Garces Is Opening a Lounge Below Rosa Blanca

nacional-56-400Jose Garces is opening Nacional 56 downstairs from Rosa Blanca at 707 Chestnut Street on Wednesday, November 26th. The lounge will offer Latin music, cocktails and light Cuban fare four nights a week.

While Garces handles the food and drink, David Pena and Pena Productions (Boogie Nights at the Tropicana in Atlantic City and a host of other casino venues around the country) will handle the DJs and live music. Pena says “he [Garces] does food. We do nightlife and we’re both Latino; you know it will be the real deal.”

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Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative more affectionately known as  GALAEI. (Pronounced “gal-āy.”)

Elicia Gonzales

Elicia Gonzales

Who are you? Elicia Gonzales, executive director of GALAEI. We are a queer Latin@ social justice organization. “Queer” acknowledges and represents the mosaic of sexual and gender identities within our communities. “Latin@” represents the multiracial, multicultural experience of Latinidad. GALAEI embodies the common history of resistance and resilience of Latin@ and queer people. We are unwavering in our commitment to the advancement de nuestra familia through  leadership and economic development, sexual empowerment, and grassroots organizing.

When was GALAEI founded? GALAEI was founded in 1989 by David Acosta and other queer, Latin@ activists to respond to the lack of support and resources for our Queer Latin@ community during the HIV epidemic.

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Jose Garces Author Event at the Free Library Tonight

With this new influx of celebrity chefs (Peter Serpico, Joncarl Lachman, and hopefully John Shields) joining our great city,  it’s important that we remember those that helped put us on the map to begin with. And what better way to do that than to join Jose Garces for an author event at the Free Library of Philadelphia tonight at 7:30pm.

The Inquirer’s Michael Klein will moderate  Garces’ discussion of his latest cookbook, The Latin Road Home: Savoring the Foods of Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, Mexico and Peru. The event will be held downstairs in the auditorium and it’s free, but it’s first come, first served, so plan accordingly.

But you can’t eat a cookbook. So, through November 11, Garces will serve dedicated tasting menus at all his Philadelphia restaurants, featuring culinary styles and recipes from specific chapters of his book. The menus will range anywhere between $45 and $75 for four or five courses depending on the location.

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Jose Garces Debuting New Cookbook With Launch Dinner

On Monday, October 8 Joses Garces’ second book, The Latin Road Home will be released. The book is part cookbook, part travelogue and memoir, offering a chronological look at the food that has shaped Garces’ life.

In honor of the release Garces will prepare and serve a special Latin Road Home dinner at JG Domestic at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9. The meal is all-inclusive dinner costs $125 per person and also includes a signed cookbook.

The dinner will feature dishes from each of the book’s five chapters: EcuadorSpainCubaMexico; and Peru.

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Weekly Specials at Odd Fellows Cafe

Odd Fellows Café in Washington Square West has been serving up some awesome weekly specials. On Mondays and Wednesdays a special prix fixe menu is available that changes each week. For $14.99 guests get a choice of one of two appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The special runs from 5 to 7 p.m. each night, be sure to get there early because all ordering must be done by 7 p.m.

On Tuesdays Odd Fellows does all-you-can-eat tacos for $13.99 and Thursdays features all-you-can-eat arepas for the same price, all between 5 and 7 p.m. Early birds get the worm and arepas with these specials too.

Of course Odd Fellows serves brunch on weekend mornings from 9-3 p.m. and the restaurant is always BYOB.

Odd Fellows Café
1201 Spruce Street
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