Free Tickets To Tomorrow Night’s Garces Family Foundation Fundraiser For The Fastest Poets In Philly

I believe we’ve mentioned a couple times now about tomorrow night’s fundraiser/launch party for the new Garces Family Foundation. Matter of fact, I think we’ve mentioned it more than a couple times. But now we’re mentioning it again because we want to send four of you lucky Fooboozers to the big event. For free.

We have in our possession two pairs of General Admission tickets to the party. These suckers are $200 a pop and grant you a 7:30pm access to the main floor of the event where Mike Stollenwork from Fish, Han Chiang from Han Dynasty, Kanella’s Konstantinos Pitsillides, David Gilberg and Carla Goncalves from Koo Zee Doo, Tashan’s Sylva Senat, Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka from Zama and representatives from all 8 of Garces’s local operations will all be cooking their hearts out for your enjoyment. There will be booze, there will be food, there will be entertainment, there will be a fine selection of Philly’s culinary elite on hand, and all you have to do to get your hot little hands on a pair of free tickets is write us a poem…

Oh, but not just any poem. We have done haiku contests here before. We have allowed you people to wax romantic about wonderful meals and blissful nights. But being the professional omnivores that we are, we know all too well that not every meal out is a delight for the senses. We know that sometimes dinner just plain sucks.

Tomorrow night? It’s got every chance of being awesome. That kind of talent, all collected in one place? Should be an excellent evening. So this time, the tickets will go to he (or she) who can come up with the best poetic rendition of a night gone horribly wrong. Your reward will be a night of great food and company, but what we want from you right now is a recollection of the exact opposite.

It doesn’t have to rhyme. It doesn’t have to be a haiku. Free verse is just fine. Write an epic if you want to (though it will still have to be in the comments section below, and the time constraints might stifle any would-be Homers out there), but just make it sing. Best poem wins a pair of GA tickets to tomorrow night’s soiree. Second-best wins the same.

Oh, and one more little complication? You gotta have this one done by 5pm TONIGHT. Because we want the winners to have time to get their suits pressed, we’ll be announcing winners at 5:30 this evening, so you’d better hope those muses come when called.

So is everybody ready?

Then get scribbling.

Garces Family Foundation [Official website]

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  • Allison

    Flies breed in balsamic
    And dance on your salad
    Like demon croutons.

  • Christine

    Started with such promise on a Saturday night
    Good friends, good food, good wine
    But then the shouts and screaming
    Looking through the glass at the darkness outside
    What is that walking?

    They look human
    Friends and family transformed into animals
    They gnaw and they rip
    They don’t ever stop
    Zombie Apocalypse

    Dead and exhausted
    I’ll just say worst night.

  • Allison Berger

    I was dressed to the nines and my boyfriend looked fiiiine
    I had been staring at the dinner menu all day online
    I couldn’t wait for this evening, to be wined and dined
    It was scallops and mussels and carbs that I pined

    We got out of the cab, and my boy held the door
    I tripped on my shoe and fell flat on the floor
    Our reservation was lost, a table we couldn’t score
    We sat at the bar and ordered two pinot noirs

    Our server was lost with no one to pick up the slack
    The kitchen was out of my favorite cheese and mac
    The was a hair in my soup and the bill was out of wack
    I tried to smile across the table- at least I had Zack

  • Andy B

    An eight o clock reservation
    at Bibou

    An Indian Summer night the
    Queen Village streets are glowing

    The cork is popped, our
    faces flush with love and Bordeaux

    Our eyes meet, the twinkling of bells
    It is my cell phone

    It is the babysitter. My son
    All Over The Dog


  • Nikole

    Nhu-Y Banh Mi
    Hours Remain a Mystery
    Forever Watch Your TV

  • adam

    welcome, tonight’s feature attraction…bryannn adamsss, echoed thru Camden
    with backstage passes for ani/dylan on the left
    a frustrated girlfriend on the right
    we trudge to the mann to catch the end, the end
    cold fettuccine alfredo was on the menu, sounds great!
    we order two
    it was the summer of ’69, felt like the winter of 2002
    Cuts Like a Knife to the heart

