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PLAN: "Heartland" Gathering (In Philly) 2012


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#241 Kerry Beal

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:35 PM

Most excellent! This is starting to shape up nicely. Although I am a bit disappointed that hoards of our nearby friends from the New York-DC corridor won't be joining us, I think a small intimate group will make logistics easier and I know we'll have a lot of fun. I will book the tour guide for 12:30PM on Friday for the Italian Market tour. That will allow us to have a late lunch to tide us over to our 9:15 dinner reservation at Zahav. Since there's essentially a few hours of "downtime" Friday morning and/or Saturday afternoon when we don't have activities planned, please let me know if there's any places that are interesting to you. There's all the lovely historical area with Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, Independence Hall, the Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, etc. There's pretty much a ton of things to see here, not ALL of which involve food! We'll be seeing and enjoying plenty of that...


Katie - what are the chances since we are a 'small intimate' group of dinner on Friday being earlier than 9:15 at night?

#242 KatieLoeb

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:36 PM

None. If you read upthread, Zahav has a $3000 minimum for their private dining room prior to that hour. It's prime time on a Friday night and they need to leave themselves available for that rehearsal dinner or whatever that will easily meet those revenue numbers in the private dining area, and/or use those tables for regular seating. Our small group couldn't possibly hope to do that, so I had to agree to the later dining reservation if we wanted to have dinner there. On the upside, since we'll be there toward the end of service, Chef Solomonov will have time to come meet with us and chat. Sorry. I'll give it one last ditch attempt to see if they could maybe take us a little bit earlier when I confirm our head count, but if that is their policy, I can't imagine that they'd make an exception given that they'd literally have to be clairvoyant to know whether those tables will be needed or not before then.

As it is looking right now, the Zahav dinner will be our most heavily attended event of the weekend. We are already at 18 persons, with a maximum of 25 seats available.

Edited by KatieLoeb, 06 August 2012 - 02:38 PM.

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#243 KatieLoeb

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:52 PM

On a separate note - do we have any food allergies or dietary restrictions I need to know about? I want to make sure accommodations are made for everyone. The dinner at Zahav will have plenty of vegetarian fare, if anyone is concerned. I will also make certain the variety of dishes we have for brunch at Han Dynasty include several non-spicy choices as well as the spicy. Anything else I haven't thought of?

Katie M. Loeb
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#244 prasantrin

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:56 PM

I think (but could be wrong) that Kerry thought the Friday evening group might be smaller, and so perhaps could be accommodated at a regular table. But it's a pretty big group, so it should be lots of fun!

I count 17 for Friday evening--am I missing someone?
KatieLoeb
torakris
prasantrin + 1
Kerry Beal
Chris Hennes + 1
Holly Moore
nolnacs + 1
Andrew Fenton
rlibkind
cdh
South Jersey Epicurean
percyn
Mummer
Capaneus

Any news about final costs and times/meeting places? I'm leaving shortly, and may not have much internet access once I'm gone, so if we could get that info soon, that would be great.

Also, if it's OK, I'll be paying once I arrive. I can pay it all at once (like on Friday at the Italian Market tour) if preferred, or at each event. Whatever is easiest/best.

And is there a decision about Thursday evening? My +1 and I will be meeting up with family that day, but if y'all are meeting up for drinks later or something like that, we may be able to swing by for a bit depending on the time. Like at Percy Street Barbecue so I can get a root beer float (hold the ice cream). :laugh:

#245 KatieLoeb

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 06:28 PM

Yes! Philadining will be joining us for dinner at Zahav. We discussed this off the board so there's no record of it here.

Looking further into EventBrite, it appears that there are all sorts of service fees that get tacked on to the event tickets. I also don't get the payout until 5 days after the event, so that doesn't work for me since I'd need the money the day of the events to be able to pay the restaurants. I just don't have that kind of credit available to me at the moment. It will be easier to just have everyone pay me in cash in advance I can then deposit it into my local bank and just use my debit card to pay for our meals. It will ABSOLUTELY NOT BE POSSIBLE to ask the restaurants to split off one or two persons cost from the bill to pay them directly with a credit card. It's a logistical nightmare for the restaurant and a logistical nightmare for me to keep track of. So it will be necessary to make sure you all have cash or a debit card on hand to visit a local ATM. Costs are as follows:

