Jump to content

Andrew Fenton

participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Andrew Fenton

  1. I never really understood the Shake Shack hype. It's a pretty good burger, but nothing spectacular. It's nice to be able to eat a pretty good burger while enjoying the park on a nice day, but it's not worth standing in a long line for. Anyway, I share Holly's skepticism about Squareburger's long-term viability. I like Franklin Square- I was just there on Saturday, riding the carrousel and playing in the playground- but if I didn't have a kid, I don't know if I'd go out of my way to head there for a hamburger. Still, I'll definitely try one, next time I'm there.
  2. I nominate restaurants that bill themselves as "regional", as in "regional Italian." This seems to be a meaningless phrase. It might mean that the restaurant specializes in the cuisine of a particular region, in which case they'd be better off, and more accurate, referring to themselves as "Tuscan" or "Emilian" or "Roman" or whatever. Or (as seems more often to be the case) it means that they feature dishes from a number of regions. In that case, "regional" just means "Italian." In practice, "regional" seems to be code for "not Italian-American" (or in another context, "Americanized Chinese".) But it's a poor way of expressing that idea.
  3. I went yesterday and had a cup of yogurt with blackberries and nuts. The good: it's tasty, tangy, not too sweet. The yogurt is probiotic, which means if you eat it, you'll live forever. (No more bathing in the blood of virgins!) Fresh toppings. A cute little plastic cup. It's Italian; you can practice your Italian on the owners! The bad: it's ridiculously overpriced. $4.75 for a small (and I mean small) cup with two toppings. I'll grant that I'm probably not the target market- I'm not a Rittenhouse yoga mom- but in the future, I'd head over to Capogiro and be more satisfied.
  4. Pike perch is the colloquial name. It's a fish of the perch family that looks like a pike. Is "horseshoe crab" inane? (It's not a horseshoe, or a crab.)
  5. Just to be clear, in Italian, scampi aren't shrimp. Gamberi are shrimp. Scampi are another species (or really, several species) more closely related to lobsters: langoustines, I guess. I agree with jesteinf that shrimp scampi has been around long enough to deserve a pass. But even leaving that aside, "shrimp scampi" is just a shortened version of "shrimp scampi-style", which isn't a contradiction at all (even if Italians wouldn't typically serve scampi that way.) Sorry, Tribune food critics.
  6. Do you have a good instant-read thermometer? The visual cues may be different, but temperature doesn't lie.
  7. You should really read this recent thread on uniquely Philadelphian food. Lots of good stuff there.
  8. 45th and Chestnut isn't a bad spot, food-wise. Kaffa Crossing is right there, as is Kilimandjaro. Demetri's sounds like a nice addition!
  9. I noticed some changes to the barbecue scene since my last visit. Papa's has moved across the road and expanded: their sign now says that they have seafood. I'm told that they're smoking their own bacon, too. But I didn't try Papa's because we went instead to a new BBQ place that opened in Papa's old space: Wiley's. Very good brisket (tender as can be, and unafraid of fat), good pork and some impressive sides, including really first-rate vinegar-based cole slaw. I'll try to get back before we leave Tybee next week.
  10. Andrew Fenton

    Lamb Bacon

    That lamb bacon looks great, Bob. By coincidence, a non-pork-eating friend was just asking me about lamb bacon. I might have to head over to Giunta's, get a couple of lamb breasts and give it a try!
  11. I had a very nice lunch there last week. The $18 lunch special is a great deal... if you can avoid ordering wine, or extra dishes. Which I can't, of course. The crab empanada was a highlight, and the ceviches were good (I preferred the hiramasa to the shrimp), but the best dish was a spicy fish chowder whose name escapes me.
  12. Which is ironic, because Playboy definitely knows from navels.
  13. I've had a lot of success par-baking and freezing pizza dough. You top and bake the frozen par-baked crust; it's not as good as fresh dough, but it's still pretty good. That's a low-prep rather than no-prep approach, but it might be worthwhile to try topping the par-baked crust and freezing the whole thing.
  14. A couple of Philly sandwich-related links. First, Serious Eats gives a shout-out to the Philly Surf n' Turf, the beloved hot dog/fish cake combo. They argue it's a kosher inspiration. Click. And the good news: Playboy has named a cheesesteak as one of its best sandwiches in America. The bad news: it's the cheesesteak from Pat's. I'm sorry, but no amount of implants and airbrushing will bring that sorry sandwich into the winner's circle. Probably NSFW link below: I read it for the articles
  15. Andrew Fenton

