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Toronto Star asks, Is Philly cooler than New York? (Yes!)

The Canadian paper reassesses the City of Brotherly Love, and likes what they see.
 
When you think of the city of Philadelphia, what pops into your head?

My impression used to be a mishmash of gooey meat-and-cheese sandwiches, Rocky Balboa running up some stone steps, a cracked bronze bell, and the intro song to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But then I went to Philly for a few days, and that all changed.

What I discovered is an understated, historically rich city quietly going through a youth-driven cultural revolution that could propel it to the top of hip, urban U.S.-destination lists. Yes, I’m going to say it: Philadelphia might just turn out to be cooler than New York City...

Original source: Toronto Star
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Solomonov doc gets Philly premiere

A documentary detailing Philly chef Michael Solomonov's journey through Israeli cuisine will make its local premiere next month at the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival. The film will be shown Monday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gershman Y cultural center. Solomonov will be on hand for a post-film conversation and reception, as well as a book signing for his best-selling Zahav cookbook. From Philly.com:

Directed by Oscar-nominated documentarian Roger Sherman, In Search of Israeli Cuisine follows Solomonov on an adventure through Israel’s vibrant food culture. The result: An intimate, behind-the-scenes look into the culinary heritages that have helped inspire beloved Phildelphia restaurants like Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, and Zahav.

"It’s important for Americans to realize that regardless of what you see on TV, regardless of your political stance, Israeli cuisine reflects humanity at its best," Solomonov said of the doc via a release. "Sometimes the easiest way for people to relate to a country is through its food and culture."


Tickets: $15 film only; $30 film and reception; $60 for film and reception along with a copy of Zahav.

Original source: Philly.com
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Philly photog shares local hidden gems with HuffPo

A partnership between Global Yodel and Huffington Post results in this local guide from photographer Darren Burton.

What is the best thing about Philadelphia? Hands down, the food and the art. Last year Philadelphia was ranked #6 for the best food cities in America by the Washington Post. Most tourists only know of us for our cheesesteaks, which ironically we don't eat often. There are MANY amazing restaurants that will leave your stomach satisfied to say the least. In addition to tons of restaurants, you can also find many murals, museums and art galleries throughout the city...

Describe a perfect day in Philadelphia: If my friend was at the The Logan Philadelphia Hotel for 24 hours, for starters, I would have them get breakfast at the Urban Farmer Restaurant on the 1st floor. (I'd suggest the Honey Biscuit with Country Sausage and Chicken.) After they eat I'd urge them to spend their afternoon on the parkway checking out the Philadelphia Museum of ArtAcademy of Natural Sciences, and The Franklin Institute. Of course, after all the walking they'd be hungry, so, I'd suggest going to Tela's Market on 19th and Fairmount and eating their Softshell Crab Sandwich followed by a Strawberry Banana Gelato from Philly Flavors which is only one block away. By this time, I'm sure they'd be tired so I'd suggest to go to The Logan Spa back at the hotel for a nice massage and then a nap. When they awake during the evening I'd urge them to put on a casual outfit and head over to Silk City in the Northern Liberties neighborhood and grab a bite to eat. (I'd suggest getting the Shrimp & Grits.) After dinner, the grand finale would be to head on over to The Fillmore for a dope concert. When the concert is over, if they still wanted to party, I'd suggest dancing their little hearts out at The Barbary right down the street.


Original source: Huffington Post; Global Yodel
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Travel + Leisure counts down Philly's top spots to watch the Super Bowl

Travel + Leisure picks their top five spots to catch the big game (February 7). You can root for the Panthers or the Broncos will sipping beer and noshing snacks. Here are our two favorites from the list.

2. McGillin's Olde Ale House
Established in the late 19th-century, McGillin's is the oldest continuously operating tavern in town. If you don't believe them, every single liquor license this modern speakeasy has acquired since 1871 hangs on a wall, alongside other signage of the ghosts of the city's past, like Wanamaker's and Woolworth. Shimmy up to the bar and order the SuperMug for $5, which gets you refills of Bud Light throughout the entire game for a buck a pop...

