Start stocking that fridge, people! This right here is primo Thanksgiving preparedness time. Local markets have got all the sweet potatoes, greens, mushrooms and poultry you can hope for, and this weekend, for several area farmer’s markets, represents a last hurrah before slowing down for the season. That said, a few markets will be skipping next weekend altogether so plan on stocking up now for the holiday and beyond.
Typically, we prefer to toot our own horn here at Foobooz, but today we’ll admit that we’re really enjoying Danya Henninger’s column The Spot over on philly.com. In it, she profiles restauranteurs who have been in business for a decade or more. And while she hasn’t yet paid Southwark a visit (yet), they very well could be next on her list. Why? Because it’s turning 10, too, and is looking at some pretty substantial changes to the menu and in the kitchen.
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Ben Miller and Cristina Martinez’s weekend taco operation South Philly Barbacoa, but one must wake up early to experience it, since they typically sell out by noon or shortly thereafter.
But now, on December 15th, all you night owls will get your chance to try some.
Consider this your two week warning.
In two weeks you’ll be expected to eat nothing that doesn’t include turkey, sweet potato, cranberry and/or unholy amounts of butter, but for now you’re still the master of your own plate. This weekend, chill in the air or no, that plate should include some of the following…
A battle between two masters of Japanese flavors, our 29th Open Stove was an epic that, despite physical challenges designed to irritate and confound the competitors, left spectators impressed. William Lindsay, sous chef at Morimoto (assisted by fellow sous Doug Allen), went head to head with Phila Lorn, sous chef at CoZara (assisted by Angelo LaBate, also of CoZara). Each team led off aggressively, plating heavy-duty amuses that left nobody wondering whether or not they were were playing to win…
Though it’s definitely cooling down out there, and yes, there will likely be some precipitation sooner or later, area farmer’s markets are still going strong. True, the red on the tables is from apples instead of berries, but there are plenty of lush greens, shiny root veggies, and bulky squash to take home. Even seasonal markets will continue to operate through November and, some of them, into December and through the new year as well. Because chill or no, nothing’s cooler than rocking some local goods. Here’s what you should pick up this week.
The end of daylight savings time means that twilight falls early, but it also means an extra hour of daylight in the morning. The best thing to do with that hour? Get a jump start on weekend dining that beats the pants off of even the earliest of brunch options in town: South Philly Barbacoa.
Ben Miller and Cristina Martinez have been setting up their taco truck at 8th and Watkins in the pre-dawn hours every Saturday and Sunday morning for nearly a year. Though their clientele is largely made up of night-shift working immigrants, Miller and Martinez are poised to give anybody in South Philly who might otherwise end up in a 24-hour diner a run for their money, and if you haven’t yet visited, you should definitely set your alarm clock.
On Halloween, the most pumpkin-spiced of all autumn days, it only seems fitting to devote a little attention to the culinary uses of relatives of the great gourd. This time of year you’ll see countless recipes for butternut squash and for pumpkin (often canned), but I’m here to tell you that you can confidently chalk that up to recipe writers trying to keep things consistent for the largest audience possible, not the arbitrary idea that these two are the only winter squash worth eating. At the market this weekend look for some of the following special squash. At the very least you’ll be able to find a use for them more noble than lighting your stoop tonight or littering your block tomorrow morning.
Very nearly a year after we first told you that Kensington Quarters would, at some point, be opening (and nearly two years after the enterprise first began to take shape), Michael Pasquarello and Bryan Mayer’s bar, restaurant, and butcher shop officially opened its doors last night.
You would never have known that the place is a new addition. A crowded bar of patrons sipping wine on tap and cocktails with names like “The Wishbone” and “The Cleaver,” a steady, busy dining room, and chef Damon Menapace calmly calling orders to his team behind the line in the open kitchen.
Yesterday, we brought you the menus. But for our first visit we tried a little bit of everything and, naturally, we brought a camera to share the experience with you.
If the Kensington Quarters’ Instagram feed is any indication, we’re getting very close to experiencing meaty, pasture-raised goodness at the much anticipated butcher counter, bar, and restaurant opening tomorrow in Fishtown.
For many, the event that introduced butcher Bryan Mayer to Philadelphia was Wyebrook Farm’s first La Tuade du Cochon–an opportunity for bacon lovers to confront their crimes and their passions, and one that the farm is reprising this year, on November 16. The event will be a start to finish hoof-to-table dining experience. That’s right, a heritage hog, slaughtered, bled, scalded, and butchered (as professionally and respectfully as possible), and then memorialized in a meal by chef Andrew Wood of Russet.
There are a few spots remaining for this year’s event. Class and dinner are $125 per person (includes tax and gratuity). Secure your place at the table by e-mailing: email@example.com. And, in the meantime, we have the menu.