Category: Dining (Page 1 of 2)

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Bites of the Vendy’s

2015 marked the Vendy Awards’ 5th in Philadelphia, and my first time attending. It was one of those events I had always wanted to go to—being both a lover of food trucks and a huge supporter of The Food Trust and the PMFA—but the timing never worked out. This year the stars aligned and I was thrilled to attend for Geekadelphia. Check out my recap for some highlights.

To summarize, I was really impressed. The Vendy Awards are a fantastic event with expert planning and wonderful food.

Speaking of food, I wanted to share some of the bites I got to enjoy. I was able to sample almost every truck, and below are a few of my favorites.

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Blog changes, a hiatus, and a hoagie.

In retrospect, I should have probably written this before the busiest two months of my life began but unfortunately it did not work out that way. I just couldn’t help but spend the weeks leading up to the busiest two months of my life being as lazy as possible. It’s not my fault, I have HGTV for the first time in like 5 years.

This blog has been a bit of a struggle for me conceptually. I started it last year thinking I’d just create a food blog. And I tried that, but it just didn’t ever feel like the right fit. I know I’m not a chef. I’m a home cook who is in a constant state of learning. So, rather than creating blog that tells people how to do things in their own kitchens, I wanted to share what I learned—for better or for worse.

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Set list

Rob Marzinsky’s Demo Tapes

Whenever my friend and farmer Jack Goldenberg alerts me about a pop-up dinner, I take it seriously. Regrettably, I recently haven’t been able to check out most of them, be they his own or dinners hosted by his friends. However, when I saw Rob Marzinsky‘s Demo Tapes pop-up upstairs at Barbuzzo, I was lucky enough to have that Wednesday evening free so Mel of Squirrelly Girl Bakes and I set out for a lady’s night.

Marzinsky recently embarked on a world tour of sorts (he’s currently in Australia, I highly recommend giving him a follow on Instagram), but before shipping out he, designer Ian Chapin, and Birmingham-based bartender Steva Casey came together for one last project. And, oh man guys, it was so good.

Set list

Set list

Soundcheck (Snacks)

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Starting at the front with the “lobster roll” and going counterclockwise.

“Lobster Roll” – lobster roe gougére, shrimp salad

Celery Root – black walnut, Birchrun Blue, apple butter

Fried Oyster – chicken salad, Rick Nichols’ pepper hash

Crispy Parsnip – “escargot butter”, parsley, black garlic

 

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Cocktail: Spending Warm Summer Days Indoors
(house-made rose vermouth, brandy and rosemary Demarara syrup)

 

Track 1 (First Course)

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Pierogi “Soupe à  L’oignon”
Caramelized onions, raclette, onion and soy broth

 

Track 2 (Second Course)

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Albacore tuna
Fried broccoli, tonnato sauce, peanut and celery leaf

 

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Warm day boat scallops
Browned butter, celery root and apple rémoulade, sea urchin and jalapeño

 

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Cocktail: Let the Broken-hearted Love Again (Sherry Darlin’),
(Bowmore scotch, sherry, Cynar and Byrrh)

 

Track 3 (Third Course)

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Roasted sunchokes
Glazed La Ratte potatoes, chive, smoked trout roe, potato skins and sunchoke chips

 

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Fried buttermilk chicken
Liver mousse, pickled carrot and mushrooms, sesame, buttermilk biscuit, jalapeño vinaigrette

 

Track 4 (Main)

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Golden Curry
Massaman Thai curry with North Carolina shrimp, sweet potato, lemongrass, served with Carolina Gold rice, and cabbage “som thum thai”

 

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Cocktail: A Jumped Up Pantry Boy,
(pisco, lemon carrot/turmeric shrub, Galliano, sparkling wine and Peychaud’s)

 

Outro (Dessert)

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Blue ice cream and black walnut tuile

 

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Vietnamese coffee

Bitter coffee pots de crème with soy milk dulce de leche and Carolina Gold rice pudding

 

Rob Marzinsky’s Demo Tapes ran from February 25th – 27th upstairs at Barbuzzo in Philadelphia.

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In Memoriam: Lamb Shack at Zahav

Every city has their must-have dishes. Quintessential bites that locals are excited to share with visitors. San Francisco has the Swan Oyster Depot’s Crab Louie salad. New York City has Russ & Daughter’s new Holland herring. And Philadelphia has Zahav‘s elusive pomegranate lamb.

Generally only available to parties of nine or more and only if you reserve it in advance, I spent a long time being certain I would never experience the unprecedented bliss of Solomonov’s 2-day brined bone-in lamb shoulder goodness. That is, until the brilliant team at Cook N Solo announced that in February, Zahav’s back dining room would be turned into an all-lamb BYOB. (From what it looked like, the front was undergoing some renovations. Like I said, brilliant.)

The $36 a person meal began, of course, with Zahav’s gorgeous salatim, and hummus tehina with laffa followed by the star of the show. The meal ended with chocolate kanafi, a crispy cloud of shredded phyllo dough with bitter chocolate and pistachios. I could go on about this meal for pages. The familiar nuttiness of the beets with henina, the kale tabouli I could have eaten a pound of, the deep pink center of the blackened lamb shoulder as it melted off the bone, the fact that I was stuffed beyond belief by the time dessert came by the kanafi was so delectable I couldn’t stop myself from devouring it.

No, I won’t go into all that. That would be bragging.

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Menu

 

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Glorious, glorius salatim

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Beets, carrots, tabouli, cucumbers.

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Hummus tehina.

 

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Did I mention no corkage fee?

Lamb of my life.

Lamb of my life.

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Chocolate kanfi.

I’ll miss you, Lamb Shack. I hope we meet again.

Sweet and sour salad with apple, yogurt, pickled raisins, pomegranate seeds, shallot, fennel, sesame, and mint

New Dinner Series: Meals of Antiquity, Babylonian Edition

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a preview of an up-and-coming dinner series gracing Lucha Cartel on March 1st—Meals of Antiquity. The first dinner features a menu painstakingly researched by designing cook and historian Colin Barth, and aims to recreate a hearty, seasonal meal that would have been served during the First Dynasty Period almost 4,000 years ago.

At first glance, the menu may read like a standard, hearty winter’s meal studded with nourishing grains and gamey proteins. But a closer look reveals several less common ingredients like Emmer, nigella sativa, and cypress. The meal is also served with leavened Ninda, a deliciously dense bread the color of burnt umber.

Special thanks to Evi Numen for the beautiful photos.

Barth has been researching the menu since November with a goal of remaining as faithful to ingredients, which hasn’t always been easy. As it goes with translating ancient languages, sometimes meaning can be debatable. He learned this the hard way after a particular mistranslation resulted in a recipe test that failed in such a way he knew one of the ingredients must have been translated incorrectly. It turns out what he read as “pounded yogurt” actually meant “pounded locusts*“.

While I am calling this a “new” dinner series, that isn’t entirely true. A few years ago, special events and concerts group Dancing Ferret organized two sold-out Uyghur dinner events. They’re looking forward to re-launching the series and bringing a unique culinary experience to their attendees.

Tickets are just $45 and are selling fast, so snag your spot now if you want to part of this historic (pun fully intended) event. You can view the full menu here and find more info at dancingferret.com/babylon. Don’t forget to follow Meals of Antiquity on Twitter to stay up to date on future events.

*The Babylonian dinner menu does not contain pounded locusts. Unfortunately.

 

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