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KatieLoeb

PLAN: "Heartland" Gathering (In Philly) 2012

306 posts in this topic

(eta: Yay percyn!!!)

I'm surprised more people from NYC and NJ aren't coming, especially other eG staff. All those volunteers just two hours away and no one wants to make the drive down?

re: the tour--my +1 and I actually prefer tours, because we enjoy the culture/history as much as the food. It's nice to put meaning to the places we visit. Plus it takes care of a "plan" in terms of where to go and when, otherwise we're just a large group wandering around from store to store together (if even together). In the case of the latter, if we're just ordering our own lunches at Paesano's, anyway (don't know if that's the case--is it?), then there's really not much of a point of even meeting up that morning. We could all just do it on our own.

On the other hand, I saw the tours are either 3 or 5 hours. That's an awfully long time for my +1 to be walking, so unless there are prolonged stops that involve sitting down, we'd have a hard time doing the tour.

re: RTM Saturday morning--will we be doing a tour or is it just meeting up to go shopping? I saw online that there are tours available (for a fee), but wasn't sure if that was what the group would be doing. As with the Italian Market, if it's just a bunch of people meeting up at RTM and then doing their own thing, then we might just do our own thing and skip the meeting up part.


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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I'm surprised more people from NYC and NJ aren't coming, especially other eG staff. All those volunteers just two hours away and no one wants to make the drive down?

Unfortunately, I can't swing it. I'm afraid of Hennes' cooking.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Re: RTM tours

I'll be leading tours, for free! (Just remember, you get what you pay for).

Because of the crowds due to Saturday's Pennsylvania Dutch Festival, I'd propose a 9 am tour, and I'll be glad to augment that with a 3:30 pm tour if there's interest.

Since Center Court seating will not be available due to PA Dutch fest, we'd meet in Piano Court, close by Amy's Place, Metropolitan bakery, and Pennsylvania General Store, near Arch Street entrances to the market.

Let me know who's interested at which time.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Count me in for Zahav, Handy Nasty & Saturday night. I hope to have some plusses by Wednesday.


Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

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Different tour is only $20/person. 2 hours. Stops and samples at several stores. They'll do it on our schedule. I think if we start at 12:30pm that should be fine. Better plan?


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I'm game for the 2-hour tour. Turns out my plus one will be having lunch that day with her mother, so it will just be me.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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My +1 and I are in for the 2-hour tour!

re: RTM--we'd be in for 9am. We're early risers, anyway.

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OK, in spite of the Hennes cuisine, it looks as if I'll be there (+1 adult and 2 kids) on Saturday night. (For part of it, anyway; if the kids get cranky we'll leave early, and will go by 8 or so anyhow.)

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Usually by now in the planning process we have some idea of what people are making on Saturday. As I mentioned - I'll do apps and dessert - specifically 3 banchan - potato jorim, kimchi pancakes and cucumber bits. I figured for dessert - maybe some little tarts with what ever fruit looks good in the market, some browned butter financiers and chocolate salami.

What are others hoping to make?

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I'm bringing my sous vide kit: I'm thinking of a 36hr pork shoulder. Haven't decided how to plate it yet: depends on what options present themselves at the market.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I'd like to attend the meals, Zahav, RTM, Han, but probably not the tours. If I'm still in time, that is. Have actual times been set? Didn't see any on a quick browse of the thread...

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Count me in for the tours!


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Most excellent! This is starting to shape up nicely. Although I am a bit disappointed that hoards of our nearby friends from the New York-DC corridor won't be joining us, I think a small intimate group will make logistics easier and I know we'll have a lot of fun. I will book the tour guide for 12:30PM on Friday for the Italian Market tour. That will allow us to have a late lunch to tide us over to our 9:15 dinner reservation at Zahav. Since there's essentially a few hours of "downtime" Friday morning and/or Saturday afternoon when we don't have activities planned, please let me know if there's any places that are interesting to you. There's all the lovely historical area with Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, Independence Hall, the Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, etc. There's pretty much a ton of things to see here, not ALL of which involve food! We'll be seeing and enjoying plenty of that...


