Green Aisle Grocery’s Graduate Hospital location.
Brothers Adam and Andrew Erace who own Green Aisle Grocery locations on East Passyunk, Grays Ferry Avenue and soon, Girard Avenue are getting their own TV show. Great American Food Finds is premiering on the Food Network on Monday, August 3rd at 10:30 p.m.
The Food Network describes the show as:
With a sixth sense for the unexpected and delicious, brothers Adam and Andrew Erace travel the country in search of America’s hidden food treasures to fill their family market’s shelves. Whether it is a mac’ and cheese pie at the out-of-the-way farm stand, or the bacon-studded fudge brownies at the hole-in-the-wall bakery, the Erace brothers are on a mission to find it and put it on your plate.
In addition to his ownership of Green Aisle, Adam Erace is the food critic for City Paper (so much for the veil of anonymity) and Andrew has a background in real estate. Stay tuned for more news about the show.
Green Aisle Grocery [Official]
The bar at Heritage.
, a newcomer to Northern Liberties this spring, surprised and impressed City Paper critic Adam Erace. So much so, in fact, that the restaurant now holds a spot in his top 10 Philly favorites despite its relative youth. Lauding the mature and thoughtful cooking, Erace explains:
“Lately I feel that, spoiled by recent years of plenty, we’ve slid into a period of casual-sex restaurants: They feel good, sure, but do they challenge us? Do they have a point of view? Are they adding something to the conversation? At first glance, Heritage seemed to be just another lemming, offering a couple hours of pleasant distraction with the same ol’ new-American menu of kale salad, crudo and smoked things. Reading through online, the list felt inexplicably wintry. It was 95 degrees. I didn’t want to eat brisket with cabbage, trout in truffled broth or duck confit. I didn’t want to eat at Heritage. Now, thanks to chef Sean Magee, I can’t wait to go back.”
Heritage shines in Northern Liberties [City Paper]
Adam Erace was already a fan of Bobby Saritsoglou’s cooking from Saritsoglou’s time at Santucci’s. There, Erace realized the pizzeria was also a really good neighborhood BYOB. Now Saritsoglou is cooking Greek food at Opa and Erace says the Midtown Village spot is now a “great restaurant.”
[M]eat was where Saritsoglou really shined, whether in the bite-sized dolmades, smoky charred grape-leaf bundles rolled around aggressively spiced keftedes that positively quivered with juiciness, or the shareable Meat Board, a carnivore’s playground that shortly will become a new must-have dish in Philadelphia. Inspired by Greece’s kebab-and-beer psistaria, this scene co-starred four perfectly cooked proteins on a butcher-block backdrop: oregano-rubbed chicken so moist, the word “confit” hardly does it justice; uncased pork-and-beef soutzoukakiasausages shot through with woodsy za’atar; a take on loukaniko, a true sausage deeply perfumed with orange zest and fennel seed; and bifteki, which was like the most unearthly delicious burger patty you’ve ever eaten. The bifteki sat on a thick slice of tomato, a king on a scarlet cushion. I cut into the crunchy caramelized crust of the pan-fried 80/20 beef patty (a light dredge in flour is the key), revealing a glistening interior as red as the fruit it sat upon.
A new chef brings a fresh new menu to Opa [City Paper]
Olde Bar | Photo by Arthur Etchells
Brian Freedman visits Olde Bar for Philadelphia Weekly while Adam Erace reviews Franky Bradley’s for City Paper. Freedman is in love with the fried clams at Jose Garces’s redone Bookbinders and he’s even more impressed with the redo.
The Olde Bar is a Jose Garces project—the kitchen is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Mike Siegel—but it feels different from his other restaurants around town. Indeed, in his attempt to honor the legendary space, he has accomplished something both difficult and important: Bringing the past into the present, without peddling in either preciousness or hokey nostalgia. The Olde Bar feels both classic and vibrant at once, just like that fried clam.
Read more »
The menu at Girard
Girard, the restaurant made famous for its no-tipping policy, rarely gets press for the food it serves up. Adam Erace rectified this oversight in a review for City Paper, writing about what actually concerns people when they read restaurant reviews: the food.
