In Philly, Yelp Is Our Michelin Guide. So Be It.

I have never trusted the Michelin Guide. The stars, the coins, the abject Frenchiness of it — it’s always bothered me.

I’ve never worked in a city where Le Guide was a force, so maybe that’s why. As of this moment, there are only four American cities where Michelin ranks restaurants (Chicago, New York, San Francisco (and the larger Bay Area) and Washington D.C.), and I call none of them home. And yet, the reach of its opinions touches everywhere. Walnut Street Cafe was a big deal because it was being brought to life by a crew from New York who’d gotten one star for Rebelle and then brought their talents here. Now that we know Jean-Georges Vongerichten will be coming to the Comcast World Domination Spire, we have to consider his three stars.

We have to get excited, because those stars? For some reason, people believe them to be portable. Like you’re granted them for life and get to wear them everywhere you go.

That is the part that bothers me. Because that’s the part that’s absolute bullshit.  Read more »

Where to Eat This Weekend: A Whole New Thing

Al pastor at Que Chula es Puebla

We know it can be tough.

The weekend is here. But this city is so full of bars and restaurants that it can sometime be tough to make a choice. And we spend a lot of time here on Foobooz trying to tell you exactly that. We make lists of the 50 Best Restaurants and the 50 Best Bars in the city. We tell you the 32 tacos that you need to eat right now and the all the best breads in the city.

But seriously? Who’s going to go out this weekend and eat 32 tacos? Or drink at 50 bars? (I mean, other than us.) And while big lists are handy because they give a fine overview of the city, sometimes what you need is just one thing — just one place that you need to go right now. One thing that you need to try. One amazing thing that, if you haven’t had it already, should be at the top of your list for the weekend.

Well, the Philly Mag food team got together and came up with suggestions:

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How Many Snakes Would It Take to Make You Leave Your Favorite Philly Restaurant?

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I have been bitten by one snake in my life.

It’s an embarrassing story, and not really germane to the discussion we’re about to have except to say that I have been bitten by one snake, did not die from it, harbor no particular resentment toward snakes today, and so, therefore, am qualified to both ask and answer this one question:

How many snakes would it take to make you leave your favorite restaurant in Philly?

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Here’s How You Can Rep Philly on MasterChef

A shouty British man and his fish head

At this point, 80% of the adult population of the United States has their own cooking and/or house-flipping show. Whether it’s on one of the major networks, one of the high-range niche cable channels, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube or wherever, America is in a Golden Age of everybody and their neighbor having their own TV show.

Now I’m not totally positive on the numbers and percentages (it might be as high as 95%, or as low as 79%), but if you are one of the small number of Americans who doesn’t already have their own cooking/reality show (because you’ve been living under a rock, in a coma or maybe just waiting for your Twitch streaming to start paying off), I have good news.

MasterChef season 9 is having an open casting call in Philadelphia on October 21st.

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Your Cheeseburgers Are Ruining the Planet

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Happy Monday, everyone. We know that everyone had a busy weekend trying to milk the last of summer out of the first days of fall. But while you were out enjoying the sun, news was happening all over the world. And not the infuriating, depressing, regular kind of news, but the good kind. Food news. And we are here to collect it for you.

So whether you’re wondering how Anthony Bourdain puts together seasons of Parts Unknown, why a chef would ever give back his Michelin stars, or how to win a science award for studying cow farts, you’ve come to the right place.

But let’s start off this week with an important Public Safety Announcement: When in New Mexico, do NOT mess with a man’s green chile cheeseburger.

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Where To Eat This Weekend: Who Needs a Drink?

a.bar | Photo by Ted Nghiem

It’s Friday, and you know what that means? It means we all deserve a drink. Or two. Or seven.

This weekend, it’s all about the booze. From excellent parties to drinking in the sun to a Sunday jazz brunch with Adele’s piano player, we have everything you need to know to give yourself the kind of weekend that you won’t remember come Monday.

So let’s kick things off with the best bars in Philadelphia, shall we?

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How to Eat and Drink Like Summer Is Eternal in Philly

The weather is going to be beautiful this weekend. As a matter of fact, it might not get this beautiful again for a long time. There’ll be sun. It’ll be hot. It will almost feel like a couple extra perfect days of summer.

So you should get out there and take advantage of it while you can. And we’re here to help with this handy collection of all our summertime lists of things to do (and eat, and drink) in Philly and beyond. Read more »

Adele’s Piano Player Is Playing a Brunch Show at Walnut Street Café

Walnut Street Cafe has been doing weekend brunches since it opened. And they’re nice long ones, too — 10am to 4pm, Saturdays and Sundays. It’s the perfect place for pastry chef (and Per Se alum) Melissa Weller to show off her fantastic pastries, and the only time she serves her khachapuri — which is kind of like a bread football filled with egg and cheese, and which also has a tendency to sell out before brunch is done.

One of the other things they do at brunch? They bring in a jazz band to entertain the swells on Sundays. And this Sunday, they’re going to have Eric Wortham, Adele’s piano player, tickling the ivories.

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James Beard Foundation’s “Taste America” Tour Is Hitting Philly and the Menu Is Insane

We told you about this event back in July — pretty much as soon as we heard about it. After five years of taking their culinary show on the road and touring some of the best food cities in America, the James Beard Foundation’s “Taste America Culinary Tour” is coming to Philly. The event (which is being used as a fundraiser for culinary scholarship programs) is hitting town on October 13th and will be held at the Museum Of The American Revolution. It’s a seriously star-studded kind of thing, with a menu assembled by more than a half-dozen local chefs, plus the Beard Foundation’s “Taste America All-Star” chef, Marc Murphy of New York’s Landmarc and Ditch Plains.

We’re talking about it again because we just got a copy of the final menu (and the list of chefs responsible for each course). Plus, there are still tickets available.

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Go to “Planet of the Grapes” Wine School at Root

Root, the Fishtown wine bar, and Jason Wilson, author of Boozehound, are teaming up like some kind of drunken Voltron to present “Planet of the Grapes” — a series of wine classes which will teach you all you ever wanted to know about orange wine, bubbly, pairing with Thanksgiving dinner and more.

The classes happen every other Saturday at Root, and you can book them individually — so if you don’t care about the wines of central Italy or already know everything about Portugese wine, you don’t have to go to those classes.

And of course, we have the schedule.

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