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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by rlibkind

  1. I'd be happy to make the same mold for every potluck type event. My fear is that I'd be expected to top myself with each creation! A real Jello Artist would constantly seek to push the envelope and expand the realm of what is possible in the Jello medium. Next time, we all expect you to recreate one of the designs from the ceilings of the Sistene Chapel in brilliant Jello tones. I am quite certain that Michelangelo would be a Jellist if he lived today. How about a hologram in the middle?
  2. Wow! Let me say it again: Wow! Just got back this evening, since we overnighted in Warwick. It seems everything that can be said about The Day Of The Pigs has been said, but I have to add these six salient observations: 1. Great people 2. Great food 3. Great place 4. Great people 5. Great food 6. Great place But I repeat myself... One emendation: Among all the superb photos Jason posted, the baked beans were attributed to me. The pictured beans were fantastic, but they weren't mine. They were the work of Hscott. (When the photo was snapped, mine were oven in the oven warming up for the second shift.) I mentioned we stayed overnight. What we did was to visit the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery (and pick-your-own apple and pear orchard) where Jonathan said I might be able to find antique apples. Well, most of the apples weren't antiques, but they had my favorite dessert apple, one that is excruciatingly hard to find on this side of the Atlantic: Cox Orange Pippin. Yum. And Doc's Hard Apple Cider is a winner! Another Warwick orchard, Och's, had the elusive Rhode Island Greening. Pie Time!
  3. We'll bring a 6-ft aluminum folding table as well as being full of beans (which will have pig bacon in it).
  4. Where will you be coming from, so we can make some recommendations for food that you may not be able to find in your home territory.
  5. Independence Brew Pub is actually opposite the Reading Terminal Market, but it is under the old terminal, with the entrance on Filbert Street between 11th and 12th streets. Jack's Firehouse in Fairmount Avenue near the Art Museum is the quietest of the neighborhood watering spots. I like London Grill and Rembrandt's, too, but they can get a bit noisy. Of course, the the high-end hotel lounges usually provide relaxing spots to talk and imbibe, i.e., Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, etc.
  6. Agawam Diner, on U.S. 1 about half an hour north of Boston.
  7. Confirming Bob & Jean Sue Libkind (2). We can bring an aluminum table (I think it's about 5-6 feet long). Would a bean salad work as one of the side dishes? Or baked beans reheated in Jonathans oven?
  8. Hoffman's was a great NY area brand, bottled in East Orange NJ. I remember the water tower atop their plant in the shape of their bottle with their label.
  9. Mystery solved! Wisniak and its variations is not a city or geographic location. It's much simpler than that. The word for "cherry" in Polish is: Wisnia. (I can't seem to find a way to put the correct accent over the "s".) So, "Wishniak" black cherry soda is a bilingual redundancy.
  10. As best as I can determine wishniak (var. wisniak, visniak) started as cherry liquor, probably eastern European, probably Polish/Jewish. One cocktail, "lady finger," calls for wishniak: 4 parts gin, 3 parts wishniak, 2 parts kirschwasser. I searched, in vain, for a town called Wishniak (or one of its variants), thinking that perhaps it was a center of cherry orchards, but was unable to find one. Hmmmm. Cherry Orchards. Perhaps a Chekovian quaff.
  11. Count in two more from Philadelphia -- Bob & Jean Sue.
  12. The Reading Terminal Market is an absolute must for lunch. My choices: Tommy DiNic's for roast port sandwich (get it with aged provolone and greens). Salumeria for a very atypical hoagie (get an Italian of Prociutto with the house dressing and artichokes). Breakfast at either the Down Home Diner or the Pennsylvania Dutch Food Stand. (Treat yourself to a side of scrapple at either joint.) Pasta By George makes one of the best pizzas in the city. Freshly made soft pretzels at Fisher's in the Pennsylvania Dutch section of the market. (The kids can watch them being twisted into shape.) Bassetts Ice Cream. An absolute must! Try the Raspberry Truffle. And strictly as a scientific experiment, try their regular vanilla and compare it to their French vanilla. Again, strictly in the name of scientific advancement. If you are not going to trek elsewhere for cheesesteak, like Pat's or Geno's, and you absolutely gotta have one, Rick's will do okay. Far from the best in town, but a decent, if not thrilling, sandwich. But I think you'd be better off with Tommy DiNic's roast pork. If you want a sugar fix, you've got lots of candy choices. Fisher's has a fair selection, but Muller's Chocolates has a lot more, including an astounding conglomeration of licorices, and chocolate molded into just about any and every conceivable shape. For gifts and toys, try the Pennsylvania General Store, which only features items made in the state. Some wood toys and games may bring back memories. Enjoy!
  13. About Wegman's pricing... Believe it or not, they are more competitive than the used to be. Until about two years ago, their price on everyday goods was over the top. Management recognized that people were shopping at Wegmans for prepared foods and produce/meats, etc., and elsewhere for their staples. So, management did what the needed to do and lowered prices. Yes, they are not as low as Shop Rite or other big stores, but at least they are at lot more competitive than they used to be.
  14. Katie, while the quality of produce at the Ninth Street Market I generally find so-so or okay for in-season items, I find that Jimmy and Vinnie Iovino at the Reading Terminal Market consistently have superior quality produce; when merchandise ages/ripens/bruises, it gets placed on the special rack and sold at a discount (and, I might add, that's frequently a great place for perfectly edible/cookable items at a great price). Jimmie and Vinnie have worked hard to develop relationships with area farmers, so although they certainly make use of the wholesale markets, they also go out of their way to bring in produce directly from the farmer. I think you're off base with your blanket statement about produce quality at the RTM. It certainly doesn't apply to Iovine's. As much as I admire Wegman's, I find Iovine's at least as good.
  15. As noted in my earlier message, I'm a fan of Wegmans. That said, for those who've expressed at least a tad of concern regarding their prices, keep in mind that if you live, work or are within striking distance of Center City Philadelphia, there is always the Reading Terminal Market. Much more reasonable prices on fish, as well as on produce. For example, one writer noted Wegman's offered four avocados for $5; at Iovine's at the Reading Terminal, there were $1 apiece this past Saturday. The fish prices at the RTM also tend to be a bit more competitive. One item that I used to rely on Wegmans to provide -- dry scallops -- were not available at the RTM. They are now at Golden Seafood at $9.99 a pound. Last time I bought them at Wegmans (more than two years ago, so the comparison can hardly be relied up) they were $13 or $14 a pound.
  16. I've only had experience at the Wegman's in Ithaca NY and Manalapn NJ. They are both superb! In Ithaca, during fresh corn season, they contract with one or more local farmers who delivers fresh-picked corn at scheduled intervals (they post them in advance at the store) at least two or three times a day. Talk about service!
  17. John's cheesesteak is fine -- reminds me of the old Steak City on 17th between Market & Chestnut (pre-Liberty Place; the owner sold out to Rouse and retired to Greece). John's pork is pretty good, too, though I still prefer Tony Luke's and, especially, Tommy DiNic's.
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