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Everything posted by xtian

  1. Rx makes a really great chai creme brulee, served with pomegranate molasses. Its one of my favorites (and unfortunately usually keeps me from ordering all the other fabulous choices on their dessert menu).
  2. On the olive oil subject-- Friends had brought us back olive oil from Marrakesh that was the best I've ever had. The writing was in Arabic, so I don't know the name. Does anyone know of some good Morrocan olive oil that cen be sourced in Philly/Montco?
  3. I would suggest checking out Patty & John's restaurant, near Hanover, PA. I have eaten there several times and found it be one of the better choices in the area... albeit off the beaten path. They do plenty of group dinners and banquets, although I have never been there for that type of occasion, so don't know if the price or quality differs. For an evening meal in their restaurant (they also have a tavern), $20 might be tough. Another budget option you might consider, if you don't need a sit down meal is Seven Valleys Winery. However, you would need to hire a caterer or bring in your own food. It is the perfect size though and is a very nice location. You can only serve their wines, and we brought in an extensive buffet of antipasti, cheeses, desserts which we put out as a stationary buffet and had a very nice party. They will also coordinate pig roasts for you.
  4. Agreed! It is worth a trip to RTM just for that and their baby arugula to make the most delicious BLTs ever. Bacon is double-smoked and comes from Green Meadow Farms. This thread might even inspire me to pull out the Saveur issue from this winter that featured bacon... bacon tempura, peanut butter-bacon cookies, and more.
  5. You might also check out Armenian Delight in the burbs, on West Chester Pike in Broomall. Obviously it is more Armenian than Greek, but they carry many Greek products. I have used their spanikopita when catering to greek clients and it was hit. Good Luck!
  6. You should really check out Hanareum (sp?), which is a Korean supermarket located at the intersection of Broad & Cheltenham. Not exactly NW Philadelphia, but it is a very short drive down Cheltenham. They carry sashimi grade tuna and other fish at great prices. They also carry basic salmon filets, chicken, beef, and amazing produce at great prices. I forget how the prices run on take-out sushi, but it is very fresh. Also, for great life-on-a-budget items, check out the frozen gyoza, dumplings, and shumai... It is a great way to entertain on a shoe string.
  7. We are headed there for two weeks in August and we'll stay with friends in Margaree Harbor/Chetticamp area most of the time. My chef husbamd would love to take advantage of the local specialities-- whatever they may be?... Besides, I'd sure appreciate some inexpensive local watering holes that have a great clam fry, or whatever it is you folks eat up there. Finally, what the good local beer? All suggestions are much appreciated!
  8. I visit there often and never fail to come home with more than I need, just because if looks so damn good! And the peonys!...
  9. Persian Grill in Lafayette Hill has fabulous kebobs, although I can never break away fromt the ground chicken one-- such a nice, garlic-lemon flavor. The real treat though, it the rice that it come with. Yum.
  10. I recall just reading about a picnic basket special being offered by Smith & Wollensky ... or is it McCormick & Schmicks (they all blur together to me!) that sounded wonderful. $55 for a multi-course menu for two, packaged to go with plates, cloth napkins, etc. Add some wine or sparking lemonade and you're all set!
  11. Try Lee's Produce on Fayette/Butler in Conshohocken.
  12. Alma de Cuba has a private dining room upstairs and would be a great choice if your budget allows. As far as I know its stairs only though, so that might not work for your group. Brasserie Perrier also has a private room. Haven't been to Moshulu for quite awhile, but that might also be a nice option for summertime, waterfront dining.
  13. Croquembouche could be a beautiful option. Traditionally a wedding cake, but rules are made to be broken, right? Miel does them, but Aux petit Delices is much more reasonable.
  14. It is actually this Sunday, the 10th. You still have time to get tickets!
  15. My hub did the personal chef thing for awhile (as the chef, not the client). He cooked at the client's house on Mondays and left a meal for Tuesday, and then cooked a meal on Wednesday and left a meal for Thursday. The clients would typically eat out at restaurants, parties, fundraisers on the weekend nights. It was a great set up and at the time and complemented our catering biz well, since most of our gigs were on weekends. Great for me too, because he could shop and prep two extra portions and knock out our dinner at the same time. It eventually ended due to the client's divorce. The challenges for him were mainly the idiosyncracies of the clients-- kids didn't like fish or anything spicy, wife liked frou-frou, husband liked comfort food... it is tough to come up with continually creative meals that will please everyone at the table. On the other hand-- a single person (especially an adventurous eater like Holly) would probably be much easier in that regard. Based on his experience as well as others that I know, it seems that word of mouth is the best way to connect. Although, I have seen listings on Craig's list from time to time and that may be a good place to posted a wanted ad. Everyone I know who has done this is a freelance catering chef & has a flexible schedule.
