Today is Un Dia Sin Inmigrante

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This post has been updated: Last update: 4:05pm

As we discussed a couple days ago, today is Un Dia Sin Inmigrante–a day without immigrants. Today, Thursday, February 16, many of Philadelphia’s immigrant residents–both undocumented and naturalized–will not be going to work. They’re not going to open their businesses. Students aren’t going to classes. They won’t be buying any gas. They’re not going to participate in the economy at all. In reaction to all of the recent anti-immigrant actions being taken on both a local and national level (including, close to home, the recent passage by the Pennsylvania Senate of Senate Bill 10, also called the Municipal Sanctuary and Federal Enforcement Act, which would “bar municipalities from adopting so-called “sanctuary” policies that refer to the refusal to comply with federal detention orders issued by Immigrations and Custom Enforcement”), they’re sending a message of their own: that without the contributions of the immigrants that are being targeted by these actions, the American economy would be paralyzed.

Restaurants, obviously, are going to be particularly affected by this action. So today, we’re going to be keeping track of how our industry is responding. Below, you’ll find a running tally of closed kitchens, scaled-back services and benefit events happening all across the region.

And of course, if you’re out there and you see something let us know. If you’re a restaurateur, reach out and tell how Un Dia Sin Immigrantes is affecting your business and how you are responding. Contact information for Foobooz editors will be at the bottom of this post.

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Plenty Cafe Will Bring California Vibes to Philly This Weekend

When Anthony and Damon Mascieri chose to get into the bar game, their plan was to bring gran café-stylings to Philadelphia. Their two Plenty locations went from coffee-and-sandwich shops to all-day cafes with rockstar wine and beer lists, and just a few months ago, they opened a third location in Queen Village. It’s a larger venue with plenty of seating, including outdoor seating, which will be in full-use this weekend when it’s 65 degrees and sunny. And to make it even nicer, they’ve teamed up with Lo Fi Aperitifs for a Sunday brunch takeover at all three locations.

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Jose Garces is Opening Three Restaurants at the Tropicana in Atlantic City

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Atlantic City is apparently collecting Iron Chefs. With Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck and Geoffrey Zakarian already there and Michael Symon opening Angeline at the Borgata sometime in the next few months, the city is well on its way to a full house (see what I did there?).

But now, with opening dates set for the three completely new operations from the Garces Group that we told you about last year, they’re flush with ’em. And Jose Garces is even going to sneak in ahead of Symon because he’s got opening dates set for all three locations (all of which are going into re-done spaces at the Tropicana) in the first week of March.

So, yeah. Really soon. Here’s what we know.

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James Beard Finally Acknowledges Philly’s Little Guys (and Gals) for its 2017 Semifinalists List

Essen Bakery (Oustanding Baker semifinalist) - Facebook

Essen Bakery (Outstanding Baker semifinalist) – Facebook

This story has been updated.

The almighty James Beard Awards Committee rarely ever left its comfort-zone when it came down to Philadelphia restaurants. Year after year, it was always Philly’s ultra-notable restaurants and chef names that made the cut — Zahav, Vedge, Vernick, Fork; Vetri, Starr, Solomonov — with the occasional nod to any Philly talent considered under-the-radar on the national scale, e.g. Joe CicalaKonstantinos PitsillidesAndre Chin and Amanda Eap (Artisan Boulanger Patissier). That’s not to say those big-name nominations weren’t deserved — they absolutely were — it’s just that there’s so much more to this city than Zahav and Marc Vetri. The rest of the country just isn’t aware.

But for whatever reason, this year, Philly-area chefs and restaurants, both big and small, caught the committee’s attention. Check out who’s repping Philly in 2017:

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Fancy Corndogs Make an Early Debut At Reading Terminal Market

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A couple months ago, we told you about the upcoming opening of Fox & Son Fancy Corndogs at the Reading Terminal Market. We didn’t have a lot of details then, but we did have the one fact that truly mattered: That there was a fancy corndog / poutine / funnel cake operation coming to the Market, which was, seriously, some of the best news of the winter.

So tell me, what’s the one bit of news that could be better?

That Fox & Son is open right now.

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Can Philly Restaurants Survive Even a Single Day Without Immigrant Workers?

Cristina Martinez in the cart days | Photo by Emily Teel

SPB’s Cristina Martinez in the cart days | Photo by Emily Teel

This story has been updated.

Less than a week after the Pennsylvania Senate cleared a controversial bill restricting $1.3 billion in state funding to sanctuary cities, a new movement has been born. Un Día Sin Immigrante, a day without immigrants, will go down this Thursday, February 16th, according to a report on Tuesday afternoon by Billy Penn

Many of Philadelphia’s immigrant residents — undocumented and naturalized — will not go to work, they will not open their businesses, they won’t shop, or eat at restaurants, or buy gas. Their message is clear: “Mr. President, without us and without our contributions this country is paralyzed.” Read more »

Le Virtu is Doing a Medieval Italian Dinner

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So here’s something you don’t get to eat every day: Stewed gourds.

Or rosewater ravioli. Or dessert made of mozzarella cheese.

But that’s exactly what you’re going to get if you show up to Le Virtu on February 23 for their (somewhat clumsily, but accurately, named) Pre-Columbian Medieval And Renaissance Dinner.

See, owner Francis Cratil is a man who loves history. The kind of guy who, with a little bit of time to kill, goes flipping through ancient cookbooks like Apicius (from the 4th or 5th century, full of marvelous and ridiculous rich-people foods from an Italy before the coming of the tomato) or Bartolomeo Scappi’s Opera dell’Arte del Cucinare (from the 16th century) looking for interesting historical tidbits like how Jewish communities in Italy were fattening goose livers for a kind of foie gras, or the first actual picture of a fork–which is found in Scappi’s book.

But he’s also a guy who owns a couple of excellent Italian restaurants, and a curious sort besides. So here’s how his thought process went…

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Elixr is Opening a New Cafe and Roastery in the Goldtex Building

Photo couresy of Elixr

Photo couresy of Elixr

Elixr got its start seven years ago, when third wave coffee just started gaining momentum in Philadelphia. They started roasting out of Fishtown and opened a tiny, minimalist cafe smack in the middle of Center City (that building is now a Cheesecake Factory). In 2012, they found a new home for their coffee shop, this one tucked behind a Chipotle. And despite it being located practically down an side alley, hidden from plain sight, away from any sort of real foot traffic, the cafe became one of busiest in the entire city. In fact, the shop is so busy, owner Evan Inatome decided it was time for a second.

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Vote for Best of Philly: What’s Your Favorite Italian Restaurant?

Best New Italian restaurant 2016 winner: A Mano/Facebook

Best New Italian restaurant 2016 winner: A Mano/Facebook

When it comes to Italian restaurants in this city, we have an embarrassment of riches. From the old-school red gravy houses of South Philly to the authentic, modern, and trendsetting eateries dotted throughout the region, Philadelphia has become a destination-city for pasta-twirlers ‘round the world.

Every year, we pluck one restaurant from the crowd and designate it the city’s best for our annual Best of Philly issue. This year, however, we’re leaving it up to you.

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