Thursday night - To be decided. On the cheap for sure.
Friday day - Italian Market Tour $20/person + a gratuity for the guide (assuming they're good and I'm sure they will be) + approximately $10 for lunch sandwiches.
Friday evening - Dinner at Zahav $65/person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Beverages are on a cash and carry basis per table.
Saturday day - tour of Reading Terminal Market. Bob Libkind has graciously offered his expertise for this one.
Saturday evening - Approx. $25-30 per person for shopping for dinner + costs for the cleanup crew/security. I will be getting a very solid answer on that Wed. But I think they're only charging us for clean up and are going "pro bono" (their phrase, not mine) for the rest.
Sunday Brunch at Han Dynasty - $30/person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Beverages separate. There is a beer and wine list available. We might want to BYO for this one. We can discuss that and I think I might be able to get my bosses to waive the nominal corkage fees. Or I might come up with a cocktail surprise for this one once I talk to my manager.

Weather forecast for the week calls for temperatures ranging from highs of 85-90 degrees during the day, lows in the low 70's in the evenings, Thunderstorms possible any day from Thursday-Saturday. It is humid here in August. Consider yourselves warned. We are a casual city, but I would make sure I had at least "business casual" attire for our dinner at Zahav. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for Friday and Saturday. Shorts and/or sneakers or open toed flip flops are occasionally frowned upon in certain establishments. Baseball caps sometimes too. Don't wear your Yankees jersey. That's just asking for trouble. :rolleyes:

So that's it. All laid out, all planned out. Really getting excited for this and looking forward to making new friends and breaking bread together. Philadining will undoubtedly photodocument for us on Thursday and Friday evening, but professional obligations will likely keep him from our other events. Everyone who wants to, please bring your cameras!!

See you all in a few days!!!

PS - Rona I am absolutely certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that we can get you to the Franklin Fountain for a proper Root Beer Float at some point.

Edited by KatieLoeb, 06 August 2012 - 06:31 PM.

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#246 KatieLoeb

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 06:45 PM

And for all of you that might be interested, my friend April White just finished her book Philadelphia Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the City of Brotherly Love which will be coming out in the fall. Lots of recipes from our city's finest eating establishments. There's might be a cocktail in there I contributed too. Definitely recipes from some of the places we'll be visiting!

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#247 Kerry Beal

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:01 PM

I think (but could be wrong) that Kerry thought the Friday evening group might be smaller, and so perhaps could be accommodated at a regular table. But it's a pretty big group, so it should be lots of fun!

I count 17 for Friday evening--am I missing someone?
KatieLoeb
torakris
prasantrin + 1
Kerry Beal
Chris Hennes + 1
Holly Moore
nolnacs + 1
Andrew Fenton
rlibkind
cdh
South Jersey Epicurean
percyn
Mummer
Capaneus

Any news about final costs and times/meeting places? I'm leaving shortly, and may not have much internet access once I'm gone, so if we could get that info soon, that would be great.

Also, if it's OK, I'll be paying once I arrive. I can pay it all at once (like on Friday at the Italian Market tour) if preferred, or at each event. Whatever is easiest/best.

And is there a decision about Thursday evening? My +1 and I will be meeting up with family that day, but if y'all are meeting up for drinks later or something like that, we may be able to swing by for a bit depending on the time. Like at Percy Street Barbecue so I can get a root beer float (hold the ice cream). :laugh:


Yup - exactly - thought there was only 9 of us so we could take a regular table.

#248 rlibkind

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:03 PM

SATURDAY AT THE RTM:

To take advantage of seasonality for our dinner, and menu planning, anyone who plans to cook for Saturday's dinner should plan on attending the 9 am Saturday tour. That will allow us to scope out what's best among the market's vendors and our food costs.

I can't emphasize enough that the reason we're getting at-cost and after-hours access and use of market facilities is because we'll be purchasing virtually all our ingredients from market merchants. It would be ungracious and ungrateful to our hosts to bring meat, fish, produce, etc. from the outside if it is available at the RTM. (No one's going to complain about a spice packet you bring, but there's great choice of fresh herbs at the market, cheeses, etc.)

Meeting point for tour will be Piano Court on aisle nearest Arch Street, across from Metropolitan Bakery (great artisinal breads), Amy's Place, and Pennsylvania store.

