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Everything posted by MarketStEl

  1. Okay, the quality control appears to be back to normal. But it appears the owners want to expand their bakery business without having to be so deeply involved in the day-to-day stuff at the retail end. I see that their 1114 Pine Street location (their first retail shop, IIRC) is currently closed for remodeling and will reopen as the second *franchised* Metropolitan Bakery store.
  2. MarketStEl


    I see that the original poster asked participants to recommend their favorite brand(s) of liverwurst. I also see that relatively few people have responded to her query, although those who have responded have all recommended excellent brands. Special commendation, however, is due the person who warned her away from Oscar Mayer. (But while I'm on that brand, let me go on record as saying that of all the brands of hot dogs available in my local supermarket, I am partial to Oscar Mayer there. This will no doubt cause Holly Moore to start a thread over in the Pennsylvania forum denouncing me for my apostasy from Dietz and Watson.) Anyway: I see so far that no one has mentioned Kahn's liverwurst. This brand (which I believe is now owned by Oscar Mayer, which in turn is a unit of Kraft Foods) comes from Cincinnati, where they ought to know a thing or two about liverwurst. Because it's now owned by a big national company, you should be able to find it almost anywhere in the country, which cannot be said of Dietz & Watson or Hatfield, two Philly-area favorites already mentioned in this thread. Both D&W and Hatfield are good, btw, but I like the oniony flavor and creamier texture of Kahn's even better--it spreads very easily. There's also a pretty good "Bavarian Party Dip" recipe on the back of the Kahn's label (vac-packed one pound package). How do I like liverwurst? It's my favorite lunch meat; I've loved it since I was about eight years old (my first experience with the stuff was also Oscar Mayer braunschweiger). I like it on toast (whole wheat or rye) with Muenster, Swiss or sharp Cheddar and spicy brown or Dijon mustard (onions optional). The liverwurst must achieve room temperature for the best eating experience.
  3. MarketStEl


    I've never seen liverwurst in any form other than in a casing--either natural (pig stomach or somesuch) or, more commonly, artificial (the thick plastic wrap that usually has the manufacturer's name printed on it).
  4. MarketStEl


