Sunday, June 5, 2011

Philadelphia: Part 3: Saving the Best for Last!

  Woke up on Memorial Day Sunday at a very early (for me) hour, 9 am to prepare for Sunday Brunch at Iron Chef Jose Garces' "Distrito".  One of several establishments he owns in Philadelphia, all of which are different from the next.  
Arriving a few minutes early for an 11 o'clock reservation, we were the first customers, which was great!  This was an opportunity to look around, ask questions and take pictures.  
After being seated, a greeting by Ian familiarized us with the restaurant, the menu and the alcohol.  Ian has family in Mexico City, but is American/Scottish/French and knew the menu inside and out.  A real waiter! The real Mexicans were upstairs preparing the food for us which included
the guacamole (required by law), tortilla soup, steak and eggs with refried beans, [fancy] tacos and of course the optional Margarita Bloody Mary, another
drink required by law. A special thanks to the bartender for this wild concoction! Distrito is not to be missed!
Steak and eggs, refried beans
Bloody Mary Margarita
Downstairs Dining Room

Fish Tacos 
Upstairs Dining Area / Open Kitchen - spotless!

Interesting "Community" Sink Adjacent To Restrooms-
-Don't Forget...MODERN Mexican.

Upstairs Booths.  The Booths Spin (for privacy) similar to
"The Whip" At The Amusement Park.
LUCHA LIBRE masks adorn the staircase



A late dinner  on a Sunday night brought two unexpected 21st century experiences; a hostess with an iPad and a text message to my cellphone to tell me that the table was ready. How did she know my cell number?!?! The 45 minute wait was only about 15 minutes. 

The Village Whiskey lives up to its name.  Located on the corner ground floor of a century old office building, the restaurant offers at least 100 whiskeys and whiskys and a fine assortment of microbrewed bottled beers, with 6 on tap.  Another interesting note:  I have never seen a beer menu that shows "Market Price" for a guest beer.  I thought this only applies applies to fresh lobster at a seafood restaurant!  Speaking lobster, I ordered Jamies Lobster Mac and Cheese.....


An assortment of three cheeses and the meat of two lobster claws with  toasted breadcrumbs on top, was a delicious mix with lobster in every spoonful.  Yes, you will need a spoon, not a fork to fully enjoy this.  Accompanied by two local beers and a double "pour" of Mexican mezcal for dessert, no shots here, a fun time was had by me. Christina our South Philly waitress was great even though she was quite busy.  yes, you're allowed to say "Philly" here unlike saying "Frisco", where you will be taken outback and executed.  Enjoy your visit to Philadelphia AND San Francisco.

Philadelphia: Part 2

Cheesesteak Empanadas
After a hearty sandwich at DiNics, it was time to think about dinner at another one of "Triple D's" places to visit; Good Dog Bar & Restaurant.

 More of a bar that serves food and plays LOUD metal music it was OK.  Guy Fieri went crazy for their Cheesesteak  Empanadas.  I went less crazy almost to the point of boredom.
The funky tasting dipping sauce that accompanied the empanadas was something to think about..thinking about sending it to lab for testing!

An order of Buffalo Fried Shrimp was a little better and more attractive, accompanied by bleucheese dressing and celery.
The beer choices were very good, both bottles and drafts. I have to say that the wait staff was exceptional.  After finishing both appetizers, we were informed of the following:
"We're known for the burgers, everything else sucks!"   Check Please!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Philadelphia Story: A Phood Phantasy! (in 3 parts)

Part One:
The City of Philadelphia is quickly becoming the new "go to" place for excellent food.  The likes of Iron Chef Marimoto, Iron Chef Jose Garces and other notables have turned Philadelphia into more than cheesesteaks, pretzels and Tastycake.

 I ventured to Philadelphia over Memorial Day Weekend for a culinary tour of some of the best, starting at foodie central; Reading Terminal Market.
Tommy DiNics Sandwich Stand in Reading Terminal Market has successfully turned the heads of die hard cheesesteak fans into devoted fans of their amazing roast pork, broccoli rabe and provolone sandwiches.  This is THE BEST sandwich you will ever have in your life! The roast pork is succulent, the broccoli rabe has a slight earthy bitterness but is complemented by the super sharp provolone.  Nothing better.
Carmine (rear) slices and chops while Edgar
creates the sandwiches.

Tons of roast pork
 Special Thanks to JOE, Carmine, Darin and
Edgar !