Food for thought, or thought for food:

Tomatoes
Corn
Stone fruits
Local cheeses

One of the market's produce vendors is Fair Food, a non-profit that connects to the region's best small growers and producers. Here's a link to what they offered this past weekend:

http://www.fairfoodp...ugust-1-7-2012/
Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

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#249 Chris Hennes

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:20 PM

I can't emphasize enough that the reason we're getting at-cost and after-hours access and use of market facilities is because we'll be purchasing virtually all our ingredients from market merchants. It would be ungracious and ungrateful to our hosts to bring meat, fish, produce, etc. from the outside if it is available at the RTM. (No one's going to complain about a spice packet you bring, but there's great choice of fresh herbs at the market, cheeses, etc.)

Shouldn't be a problem at all, considering the incredible selection at RTM. My plus one and I will join you for your tour at 9am (though obviously to do a 36h pork shoulder I'll buy that when I get into town... conveniently I'm just down the block from RTM so picking it up there is easy enough).

Katie, I'm already on the East Coast: can you take a check? No local no-fee ATMs...

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#250 Kerry Beal

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:26 PM

I see figs on that list Bob - perhaps baked figs, goat cheese and a drizzle of nice honey.

#251 rlibkind

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:25 PM

I see figs on that list Bob - perhaps baked figs, goat cheese and a drizzle of nice honey.


Yum.

There are other great produce vendors besides FF. Kauffman's LAncaster County Produce, steve Bowes (a local farmer who sells direct), and, especially, Iovine Brothers.
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#252 KatieLoeb

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:12 PM

Chris:

I think the ATMs at the Wawa's have no fees, or at least they used to. My problem is that I have only been working part time because it's summer and slow, and I also just missed a week of work because I was at Tales, so I'm a pretty broke girlie. I'm only concerned that your out of state check will take days to clear and I'll "bounce" my debit card at the restaurant as a result. Can't risk having that happen. This weekend is my last hurrah before I hunker down and get real frugal until the students come back in the fall and business picks up again.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#253 Chris Hennes

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:06 AM

Hey Katie, I understand, it just involves two trips to the ATM for me (exceeds daily withdrawal limit), and my bank's fees. One alternative is that I could put the whole Zahav bill on my card and people could pay me instead of you. Zahav is the expensive one, and I can take cash, check, PayPal, whatever people want. Then I only have to go to the ATM once, for the rest of the stuff.

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#254 nolnacs

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:18 AM

Chris - the ATMs at the RTM have no fees for just about all banks so that might be another option for you.

#255 Holly Moore

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:47 AM

With Katie's permission and for those with spare time, here is a list of some special Philadelphia places not included in the weekend's agenda.

Carman's Country Kitchen - Open 8 AM to 2 PM Thursday thru Monday. Small, unique, brunch - every week four new choices: pancakes, french toast, omelet and other. Decor is not for those with delicate sensibilities. Saturday and Sunday are busy after 9:30. Reservations day of. Be on time. Be cool. Let Carman know you are with the eGullet group.

American Sardine Bar - Scott Shroeder's take on sandwiches. Despite the name, only one sandwich with Sardines. Two fisted eating.

Federal Donuts - Donuts in the morning, fried chicken in the afternoon. Michael Solomonov of Zahav is a partner. Local and national raves.

John's Roast Pork - Old time pork sandwich and cheesesteak stand. Closes early - 3 PM and closed on Sunday. My favor pork sandwich is Dinic's in Reading Terminal Market, but the lines there on Saturday are a killer, and many Philadelphian's prefer John's which is equally as famous for their cheesesteak.

Sarcone's Deliand Chickie's Deli - Two places for hoagies. Sarcone's is part of the same family that runs Philadelphia's premier Italian Bakery, Sarcone's. Chickie's is famous for the Italian Vegetable and Italian Tuna hoagies.

Capogiro for world class gelato and Franklin Fountain for ice cream. For a deep South Philadelphia water ice, gelati or pretzel, Italiano's

Texas Weiners for Texas Weiners and Texas Tommies - Philadelphia style hot dogs. Johnny's Hot for a Philadelphia Surf and Turf - a hot dog with a fish cake smashed on top.

Los Gallos for my favorite down home Mexican cooking.

