Top Chef All-Stars Recap: Fondue and Fallons

Fidel Gastro recapsthe latest edition of Top Chef: All-Stars.

To add a little levity to the seriousness that has been Top Chef: All Stars, the producers put together a more casual episode.  Starting with a guest-judgeless Quickfire and everybody’s 2nd favorite pot to gather ‘round, the cheftestants play judge and jury to a fondue challenge, where Padma instructs them not to make a chocolate sauce.

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Vetri Abandons A La Carte

In March, Marc Vetri is going to stop offering his a la carte menu and will go to tasting menus only each night Vetri is open. Vetri will offer a classics menu option, the more inventive degustazione, a pasta tasting, and a vegetarian menu.

LaBan highlights several other successful tasting menus, namely at JG Domestic where 25% of the meals are tasting dinners and Tinto where tasting options make up 35% of the orders. In Conshohocken, Chip Roman sees 45% of his Blackfish customers ordering the tasting menu.

So we ask, do you think this is a good idea for Vetri and do you expect other chefs to follow suit?

No more a la carte: Vetri moving to tasting menus only in March [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Degustazione [Vetri]

Quick Bites

You can get full on all of our Quick Bites today so we broke it into two courses for your enjoyment.

Rejoice, rejoice fans of Lolita and Indian food. Wednesday, December 12th is the expected first night at Bindi! [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Moctezuma Restaurant, another Mexican restaurant has opened on 9th Street. Seafood and service set this one apart. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Look for a new Fishtown bar with a bad-ass name, Kung Fu Neck Tie to open New Year’s Eve at Front and Thompson. [Ice Pack, City Paper]

Gasp, Swallow is now saying they’ll open December 15th on Liberties Walk. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Keep reading Quick Bites after the jump.
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Best Dogs In Town

Wo, Philadelphia Weekly looks for the best hot dogs in town and actually uses the phrase, “beige meat rod.”

Among the favorites are the following, including Bootsie’s twice.

  • Johnny Rockets
  • Five Guys
  • 707
  • Citizens Bank Park
  • Bootsie’s

Wiener Takes All [Philadelphia Weekly]

Wine Dinner At Bootsie’s

Tonight Bootsie’s in Center City is hosting the second of their monthly wine dinners.

Italian wines will be the focus this evening. Three wines and 4 courses for $50. Seatings are at 6 and 8:30 PM.

Menu after the jump.

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Bootsie’s Back, Xochitl Just About There

A couple of tips from Foobooz readers. Xochitl, the Mexican spot on Headhouse Square was open last night for a private party, so look for an opening to the public in coming days. And reader Brendan reports Bootsie’s is back open. Now with “dark wood high and low tops, candles, darker lighting and an updated menu.” That new menu is available at Lots of seafood on the menu including a grilled fish of the day and topping out with dry aged beef rib steak for $35.

Xochitl [Official Site]

Bootsie’s Closed

Bootsie’s, the natural fast food spot on 19th Street has closed. A sign in the window claims they will re-open in the first week of 2007 as “a full service restaurant featuring a Continental and Mediterranean menu, including steak and other great creations.”

We here at Foobooz can’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment in Bootsie’s closing, they were the first and probably only place that hung up a write-up we did.

It’s been a bad month for the block of 19th Street between Market and Chestnut as Jolly’s and Pazzo Pizza Bar closed earlier this month. How’s Tragos doing?

Top Breakfast Sandwiches

City Paper’s top five list this week details some of the best breakfast sandwiches in the area.

Among those highlighted are the high-end Brasserie Perrier’s Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich to the traditional Pepper and Egg served at Tony Luke’s.

Foobooz would also recommend the bacon egg and cheese at John’s Roast Pork and Bootsie’s Applewood Bacon and egg sandwich.

Morning Glory [City Paper]

Center City Burger Round Up

Five Guys Burger
There’s been an influx of new burger spots opening up in Center City, Kirsten Henri takes a look at Bootsie’s, Copa Miami and Five Guys.

She finds Bootsie’s an expensive dud, Copa Miami, respectable, and Five Guys, “everything a fast-food burger should be.”

Burger Me Senseless [Philadelphia Weekly]
Bootsie’s [Official Site]
Five Guys [Official Site]


Bootsie's Burger
Phillyist reviews Bootsie’s, 38 S 19th Street.

On the whole, Bootsie’s is certainly better than your everyday fast food, but it’s certainly more expensive, too (especially when you start adding toppings). If you go, go for a specialty sausage, hot dog, or burger as opposed to your everyday variety. It may cost you a little more, but it will also keep you from having the same complaint as my friend. You can get an angus burger at Burger King, but where else are you going to find a kobe beef hot dog?

Bootsie’s Reviewed [Phillyist]
Bootsie’s [Official Site]

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