DIY Down the Shore: Beach Rental Daiquiris by Kevin James Holland

Photo by Trevor Dixon

Photo by Trevor Dixon

To help your summer along, Foobooz plans to give you some recipes by notable chefs and bartenders in Philadelphia. We’re calling it the DIY Down the Shore series, and we’ll be posting them all week. We’re bringing Philly’s dining scene into your summer homes.

Kevin James Holland, the little man with the little bar in West Philly, Fiume, weighed in on our DIY series. And here’s his story:

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By The Numbers: A Fantastic Year For Philly Restaurants

Never did this finely wrought food feel fussy.  | Photo by Jason Varney

Photo by Jason Varney

I was talking with Philly mag restaurant critic Trey Popp the other day, and we were discussing (as we so often do) the state of the restaurant scene in Philly. More specifically, how weirdly awesome this past year has been for restaurants in general, but for restaurants in Philly in particular. It’d gotten so that he was actually concerned with the numbers of 3 star reviews he’d been handing down lately–not because any of the restaurants on which he’d bestowed the stars were undeserving, but because he was worried that, after a while, a whole lot of 3 star reviews in a row just become noise.

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Death Of Fun: State Legislators Express “Grave Concern” Over Pop-Up Beer Gardens


Because they apparently didn’t have anything better to do with their time, four state legislators–John Taylor, R-Philadelphia, Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, and state Sens. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, and Jim Ferlo, D-Allegheny–sent a letter to the PLCB on Thursday expressing their “grave concern” over the loophole allowing a whole bunch of restaurants and bars to open temporary-but-kinda-sorta-permanent pop-up beer gardens around Philly.

Their problem with it? That these no-good scofflaws are circumventing the spirit of the law (though not, it should be HUGELY noted, the actual law itself) in a brazen attempt at bringing a little brightness (and booze) to the city at a time when, obviously, what we all want is for it to be more grim and draconian. Because mobs of adults drinking beer in the sun is obviously just the first step on a slippery slope which will inevitably end with happiness and a more vibrant, fun city. And who wants that?

But seriously, guys? Grave concerns? Save your “grave concerns” for issues that actually come with a little in-built weightiness. Like under-funded schools, gun violence, that pee smell in South Philly or murder cats. What you really mean to say here is that you have “petty, wheedling concerns” over the fact that a few clever business owners in town have figured a way to game the laws that legislators wrote in order to make a few bucks and bring some good times to the people of Philadelphia. That you (and maybe a few bar owners worried over the competition) have gotten your undies in a twist over a technicality being exploited by someone other than a lawyer or, you know, a politician.

But hey, you wanna play that game? With your letters to the PLCB and feigned anxiety over such worrisome rogue operations as the Philadelphia Horticultural Society beer garden or the Spruce Street Harbor Park? That’s just fine. Because over at, someone has already started a petition to oppose changes to the PLCB rules. Granted, they’ve only got about 400 signatures now, but we’re calling on every Foobooz reader to get on over there and sign their name so that we can show the politicians that, just this once, we’d like a loophole that benefits us–the drunken, sun-loving day-drinkers of the world–and not just the rich, the powerful and the connected.

Oh, and also? If you could do something about those murder cats? That would be nice, too.

Protect Philly’s Pop Up Beer Gardens []

Calling all Paleo Enthusiasts to Russet


Paleo enthusiasts grab your forks and steak knives because this one is for you.

Andrew and Kristin Wood, chefs and owners of Russet invite you for one hearty summer cookout on the restaurant’s back patio. Wednesday, July 23rd the fire will be blazing and the chefs will be cooking their haul from Philly CowShare. The grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork will be served over four courses, using only things our cave man ancestors would eat. But we’re guessing the way the Wood’s are serving these ingredients will be a little more delectable and artful than our ancient counterparts. The dinner starts at 5:30 p.m and is $35 per person. The event will also be BYOB and reservations are recommended. Check out the full menu below, to get your appetite going.

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All You Can Eat Crab Legs at Warmdaddy’s

Finally, somewhere you can dive into all you can eat Alaskan Crab Legs on a Tuesday night. And that place is Warmdaddy’s on Columbus Blvd. The tuesday night special is $22.95 per person and your choice of two sides comes with your never ending bowl of crustaceans.

