Let’s Be Honest: Soft-Shell Crabs Are Better as Sandwiches

Photo provided by ITV’s Kyle McCormick

There are only two reasons why we get so giddy when soft-shell season comes around, two reasons why we like eating them at all:

  1. Eating soft-shell crabs is a no-fuss way of eating crabs (which is an otherwise very fussy experience with the shell on).
  2. It makes us feel alive.

Digging into them with a fork and knife — really, eating any animal whole like that — is a pretty primal experience in itself.

But let’s take it a step further, shall we? Let’s chomp into them without using any utensils at all. Let’s just stuff them between bread and rip into them like the beasts that we are. We’re at the top of this food chain, so we might as well act like it.

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With Gravy Joint, the Virtual Restaurant Trend Officially Arrives in Philly

Last year, Ryan and Gabrielle Rubino opened BarOne across the street from their family’s restaurant — and the oldest Italian restaurants in the country — Ralph’s. As it is, the bar’s a complete departure from the old-school, red sauce stylings of its 9th Street cousin. It’s new and modern with small plates, nifty cocktails and craft beer, and while it does just fine on the Bella Vista bar scene (especially since the departure of Neuf and Coeur), there’s always opportunity for growth.

So, the Rubinos are launching a new restaurant called Gravy Joint. They’re going the fast-casual route because it’s 2017, and every restaurant owner needs some sort of off-shoot quick-serve. And, of course, it’ll be based in South Philly.

Well, sort of.

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Being a Good-Looking Bartender Finally, Really Pays Off

Vincent Stipo wears — or can wear — many different hats.

Currently, he’s MSC Retail’s Real Estate and Hospitality Consultant, meaning he’s the guy they bring in to weigh in on restaurant build-outs, or find chefs and restaurateurs spaces which match their new concepts. But he’s also the guy who helped make Palizzi Social Club’s oh-so-magical front-of-house and bar what it is today. Before that, he was High Street Hospitality’s service director and AKA Hotel’s beverage manager, and before that he was a bartender making waves in Philly’s still-just-burgeoning cocktail scene at Vernick Food + Drink.

Now, his actual face is on a bottle of pre-made Moscow Mule mixer sitting on the shelves of a Walmart nearest you.

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A World-Class Pastry Chef Is Opening a Cafe in Kensington This Fall

Flow State/Twitter

Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc is new to Philly. She’s originally from Chicago, and there, she was sort of a big deal in the restaurant community, making pastries, desserts and gelato for acclaimed restaurants like Morimoto’s Japonais, Henri, and the Michelin-starred Blackbird before landing at Spiaggia. Spiaggia made the most sense — a Michelin-starred modern Italian restaurant is more like a playground for a crazed gelato nut like Manlusoc.

And Philadelphia — specifically Kensington — is where Manlusoc, her wife Liz Diamond-Manlusoc, and their friend Maggie Lee settled to open their new coffee bar, Flow State, later this year.

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Is Bankruptcy Filing the End of Tommy Up’s Tiki Bar?

Tommy Up with admirers at Fame Lust party at Kung Fu Necktie. (Photo courtesy Mario Manzoni / Fame Lust)

Tommy Up with admirers at Fame Lust party at Kung Fu Necktie. (Photo courtesy Mario Manzoni / Fame Lust)

The Tommy Up/Yachtsman saga continues: On Friday morning, S&L Real Estate’s Lance Bachmann — Up’s landlord at 1444 Frankford Avenue — reached out to Foobooz to notify us that Up will not, in fact, reopen his tiki bar on Saturday, like he said he would. He won’t reopen next week, either.

That’s because Up’s company, Frankford Restaurant Holdings, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s United States Bankruptcy Court on Thursday. Read more »

How You Should Actually Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Philly

Blue Corn/Facebook

Blue Corn/Facebook

Like many holidays born outside of our country, Cinco de Mayo’s “thing” got lost in translation once it crossed the border. Somehow, what started as a celebration to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over the French invasion into the city of Puebla, turned into something of a St. Patrick’s Day — an Americanized excuse to load up on tequila shots, chug margaritas and wear sombreros. On numerous occasions, it’s been confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, which actually falls in September.

In Philly, we know better. Right?

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Dae Bak Is the Korean Restaurant Chinatown Needs Right Now


Chinatown Square opened on Race Street with an ambitious collection of food vendors, some of which gave city diners easier access to things like Cambodian grilled meats and Japanese curries — food items which, so often before, necessitated some serious menu digging. But David Taing and Kenny Poon’s Chinatown Square brought those items to the forefront of our minds and bellies with a food hall so stacked with alternative fast-casual eateries. They even promised a Korean restaurant, Dae Bak, which would open on the second floor overlooking Race Street.

Ever-so-softly, Dae Bak opened last weekend.

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Eat Korean Food at Serpico and Help a Philly Restaurant Worker Fight Cancer

Serpico_LoRes044.jpg Mike Persico

As tragic as it is to be diagnosed with cancer, it’s good to know you have an entire industry in your corner ready to support you in any way that it can. Philly’s Theresa Lazzari — a back-of-house pro most recently turning out pastas at Southwark and Ambra — recently had that happen to her.

And while she’s out there kicking cancer’s butt, some Queen Village restaurants are stepping up to help her out.

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