  16. We frequently "roll our own" and always get our fish at Hanahreum (sp?) Supermarket at Broad & Cheltenham. They do a ton of business, so I never doubt that the fish is fresh.
  17. There are a few restuarants that I can think of that can probably accommodate a group that size... A restaurant with good food is whole 'nother sandwich. And near 12th & Market? That's really a stretch. I'll throw out some ideas based on space and maybe it will jog someone else's memory on the perfect place for Sara. Best idea I can think of is Moshulu - enough space and fairly good food. City Tavern can also do large groups for a price. Don't know what that would be though? The Philadelphia colonial theme would be fun for out-of-towners, but I do think it is over-priced for the mediocre food. Although had some foodie friends who went there this weekend (not sure why?) and loved most of their meal. Jazz clubs such as Warmdaddy's or Zanzibar Blue could probably accommodate. Again, we're talking space here (and acoustic space at that) but not food. I think Davio's would probably have the space and is sort of in your neighborhood, but lacks atmosphere. Going down hill... Plough & the Stars.
  18. Do tell! Where is this new Cuban sandwich joint? Hwilson, I am right there with you... Good bread makes a sandwich. Same as I've never had a good cheesesteak in FLA, I've never had a better Cuban than Miami & the Keys. I am willing to keep searching at every opportunity though...
  19. I hope all of you Iggles fans will forgive me for thinking beyond Green Sunday, but I've got Mardi Gras on the mind. This year's Gras will be the ten-year anniversary of meeting my husband and subsequently moving to Philly and we're looking to celebrate with some out-of-town friends. By celebrate, I mean enjoy some good food, drink, and music-- not underage kids competing for beads. Anybody serving up some quality N'awlins-style fare for the evening-- etoufee, pirogues, crawfish bread?.... And if they could offer a decent hurricane for posterity's sake and some funky jazz, even better. Who's got the scoop?? I needs me some good food and good fun on Fat Tuesday in Fat City.
  20. The Keystone Mountain Boys were great and bluegrass is a perfect fit any place that serves up good smoky ribs, like the Smoked Joint. Having had the good fortune of vacationing friend bring me a fresh muffaletta straight from the Central Grocery, I unfortunately had to suffer through that for dinner (written with plenty of sarcasm) and pass up on chowing at the bar. I am interested to know if you visited Angie Brown's yet, in the former Goat Hollow space? The menu sounded interesting and I haven't had a chance to visit yet. I hear the chef has been around town for awhile, but I am not familiar with her.
  21. Rich, I'm 100% with you. While perhaps not in the "elegant" category (of course neither am I), The Tap is exactly what I am headed for when I'm in an "eat at the bar" mood. I think it is especialy great because they have plenty of "small plate" types of offerings, which are convenient when things get crowded. I don't travel solo quite as much as I used to, but always found it much more comforting to eat among friendly strangers than to eat at a table solo, or worse yet, take-out in my hotel room. There is a certain comfort implied. And even though I'm getting off track, my hub and I make it a habit when on vacation-- It is a great way to meet locals and find out where they frequent. Anyhow! Headed to the Smoked Joint tonight for some BBQ and live bluegrass. We'll see where I end up sitting?...
  22. I'd give up all the red-gravy joints in town for one truly excellent Central Grocery-style muffaletta. (But then again, I might lose my excuse to make an annual pilgrimmage to N'awlins!) I know I am getting off point here, but I have to say that I would love to be able to head downtown and get a really good conch fritter with key lime mustard or a piping hot beignet with chicory coffee, but I doubt they would really taste as good if I wasn't staring at a Key West sunset or the muddy Mississip while chowing down... same way that a cheesesteak wouldn't taste right if the counterperson was super-polite and friendly when I ordered it.
  23. For Argentinian, Noche just opened near Rittenhouse... I haven't tried it yet, but am anxious to do so. It is an Avrim Hornik joint, so not sure what the food quality will be?... I suspect there will be more emphasis on the bar than the kitchen. For Brazilian, there is Samba on Girard Street, which offers great churrascaria, and also Brasils in Old City. Nothing here, which compares to real Brazilian food, but I'll settle for as close as I can get!
  24. The Dillworthtown inn makes a great table-side Caesar Salad. There's nothing better than an excellent Caesar, and nothing worse than a lousy one!
  25. An excellent Spanish (not Latin, but Spanish) restaurant. I would especially love to see one that serves up authentic tapas, such as Jaleo in DC.
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