Posts posted by Sfuffy
if its a nice day stephen starrs hamburger stand in franklin square isn't too far a walk from franklin institute. my kids loved it. depending what day of the week you are there it could be crowded.
let your kids try a tasty kake butterscotch krimpet milk shake with pieces of the krimpet in the shake.
Despite their shared name, about 15 blocks separate the Franklin Institute and Franklin Square - that strikes me as a bit of a hike even without the summer heat and kids in tow.
As a previous poster mentioned, I'd go for Steve Poses's FrogBurger right out front of the Institute.
What I still crave to see in Philadelphia is a true, "Newark" Italian dog, like that served by Tommy's in Elizabeth or Jimmy Buff's in Hanover at their four locations in Essex, Union and Morris counties. Half a "pizza roll" (ciabatta like, but lighter and half-moon shaped) filled with a deep fried Best beef frank and adorned by fried potatoes, onions and peppers.
That's actually East Hanover for Jimmy Buff's, says the native son (who remembers when its location was Lone Pine Farm).
The wife and I had dinner at Han's on Thursday night. We went right after work and were the first ones in the place. At first, Han just dumped off the menus and left us to our own devices. But then I talked about reading about the previous week's eG dinner and my wife (who's half-Chinese) knowingly asked him about some of the ingredients in the dishes. I guess he realized we weren't some bumpkins looking for the usual thing and started to engage us.
We began with the Dan Dan noodles and the Cold Rabbit with Peanuts. The noodles were very good and we liked the flavor of the rabbit but, to be honest, the diminishing returns of the high bone to meat ratio made it a little frustrating to enjoy.
For our mains, we had the Fish in Dry Pot and Han suggested Pork Belly in Black Bean Sauce. My favorite was the Pork Belly - a relatively simple dish but well-done. The Dry Pot was good but it was a bit blander than we expected - especially for something listed as a 10 on the heat scale. Not sure if Han dialed it down for us.
One unusual thing marred our enjoyment of the entrees. Early on, my wife encountered a chalky, alkaline taste–like baking soda, she said. She thought it might have been her water glass so she got a replacement but the taste persisted throughout the meal. Initially, I didn't have this issue but then I had the same problem. The taste lingered and definitely had an impact on our meal. We had no idea what it was.
Cut to the next day and my wife had some of the leftovers for lunch. Everything was fine at first but then she encountered the same taste which seemed to originate in the bamboo shoots in the Dry Pot. This explained why it took a while for me to notice the taste at dinner as I started with the Pork Belly and she the Dry Pot. It's not like we haven't had bamboo shoots before so we're not quite sure what would cause this. My wife speculated that perhaps there was something in the liquid they were preserved in.
Kibitz Room on 15th and Locust. The meat is god but the overall corned beef sandwich experience is lacking. It's just a bunch of meat on some soft bread. That's all I've had so I can't go into more detail. In addition somebody else goes and picks it up for lunch so I've never even been inside the place.
I've eaten at the Kibitz Room a couple of times. The corned beef, thankfully, isn't thin, cold and tightly packed Philly-style but I find it much too lean, a little fat would give it some more flavor. I agree about the bread - soft rye bread seems to be a common problem around here. I remember having a corned beef sandwich at Kibitz in the City a while back where the heat and moisture of the meat practically disintegrated the bread.
One nice thing about the Kibitz Room is that they have a pickle bar (a la Harold's in NJ) with various pickles, pickled green tomatoes, new kraut, etc. Though the Claremont Salad (or Health Salad as they and the natives put it) needs to be marinated longer.
Picked up another chicken potpie from Griggstown today at the Headhouse Market. Forgetting high school plane geometry, a course I liked so much I took it twice, I decided to try the five inch pie instead of the typical 10 inch pie I usually purchase. It sold for $9.50, about half the price of the 10 inch pie.
This evening, pulling the pie out of the carton en route to the oven, I realized just how small a 5" pie is. Then I did the math - or at least as much as I could.
5" pie = 78 sq in of pie.
10" pie = 314 sq in of pie.
Wasn't sure how to extend the relative areas to volume - a cylinder is simple, but the pie's edge is tapered, so it is more the segment of a cone. Would have made me feel worse anyway.
Worked out to 12 cents a square inch for the 5" pie vs. 6 cents per square in for the 10" pie.
