Sneak Preview: March At COOK

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Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come once again. COOK is releasing their new March schedule on Thursday at 2pm, and because you are a loyal Foobooz reader, you’re getting a sneek peek at the details in order to plan your attack.

There are a lot of good classes this month (Nick Macri doing lamb, Andrew Wood teaching a pasta class, Brian Ricci on brunch, Pat Oliveri from Pat’s King Of Steaks doing a class entitled “Beyond The Cheesesteak”, and the triumphant return of Foobooz Open Stove Night), so you’re gonna want to pick your classes now and be ready to make with the clicky-clicky just as soon as things go live on Thursday. The best of these are going to sell out fast. You’ve been warned.

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Field Guide: The Best Local Hard Ciders for Every Taste

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Hard cider is having a bit of a moment. Once a niche-y thing enjoyed only by brew geeks and, for two weeks, by your annoying friend who went to the UK on his honeymoon and came back complaining about the lack of proper cider in “the States,” it is now a serious business in and around Philly, with small-time producers ramping up production and local farms putting out excellent, hand-crafted product using their own fruits. What’s more, we keep seeing it show up more and more frequently both on and behind the bars we frequent.

So if there was ever a time to dive in and see what all the fuss is about, it’s now. Craft cider is interesting in that the flavors and styles are at least as varied as with beer (maybe more so), and on par with the variations in wine. And this kind of broad spectrum allows for many entry points into the world of grown-up apple juice. Recently, we sat down and did a massive tasting of some 30 bottles from every local cidery we could find, and assembled this list of the best ways for beer drinkers, cork dorks, spirit enthusiasts and the gluten-averse to get into cider. So check it out below and see if there’s something that catches your eye.

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TV Party Tonight: Local Chef Aila Devowe On “Recipe For Deception” Tonight

Aila Devowe at Open Stove.

Aila Devowe at Open Stove.

“Recipe For Deception” is a new cooking competition show on Bravo. It debuted in January, and has already been drawing some big names (and not only because, with Top Chef, Bravo has become a kind of celebrity-chef-minting machine).

It’s one of those deals where a bunch of chefs are brought into the kitchen and forced to cook against each other until only one is left standing. There are secret ingredients, and some kind of gimmick where the chefs don’t actually know their own secret ingredient, only everyone else’s, and they have to play 20 questions with the other chefs in order to figure out what their ingredient is. Also, I think the chef’s can lie which, to me, just seems like a recipe for things to get all stabby.

Ha. Recipe. You see what I did there? Wordplay…

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Red Meat Economics: LP Steak Reviewed

LP Steak at the Valley Forge Casino | Photo by Nick Valinote

LP Steak at the Valley Forge Casino | Photo by Nick Valinote

The steakhouse is the dullest kind of restaurant.

There’s no surprise in a steakhouse. No shock, no awe. The best things you can hope to happen in a steakhouse are that someone grills your hunk of meat to the temperature you find most pleasing and doesn’t leave any shells on the shrimp in your cocktail. That’s success in the steakhouse world. The bar is low. With the proper motivation, a cat could work the line in the average steakhouse kitchen (imagine the hairnet!), and I say this having worked at a couple myself. The hardest thing about working a steakhouse job? Counting to 40, because that was how many steaks I could fit on the grill in front of me at any one time. And while, granted, this was at a time in my life when my successfully counting to 40 was by no means a guarantee, I still managed it. Because I knew Mittens the calico was out there gunning for my gig.

With all this in mind, I can also say that a great steakhouse is a rare and wonderful thing. Because of their simplicity, their elemental charms (meat, fire, paintings of horses) and their lack of anything whatsoever challenging to the appetites or worldviews of the majority of American eaters, steakhouses can be comforting. They can be the blank canvas onto which are written epic nights. (The martinis help.) Almost all of us have a steakhouse we love, tucked away somewhere in our past.

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Top Chef Is Casting In Philly

TopChefLogo

Hey, are you a chef? Have you always wondered what might happen to your career and reputation if you got the opportunity to go on Bravo’s Top Chef and cook scallops in front of a national audience?

Well then have we got some good news for you…

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Sour Bowl II and Stout Bowl I Coming To Bru And U-Bahn

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So sure, the Superbowl is coming right up (go Broncos), but for some of you out there, the big game just doesn’t get your juices flowing. What does get you pumped up? Beer. And the good people at Bru and U-Bahn are coming through for you with two events this Sunday, January 31, focusing on rare stouts and sours.

How rare, you ask? Super rare. As in almost never put on draft anywhere. So rare that one of the beers is made from yeast that went to space.

Intrigued? Read on…

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#ClosedInPHL: ScrappleFest Has Been Canceled

Reading-Terminal-market

UPDATE: And now Reading Terminal Market has announced that it, too, is going to be closed on Saturday, January 23 because of the blizzard. Which is completely unsurprising.

So here’s some shitty news for everyone. You know how we’ve been writing about Reading Terminal Market’s ScrappleFest that was supposed to be coming up this weekend?

Yeah, well it’s been canceled. Because of the storm that’s scheduled to hit the city this weekend.

The Market itself is going to remain open, but if you want to stuff yourself with scrapple (in order to develop that thick coat of insulating fat which will be necessary for surviving this allegedly epic snowstorm), now you’re just going to have to do it at home.

Positively 10th Street: Ting Wong Reviewed

Ting Wong | Philadelphia magazine

Ting Wong | Philadelphia magazine

I go to Ting Wong for lunch—hiding out at a sticky table along the wall, hot tea and perfect shrimp congee in front of me. I’ve got a book (something with spaceships and ray guns) in one hand, spoon in the other, and I’m smiling because I’m supposed to be eating at some hotel restaurant a few blocks away, but I got there and hated it (hated the vibe and the look of it and the feel it gave me walking through the door), so I about-faced and retreated here, which, yes, was probably the wrong thing to do (considering my job), but it feels good, like skipping school, so I’m happy.

I go to Ting Wong for an early dinner and everything on the block smells like hot, wet garbage, but my dinner is excellent. On another day, I drop by for a quick plate of roast pork over white rice—the meat pink, honey-sweet but also complex with ginger and garlic and five-spice—just because I’m cutting through Chinatown on my way to somewhere else. The pork needs nothing. It is delicious as it is, fanned over rice, shiny under the harsh lights that seem designed to allow no shadows. But if you’re smart, you’ll ask for a little bowl of chopped ginger and scallion—bright green like pickle relish but so much better.

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Bud & Marilyn’s Now Has Its Own Whiskey

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The bar at Bud & Marilyn’s is already amply stocked with a signature beer from Yards: Bud’s Best Pale Ale. And now it looks like beverage manager Terence Lewis (who’s in charge of the booze for all Marcie Turney and Val Safran’s restaurants) is going to get to bulk up the namesake supplies with a new brown liquor: Bud’s Best Bourbon–a months-long collaboration with Pittsburgh-based craft whiskey distiller Wigle Whiskey.

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