Stephen Starr Food Comes to … Amtrak?!

Plus, the most-visited tourist attractions in Philadelphia may surprise you.

this baked manicotti from adrian is just one of the Stephen Starr dishes you will find on the new Amtrak Acela first class menu

This baked manicotti from Adrian is just one of the Stephen Starr dishes you’ll find on the new Amtrak Acela first-class menu. (Photo via Amtrak)

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Stephen Starr Food Comes to … Amtrak?!

Remember when Stephen Starr used to have just a few restaurants, all in Philadelphia? When we used to have him all to ourselves? Now, Stephen Starr is kind of everywhere. He has close to 20 operations in Philadelphia. Nine in New York. Four in Washington, D.C. Plus five in Florida, where he just launched a Miami edition of New York’s lauded Pastis. And now, you can even get Stephen Starr food on Amtrak.

The railroad company just unveiled its latest menus, and the Amtrak Acela first-class offerings feature a rotating cast of dishes from Stephen Starr restaurants in Philadelphia.

From Buddakan, there’s the black pepper beef. The Continental Midtown sends us its vegetarian chilled sesame noodles. Also vegetarian, the lasagna al forno from Pizzeria Stella. (Forgot about that place!) And, finally, a baked manicotti from Adrian. What’s Adrian, you ask? It’s the Stephen Starr eatery that’s part of the Wells Fargo Center’s recent $350 million renovation.

If you’re riding “regular” Amtrak, sorry, but you’re still stuck with that turkey-and-havarti sandwich thing from the cramped cafe car counter.

Should you wish to sample the Stephen Starr menu items on Amtrak for dinner today, you can catch the 7:03 p.m. for just $320. Yes, the food is included.

About That Year-Round School Idea

Cherelle Parker wants to mandate year-round schooling for Philly kids. The school-district superintendent plans to unveil a pilot program for year-round schooling this Thursday. And it turns out this isn’t the first time the idea of year-round schooling came up in Philadelphia. We actually tried it before. Didn’t last long.

We Made Yet Another List

It seems not a day goes by without somebody somewhere declaring Philadelphia the most this or the least that on some list. We ignore most of these lists, because they just seem silly or lacking any kind of reliable methodology. But we can get behind USA Today calling us the “most walkable” city in the country.

We Have Yet Another Mural

If you’re a John Legend fan, you might want to head to the Fire on Girard Avenue. The music venue just unveiled a mural of the singer on the wall outside. Why John Legend? Why at the Fire? No, he’s not from here. But he did go to Penn, graduating magna cum laude, no less. And the Fire is reportedly where he performed some of his earliest shows.

By the Numbers

$285 million: What SEPTA has paid the tech company behind the SEPTA Key for the failed idea. The agency is now accepting proposals for a new fare system through mid-July.

13: Shots fired in an apparent road-rage incident on I-95 near Penn’s Landing on Sunday night.

5 million: Visitors to Reading Terminal Market in 2022, making it the region’s most-visited tourist attraction. Second place? Independence Park. Third? Uh, a tie: Peddler’s Village and Rivers Casino.

And from the Hmm-Okay-Then Sports Desk …

In Friday’s Phillies game, Ranger Suárez started at home for the first time this year, as he’s been recovering from a sore elbow. Marcus Stroman was the starter for the Cubs. Hey, the Phils got one in the first, thanks to a Bryson Stott single, a Bryce Harper double, and a Nick Castellanos sac fly. Alas, the Cubs got four in the second, with Suárez dishing up two singles, a walk, another single, a double, another walk, still with no outs … you don’t want to hear the rest, do you?

Jeff Hoffman replaced Suárez in the third, and Erich Uelmen took over from him in the fifth. An error by Schwarber — at least, in the scorekeeper’s eyes — put men at first and second, whereupon they executed a double steal, and a long fly made it 5-1. A chopper off Trea Turner’s glove, and it was 6-1, and man, the crowd was turning ugly. And a Nico Hoerner homer (try saying that three times fast): 8-1. You know what? There was an NBA playoff game starting. Guess what I did.

Final: 10-1.

So of course, who wanted to watch them play the Cubs again on Saturday? I had a full day of yard work lined up. And naturally, they went ahead and caught fire, with Schwarber walloping a grand slam in a six-run first inning that also included a Clemens two-run homer, and Aaron Nola pitching seven full innings with 10 Ks. And only two relievers, Brodgon and Marte. Final: 12-3 Phils.

C’mon, youse guys, a little consistency!

On Sunday, it was Taijuan Walker — he of the disastrous last outing — vs. Justin Steele. Walker got ’em down one-two-three in the first. Of course, so did Steele, so … That was the story through the top of the sixth, with the odd walk or single thrown in. Castellanos had a chance after he doubled in the sixth, but he was caught trying to reach third. Seranthony and Strahm both had turns on the mound.

Then, in the seventh, Stott, up to that point a one-for-six pinch hitter, lofted one just barely out of the park with Sosa on base: 2-0 Phillies! After a brief stint by Brogdon, who hit Dansby Swanson with a pitch, Soto came in to close out the eighth. In the ninth, Kimbrel gave up a solo homer to Chris Morel but pulled it out: 2-1 Phillies. Yay! Next up: the Diamondbacks, tonight here at home at 6:40.

And in Doop News …

The Union faced off against the New England Revolution in Chester on Saturday night and got some chances early in front of the home crowd, including a great José Martinez bring-down and cross and a header by Julián Carranza that just barely missed. There were a lot of free kicks awarded but just one card, on the Revolution in the 44th minute, as the refs preferred, as announcer Lori Lindsey put it, to “hold their fire.”

Do you like dogs? I love dogs. It was adopt-a-pet day at the park, by the way:

The second half was more of the same; Carranza had another nice try in the 54th minute, but it went just over the bar. In the next minute, though, a Dániel Gazdag strike that just glanced off the goalie’s hand and then the upright made it 1-0 Philly.

And a penalty kick was called for Philly on a foul on Mikael Uhre at 71. Oh my goodness, the offending player, Andrew Farrell, protested too much. So did coach Bruce Arena, who got slapped with a yellow. Gazdag took the PK and nailed it: 2-0. Nice.

And in the 87th minute, a breakaway by Chris Donovan and Carranza, with a final pass to Carranza for a third goal: 3-0! Gorgeous play. There was a prompt yellow on New England for a foul on Carranza just outside the box, a free kick, and nothing doing. “Back to their winning ways!” Lori said, and she was right. Good showing.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.