Aqimero Launches A New Bottomless Brunch Program

Huevos Rancheros at Aqimero

Huevos Rancheros at Aqimero

Aqimero – Richard Sandoval’s new Latin fusion seafood restaurant in the old home of of 10 Arts – just launched a brand new brunch program last week, and it’s got a little bit of everything. No, really. We’re talking cocktails (of course), and sushi, steak frites, a burger, funnel cake, huevos rancheros, a cheesesteak omelet …

It’ll run you $65 for three courses and all the cocktails you can drink. Check out the menu below.

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Bella Vista Ranked “Best Place to Live in Philadelphia”

 

Bella Vista, home to the Italian Market, received the highest grade in Niche.com's first-ever ranking of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia. | Photo: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Bella Vista, home to the Italian Market, received the highest grade in Niche.com’s first-ever ranking of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia. | Photo: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Thanks to the “open data” movement, it’s now possible for those outfits that rank the best of everything to turn their gaze to individual city neighborhoods. Niche.com, which produces annual rankings of the best schools and best communities to live in in the country, has now added new rankings of the “Best Places to Live” in American cities.

And in its first ranking of Philadelphia neighborhoods, Bella Vista took top honors. Read more »

Out-of-Town Reporters Bash Philadelphia as DNC Host

The first night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention is over, and speeches from Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama went over pretty well. Those who care about these kinds of things said it was a well-orchestrated convention. But it’s what happened after politicians, delegates, and journalists left the Wells Fargo Center that’s making Philadelphia look bad.

Not only are out-of-town political reporters bashing Philadelphia’s handling of the DNC — mainly over traffic issues — they’re saying that Columbus would have been a better choice to host it. Columbus! Combination college towns/state capitals are generally nice places to visit and live, but Philadelphia can’t be a worse place to host a big event than Columbus, can it? Read more »

A First Look at Aqimero in the Ritz Carlton

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As part of the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton, the hotel has a new Richard Sandoval restaurant, Aqimero, opens today in the lobby of the historic building. Sandoval, who is originally from Denver, has opened almost 40 restaurants globally, but this is his first Philadelphia-based project. The restaurant will feature Latin American cuisine and the menu and dishes described as “Mexican beach campfire style.”

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Dilworth Park Cafe & Air Grille Throw Grand Opening Party During Sips

Dilworth Park Cage | Photo by Chelsea PortnerSummer is officially here and with it comes a new restaurant opening during this week’s Center City Sips. Dilworth Park Café and Air Grille will be opening for the summer this Wednesday, June 22.

The team at Brûlée Catering created an American focused menu with locally sourced dishes. So you can expect menu items like burgers, steaks, and salads made with ingredients from the area.

Air Grille | Photo by Chelsea Portner The grand opening will be a beach themed party, taking place during sips, with a ton (and dare I say too many) things happening. In addition to the usual Sips specials, there will be giveaways, a DJ, and an Instagram contest. So if you like free stuff, this will be the place to hit for Sips. To go with this beach theme, they will serving some boardwalk themed specials.

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The Decline of Lunch Counters and Diners in Center City

Midtown 2 inside - empty

An empty Midtown 2 last week. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

To a five-year old growing up in the Northeast, the lunch counter at Woolworth’s might as well have been Le Bec-Fin. Perched on a high stool, at an equal level with mom or dad, I’d watch the busy, uniformed cooks slap my hot dog on the hot grill right in front of me. It was the diner version of the dessert cart being rolled out at the famous Michelin-starred French institution.

Even now, long after it closed, I remember the experience. I wasn’t the only one who was a regular: Everyone from office workers to grandparents to teenagers flocked to the Woolworth’s lunch counters. There were three we went to: One at Knights and Woodhaven in the Northeast, and ones on Market and Chestnut streets in Center City. They were all glorious.

The Woolworth’s eateries began to disappear in the late 80s. The Far Northeast and Market Street locations were the first to go. The Chestnut Street one held on until the shuttering of all Woolworth’s in 1997. The building — 1330 Chestnut Street — is now West Elm, Blick and Lucky Strike, but the exterior still maintains the chain’s signature futuristic design.

There was a time when Center City was filled with diners and their iconic lunch counters. The two concepts went hand-in-hand and offered standard, greasy American fare cooked either directly in front of you or in a back kitchen. It was food that never changed. It was food that came out quickly. It was food you could rely on. These spots dotted the downtown streets well before gourmet taco shops and outdoor cafes became a thing. Perhaps the most-well known — the one that held on the longest — was the Midtown chain. At its height, there were four of them in Center City. Last Monday, word came that the Midtown II closed — driven out of business after 43 years. Midtown IV had closed in 2009 and was replaced by Stephen Starr’s El Rey and Ranstead Room. The Midtown I, which used to be on Jeweler’s Row at 7th and Sansom streets, was shuttered years earlier.

The owner of the sole remaining Midtown Diner, the Midtown III at 18th and Ranstead streets, told Philadelphia magazine’s Jared Brey last month she’d close up tomorrow if she could — but her mom still lives upstairs. “Tell them [Midtown II] was the best thing that ever happened to that neighborhood,” owner Vivian Tafuri said. Read more »

Sky Garten Is Now Open

SkyGarten is the highest beer garden in the world.

SkyGarten is the highest beer garden in the world.

SkyGarten is finally here.

It’s been a few months since we first heard about SkyGarten and tonight at 5 p.m. it will open its (elevator) doors for its grand opening.  If you head to the top of the tower on the 51st floor of 3 Logan Square (1717 Arch Street), you can experience the world’s highest beer garden. Finally, you can now combine the thrills of extreme heights and drinking.

The beer garden is curated by the team at Brauhaus Schmitz and covers 3,000 square feet inside and outside the building.

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Ai Ramen Opens at Liberty Place

Ai Ramen is now open at Liberty Place

Ai Ramen is now open at Liberty Place

Ai Ramen opens today in the food court at the Shops at Liberty Place. The ramen, bao and sushi quick-serve restaurant is from the same people who have given us the rapidly expanding Hai Street Kitchen and the just opened Wok Street. And for some reason, Wok Street is competing with the opening of Ai Ramen by offering their Asian-inspired bowls for just a dollar between noon and 3 p.m.

Ai Ramen offers four types of ramen, including their signature ramen, spicy miso, garlic butter miso and vegetarian ramen for $10.99.

The menu also features three kinds of bao buns and six sushi rolls that are made at the store. Read more »

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