Northern Liberties 2nd Street Festival is Back

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The 6th annual 2nd Street Festival is back. On August 3rd from noon to 10 p.m., enjoy 6-blocks of over 150 vendors, including restaurants, food trucks, beer gardens, pop-up margarita bars, craft stations, and musical guests. Lil’ Pop Shop, Mac Mart Cart, Silk City Diner, and The Cow & The Curd are just a few of the places you can get your eats on. And across the festival, close to 30 artists and bands will be performing.

Yet the event isn’t just there to give you a good ole’ Sunday Funday, the 2nd Street Festival works to bring the community together and introduce others to the neighborhood. “This really is a unique, grass-roots neighborhood endeavor, putting a spotlight on the businesses, artists, and community members that make Northern Liberties so special,” said Owen Kamihira, a founding sponsor and owner of El Camino Real.

The festival is free and open to all ages.

2nd Street Festival [Official]

One Month, Nine Bars, No Repeats

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For the month of March, nine Northern Liberties bars are getting together and making sure they don’t pour the same beer twice. They’re calling it Northern Exposure and plan to offer an unrivaled draft list of over 100 unique beers through the month.

There is no cover charge or tickets, just pay as you go for beers. They’re encouraging small, self-guided bar crawls and there will be Beer Passports to help record the beers tried. Complete one brewer’s offerings in the month and get some free swag.

Check out the Northern Exposure Facebook page for more information and follow @ExposureFest on Twitter.

The participating bars »

Celebrating the Day of the Dead

Last week we profiled several Day of the Dead celebrations at various Philadelphia restaurants. Here they all are again in one place.

Distrito – Tomorrow there is a Herradura Tequila dinner upstairs and street food specials and DJs downstairs.

El Camino Real – Tonight’s tasting dinner will feature four Patron cocktails.

El Rey – Stephen Starr’s Chestnut Street Mexican restaurant is creating a Day of the Dead altar which will be on display until November 2nd. Diners will also receive Mexican candies at the end of their meal.

Xochitl – Tuesday’s Day of the Dead celebration features heart tacos and more on the special 5-course menu.

The Year In Bells

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Craig LaBan looks back on the year that was in Philadelphia’s thriving dining scene and along the way he makes some adjustments to earlier grades.

Five restaurants were revisited with two getting bumps and one an unceremonious demotion.

  • Meme went from two to three bells.
  • Alison two went up from one bell to two.
  • El Camino Real didn’t fare any better in its re-review, the Tex/Mex bar remains at one bell.
  • LaBan had another “see-saw meal” at Noble: American Cookery and the stylish space sticks with one bell.
  • Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House got slammed even harder in its December inspection and LaBan dropped the steakhouse to the dreaded No Bells.

What 2009 put on our tables [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Chefs Making News

Jenn Carroll may not have won Top Chef but how can you not like someone who calls their mom everyday after work. [Grub Street]

Adam Glickman is out as chef at Monk’s after 9-years and in is owner Tom Peters! [Phoodie]

Steven Cameron sent us a note this morning saying he had been out as chef at Noble: American Cookery since October. Grub Street has the follow-up. [Grub Street]

El Camino chef Dustin Robinson has been tweaking the menu at El Camino Real and has added close to 20 new items to the Texas/Mexico border bar. [Meal Ticket]

Daniel Stern discusses his thoughts on menu trends for 2010 as well as sheds some light on his upcoming R2L. [Restaurants & Institutions via The Illadelph]

Quick Bites

Mike’s Steaks has replaced Frank’s Old Philly-Style Sandwiches in the Comcast Center. Mike’s offers burgers, hoagies and hot dogs in addition to steak sandwiches.

Fuel has opened at 1917 E Passyunk. Q102’s Rocco Cima is the man behind the 500 calories or less storefront. [Meal Ticket]

Rouge sous chef Dustin Chalermkittichai is set to become the chef at El Camino Real. [The Insider]

D.P. Dough passes another hurdle, calzones are coming soon…. [D.P. Dough]

Ambler gets a kick as a branch of Lafayette Hill’s From the Boot has opened. Additionally the posh looking Dettera has also opened on Butler Pike. [The Insider]

Grub Street has a slideshow of Square 1682, the hotel restaurant opening at 17th and Sansom on October 14th. [Grub Street]

Restaurant Week hinted that Ly Michaels’ was going to become Tazia. And now we know the details. Tazia will be a restaurant specializing in tapas sized Asian bites. [The Insider]

Del Frisco’s takes Craig LaBan’s advice and installs a stripper pole. [Philly Chit Chat]

Fish is looking to open next week (licensing permittiing) in the former Astral Plane on Lombard Street. Michael Klein has some details on the under $20 menu. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

The Piano Bar closed at 20th and Arch. We’re only surprised it lasted as long as it did. [The Insider]

Top Chef Contestant Out

Jen ZavalaThere was talk of a big party for Top Chef contestant Jennifer Zavala complete with a broadcast of the first episode of the Bravo series on the big outdoor screen at the Piazza at Schmidt’s, just across from her El Camino Real. But today we find out from Michael Klein that she’s out at the Northern Liberties border bar.

“Top Chef” hopeful Jennifer Zavala leaves El Camino Real [The Insider]

Update: Zavala to join Xochitl [The Insider]

Top Jen

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Which of Philadelphia’s contestants on Top Chef will go further? Will it be Jennifer Carroll of 10 Arts by Eric Ripert or will it be Jennifer Zavala of El Camino Real?

Who will go further on Top Chef?

  • Jennifer Carroll (73%, 96 Votes)
  • Jennifer Zavala (27%, 35 Votes)

Total Voters: 131

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