I ended up with half the pie value and no leftovers for tomorrow through Wednesday. Lesson learned.
Not to make you feel even worse, but a 5" pie has a 2.5" radius and a 10" has a 5" radius giving you:
5" pie = 20 sq in of pie (48¢/sq in)
10" pie = 78 sq in of pie (24¢/sq in)
Funny how The Inky classifies this story as "Breaking News." As if a sudden Roast Pork Rebellion just broke out in the streets of Philly.
Psst, Tim: There are NO "sub shops" in Philadelphia or environs. Maybe in Slower Delaware, where Washingtonians can be spotted summering alongside Gayborhooders in Rehoboth, but not on this side of the C&D Canal.
Actually, in Northern Delaweenia, where I now find myself and which falls within the Philly environs, they are very confused on this matter - I've seen them called subs, grinders, and hoagies interchangeably.
In fact Capriotti's (which inexplicably now has franchises in Nevada, Utah & Arizona), specifically calls them subs.
Just saw today another place to get Eberly chickens in Philly: Chef's Market on South Street
Their windows are plastered with signs announcing that they now carry Eberly.
Perhaps the power of eGullett at work?
No mention of eGullet in the article. And the typically lame philly.com can't even correctly format the simple links.
Just noticed these today:
Tommy Gunns' BBQ on South Street has closed according to a sign in their window.
At 5th & Bainbridge, in the space where Chaleo Thai was, Angelina's, a new Italian place has opened. (Because there just aren't enough Italian restaurants in and near Queen Village and Bella Vista )
I swung by Five Guys on Chestnut to check out their burger and fries the other day for lunch. I got the little cheeseburger and it was nothing to write home about. Because they wrap all the burgers in foil, the top half of my hamburger roll was completely flattened and it may have been cut incorrectly because it hardly covered the burger. The rest of the burger was a complete falling apart mess and, though it wasn't objectionable, had nothing to really distinguish it.
The fries were a different story. I got almost 2 full cups from the regular size after accounting for the spillover. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They may be a litttle browner than some people like but I like my fries that way. However, there was one peculiar problem to deal with after I finished the fries: no matter how many times I washed my hands that day, I couldn't seem to completely get rid of the smell of fries and oil from my hands. Luckily I didn't have to shake any hands afterwards or it might have been awkward.
How do you see either higher prices or less variety as a necessary result of mandating booze come in through Phila?
Is our port notably more slow, inefficient, corrupt, or otherwise quality-reducing than the Port of New York? If the levels of inefficiency and corruption here and there are equal, then there should be a net price drop reflecting the cutting out of trucking costs (and any bundled inefficiency and corruption).
Using PA's purchasing power to drive more business to our longshoremen and port authorities seems quite reasonable, provided the port folk don't immediately decide to abuse their monopoly. It will certainly up city and state tax revenues, as all of the excess work will certainly produce more taxable wages. What's wrong with that?
This seems like a play to get all of the big importers to do business here rather than (or in addition to) elsewhere.
All other things being equal, an importer will want to ship his product through the port that is the most efficient at the lowest cost - that could be Philadelphia, New York, Newark, Baltimore, etc. Such cost efficiency would then be built into the price which the importer charges its customers including the PALCB. The Philadelphia port may not be the most cost-efficient choice in all cases. The choice of port should be left up to the importer who is best able to assess these benefits. The PALCB should merely bargain for the best price on its purchases and leave it up to the importer on how best to bring in the product. (And if we really want to guarantee maximum jobs benefits to PA why don't we just have the PALCB control the entire process and eliminate the middleman?)
In addition, there's a certain economy of scale to bringing all imports in through one port. An importer may find, for example, that Port Newark is the most cost-efficient port of entry for bringing in product to be sold in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states (even after factoring in trucking costs). If he has to bring PA's imports through Philly, he has two choices: (1) bring all imports through Philly even though it will cost more for all his imports and lose him sales in other states or (2) split his imports between Philly and Newark which means he loses the economic benefits of bringing all his goods through one port. In either case, it will mean higher costs for PA liquor purchasers.
Depending on the volume of his sales in PA as compared to other states (esp. in the case of a boutique brand or small winery), the importer may decide it's not worth the hassle of splitting his shipment and just won't sell these products to the PALCB. Thus certain products will become unobtainable in PA
What's so brilliant about something that will lead to higher prices and less variety?
