One recent evening, after picking up a four-pack of Allagash at Cambridge — the go-to place in this ’hood for quality takeout beer — I wandered with a friend into Entrée, a BYOB that opened in September. We weren’t expecting much. It was prime dinnertime, but the restaurant was empty, and the chef and his lone server were sitting out front. As things turned out, even if our expectations had been moderately high, they would have been exceeded. From the perfect calamari with slivered sweet peppers (one of my favorite versions in a city with many great calamari plates) to the pan-seared cornish hen to the pan-roasted halibut, everything was meticulously executed, yet presented simply and unpretentiously. Another win for the western end of South Street.
Entree Bistro [Foobooz]
Blue Duck Sandwich Co. – Comes with paprika rubbed bacon, gruyere, pickled Swiss chard stems, crispy shallots and lemon Swiss chard mayo.
Starting today, Tuesday, July 1st, and continuing throughout the summer, REX 1516 will be hosting a Guest Chef Burger Series. Each week, the restaurant will bring a new burger to the menu. REX will supply the buns, burgers, sides and booze, while the guest chefs will put together a burger using their own toppings and creating an original ‘pun.’
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South Street’s REX 1516 is rolling out new dinner and dessert menus this weekend. Justin Swain’s new menu is inspired by Southern and Philadelphia backyard barbecues alike. Many of the dishes take advantage of REX’s brand-new Southern Pride smoker. Highlights include house-made scrapple and a Memphis pork shank entree. Returning to the menu is Swain’s sweet tea brined fried chicken. It’s served with a buttermilk biscuit, red bliss potato salad and a house-smoke Sriracha sauce.
Check out the full menus »
Little Spoon Cafe is coming to 15th and South Streets. Naked Philly has many of the details on the coffee shop and cafe by area residents, Jeanne French and Julia McMeans.
The two have hired Otto Architects who are part of the team behind the work done at One Shot Coffee as well as Tria Taproom, where they received a James Beard Award nomination for outstanding restaurant design.
Look for Little Spoon to open this summer.
Little Spoon Cafe Coming to South Street West [Foobooz]
Little Spoon Cafe [Foobooz]
Restaurant chefs sure ain’t what they used to be.
Once they were stalwarts who manned the stoves in obscurity, if not outright anonymity, cooking for customers who expected a restaurant’s personality to come from somewhere else: a gregarious owner, a schmoozing maître d’, a head waiter who knew the table you wanted and the drink you always wanted on it.
Now they want to be the center of the show, these chefs today. They cook for creative fulfillment, for celebrity, for adoration. Sure, they cook for customers, too. But only as a means to an end: an invitation to Top Chef, a book deal, a restaurant empire of their own.
At least that’s what everybody says.
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On Saturday, April 26th South Street West bars are celebrating that spring has sprung with a special bar stroll. The event is a day-long happy hour at participating bars with food and drink specials available to ticketed revelers. Highlights include:
- $1.50 special side of hand cut fries with bourbon mayo at Grace Tavern
- $5 limited edition American Blonde Ale from Evolution called “Sprung” at Doobies
- Jet Wine Bar is offering $5 house wines, $5 sangria, $5 rum cocktails
- The Cambridge will be selling all of its 16-ounce drafts for $4
- So Crepe will be giving away coffee with the purchase of a sweet or savory crepe
Tickets cost $8 online and $12 at any of the participating bars and entitle purchasers to the discounts and to a trolley that will run a loop around the area.
Sprung Tickets [TicketLeap]
Sprung [South Street West]
A five-story building with 32 residential units and some retail is proposed for a lot previously used by the Jamaican Jerk Hut on the 1400 block of South Street. This mixed-use project will also be accompanied by three single-family homes and a carriage house (to be constructed directly behind it on Kater Street).
JKR Partners designed the buildings, but may yet have to do some tweaking in coming weeks before anything is set in stone. As brokers for the project, OFC Realty has published project renderings on their website, Naked Philly, and are asking for feedback.
• We’ve Got Renderings of the New South Street West Project [Naked Philly]
More news this way…
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Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 26th, Chris and Heather Fetfatzes, who saw their Hawthornes Cafe closed by fire on Monday, will be hosting a huge Bell’s Brewery takeover at their other bar, the Cambridge.
24 Bell’s beers will be on draft in total, including the highly sought after HopSlam among others. The beers start pouring at 4 p.m. Get there early to taste that Hopslam.
The Cambridge [Foobooz]
There is a new liquor license application up in the window at 1612 South Street, a mix-use project that’s nearing completion on the growing South Street West corridor. Jon Adler, who some may know as the former proprietor of Beauty Shop Cafe, is one of the partners in the project. He was tight-lipped about exactly the project will be but does acknowledge it is aiming to be a welcoming place to the neighborhood. Something he certainly achieved at his coffee shop at 20th and Fitzwater.
The restaurant space includes 38-feet of South Street frontage and 5,000 square feet of space including the ground floor and basement.
Adler promises more details as the concept moves along.
Every Tuesday, Rex 1516′s chef Justin Swain will reveal the restaurant’s weekly burger special. The burger, which is available on Tuesday and Wednesday evening at the South Street West restaurant is paired with a shot of Buffalo Trace and a pint of Philadelphia Brewing Company’s Newbold IPA for $15.
This week’s special is smoked sliced brisket, cherry pepper cheese sauce, bibb lettuce, atop Rex 1516′s house ground burger.
Follow chef Swain on Instagram (@swainstache) and Twitter (@JustinSwain), where he will post his creation weekly.
Rex 1516 [Official]