It’s a shame the tipping situation has gotten the most publicity because Oliveira’s cooking is what should really be in the limelight. He can be heavy-handed with salt, but I really enjoyed what he cooked for me, beginning with a smart little avocado toast topped with grapefruit segments, wheels of watermelon radish, tarragon oil and Sichuan pepper.
Girard [City Paper]
Adam Erace has a new favorite Vetri restaurant and it’s Lo Spiedo. The newly opened restaurant at the southern end of Broad Street impresses the City Paper critic with its cocktails, its burger and its pasta. Surprisingly, he isn’t in love with the entrees that come off Lo Spiedo’s namesake spit but he has does have praise for other dishes coming off chef Scott Calhoun’s wood-fired grill.
Scott Calhoun is a stud that deserves as much of the credit as his mentor. I couldn’t quit the Lancaster native’s smoky spit-roasted cabbage in a crock of Gorgonzola fonduta, or the sponge of cornbread soaked in rotisserie drippings. Al dente rigatoni tossed with spit-roasted tomato sauce and ricotta salata had such depth of flavor, I barely believed him when he told me it was vegetarian.
Vetri’s latest, Lo Spiedo is firing on all cylinders at the Navy Yard [City Paper]
Lo Spiedo [Foobooz]
La Peg at FringeArts | Photo by Kevin Monko
Citypaper’s Adam Erace recently reviewed the Philadelphia brasserie, La Peg, praising the restaurant’s architectural aesthetics, comfortable energy, and window view. However, while Erace enjoyed various classical options at La Peg, he was critical towards any diversions from the traditional French cuisine offered on the menu.
“At La Peg, there’s a freewheeling spirit you don’t get at the beautiful and severe Minette, but a little of the latter’s discipline could help sharpen the experience here. Sriracha turned up a lot, which felt like a trick of a lesser restaurant,” he said.
“The picnic-friendly Parisian sandwich could use ham with more character (and smoke) than the timid French import filling its buttered baguette,” Erace criticized. However, when the last course of the evening, the apple tart, was served, he said he forgave all other imperfections: “I savored the last bite and view. Perfect, both of them.”
French Fares Well at La Peg [City Paper]
La Peg [Foobooz]
Adam Erace weighs in on the cocktails at the Yachtsman and happily reports, the tiki drinks are fun and good. But most importantly, fun.
Making cocktails has been elevated to such high art, at times they can elicit a why-so-serious backlash, but with Yachtsman’s menu of high-octane punches, sneaky frappes and colorful rum coolers, Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal have managed to weave together drinks that feel joyful as well as thoughtful. Like the Bird of Paradise, a frothy cross between a Clover Club and a Ramos gin fizz with a subtle orange blossom perfume, or the grass-green Missionary’s Downfall, a frosty, refreshing rum, peach-and-pineapple situation whose color comes from a jungle of blended-in fresh mint. The velvety Tree Frog, a Don Q banana daiquiri mix with an undercurrent of galangal, allspice and star anise, is flat-out delicious; I want to make it a part of my daily breakfast routine.
Also revealed in Erace’s review, his high school AIM username.
Review: Tropical breezes and tiki reimagined at the Yachtsman [City Paper]
Adam Erace notes that you can’t have a vibrant neighborhood in 2014 without a good Mexican spot. And with the addition of Cafe Ynez at 2025 Washington Avenue on the Graduate Hospital/Point Breeze border, both neighborhoods can boast they have their Mexican restaurant.
Erace’s only complaint, he wants more. “More food, more hours. Fortunately, both are in the works later this summer.”
A new Mexican place comes to GradHo and Point Breeze [Foobooz]
Cafe Ynez [Foobooz]
Craig LaBan’s online chat this afternoon will feature LaBan talking with City Paper’s Adam Erace and Philadelphia magazine’s Trey Popp. Stop by Philly.com at 2 p.m. to ask the trio about restaurant criticism, anonymity or what their favorite restaurant is (because we’re sure they never get that question).
UPDATE: Here’s the direct link to the archived chat.
Craig LaBan Restaurant Chat [Philly.com]