Craig LaBan reviews Simply Shabu in Chinatown and finds that the Asian version of fondue is a hit.
The Chinese woman beside us said the meat portions seemed skimpy compared to her nearby favorites. And no doubt the heap of shaved meat at Happy Noodle Bar dwarfed the eight perfectly rolled curls of sliced beef at Simply Shabu. But there’s a major quality difference: the beef at Happy Noodle was so shabby that it instantly shriveled into wads of yellow fat, while Shabu’s nicely marbled USDA choice rib eye (Pennsylvania-raised like all of Shabu’s meats, and not unlike what goes into a good cheesesteak) remained beefy and superbly tender.
Two Bells – Very Good
Authentic hot pots heat up Chinatown [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Simply Shabu [Official]
Mark your calendars, the Food Trust has announced its 2014 Night Market dates and locations. Night Markets are a celebration of food, drink and neighborhood. The first night market for 2014 will be on Thursday, May 15th, in Old City. Subsequent Night Markets will be held in June, August and October.
Mark your calendar »
On a recent visit to one of the many hole-in-the-wall pho joints on Washington Avenue, I saw a table of large white construction workers slurping up noodles. And while there might not be anything strange about that today, things weren’t always that way. Twenty-five years ago, when Benny Lai took over Vietnam on 11th Street from his family, no one in this town who didn’t grow up on home-cooked Asian food knew a pho from a bun. Lai opened the door, making the food more accessible while getting lots of us drunk on Flaming Volcanos and other tiki concoctions. These days, there are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants in town. But Lai’s Vietnam (and the mirror-image Vietnam Cafe in West Philadelphia) remains the place for Vietnamese dinner with out-of-towners, the in-laws, etc. Order the barbecue platter (Lai’s version of the pu pu platter), salt-and-pepper fried shrimp and some of those flaming drinks, and you’re good to go.
First appeared in the April, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Screenshot of the artwork at 9th and Race via Google Street View
Tenants living on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of a building on the corner of 9th and Race must have had a rude awakening this morning. At about 4:30am, a piece of artwork attached to the side of the building collapsed and shattered on the sidewalk.
Although there were no injuries, occupants were evacuated as a precaution. L&I was also on the scene, assessing damage to the structure and making sure it was safe.
Read more »
We’ve got the coolest t-shirts in Philadelphia:
When we did round one of our Starving Artist Series, artist Justin Rentzel came up with some awesome stuff. We liked it so much we asked him to design our very own Foobooz Starving Artist t-shirt. And that, he did. It’s a Philadelphia Food Pyramid, complete with Schmidts beer, whiskey and lots and lots of pork. It will only be available for a limited time, so order yours now.
And while we’re on the subject of t-shirts »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Everytime you walk through Fujianese soup dumplings you can find a new culinary discovery. Such was the case as Craig LaBan discovered Chinese Restaurant, a nondescript storefront where LaBan finds Fujianese soup dumplings and delicate wontons. That is just one of the discoveries the Inquirer’s food critic reveals in this guide that takes you from Chinese waffles to the best duck in Chinatown.
Chinatown: The Ultimate (but never, ever complete) Eating Guide
How to speak like a ‘neighbor’ in Chinatown
The best duck in town (Gallery)
Chinatown’s flying fish
A report released two weeks ago confirms what people have been worrying about for a few years: That Chinatowns are a dying breed and that their death will lead to our beloved neighborhoods turning into only nominally distinct zones that all have the same pastel designs on their storefronts.
Read more »
BBQ Lamb with cumin flavor. Photo by Jason Varney.
Trey Popp reviews Xi’An Sizzling Woks (formerly Xi’An Famous Food) in Chinatown. There he discovers a side of pickled garlic cloves that set the tone for his glowing review.
Read more »
Looks like Chinatown is getting a new bar, and it’s gonna be a big one.
Sunday, September 8th marks the grand opening of BarLy. (And yes, that’s the correct spelling.) All we know right now is that it’s going to be offering 50 or 60 beers on draft, a menu of “intercontinental bar food” including burgers, sandwiches, dumplings, shellfish and more, and it’ll be opening at 101 N. 11th Street. Check it out on grand opening day, and they’re promising a dragon dance and special giveaways.
Philadelphia’s mobile food force and local South Street area businesses are mobilizing for tonight’s Night Market. The South Street Night Market will have the most vendors yet and the unseasonably wonderful weather probably means it will be the best attended Night Market yet. In addition to the 80+ food vendors there will be five locations for live entertainment, the opportunity to turn clean energy into a free Six Point beer and the chance to turn your Instagram shots into prints.
Check out the program for all the details. And if you cannot make it out tonight, the next Night Market will be in Chinatown on Thursday, October 3rd.
South Street Night Market Program (PDF)
Night Market Philadelphia [Official Site]