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Archive for the ‘Eating out’ Category

Sharing an order of al pastor tacos from Los Taquitos de Puebla with my sister and Christian at sunny Headhouse Square.

Al pastor tacos from Los Taquitos de Puebla

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A Full Plate

We ate there last night and we really enjoyed it. I had the riblet sandwich which was “pulled” seitan with slaw and Christian had the veggie burger which he said was good, though it appeared to be a premade burger. I think that the bar has been raised when it comes to veggie burgers in Philly, several places are making their own including National Mechanics and Memphis Taproom.

The other things I liked about A Full Plate is that it’s BYO and the sandwiches don’t come with anything except a little cup of a bean salad. This makes the sandwiches slightly less expensive and allows you to choose a side (of which they have several to choose from) to round things out. As a result of both of these factors, our bill was $21, even with two sides! You can’t beat that. We got the brussels sprouts au gratin and the fried pickles, which turned out to be fried gherkins. Everyone who’s doing fried pickles right now are all doing them differently. El Camino Real does spicy slices, Memphis Taproom does deep fried dills (my fave), and now we’ve had the gherkins at A Full Plate.

Afterwards, we headed across the walk to The Little Candy Shoppe which carries the iconic Bassetts ice cream. Christian had a coffee milkshake (his usual) and I had a scoop of the WHYY, which was vanilla ice cream with caramel and chocolate covered pretzels. Pretty tasty. I didn’t even know you could get Bassetts outside of Reading Terminal, it was a nice surprise.

A Full Plate
1009 N Bodine St, at the end of Liberties Walk

The Little Candy Shoppe
1030 N American St, also on Liberties Walk

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Sausage
Sausage at Rosamunde’s in Haight-Ashbury

Zuni chicken
Famous Zuni chicken plus polenta

Olives
Olives

Eggs2
Eggs at Boulette’s Larder at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market

Sea beans
Mushrooms, sea beans, fiddlehead ferns at the farmers’ market

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I came across Sara Remington’s blog the other day and the photography is just so, so beautiful. It’s mostly food and related food stuff but Sara’s work captures so much more than that. At the risk of sounding cheesy, her work really brings out the essence of how these people feel about their food. And reminds us that we should feel that way too. Mindful, grateful, communal.

Holy crap, there’s a lot of stuff going on this weekend!

For one, it’s mother’s day. As previously posted, I got my mom a copy of Almost Meatless and I’m planning on picking up a copy of Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. Mags called me and asked me about quinoa the other day so I thought that some healthy-minded cookbooks were in order. Haven’t finalized the menu yet but I’m thinking deviled eggs (easy, delicious, perennial favorite), some kind of jicama salad (corn, black beans, spicy lime dressing?), some portobellos and hot dogs for the grill. Easy peasy! Need a dessert though, I always feel pressure (mostly self-induced) so come up with something spectacular. What’s spectacular that’s not too time consuming?

A couple things I’d like to try and check out Saturday:

Funk  Fest! Lots of local brews, live funk, 1-4 pm at Triumph in Old City.

Also, Rittenhouse Spring Fest looks fun, if the weather cooperates.

Tomorrow night the Fishtown Collective is having a gallery opening which looks like it would be super fun: art, music, good Philly vibes.

Would also love to hit Headhouse again this Sunday but may not be able to due to time contraints. We’ll see.

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Headed down to Old City late on Saturday afternoon to run some errands and grab something to eat. I hadn’t been to Zahav yet so that was on my list. We’ve also been meaning to hit Xochitl so we did both! Yeah! Hit Zahav and had the hummus (of course), the crispy haloumi with dates and pine nuts, and the pastilla with veal cheeks. It was all very delicious. We sat at the bar and the service was really great. Then we skipped our way over to Xochitl and had gorditas, ceviche (shrimp, mackeral, octopus) over tostadas, and the sopes. It was fun to try a bunch of different stuff at two places that have been on my list FOREVER.

I have to say, the inside of Zahav is so cool. It looks like most of the wood is reclaimed and the space is really open. I was surprised at how many people were there, obviously eating full meals. It was on the early side so I was thinking we’d walk into a mostly empty place but it was just about packed. Definitely planning on going back to try some more of the menu.

Zahav

237 Saint James Place (next to the Ritz at 2nd and Walnut)

Xochitl (so-cheet)

408 South 2nd Street

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Banh Mi, take two

Cane Juice

We hit Ba Le this past Saturday for another Banh Mi adventure. Ever since Brooke introduced us to the Vietnamese hoagie, we’ve been obsessed. I thought that Cafe Nyu’s banh mi was pretty darn good but Ba Le’s is pretty tasty. We got a BBQ pork and a vegetarian. We also got some sesame buns and cane juice and Em Teel bought some boiled peanuts along with a pack of spring rolls and some crazy coconut thing wrapped in a banana leaf.

Sesame Bun

The inside of Ba Le is crazy. There’s no line, you just step up and call out your order, based on the numbers and pictures that make up the McDonald-esque menu. Buy 5 hoagies, get 1 free!¬† There’s all sorts of crazy Thai delicacies lining the the back of the take out section: bean cakes, boiled peanuts, spring rolls with their transparent sleeves, chicken legs, bubble tea drinks, I can’t remember them all, they were all so foreign to me. It didn’t take long for our hoagies to come up and they slid them into long, plastic sleeves which were a perfect fit. Since we had the dogs with us we had to find someplace outside to sit. We snagged a bench outside Cochon and crunched our way through the crispy rolls. I didn’t really love the sweet fermented-ness of the tofu in the vegetarian one, though that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, just wasn’t my thing. The BBQ pork was tasty though and the sesame buns were warm and chewy. The boiled peanuts were just okay. You just can not beat the crunchy freshness of the vegetables combined with the crispy roll, warm meat, and the hot spice of the jalapenos. Being pretty unfamiliar with Banh Mi, I’m guessing the yellow spread was the special mayo?

Holy jalapeno

Ba Le Bakery and Restaurant (don’t let the neon sign discourage you!)

606 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 389-4350

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I was a Banh Mi virgin before last weekend. My friend Brooke told us over some beers about her obsession with Banh Mi, her relentless researching, and finally her first attempt. So it was only appropriate that we stopped at a tiny storefront on Christian Street last Sunday after perusing the Italian Market to experience this Vietnamese specialty firsthand.

Banh Mi

A typical Banh Mi MAY have the following ingredients: thinly sliced pickled carrots and daikon, onions, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, pate and some kind of meat. Sometimes the jalapenos are bird chiles, sometimes the meat is tofu. The roll is traditionally a baguette, though a Sarcone’s roll is more appropriate when eating Banh Mi in South Philly. After that, there are tons of variations, many beautifully detailed in this New York Times article. It seems that everyone has their idea of what the perfect banh mi entails. I think that we stumbled upon a great version.

Cafe Nhu Y

802 Christian Street

215.925.6544

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