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Most excellent! This is starting to shape up nicely. Although I am a bit disappointed that hoards of our nearby friends from the New York-DC corridor won't be joining us, I think a small intimate group will make logistics easier and I know we'll have a lot of fun. I will book the tour guide for 12:30PM on Friday for the Italian Market tour. That will allow us to have a late lunch to tide us over to our 9:15 dinner reservation at Zahav. Since there's essentially a few hours of "downtime" Friday morning and/or Saturday afternoon when we don't have activities planned, please let me know if there's any places that are interesting to you. There's all the lovely historical area with Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, Independence Hall, the Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, etc. There's pretty much a ton of things to see here, not ALL of which involve food! We'll be seeing and enjoying plenty of that...

Katie - what are the chances since we are a 'small intimate' group of dinner on Friday being earlier than 9:15 at night?

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None. If you read upthread, Zahav has a $3000 minimum for their private dining room prior to that hour. It's prime time on a Friday night and they need to leave themselves available for that rehearsal dinner or whatever that will easily meet those revenue numbers in the private dining area, and/or use those tables for regular seating. Our small group couldn't possibly hope to do that, so I had to agree to the later dining reservation if we wanted to have dinner there. On the upside, since we'll be there toward the end of service, Chef Solomonov will have time to come meet with us and chat. Sorry. I'll give it one last ditch attempt to see if they could maybe take us a little bit earlier when I confirm our head count, but if that is their policy, I can't imagine that they'd make an exception given that they'd literally have to be clairvoyant to know whether those tables will be needed or not before then.

As it is looking right now, the Zahav dinner will be our most heavily attended event of the weekend. We are already at 18 persons, with a maximum of 25 seats available.


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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On a separate note - do we have any food allergies or dietary restrictions I need to know about? I want to make sure accommodations are made for everyone. The dinner at Zahav will have plenty of vegetarian fare, if anyone is concerned. I will also make certain the variety of dishes we have for brunch at Han Dynasty include several non-spicy choices as well as the spicy. Anything else I haven't thought of?


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I think (but could be wrong) that Kerry thought the Friday evening group might be smaller, and so perhaps could be accommodated at a regular table. But it's a pretty big group, so it should be lots of fun!

I count 17 for Friday evening--am I missing someone?

KatieLoeb

torakris

prasantrin + 1

Kerry Beal

Chris Hennes + 1

Holly Moore

nolnacs + 1

Andrew Fenton

rlibkind

cdh

South Jersey Epicurean

percyn

Mummer

Capaneus

Any news about final costs and times/meeting places? I'm leaving shortly, and may not have much internet access once I'm gone, so if we could get that info soon, that would be great.

Also, if it's OK, I'll be paying once I arrive. I can pay it all at once (like on Friday at the Italian Market tour) if preferred, or at each event. Whatever is easiest/best.

And is there a decision about Thursday evening? My +1 and I will be meeting up with family that day, but if y'all are meeting up for drinks later or something like that, we may be able to swing by for a bit depending on the time. Like at Percy Street Barbecue so I can get a root beer float (hold the ice cream). :laugh:

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Yes! Philadining will be joining us for dinner at Zahav. We discussed this off the board so there's no record of it here.

Looking further into EventBrite, it appears that there are all sorts of service fees that get tacked on to the event tickets. I also don't get the payout until 5 days after the event, so that doesn't work for me since I'd need the money the day of the events to be able to pay the restaurants. I just don't have that kind of credit available to me at the moment. It will be easier to just have everyone pay me in cash in advance I can then deposit it into my local bank and just use my debit card to pay for our meals. It will ABSOLUTELY NOT BE POSSIBLE to ask the restaurants to split off one or two persons cost from the bill to pay them directly with a credit card. It's a logistical nightmare for the restaurant and a logistical nightmare for me to keep track of. So it will be necessary to make sure you all have cash or a debit card on hand to visit a local ATM. Costs are as follows:

Thursday night - To be decided. On the cheap for sure.

Friday day - Italian Market Tour $20/person + a gratuity for the guide (assuming they're good and I'm sure they will be) + approximately $10 for lunch sandwiches.

Friday evening - Dinner at Zahav $65/person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Beverages are on a cash and carry basis per table.

Saturday day - tour of Reading Terminal Market. Bob Libkind has graciously offered his expertise for this one.

Saturday evening - Approx. $25-30 per person for shopping for dinner + costs for the cleanup crew/security. I will be getting a very solid answer on that Wed. But I think they're only charging us for clean up and are going "pro bono" (their phrase, not mine) for the rest.