  • Anna

    What were we thinking… Pub and Kitchen on a Saturday?
    Our bellies were shrinking and no room to our dismay.
    So up the street we sauntered, to a seemingly nice place,
    But an hour had passed, without yummy food in my face.
    But alas we did sit, with hypoglycemia and no treats,
    Then came limp, fried masses followed by overcooked meats.
    And stabbing by steak knife! by an impenitent waiter,
    Dear Pub and Kitchen, I will never again be a traitor.

  • Shayna Marmar

    Friends arriving
    Flowers in jars
    Candles lit
    Table set
    Music on
    Too ambitious
    This time it didn’t work
    Veggies burnt
    Rice sticking
    Dessert not working
    Oh no
    No no no no no
    Getting flustered
    Friends arriving
    Everyone in the kitchen
    Want to talk
    Want to help
    I forget
    What I’m doing
    Oh ya
    Fancy Indian-inspired dinner
    In honor
    Of the book we just read
    Book club girls
    My main contribution
    Is not reading
    It’s cooking
    And pretending
    I know about the book
    Without the food
    What will we do
    Oh ya
    Oh ya oh ya oh ya
    We will eat the burnt, the sticking, & the not working
    We will enjoy wine
    Being together
    We laugh
    And hug
    We are together
    And cozy
    Well fed with imperfection
    And taken care of.

  • Ross

    Ode to a Bad Banh Mi

    On a roll, soggy with aioli
    slumped my banh mi so unholy.
    Jicama, carrots, lettuce, and jalapenos,
    Should I have just gone to Geno’s?
    So earnestly I had waited
    for my hunger to be sated.
    Alas — this Vietnamese gem
    I am forced to condemn.

    I washed you down with a beer
    and soon it was clear —
    stomach lining, I’d have none
    Banh mi, you’ve won.

  • Cormack

    Tonight, Vetri, I couldn’t believe it
    I waited, I made it!, I happily tweeted
    Saved up my pennies, called up my sweetie
    Tonight we’d be dining a feast large and meaty

    We arrived nice and early, but what? We’ve been conned!
    We couldn’t believe our eyes, we’d been LaBan’d!
    Craig had taken the restaurant to do a review
    Our seats were no more, my thoughts askew

    What to do next? This was my dream!
    Come back next week, said Marc, no need to scream.
    So until then my sweet sweet breads, please wait for me here
    I’ll be back to enjoy you, please have no fear.

  • Winnie

    The meal that was to rival the rest,
    Was disappointing, at the best.

    Chewy beef, pricey filet;
    Well-done, almost grey.

    Soggy greens, they have no zip;
    Acidy? Forgettaboutit!

    “Smashed” potatoes, nothing new;
    Risotto draws suspicion—could it be glue?

    The only way to forget this meal,
    Is to find the nearest city-wide special deal.

  • LeeAnne

    A cold night long ago, with funding no good
    Stumbling through suburbia, desperate for food
    Nothing jumped out and our stomachs were empty
    So settled, we did, for Applebee’s 2 for twenty
    Onion rings claiming crunch were really just sog
    With batter that sat in our stomachs like logs
    A burger overdone, no pink to be found
    A patty quite chewy that tasted like ground
    For him it was chicken, and though they didn’t skimp
    The texture was rubber, like twice overdone shrimp
    We skipped the dessert, perhaps just being cautious
    For the rest of the meal began making us nauseous
    Finally home, we were neither full nor happy
    Eating from the cat box would have been much less crappy.

  • Ryan

    There once was a Farmer’s Cabinet Team
    Who opened up a concept around mead.
    The vikings, they loved it
    Their employees said “Shove It!”
    It was closed by March Twenty-Three

    Soon they cought on with gin
    Overcharging hipsters, with a grin
    Then the suppliers came pouncing
    “Your checks are a bouncin!”
    Again a restaurant – Fin!

