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Everything posted by Alcibiades

  1. Wasn't joking--don't know what they're doing now with particular dishes but in the past certain pasta dishes were DeCecco. Not that they're anything wrong with that...
  2. Never had a bad meal at Mercato. Just goes to show DeCecco pasta goes a long way!
  3. Anecdotally, a 7-top (myself included) dined at Eleven Madison Park this summer. We brought 10 bottles and purchased one bottle of champagne from their list. They charged us $200 corkage total, which I thought was quite reasonable. Furthermore, we had the sommelier's undivided attention throughout the evening. I thought that was amazing. I can understand your frustration with Osteria; while I think the place is great it seems a bit silly not to offer corkage. While I respect their decision to do as they see fit, to have a policy like this set in stone seems like a case of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. It just doesn't seem worth it for them to deny diners the opportunity. After all, how frequently are people bringing in their own wines? Presumably not enough to put a dent in their own sales.
  4. It used to drive me crazy when I was a kid because I'd have to wait for it, but my father used to always order pizzas half-baked. That way it could be finished in the oven without overcooking it.
  5. Beef on Weck, awesome. I'm happy to see a little Buffalo here in Philly. Hopefully it's as good as at Schwabl's.
  6. Fenton, your research skills are beyond reproach. And you're right to point out the inconsistency. My opinions tend to be a little stronger at 2:30 am.
  7. Moriarty's wings are patenly awful. It's a shame you were guided in that direction (or any wing rec., for that matter) since you were searching for something authentic in Philly.
  8. Good pizza at Gusto, 22nd between Locust and Spruce. I'll second Slice and Rustica.
  9. Meatball sandwiches are a favorite of mine. Of all the foods to be enojoyed, this one should be taken exactly as such. A priori style.
  10. This has got to be the easiest one ever: if you can't make it yourself, don't talk about it. It's a meatball sandwich. No circulators, no paco jets; just roll it up and eat it.
  11. Wawa. 20th and Locust. Unbeatable after a few pints. Just make sure you order the Herr's hot cheese curls as a side. And a pretzel for the walk.
  12. Listing the staff on the menu goes back to Jose's days at Alma de Cuba with Douglas Rodriguez. Douglas has been doing that at his restaurants for years and I think it's great that Garces is keeping the tradition up.
  13. The idea is to allow for tables to bring in multiple bottles and not have to pay for each one. Because it's a 7-course menu the presumption has to be that tables will bring more than 2 bottles and therefore the corkage fee per person will be less punitive than if it were assigned by bottle. One could also order what they're selling, you know, it is a business that sells food and drink. We forget that here in Philly sometimes...
  14. If you have a $200 head start, go to Barclay Prime. My experiences there lead me to believe it's the best steakhouse in town. Morimoto is also very good but you can eat better sushi in the city for far less.
  15. Knowing Goodtimes, I think his point about the rudeness is generally directed at the ugliness surrounding the Geno's "Speak English" fiasco. Certainly the South Philly cheesesteak amusement parks have the rude thing as part of their gimmick (and everyone knows it's exactly that) but for me the tiresome thing is how contrived it is. Frankly, I don't see why people get bothered by it one way or the other. The last thing I'm looking for at 4am at the corner of 9th and Wharton is to be making friends. Just give me the damned steak and I'm happy.
  16. Were the winemakers part of the Boutique Wine portfolio? Just curious because they do quite a bit of interesting SA stuff and all of their wines are SLO, I believe.
  17. Mama's Veg. is the best falafel around, hands down. Unfortunately they're closed today and tomorrow for the holiday (a fact I forgot this afternoon). I could be mistaken about this but I don't think the Mama's on South St. is the same ownership. I believe the South St. guys have a familial connection to the 20th street store but it's not the same operation. Again, not sure. Anyone know?
  18. Perhaps the next Ken Burns documetary should be on the Reading Terminal Market.
  19. R, thanks for the suggestion. I'm on my way to LG.
  20. I had wings at Moriarty's last week, deciding to give them another shot after reading this topic. They were cripsy and tasty (though a bit dry in the sauce department, I thought) but I just can't get past the fact they don't cut the wings. As a Buffalonian it seems weird. Maybe I felt the same way a Philadelphian would if she went to Buffalo, ordered a cheesesteak and got an 8-ounce ribeye stuffed in a roll with slices of provolone. Anywhere else I should be thinking about that still exists?
  21. The issue of the distributors from whom Chops buys its meats may not be critical to the court case, but it does cast a shadow of doubt as to the uber-integrity the article attributes to Plotkin and Chops; he might as well be buying mozzarella sticks from Sysco. To boot, the fact that the article has unveiled that Chops serves inferior cuts of beef during lunch service is another knock against the restaurant's integrity. To predicate the article on the concept of Plotkin's meticulous attention to detail and then reveal the way in which he actually sources and serves his product makes any knowledgeable reader conclude that Chops' integrity just isn't that impressive. Herein lies the problem with Plotkin opening this can of worms: these frivolous suits are way more trouble than they're worth for the restaurant (and, it seems, way more trouble for Laban as well).
  22. Alcibiades


    There's an old saying amongst FOH employees: "if you can't fold it, hold it." It is (in my experience) standard practice to not return coin change to guests. The correct policy is to always round in the customer's favor to the nearest dollar. Granted, groveling for a few coins is cheap but no business should ever stand by the principle Loie invoked. Literally, nickel-and-diming to death.
  23. I feel like wings are a fairly simple thing to get right/wrong depending on one major factor: how soon out-of-the-fryer they are. That's why you can have such a range of experiences depending on where you get them and how many times you try a particular place. They don't require much in the way of ingredients, nothing really in technique. The skin should be hot and crisp, the room should smell like hot sauce and you should be tearing a little.
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