Café Ynez Will Bring Mexico City Diner To Washington Avenue

cafe-ynez-logoJill Weber and Evan Malone, who have brought us JET Wine Bar and Rex 1516 are opening their third restaurant, Cafe Ynez at 2025 Washington Avenue on April 14th.

The BYOB, which is adjacent to Malone’s NextFab Studio, will serve up breakfast, lunch and dinner during the week and will serve brunch on the weekend.

In the kitchen, Mexico City native, JC Piña will be bringing a few of his mother’s “secret” recipes to life. Daily lunch specials will include seasonal soups, tacos, burritos and cemitas (sandwiches). A takeout counter will offer neighbors a to-go choice that will include whole rotisserie chicken. The chickens will be available by the whole or half. A half-chicken and two sides will set you back just $10.

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About Last Night: Lolita, Reborn

Lolita12

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

Serious Food at Sancho Pistola’s

Photo by Neal Santos

Photo by Neal Santos

Adam Erace visits Sancho Pistola’s in Fishtown and has praise for chef and partner Adan Trinidad’s food.

The tomato-based Veracruzana sauce forming a crimson moat around the whole snapper is like a Mexican puttanesca — punchy with crushed olives, salty capers and fresh cilantro. The fish’s salamander-broiled skin shone and crinkled like tinfoil, its flesh beneath moist and glistening as it flaked into the chunky sauce dammed by tender peanut potatoes and sweet fried plantains. I’d put it up against any whole fish in the city.

Sancho Pistola’s brings solid Mexican fare and a righteous beer list to Fishtown [City Paper]
Sancho Pistola’s [Foobooz]

 

Dos Segundos Kicks Off Half-Price Happy Hour

Margarita at Cantina Dos SegundosStarting today, Dos Segundos in Northern Liberties is kicking off a half-priced happy hour. The Mexican bar is offering nachos, plantains, wings and empanadas for half-price.

On the drink side, classic margaritas (including pitchers), featured margaritas, draft beer and sangria are also half price.

Happy hour at Dos Segundos runs Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Check out the details » 

South Philly Barbacoa Tonight at the Garage

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Tonight, South Philly Barbacoa is setting up at the Garage at 9th and Passyunk. Benjamin Miller and his wife Cristina Martinez will be cooking up Lamb Barbacoa, Pancita Tacos, Lamb Broth with Chickpeas and Rice and Nopales Tacos, which are vegetarian.

The cart should be ready to go by about 6 p.m., which conveniently is in the middle of Garage’s happy hour.

Garage [Foobooz]

The Bell Rings Twice for Taqueria Feliz

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Lamb Barbacoa at Taqueria Feliz | Photo by Courtney Apple

Craig LaBan visits Manayunk’s Taqueria Feliz where he is generally impressed with what’s coming out of Lucio Palazzo’s kitchen, grasshoppers and all. But the reason to go, is Palazzo’s lamb barbacoa.

Palazzo’s true destination masterpiece, though, his lamb barbacoa, is considerably more accessible. Rubbed for days in a mulato chile paste aromatic with canella and charred onion, smoked over cherrywood, then baked six hours inside banana leaves over chickpeas, it’s a Mexican cousin to the legendary lamb shoulder at Zahav, where he once worked. It’s very much worthy of the legacy – sublimely tender on the bone over refried beans and plancha-seared nopales strips, with a soulful lamb and chickpea consommé on the side.

Two Bells – Very Good

Taqueria Feliz: a nice addition to Manayunk [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Taqueria Feliz [Foobooz]

It Certainly Is a Taco Tuesday

interstate-drafthouse-tacosThere’s no denying alliteration works. How else can you explain the popularity of Taco Tuesdays?

And here are four we came across just now:

Miles Table also has a fish taco special for lunch today. Three seared tilapia tacos  with sesame Thai slaw, sweet and spicy aioli, pickled onions on blue tortillas are $12.

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The South Philly Barbacoa Will Not Happen at Isaiah Zagar Garage

barbacoaThe Passyunk Post is reporting that the South Philly Barbacoa project from Benjamin Miller and his wife Cristina Martinez will not be happening in the Isaiah Zagar garage at 10th and Watkins.

The Post says Miller is still looking for a space in South Philly and David Goldfarb, the East Passyunk Crossing zoning chair is assisting.

You can still get the barbacoa on Sunday mornings outside of Rosa’s Bakery at 8th and Watkins. Also look for Miller and Martinez at the Garage on Friday, February 28th.

That was quick. South Philly Barbacoa will NOT be in Zagar warehouse [Passyunk Post]
South Philly Barbacoa [Foobooz]

Barbacoa at Tap Room on 19th Tonight

tap-room-on-19thWe’ve previously told you about the South Philly Barbacoa cart that has been popping up at 8th and Watkins on Sunday mornings. If you’re not a morning, or even afternoon person, you’ve got another chance to try Cristina Martinez’s barbacoa and other tacos tonight at Tap Room on 19th.

Martinez and her husband Benjamin Miller will be selling $3 plates from 6 p.m. till they sell out.

On the menu »

Tortas Frontera Opens at Penn

 

tortas frontera signChicago chef Rick Bayless did a whirlwind tour of Philadelphia over the last day as he was in town to open Tortas Frontera at the ARCH building on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

This is the first Tortas Frontera outside of Chicago. The quick-serve Mexican concept promises local ingredients in tortas, cazuelas (Mexican meals in a bowl), caldos (soups) and molletes (flatbreads). The menu also features a breakfast section. The University of Pennsylvania’s Tortas Frontera is located in the recently restored ARCH building (3601 Locust Walk), The all-day spot is open to Penn students and the public.

Check out the Tortas Frontera listing for hours and more information. The menu is located here.

Where did Rick Bayless hit in Philadelphia? »

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