    A new idea in their head
    “A Spanish Inquisition theme!” they said
    Organize the permits and faxes
    But dont pay the taxes
    Another shitty concept – dead!

  • Amada

    First date at the neighborhood wine bar,
    Right on time and dressed to impress
    A tall dark handsome stranger gets out of a car-
    I hold my breath as he walks in and looks at me—
    Then he breezes through to a table in the back.
    Not. My. Date.
    A glass of wine keeps me company as I Wait. And. Wait.

    Twenty-five minutes later and the dude appears,
    We grab a table in the back and I look through the menu-
    A waitress arrives and I start to order,
    He interrupts me and orders plates and plates of cheese and sausage.
    I am lactose intolerant and a vegetarian.

    I paste on my best smile and ask the standard questions,
    The food arrives and I eat tons of bread and tiny bites of cheese,
    He won’t stop staring at me intently with his beady eyes.
    He holds the fork in his hand like a weapon, but hardly eats because
    He won’t stop talking.

    Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.
    Now the smile is plastered on my face like a mask.
    I decline to order a second glass.
    Tapping my foot impatiently- ready to get on my way,
    The waitress comes- I hope with a bill so I can pay.

    He says he’s still nibbling (ew- who says that?).
    Blah blah blah.
    The waitress comes- he says he’s still nibbling.
    Blah blah blah.
    Beady beady eyes staring at me like I am prey.
    He won’t stop talking. He’s still “nibbling.”

    Finally the night is drawing to a close.
    The bill arrives and I reach for my purse to pay my half.
    Gallantly, he declines my request, waving me off with a quick little laugh.
    I go to the bathroom for a few minute escape- when I get back
    I see he has left a 5% tip for a table he held hostage due to his incessant nibbling.

    I quadruple the tip. We walk out the door. I hold out my hand, he leans in for a kiss!
    I exclaim, “No! No! No!” I turn my face and hold up my hands so he will miss.
    I flag down the first taxi I see- excited to leave, I need to flee!
    At least I will never hear from him again- for No! No! No! sends a strong message!
    Two days later the dude emails, texts, and calls because he had such a wonderful time.

    It was a night gone horribly wrong.

  • Nikki

    At a run of the mill frat boy bar in Manayunk,
    waiting in line to pay a cover and be tortured
    I’d rather be anywhere else, even sitting in the Schuylkill where 3-headed piranhas would have me butchered

    I ask myself…

    Located near great bars with nice people & good beer,
    why did I leave the comfort of my South Philly hood?
    Only to get bumped into by sparkly t-shirt wearing dudes w/ big biceps and little heads,
    I’d punch all of these jerks if I could!

    My beer spilled again with a quick sorry from the offender, I can’t believe I paid six dollars for this shitty “craft” brew
    I notice the cover band is playing Journey, so thank god the night’s almost though

    There is a saving grace to this story, that makes the trip maybe a little worthwhile and perhaps not a total flop
    When the cologne & paper towel guy advised my boyfriend – “this one here make the panties drop”

  • Liz

    Dental floss in my MacDonald’s apple pie
    yes, not a lie….

  • Ryan

    The freshest bread
    and the finest stew
    But to my dismay
    It tasted like shoe!

    I panic’d in fraught
    and sent back the junk
    thinking this chef
    must have been drunk

    But a visitor came
    and said with delight
    “look at the date,
    it’s Halloween night!”

    A witch she was,
    In full attire
    Black cat in tow
    and her eyes on fire

    And then I recalled,
    the week before,
    A miserable dinner
    The cause for sure!

    I stiffed on the tip,
    and blamed the sever
    Now she’s returned
    with firey fervor

    How could I know
    and what would come next
    now that my taste
    was under a hex?

    I pleaded and begged,
    to no avail
    The curse was set
    So heed my tale!

