Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney at a still under construction Lolita | Photo by Jack Cotter
There’s always a lot of going on along the Thirteenth Street empire of Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney, although recently, it has been extra newsworthy.
Craig LaBan visited the post BYOT Lolita and rewarded the Safran and Turney’s original restaurant two-bells, though he predictably does gripe about the noise.
What’s happening at 13th and Locust »
Beginning this Wednesday, August 27, Midtown Village’s Lolita will start serving lunch. Once lunch kicks off it will be offered Monday through Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m.
The menu includes summer vegetable and short rib burritos plus taco platters including marinated pork tacos fresh of the rotating spit.
And in even better news for tomorrow. Lolita will be giving away carnitas tacos between noon and 2 p.m. Limit of one per customer.
Lolita Lunch Menu (PDF)
Summer ain’t over yet. At least not on 13th Street, where Marcie Turney and Val Safran are running three nights of seafood specials at their restaurants to celebrate all the bountiful (and delicious) sea critters we eat during the hottest months.
From Sunday, August 10, through Tuesday, August 12, there will be special seafood-inspired menus, with beverage pairings, offered at each of their four popular Midtown Village restaurants. We’re talking ceviches at Lolita, a crab boil at Jamonera, lobster spaghetti at Little Nonna’s, and a mixed seafood grill at Barbuzzo. The dinners are running $45 per person (which includes a paired drink), excluding tax and gratuity. Check out all the menus after the jump.
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To help your summer along, Foobooz plans to give you some recipes by notable chefs and bartenders in Philadelphia. We’re calling it the DIY Down the Shore series, and we’ll be posting them all week. We’re bringing Philly’s dining scene into your summer homes.
During the warmer months, Jersey isn’t good for just its beaches, but its sweet corn, too. Marcie Turney, executive chef and owner of basically every restaurant on 13th street in Midtown Village, knows this to be true. Turney’s summer recipe, Mexican Style Street Corn, is just about the most delicious way you can serve up one of Jersey’s best ingredients. The dish can also be found on the menu at her Mexican restaurant Lolita, but we couldn’t be happier to have this recipe in our hands. Go ahead, take it down the shore with you and see how good the summer can taste.
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Prepare to get your hands a little messy.
But you can lick them clean afterwards, because Lolita is holding a DIY Taco Night this Sunday, July 6th and Monday, July 7th.
Each person of your party will choose a primary taco filler, served family style, from a list which includes korean style flank steak w/ jicama kimchi and cornflake crusted mahi w/ chipotle mayonesa, just to name a couple. You can dress up your taco with mexican street corn a bit of queso de oaxaca or some avocado-tomatillo salsa if you prefer. Remember to leave room to finish your hands on dining experience with some Mexican spiced chocolate pot de crème. See the flyer below for more details.
The price of the event is $35 per person.
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“You can drink as many of these as you want,” our server said brightly. “They’re good for you!”
The concoction in question, a Green Garden Margarita, featured what Lolita’s new menu called “green stuff” and our waitress had likened to a “juice cleanse, only with tequila in it.”
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen! The reason Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, after ten years running Lolita–every Center City twenty-something’s favorite modern Mexican BYOB–went out and got a liquor license: to dole out Mason jars of juiced spinach, kale, celery, basil, cucumber, ginger and Cozadores Reposado.
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Late night with Lolita? Sounds scandalous. But actually it’s all about late-night specials at the revamped Lolita in Midtown Village. Sunday through Thursday, 10:30 p.m. to midnight, there are discounted drinks as well as a special plate of nachos.
the deals »
The Green Garden Margarita
Happy hour just got a little bit healthier, thanks to Lolita’s new Green Garden Margarita: A margarita made with a puree of kale, spinach and basil, limonada, ginger, agave and, of course, tequila. Otherwise known as The Boozy Green Juice of Your Dreams.
The 13th street restaurant, which re-opens its doors today after months of renovation and revamping their menu, will be slinging a few other concoctions you won’t feel too guilty about drinking, too, like the Beetarita — a margarita made with beet root juice, green apple and ginger. Who knew drinking tequila could feel so — dare I say it? — healthy.
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Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s first restaurant is all grown up. Lolita, which opened as a BYOB ten years ago comes back tonight with a liquor license and a new look, the result of a months long renovation. Among the changes, a sixteen seat bar and chef’s counter that looks into the open kitchen.
Also revamped is the menu. Inspired by Turney’s recent trips to Mexico City, the food is inspired by Mexican street food and includes tacos, ceviches and other traditional plates. Rest assured carne asada loyalist, that signature Lolita dish remains. Freshly made tortillas, formed from a hand-cranked press in the open kitchen will form the base for eight taco dishes that populate the menu. A rotating spit, or trompo, will slow cook layers of thinly cut meats.
Drinks and the full menu »
Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney are still a couple of weeks away from opening the re-vamp of their first restaurant, modern Mexican Lolita, but the place already has polish to spare and we were lucky to get an early glimpse.
Safran and Turney have transformed Lolita–once a narrow, rectangular, rosy-hued room with an open kitchen smushed in to the middle of the space–to a layout that feels much more open. While it is, of course, still narrow, the kitchen and bar now run along one side of the room, creating ample bar seating that affords a primo view of cocktails being shaken, tortillas being rolled (on a Mexican machine complete with menacing safety illustrations), and meat sizzling shawarma-style on a vertical roaster.
The food, the drinks and lots of photos, right this way