Sunday Brunch at Han Dynasty - $30/person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Beverages separate. There is a beer and wine list available. We might want to BYO for this one. We can discuss that and I think I might be able to get my bosses to waive the nominal corkage fees. Or I might come up with a cocktail surprise for this one once I talk to my manager.

Weather forecast for the week calls for temperatures ranging from highs of 85-90 degrees during the day, lows in the low 70's in the evenings, Thunderstorms possible any day from Thursday-Saturday. It is humid here in August. Consider yourselves warned. We are a casual city, but I would make sure I had at least "business casual" attire for our dinner at Zahav. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for Friday and Saturday. Shorts and/or sneakers or open toed flip flops are occasionally frowned upon in certain establishments. Baseball caps sometimes too. Don't wear your Yankees jersey. That's just asking for trouble. :rolleyes:

So that's it. All laid out, all planned out. Really getting excited for this and looking forward to making new friends and breaking bread together. Philadining will undoubtedly photodocument for us on Thursday and Friday evening, but professional obligations will likely keep him from our other events. Everyone who wants to, please bring your cameras!!

See you all in a few days!!!

PS - Rona I am absolutely certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that we can get you to the Franklin Fountain for a proper Root Beer Float at some point.


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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And for all of you that might be interested, my friend April White just finished her book Philadelphia Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the City of Brotherly Love which will be coming out in the fall. Lots of recipes from our city's finest eating establishments. There's might be a cocktail in there I contributed too. Definitely recipes from some of the places we'll be visiting!


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I think (but could be wrong) that Kerry thought the Friday evening group might be smaller, and so perhaps could be accommodated at a regular table. But it's a pretty big group, so it should be lots of fun!

I count 17 for Friday evening--am I missing someone?

KatieLoeb

torakris

prasantrin + 1

Kerry Beal

Chris Hennes + 1

Holly Moore

nolnacs + 1

Andrew Fenton

rlibkind

cdh

South Jersey Epicurean

percyn

Mummer

Capaneus

Any news about final costs and times/meeting places? I'm leaving shortly, and may not have much internet access once I'm gone, so if we could get that info soon, that would be great.

Also, if it's OK, I'll be paying once I arrive. I can pay it all at once (like on Friday at the Italian Market tour) if preferred, or at each event. Whatever is easiest/best.

And is there a decision about Thursday evening? My +1 and I will be meeting up with family that day, but if y'all are meeting up for drinks later or something like that, we may be able to swing by for a bit depending on the time. Like at Percy Street Barbecue so I can get a root beer float (hold the ice cream). :laugh:

Yup - exactly - thought there was only 9 of us so we could take a regular table.

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SATURDAY AT THE RTM:

To take advantage of seasonality for our dinner, and menu planning, anyone who plans to cook for Saturday's dinner should plan on attending the 9 am Saturday tour. That will allow us to scope out what's best among the market's vendors and our food costs.

I can't emphasize enough that the reason we're getting at-cost and after-hours access and use of market facilities is because we'll be purchasing virtually all our ingredients from market merchants. It would be ungracious and ungrateful to our hosts to bring meat, fish, produce, etc. from the outside if it is available at the RTM. (No one's going to complain about a spice packet you bring, but there's great choice of fresh herbs at the market, cheeses, etc.)

Meeting point for tour will be Piano Court on aisle nearest Arch Street, across from Metropolitan Bakery (great artisinal breads), Amy's Place, and Pennsylvania store.

Food for thought, or thought for food:

Tomatoes

Corn

Stone fruits

Local cheeses

One of the market's produce vendors is Fair Food, a non-profit that connects to the region's best small growers and producers. Here's a link to what they offered this past weekend:

http://www.fairfoodphilly.org/2012/08/02/farmstand-product-list-august-1-7-2012/


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I can't emphasize enough that the reason we're getting at-cost and after-hours access and use of market facilities is because we'll be purchasing virtually all our ingredients from market merchants. It would be ungracious and ungrateful to our hosts to bring meat, fish, produce, etc. from the outside if it is available at the RTM. (No one's going to complain about a spice packet you bring, but there's great choice of fresh herbs at the market, cheeses, etc.)

Shouldn't be a problem at all, considering the incredible selection at RTM. My plus one and I will join you for your tour at 9am (though obviously to do a 36h pork shoulder I'll buy that when I get into town... conveniently I'm just down the block from RTM so picking it up there is easy enough).

Katie, I'm already on the East Coast: can you take a check? No local no-fee ATMs...


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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