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Author Archive | Cate Murray


Spring Into Brunch

By Catherine Murray

With warm and sunny weather just around the corner, we want to share some of our favorite brunch spots in South Philly that are the perfect places to reemerge from your weekend hibernation. In no particular order, here’s where we are brunching these days.

 

 

                      
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What's Happening in:  Whitman 

Wander Inn to a new watering hole in Whitman

By Catherine Murray

On a cold and misty afternoon, I briskly walked through Mifflin Square park and admired the Buddhist temple in the distance and marveled at the diversity that makes up South Philly. The fabric of our neighborhoods is woven together by families and individuals who are both new to the city and who have called Philadelphia home for generations. Whitman embodies that spirit and has a sense of charm that is notable even on the dreariest of days. As I approached my destination, I passed under twinkle lights strung over Ritner Street and homes with roomy front porches on my way to a new place that brings back an old name.

Wander Inn / Twitter

Long time South Philadelphians will remember the former Wander Inn at 18th and Federal – the current site of the American Sardine Bar. That Wander Inn dates back to prohibition and was a bastion of jazz in its heyday, hosting legendary performers like Bessie Smith. Some say that the Wander Inn was one of the first successfully integrated bars in Philadelphia. It closed its doors in the early aughts.

Jon Klein, the owner of The Dive Bar and Watkins Drinkery, wanted to pay homage to the original Wander Inn with his latest establishment that opened in May 2018. The ‘new’ Wander Inn, located at 3rd and Porter, is quickly becoming a popular gathering spot in Whitman. During our conversation, Klein shared his passion for creating a cozy neighborhood bar that has something for everyone. Continue Reading →

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What's Happening in:  All over South Philly 

Last-Minute Food Gift Guide

By Catherine Murray

‘Tis the season for merriment and last minute shopping! To make your holiday gift giving extra tasty — and very South Philly, swing by one of these beloved establishments.  


Artisan Boulanger Patissier

Courtesy Artisan Boulanger Patissier/Facebook

Want to impress your family visiting from out of town? Pick up chocolate croissants or raspberry mousse from this long treasured South Philly bakery. The artful and decadent treats made here will make your celebrations a little sweeter.

Address: 1218 Mifflin Street

Hours: Open daily 7 am – 5 pm and Sunday 8 am – 4 pm. Closed Mondays.

Price: Varies upon item


Brewery ARS

Courtesy Brewery ARS/ Facebook

If you haven’t been to ARS yet, now is the perfect time to go. These South Philly brothers brew some seriously good stuff. To celebrate their second anniversary, ARS just released bottles of its bourbon aged imperial stout – the perfect stocking stuffer for the beer lover in your life. While supplies last, ARS also has cans available of mouth-pleasing salty caramel stout. Want even more beer? Grab a  growler of one of their eight delicious beers on tap.

Address: 1927-1929 W. Passyunk Ave.

Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 5 – 10 pm ,
Friday 12 – 11 pm, Saturday 12 – 11 pm, Sunday 1 – 8 pm, Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

Price: Growlers range from $16 – $20 and $7 – $12 for the glass, Bottles go for $22 while supply lasts

 


Essen

Courtesy Essen/Facebook

Hanukkah has passed (and we’re sorry we didn’t post this guide in time for it!) but thankfully the treats at Essen, a Jewish bakery on the East Passyunk Avenue, are available all year round. Grab a babka – coffee cake layered with chocolate and pastry – to take to your soon-to-be-delighted host. You’ll definitely get invited back next year.

Address: 1437 E. Passyunk Ave.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 8 am – 5 pm, Sunday 8 am – 3 pm, Closed Mondays

Price: Chocolate Babka, $13, other loaves and treats vary


Photo by Coleman Yunger

Hale and True Cider Co.

Husband and wife duo Kerry and Risa McKenzie opened Hale and True this spring, and the accolades keep rolling in. The hard cider made on-site is so flavorful and crisp that it will ruin all other ciders for you. Choose one of the five distinct flavors on tap for a growler. To make the holidays more festive, Hale and True is offering 15% off growlers and fills on Sunday, December 23rd and Sunday, December 30th. The Season, an off-dry cider fermented with cranberries and a hint of maple syrup, is the perfect addition to any winter gathering. (Disclaimer: the author works at Hale + True but still stands by this recommendation wholeheartedly!)

Address: 613 S. 7th Street

Hours: Wednesday & Thursdays, 5 – 11 pm, Friday 5 – 12 pm, Sat, 12 pm – 12 am, Sunday, 12 pm – 10 pm, Closed Monday & Tuesday

Price: $22 for 64 oz. growler fill, $10 for the glass 


Occasionette

Courtesy Occasionette/Facebook

A delightful staple on the Avenue for unique, thoughtful, and gorgeous presents for everyone in the family. To make your celebrations feel a bit Old World, pick up a jar of mulling spices. Sipping mulled wine by your fire or Christmas tree will feel just right.

Address: 1825 E. Passyunk Ave.

