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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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.
For 24 hours only, starting at 3 pm, we’ll be selling charcuterie at the Foobooz Store. Read more »
We’ve got the coolest t-shirts in Philadelphia:
When we did round one of our Starving Artist Series, artist Justin Rentzel came up with some awesome stuff. We liked it so much we asked him to design our very own Foobooz Starving Artist t-shirt. And that, he did. It’s a Philadelphia Food Pyramid, complete with Schmidts beer, whiskey and lots and lots of pork. It will only be available for a limited time, so order yours now.
And while we’re on the subject of t-shirts »
Hardena does this every day. Stop in sometime during the week, and you’ll see. Just walk in, pick your plastic cutlery and a paper plate with a heaping pile of rice, and have one of the beautiful sisters top it with Surabaya classics. Sit in a rolling chair, roll yourself close, and delight in the first bite–because that bite will knock your taste buds around with every bit of gusto South Philly has running through its veins. And although they do it every day on the corner of 1754 S Hicks Street, there was something different about Saturday’s Foobooz After Dark rijsttafel dinner…
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Want to save $1500 on your nights out in Philadelphia? Get a 3-pack of City Dining Cards!
Each deck is jam-packed with 50, $10 discounts to places like:
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UPDATE: SOLD OUT
Last week, we announced the second coming of Foobooz After Dark. We know this time it’ll be a rijsttafel, a beautiful Indonesian feast put together the Hardena crew, held at Noord on East Passyunk.
Remember, there are only 25 seats available for this dinner, and tickets are going on sale very soon. To find out exactly when, sign up now for our Foobooz After Dark alerts.
If you do get a ticket, here’s what you’ll be eating:
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Rijsttafel literally translates to “rice table”, and that’s what our next Foobooz After Dark dinner is.
For over 300 years, Indonesia was a Dutch colony and some of the best Indonesian food in the world can be found in Amsterdam.
So we took Philadelphia’s Best Indonesian, Hardena Waroeng Surabaya, and paired them up with our very own Little Amsterdam, Noord, to give us Philadelphia’s very first rijsttafel. Tables will be graced with big and small plates of beautiful Indonesian satays, sambals, fish, vegetables and the people will feast, family-style, until they can feast no more.
And like last time, it’s just going to be late, 11:30 pm on Saturday, February 1st and only 25 tickets will be sold, at $85 a piece (tax and gratuity included).
So who wants in? If you’re interested, sign up for our reminder email and we’ll email you the day and time tickets go on sale. Last time, tickets sold out in about two hours, so we suggest signing up.
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Chef Rob Sidor is an industry vet. Before being the Chef de Cuisine of Di Bruno Bros., he cooked at both of Dan Stern’s restaurants, Gayle and Rae, Chip Roman’s Blackfish, and he’s been doing some tasting/special menu consulting with Chris Kearse at Will BYOB over the past year.
He’s also been doing a series of pop-up dinners under the name Inspiracle, and it’s what he describes to be a “multi-course, multi-sensory dining experience.” We’re talking visual effects, auditory effects, scents and vapors and all their palatal effects. Plus things that engage the attendees, table-side: siphon infused sauces, edible “perfume”, and smoking cinnamon at the table. On January 28th, for $100 a ticket (tickets include tax and gratuity), you’ll be completely immersed in six-courses (plus a few surprises) of body-shaking, mind-baffling food.
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You’d think with the amount of restaurants jammed onto East Passyunk, there’d be a less familial approach between owners. But Passyunk is proud, and they are proud together—the competition is never hostile. So when Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan came into town, they joined the Passyunk family, and Fond, right across the street, welcomed them with open arms. The hugging hasn’t stopped since.
To wit: On January 27th, they’ll be cooperatively bringing in a giant Gloucester Old Spot (that’s a kind of pig) and they’ll let you choose your own adventure…
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