Why You Should Dine Out for Life: Alayna Sands

ActionAIDS Dining Out for Life ambassadors open up about how HIV/AIDS has affected their lives, and why you should dine out for life on April 24th. Today: Alayna Sands. 

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 4.51.26 PMMy name is … Alayna Sands

What’s your Philly connection?
I grew up in Tucson, Ariz.; however both my parents are from Philadelphia. I moved to Philly about seven years ago, after attending school in Pittsburgh, and it has been home ever since.

What do you do for work?
I work in Human Resources.

The biggest thing I have learned from my experience with HIV/AIDS is …
It has motivated me to be compassionate. You may have HIV/AIDS and consequently endure some additional struggles. Yet you can still choose to live your life with dignity — and there are supportive communities out there who will help you.

Any Dining Out for Life restaurant recommendations?
The Gold Standard. They have good food and a great staff that will take care of you. There’s also Garces Trading Company. I love everything about that place.

In three words, describe the perfect dining out experience …
Family, friends, food!

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New Brunch Options at Garces Trading Company

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Jose Garces’ Garces Trading Company is rolling out a new brunch menu this weekend. Among the options is Brunch Steak Frites for the table. For $29 per person, guests can get grilled flat iron steak, sunny side up eggs, potato rösti, truffled sauce Béarnaise. A $22 prix-fixe option gives diners two courses, GTC coffee or tea and a basket of house-made pastries.

In addition to the prix-fixe options the menu is available a la carte. New options include French Toast with spiced brioche and served with confiture du lait and blood orange and Poached Scrambled Eggs with kale pesto, pecorino, and toasted sourdough.

Garces Trading Co.’s deep dish pizza will also be available along with a selection of sides like Maple Mascarpone Polenta.

It ain’t brunch if you ain’t drinkin’ » 

Last Chance for October Deals

$5 menu at Garces Trading Co. | Photo by Emily Teel

$5 menu at Garces Trading Co. | Photo by Emily Teel

It’s the last week of October and that means a couple of good deals are coming to their end. Route 6 has been hosting Lobster Month with half-off several lobster-centric dishes on their menu. And the poorly named Garces-tober at Garces Trading Company will be bowing out after October 31st. The deal is as good as the name is bad though with a $5 bar menu being offered from 3 to 7 p.m.

A Look Inside The New Garces Trading Company

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“This is basically Garces Trading Company 3.0” says General Manager Seth Lieberman. The Trading Company has recently reopened following the transformation of the retail cheese and charcuterie areas into an 18-seat zinc bar. Garces Restaurant Group has slowly transitioned The Trading Company (originally conceived as a marketplace where shoppers could pick-up imported cheeses, charcuterie, olive oil, and the like), away from the retail model towards one for dining. The effect of the renovation is seamless. Besides the olive-oil tasting area that divides the dining room from the bar, I doubt that the first-time diner would know that the restaurant was ever anything but a neighborhood bistro.

Despite the changes, Lieberman’s goal is that the restaurant remain casual and approachable–a neighborhood place, but one where each menu item is influenced by the ingredients that would have appeared in the refrigerated cases in those early days.

The new bar itself is pleasant, boasting a menu of classic cocktails (including a beautifully balanced Aviation), imported beers, and approachable wines, alongside adorned mozzarellas and small dishes of meatballs. What’s more, for the month of October the Trading Company is celebrating Garce-Tober, a promotion that, despite having a terrible name, is rock-solid. The entire bar menu of stretched-to-order mozzarellas (regularly $6), and meatballs (regularly $7) is available for $5 each between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00 pm. Even better, beers, their five specialty cocktails, and wines by the glass are also only $5 each.

Check out some snaps from inside the newly-redesigned Garces Trading Company after the jump.

Food and bar porn, right this way

Six Pack: Macarons In Philly

macarons

It’s not just the extra “o” that separates the two desserts. Macarons and macaroons are both sweet desserts that use egg whites and sugar as a meringue base and get their names from the Italian word for “meringue”—but it’s pretty much apples and oranges from there.

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Endless Steak Frites at Garces Trading Company

Calling all meat lovers: Garces Trading Company has answered your prayers by dishing out Endless Steak Frites for only $25.

After recently visiting southern France, Chef Jose Garces was inspired by the classic dish and decided to add it to his menu at Garces Trading Co. Endless Steak Frites is offered during lunch and dinner and are served with a green salad starter.

The meal includes Endless Grilled Hanger Steak and House Duck Fat French Fries.

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Hand-Bottled Fizzy Cocktails at Garces Trading Co.

Just in time for the hottest days of the season Garces Trading Co. is offering a twist on summer cocktails. Beverage manager Brandon Thomas has created three hand-bottled fizzy cocktails to serve to the dine-in guests at GTC.

Each cocktail is mixed, frozen to 30 degrees, and carbonated before being hand-bottled with Garces Trading Co. caps. When ordered each individual glass bottle is poured into properly garnished glasses and served for $12. Thomas will create new flavors and combinations for each season.

For the summer these cocktails include »

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