El Merkury Will Fill Philly’s Central American Street Food Chasm

elmerkury-940

El Merkury/Facebook

In Central America, the street food scene is huge. In Philly, it is not. We’re a city of brick and mortars and, if not, food trucks (licensing and meddling bureaucracy are nemeses to a healthy street food scene). But even with Philly’s Central American restaurants, only a small few exist, most of them on the outskirts of the city or even the ‘burbs. You might stumble upon some Central American foods in South Philly (pupusas, taquitos, etc.), but they’re so often muddled into taqueria menus — lost to Philly’s familiarity with Mexican tacos and quesadillas.

Soon-to-be restaurant owner Sofia Deleon of El Merkury took notice.

Read more »

A Hawaiian Restaurant Finally Opens in Philly Tomorrow

Poi Dog/Official

Poi Dog/Official

Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca’s adorable Hawaiian food cart Poi Dog has come a long way since it first started doling out spam musubi and mochi nori fried chicken on Philly street corners and festivals. In its four years roaming the Philly food truck scene, it became Philly’s premier, and lone, Hawaiian option — no other chef or restaurateur in the city (besides chain-Hawaiian Roy’s, which closed back in 2010) ever gave a crack at the Pacific Island cuisine. But Aranita and Vacca saw a void in Philly’s food boom, and filled it full of Hawaiian plate lunches, tacos and Filipino desserts.

And like we promised back in December, they’re opening their first brick and mortar tomorrow at 102 S. 21st Street (the old Rotisseur space).

Read more »

Here’s a List of Philly Wine Week’s Best Food Events

Wine Week/Facebook

Wine Week/Facebook

This city, try as it might, is still trying to find its identity when it comes to wine (our blue-collar roots coupled with some of the silliest liquor laws on the planet can really stifle an industry). But over the years, Philly’s wine world, led by a select few impassioned restaurant owners, beverage directors, general managers, and wine purveyors, scratched and clawed their way to the top, bringing with them some enviable wine programs. It was only in the last decade that Philly went from a town of “house whites” and red zinfandel to a town of orange wines and funky rosés.

So like it does every year, Philly Wine Week will showcase some of the city’s best wine programs with wine-focused events through the week (this week). For the full list of events, hit up the Wine Week website. Otherwise, here’s a list to get you started.

Read more »

Steven Eckerd Takes the Reins at Pub & Kitchen

pk-940

P&K/Facebook

In its almost-nine years on the corner of 20th and Lombard, Pub & Kitchen co-owners Dan Clark and Ed Hackett only hired two executive chefs, which, in the restaurant world, is quite a feat. It opened in 2008 with Jonathan Adams, who, at the time, was one of Philly’s top young chef prospects. A menu of big-deal burgers and beer-friendly eats laid the gastropub-ish groundwork for Eli Collins who took over five years later (Adams left to grow his now-booming coffee roasting company, Rival Bros.). Over the ensuing four years, Collins elevated P&K’s kitchen to new heights — still keeping to the P&K model (casual, designed with the neighborhood in mind), but keeping the menus current and refined as well.

Collins is moving on from the Rittenhouse icon (more on that soon), and Steven Eckerd — a familiar name in the Philly dining world — will take his place.

Read more »

Eat This Now: Roll-Your-Own Stuffed Grape Leaves at Opa

Provided by Bondfire Media Co.

Provided by Bondfire Media Co.

Stuffed grape vine leaves, or dolmades, are typically served on special occasions in Greek households because rolling them can be a long, labor-intensive process (and ten hands are better than two). Plus, you need a special sort of dexterity, the kind you develop after years of practice. Rolling rice and meat into pudgy little cigars might look easy on the sidelines, but your first few tries won’t be cute. It takes practice. And patience.

But here’s some good news: at Opa, you can get all the practice you want because they’re now offering a new roll-your-own dolmades plate that’ll turn you into a pro in no time.

Read more »

Helm Crew Will Bring Farm Fare to Morgan’s Pier This Summer

Morgan's Pier/Facebook

Morgan’s Pier/Facebook

Every year, Morgan’s Pier plucks a big-named chef from the Philadelphia restaurant scene to head its kitchen for its 6-month season. In 2016, it was Jim Burke; 2015 was Nick Elmi and before that, David Gilbert (Koo Zee Doo), George Sabatino (Aldine) and David Katz. And every year, it’s a treat to see how each chef rethinks the “backyard barbecue” concept — always the theme of the Morgan’s Pier’s menu.

So when Helm’s chef-owner Kevin D’Egidio confirmed with me today that it would be he and his co-chef-owner Mike Griffiths running the show in 2017, I was curious as to how the two chefs might incorporate their kitchen ideals into the massive machine that is the Morgan’s Pier kitchen. The two worked, almost exclusively, in small kitchens for the better parts of their careers.

Read more »

Union Taco Moving in Manayunk, Napoleon Burger Opening in its Place

Union Taco/Facebook

Union Taco/Facebook

After close to two years at 4229 Main Street in Manayunk, Union Taco’s Nick Farina will try his hand at making something of the 4161 Main Street address, which, since 2011, has been home to five failed restaurant concepts (Anastasi Raw Bar, Beast & Ale, Bisou, Gemelli, and MangoMoon).

For Farina, the game-changer here is obviously the liquor license attached to the property, so he’s rebranding and calling it Union Taco Tequila y Cerveza.

Read more »

There’s a Thai-Jewish Party Happening Tonight at Abe Fisher

Abe Fisher/Official

Abe Fisher/Official

Abe Fisher’s general manager and beverage director Brian Kane just hired a new bartender in Drew Pompa. Pompa comes to Philly from Detroit, where he manned the bar at a southeast Asian restaurant called Katoi, a restaurant which recently burned to the ground two days after receiving its first James Beard semifinalist nomination.

So Pompa, and Kane (who’s visited many a time), want to help the Katoi crew out by throwing a party.

Read more »

Here Comes Another Good King Cider Supper

Good King/Facebook

Good King/Facebook

In January, the Good King Tavern hosted what they called a Cider Supper. It was an enormous success because cider is big now, duh, and Good King — well aware of the moment it’s having — is building a pretty fantastic in-house cider collection.

And they’re showing off the goods again this Wednesday, March 8th, at 7 p.m.

Read more »

NoLibs and East Passyunk BYOBs Team Up for One Night

jaxon-940

Jaxon/Facebook

Northern Liberties’ charming BYOB Jaxon is having its first birthday party on March 22nd, and they’re inviting some South Philly friends over for a little shindig. And like he did last year, Jaxon’s chef Matthew Gansert will collaborate with a big-dog Philly chef, this time Joncarl Lachman, chef-owner of Noord, Neuf, and The Dutch.

Read more »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »