About Last Night: Pork Hearts And Awesome Sauce

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Two of my favorite places to eat in Philadelphia competed Monday night at our 23rd Foobooz Open Stove event. It was a knife fight between Cheu Noodle Bar’s sous chef, Chad Smith, and Will BYOB’s sous chef, Craig Russell. I asked Chad before we began if he was going to be doing anything Asian-inspired, or rather, Cheu-esque. And the soft spoken chef looked up, said “nope,” and went back to his prep. I walked over to the other side, where Craig was furiously assembling his amuse bouche, and I observed, “This doesn’t look very ‘Will.’” to which he responded, “You won’t see a single shaved vegetable on our plates tonight.” Now this, obviously, was not a dig at Chris Kearse. He just wanted to make sure the world knew that this was his food, done his way. The same went for Chad: this wasn’t going to be an extension of Ben Puchowitz‘s stylethis was going to be all Chad.

So it began–Open Stove XXIII, a battle between two powerhouse restaurants in a restaurant obsessed city, with food by sous chefs who may be as talented as they come. And if you missed being there for the actual event, don’t worry. We have pictures–which don’t taste quite as good as the food that was served at COOK, but are the next best thing.

Show me the photos

Cheu Celebrates Its First Year, Looks Ahead to Passyunk

cheu-noodle-mike-persico-400Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz are celebrating the first anniversary of Cheu Noodle Bar, their delightfully non-authentic Asian spot in Center City.

Nick Vadala has a profile on the pair, that includes some teases regarding what the pair have in mind for their next venture, at the former Zarape on East Passyunk.

One year on, Cheu Noodle Bar remains deliciously inauthentic—but mature [Philadelphia Daily News]
Cheu Noodle Bar [Foobooz]

About Last Night: Aldine Pop-Up At Cheu Noodle Bar

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Last night the ramen-lovers at Cheu Noodle Bar had to satisfy their umami cravings with some lesser take out option, because the only menu on the table was George Sabatino‘s (executed along with Cheu’s Ben Puchowitz and paired with cocktails by George’s wife, Jennifer Sabatino) for a sold-out, one-night-only pop-up to showcase the kind of dishes we can expect to see at Aldine – the Sabatino’s first restaurant, set to open in early June in the former NoChe space. Guests filled every seat for each of four on-the-hour seatings, and the food reflected Team Sabatino’s earthy flavors and modern techniques, as well as a yearning for spring ingredients to arrive in Philly.

Check out the photos

One Night Only: Aldine Pop-Up At Cheu Noodle Bar

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George Sabatino has been a busy guy since leaving Stateside way back when. He did Morgan’s Pier. He did Winterfest. And all the while, he’s been working on opening up his own place–Aldine, which will be going into the second-floor space at 19th and Chestnut that was formerly home to Noche.

And things at Aldine must be coming along nicely because we just got word that Sabatino (and his wife and partner, Jen) are going to be doing a one-night-only menu test / pop-up dinner at Cheu Noodle Bar on Monday, March 24.

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Cheu Noodle Bar Crew Plans Asian Concept on Passyunk

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Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz have signed a lease for the current El Zarape at 12th, Passyunk and Morris Streets. Passyunk Post has the details on what will not be another Cheu Noodle Bar but a different Asian concept. No doubt inspired by Darragh and Puchowitz’s recent trip through Asia.

El Zarape will be open through March 14th, when it will move to 1304 S 9th Street.

Huge! Owners of Cheu Noodle Bar plan second restaurant in El Zarape space [Passyunk Post]

Cheu Noodle Bar, Pizza Brain and Little Baby’s Are Collaborating

Photo by Mike Persico

Photo by Mike Persico

This Thursday, February 20th, Cheu Noodle Bar, Pizza Brain and Little Baby’s Ice Cream will be collaborating to make a Cheu inspired pizza and ice cream. The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at Pizza Brain.

The collaborations include:

  • Pizza: pork belly, miso truffle aioli, black garlic glaze, pickled mustard green and katsuobushi flake
  • Ice Cream: ramen-inspired ice cream with candied ramen noodle sprinkles on top

Interesting combinations to say the least and they’ll only be available for one night only.

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More Time To Cheu

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Cheu Noodle Bar is extending its hours and will now be open seven days a week. Also new, Cheu is extending its lunch service by an hour, it’s now noon to 3 p.m. Also tweaked, the dinner menu will be available all day on Saturday and Sunday. Weekend hours have also been extended to midnight.

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