Celebrate the Solstice with Whetstone, Ela, and Southwark

Bainbridge Green Park/Friends of Bainbridge Green

Wednesday, June 21st marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere — the time when the tilt of Earth on its axis puts us closest to the sun. That makes it the longest day of the year, and three of Queen Village’s top restaurants have teamed up to make the most of it with a street festival on Bainbridge Green tomorrow night.

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Philly Ranked Fifth Most Walkable City in U.S. This Year

All of Center City’s neighborhoods, from the Avenue of the Arts on down, are “Walker’s Paradises,” contributing to the city’s continued ranking among the five most walkable cities in the U.S. | Photo by Jeff Fusco

A mere two-tenths of a point dropped Philadelphia from its perch as the nation’s fourth-most-walkable city in this year’s Walk Score rankings of American cities.

Miami traded places with Philadelphia to become the No. 4 most walkable city in the U.S. on this year’s list. But no one should lament this development, for what it means is merely that cities all across America continue to up their walkability game.

A news release from Walk Score parent Redfin noted that once again, all of the 10 most walkable cities had higher Walk Scores than they did last year, and of the top 50, only Omaha saw its Walk Score fall (by a mere 0.3 point). Philadelphia’s Walk Score of 79 was 0.7 points above its showing last year, but Miami posted an even stronger gain of one full point to 79.2, putting it in fourth place and Philly in fifth. Read more »

Philly Chefs Unite to Help a Queen Village Restaurant Worker Fight Cancer

Last month, Peter Serpico threw a one-night Korean pop-up inside his namesake South Street restaurant to help raise money for his friend Theresa Lazzari who worked nearby at Southwark and Ambra, rolling out pastas in Chris D’Ambro’s kitchens. Lazzari was recently (and tragically) diagnosed with an invasive cancer, and Serpico threw the dinner to raise some money for her GoFundMe page.

Now, it’s D’Ambro’s turn to help.

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Let’s Be Honest: Soft-Shell Crabs Are Better as Sandwiches

Photo provided by ITV’s Kyle McCormick

There are only two reasons why we get so giddy when soft-shell season comes around, two reasons why we like eating them at all:

  1. Eating soft-shell crabs is a no-fuss way of eating crabs (which is an otherwise very fussy experience with the shell on).
  2. It makes us feel alive.

Digging into them with a fork and knife — really, eating any animal whole like that — is a pretty primal experience in itself.

But let’s take it a step further, shall we? Let’s chomp into them without using any utensils at all. Let’s just stuff them between bread and rip into them like the beasts that we are. We’re at the top of this food chain, so we might as well act like it.

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Eat Korean Food at Serpico and Help a Philly Restaurant Worker Fight Cancer

Serpico_LoRes044.jpg Mike Persico

As tragic as it is to be diagnosed with cancer, it’s good to know you have an entire industry in your corner ready to support you in any way that it can. Philly’s Theresa Lazzari — a back-of-house pro most recently turning out pastas at Southwark and Ambra — recently had that happen to her.

And while she’s out there kicking cancer’s butt, some Queen Village restaurants are stepping up to help her out.

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Forest & Main Marks Five Years With Rare Saisons at Southwark

Forest & Main Brewing Co.

Forest & Main Brewing Co.

It’s been five years since Ambler’s Forest & Main Brewing Co. opened its doors to offer uncommon, terroir-driven beers and elevated pub grub. And they’re celebrating by taking some extra-aged saisons on the road to pair with a special menu at Southwark on May 1st.

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Now Serving: Ambra

AmbraPasta

It’s been said before that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. That same thinking applies to restaurants opening their doors to customers for the first time. Now Serving is Foobooz’s series of interviews with the chefs and owners of just-opened restaurants and bars where we ask what has changed between opening night and today.

Without Southwark, Ambra wouldn’t exist. At least not now. Not in the form it has taken. And without Ambra, owners Chris D’Ambro and his wife, Marina De Oliveira would’ve never taken over the Southwark space operated for years by Kip and Sheri Wade.

“We really walked into a unique scenario,” D’Ambro told me when I got him on the phone to talk about how things have come together at his tiny, jewelbox Italian restaurant next door to Southwark. “And it wouldn’t have worked without Southwark.”

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About Last Night: Welcome To The Chocolate Factory

open-stove-XLV-IMG_3951

The death of Gene Wilder a few weeks ago hit all of us at Foobooz World HQ pretty hard. So we decided, what better way to honor the man than by having an entire Open Stove competition based around his most iconic character, Willy Wonka?

As it turned out, this was one of those things that was a lot of fun for us and a lot of fun for the crowd. But for the chefs?

Let’s just say that Everlasting Gobstopper gastrique is probably not going onto the menu at Will any time soon.

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Field Guide: 8 Undiscovered Happy Hours in Philly

Happy Hour at Lloyd: It runs till 8 p.m. and includes cocktails, bites and frozen drinks.

Happy Hour at Lloyd: It runs till 8 p.m. and includes cocktails, bites and frozen drinks.

Around the office, some of our co-workers have lamented that everyone knows about their favorite happy hours and perhaps the Foobooz crew has some undiscovered happy hours options where they could drink and eat cheaply without the crowds.

So here is our list of previously undiscovered Philadelphia happy hours.

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That House Out There: Modern with a Classical Accent in Queen Village

617 S. American St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images from Keller Williams Center City

617 S. American St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images from Keller Williams Center City

The beautiful thing about Postmodernism is it allows you to mix and match periods and styles to your liking. Usually, the standard pairing is the insertion of Modernist furnishings and design elements into fusty old classical interiors, sometime with a nudge and a wink.

This home in Queen Village does the reverse: it’s a starkly Modernist home that has been outfitted with traditional design elements of the kind you might see in Architectural Digest. The effect is, dare we say it, rather refreshing. Read more »

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