5. Brauhaus Schmitz
While this South Street German beer hall is normally your go-to venue to catch that other brand of football (along with Fado, a few blocks to the west), this year you can join the ranks of like-minded fans who believe that football—even the American kind—is best paired with lederhosen and giant draughts of bier. The game will be broadcast on the big screen in their Brauer Bund Beer Hall. Their $50 Super Bowl special includes pork rinds, roast beef, meatballs, wings, and more, all you can drink beer, and tax and gratuity. Make reservations by visiting their website.


Original source: Travel + Leisure
Read the complete list here.

Shining a light on Stargazy, South Philly's remarkable new pie and mash shop

Local food writer Drew Lazor goes deep on Stargazy, the British-style pie shop that recently opened on East Passyunk Avenue.

But what really sets Stargazy apart is the pie and mash itself, a simple but incredibly satisfying dish that has yet to have its moment here in the States. Understanding the appeal of this beloved blue-collar meal, Jacobson and others will tell you, is key to understanding the DNA of London’s working class. It’s that city’s original fast food — and if the early reaction to Stargazy is any indication, Americans are picking up on it quick.

Jacobson, who holds dual U.K./U.S. citizenship, originally crossed the pond for work ten years ago and hasn’t left. He’s cooked in a number of restaurants around the country, most notably a string of small, critically acclaimed, chef-driven restaurants in the Philadelphia area. But when it finally came time to go all in on his own place, Jacobson knew it was an opportunity to introduce something completely different. That something: an American approximation of the “proper” pie and mash shops of his childhood.

While not an everyday thing, Jacobson has vivid memories of visiting these tidy canteen-style shops with his father, who himself was raised on the stuff in London’s East End. The single-plate combination of a flaky-cased beef pie, mashed potato, electric-green parsley liquor and a right scoop of eels is the type of comfort food that sticks with you as much as to you.

“It was something I became more nostalgic for after I moved away and couldn’t have it anymore,” says Jacobson, who began poking around to learn how other pie men in the States did it. He quickly came to a realization: “Nationally, I couldn’t find a single shop. I thought, there has to be room for one.” As far as he can tell, Stargazy still holds that distinction a little more than three months in. 


Original source: Food Republic
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Local food writers launch podcast

Food mavens Joy Manning and Marisa McClellan have created Local Mouthful, a podcast focusing on all things local and tasty.

Podcasts can be a home cook’s best friend, teaching and entertaining us while keeping us company -- and they’re especially useful during the holiday season as we log extended hours in the kitchen...

Manning is the editor of Edible Philly magazine, a cookbook author and a former restaurant critic for Philadelphia magazine. McClellan is a canning guru and the author of several books, including the upcoming Naturally Sweet Food in Jars(Running Press, 2016).

The two met in 2002 while working admin jobs at a nonprofit outside of the culinary world. Coincidentally, both went on to pursue careers in food writing. Over the years, Manning and McClellan would take long walks around the city, discussing everything from farmers market finds to recent restaurant meals. 

“I often thought to myself, we should record this and do a podcast,” says Manning. 

Finally, in August they began producing weekly episodes in McClellan’s Rittenhouse apartment. Topics range from the best weeknight crockpot meals to favorite types of oysters. Many of the episodes include an interview with a guest, such as Joe Beddia of the acclaimed Pizzeria Beddia and P.J. Hopkins of Brine Street Picklery.?


Original source: Philly Voice
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Marc Vetri to sell restaurant group to URBN

In a stunning move, local chef and restauranteur Marc Vetri and his partner Jeff Benjamin have sold their empire to Urban Outfitters, Inc. The high-end flagship resto Vetri was not included in the sale.

Restaurant patrons will not notice a thing, Vetri said in an interview. "Nothing is changing. In meetings, everyone from Urban kept saying, ‘It’s more crucial than ever that you guys are at your restaurants.’ " Terms were not immediately disclosed.

With Vetri as president and Benjamin as COO, the Vetri Family will become a subsidiary of Urban Outfitters Inc., known as URBN. It will join a stable of brands that includes hip clothing retailer Urban Outfitters, female-focused lifestyle store Anthropologie, home and garden center Terrain, and apparel enterprise Free People, which operates both retail and wholesale arms.

Vetri Family partners Jeff Michaud and Brad Spence each will assume the title "executive director, culinary," and will continue their roles overseeing menu development and execution at all properties.

No branding or logo modifications are planned, and no employee moves are expected...

All of URBN’s current food and beverage brands will be folded into and managed by the Vetri Family. The restaurant veterans will also be tasked with helping Urban develop food and beverage concepts - a challenge both Vetri and Benjamin say they are very much looking forward to.

"It’s like after 17 years, Jeff and I are renewing our vows instead of getting a divorce," Vetri said, clearly energized by the whole deal.


Original source: Philly.com
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Local hummuseria Dizengoff to open kiosk in NYC's Chelsea Market

This quick-serve concept from chef Michael Solomonov and partner Steve Cook is preparing for world domination, starting with a stall at Manhattan's Chelsea Market.

Chelsea Market is using the former Ruthy’s Bakery space for another collection of kiosks, to open in January. The confirmed tenants are Dizengoff, the Philadelphia-based hummus stand from Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook; Berlin Currywurst from Los Angeles; Davidovich Bakery, a New York artisan bakery; Filaga, for Sicilian pizza cooked on a stone; Seed and Mill, selling halvah and tahini; Cappone’s Salumeria and Sandwiches, relocating from Gansevoort Market; and Li-Lac Chocolates: 75 Ninth Avenue (15th Street).?

Original source: The New York Times
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Andrew Zimmern visits Philadelphia on 'Bizarre Foods,' hangs with Michael Solomonov

The Travel Channel show Bizarre Foods visited Philadelphia, and host Andrew Zimmern seemed to have a blast munching on duck hearts and fishing for shad.

Check out air times and clips from the episode here. 

Fall means exciting new restaurants across the city

As the fall leaves turn, long-anticipated restaurants are opening across the city. Are there any future neighborhood institutions in the bunch? Any trends worth tracking? Philadelphia Magazine runs down almost a dozen of the spots they're most excited for.

Restaurant Neuf
943 South 9th Street, Bella Vista
Joncarl Lachman of NOORD is opening his second restaurant, this one with a bar and the French influenced flavors of Northern Africa. Lachman is especially excited about the bouillabaisse which will be a dynamic experience with the broth presented first and the fish added. The chef, who has spent lots of time researching in North African neighborhoods of Paris is also looking forward to the braised goat leg with sweet potatoes, dried apricots, roasted vegetables, crushed mixed nuts and spiced tomato broth....The bar will be the focus after 10 pm with a menu of bar snacks and a Cornell especially wants people to try VP Chartreuse. The aged chartreuse will be available for $20 during happy hour. Half-carafes are another way to enjoy time at the bar. A bar specific menu will be offered after 10 pm as the lighting gets darker and the music is turned up.
...

Buckminster’s
1200 South 21st Street, Point Breeze

The team behind Café Lift, Prohibition Taproom, Bufad and Kensington Quarters is adding another name to the list with Buckminster’s—a French-Asian concept going into the space at 21st and Federal in Point Breeze. And the chef they’ve got on board? Rob Marzinsky, who did his time at Pub & Kitchen and Fitler Dining Room before taking off to wander around Asia.
Now that he’s back, he’s using the food he ate there as an inspiration for the menu at Buckminster’s. And as a bonus, he’ll be working with Kensington Quarters butcher Heather Thomason, so we know he’ll be getting his hands on some good meats to start things off.


Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
Read the complete list here

Eight Commonwealth breweries triumph at Great American Beer Festival

PA continues to grow its reputation as a brew-happy state with victories at this national competition. Winners include:

Belgian- and French-Style Ale
Silver: Grisette, Sly Fox Brewing Co., Pottstown, PA

Belgian-Style Fruit Beer
Gold: xReserve Ale 05-15 Peach and Ginger Saison, Saucony Creek Brewing Co., Kutztown, PA

Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale
Silver: The Cannibal, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA

Belgian-Style Tripel
Bronze: Millennium Trippel, Church Brew Works - Lawrenceville Brewery, Pittsburgh, PA

Imperial Stout
Silver: Russian Imperial Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Lancaster, Lancaster, PA

Munich-Style Helles
Bronze: Goldencold Lager, Susquehanna Brewing Co., Pittston, PA

Specialty Beer
Bronze: Pack Dog Peanut Butter Ale, Marley’s Brewery & Grille, Bloomsburg, PA

Vienna-Style Lager
Silver: Oktoberfest, Stoudts Brewing Co., Adamstown, PA

Via Foobooz.

 

Philly's creative class produces Pope-tastic merch

With the Pope descending on Philadelphia, the city's shops and designers are creating some awesome threads and keepsakes. (Philadelphia Brewing Company is also getting into the act, producing "Holy Wooder" IPA.) 

When you attend a big concert or an event, grabbing a souvenir is a great way to remember the moment. And with the pope coming to our area there are plenty of unique items being created to mark the occasion.

You'll find a Philly-fied find inspired by Pope Francis' historic visit to Philadelphia on the shelves at Monkey's Uncle in Doylestown.

"The turning water into wine kind of jumped into my head and knowing that we love water ice - one thing led to another," said Dan Hershberg, President and Owner of Philly Phaithful.

The threads are the kitchy and creative work of homegrown Philly Phaithful.

The apparel company, based in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia, wanted to welcome Pope Francis to the "Philavatican" with a sort of South Philly-esque, modern day miracle. 


Original source: 6 ABC
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Never heard of 'Philadelphia-style' ice cream? Make some before summer ends

Apparently there is an easier way to make ice cream, and it's called "Philadelphia style" -- it's made with just milk, cream and flavorings; no eggs. The New York Times investigates.

It is fluffy and light, letting flavors like vanilla, lemon or just fresh cream come through more clearly. “The beauty of Philly-style ice cream is that it pairs well with so many desserts,” said Eric Berley, who runs the Franklin Fountain, a retro-style ice cream parlor in Philadelphia, with his brother, Ryan.

Mr. Berley said that because this style contains more air and water, it is actually colder and lighter than other ice creams — the better to set off the flavors and textures of warm pies, rich cakes and sweet fruit. It is less filling and dense, so it can be paired with another dessert without making the whole thing too heavy...

Why Philadelphia-style? When ice cream first became popular in the United States in the 19th century, all-dairy ice cream was the norm.

Custard-based ice creams were referred to as “French style” — as in French vanilla — and they became synonymous with elegance and luxury. Superrich ice creams made with cream (no milk), or with cream and eggs, acquired names like “Waldorf” and “Delmonico.”

But the earlier formula of milk and cream lived on in Philadelphia: in cartons of Breyers, founded there in 1866; in the cones at Bassetts in Reading Terminal Market, the oldest family run ice cream business in the country; and at the marble counters of the Franklin Fountain.

“Philadelphians have great respect for history,” Eric Berley said. “We wouldn’t change something as important as ice cream very lightly.”


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story (and check out the video) here.

Philadelphia named one of American's best food cities

The Washington Post names Philadelphia one of the best cities in American, and takes a deep dive into what makes us unique. 

In modern Philadelphia, small is big. Unlike in other major markets, rents here are moderate, making it easy for chefs to open personal expressions. With $100,000 and a decent piece of real estate, says chef Rich Landau of the innovative vegan restaurants Vedge and V Street, “you can snap your fingers and open in two months.” Craig LaBan, the authoritative restaurant critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer, says that a hallmark of the city he covers, rich with museums and historical sites, is its “accessible sophistication.”?

Original source: The Washington Post
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La Colombe acquires influential investor, continues to expand

The founder of Chobani yogurt looks to coffee, La Colombe.

Having shaken up the yogurt world, Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Chobani, now has his sights on a much tougher target — coffee.

Mr. Ulukaya has taken a stake in La Colombe Coffee Roasters, one of the many coffee brands that have sprung up over the last 10 years to cater to the tastes of coffee drinkers who consider themselves connoisseurs...

“We’re in what I call the third generation of coffee,” said Todd Carmichael, the co-founder and chief executive of La Colombe Coffee Roasters. “For your grandfather, coffee was basically a commodity, roasted dark, quick, hot, hard to differentiate. For you and me, it was discovery of lattes, milk-based coffee drinks. And for this generation, it’s about different beans and how a coffee grown in Ethiopia tastes different from one grown in Costa Rica.”

Mr. Carmichael once set a record for an American crossing Antarctica on foot without assistance. “The reason I did that is really just because I told people I would,” he said, explaining how he plans to grow La Colombe into a coffee empire with 150 stores, a thriving online store and robust sales into restaurants.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here
162 Food Articles | Page: | Show All
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