So… What Do You Know?

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You ever stumble across a great piece of restaurant news and just can’t wait to tell someone about it? Whether it’s spotting a new liquor license, hearing about a chef on the move, discovering another shuttered Matt Swartz restaurant or just learning that your weird uncle is opening up a combination massage parlor and cheesesteak shop on the Main Line, Foobooz should be your first call.

Why? Because we’re Philly’s home for food and restaurant (and beer) news. Because we believe in the obsessive fascination that you all have with this city’s incredible restaurant scene and love the idea of having thousands of eyes out on the street, keeping track of all the daily strangeness that makes food such an endlessly engaging topic. And because if you come up with something super-good, we might just send you out a t-shirt or something.

So, if you see something, say something–just like they tell you on the train. You can find us on Twitter, on Facebook or, better still, right here at the Official Foobooz Tips Department.

All Your Tips Are Belong To Us [The Foobooz Tip Line]

Northern Liberties 2nd Street Festival is Back

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The 6th annual 2nd Street Festival is back. On August 3rd from noon to 10 p.m., enjoy 6-blocks of over 150 vendors, including restaurants, food trucks, beer gardens, pop-up margarita bars, craft stations, and musical guests. Lil’ Pop Shop, Mac Mart Cart, Silk City Diner, and The Cow & The Curd are just a few of the places you can get your eats on. And across the festival, close to 30 artists and bands will be performing.

Yet the event isn’t just there to give you a good ole’ Sunday Funday, the 2nd Street Festival works to bring the community together and introduce others to the neighborhood. “This really is a unique, grass-roots neighborhood endeavor, putting a spotlight on the businesses, artists, and community members that make Northern Liberties so special,” said Owen Kamihira, a founding sponsor and owner of El Camino Real.

The festival is free and open to all ages.

2nd Street Festival [Official]

Restaurant Review: Charlie Was a Sinner

Charlie Was a Sinner | Photos by Jason Varney

Charlie Was a Sinner | Photos by Jason Varney

Just how much sinning do you like to do over dinner?

That’s a good question to chew on at Nicole Marquis’s mysterious new bar on 13th Street, where you can drink bourbon and absinthe beneath a looming hardback edition of In Cold Blood, watch sultry projections of Marilyn Monroe flicker upon the ruffles of a diaphanous wall curtain, and soak up your alcohol with food completely untainted by animal products.

In an era abounding with culinary hobgoblins—gluten for him, fructose for her, GMOs for the guy down the street—veganism still reigns unrivaled as the diet of the ethically upright. But the plant-only jawn feels a little racier at Charlie Was a Sinner, and not just because it’s next door to the last surviving porn shop on this once-seedy strip. Marquis, the woman behind HipCityVeg, named her lounge the way Elmore Leonard started crime novels. Who’s Charlie? Has he—or she—repented? Exactly what sort of sin are we talking about here?

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Beer Camp Across America Is Headed For Philly

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Billed as the biggest celebration of craft beer in history, Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America is bringing its sudsy traveling circus to Penn Treaty Park on Saturday from noon to 5pm. To celebrate the opening of his first east coast brewery, Sierra founder Ken Grossman has invited all 2,700 U.S. craft breweries to participate in a cross-country beer festival that makes one of just seven stops in Philly.

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City Tap House Adds Seasonal Pizzas

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Sweet Corn Pizza from City Tap House

City Tap House is rolling out a new seasonal pizza menu and they’re making a big deal about it. In fact, they sent over three pizzas today and we thought, seems like an odd time to be trumpeting what looked like ordinary pizza. But hey, pizza is pizza and we dug in. That’s when we realized there was more going on than we imagined. The salumi pizza was topped with pepperoni made with Cantimpaolo chorizo. The second pizza appeared to be the standard ham and arugula but instead it was Benton’s Farm ham with fresh peaches. Peaches on a pizza? It worked. The third pizza featured Jersey corn, roasted and pureed with a little cream and then topped with raclette, cilantro pesto and spicy pickled fresnos.

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Hai Street Kitchen Adds Screaming Tuna Roll

tuna-hai-street-400A lunchtime visit to the still-packing-them-in Hai Street Kitchen today revealed that the spot has added a new menu item. The Screaming Tuna is yellow fin tuna mixed with kimchi, gochujang sauce, sesame oil, pickled mango, lettuce, carrot, cucumber, red onion and asparagus. And like everything at Hai Street, it is then wrapped in rice and nori.

Though today’s wrap wasn’t the tightest I’ve received from Hai Street, the Screaming Tuna was another boldly flavored winner from Genji’s corporate offspring.

Hai Street Kitchen [Foobooz]

Girard: Brasserie and Bruncherie Coming to Fishtown

Girard | Otto Architects

Girard | Otto Architects

This fall, Cristian Mora and chef Brian Oliveira are opening Girard, a 70-seat French BYO at 300 East Girard Avenue. The restaurant which will be both brasserie and bruncherie with a grab-and-go section is being designed by James Beard Award nominated architects Joshua Otto AIA.

The design is inspired by pop art. Bright white marble countertops and tabletops will populate the dining room.

Girard will have a couple of unusual features that will differentiate the restaurant. Girard will be reservation-only and will not solicit gratuity for servers. Instead, Mora and Oliveira will pay a “living wage.” similar to the way restaurants operate throughout Europe. “Our business model allows us to offer our employees health insurance, paid sick days and profit sharing, which we’re very excited about,” said Oliveira.

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