    So true. One might say that about their burgers, too, though... (Sorry to slide off-thread, this was too good a chance to resist! ) ←
  5. Maybe it's because of the company when I've gone over there (namely, my partner and his mother), but I can't say I've eaten at anything I would call a really good restaurant in Haddonfield. Decent, yes. Really good, no. But Haddonfield just drips with charm. However, it manages to stop just short of the terminal charm of Princeton, thank God. And I can be there in 20 minutes from where I live (directly over 12th-13th & Locust PATCO station). Collingswood, however, is about five minutes closer. I used to refer to it as "the poor man's Haddonfield." Looks like I'm going to have to drop the "poor man's" part. The revival of Collingswood's fortunes I have already filed in my "gay people are the shock troops of gentrification" file. Now, to find an excuse to go have lunch there.
  6. While we're talking sandwiches, and at the risk of repeating myself: Two words: Planet Hoagie. I see they now offer cheesesteaks as well. I will have to try one and report back on whether it is the equal of (a) their hoagies (b) Philly's best cheesesteaks. (Planet Hoagie: 1208 Walnut Street; also in Norristown, Media and Brigantine, NJ) I note that Hatfield is the chain's supplier. I don't see too many hoagie shops that use them. Any others? (Hatfield kielbasa is very good--better than the national brand you see everywhere.) --Sandy, free-associating
  7. In all the years you were at Penn, Kieran, you never made it over to Sagami in Collingswood? Since I've never been to Seattle and probably will not make it that way anytime soon, I will have no way to judge my assertion, but Sagami certainly stands head and shoulders above every other Japanese restaurant in the Philadelphia area. I suspect its sushi would hold its own against anything Seattle has to offer. Okay, almost anything. Perusing this thread, I note that eGullet's Pennsylvania contingent appears to be a haven for upenn.talk exiles and alt.fan.kieran-snyder readers on Usenet. Coincidence?
  8. I was lucky enough to wander into Iovine's on one of the weeks they had genuine Jersey field tomatoes on sale. After expressing my delight to an employee, I asked why those huge misshapen beauties are so rare anymore. He told me that most NJ growers have switched to growing beefsteak tomatoes, which are more pleasing to the eye but less so to the palate. Can we start a campaign to get some of the farmers who grow for sale (as opposed to processing) to switch back? Here's a slogan to get things started: Ugly is Beautiful! As for the "where they are grown" part: I've had some very tasty Lancaster County beefsteak tomatoes in the past, but the same variety grown in NJ seems to me to be a bit richer tasting.
  9. Okay, now I know it must be the bread and the cheese, for Planet Hoagie uses Hatfield meats--the first hoagie shop I've run across that does. PH's sharp Provolone is first-rate, BTW. Or maybe Hatfield is underrated? Boar's Head, OTOH, is as good as everyone else says it is. I've never had a tastier deli ham--it's actually a touch sweet, which I find preferable to the saltiness of most deli ham.
  10. I imagine I'll start a mini-row over this assertion, but a hoagie is a sub is a hero is a grinder* is not quite a po' boy. But since the bread really does make the difference, I should perhaps give the Philadelphia hoagie the special status I just granted the New Orleans po' boy for the same reason (well, in the Big Easy, the bread and the seasoning). I guess Holly's site says it all as far as these sandwiches are concerned, for I note a distinct absence of the usual individual endorsements of Sarcone's/Chickie's/Tony Luke's et al. that usually pop up in a thread like this one. So let me just add two words here: Planet Hoagie. Let me also put in a good word here for Eulogy (2d and Chestnut), a restaurant I mentioned in passing over on another thread in this forum. This is a Belgian restaurant in Old City that--besides having that unusual decor on its second floor--has a mussel deal that can't be beat if you're an early bird diner (the cheaper but no less amply portioned lunch menu is served until 6) and great Belgian fries to boot. Its beer list also makes it one of a very few places that make me regret having given up alcohol. Also: one general comment for BBQ-Dinerman: Want to know how to get there (wherever "there" is) on SEPTA? Just ask me. Better still, visit www.septa.org. *There is one "grinder" sandwich I've had that is definitely different from any other sandwich in this general category. It was--and I hope still is--served at a little restaurant in downtown Kansas City called Mario's, on East 11th Street ("Petticoat Lane") IIRC. A Mario's grinder is made as follows: Cut off the end of a torpedo roll and hollow out the roll. Fill the hole with meatballs, or roast beef, or ham and cheese, or whatever other filling the customer requests. Plug the hole with the cut-off end and bake in a 450-degree pizza oven for a few minutes. Serve piping hot. I have yet to run across a duplicate of this sandwich anywhere else.
  11. One more comment: I've yet to experience Carman's--usually I'm shopping for groceries when I'm in the area, and I generally don't like to go into restaurants with my shopping cart in tow--but I have had some really good experiences at Sam's Morning Glory, not too far away from there. Downside: I've had to wait a while for almost all of them. Then again, I hear that it's hard to get into Carman's too.
  12. Well, since I'm new here and haven't yet gone to the trouble of sifting through the back posts on these forums to find your opinions of Fuji and Sagami, I will just have to assume that what follows backs you up on the latter. I was at a birthday party for a friend (a former student of my partner's) in Roxborough (I really don't think of the area around Wissahickon Regional Rail station as Roxborough, but there were banners on Ridge Avenue proclaiming it so, so that's what I will call it) this afternoon, and I got into a conversation with a fellow from New York who was raving about the sushi he had at a restaurant in Fort Collins, Colo. After proclaiming myself a similarly inclined sushiphile, and asking him about some of the varieties he has had, I suggested to him that the next time he is in the Philly area, he must visit Sagami. It's a fabulous restaurant, intimate and cozy--maybe almost too cozy; the ceilings there strike me as a bit low, and I'm only 6'0"--busier than Grand Central Terminal on weekends, and the best sushi I've had in the area. I also warned him that it's in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it location on Route 130 in Collingswood. For the public-transit-minded (like me), it's a bit of a shame that it's right next to the PATCO High-Speed Line, but just far enough away from the nearest station (Ferry Avenue) to make a walk uncomfortable. (Or maybe I'm just reacting to the look of the territory between Ferry Avenue station and US 130.)
  13. My impression from having traveled through several outlying commercial districts within Philadelphia that have received the kind of streetscape improvements you describe is that those alone will not draw people back to declining districts. You need to give them a reason to come, and those reasons usually come from adventurous people willing to risk something. Philadelphia's much-vaunted "restaurant renaissance"--which began in the 1970s and is directly responsible for the city's recent reputation as an excellent restaurant town--can be traced to a few plucky ex-hippies who decided to follow their hearts and open a restaurant on a faded commercial street that had been slated for demolition to build a freeway. The freeway was canceled, and just about everyone in Philadelphia can tell you what became of South Street after that. No city money that I know of went into the transformation of South Street into the Boardwalk of Center City, and the owners of the Knave of Hearts didn't get any Keystone Opportunity Zone designations or 10-year tax abatements. I'm all for doing whatever it takes to keep our center cities vibrant, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the government is not really all that good at choosing in advance the things that will advance that goal.
  14. First, I'd like to thank Andrew for both posting a link to my Inquirer essay and introducing me to this forum. (I do have the rights to reproduce this essay online and will post it to my own web site in the next few days. That way, anyone who stumbles across this discussion will be able to see it without charge after the seven-day free access expires on philly.com.) I would like to comment on my own commentary. If I had to write it again, I would still write it just the way I wrote it, but add one more comment--namely, that we locals should try to turn the tourists on to really good local eateries when we stumble across them. To that end, I'm off to look over the "Good places to eat in Philadelphia?" thread. I should, however, note that I've eaten at both chains and local restaurants. (You might have gathered that already from the tone of my essay.)
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