There was a brief blurb in the Inky about this last week but I forgot about it:
State Wants Philly to Be Entry Port for Its Liquor Shipments
For Mexican, Pico de Gallo's sister restaurant. El Rey Sol, at 6th & South is only about 6 blocks from the Liberty Bell. Even my picky niece found something to like there.
Well, today's Inky seems to indicate that when the City converted its data to an Excel spreadsheet it failed to properly line up the rows for each establishment thereby mixing things up.
what's up with all the spoon usage? you don't eat water ice with a spoon...
This may be a silly question, but if that's the case, how does one eat the water ice that your tongue can't reach?
ETA: I may have been able to pull it off when I was much younger, but I think my face is now a little too big to get inside that cup.
you squeeze the cup. by the time you're down to the very bottom it's mostly melted anyway and you can kinda drink it.
But, unfortunately, the waxed paper cups used to serve water ice can crack and split when squeezed. Better suited to squeezing are the fluted paper cups I got Italian Ices in my North Jersey youth.
Either that, or we're the biggest liars. I seem to recall when this research first came out, it was based on a survey of diners, not restaurant employees. What people say they tip and what they actually tip could be two very different things.
Maybe because hot dogs are more regional than hamburgers. Hard for a chain to serve the same product coast to coast.
I think you hit the nail on the head here. There are wide variances in hot dog composition and condiments not only between regions but also within regions (think of the array of franks available at your local supermarket). Tastes vary so much it would be hard for a chain to get a large enough penetration to be profitable.
A hamburger is pretty much universal varying only in type of beef and combination of condiments which can be handled fairly readily. (The only concession I know of that McD's makes in their standard hamburgers is that in some regions they use only ketchup and leave out the mustard.)
The GQ article in question came out in June of last year, and there is a discussion about it over in Food Media & News.
The reason this is coming back up is because it was on Oprah on Tuesday (2/28) (don't ask me how I knew this, I just did ):
I've always found the whole bell system somewhat incomprehensible–how can you use the same scale to compare a white tablecloth fine dining establishment with an ethnic mom-and-pop? Should one use the bells only in comparison to similar restaurants or across the whole dining universe?
But if you're going to use such a system at least lay out the criteria so readers can better evaluate LaBan's judgments. (And I think a 5-bell system would be much better, as it would allow for finer distinctions among establishments and the loss of a bell wouldn't necessarily be so catastrophic.)
While we're on the subject of soft pretzels, being a recent emigrant to Philly, can someone please explain the pretzels and mustard thing for breakfast? I can understand the pretzel part, since it's like toast, but mustard?
ETA: I meant bagel. I wrote this close to my bedtime, so I couldn't think of a similar carb.
Pretzels and mustard, yes, but I've never seen or heard of a bagel and mustard. Is this commonplace in some hidden corner of Philly?
It took me a while to adjust to the New England terms for "pop" (what Midwesterners call "soda") and "milkshake", so I feel for you, especially as you self-consciously leave off the "h" in "with" much as Bostonians drop the "r's" in "Harvard" or "car" and stick them on the end of "idea".
Being that this is a Pennsylvania forum, one should be aware that the pop/soda line runs right down the middle of PA. In Eastern PA, we call carbonated soft drinks "soda" and in Western PA they call them "pop" (but when I lived in Pittsburgh, natives thought they lived on the East Coast and not in the Midwest).
See Pop v. Soda Page for a national perspective on this controversy.
You've got to give props to any bagel bakery that offers only sesame and poppy seed bagels because they were "the only two varieties that existed over 40 years ago." No onion, garlic, or salt, let alone such atrocities as blueberry and french toast.
Forty years ago (and then some) I was enjoying salt bagels from Watson Bagels in Irvington NJ. (They had moved there from Newark). They may not have had salt bagels in Montreal, but they did in NY and NJ.
Of course, I just found it interesting that they're so tradition-bound that they won't even expand their offerings to include what most would consider the most traditional bagel varieties.
(And it turns out that salt and plain were the two original Watson Bagel flavors because other toppings would burn in their blazing hot ovens: Watson Bagel.)
New Philadelphia Restaurants Fall 2015
in Pennsylvania: Dining
Before Village Belle that space was Frederick’s.