There are plenty of others too. Shake Shack at 20th and Sansom, if you've never been. Jose Garces's Village Whiskey across the street for burgers and greaserific french fries topped with short ribs and cheese sauce. The new Blue Belly BBQ at 6th and Catherine for barbecue without borders. For classic scrapple at an old time South Philly luncheonette, Brunic's. See my Philadelphia Page for a bunch more good eating options.

Enjoy

Edited by Holly Moore, 07 August 2012 - 07:59 AM.

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#256 nolnacs

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 08:47 AM

I can't emphasize enough that the reason we're getting at-cost and after-hours access and use of market facilities is because we'll be purchasing virtually all our ingredients from market merchants. It would be ungracious and ungrateful to our hosts to bring meat, fish, produce, etc. from the outside if it is available at the RTM. (No one's going to complain about a spice packet you bring, but there's great choice of fresh herbs at the market, cheeses, etc.)


I'm trying to think what I should bring to the potluck dinner. I was thinking I could make some bread, but would that be considered rude to make my own bread vs. buying from Metropolitan/Le Bus?

#257 rlibkind

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 09:00 AM

I do 't believe that's accurate...I'm pretty sure they have fees. Howe RR, half a block away is a Wawa convenience store, and it is free (I use it regularly).
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#258 rlibkind

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 09:02 AM

I do 't believe that's accurate...I'm pretty sure they have fees. However, half a block away is a Wawa convenience store, and it is free (I use it regularly).


I'm referring to ATM's at market which do have fees.
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#259 rlibkind

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 09:04 AM


I can't emphasize enough that the reason we're getting at-cost and after-hours access and use of market facilities is because we'll be purchasing virtually all our ingredients from market merchants. It would be ungracious and ungrateful to our hosts to bring meat, fish, produce, etc. from the outside if it is available at the RTM. (No one's going to complain about a spice packet you bring, but there's great choice of fresh herbs at the market, cheeses, etc.)


I'm trying to think what I should bring to the potluck dinner. I was thinking I could make some bread, but would that be considered rude to make my own bread vs. buying from Metropolitan/Le Bus?


can you buy you flour at the market ?
;-)
Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

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#260 cdh

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 09:08 AM

Great list, Holly!

Let's not forget Rangoon is a Philly gem as well. Good Burmese is not something you can find in most cities.
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#261 nolnacs

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 09:49 AM

I do 't believe that's accurate...I'm pretty sure they have fees. However, half a block away is a Wawa convenience store, and it is free (I use it regularly).


I'm referring to ATM's at market which do have fees.


Some of them do, but the select-a-branch ATMs in the food court are fee free for most banks.

#262 rlibkind

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:18 AM

And for those who come from where good Jewish deli is hard to find:

Hershel's at the RTM for house-cured, hand cut pastrami and corned beef. Nova and salty belly Liz, too.

Schlesingers on Locust near 16th , better for platters than pastrami and CB; super good and cheap kosher style rib steak, highly recommended.

The Famous on 4th and Bainbridge, great platters (stuffed cabbage, etc) as well as good pastrami, CB, chopped liver, etc. Superlative smoked/cured fish selection.
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#263 rlibkind

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:20 AM

... Nova and salty belly Liz, too..


G-damn spell check! That's LOX, not Liz.
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#264 Mummer

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:27 AM

I'm not much of a cook & I've a conflict Saturday morning. Since cdh & his homebrew can't make the "potluck," I'll bring some of the local favorites.
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#265 chefmd

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:07 PM

Yes! Philadining will be joining us for dinner at Zahav. We discussed this off the board so there's no record of it here.

Looking further into EventBrite, it appears that there are all sorts of service fees that get tacked on to the event tickets. I also don't get the payout until 5 days after the event, so that doesn't work for me since I'd need the money the day of the events to be able to pay the restaurants. I just don't have that kind of credit available to me at the moment. It will be easier to just have everyone pay me in cash in advance I can then deposit it into my local bank and just use my debit card to pay for our meals. It will ABSOLUTELY NOT BE POSSIBLE to ask the restaurants to split off one or two persons cost from the bill to pay them directly with a credit card. It's a logistical nightmare for the restaurant and a logistical nightmare for me to keep track of. So it will be necessary to make sure you all have cash or a debit card on hand to visit a local ATM. Costs are as follows:

