes who they’re working with!

Too bad the move didn’t throw the Celtics off their game, as the team ended up beating the 76ers and advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.

Maybe the Eagles would have better luck throwing some green on the defenseless statues. After all, those delegates were actual New England patriots.

3. 1979, Philadelphia Phillies, Saturday Night Special

The Bleacher Report named the maroon jerseys worn by the Phillies for one game on May 17, 1979, the ugliest MLB uniforms of all time. And the monochrome pajama uniforms were only worn once before the negative reaction prompted the Phillies to retire those alternate home uniforms forever!

As Bugs Bunny would say, “What a maroon!”

4. 2013, The IronPigs, Free Funeral Contest

Some sports teams offer free tickets or T-shirts. But did minor league baseball team the IronPigs make a, um, grave miscalculation earlier this summer when they announced a contest for a free $10,000 funeral or memorial package that required fans to submit a 200-word essay describing their ideal funeral and why they deserve it? No word on whether there’s an, ahem, expiration date for the lucky winner to cash in on the free casket, body removal and preparation, and funeral ceremony complete with hearse, headstone, and floral arrangement. The winner will be announced tomorrow for the team’s “Celebration of Life” night marking the home game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

IronPigs General Manager Kurt Landes called the giveaway “the most highly-coveted ‘out-of-the-box’ promotion in IronPigs history,” but methinks someone in the marketing department was either out of their minds or out of ideas when they came up with this promotion.

5. 2012, The Philadelphia Eagles, Flight Night

The Philadelphia Eagles do not have a good history with “Flight Night,” that special time of year when parents pay 30 bucks (but kids get in free!) to watch a full-team practice mixed in with contests and prizes. In 2009, punter Sav Rocca punted a football into the stands and asked for the receiver to throw the ball back, but the fan — who apparently was no Donovan McNabb — ended up hitting another fan and breaking her wrist. Instead of suing the person who actually hit her, the injured woman ended up suing Rocca and the Eagles two years later for “permanent personal injuries.” Things weren’t much better in 2012, when one of the highlights of Flight Night was a laser show — because no one at Lincoln Financial Field got the memo that laser shows stopped being cool in the ’70s.

Not surprisingly, this year the Eagles cancelled Flight Night.

5 Projects Changing Philly For the Better, Schuylkill Boardwalk Edition

The Schuylkill River will be getting a boardwalk added next year, but what works are also giving Philadelphia a much-needed cultural face-lift? Read on for the projects paving the way for a better city, from arts and community developments to recently created or planned public spaces.

1. Bike-riders and walkers rejoiced when news came out that the 2,000-foot-long boardwalk extension of the Schuylkill Banks trail plans on opening next August or shortly after, depending on this winter’s weather. Starting at Locust Street and running parallel to the river’s eastern shore until it’s connected with a ramp to the South Street Bridge, the Schuylkill River Trail has slowly become more coherent and connected in recent years, with plans to create one continuous trail from Pottsville to Southwest Philadelphia now in the works.

2. Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund was busy this year opening Grays Ferry Crescent Skatepark a few weeks ago and Franklin’s Paine Skatepark, the largest public skate plaza in North America, in May after 10 years of fundraising and planning. What’s up next on the agenda? The organization is currently working on rolling out skateparks in Mantua, Nicetown and Chestnut Hill.

3. Sansom Street’s Roxy Theater closed last September, but the Philadelphia Film Society scooped it up and started renovating it in the hopes of opening it long before their annual Philadelphia Film Festival starts Oct. 17. Though the open date has been pushed back month after month, PFS executive director J. Andrew Greenblatt has said that the contractors told him the theatre should be up and running in October.

4. Legendary jazz musician John Coltrane honed his craft during his early years in Philadelphia from 1943 to 1958. The Preservation Alliance’s Coltrane initiative is working with the nonprofit John Coltrane House organization to repair his Strawberry Mansion house on N. 33rd Street. The house was inherited by his cousin Mary Lyerly Alexander — the inspiration for his song “Cousin Mary” — when he passed away at age 40 in 1967. Recognized as a national historic landmark in 1999, the house stayed in the family until Mary passed away in 2004. A devoted fan purchased the house with the intention of making it a museum, and his family carried out the legacy by forming a nonprofit organization to raise money to repair the house. Though the project is not completed, the house has hosted workshops, performances and tours before.

5. For all of you out there who have been making calls and ritual sacrifices for Philadelphia to get an American Goddess Museum, your prayers will be answered when the museum is expected to open in three to four months. The space, located by Norris Square in Kensington at 2007-13 N. Second St., is in an enormous hall originally built in 1890. It  was used as a public space for singing societies and social clubs for German or Hungarian immigrants and their American offspring and later became the site of the Polish Institute of America. In 2011, the 18,000-square-foot property was purchased by new owners, Pan Yu Zhen and Schicktanz Qiong Zhao, with the intent of becoming an American Goddess Museum, which already trademarked its name and has its own website up with pictures of goddess-related art. Not much else is out there about the museum or its owners, but many goddesses are known for tricking humans, after all.

The List: 5 Recent CNN Fails, In Chronological Order

Jon Stewart famously called CNN “The Human Centipede of News” and “The Most Busted Name in News” after the channel broke inaccurate information in the Boston Marathon Bombing aftermath. When the top 24-hour news channel erroneously identified where the fatal shooting of three people took place in Eastern Pennsylvania earlier this week, it certainly didn’t help their reputation as the Network That Confirmed Wolf (and no, not longtime CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer).

Here are 5 recent CNN fails, in chronological order:
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Foobooz Six Pack: Stuffed Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

MeltKraftValleyThunder

Put down the white bread and step away from the Kraft singles—we’ve found a list of stuffed grilled cheese sandwiches so loaded and gluttonous that they definitely aren’t your average comfort food must-haves.

These aren’t your mom’s grilled cheeses, and you know what? They aren’t even sandwiches you want to tell your mom about because you know she’ll start jabbering about silly things like cholesterol and pesky little heart attacks.

These sandwiches, stuffed with multiple meats and cheeses and standard menu items squished together between different breads slathered with different types of butters and sauces, are stuffed with a dictionary of culinary bad words: fat, bacon, cheese, grilled, fried, baked, crispy, oozing, dripping, melting…

You don’t have to be in a bad mood to eat them, but you’ll definitely feel happier once you’ve started in on any of these six stuffed grilled cheese sandwiches:

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