A recent Reddit thread tilted “Terribly-named bar gets horrible sign” has gained some notoriety. The thread refers to Bar(n) which has recently opened at 49th and Baltimore in West Philadelphia (the former Third World Lounge). The bar is owned by the same group that is behind Farmacy at 45th and Spruce. The Bar(n)’s Facebook page recently changed its profile pic to a screenshot of the Reddit photo. Ross Scofield, who is behind Bar(n) and Farmacy, has since taken to defending the sign that was attacked in the Facebook comments.
Craig LaBan savages Girard, the BYO on Girard Avenue that made headlines before it even opened, with its no-tipping policy. LaBan found poor execution and something even more surprising, a line on the check for tips.
But too many dishes failed to connect good ideas to a plate of complete success. Oliveira’s signature omelet was textbook perfect, stuffed with avocado, creamy cheddar and bacon. But the side of charred grapefruit, grilled face down (letting the sugar fall off) instead of brûléed with a torch, was bitterly burnt. The lamb ragu had an intriguing daube-like inflection of olives and orange, but was literally braised to a mush that was poorly paired with doughy gnocchi. A torchon of foie gras, usually a luxuriously creamy disk of delicately poached liver, was an off-tasting smudge of tan butter on toast overwhelmed by a thicker smudge of fig jam for $13.
One Bell – Hit or Miss
Bold but confusing Girard Brasserie and Bruncherie in Fishtown [Philadelphia Inquirer]
This past Sunday we ran our Top Food Trucks post and map as a companion to Philadelphia Sunday’s cover piece, Food Truck Wars by Ryan Briggs. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please make sure you do. It’s an interesting look at the new crop of food truck vendors and where they’ve chaffed the old guard bacon, egg and cheese vendors.
Philly Food Truck Wars [Philadelphia Magazine]
Professional mouth (and Philly native) Alan Richman has come out with another list of the 25 Best New Restaurants in the United States for GQ magazine, and Philly has made the cut–twice.
On Thursday, February 26, South Philadelphia Tap Room is hosting a pop-up tasting menu with Austrian winemaker Markus Huber. Chef de cuisine Mark Regan is taking over the kitchen and will be creating a special menu to reflect the traditional flavors of an Austrian Heuriger (a wine bar, more or less).
Brick & Mortar (ex-Franklin Mortgage partner Mike Welsh’s new spot) is expected to open sometime in March. But if you want a little preview of what’s to come in the Goldtex building, check out the Garage tomorrow, February 24, beginning at 5 pm because that’s when chef Brian Ricci will be in the house giving a little preview.
Los Camaradas is now open at 22nd and Carpenter. The Mexican bar and restaurant replaces the unfortunately named Strip Joint. Joseph and Theresa Scull are behind the new spot. This is the couple’s first spot but far from their first time in a restaurant. Joseph is a restaurant kitchen veteran, recently he’s been doing some consulting and has had stints at Bryn Mawr’s Verdad and Chestnut Hill’s Solaris Grill. Theresa was the beverage manager at Fairmount’s La Calaca Feliz.
The bar is stocked with more than 50 tequilas and a healthy selection of mezcals. All of the margaritas are made with fresh fruit and agave, never a mix. The bar will also have specialty cocktails like the Alma Picante, a spicy and smoky number made with mezcal. It went well with the smoked gouda that starred in the nachos.
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Sure, Philly is going through a serious restaurant boom right now. But we’re also living in a golden age of food trucks. Offering everything from pierogis to macarons to cheesesteaks to tater tots covered in beer cheese, these are some of the best trucks cruising the city right now. Read more »
While midwinter farmer’s markets lack the variety of the summer months, you can’t really argue with tables that still overflow with parsnips, potatoes, winter squash, and coolers of grass-fed beef, local dairy, and hand-made breads and baked goods. Plus, you can always add variety to your shopping trip by visiting a new-to-you market in a neighborhood not your own. This weekend boasts plenty of opportunities: Bryn Mawr (10-Noon), Chestnut Hill (10-Noon), Rittenhouse (10-2), Fitler Square (9-2) and Clark Park (10-2). A shortage of local food in winter? I think not.
HughE Dillon was on hand to chronicle the chefs, the food and the guests at this year’s Philly Cooks.
Thanks to everyone who came out.