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, service, 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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New, Local Cookbooks: From Bratwurst to Radishes And Everything In Between

This, and many others, are bringing Philly's best bites to your kitchen.

This, and many others, are bringing Philly’s best bites to your kitchen.

Usually when we talk about food news here, we tell you what’s new and cool, and then we tell you where to go to eat it. This post, however, requires little more than a trip to Barnes & Noble, or (for the remarkably lazy, like myself) an Amazon account.

Philadelphia and the nearby areas have some pretty amazing food and drink, and now many of the recipes are down on paper for your cooking pleasure. We’ve talked cookbooks in the past, but it’s time for a round up of all the delicious (local) stuff that’s been printed since January.

So order a book, even order your groceries, open a bottle of wine. With these books, all the awesomeness of the city’s food scene can now happen right in your own kitchen. And you know what’s better? Even if you burn it all, you’re never too far from the recipe’s source, allowing you to give up at any point and make nothing more than a reservation.

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Check Out the Best of Philly Soirée

bop-soiree-400On Thursday, August 6th, Philadelphia magazine is throwing its Best of Philly Soirée. The party is being hosted at Dilworth Park beside City Hall and is open to the public. Tickets start at $67.50 (if you can get three friends to join you) and go up to $150 for VIP tickets.

The event features summer cocktails, food from Best of Philly winning restaurants and dancing under the stars.

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Best Sandwiches in Philadelphia

Best Cheesesteak: Philly's Finest Sambonis | Photo by Courtney Apple / Styling by Lisa Russell

Best Cheesesteak: Philly’s Finest Sambonis | Photo by Courtney Apple / Styling by Lisa Russell

The Washington Post acknowledged it yesterday and we’ve known it practically from the crib. Philadelphians know good sandwiches. And here are the Best of Philly winning sandwiches for 2015, including the best cheesesteak, hoagie and roast pork sandwich.

Best Sandwiches in Philly [Best of Philly]

New Happy Hours Offer Alternatives to Sips Crowds

Late afternoon wine enjoyed outdoors at Fitler Dining Room.

Late afternoon wine enjoyed outdoors at Fitler Dining Room.

Whether you’ve tired of Center City Sips, your go-to bar, or simply drinking at home, here’s a round-up of the newer additions to the list of Philadelphia’s happy hours this summer. With the heat of August on the horizon, we’re probably all going to need a drink (or three), so let these newcomers reinvigorate your weekday drinking.

We’ll accept a cocktail as thanks.

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Indego And Cuba Libre Team Up To Reward Bike Sharers

cubalibrephillyAttention bike riders: Philly’s own bike share program, called Indego, is partnering with Cuba Libre to offer a free tapas dish to anyone who shows an Indego key and spends at least $15 on food.

Here’s how it works: Present a bike rental key during lunch, brunch or dinner and your server will bring you a free pineapple-guacamole Cubano along with your table’s $15 food purchase. Cuba Libre describes the Cubano as a “classic tapas item (that) features avocado, grilled golden pineapple, roasted jalapeños, fresh lime juice and extra virgin olive oil, and is served with crispy plantain chips.” This is Indego’s first dining partnership.

You can access Indego’s 600 bikes parked at 60 stations (including one close to Cuba Libre at 2nd & Market, just sayin’) by buying a membership or paying on the spot with a credit card – something we wish car shares would get into.

Cuba Libre [f8b8z]

Beach Day at Kraftwork

corn-dogs-400

Corn Dogs, Kraftwork-style.


For Kraftwork’s monthly Staff Picks event that’s taking place this evening, Tuesday, July 28th, the Fishtown bar is embracing the hot weather with a beach menu. The menu will feature beach friendly food like grilled corn, corn dogs, and fried oreos. For beer, picks from California beach towns will be highlighted.

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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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