El Balconcito Crew Plans to Open a Peruvian Restaurant and Pisco Bar in Old City

If you’re craving Peruvian food in Philly, you’ll likely have to drive for it. Your options are the Northeast, home of Peruvian-Portugese standbys El Balconcito and El Balconcito II, or City Avenue, where polla a la brasa-chain Sardi’s opened its first Philly location next to a Boston Market, or Upper Darby, where Inka Wall puts out some of the region’s best. But for a taste of that Latin American/Asian fusion closer to city center? Nothing’s filled the hole left by Jose Garces when he closed Chifa in 2013.

That’ll soon change when Miguel Toro — who both co-owns and operates both El Balconcitos with his family — brings his new Peruvian vision to life with a restaurant and pisco bar in the former Serrano/Tin Angel space in Old City.

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WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Altar Boyz, Glitter & Grits, and Joshua Thomas at the Tin Angel

The cast of "Altar Boyz" at 11th Hour Theatre Company.

The cast of “Altar Boyz” at 11th Hour Theatre Company.

Altar Boyz is a sinfully funny comedy about a Christian boy band and it’s five members—Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan, and Abraham. The kicker? One member is gay and he has a big crush on the lead singer. It has been hailed as “high-octane entertainment” by Talkin’ Broadway. Will these good boys, and the one gay one, be able to resist the temptations that come along with fame and fortune?

The play has a little bit of everything – music, comedy, dancing, and most importantly, a touching story. It’s sure to hit home because we’ve all been there when it comes to an unrequited crush. Catch it before it closes on June 1. Visit 11th Hour Theatre Company’s website for more information and to buy tickets. Friday, May 23, 8:00 p.m., $31, The Arts Bank Center at the University of the Arts. Read more »

VIDEO: Singer-Songwriter Joshua Thomas at Tin Angel

joshua thomas singer tin angel

There’s something about seeing shows at Tin Angel that leaves me, as Whitney would say, so emotional, baby. The cozy, narrow room. Romantic, candle-lit tables. The music. The last time I saw a show there, a Girls Rock Philly affair, I was literally moved to tears during one singer’s rendition of Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You.” On the stage she stood, hitting all those high notes, while I sat below sobbing like a baby, enamored by the gorgeous sound that was coming out of her mouth. I had a similar experience last night when seeing Joshua Thomas.

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Getting to Know Philly Singer-Songwriter Joshua Thomas

joshua thomas singer

Philadelphia plays home to a handful of gay singer-songwriters, but few possess the soul and raw talent of Brewerytown’s Joshua Thomas (formerly billed as Josh Schurr). His first and latest album, Halfway, has become a mainstay on my Spotify queue. It’s a beautifully haunting set of songs that finds the 25-year-old crooning softly over acoustic piano and guitar. The title track also serves as his official coming out. I asked him about that and a host of other things this week when I shot him a few questions in anticipation of his live show on Nov. 14 at Tin Angel.

My Q&A with Joshua Thomas after the jump »