    Pork Shoulder

    Open the package and smell it. That will tell you what you should do. If the shoulder is vacuum sealed, the big danger is botulism, which to the best of my knowledge doesn't smell.
  16. I've been back to Sakura a few times since that earlier post and had great meals. It's probably my favorite Chinese restaurant in the city, at least right now. Dishes I've especially enjoyed included the house shrimp, shredded beef with dried tofu and the lion's head meatballs. They also do a credible whole steamed fish. They also have a very good lunch specials menu, with some dishes you don't normally see on that kind of menu (lion's head, shredded beef, chicken and cucumber, etc.) for $5.50. The weird thing is that I've ordered that chicken with peppers and cucumber three times now. The second time it was different, including chunks of cucumber in addition to dried and sliced peppers. The third time, like the first, there was no cucumber, just the peppers. It's a very good dish, but the version with cool cucumber balancing the hot peppers is really something special. I'm not sure if there was an issue with ordering or what; next time I'll be sure to ask what's up. Oh, and Sakura is now serving soup dumplings! And they're really good, too: the best I've had yet in Philadelphia. I'd stick with the pork dumplings, though- the crab and pork dumplings, at least, weren't as juicy. But I could eat the pork dumplings seven days a week.
  17. Yeah, I understand and agree with the impulse to go the extra mile in providing service. The manager should have made some suggestions to make his patrons more comfortable. (And in turn, it's the patrons' job to speak up and politely ask for what will make them more comfortable. Sitting there passively doesn't help anybody.) Still, asking the other patrons to take a vote would be the worst possible solution to the problem. Interrupting their meal is rude. Worse still is putting them in the uncomfortable position of deciding the fate of other diners. Nobody- even dog-haters- wants to be the asshole who doesn't let Fido and his owners into the restaurant. It's the manager's job to make decisions, and take the heat for those decisions.
  18. The Double Duck Bus: duck rillettes, duck prosciutto, shaved pecorino, roasted red peppers, lettuce and spicy mustard on a Sarcone's unseeded loaf
  19. I did a rilette "sausage" wrapped in cling film, refrigerated it and then sliced into pucks which were quickly crisped on both sides. Those are both brilliant ideas that I will be stealing at the earliest opportunity. Thanks!
  20. 1) I saw your post, and I may give that technique a try. But I don't want a slow-cooked/fried egg, just a slow-cooked egg. I'd prefer to adjust the temperature and/or time to get the texture I'm looking for rather than dirty another pan. 2) I'm not sure how that would help. It's pretty clear that the cracked shell was caused by the eggs banging into one another.
  21. My sister and her boyfriend bought me an immersion circulator as an early birthday present. It's a perfect present- something I've thought about, but probably wouldn't have bought for myself. I've already told my sister that, based on his performance so far, this boy is a keeper. Anyway, here's the circulator: The reason I'm posting the photo is because I'm not sure what the dial at the lower left does (the one with numbers from 0 to 120.) Something to do with temperature, I guess, but not the temperature control. Halp? I gave it a spin this afternoon: it has no trouble maintaining a constant temperature to a tenth of a degree Celsius. Groovy. I cooked a couple of eggs at 64.5 C, intending to let them go for an hour. I noticed after about 50 minutes that one of the eggs, which had been bobbing about in the current, had cracked. It was already cooked, and nothing had leaked out, so I fished it out and ate it. It was a little runnier than I'd like, so I let the other go for 70 minutes. The white was still pretty runny at that point, and the next time I cook eggs, I think I'll do it at a slightly higher temperature. I'll also find a wire cage, or even a little basket, for the eggs, to keep them from moving around too much and cracking.
  22. Yes, dryness is a potential problem. Maybe brown the skin and include it? Or there might be some way to further reduce and/or darken the confit jelly that goes into the rillettes.
  23. I made my first batch of duck confit a couple of weeks ago; it mellowed in the fat until last night, when I pullet out some of it to make rillettes in advance of a dinner party. Couldn't have been easier, and I now have some groovy duck spread for my guests. It tastes great, of course, but the rillettes are sort of an unappetizing gray color- they look more like tuna salad than anything else. I know that that's the traditional preparation, but I wonder if it wouldn't be worth it to brown the meat in duck fat before rilletting it. The trick will be keeping the tender confit texture while getting a nice color.
  24. I asked about donuts a year or so back and got some good suggestions. Both Frangelli's (847 Ritner St.) and Potito's (1614 Ritner) make a fine, fine donut.
  25. I haven't had the James version but the duck "prosciutto" at Supper is very nice, the stuff at DiBruno's less so (though it was thickly sliced when I had it there and that makes a big difference). By chance I just finished curing a duck ham earlier this week: I'd describe the texture as a little chewier than prosciutto. The meat is firms up up but there's that thick layer of unctuous fat. If you serve it at room temperature, and slice it very thin, it will melt on your tongue like prosciutto does. Flavor-wise, it has a little bit of that nutty, gamy flavor of duck- especially in the surrounding fat layer- tempered with whatever spices you use to cure it (I use garlic, black pepper and juniper berries.) I make it pretty regularly. The biggest difficulty, as jm chen notes, is slicing it thin enough. Even with freezing it and using a sharp knife, it's hard for me to get it paper-thin. (I console myself that my thick, ragged slices are "authentically rustic.") But it's pretty straightforward to make, and I've always been happy with the result.
  • Create New...