Red Meat Economics: LP Steak Reviewed

LP Steak at the Valley Forge Casino | Photo by Nick Valinote

LP Steak at the Valley Forge Casino | Photo by Nick Valinote

The steakhouse is the dullest kind of restaurant.

There’s no surprise in a steakhouse. No shock, no awe. The best things you can hope to happen in a steakhouse are that someone grills your hunk of meat to the temperature you find most pleasing and doesn’t leave any shells on the shrimp in your cocktail. That’s success in the steakhouse world. The bar is low. With the proper motivation, a cat could work the line in the average steakhouse kitchen (imagine the hairnet!), and I say this having worked at a couple myself. The hardest thing about working a steakhouse job? Counting to 40, because that was how many steaks I could fit on the grill in front of me at any one time. And while, granted, this was at a time in my life when my successfully counting to 40 was by no means a guarantee, I still managed it. Because I knew Mittens the calico was out there gunning for my gig.

With all this in mind, I can also say that a great steakhouse is a rare and wonderful thing. Because of their simplicity, their elemental charms (meat, fire, paintings of horses) and their lack of anything whatsoever challenging to the appetites or worldviews of the majority of American eaters, steakhouses can be comforting. They can be the blank canvas onto which are written epic nights. (The martinis help.) Almost all of us have a steakhouse we love, tucked away somewhere in our past.

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Can Philly’s Ed O’Donnell Win the Presidency?

Ed O'Donnell for president

Photo | Dan McQuade

Ed O’Donnell knows he’s not going to become president.

“The only way I can become president is if the vice president resigns,” O’Donnell says. “And the president appoints me president and then resigns. That’s constitutional.” But that has’t stopped him from paying the $1,000 fee to get on the New Hampshire democratic primary ballot next month. It hasn’t stopped him before; he’s been running for president for 32 years. He hasn’t been on the ballot every year, but he’s gone up to New Hampshire and campaigned for votes. He’s spent $1.2 million, he tells me, and has garnered 468 votes, or roughly $2,564.10 a vote. That sounds like a lot, but it still seems like a better return than Jeb Bush is getting.

O’Donnell lists his home base as Bridgeport, Montgomery County, in his New Hampshire filing, but the announcement for his candidacy proudly states that “Ed O’Donnell lives in Philadelphia.” He says during primary season he rents out of his apartment and lives in hotels for months. He’s from Delaware, where he went to Wilmington Friends before heading to upstate New York for college at Colgate.

He says he’s run a charity, the Winthrop Foundation, for more than 40 years and that it’s given out sports tickets to under-privileged kids and clothes to the homeless. O’Donnell — who made headlines in 2013 when he said he was a virgin — gets most of his clothes for free or cheap himself from a place at his favorite shore town, Ocean City. He says wears a lot of women’s clothing, because that’s what they have there. Read more »

Montco Woman Charged in Applebee’s Macing

The Pottstown Applebee's | Google Street View

The Pottstown Applebee’s | Google Street View

A Gilbertsville woman who inadvertently discharged a can of mace she was carrying in her purse inside an Applebee’s restaurant in Upper Pottsgrove has been charged with disorderly conduct for the incident last Sunday night. Twenty patrons of the place began coughing and choking after the mace went off, and the restaurant was evacuated. Read more »

Cop Uses Well-Known Beatles Rumor to Capture Montco LSD Suspect

"Pink Elephants on Parade Blotter LSD Dumbo" by Psychonaught - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Pink Elephants on Parade Blotter LSD Dumbo” by PsychonaughtOwn work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Not the actual LSD in the bust.

It’s Christmastime, which means one thing: The Beatles are in the news.

Usually this is because there is some new Beatles-related product you can buy for people at Christmas. We already have an enhanced 1+ album and DVD of No. 1 singles this year. And this morning music fans awakened to some news: The Beatles would be available on streaming services starting tomorrow, Christmas Eve.

But The Beatles are also in the news because of a Montgomery County police detective. On December 1st, a Lansdale cop arrested a Colmar man for selling him what the alleged dealer called LSD.

