Some people call this the dog days, but however you say it we’re smack in the heart of summer. The paradox of the season is that now, in the middle of peak growing season, city restaurants are at their quietest as patrons skip town for the shore, but seasonal menus driven by locally-sourced ingredients are at their most exciting. Take a chance this weekend at snagging a Saturday reservation because you might be pleasantly surprised. Or, take advantage of the bounty at the farmer’s market and the dog days of summer might feel more like salad days instead.
In the dead of winter, a single fresh, new item at the farmer’s market is a thrill. This time of year finds us squarely on the other side of that. There are so many exciting new additions each week that we can scarcely keep up the reporting of their arrival, much less cram each into our shopping baskets. The cherries are winding down, but the blueberries are coming on strong as are all of these other beauties.
We didn’t mean to, but in the past couple of weeks we’ve done a lot of ice cream float reporting. There were the beer floats collaboration between Bottle Bar East and Joe’s Steaks. Then, we told you about the nitro-charged coffee and Weckerly’s ice cream floats collaboration at Rival Brothers and the 2015 affogato road show (because, being made of ice cream and a liquid, affogatos are kinda like floats). So, after all that, we finally just decided to put together a guide to some of our favorite floats around town. Because seriously? There’s just no better way to kick off a season of shore-house-less sorrows than to to drown them in than a tall glass of something frothy and creamy.
It was back in the sweltering summer days of 2013 when the first Affogato Days simultaneously caffeinated us and cooled us. The pop-up partnership between Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Elixr Coffee was a natural fit. Perfectly-pulled shots of single origin espresso poured over scoops of ice cream from Philly’s most playful jockeys of the deep freeze. Now, some of the Elixir kids have decamped to start W/N W/N Coffee Bar, but this year, just like Wet Hot American Summer, the gang is getting back together. The menu is the same, ice cream drowned in coffee once again, only this time the team is hitting the road.
Independence Day has arrived and with it, plenty of goodies to barbecue and fruits to transform into pies, cobblers, and even that flag cake that somebody at the block party inevitably makes. All your favorite farmer’s markets are happening on schedule this weekend, ready to fuel the party. For the moment, cherries are still going strong, so even if there aren’t local watermelons yet you can still have a holiday with a spitting contest of some Kind. Best of all, whether you spend your weekend down the shore or in the city, this is the time of year when you scarcely need to cook. Just cut up the vegetables, make a dip, grill a few things, and above all, enjoy your holiday.
Following a year of pop-up bagel days at Pizzeria Beddia (recently named as possessing the best pizza in the United States, which has nothing at all to do with bagels, but we’re gonna keep reminding you anyway), Fishtown’s favorite bagel boys from Philly Style Bagels are in the home stretch of an Indiegogo campaign that will help outfit their new, permanent bake space.
Yes, you read that right. They’ve secured a location right on Palmer Park, but with just a few days left they’re still about $7k shy of the $20,000 they’ll need to buy their own oven, even larger than the one they’ve been using at Beddia, and keep the bagels rolling out hot, fresh, and at reasonable prices.
It’s as if the Supreme Court timed things on purpose, because it’s not just the sidewalks of the Gayborhood and your Facebook feed that are going to be filled with rainbows this weekend. Celebrate marriage equality at your local farmer’s market this weekend with the honest-to-goodness rainbow of color (see what I did there?) you’ll find in the brand new market additions for the week.
Remember when we wrote about those beer floats being done as a kind of sideways collaboration between Joe’s Steaks and Bottle Bar East? Those were awesome, right? But unfortunately, not every day is a beer float kind of day. Meaning that sometimes it’s Sunday morning and beer, no matter how delicious, just doesn’t seem like the right thing to be adding to your ice cream.
Well, that’s where Weckerly’s Ice Cream and Rival Brothers Coffee comes in.
Andrew Michaels’ Pennsport cafe Fourth & Cross is only a few weeks into its opening. Business is brisk and, in what is usually a relatively slow time of year for restaurants, it’s easy to see why. The bright, airy space is located less than a block from Dickinson Square Park in a neighborhood that doesn’t boast much in the way of dining, save for the vegan treats on offer at Grindcore House or the laundromat that also makes bubble tea.
We’ve got details (and photos) below.
Sadly, strawberries are done for the year. But the good news is that we’ve got plenty of other super exciting new arrivals to the farmer’s market, and new farmer’s markets to boot! The Food Trust is rolling out the opening of new markets nearly every weekend these days, and the fine folks at Fork and High Street launched a new Saturday market just last weekend in partnership with Farm to City! No matter which market you wind up visiting, here’s what should be on your shopping list.