Korean Bribes Helped Build Convention Center, Feds Say

Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced it had seized $500,000 from former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan. Obviously, there is a Philadelphia connection: The money seized from Chun was bribe money laundered through the Convention Center expansion.

Chun was South Korea’s president in the 1980s and owes the country $143.5 million from corruption during his time in office. He’s considered the country’s last military strongman. He was sentenced to death in the 1990s, but it was commuted.

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Private Firm Takes Over Convention Center Operations

It’s not been so long since the Pennsylvania Convention Center underwent a massive expansion. It hasn’t mattered much; bookings at the center are on the wane, and labor issues have borne much of the blame. Now, CBS Philly reports, operations are finally being shifted to control of a private company, Conshohocken-based SMG, to see if the situation can be fixed.

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Pennsylvania Dutch Festival Kicks Off Today

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Celebrate the Amish way with the traditions, foods and crafts of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The three day festival takes place in the Reading Terminal Market’s Center Court and features crafts, donuts, ice cream, fudge, sausage and more.

On Saturday, the festival expands outdoors to Arch Street with Amsh buggy rides, horse drawn wagons, a petting zoo and live bluegrass music.

Pennsylvania Dutch Festival [Reading Terminal Market]

Philly Shows Off Their Wine and Cheese

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Like spaghetti & meatballs and peanut butter & jelly, one of history’s greatest pairings is the always-compatible wine and cheese. Philly’s showcase of the dynamic duo starts May 10th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The showcase will feature hundreds of wines, dozens of gourmet cheeses, hors d’oeuvres, and other specialty foods.

Guests start off the night by receiving a complimentary wine glass and guidebook featuring the wide selection of wines and cheeses. They will also get a chance to bid on silent auction baskets featuring one-of-a-kind items from jewelry to paintings, sports memorabilia, wines and much, much more!

Tickets are $50 and available online or at Wegmans stores.

The Philly Showcase of Wine & Cheese [Official Site]

Tuesday is All-You-Can-Eat Snow Crabs at the Field House

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Snow crabs tend to be weirdly addicting. You crack one open, suck it down, and sooner or later you’re ten deep, you’re covered in crab carcasses, and you have no idea what year it is.

At least that’s been the constant on my end…

The Convention Center’s recently renovated sports bar/beer hall, Field House, is now offering snow crabs every Tuesday, all you can eat of them. For $25, chef Andrew Brown (previously of White Dog and Opa) will serve you an endless supply of snow crab, fries, and drawn butter. They’re an easy pair with  local crafts too, so grab a long table, throw down some beers, and gluttonize in snow crabs forever.

Field House [Official Site]

Field House Reopening This Weekend with Andrew Brown in the Kitchen

We’ve long wished that the Field House next to Reading Terminal Market was the big mega-sized sports bar that we could recommend to tourists and others go. And with its renovation and reopening set for this weekend, maybe with the help of two Andys, it will finally become that.

Andrew Brown, who is leaving Opa on Sansom Street is going to be taking over the kitchen. Brown’s menu will contain Philadelphia staples and other dishes that harkan back to Brown’s days at the White Dog Cafe. And with the Reading Terminal Market across the street, fresh and local shouldn’t be too difficult.

The beer program is being managed by Andy Farrell who also stewards the City Taphouse program. The forty-tap system will stress local beers including some from the next generation of small brewers who have been popping up in the area.

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Tasty Place Lives Up to Its Name

Craig LaBan descends a Chinatown staircase under a dirty yellow awning and lo-and-behold, he finds a Tasty Place.

There are places aboveground that do a similarly fine job on these common Hong Kong-style dishes. But trust me: Tasty Place’s devotees will be here snug below ground eating salt-and-pepper chicken wings during the apocalypse.

Those juicy wings are so good, marinated for a day in ginger and scallions, then wok-fried inside a cornstarch crust that crackles with edges that grab chile rings and salt, they’re likely to soon become the object of wing-o-phile pilgrimages to the underworld.

Two Bells – Very Good

Tasty Place [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Photo via Midtown Lunch

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