The First Phase of The Playground Is Opening This Weekend

Concept for The Playground's T Street.

Concept for The Playground’s T Street.

With record speed, the first phase of The Playground, known as “T Street,” is officially opening its doors to the public this Friday in Atlantic City.

The Playground is Bart Blatstein‘s reinvigoration program for the Pier Shops at Ceasars, which will hold 14 music venues, two private clubs, a bowling alley and a massive sports bar when all’s said and done. Since we’ve already talked venues, attractions, and construction, how about we talk eats?

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Spotted: Spruce Street Harbor Park Has a Nesting Goose

goose-chifa-940Did you know Canada geese were big fans of Iron Chef Jose Garces’s pork belly bao buns? At least that appears the case as a goose has built a nest just above the Chifa stand at Spruce Street Harbor Park.

The Spruce Goose has been nesting on the container since it was installed, around May 15th. The Delaware River Waterfront Corp’s Emma Fried-Cassoria says no one has gotten a good look inside the nest to see if there are any eggs or goslings in the nest. But as soon as we find out, we’ll let you know.

Spruce Street Harbor Park [Foobooz]

Fast Fish: Buena Onda Reviewed

Fish Tacos | Photo by Jason Varney

Fish Tacos at Buena Onda | Photo by Jason Varney

Strange things are afoot in Fast Food Nation. McDonald’s, whose 2013 Mighty Wings promotion left the chain sitting on 10 million pounds of unsold chicken, is so deep in a corporate identity crisis that it just gave the Hamburglar a makeover as a suburbanite hipster. Meanwhile, Shake Shack’s stock hit a P/E ratio nearly 10 times higher than Facebook’s. And now Jose Garces is leaping into the quick-serve sweepstakes with a value proposition of his own: $3.50 fish tacos, and free beer while you wait. Read more »

6ABC’s Alicia Vitarelli to Spotlight 3 Philly Restaurants on The Chew

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Alicia Vitarelli with Le Virtu with a cameraman and Brigantessa chef Joe Cicala (far right)

Set your DVR: At 1 pm this afternoon, 6ABC Action News anchor Alicia Vitarelli will appear on The Chew, where she’ll take the show’s crew to three local restaurants with family-influenced recipes on the menu. The segment will find her visiting South Street West dessert queen Holly Ricciardi of Magpie, a Jose Garces spot and Joe Cicala of East Passyunk’s Le Virtu and Brigantessa.

Foobooz has more on the actual food they’ll be preparing here.

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Vitarelli with Magpie owner Holly Ricciardi (center).

 

Volver Rolls Out New Menus

garces-bogle-400Volver, which recently overhauled its dinner menus has also redone its bar menu. And for fans of Avance’s lamb burger, the appearance of lamb burgers under the Snacks section has to set their hearts aflutter. For those not quite as obsessive as we are about Philadelphia’s restaurant scene, this looks like the result of Jose Garces bringing Justin Bogle on as corporate executive chef for the Garces Group. Bogle was integral to the “Season Two” menu at Volver and it would appear, at least one of the new bar menu items.

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The Gastronaut: I Love the ’80s

Illustration by Kagan McLeod

Illustration by Kagan McLeod

I am, for better or for worse, a child of the 1980s.

Born in 1973, I spent my youth in a haze of Transformers (the original ones), Atari and Members Only jackets. I owned an actual pair of parachute pants, though I only wore them to school once, was mocked, and acquired, briefly, the nickname “Parachute.”

More important, I started cooking in the ’80s. I cut my teeth in the industry through the late ’80s and early ’90s (seeing as this was upstate New York during the pre-Food Network American food scene, the ’80s lasted until about 1996), and I can tell you one thing: The food was terrible. Read more »

Village Whiskey Opening in DC

Rendering via Douglas Development

Rendering via Douglas Development

The Garces Group is still very much in expansion mode, and Jose Garces announced this week that he’s bringing a Village Whiskey to the Shaw neighborhood of Washington D.C. The bourbon bar will open at 920 N Street Northwest (Rear/Blagden Alley NW). The space will be 4,459 square feet. That’s just about four times the size as the original just off of Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. The location is on Blagden Alley and right next store to another Philadelphia export, La Colombe.

Washington D.C.’s Village Whiskey will open in the fall of 2016. Garces’ first Washington DC restaurant, Rural Society opened in July of 2014.

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Drexel Wants to Teach You About Restaurant Law

The lecture will be hosted by Drexel's school of Hospitality

The lecture will be hosted by Drexel’s school of Hospitality

Maybe your parents were disappointed that your love of food kept you from going to law school (what, I’m not projecting or anything).

Well, if you go to Drexel’s “Taste of Law with Greenberg Traurig, LLP” Lecture on Monday, Apr. 20, you can tell your parents that you basically went to law school anyway. And, at just $20 per person, this law school education will come with a much lower price tag than if you went the more traditional route.

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Details on Buena Onda, Jose Garces’s Baja Seafood Shack

buena-onda-logoJose Garces’s Buena Onda will be serving up fish tacos and other tastes of the Baja peninsula starting on Monday, March 16th. The casual restaurant is located in Granary building on the 1900 block of Callowhill Street.

Buena Onda, which means good vibes, aims to channel the chill spirit of Baja peninsula seafood shacks and taquerias.

Garces’s 19th restaurant will offer fish tacos featuring Mahi Mahi and jumbo shrimp. Other items will include carnitas and chicken tacos as well as mission-style quesadillas.

The restaurant will have a liquor license and will serve up fruity and/or frozen margaritas, an exclusive K38 Pale Ale from Yards Brewing and canned Mexican beers.

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