Andrew Zimmern Spotted Around Town

woodland avenue meatHost of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, Andrew Zimmern is in town. Yesterday the chef and writer posted photos on his Instagram feed of Rieker’s Prime Meats in Northeast Philadelphia as well as at Le Mandigue, an African restaurant at 6620 Woodland Avenue. That wasn’t Zimmern’s only stop on Woodland Avenue. The gutsy eater tried also ate Liberian grilled chicken from a sidewalk grill.

Today, Zimmern has been spotted at Dizengoff/Abe Fisher on Sansom Street.

If you spot Zimmern and his film crew around town, let us know.

UPDATE: He has also made it across the street for the Solomonov hat trick, he’s been seen at Federal Donuts.

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African Restaurants and Food in Philadelphia

Kilimandjaro owner Youma Bah | Photo by Neal Santos

Kilimandjaro owner Youma Bah | Photo by Neal Santos

There are no two ways about it: African food is tough on dilettantes. It’ll confront you with vegetables you’ve never heard of, meat that runs from tough to tender to straight-up cow skin, and starches that bewilder your attempts to choose a utensil. And for eaters not seeking already-acquired tastes of home, Philly’s African restaurants can be hit-or-miss. But no other realm rewards the adventurous with more fascination and deliciousness.

Start baby-step-style at Kilimandjaro (4317 Chestnut Street, 215-387-1970), which despite its East African namesake serves Senegalese food, including a mustardy, sweet-onion-draped yassa chicken that’s among the best in town. Grilled lamb chops dressed with sweet peppers and onions are what to get at Sahara (6528 Woodland Avenue, 215-727-0812), where the cooking is Malian and the portions are huge. And now that you’re already smack in Philly’s Africana epicenter, try African Small Pot (6505 Woodland Avenue, 267-713-7603), run by a globe-trotting Mauritanian who does right by thiebou dien — which you could think of as paella with twice the concentration and spice.

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Lowcountry Dinner with Hoppin’ John at Paris Wine Bar

On Monday, October 22, at 6 p.m. Paris Wine Bar is hosting famous author “Hoppin’” John Martin Taylor, author of “Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking,” for dinner to celebrate the book’s twentieth anniversary. Hop on over to Paris Wine Bar and for $60 you’ll get a family-style meal, reception, and drink pairing hosted by Hoppin’ John himself and longtime friend Terry Berch McNally, co-owner of Paris.

Read on for details on the meal and live music. Read more »

Argana Brings Morocco to Delco

On May 18th Argana, a new Moroccan restaurant in Lansdowne, opened its doors to Delaware County residents looking for authentic exotic cuisine. Including Moroccan classics like warm mint tea, falafel, baba ganouj, and hummus as well as vegetarian options, manager Chris Arouh wants everyone to be able to enjoy Argana’s dishes.

On June 16th Argana is welcoming Shiraz, an award-winning belly dancer, to the restaurant for the third time. The performance begins at 7:30pm and reservations are recommended.

Argana [Official Site]

Afro-Cuban Pop-Up Coming to Philly for One Night

Chef Wheeler del Torro, who has made a name for himself with vegan ice cream and pop-up restaurants in Boston (and elsewhere), is bringing Barrio, his Afro-Cuban pop-up restaurant to Philadelphia for one night.

On Saturday, March 31st, del Toro will open in an undisclosed venue and serve food that combines the spices and flavors of Havana street food with global influence. Del Torro says, “‘Barrio is all about encouraging people to explore different parts of their culinary repertoire.”

Potential guests are asked to complete an application to request invitations. To more ticket information, contact

We have no location but we have a menu »

Shawarma Food Truck Impresses on Streets of West Philadelphia

In this week’s Philadelphia Weekly Brian Freedman reviews Marrakesh Express, the food truck version of the storefront that vanished from our foodscape last spring.

Chicken shawarma is one of the most impressive, the perfume of cardamom in its ras el-hanout spicing lending the tender chunks of meat a sense of mystery. But success here is about more than just the seasoning: The chicken itself is expertly cooked, brought to a point of succulence but not falling apart.

Marrakesh Express Is on a Roll [Philadelphia Weekly]

Around the Web: Manakeesh Edition

Manakeesh, the Lebanese bakery and cafe at 45th and Walnut has seen a flurry of positive coverage in blogs and print.

Craig LaBan sung the praises of the desserts at Manakeesh last Thursday. Who knew baklava came in varieties? LaBan called the ring-shaped iswara his favorite. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Midtown Lunch calls lunch at Manakeesh a “huge success.” And why not with tasty and filling plates satiating for less than $6.50 per person. [Midtown Lunch]

Philly Phoodie especially praises the vegetarian options and the bread when it comes to the flatbread sandwiches. [Philly Phoodie]

In other Manakeesh news, the cafe begins delivery tomorrow.

Manakeesh Bakery & Cafe [Facebook]

Kaffa Crossing

Brian Freedman hits another ethnic restaurant, this time it’s Kaffa Crossing, an Ethiopian spot in West Philadelphia where the injera is the thing.

The backbone of the experience, however, is injera, the spongy, pliant Ethiopian bread that plays a crucial role in many meals. At Kaffa, it’s an addictive miracle, hearty but not heavy and kissed with a vaguely sour note that brings even more life to food scooped up with it.

Look Both Ways at Kaffa Crossing [Philadelphia Weekly]

Craig Coos Over Couscous

Craig LaBan descends the steps on 17th Street and into Argan Moroccan Cuisine looking for authentic couscous and finds what he’s looking for. Beyond the couscous he finds some other gems too.

[T]he tastes of Argan I covet are those that come from the slow stew, like the hearty harira bowls of chickpea-lentil soup that transport me back to one of the food stalls that pop up each night on the giant Marrakech plaza called Djemaa el Fna. Or especially the tagine of braised lamb shank, similar to the lamb with couscous, but glazed in honey and topped with stewed prunes, toasted almonds, and sesame seeds.

Two Bells – Very Good

Argan Moroccan Cuisine [Philadelphia Inquirer]

A Tunisian Tasting Dinner


City Paper heads to Chalfont to try out a not-on-the-menu seven course Tunisian tasting at Tutto Mario.

“‘You’re Tunisian — why don’t you do a Tunisian chef’s table?'” went the request from multiple customers who convinced [Slim “Sam”] Ben-Ouhiba to introduce this reservations-only option. “[With the tasting], you’re taking from a solid heritage of cooking and giving it an adequate representation,” he says. “You have to be creative, but you can’t go too far — you have to maintain the subject.”

In doing that, he serves up his own interpretations of the national dishes of Tunisia, ranging from street food to the robust dishes most common to home cooking. “In seven courses,” says Ben-Ouhiba, “I’m trying to give you everything.”

From Tunisia With Love [City Paper]

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