New At The Zoo: Jose Garces

Distrito Taco Truck at Lincoln Financial Field

Distrito Taco Truck at Lincoln Financial Field

The Philadelphia Zoo is rolling out some upgraded food options for this season. And in addition to adding humanely-raised meats, the remodeling of the Impala Cafe and adding new kid’s meals and signature sundaes to some of the other food-service areas, there’s one other piece of big news:

Jose Garces will now be serving at the Zoo.

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Jose Garces to Cook for Philabundance at The Porch

Looks like the always busy Jose Garces is in town this week for a good cause. This Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Garces and his restaurants will be making an appearance at The Porch at 30th Street Station to support Philabundance. Five of the Iron Chef’s restaurants will be represented at The Porch. For a $10 donation to Philabundance event goers will be treated to samples from Amada, Chifa, Distrito, Guapos Tacos, and JG Domestic. What’s more, Garces himself will be doing a cooking demonstration at the event from noon to 1 p.m.

Jose Garces Openings At Revel In Atlantic City

Opening one new restaurant is tough. Opening two? That’s crazy. But Jose Garces (who, I think, must have access to both a jet pack and a time machine what with his sudden explosion of interstate restaurant openings) will, come April, be opening three new restaurants, in Atlantic City, all within 14 days.

Then, when he’s done, he’s going to ride his bike from A.C. to Paris, fight Mike Tyson and eat the entire moon in a single sitting.

The Details

Philly’s Vendy Awards Nominations Announced

The Vendys are coming! The Vendys are coming!

Yes, folks, the Vendy Awards–a beloved New York City tradition since 2005, honoring the very best purveyors of truck, cart and streetcorner cuisine–have now been loosed on our fair city. On Saturday, July 9, from 3pm-7pm at the Piazza at Schmidts, all the greatest street-food operators in town will be gathering to serve up their best tacos/curry/BBQ/falafel in an attempt to impress a panel of celebrity judges and be named among the best of Philly’s sidewalk chefs. Of course, they’ll also be serving grub for the masses (and in the process collecting money for The Food Trust, a non-profit that tries to give everyone access to good, healthy food) which is why you’ll want to be there. I mean, where else are you going to be able to find Guapos Tacos, Sweet Box, King of Falafel and Cucina Zapata all together in one place at one time?

Up until June 10, the folks behind the Vendys have been taking public nominations in order to determine Philly’s street-food finalists. And just today, they released their list of the 8 most beloved vendors working the streets of our fair metropolis. These 8 will be gathering at the appointed place, on the appointed hour, to do noble battle before their adoring fans. And when all is said and done, one of them will be going home with the coveted Vendy Cup and joining the ranks of such streetcorner luminaries as Calexio Carne Asada, NY Dosa, Sammy’s Halal and King of Falafel (New York version).

So do you want to know who’ll be battling it out this year in Philly?

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Around the Web: Bucking Bulls, Guapos & Strolls and Unlimited Brunch

Foobooz’s Arthur Etchells fails terribly at riding the bull last night at Percy Street Barbecue. [Messy & Picky]

Living on the Vedge gets an early taste of Fare on Fairmount. [Living on the Vedge]

Two Eat Philly and Row Home Eats check out Guapos Tacos during Baltimore Avenue’s Dollar Stroll last Thursday. Both enjoy the tacos but they still have other food truck favorites. Row Home Eats continues down the Avenue picking up bites along the way. [Two Eat Philly | Row Home Easts]

Bridges, Burgers and Beer checks out the soup dumplings offered at Sakura Mandarin. How do they compare to his time in Shanghai? [Bridges, Burgers and Beer]

The plusses way out pace the minuses in Midtown Lunch’s take on Sansom Kabob House. [Midtown Lunch]

Two Eat Philly also eat their way through the unlimited brunch at Cuba Libre. [Two Eat Philly]

Philly Sports History is doing beer related posts all week in honor of Philly Beer Week. Did you know beer is the reason Harry Kalas came to town? [Philly Sports History]

Around the Web: New Spots Edition

I’ll Eat You eats at Farmers’ Cabinet and gamely takes on the game. [I’ll Eat You]

“Creamy and dreamy” is how Mac & Cheese describes the cardamom caramel ice cream from Little Baby’s Ice Cream. [Mac & Cheese]

Drawing for Food does a wheeled food round-up, checking out the bites at Guapos Tacos, the beer garden and Memphis Taproom and praise-worthy crepes from La Copine Brunch Truck. [Drawing for Food]

Mac & Cheese also visits La Copine and tries the breakfast sandwich and flatbread with blue cheese, figs and lavender honey gastrique, and mache. [Mac & Cheese]

High Flying Truck Fare

Brian Freedman declares Guapos Tacos to be worth the wait at Love Park.

Perhaps nothing embodies what works so well at Guapos as the esquites and the ?tamales. The former is a play on one of Mexico’s greatest street snacks. And while the corn kernels were a bit wet, they proved to be a spectacular base for the spicy Russian-ish dressing and shredded queso. As for the tamale, it’s built on a base of masa-dough that resembles a roasted sweet potato’s meat, and features a mole poblano of remarkable restraint and posture-straightening deliciousness.

Guapos Tacos Keeps on Trucking [Philadelphia Weekly]
Guapos Tacos [Official Site]
@GuaposTacos [Twitter]

Dollar Strolls on Baltimore Avenue

University City District is bringing back its Baltimore Avenue Dollar Strolls Starting on Thursday, June 2nd. More than 15 businesses will participate in deals that include $1 ice cream scoops, pint glasses, focaccio, samosas and more.

The Dollar Strolls will occur on the first Thursday of each month through September from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

In addition to the dollar deals, Clark Park’s Farmers’ Market at 43rd and Baltimore will be offering its normal array of bites from 3 to 7 p.m. and look for Jose Garces’ Guapos Tacos and Country Meadows Barbecue Stand.

For music fans, pick up the free West Philly Mix Tape download card featuring tracks from some of the neighborhoods finest musicians including the West Philadelphia Orchestra, Stinking Lizaveta, Dr. Dog’s Scott McMicken, Fan of Friends and more. Stop by the UCD table in front of Calvary Church at 48th and Baltimore to pick one up.

And save the date for University City Dining Days. The 15 days of discounted eating runs from July 14th to the 28th.

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