Thursday night - To be decided. On the cheap for sure.
Friday day - Italian Market Tour $20/person + a gratuity for the guide (assuming they're good and I'm sure they will be) + approximately $10 for lunch sandwiches.
Friday evening - Dinner at Zahav $65/person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Beverages are on a cash and carry basis per table.
Saturday day - tour of Reading Terminal Market. Bob Libkind has graciously offered his expertise for this one.
Saturday evening - Approx. $25-30 per person for shopping for dinner + costs for the cleanup crew/security. I will be getting a very solid answer on that Wed. But I think they're only charging us for clean up and are going "pro bono" (their phrase, not mine) for the rest.
Sunday Brunch at Han Dynasty - $30/person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Beverages separate. There is a beer and wine list available. We might want to BYO for this one. We can discuss that and I think I might be able to get my bosses to waive the nominal corkage fees. Or I might come up with a cocktail surprise for this one once I talk to my manager.

Weather forecast for the week calls for temperatures ranging from highs of 85-90 degrees during the day, lows in the low 70's in the evenings, Thunderstorms possible any day from Thursday-Saturday. It is humid here in August. Consider yourselves warned. We are a casual city, but I would make sure I had at least "business casual" attire for our dinner at Zahav. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for Friday and Saturday. Shorts and/or sneakers or open toed flip flops are occasionally frowned upon in certain establishments. Baseball caps sometimes too. Don't wear your Yankees jersey. That's just asking for trouble. :rolleyes:

So that's it. All laid out, all planned out. Really getting excited for this and looking forward to making new friends and breaking bread together. Philadining will undoubtedly photodocument for us on Thursday and Friday evening, but professional obligations will likely keep him from our other events. Everyone who wants to, please bring your cameras!!

See you all in a few days!!!

PS - Rona I am absolutely certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that we can get you to the Franklin Fountain for a proper Root Beer Float at some point.


Katie,

I am kinda feeling shy. I am new to this forum and have not met anyone personally but live close to Philadelphia (relatively speaking, DC area) and would like to come. If still possible,
Friday dinner 2 people
Sat market tour 1
Sat dinner 2
Sun brunch 2.

We will be arriving to Philadelphia on Friday evening and will bring cash to dinner in Zahav. It should be 130 for Friday, 60 for Saturday, 60 for Sunday. Is my math correct?

Thanks

#266 prasantrin

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:11 PM

yay Philadining! Now someone just needs to find MarketStEl and convince him to come.

I love figs! Someone please do figs!

Franklin Fountain is on my list (no ice cream in my root beer!), but I read Percy Street Barbecue had some kind of special root beer that I need to try. I love root beer! I might have to make a stop at the Rittenhouse Square Farmer's Market on Saturday, 'cause I read some stand there sells homemade root beer. Root beer is very important.

And yay chefmd! You will be welcomed with open arms! And lots of food!

#267 chefmd

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:16 PM

Thank you prasantrin. I am so excited about new food experiences and very happy to meet people from this forum. You guys are totally awesome. I will gladly help with prep/serving/cleaning or whatever needs to be done on Saturday.

#268 Holly Moore

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:51 PM

Check out Hot Diggity on 600 block of South Street for their root beer and other house crafted sodas. At a recent class they conducted at Cook they served a selection including dragon fruit, cucmber and sumac, lime with jalapeno, and ginger ale. The seclection keeps changing so can't be sure what they will be offering this week. Some of the best pommes frits in Philadelphia too. Interesting hot dogs.
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#269 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 07:58 AM

I believe that the root beer at Percy St. is brewed by Yard's (a Philadelphia brewery). I'm sure it's good, though I'll go on record as saying I don't think the food at Percy St. is that good.

Listen to Holly when he recommends Hot Diggity! Their sodas are great- I just tried their plum ginger ale last week. Not too sweet, with a real ginger bite and plum flavor. And the dogs are terrific; don't miss the Philly surf n' turf.

#270 rlibkind

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 12:14 PM

And the dogs are terrific; don't miss the Philly surf n' turf.


They use Sabrett natural casing all-beef dogs, a classic. Ir's my second favorite after North Jersey's Best Provisions five- to-a-pound dog, which is what's served at the Memphis Taproom's hot dog cart.
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