Philadelphia’s Spring Restaurant Openings

helm-interior-940Despite what the weather might be doing, we’re calling it: Spring is here. And as always, the change in seasons gives us an excuse to look forward at all the upcoming restaurant openings that we’re excited about.

So here’s what we’ve got coming up on the calendar. One word of caution though: Before you all go getting too excited about one place or another, let’s keep in mind that restaurant opening dates are HIGHLY speculative. As history has taught us time and time again, just because some place says it’s going to be open in April doesn’t mean that we won’t still be waiting for it to open its door come November. Of next year. Read more »

The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

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Have you ever noticed the thing that happens this time of year? All at once, chefs around town seem to be unable to tolerate another turnip or stand another second of squash. Suddenly, magically, favas, peas, and rhubarb start appearing on menus, even if they haven’t quite made it to the farmers’ markets yet. The idea of what spring vegetables are doesn’t quite match the local timeline, and though these spring lovelies have yet to make their debut there are, creeping in to market, sure signs of the changing season.

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Six Pack: Food Events For Wine Week And Beyond

Manayunk's favorite foodie fest returns for a fall edition this weekend. StrEAT Festival brings over 40 Philly food trucks to Main street, serving up everything from BBQ to cupcakes, with an emphasis on a special seasonal ingredient: apples! Manayunk merchants will offer sidewalk sales and promotions, plus fresh fruits, veggies, and homemade spices, oils, and jams will be available to purchase from the farm stand and gourmet vendors. Kids will be entertained at Recess, a littles-only zone held at Canal View Park, complete with everything from a moon bounce to face painting. Plus, a pop-up beer garden will be the highlight of Cotton Street, offering samples of craft brews to compliment the food truck fare. Come hungry. Sunday, September 28th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Main Street, Manayunk.

Spring stirs up a celebratory air in this city, as festivals and events seem to be happening in every neighborhood all of a sudden. And no celebration is complete without an abundance of food and booze. From one last Wine Week blowout to a patio pig-out,  here are six upcoming food events that you shouldn’t miss this season.

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Han Chiang Decapitates A Pig For Munchies

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Munchies has another “Chef’s Night Out” videos, and this time they’re hanging out with Han Chiang, some of his crew from Han Dynasty, and a bunch of other Philly notables. It takes all of 49 seconds before the director shows the Rocky statue for the first time, but after that, things settle down into a kind of pinwheel of debauchery in which Han and his crew drink, talk Szechuan food, drink, talk shit, do shots, talk with Ben and Christina Miller from Barbacoa, eat some testicles, do more shots, eat a lamb eyeball taco, go to Amis, decapitate a pig, drink more, go to Prime Stache for wings (and more drinks), then head back to Han Dynasty for Szechuan hot pot and a philosophical walk-off where Han talks about playing Clash Of Clans and wonders where all the strippers are.

Really, it’s the kind of thing you have to see for yourself.

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First Look: Joe’s Steaks in Fishtown

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Joe’s Steaks at Frankford and Girard.

The second location of Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop is set to open at the corner of Frankford and Girard Avenue on Wednesday, April 1st. The legendary cheesesteak spot’s sequel will at once feel familiar to fans of the original and will also blow them away with just how nice the new spot is.

However, most importantly the quality of Joe’s Steaks was on display in Fishtown. In a cheesesteak, hand-cut fries and milkshake sampled prior to the opening, there was no mistaking how good Joe’s can be.

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Chinatown Restaurant Sickens Lawyers

joy-tsin-lauPhilly.com’s Sam Wood has the story on a severe case of food poisoning that struck nearly 100 lawyers and Temple University law students in Chinatown last month. An eight-course dinner at Joy Tsin Lau was held as a fundraiser for the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and the outcome was severe.

Several attendees had to seek medical attention and David S. Haase, a Center City lawyer, told Wood that “a combination of non-stop puking and explosive diarrhea kept him bedridden for four days.”

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The Gaslight Is Taking A Do-Over

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Things did not go well for Jason Cichonski when he debuted his Old City bro-haven and drink-a-teria, The Gaslight. He got kicked around pretty good by our own Trey Popp, who handed down one lonely star (“The Ela chef’s sophomore effort feels like an Old City boite for singles who’ve almost outgrown them, but who aren’t quite ready to choose between Manayunk and Cougar Town.”) and given a single mercy bell by Craig LaBan in a review most notable for the fact that the chef himself knew an ass-kicking was forthcoming.

Still, he kept things going–serving crowds who didn’t seem dissuaded at all by the bad press. Right up until February 28 when a burst pipe upstairs forced a “temporary” shutdown (which has now lasted nearly a month) and Cichonski decided to use the time to re-do, well, pretty much everything.

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Iron Hill to host 7 Deadly Sins Beer Pairing Dinner

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We know that everyone is still in the throes of Wine Week in Philly. But eventually, this concentrated love affair with grape juice is going to end, and a whole lot of people are going to find themselves wanting a more grain-based solution to enduring a Wednesday night.

And that’s fine because Iron Hill will be there to help with their “7 Deadly Sins” beer dinner.

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Wine Week: Okay, Now This Is Just Totally Bonkers

FLXLogoNow this is the way that Wine Week ought to be celebrated.

For one night only, the crew at Alla Spina are bringing in chef, manager and Master Sommelier Chris Bates from FLX Wienery in the Finger Lakes to do a special Wine Week menu.

First things first, check out this guy’s bio: “Christopher Bates not only helmed one of the country’s greatest wine programs as General Manager and Executive Chef of 5 star Hotel Fauchere, but won the International Best Young Sommelier competition.” He then went on to bail out of the hotel scene and open a “Modern Hot-Doggery” where he could sling wieners and dogs for a living, which is just awesome.

Second things second, you’ve got to take a look at the menu being offered tonight. There are two options–drop in at the bar for a snack, or sit down in the dining room at Alla Spina for a full tasting menu, with pairings, of course.

Show me the menu!

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