With Cinco de Mayo just a week away, we over at Foobooz Headquarters decided we could no longer put off going through the folder we had marked, “Cinco de Mayo: Deal With Later,” in our emails. So here it is you tequila and guacamole guzzling heathens: your guide to Philly’s Cinco de Mayo.
Cinco de Mayo Street Festival at El Rey: The Stephen Starr restaurant is hosting its first ever, all-day (5/5, 2pm-10pm) street festival, featuring Mexican street food (think tacos, quesadillas, nachos, corn, margaritas and agua fresca), live mariachi music, piñatas and giveaways. The festival will be on the 2000 block of Ranstead Street.
First Fridays are great for when you want to wear that trendy buttonless jacket your ex bought you and sip wine while feeling cultured because you’re looking at art, but sometimes all you want is pizza and ice cream. And by sometimes I mean all the time.
Thus, this stroke of genius from Pizza Brain and Little Baby’s Ice Cream: Third Thursdays. Third Thursdays are a monthly collaboration between Pizza Brain, Little Baby’s, and a third local small food business where guests can come and enjoy unique pizza and ice cream flavors for one night only. This month, the third local small business is Abe Fisher, and the menu sounds awesome.
Buena Onda – Fresh Fish Tacos opens on Monday, March 16th.
The Garces Group’sBuena Onda is opening on Monday, March 16th on the 1900 block of Callowhill Street. This afternoon, team Foobooz dropped by to get a taste and take a look around.
The brightly appointed taqueria is inspired by the vibe and food of Mexico’s Baja peninsula. That means lots of fish tacos, a surfer vibe and the sound of Los Yaki playing on Buena Onda’s record player.
With the continuing restaurant boom in Philadelphia comes an array of new choices to visit during everyone’s favorite after-work past time: happy hour. It’s that blissful hour or two after work where you can complain to your co-workers about what’s going on in your life over cheap wine and bite-sized snacks. Now with all new options, it’s time to branch out from your favorite watering hole and try these six new happy hours in Philly.
Today at noon, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2015 Restaurant and Chef Awards.
Abe Fisher and Townsend were Best New Restaurant nominees. Michael Solomonov and Marc Vetri got nods for Outstanding Chef and Ellen Yin’s new restaurant group received three nominations. Fork was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant and Alex Bois (High Street on Market) and Jon Nodler (a.kitchen) received rising stars nominations.
Now, Travel + Leisure has just come out with their list of the best new restaurants in the world, and has given Philly a page, noting, “This unsung destination has blossomed into one of the U.S.’s most exciting restaurant cities—Portland East?—with a fierce indie spirit and world-class kitchen talent.”
Nice, right? Local names given a specific shout-out include Serpico, Michael Solomonov (Zahav and FedNuts, sure, but more lovingly Abe Fisher and Dizengoff), and both Fork and High Street On Market which gets the closing line, reading, “The artisanal breads and the caraway-rye rigatoni with pastrami ragù are reasons alone to go to Philly.”
So we’re awesome is the point here. At least for today. But in the immortal words of the legendary Dirk Diggler, “We can always do better. I’m gonna keep trying if you guys keep trying. Let’s keep rocking and rolling, man!”
Craig LaBan is back on Sansom Street, just weeks after giving Dizengoff three bells, to test out Michael Solomonov’s Ashkenazic restaurant, Abe Fisher. LaBan is a fan of just about everything, from the pastrami smoked short rib to the bacon tinged take on the egg cream.
But Abe proved its worth in many ways. The uniquely creative menu is bolstered by outgoing, informed service. The excellent drink program was thoughtfully conceived, from well-crafted theme cocktails (the beet-stained and rummy Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition) to its $12 Cruvinet pours of intriguing food-friendly wines, from grenache blanc to bobal and negrette. This is easily one of the year’s most distinctive, well-rounded, and ambitious openings.
On the first evening of Rosh Hashanah this year, BuzzFeed posted a video called “The Jewish Food Taste Test.” In it, Gentiles sample iconic Ashkenazi dishes. Gefilte fish comes first. “It’s like a cold sausage with sour paste on the top,” one goy cringes. “I’m not quite sure what meat it is,” confesses a hoodie-clad Asian dude. A vaguely Nordic-looking hipster delivers the kicker: “It tastes like a grocery store smells.” Suffice it to say that these people were not eating the gefilte fish on offer at Abe Fisher.
Chef Yehuda Sichel, a longtime loyalist of Abe Fisher co-owner Michael Solomonov, stuffs rainbow trout with a delicately nutty forcemeat of striped bass, smoked trout, walnuts and matzo. After poaching the trout whole, he cuts them into what amount to three-inch-thick boneless steaks, crisps the skin, and glazes them with a sweet reduction of carrot juice and port wine. Smoked Hungarian pepper wafts from a slaw of carrot shreds and pickled raisins piled on one side. Underneath it all is a subtly mustardy puree of butter-roasted carrots, accented with horseradish—lest anyone complain that the “sour paste” is missing.