Franklin Square’s nightly light show continues through New Year’s Eve. A food tent serves fresh funnel cake, battered and fried oreos, chicken tenders, fries and hot chocolate. But that’s not all, like last month, a rotating cast of Philadelphia food trucks will be offering nightly snacks and treats from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Eater turned us on to this interview with Joe Bastianich, a partner in Mario Batali’s Eataly. Bastianich confirms that the next Eataly location will indeed be in Philadelphia and is about a year out. The where is still unannounced but rumor and speculation have long focused on the ground floor of the old Strawbridge and Clothiers.
Coincidentally, Philadelphia magazine’s Philly Cooks event was thrown in the Strawbridges building last year but won’t return this year, as we’ve been told the building will likely be starting a build-out.
Trey Popp finds that Marcie Turney has breathed new life into red-gravy Italian at Little Nonna’s.
Just to be safe, though, order the polenta and meatballs to share; Turney packs her cornmeal with enough cream, taleggio, fontina and parmesan to put the most shameless cheese grits to shame. And you’ll want to have room at dinner’s far end for pastry chef Sara May’s spumoni, which ditches the usual neon palette in favor of a moody sundae richly muddled with roasted cherries, chocolate pizzelles and pistachio-olive oil.
Three Stars – Excellent
Restaurant Review: Next-Level Comfort Food at Little Nonna’s [Philadelphia Magazine]
Little Nonna’s [Foobooz]
Food trucks have arrived at Franklin Square. Now through New Year’s Eve, food trucks will offer warm bites for visitors checking out the new Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show. The light show occurs every thirty minutes from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Two different shows will alternate throughout the evening.
In addition to the light show, the carousel will be running and playing holiday songs. Even the mini-golf will be open, with warming stations along the course.
Craig LaBan checks out Talula’s Daily and finds that Aimee Olexy has another hit on her hands.
My favorite dish of all my Daily meals, though, was the paper-wrapped surprise of skate en papillote. Almost always seared, the flesh took on an unexpectedly luxurious quality in a tangerine-scented steam, and concealed beneath its butter-glossed wing a trove of root vegetable treasures. Each was cut and cooked to a unique shape and texture, from weird and squiggly little crosnes, to earthy soft Jerusalem artichokes, snappy shaved ribbons of multihued raw carrots, bittersweet marbles of tender baby turnips, and crunchy cubes of al dente kohlrabi.
Three Bells – Excellent
Talula’s Daily cafe & market is affordable Olexy excellence [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Talula’s Daily [Foobooz]
Catherine “Ma” McGillin was born on this day in 1847. Ma lived to the ripe old age of 90 and in honor of her birthday today, McGillin’s Old Ale House is offering a free baked potato to anyone mentioning her name today.
Born Catherine McCoy in Ireland, She and “Pa” (William) opened Bell in Hand Tavern in 1860. Somehow everyone called the bar McGillin’s and that name stuck. They raised their thirteen children upstairs. In 1901 Pa died and Ma continued to run the bar on her own until she passed. Then her daughter sold the bar to the Spaniak/Mullins family, who still owns it.
That free baked potato is served with butter and sour cream. Real bacon bits available upon request.
More history of McGillin’s [McGillin's Olde Ale House]
Here, for your amusement, is a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of where the best bars in the city live.
First appeared in the November 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Victor Fiorillo has a question-and-answer session with Mark Vevle, the founder of Franklin Flea and the local manager of Brooklyn Flea Philly that recently decided to close up shop. Franklin Flea will run for six weeks on the first floor of the Strawbridges building at 8th and Market and there will of course be food. Luke’s Lobster, Hot Diggity and La Porchetta will all be there, plus some new food vendors he’s remaining mum on.
The first Franklin Flea will be Saturday, November 16th. Check out what else is in store in the Q&A.
Q&A: Franklin Flea Founder Mark Vevle [Philadelphia Magazine News]
Earlier this week we told you the time was winding down to enjoy Garces Trading Company’s $5 menu. But now we’re happy to learn that GTC has extended the $5 menu through the end of the year.
The deal remains the same, $5 bar menu, select beers, cocktails and wine from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Garces Trading Company [Foobooz]