Best Pre-Brunch In Philly: South Philly Barbacoa

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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.

And we’ve got photos, too

The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

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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.

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PHOTOS: Opening Night At Kensington Quarters

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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.

Lotsa pictures, right this way

Tickets On Sale Now For La Tuade de Cochon, Part Deux

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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: info@wyebrookfarm.com. And, in the meantime, we have the menu.

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First Look: Inside Aldine

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A first look at the elegant interior of Jennifer and George Sabatino‘s first solo project at 1901 Chestnut (in the space that formerly housed Noche). Aldine isn’t open yet. They’re still waiting on some inspections and are tinkering with the menus. But the way things are looking right now, they’re aiming to open maybe by this weekend, but certainly by next week.

That said, the opening will also be a kind of half-soft event, with the kitchen only doing a la carte service. Originally, Sabatino wanted to launch with two tasting menus–Omnivore and Herbivore–but now they’re planning on sticking with a la carte through their soft-opening period.

Oh, and the portraits of the couple’s dogs you’ll find hung on the walls? Those are by noted dog portraitist (and food shooter) Neil Santos.

Show me the photos already

This Weekend: Reading Terminal Market Harvest Festival

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Tis the season for hayrides, corn mazes, and picking the perfect pumpkin. But for all of us city slickers for whom South Jersey’s farmland is a major excursion, Reading Terminal is taking care of things.

This Saturday, October 18th from 10:00 until 4:00, the Market is shutting down Filbert Street between 11th and 12th and jamming it full of hay bales, corn stalks, and as much seasonal goodness as possible. For the past 14 years, the Reading Terminal Market Harvest Festival has meant games and a pumpkin patch for kids, but this year they’re upping the ante a bit. Sure, there will be savory edibles like barbecued ribs, turkey legs, pot roast sammies, and various pumpkin and butternut squash dishes. And naturally, there will be sweets like candied apples, sweet potato pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and sundaes loaded with fall flavors. But just for you food people for whom nothing is ever quite enough, this year chef Nick Macri will also be roasting a whole Border Springs Farm lamb. And if that’s still not exciting enough, here’s the real game changer: For the first time ever the Harvest Festival will also have a beer garden. Hosted by market vendor Molly Malloy’s, this weekend you’ll be able to wash down your pumpkin fondue with Victory’s Festbier, Hopdevil, and Lager or – why not – a Pumpkin Ale by Starr Hill.

Keep an eye on Reading Terminal’s Twitter feed for further updates: @RdgTerminalMkt

 

First Look: Brigantessa

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The people of East Passyunk must have a boundless appetite for pizza, because despite the proximity of Slice, Santucci’s, Marra’s, and Francoluigi’s (and I’m sure you’ll let me know if I’m forgetting somebody…), opening night at Brigantessa yesterday was bumping. Cocktails were flowing, as were wines on tap and by the carafe, and the high-tops and bar seats were loaded. But the warm dining room upstairs will ensure plenty of space for Passyunk’s pizza lovers as the restaurant hits its stride.

Photos and more, right this way

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