Where to Celebrate Bastille Day This Week

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Photo by HughE Dillon

Still looking for an excuse to set off  your leftover fireworks? No worries, Bastille Day is this week on Thursday, July 14th.  There’s plenty happening around the city to celebrate this week.  But if you’re still looking for something besides catching as many Tastykakes as possible at the Eastern State Penitentiary, we’ve rounded up some other French-inspired Bastille Day events happening at restaurants around the city.

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Two More Beer Gardens For You To Visit This Weekend

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Seriously, I know that people like drinking outside and that, for years, we had to fight just to see one or two beer gardens open for the summer. But now it seems like these things are opening/popping up/changing location every weekend, and pretty soon we’re going to get to the point where there’s one on every block.

Not saying this is a bad thing, just… Man, how things have changed.

Anyway, there are two new beer gardens for you to explore this weekend. And the first one also comes with sushi.

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First Look: Ai Ramen

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When’s the last time you were in a food court? Riding the escalator up through the Shops at Liberty Place felt, for me at least, like a trip back in time. Breezing through the air-conditioned chill past Express and J. Crew, I half expected to arrive on the second floor squarely in front of Border’s Books, The Limited, and Bath and Body Works. Once I had shopped ’til I dropped, suddenly that 90s movie mean girl with shopping bags slung over her arms, I’d take a break in one of the Sharper Image massage chairs or snack on an Auntie Anne’s pretzel or the candy-sweet orange chicken from Panda Express.

Fortunately (and despite what current fashion trends might indicate), this isn’t the 90s. And there are better things to eat now at the mall.

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About Last Night: Chestnuts Roasting by an Open Stove*

open-stove-neuf-bardot-940On May, 4th the Open Stove contestants at Cook guessed that we would torture them with a Cinco de Mayo themed competition. But instead we gave them blue milk and Starburst in a memorable Star Wars themed battle. This month our kitchen warriors Malik Ali (Restaurant Neuf) and Bryan Tanczak (Bardot Cafe) were thinking hot dogs, hamburgers and maybe even apple pie as it was just past the 4th of July. But with the mercury well above 90°, we had a different idea, Christmas in July. So there was ham, plums, ginger snaps and since no one has chestnuts in the summer, water chestnuts. And to Ali and Tanczak’s credit, they embraced these secret ingredients with (ahem) aplomb.

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Happy Birthday to Kermit’s Bake Shoppe

kermits-bake-shoppe-400Kermit’s Bake Shoppe turns three today and they’re celebrating by giving all customers a free mini-cupcake with any purchase for pickup or delivery today.

In addition, Kermit’s is also running a Specialty Cake Giveaway. Fill out an entry form by 8 pm this evening and be entered to win a themed cake to feed yourself and 30 of your friends.

If you win, the pastry chefs at Kermit’s will help with the design.

Kermit’s Bake Shoppe [Foobooz]

Bok Bar Opens Tonight

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Instagram photo by R. Eric Thomas

A year after the successful Le Bok Fin pop-up at Bok, the rooftop bar is back in a more permanent fashion as Bok Bar.

The outdoor bar on top of the former Edward W. Bok School opens tonight with a menu of Vietnamese and Filipino dishes from chef Ronan Libunao. Look for bánh mí sandwiches, sesame balls and chocolate suman, a Filipino specialty that is made of glutinous coconut rice with chocolate prepared in a banana leaf. All items on the menu are priced under $10.

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The Time Machine: Jansen Reviewed

A soaring plate at Jansen in Mount Airy | Photo by Emily Teel

A soaring plate at Jansen in Mount Airy | Photo by Emily Teel

My wife, Laura, hated Jansen as soon as she walked through the door.

To be fair, she actually hated it before she walked through the door. She’d looked at the menu online, with its photos of the dishes available—shellfish sauces, slouching ring-molded tartares with sprigs of thyme poking up like tiny trees, food stacked or clenched tight like fists amid the vast white space of plates doodled with sauce)—and asked why we were doing this.

“I’ve eaten enough country-club food in my life, Jay. Why would I want more?”

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Budino Pops Are Back

Barbuzzo- Budino Pops - HighRes - Credit Jason Varney

Remember last year when Marcey Turney and Val Safran offered frozen budino pops and the entire city went bonkers with a million Instagram photos and lines down the block? Yeah, well it’s that time again…

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Johnny Brenda’s Chef Aiming to Open His Own BYOB

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Renderings of Elwood at 1007 Frankford Avenue

On Tuesday, July 12th Johnny Brenda’s chef Adam Diltz is going in front of the Fishtown Neighbors Association seeking approval to open a BYOB on Frankford Avenue across from the Fillmore. The restaurant, named Elwood after Diltz’s grandfather will seat 30 and serve food he describes as Mid-Atlantic/Pennsylvania regional.

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Tickets Are Now On Sale For the Best Of Philly Soiree

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Yes, it is almost that time again, folks. With August will come our big, yearly Best Of Philly issue, and with our Best Of Philly issue will come our big, yearly Best Of Philly party–a soiree being held under the stars at Dilworth Plaza on Thursday, August 4.

There will be food. There will be booze. There will be entertainment (both of the customary, music-based variety and the always amusing drunken-people-watching variety) and opportunities to sample some of the other best things in Philly. The best restaurants in the city will be there to feed you and the best bars and bartenders will be on hand to keep you well lubricated while you wander around a beautiful outdoor space. And all it will cost you is $99 to get in the door.

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