    Tip your server
    Or suffer my fate
    Where the finest cusine
    Is crap on your plate!

  • Fritos_Nevermore

    When will the Fritos fad end
    for it
    sours the legacies
    of our grandmothers
    who knew what a real pie was;
    That it was
    slickly larded dough
    juice-heavy peaches
    dollops of sweet clotted cream
    served with a kiss
    of pink lipstick to the cheek
    of her grandchildren with a reminder to be thankful
    for all that we had, and to want no more than family and
    sweet fruit pies.
    Our grandmothers, alive and dead,
    revile the Frito.

  • gijyun

    I can’t think of anything that rhymes,
    even harder to be witty.
    I’m just hoping since I’m pregnant
    and hungry you’ll take pity.

    As if the lack of booze
    for 9+ months isn’t enough,
    I can’t even eat lunch meat
    without heating it up.

    I’m reduced to homemade lunches
    and leftovers by day,
    I have to abstain from seafood
    (and cured meats too, by the way).

    So while people complain
    about a horrible night gone wrong
    I hope you’ll consider
    my pathetic gestation song:

    Please, give me my night out
    so that I can dine
    on food that I adore,
    and my @#$%ing weekly ration of a half-glass of wine.

  • Charles Alburn

    10:03 PM
    A crudely cleaved steak stiffens on a plate
    Gristle and sinew
    A knife brays on its surface

    10:07 PM
    A cough opens in the air
    Minor distractions
    A man next to us cracks the binding of a menu

    Checking the menu
    Foie Gras is misspelled
    I catch you looking at your watch
    Your eyes move but never meet mine

    10:40 PM
    You comment on the crumbs collected in the finer strands of my cartigan
    I brush them away
    Strangely embarrassed, slightly angry

    10:42 PM
    I recall you five years ago
    Against the same broken tiles
    Your cheeks flushed and glowing from the wine
    They’ve changed the lighting in here

    10:45 PM
    A half a glass of wine

    10:51 PM
    A check

    10:56 PM
    The silence blankly acknowledged across an ocean of table
    Of pretense
    Of wood and linen

    11:00 PM
    Happy Anniversary

  • AL

    Friends in to Philadelphia
    With Questions. About history, the bell, the crime
    But most important, where to dine?

    I begin.

    “The most authentic Italian, best Mexican and Pho,–South Philly is not to miss!
    And, Barbuzzo’s budino — pure absolute bliss.”

    “Farm to table, gastropubs, and BYOB,
    Amazing craft beers, and bubble tea!”

    “Vetri, Garces, Stephen Starr,
    Olexy, McAndrews, …” but, my list extends only so far.

    I’m interrupted.
    And their answer makes my proud heart ache,
    “But we were hoping for a Philly Cheesesteak!”

  • Theresa

    We had a dinner reservation at 8
    “Just a few minutes, if you don’t mind the wait.”
    A few minutes turned into 40
    So we anxiously sat at the bar
    As unfortunately we couldn’t go far
    The rain outside was torrential and we had no umbrella or car

    An hour later we were seated
    Our energy completely depleted
    And yet another ten minutes passed
    Before a waiter even bothered to ask
    If we’d like sparkling or tap
    Then he spilled it all over my lap

    Tired and hungry we we ordered our meals
    And what sealed the entire ordeal
    was that one meal was still cold; the other was burnt
    and our “complimentary” dessert
    was seemingly curdled
    We left in a huff and I can’t say it enough
    Even if they cry, plead or beg
    We’ll never go back to Square Peg

  • Seasoning Gone Wrong

    That plate on 13th Street was all brine,
    So much salt, when it should have been divine.
    I sent it back nicely,
    With instructions precisely,
    But on that bad food we could not dine!

  • Shannon

    Sushi, sake, nori, moon.
    Warm enough to sit outside.
    Your face, juggling witty conversation
    and diabolical twin chopsticks.

