Going Native At The Penn Museum’s Cafe


Have you ever eaten at – or even seen — a restaurant specializing in Native American foods in the Philly area? No, I haven’t either, and I have to admit that until this moment, it never occurred to me to miss it. But from now until April 6, the Penn Museum is running Native American lunch specials in its Pepper Mill Café to coincide with its temporary exhibition, Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now.

Various weekends highlight foods inspired by different tribal regions, and not to be glib but we’re not talking about mere southwestern foods here. To wit: The Northern Woodlands menu (March 22–23) features dishes we’re used to eating at Thanksgiving – maple-brined turkey, cranberry maple syrup, green-apple compote, wild rice and watercress salad, fried hominy, wild onions and smoked turnip puree. The Great Plains menu (March 8–9 & March 29–30) consists of buffalo chili on fry bread with pickled chiles and pinto beans, roasted root-vegetable salad, agave-nectar vinaigrette and chile-spiced fries. The Northwest Coast menu (March 15–16 & April 5–6) favors seafood with cedar-planked wild salmon, wild-berry glaze roasted celery-root salad, dried currants, honey vinaigrette corn pone, honey-butter roasted Brussels sprouts and caramelized onions.

The menu was designed by chef Richard Hetzler, who’s the executive chef at the Mitsitam Native Foods Café at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Penn Museum [Official]