Originally marketed to American housewives as a no-fuss dinner alternative—"Tastes fine, saves time!" went an early radio jingle—Spam now takes center stage in restaurants across the U.S.
In restaurant circles, the dreaded F-word—fusion—is usually reserved to describe some sort of disparate multi-culti combination, like sauce soubise on top of tamales. But in the case of Filipino food, there's no stronger term to capture the essence of Asia's most unique, idiosyncratic, and underrated culinary tradition.
There are so many overstretched, overcluttered sidewalk cafes in Philadelphia that cracks about your soup being seasoned with tasty public transportation exhaust are becoming less sardonic and more straight-up true. It's difficult to escape the bustle of any big city while remaining within its limits, of course, but there are ways to do it—you just need to look and book a little smarter.
WebMD, the Internet's most trusted source for deeply paranoid self-diagnosing adults, offers no information on "Pandamonium," the trademarked phenomenon Panda Express implores its customers to experience each time they queue up at the scoop-and-serve Chinese-American chain. Fortunately we do: the goods on how to make the most of your visit to this mall food court staple.
Is it a bartender's duty to make sure drinks possess mass appeal? Guy Smith, bar manager of Philadelphia's High Street on Market, doesn't think so. Combining the juice of an already-divisive brassica with smoky-mouthed mezcal and dry seasonings more often found on ribs than in rocks glasses, he's created a vegetable-based cocktail so green it could double as a Kermit the Frog-inspired paint swatch.
Di Bruno Brothers, a Philly fixture since FDR was in office, celebrated the grand opening of its newest location late last week by showing off what they did best—hawking rare Euro cheeses, stretching and braiding mozzarella by hand and, in a fit of D.O.P.-approved pyromania, filling wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano with flaming brandy for on-the-spot cheese sauce. Such showmanship is of a piece with the brand's dedication to customer service, which its owners will tell you is the key to it all. Click through the slideshow to take a tour of the market!
Chefs enjoy when their food's the primary topic of discussion, but at Pizzeria Vetri, it's the oven that captures the conversation. Six feet across and four-plus tons on the scale, the Renato Riccio-made beast is definitely a looker, but it's the peculiar schematics—dual facing mouths, with counter on one end and kitchen on the other—that allows peel wielders to shout orders into the oven and have them float out the other side. Calling up a Caesar or checking in on a calzone? For best results, yell directly into the fire.
New to a largely industrial strip of Washington Avenue jammed with warehouses and construction wholesalers, Kermit's was opened by Adam Ritter, a Philly publican who runs the craft beer bars Sidecar and Kraftwork. Named after New Orleans jazz fixture Kermit Ruffins, the beautifully muraled space has an edgy-but-accessible commissary feel, with its buzzing-about-in-aprons staff, high-output equipment, and towering ceilings. We paid a visit to pizza chef Brian Lofink to chat about his pies.
As much as "let's meet up for a drink" may be polite social code for "let's shake the dating 8-Ball and hope for results that are not face-meltingly terrible," selecting the right bar for the right person and right circumstances can certainly help mitigate the unpredictable. Philadelphia's a town with no shortage of places to meet a date—here are a few of the best.
At Emmanuelle in Philadelphia, a cocktail mimicking the beef-based noodle soup.
Philadelphia possesses one of the richest and most dynamic beer-drinking cultures in America. Here are the 10 must-visits in the Philly beer-bar scene.
Philadelphia's rightly proud of its collection of beer bars, but even our most social drinkers need reliable retail to ensure their
booze receptacles refrigerators stay full and happy. Here are our picks for the best craft beer stores and bottle shops in the city. If you're planning to come through for Philly Beer Week, visit these spots to stock up on beers you can't find in your home town.
A one-man pizza station is one thing; a pizzeria run by a solitary man is another. And ever since Joe Beddia opened the latter, he's had to address the unforeseen on his own. We take an early look at his eponymous pizzeria in Philadelphia's Fishtown.
Conventional wisdom tells us that coupledom and coworking go together about as well as ammonia and bleach. But in the case of bartenders Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal, the byproduct of their overlapping personal and professional relationships is one of Philadelphia's most cerebral cocktail programs. Here's a preview of the couple's latest creations, where references to Shakespeare, French colonialism, and North African piracy are poured alongside pisco, damson plum liqueur and genever.
Bella Vista and Queen Village's tidy, tree-lined streets contain some of Philly's most successful bars and restaurants, nailing tastes high, low, and in between. No matter what borders you adhere to, both neighborhoods provide are easy to slice through on foot, meaning you're never more than a few trudges away from a killer drink.
With head bartender Al Sotack acting as helmsmen, Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. completely overhauls its lineup four times a year. The Franklin's newest menu, featuring a 28-drink collection of originals and classics alike, went live last week.
Philadelphia's Old City, home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and colonial re-enactors rocking their frilly waistcoats, is extremely navigable sans vehicle, making it ideal for a walking cocktail crawl. Here are five great places to slake your thirst, no powdered wig required.
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