    Avocado, crab and cucumber
    Mosaic of perfection
    Bundled in nori and rice.
    And also, a spider.
    (That was not a sesame seed.)

  • Jillian Penrod

    No parkin–super weak–i coulda just walked from home
    By the time i get that ticket the Moët is all gone
    Why is everyone wearin tie-dye what is this ron jon
    Tryin to catch the beat but the speaker’s all blown

    This juice is pink in my chicken satay
    Dude zip up before you serve that canapé
    Tell me this ain’t cigarette ash dustin on my quiche
    Aw, man, this isn’t lump crab this is Fancy Feast

    How you raisin funds takin only money orders
    Dirty plates dirty flutes dirty forks like Hoarders:
    Buried Alive i shoulda stayed with my ride, saved some quarters
    Man i would’ve had more fun sittin in that empty Border’s

  • Ed

    Gold and maroon dripping down the walls.
    Ornate chandeliers dangling like arachnid.
    Sauce, unholy marriage of powder and wine.
    Skewers of steer and fowl alike, cooked rare.
    The restaurant that must not be named.

  • A la carte insect.

    There was that time long ago,
    I tried to be more grown-up than I was
    More in love than I was
    And I took my beau to the now shuttered
    Pink Rose Pastry Shop
    for dinner
    and dessert,
    but not the cockroach
    That crawled across our table mid-meal.
    An omen, yes.

  • MerLion

    I’ve been had by Judge Judy and Harvey Keitel
    Their celebrity head shots welcome me to hell.

    A great bottle of Pinot was no indication
    That this $90 “tasting menu” was the worst part of vacation.

    I’d trust any chef to base a meal on meat, veggies or fish
    But to have every dish
    Based on the gelatinous mix
    Of ketchup and horseradish
    Is a cruel treatment for an expensive prix fix.

    The shrimp cocktail straight out of that Beetlejuice scene.
    Forever haunting me at every cocktail party.

    Those poor salads and steaks doused to death in the ugly condiment.
    Praise the lord dessert found the over-used relish absent.

    That wasn’t the end.
    Let’s not forget the heartburn my friend.

    Oddly my only New Orleans mistake had the best correction,
    It was a beautiful August redemption.

  • Dr. Funkenstein

    I’m not on a dialup
    Or some kind of modem
    But the site timed out
    And deleted my poem!!!

    [Not cool.]

  • Dr. Funkenstein

    Traffic was bad.
    We got there late.
    They gave up our table.
    One hour wait.

    The hostess was rude
    and reeked of pot.
    Sorry about the wait.
    Her eyes said she’s not.

    Menus in small print
    We barely could read.
    Prices outrageous.
    Haute cuisine, indeed.

    Our waitress talked
    for minutes on end.
    Then forgot our order
    What was that, again?

    The bread was stale.
    The apps were bland.
    Rubbery scallops.
    Tomato sauce canned.

    A crash from the kitchen.
    A furious shout.
    I’m sorry, sir.
    We’re out of the trout.

    The entrées arrive,
    miniscule and cold.
    They taste of rubber
    and dry charcoal.

    Would you like dessert?
    Just the check, please.
    Wait, it’s how much?
    Haute cuisine, indeed.

    Outside it’s raining.
    No umbrella to use.
    We slog through puddles.
    We ruin our shoes.

    And the final insult,
    the dessert to our meal:
    A parking ticket
    on the windshield.

  • Joy

    Birthday celebration
    St. Patrick’s Day
    avoid the crowds

    Korean bbq at Kims
    Long drive to Olney

    Hungry, thirty
    excited to unwind

    Flashing lights
    cop cars rushing
    blocking 5th street
    blocking our path

    cops had shot a man
    he refused to drop his cleaver
    Kim’s chef gone mad?
    turns out no

    we never made it past the barricades
    to Kim’s that night in March

  • Lola

    Slimy, putrid brownish green mass,
    carelessy plopped in a bowl, carefully covered in lemon juice.
    Far too long has passed since its bright days
    as an avocado.
    Even the chips seem repulsed,
    lacking necessary bravado.
    “Is that black pepper?” he asked.
    “Could be…” I reply.
    “Black pepper” left by cockroach more likely…
    I give a muted sigh.

