So There’s This Thing Happening On Instagram Right Now…

angry-granpa-marc-vetri-400Marc Vetri went to Elixr Coffee yesterday. While there, he saw a bunch of people there staring at their phones or working on their laptops rather than engaging in lively and spirited dialog with their fellow man. He snapped a picture. He put it up on Instagram. And in keeping with his new part-time gig as a full-on Method acting Grandpa Simpson impersonator, these were his thoughts…

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Anywhere But Here: The Cheesecake Factory

Photo | Brian Howard

Photo | Brian Howard

“Anywhere But Here” is a new, occasional feature where we choose a restaurant that we loathe and tell you, the loyal Foobooz reader, all the other places you could go for better food, booze or service. We know you know this stuff. We’re just here to help. And we’re launching this new project with…

Today is National Cheesecake Day and, unsurprisingly, the brand spankin’ new Cheesecake Factory that opened last month at 15th and Walnut is celebrating its namesake holiday with half-price slices, a new flavor (salted caramel, because no one’s tried that yet…) and god only knows what else.

But you know what? This is Philly. And we can do better than settling for the Cheesecake mothership. So with that in mind, we’re giving you some options–for cheesecake, cheese and cake because we don’t care how you celebrate, so long as you do it Anywhere But Here.

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The Washington Post Sets Food Critic Tom Sietsema Loose In Philly And He Comes Back With Something Beautiful

Reading-Terminal-market

Tom Sietsema came to Philly and he did it right. He got it–which is so rare these days–and put it all down on paper (and tape, and in pixels and video). The cheesesteak? 2am drunk food. Go for the roast pork sandwich, from John’s or DiNic’s. Center City? Sure, for a little while. But then Fishtown and East Passyunk and, you know, elsewhere…

The WaPo crew (Sietsema, with photographer Melina Mara and videographer Jayne Orenstein) spent some time here. They talked to people–lots of people–and investigated what was great about Philly. What was special about it. What makes it (potentially) one of the best food cities in America because that’s Sietsema’s game right now. He’s bopping all across America, touching down in Chicago and Charleston and Portland and elsewhere, in order to decide which cities deserve to be on his list of the best. It’ll be another five months before we know whether or not we’ve made the cut, but in the meantime, we have the photos. The words. The video. And so much of it is beautiful.

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Alex Capasso From Crow & The Pitcher Arrested For Child Pornography

alex-capasso-arrested-child-pornHe trained under Georges Perrier at Brasserie Perrier, opened Blackbird Dining Establishment in Collingswood to great acclaim, then came back across the river to open Crow & The Pitcher in Rittenhouse in the spring of 2014.

Now, Alex Capasso is in jail, charged with one count of distribution of child pornography, and the allegations against him (first reported this afternoon by the Philadelphia Inquirer) are seriously disturbing.

If you want to know the details (and trust me, you probably don’t want to know the details), Victor Fiorillo has laid them out over on the Phillymag news blog. Here, we’re mostly concerned with the restaurant side of things.

From what we’ve read and heard, it seems that Capasso has actually been missing from Crow & The Pitcher for the past week or so, and the crew has been carrying on without him. And right now, the restaurant remains open under the command of the remaining crew–something they’ve apparently gotten accustomed to.

UPDATE: Partners Rush to Sever Ties With Accused Child Pornographer Alex Capasso

Rittenhouse Chef Alex Capasso Arrested For Child Pornography [Phillymag]

Gastronaut: Down on the Shore

gastronaut-0715-400The Shore is what it is—a region with its own peculiar DNA made up primarily of watery sangria, sand fleas, cotton candy and flip-flop sweat. It’s been the Northeast’s playground for decades and has evolved into a highly advanced organism for separating city folk from their disposable income.

And for the most part, it all works just fine. But when it comes to Shore restaurants, I’ve always been a little bit mystified. I mean, here we are, just a couple hours’ drive from such a concentration of wealth and poor judgment, and yet most Philadelphia restaurateurs appear to have no interest in opening down the Shore.

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The Best Hot Dogs in Philly

hotdog

Even before the warm weather started, we lost two of the city’s best hot-dog joints. (RIP, Hot Diggity and Moe’s Hot Dog House.) But while we may be a couple grills short this summer, don’t despair. Our hot-dog bench is deep in Philly, and here are six dogs to try while the sun is hot and the days are long.

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Frozen Budino Pops Are Back!

Photo by Jason Varney

Photo by Jason Varney

So here we go, folks. In what has already become a rite of summer in Philly, the announcement has come down that Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney are going to be selling their frozen budino pops again this year.

And this year, they’re doing it right.

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Summer Movie Nights At Le Virtu

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New movie screen at Le Virtu

 

Le Virtu has always been a kind of physical love letter to Abruzzo. From the food (natch) to the overall aesthetic of the place, it’s always been about transporting diners from here to somewhere else in a way that few other restaurants can really pull off.

And now, they’re taking things a step further with the re-launch of summer movie nights in the garden.

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