Tuesdays are double duty for the restaurant because the stage hosts a Blues, Soul + Rn’B open jam session, backed by a live band. You can show off your talents or just enjoy the music while you partake in the 1-2-3-4-5 special. This special includes; $1 hot dogs, $2 Yuengling drafts, $3 Heinekens, $4 Buffalo wings, and every Philadelphian’s favorite, $5 City Wide Special (PBR & a shot of Jack Daniels).

Warmdaddy’s [Official]

Lowcountry Boil Comes to The Fat Ham


On August 5th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Kevin Sbraga’s The Fat Ham will do its own take on the Lowcountry Boil. Attendees will receive a family-style helping of the classic summertime dish to enjoy with the new seasonal cocktails for $90 per person (tax and gratuity included).

You can expect a meal full of shrimp, blue crab claws, house made smoked garlic sausage, potatoes and corn. And this lowcountry boil is bringing the heat with The Fat Ham’s special spice blend.

Yet Sbraga isn’t just bringing the dish up North for a few good lip smacks. “Lowcountry Boil is the epitome of what hospitality is all about in the South – getting together with friends and family to eat, drink, and enjoy each other’s company,” Sbraga said. “And there’s no better way to enjoy the last days of summer than with this one pot dish spread across a table of newspaper.” 

Check out the full menu »

Two Bells for Volver


Craig LaBan weighs in on Jose Garces’ culinary return to Philadelphia. The Inquirer critic calls the cooking at Volvér “egocentric” though he does call many of the dishes three-bell worthy, if he could order them a la carte.

The plates, without doubt, were still camera-ready gorgeous: ember-seared cubes of Wagyu beef posed beside crimson swipes of beet puree; nasturtium leaves floated atop lubina sea bass in a composition of rice and shrimp evocative its own ecosystem; epic salads tweezered into perfect still lifes by talented chef de cuisine, Natalie Maronski. Those dishes were examples of Volvér at its best, in which the inspirations were prime ingredients, not biography. The intricate salad was a naturalistic playground of delicate greens, creamy cauliflower panna cotta, and sublimely sweet carrots drawn from the garden at Garces’ Luna Farms, lifted by tangy Meyer lemon puree and the faux “dirt” of goat-cheese crumbles tinted black with squid ink.

Two Bells – Very Good

Garces’ Volvér overdoes the culinary performance art [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Volvér [Foobooz]

Trey Popp’s four-star review of Volvér [Philadelphia Magazine]

DIY Down The Shore: So, What Are YOU Doing This Weekend?


All this week, we’ve been offering up recipes from some of the city’s best chefs and bartenders. We’ve been asking them what they like to eat and drink when they’re headed down the shore, and they’ve been telling us–and then we’ve been telling you.

The good news? We ended up with more chefs and bartenders wanting to participate than we originally planned for. So we’re going to keep the party going next week as well with more recipes, more suggestions, more strange concoctions of gin and lamb parts. But in the meantime, we though it might be handy for you to have a list of everything we’ve done so far. You know, just in case there’s something like a weekend coming up and just in case you might find yourself inspired…

DIY Down The Shore [f8b8z]

Mussels, Mussels, and More Mussels


After running out last week, Derek’s in Manayunk promised endless mussels for this week’s All-You-Can-Eat Mussels Night on Wednesday.

This week, things seemed to go a bit more smoothly. And now Derek’s is going to be running the special every Wednesday night. Stop by anytime between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. to get steaming bowls (upon bowls) of PEI mussels. And depending on how you like ‘em, they can be served in a white wine sauce with garlic and herbs, swimming in the house’s famous spicy red sauce, or both. Because, you know, they’re unlimited. And to pair with your mussels, enjoy the hand cut french fries. Unlimited mussels and fries will be $19, but when you need a little something to wash it down, grab a 22 oz. bottle of Hoegarden for just $7.

Derek’s [official]

Percy Street BBQ Introduces New Dish

PercyStreetShrimpHey, speaking of watermelon…

Stop by Percy Street BBQ to check out their new appetizer. Debuting earlier this week, it’s Grilled shrimp with watermelon butter (!!) served over Carolina gold rice and peas. It’s a perfect summer kind of dish, would make an excellent side to a half-rack of ribs, and watermelon butter just sounds kind of awesome. So get yours for just $9. And if it tastes as good as it sounds, we’re all in for a treat.

Percy Street BBQ [Foobooz]

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