    The server is called.
    Send it back a second time.
    “But it’s from a new batch” – a tone of surprise.
    Pleading looks of disgust,
    shot in her direction,
    force her to comply with no more hesitation.

    A smile and a nod is all I can muster.
    It can’t get much worse.
    His choice of restaurant failing quickly,
    My beau reciprocates with a smile, of course.

    Next comes the soup.
    Apparently served hobo style.
    Canned black beans, warmed,
    raw onion added.
    -Yes, I assure you, this actually happened.

    Still in slight denial,
    we wait for the mains.
    He swears up and down,
    “This place used to be good,
    but it’s been a while.”

    On to the enchiladas –
    Dry chicken, fishy shrimp, pinto mush.
    Pushing at my plate, I look around in disgust.
    I somehow bite my tongue.

    He sees the look on my face
    and knows,
    politely getting food poisoning will not help his case.
    He takes my hand in a panic,
    “Chipotle on the way home??”
    Thank God, smarter than I gave him credit.

    We look for an exit –
    a weak point spotted in the garden wall.
    “I can see the car.” He whispers.
    Never having skipped on a bill,
    there was some hesitation.
    Looking down at that vile fare we knew it
    the only option
    to save such a wretched evening.

    On three we made haste,
    the car soon within reach.
    But we failed to notice the server gave chase,
    drawing the rest of the staff on her way.
    Still, we refused to pay.

    Sticking to principles,
    We spent the night in the clinker.
    Not exactly the evening he planned,
    but at least jail served an edible dinner.

  • http://Foobooz Melville

    ‘Call Me Foobooz’ he said
    when working at sea he never ate bread
    Fish, however, was another matter
    He happily harpooned the Moby Dick platter
    But looking at the great white plate, he was at a loss
    The fish was but a guppy, and no sides, no cocktail or tartar sauce

    Back into the kitchen and grabbing a chef knife with glee
    He could be heard ‘No condiments? From Hell’s heart I stab at thee!’

  • Sherry

    Heels On.
    Jewelry Sparling.
    Lights ablaze.
    The city glows below.
    Anticipation seeps through my pores,
    As the approaching hour nears.
    Wine chilled.
    Settings arranged.
    Oysters salivating on ice.
    Butterflies, waiting….
    Lights slowly disappear.
    Melancholy fuels my hunger.
    Wine and oysters slowly migrate.
    What? Not even a call?

  • Linda Lyons

    “Twas the day before PHeaST, when all through the city
    Everyone was stirring, even the mice!
    The food was ordered and being prepared
    In the hopes lots of foodies would soon be there!

    The chefs were all nestled snug in their kitchens
    As they cooked all the good food the foodies would be eating
    With vegetables from the gardens and food from the pantry
    They settled in for a long cooking PheaST

    When out in the Navy Yard, there arose such a clatter
    The chefs left their kitchens to see what was the matter.

    The sunlight was dawning over the city of Brotherly Love
    As a US Aircraft Carrier docked with such a might
    That they hit the gas and electric lines all through the yard!

    “Now, sous chefs and bussers, dishwashers too
    Come now we have a job to do!
    We must find fire and light
    Or no one will eat the entire night!”

    Off they all go through the city they flew
    Looking for ways to say the night!
    Generators, candles, gas grills and fire pits too
    They knew what they had to do!

    With hours and minutes ticking away
    They set forth to kitchens today
    With generators and candles they light up the yard
    And with the grills and fire pits they cooked like a storm

    Even though they had such a late start
    The mood in the kitchen was light of heart.

    All over the yard they fussed and set-up
    For an over the top celebration to be had by all
    The chefs worked to and fro
    And the night was a go!!