Foobooz After Dark: North & South – On Sale Now

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Yesterday, we announced our fourth Foobooz After Dark dinner. On Saturday, April 26th at 11:30 p.m., we’re taking the chef de cuisine from SBRAGA, Greg Garbasz, and transplanting him into The Fat Ham’s kitchen with chef de cuisine, Aaron Gottesman. They’ll be doing what they do best: Aaron showing off his Southern skills, and Greg doing some fancy Yankee stuff.

Remember, beer from Sixpoint Brewery and The Fat Ham’s signature cocktails will be pouring all night, so it’ll be lots of eating and lots of drinking–as is tradition for our After Dark dinners.

Take a look at the menu »

About Last Night: Pork Hearts And Awesome Sauce

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Two of my favorite places to eat in Philadelphia competed Monday night at our 23rd Foobooz Open Stove event. It was a knife fight between Cheu Noodle Bar’s sous chef, Chad Smith, and Will BYOB’s sous chef, Craig Russell. I asked Chad before we began if he was going to be doing anything Asian-inspired, or rather, Cheu-esque. And the soft spoken chef looked up, said “nope,” and went back to his prep. I walked over to the other side, where Craig was furiously assembling his amuse bouche, and I observed, “This doesn’t look very ‘Will.’” to which he responded, “You won’t see a single shaved vegetable on our plates tonight.” Now this, obviously, was not a dig at Chris Kearse. He just wanted to make sure the world knew that this was his food, done his way. The same went for Chad: this wasn’t going to be an extension of Ben Puchowitz‘s stylethis was going to be all Chad.

So it began–Open Stove XXIII, a battle between two powerhouse restaurants in a restaurant obsessed city, with food by sous chefs who may be as talented as they come. And if you missed being there for the actual event, don’t worry. We have pictures–which don’t taste quite as good as the food that was served at COOK, but are the next best thing.

Show me the photos

Foobooz After Dark: Leigh Needham and Jeff Froehler at Vegan Commissary

Foobooz After Dark (Photography by Bethani Zeller)

Before I begin my story, I’d like to first confess something:

I never believed in vegan food. It always stood as this ridiculous symbol for a movement that tried too hard and failed to prove anything to the “real food” community. It added no substance, and subtracted even more, and in the end, there was always something left to be desired. It was a cuisine full of soul-sucking impostors, phonies and shams. So I gave up on it.

But the movement shifted. Places like HipCityVeg opened—that was my first reentrance to the cuisine. A few years ago, I took a bite of their fajita wrap and lost my mind. A few more trips back, and a visit to Vedge sealed the deal. These chefs weren’t aiming to convince anymore—they were showing off. Vegan options have grown in Philly since—all the way into South Philly, even. Which, admittedly, was expected given the gentrification eruption rolling there over the past decade. Now, on the corner of 11th and Morris, Steve Laurence’s Vegan Commissary exists, and the food coming out of that kitchen is as impressive as it gets in this city’s restaurant collection.

And so it begins: a look into our late, late night dinner, put together by a vegan chef, sharing knives with a steakhouse chef, both in a tiny little restaurant/commissary kitchen in South Philadelphia.

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Fountain Porter, Noord and PBC Present: The JJL Benefit

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In the early morning of February 22nd, the studio/practice space of  Jay Laughlin, Brian Wilkinson, and Pete Girgenti’s band, JJL, burned to the ground and the fire spared nothing.  Everything was lost, including three guitars, a ’75 Les Paul Custom, an American Fender Strat, an American Deluxe Precision bass, three drum sets, multiple guitar/bass amps, and a huge effects pedal collection. The list goes on, and the tragedy has left them unable to play music like they used to.

South Philadelphia has come to the rescue. Read more »

Side Project Jerky 4-Pack Sale For One Week

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Jerky is the perfect food to stock up on. It’s good on-the-go, it’s good as a snack at your desk after lunch and it’s even better when it’s super fancy, Side Project Jerky.

Starting today, and ending next Tuesday (3/25/14), get four packs of SPJ (two of each: Mongolian and Southwestern) for the price of three. For those of you who like numbers, that’s 25% off for one whole week.

Visit the Foobooz Store, find the four pack, and stock up what you can on jerky, because it’ll be gone before you know it.

SPJ 4PACK [Foobooz Store]

Foobooz After Dark – The Menu

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Yesterday, we announced our third Foobooz After Dark dinner. We’ll be taking a steakhouse chef, Jeff Froehler, and pairing him up with a vegan chef, Vegan Commissary’s chef de cuisine, Leigh Needham. They’ll cook together in peace and harmony, and from the looks of their menu, they’re going to have some fun.

Keep in mind, when we named this dinner “Vegan Steakhouse”, it was only because of the steakhouse chef. Now that we’ve seen the menu, it looks like the two of them have wandered pretty far from the vegan-in-a-steakhouse concept. All the way to edible chopsticks, it seems…

We’ve got the menu for you after the jump. Take a look.

Read more »

Recapping Open Stove XXII: Happy Almost St. Patrick’s Day

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Open Stove XXII
was on Monday night, and like most of our Open Stove events, the guests got drunk. Not just because of the beer and wine, but because of the shots of Jameson tossed both into the food and down the throats of the patrons and chefs. It was a crazy night of Irish kitchen shenanigans, all in the spirit of St. Patty’s Day. Because we’re well into March, aren’t we? And it just seemed like the right time to start celebrating.
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Foobooz After Dark: Vegan Steakhouse

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Philadelphia has its company of vegan darlings: Vedge, HipCityVeg, Grindcore House, Miss Rachel’s Pantry, Barclay Prime, Blackbird Pizzeria, Breezy’s Cafe. We love them because they never fail to impress. Being able to coax any semblance of umami out of nothing-from-an-animal is basically a magic trick, and these crews do it day-in and day-out. They’re the mind-blowers and the mind-changers, and they’ve diversified Philly’s dining scene so that it’s accessible to anyone: vegan, vegetarian, and not.

Wait, Barclay Prime?
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Where We’re Eating: Chris’ Jazz Cafe

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I don’t look for much in a jazz cafe—a stiff drink, a solid menu and, hopefully, good music. But at Chris’ Jazz Cafe, when I had to clarify that my Negroni needn’t have salt on the rim—and when it arrived watery, with a few bobbing ice cubes and no garnish—I realized this place was, still, only about the music. New chef Laurent Leseur’s menu ranges from Asian spring rolls to escargot and frog legs to pasta primavera to jambalaya to a four-course chef’s tasting that I, unfortunately, took a chance on. A dry field greens salad was a bed for chewy confit chicken gizzards, topped with a knob of foie butter that made no sense. My “boneless” frog legs came bone-in, with nothing resembling the promised potato-stuffed choux pastry. The duck parmentier’s salt seared my tongue; the dish was crowned by mashed potatoes browned and piped in the 1970s. This city is crying for a good jazz cafe, but with its dated food, nonsensical menu and I-can’t-believe-there-are-still-teal-tablecloths, Chris’ just ain’t it.

Chris’ Jazz Cafe [Foobooz]

First appeared in the March, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

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