The Star System Is Stupid And Broken


At the conclusion of last week’s 3-star Stargazy review, a reader asked a very difficult question:

So what about this doesn’t say four stars? The fact that it’s stuff-yourself delicious, worth going out of your way for, has value or that each of your experiences has been a win? Sounds like a straight flush to me. A rarity for Philadelphia, or anywhere for that matter.
A Confused Glutton

And it’s true. I loved Stargazy. I’ve been dreaming about the banofee tart (pictured above) and the sausage rolls for a week. So why doesn’t a place like this deserve four stars?

Read more »

Have You Got What It Takes To Compete At Open Stove?


Can you make dinner for 18 people in 35 minutes, starting from scratch?

What would you make with a bowl full of conversation hearts, some High Life, two venison loins and individually-wrapped cheese slices?

Can you name all of the mother sauces while I hum the Jeopardy theme song directly in your ear? After a couple rounds of absinthe?

How knowledgeable are you regarding mid-80’s comedy movies and can you answer trivia questions about them while wearing a tiny sombrero?

If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions and are also a working cook or chef, then you might be exactly who we’re looking for as a competitor in this year’s run of Foobooz Open Stove nights at COOK.

Read more »

The First, Best Time: Stargazy Reviewed

Who knew we needed a British pie shop? | Photo by Emily Teel

Who knew we needed a British pie shop? | Photo by Emily Teel

The best time I had at Stargazy was on a rainy afternoon when I was going somewhere else. I hadn’t even been thinking about pies (which is odd for me), but then there I was—like a block away, walking through the drizzle—and I thought, You know what would go nicely with this weather? A sausage roll.

I pushed in through the door and watched the cooks in the tiny backroom kitchen squaring pies on sheet pans. The sausage roll cost something like four bucks and was hot and greasy enough to stain the bottom of the brown paper bag it came in. Perfect, in other words. I stepped back out into the gray and ate it walking, in its c-fold wrapping, picking apart the crisp, flaking crust with my fingers. That was a good day.

Read more »

Details On Buckminster’s In Point Breeze

Rob Marzinsky at the upcoming Buckminster'sSee that guy over there? That’s Rob Marzinsky and he’s going to be running the kitchen at Buckminster’s when it opens sometime later this fall at 21st and Federal in Point Breeze.

We’ve been looking forward to this place for quite some time now. It’s replacing Burg’s, a neighborhood bar that’s been in the space forever, and will be bringing to the ‘hood seasonal, market-driven menus that change frequently, a bistro vibe, craft cocktails, 14 taps pouring eight beers and six wines, and a seven-day-a-week schedule with late hours at the bar. Right from the start, owner Michael Pasquarello has been comparing his and Marzinsky’s concept to a new wave of Parisian and European bistros where young chefs are rethinking traditional menus and bringing casual, personal gastropub influences to their kitchens.

There’s even a name for this new style. They call it…

Read more »

Hershey’s Kisses Are Doubling In Size

BigKissIn the chocolate world, this is big news.

Because, in the chocolate world, Hershey executives haven’t seen change like this in 25 years. They can talk about how this–a change in size, a hazelnut, some gold foil–is the biggest innovation to the Hershey’s Kiss since someone first though of shoving an almond in one, and not mean it in a snarky, ironic or cynical way.

There’s a guy quoted in the USA Today piece about the change who says, “It took 55 years just to change the color of the foil. Then it took another 38 years to put something inside the milk chocolate.”

So yeah, this is not exactly a company that moves…


Read more »

Drinking Seasonally: Cool-Weather Cocktails In Philly

Fall Cocktails at Heritage | Photo via Heritage

Fall Cocktails at Heritage | Photo via Heritage

A man can’t live on gin and tonic alone.

Well, he can, I suppose. And god knows I try. But the changing seasons here don’t just affect what’s for dinner at Philly’s better bars and restaurants, they also mean changes to cocktail lists across the city. We poked around a little bit, and here’s what we found: Almost a dozen cool-weather cocktails that you should be drinking this weekend.

Read more »

Tuesday Burgers, Korean Tacos and Candy-Fried Wings: SouthGate Reviewed


SouthGate | Photo by Aaron Hernandez

I have lied thousands of times.

Across countless dinners in half a dozen cities in four different states, I have been asked more times than I can recall: How is everything tonight?

How are you enjoying your tofu and pomegranate potpie? How is that ridiculously undercooked quail? Why are you just pushing those mushy snails around on your plate and not really eating them?

And, oh, I say, everything is fine. It’s wonderful. Excellent. I’m just not as hungry as I thought I was, but can I maybe get a box for the rest of this grilled guinea pig? I can’t wait to have it for lunch tomorrow. …

At Southgate, the bartender stopped by to see me at the end of the bar. He asked, “So how’s that cheeseburger?”

Read more »

Han Dynasty Is Doing A 36 Course Wu-Tang Beer Dinner

han-dynasty-old-city-940Okay, so this is bonkers and I have no idea how it’s all going to shake out, but for those of you who know Han Chiang and like Han Chiang, none of what follows should come as a surprise.

Han Dynasty Old City is doing a beer dinner. That’s not weird. They do those all the time.

They’re partnering with Founders and Dogfish Head for the event, which is cool. Plenty of good beers there.

It’s going to be 36 courses (which is a little bit crazy), inspired by the Wu-Tang Clan (which is crazier), and it’s all happening tomorrow night at 7pm.

Read more »

Rastelli Market’s Second Annual Seafood Festival Is This Weekend

Rastelli Market

Last year, Rastelli Market in Marlton, NJ threw a big seafood party. They had another party to celebrate their 1st anniversary in July, and went at it all week. Apparently, they’re enjoying this kind of thing so much that this weekend they’re throwing their second annual Seafood Festival.

On Saturday, October 17, from noon to 4pm, there’ll be fresh seafood tastings, wine pairing suggestions, free classes and demos, a variety of homemade bisques and chowders being served and, of course, deals on all the seafood they sell.

So for those of you out there who just aren’t quite ready to let summer go, now you know where to come to stock up.

Rastelli Market Fresh [Official]

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »