Monday, November 30, 2009

"Hard-Eating" Buzz Bissinger Helps Rick Nichols Evaluate The Texas-Style BBQ At Percy Street Barbecue

Buzz Bissinger makes an unnamed cameo in Rick Nichol's latest write-up:
But I digress: The brisket verdict of a Philadelphia writer who spent a year in Odessa chronicling football under the Friday-night lights? An A, with an asterisk: The meat may seem a tad wet for a true Texan.

The brat-like sausages, house-made and hung like stockings in the big cherry-red smokers (fed with split red oak) had deep smoky flavor: another A from the hard-eating author.
But of course everything (as it tends to be in the barbecue world) is under the microscope here. "How come two different burnt ends tasted different?" an early bird groused. "Hey, why no peach cobbler?" implored another. "What, no combo platter?" (like you get at the Salt Lick), queried Mr. Friday Night.
Percy Street got two A's from Mr. Bissinger Friday Night.

Texas BBQ, come to Philadelphia - It's not vinegary, not sweet, not blackened, familiar styles in these parts. It's smoked. [ Philadelphia Inquirer ]

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Iron Chef Jose Garces Brines And Deep Fries His Thanksgiving Turkey

jose garces and family at thanksgivingDeep frying a brined turkey can be ill advised.

But not for Iron Chef Jose Garces.
Though he is almost always called on to help with the Thanksgiving cooking, Garces celebrates the holiday with his family and three other couples, rotating homes each year. This year's festivities are being hosted at the Garces home in Philadelphia.

Nominating himself to cook the turkey, Garces brines his bird for 24 hours, then forgoes roasting for deep-frying, a method he believes is the best way to cook it.

"It locks in all the juice and flavors and cooks in much less time."

Garces also gets Mamita involved. He tasks her with making the chicken-liver stuffing, empanadas and sweet corn humitas, which are essentially tamales filled with cheese and a creative, flavorful substitute for cornbread.

To pull everything off, Garces tries to "prepare as much as possible the day before, and delegates the work. If you can learn to do that, then you'll have time to enjoy your family and friends, which is the most important part of Thanksgiving and the holidays."
No big deal.

You check out his recipe for a deep fried brined turkey here.

He's also got a Thanksgiving feature in Food & Wine from 2008 with a ton of recipes (like chorizo corn bread stuffing).

Take advantage.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Iron Chef Jose Garces has much to celebrate this Thanksgiving [ USA Today ]
A Chef's All-American Thanksgiving [ Food & Wine ]
Jose Garces's Thanksgiving Fiesta [ Food & Wine ]

[ Photo via Food & Wine ]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

R2L Opening Delayed Until Sometime In January, Rocking A Massive New Year's Eve Party Regardless

r2l by daniel stern new year's eve philadelphiaR2L will be opening for dining sometime in January according to the restaurant's website. Until then, the restaurant is available for private functions.

The restaurant will also be hosting a New Year's Eve party (invitation above), offering panoramic views of the city and the fireworks, as well as a chance to get a sneak peak at the restaurant and some of its cocktail cuisine.

Meanwhile, The New York Times is reporting that Daniel Stern has hired Chef Alex Ureña out of New York City to be R2L's Chef de Cuisine.

R2L [ Official Site ]
Ureña Is Heading Out of Town [ Diner's Journal - New York Times ]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mystery Location Of Paddy's Pub In It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia Finally Revealed

paddy's pub in it's always sunny in philadelphia
Where in Philadelphia is Paddy's Pub supposed to be located?

The intended location of Paddy's Pub has never really been revealed on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

The show has established that the bar is in South Philadelphia but it has never specified where in South Philadelphia.

There was this clue from an episode from Season One.
Dennis: I don't get it, Dee: There are tons of women in this city; where do they go?
Dee: They're at velvet-rope clubs on Delaware Avenue.
Dennis: Why?
Dee: Dennis, our bar is in South Philly in a scary alley ... might as well call it "Rape Bar."
So Paddy's is located on a scary alley in South Philly.

But what alley? And where?

Well, earlier this season, there was finally a hint in the show that allowed us to pinpoint the theoretical location of Paddy's Pub.

(It's theoretical because the building exterior that is used for Paddy's is actually located in Los Angeles. Paddy's Pub as depicted on the television show does not actually exist in Philadelphia. However, it exists in the show's reality, and now we know where...)

When Dennis and Mac were walking back around the corner to the bar (clip below), you can see a street sign.

The street on the street sign? Dickinson Street?

The block? The 200 block to the left. The 300 block to the right.

So Paddy's is located just north of and around the corner from 3rd and Dickinson.

always sunny in philadelphia paddy's pub
The fictional Paddy's Pub is located around the corner from 3rd and Dickinson

Which makes sense since Rob McElhenney actually grew up in Pennsport right there at the intersection of Dickinson and Moyemensing. (Not far from the Shamrock Pub at 2nd and Reed, which may have helped originally inspire the Paddy's Pub in the show.)

So in the show's reality, Paddy's Pub is located in South Philadelphia right around the corner from 3rd and Dickinson Streets.

But not in real life — in real life, the building that doubles as Paddy's is located in LA.

Please rest easy now that this great mystery has been solved.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia [ Official Site ]

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tom Colicchio Road Trips Through Philly, Making Sure To Break His Vetri Cherry

tom colicchio and marc vetri at vetriThis week, Tom Colicchio is blogging for Food & Wine about his six-day road trip from Atlanta up the east coast.

His last stop before returning to New York was Philadelphia.

He started the day by visiting Culton Organics Farm in Lancaster with Marc Vetri.

Colicchio then stopped by the new location of Samuels & Sons Seafood.

And then for dinner, he went to Vetri, where he had never dined before.
Although I've been friends with Marc for years, this was my first time eating at his acclaimed restaurant Vetri. It was well worth the wait, and I came away thinking that his impossibly thin, buttery pastas and tender baby goat could hold their own against any I've had.
Day 6: Dinner at Vetri
[ Mouthing Off - Food & Wine ] via Eater

[ Photo via Food & Wine / Tom Colicchio ]

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Looks Like Amada Is Headed To New York City

amada restaurant in Philadelphia
Jose Garces to open an Amada in New York City? | Photo via


So last month, Jose Garces revealed to the New York Post that he'd open a restaurant in New York City if he won The Next Iron Chef.

And then a few weeks later he revealed to Grub Street that if that scenario were to happen, the restaurant he'd open in Manhattan would be an Amada.

Well, tonight is the season finale of The Next Iron Chef and not only is Jose Garces a heavy favorite to win, all signs (and rumors) point to him winning.

So if/when he does win the title of The Next Iron Chef tonight, is that a formal confirmation that he'll be taking the Amada concept to New York in 2010?

Pretty much.

UPDATE: Michael Klein reports that after the win, Chef Garces said taking Amada to New York is off the table. At least for now. Regardless, congratulations to Iron Chef Garces on the win!

Jose Garces Continues Flirting With New York [ Grub Street New York ]
Jose Garces Throwing a Victory Viewing Party [ Grub Street Philadelphia ]

Jose Garces To New York?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Del Frisco's Now A Nightclub?

thanksgiving eve party at del frisco's philadelphia
Perloff/Last Call/Philly2Night party. Check.

On biggest party night of the year. Check.

DJs. Check. (Four of them.)

Bottle service. Check.

Light Show. Check.

Giant breasts on invite. Check.

Sounds a lot like a nightclub.

Desperate times? Desperate measures?

(But hey, if Le Cirque is doing it ...)

Del Frisco's Philadelphia [ Official Site ]

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Crafty Martha Stewart Lunches At Pod, Makes Her Own Chopstick Rests

martha stewart chopstick rests at pod
Martha's design for makeshift chopstick rests at Pod | Photo via

Martha Stweart was in town on Monday to promote her new book and guest lecture at Wharton. Between the two, she lunched at Pod and then posted about her visit on her blog.

"In Japan, it is customary to use chopstick rests. We decided to create our own. This is my knot design."


Now let's see if Starr takes note.

martha stewart chopstick rests at pod
Another design for a makeshift chopstick rest by Martha's team | Photo via

A day in my life - part two [ The Martha Blog ]

Monday, November 02, 2009

New Restaurant At 10 Rittenhouse To Be Located At Corner Of 18th And Sansom

10 rittenhouse under construction philadelphia
10 Rittenhouse is to have a "premier restaurant" located on at this corner | Photo by Brad Maule of Philly Skyline

10 Rittenhouse, the new $300M, 135-unit luxury condo building rising 33 stories over Rittenhouse Square, is holding a grand opening later this month.

Work is not entirely finished, but it will be ready for residents soon.

One of the pieces not completed... the restaurant that will be located inside the building.

Developers are being tight-lipped about what the restaurant will be and who's behind it, only saying that there will be a "premier restaurant" with "first class dining" located inside the building.

We've confirmed that said restaurant will be located at street level at the corner of 18th and Sansom Streets.

So we have to ask: could Stephen Starr be bringing pizza back to a location that once housed Lombardi's???

Starr recently told Philly Mag that he "has secured a lease on yet-to-be-announced location in Rittenhouse Square" for another casual pizzeria a la Pizzeria Stella.

So, in theory, this could be that yet-to-be-announced location.

Which makes for a nice story, however, the developers of 10 Rittenhouse are positioning the building as super luxury, so it would be pretty surprising for them to go with a pizzeria for the building's "premier restaurant," even if it is a Stephen Starr pizzeria.

So the question remains: what will the restaurant inside 10 Rittenhouse be?

UPDATE: Michael Klein reports it might be Serafina from New York City.

10 Rittenhouse [ Official Site ]
Breaking: Two New Pizza Joints for Starr? [ Restaurant Club - Philadelphia Magazine ]

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Pub & Kitchen Makes A (Brief) Cameo In Most Recent Episode Of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Pretty sure that is a CGI Big Belly trash can that was added during post-production


In the most recent episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia — "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops," which aired on Thursday — Pub & Kitchen makes a cameo.

They show an exterior shot of the bar/restaurant on the corner of 20th and Lombard (still, above) and then do a scene where Artemis meets Sweet Dee inside. However, the interior scenes were not actually shot at Pub & Kitchen.

So it's actually a very short cameo.

But regardless, good location choice by production team.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia [ Official Site ]