The Reporter’s Michael Goldberg describes how that alleged transaction went down: Read more »

784 Layoffs at Embroiled Mail-Order Pharmacy


After multiple reports that mail-order pharmacy Philidor Rx Services used questionable tactics to get insurance companies to pay for the drugs it dispensed, the company is closing two Montgomery County facilities and laying off a total of 784 workers in the region. It’s also closing a plant in Phoenix and laying off a total of 264 people there.

Specialty pharmaceutical companies typically dispense high-cost drugs that require special packaging and handling like refrigeration. Think injectable shots for ailments ranging from diabetes to arthritis to cancer. Philidor came under fire for reportedly “changing doctor’s prescriptions and using other pharmacies’ identification numbers — to get insurers to pay for the drugs it dispensed,” according to the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal adds that the company allegedly “used unorthodox tactics to ensure payment, such as submitting a prescription over and over at different prices until an insurer would agree to pay, according to former employees and pharmacy industry officials. And the medicines weren’t drugs requiring special handling, pharmacists say.” Read more »

The Lost World: Papaya Vietnamese Contemporary Tapas Reviewed

Vietnamese Paella at Papaya | Photo via Papaya Vietnamese Contemporary Tapas

Vietnamese Paella at Papaya | Photo via Papaya Vietnamese Contemporary Tapas

On a Sunday night in late November, we weren’t the only table at Papaya Vietnamese Contemporary Tapas, but it was close.

My wife and I were there, drinking water because the place is BYO and we’d forgotten to pick up a bottle. There was the couple in the corner (smarter than us, drinking, all twinkling smiles and holding hands like they were auditioning for a jewelry store commercial,) and a family sprawling across two tables in the middle of the long, spare, narrow room—half-eaten plates of short ribs and papaya salad and special-of-the-night scallops scattered across the dark wood tables. Owner and chef Patrick Le was standing at the open kitchen’s pass, plating desserts. His mom, Thuy, shuttled back and forth between the kitchen and the big table where she sat (briefly) to talk with the family, who were obviously regulars and obviously having a great night.

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A Taste of Family Tradition Comes to Glenside


A traditional family-style, neighborhood restaurant and bar opens in Glenside this Monday, December 7.

The new Bernie’s Restaurant & Bar (which used to be Bernie’s Pub when it was operating one town over in Oreland) is located at 391 Highland Avenue, a few blocks away from the Keswick Theatre, brings upscale pub fare and comfort food served in a modernized setting.

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515 Layoffs Coming to Montgomery County

(Stephen VanHorn/Shutterstock)

(Stephen VanHorn/Shutterstock)

Two Montgomery County businesses have announced layoffs, and 515 people are set to lose their jobs permanently.

Quad/Graphics is closing its plant in East Greenville, Pa., laying off 422 workers. The facility produces business and consumer magazines and catalogs.

Pointroll Inc., announced 93 layoffs. The company has recently been acquired by Austin, Texas-based Sizmek. Pointroll offers tools that allow users to build, maintain and monitor their digital advertising campaigns. Read more »

Main Line Monday: Villanova’s Harriton Manor House Is a Blend of Past and Present

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

Interspersing historic buildings with new constructions, open space with sensitive site planning, not to mention an innovative stormwater management system atop a 55-acre site, it’s no wonder the Harriton Farm development earned the Montgomery County Planning Commission‘s 2007 Land Development Award.

Developed by Pohlig Builders, LLC, and designed by Michael Visich Architects and Glackin Thomas Panzak, Inc., Harriton Farm is unique in that 7 of the 35 homes that reside within it are preserved structures, such as an 1860 gothic cottage, an 1880 Victorian barn and Queen Anne stable, and Lane’s End, an 18th-century farmhouse. There’s also the Harriton Manor House, which we’ve chosen as our Main Line Monday home for today.

Originally built in 1842, the Harriton Manor House sits on a lush plot overlooking a pond. It’s a country-style residence and as such offers features like plantation shutters and a breakfast room with fireplace and wood-stove insert. It’s newer details are likely to have come about during an extensive renovation in 2003. It was then that it had flagstone decking, a lower-level wine cellar and wet bar, and an apartment above the 3-car detached garage added to its repertoire. (FYI, its terrace is two stories and comes with massive columns.)

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