Hours: Open daily 11 am – 8 pm, Sundays 11 am – 6 pm

Price: $8 – $12 depending on size


Courtesy Primal Supply/Facebook

Primal Supply Meats

For the meat lover in your life, shop online or swing by Primal Supply Meats, one of the newer darlings on the Avenue. Purchase a one-time Butcher’s Club Package of meats and sausages, a butchery class, or a gift certificate. Primal Meats sources from local farmers who are raising their animals humanely and managing their land sustainably.

Address: 1538 E. Passyunk Ave.

Hours: Open weekdays 12 – 8 pm and weekends 10 am – 6 pm, Closed Tuesdays

Price: Small butchers package $44, Butchery Class, $125


South Philly Food Co-op

Courtesy South Philly Food Co-op/Facebook

The community-owned grocery store at 2031 S. Juniper is getting closer and closer to opening its doors. The co-op will be a community gathering point, offer tastings and food education, and will carry a wide selection of local, natural, and organic foods and household items. It’s going to be the real deal. A co-op doesn’t have big corporate backing – it literally takes years of hard work of dedicated volunteers and community members working together to make this happen. Give the gift of member-ownership this holiday season to the South Philly (or Center City!) friend or foodie in your life.

Address: 2031 S. Juniper Street (opening in 2019)

Price: $200 for equity ownership, can be paid in installments

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

New Coffee Shop Opening on East Passyunk

Just in time to keep us fueled-up during the darkest days of the year, a new coffee shop is opening its doors on the Avenue this morning. Jennifer Santore and her aunt, Valerie, will run Ground Up at 1926 East Passyunk Avenue. The site was most recently home to Vin Cafe.

Window signage before opening.

Jennifer grew up with family in the hospitality industry and attended culinary school with the goal of someday becoming a small business owner.  With deep roots in South Philly, she found there was no better place to open an establishment of her own than along the Avenue.

The interior. 

Ground Up will be open daily from 7 am – 3 pm serving coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, along with pastries and bagels from Rockland Bakery out of New York, where Jennifer’s uncle works.  With Jennifer’s background in cooking, she plans to expand the menu over time.

The coffee shop will seat about 24 and has window counter seats with charging stations so you don’t have to awkwardly crawl under a neighbor’s table to plug in your laptop. So swing by Ground Up this week on your way to work or while shopping along the Avenue and welcome Jennifer to the neighborhood.


Ground Up
1926 East Passyunk Avenue
Open Daily, 7 am – 3 pm

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What's Happening in:  West Passyunk 

Feast of the Seven (Vegan!) Fishes

Vegan Commissary exterior. Photo by Daryl Peveto.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, a seafood meal served on Christmas Eve, is a centuries-old custom brought to South Philly by southern Italians. For those who want to try a new, unexpected take on this feast, The Passyunk Post is proud to sponsor a special event with the Vegan Commissary, the beloved South Philly vegan market, caterer, and cafe. The Commissary’s Feast of the Seven Fishes will take place on Sunday, December 16th at DuJour Cafe, 20th and Market Streets. Doors open at 5pm, meal served at 6pm. A portion of the proceeds raised benefit the East Passyunk Community Center.

Vegan Commissary chef Steve Laurence started preparing, cooking, and savoring vegan food in 2010 in the midst of the recession. He founded a wholesale business at 11th and Morris Streets. Ultimately, Steve wanted a space that could hold catering and a cafe and moved the Vegan Commissary to 1429 Wolf Street.

The cafe does business all week long. Popular items include melt-in-your-mouth pesto gnocchi and the savory ‘meatball’ sub. The neighborhood has embraced this eatery and about 45% of the customers aren’t vegan, but continue to come back for the delicious, healthy food, friendly service, and laid back atmosphere. Steve, along with his team and head chef Damian Patterson, see food as a bridge to cross cultures and communities. You’ve may have also seen Vegan Commissary’s tasty treats at coffee shops all over the city.

Crab cake with zucchini, horseradish cream, basil oil and caramelized cabbage. Photo by Daryl Peveto.

The Commissary’s take on the Feast of the Seven Fishes will capture the inherent spirit of each traditional dish and translate it to a different medium. Diners will taste the ocean and brine in some dishes, and their tastebuds will resonate with sweetness and certain textures in others. This imaginative meal will leave vegans and non-vegans alike satisfied and enriched. The incredibly talented Damian Patterson has planned the dazzling menu below.


Vegan Feast of the Seven Fishes

MENU

Carrot Lox
pumpernickel toast l herbed almond cheese l candied radish

Watermelon Tuna Poke
carrot caviar l seaweed chip l mache l daikon l serrano relish

Hearts of Palm & Chayote Ceviche
coconut-sunflower seed broth l lemongrass l Aleppo pepper l tomato seeds

Trumpet Mushroom Calamari
fresh herb & cucumber salad l smoked avocado mousse

Tofish Fillet
black sesame sauce l beurre blanc l crispy lentils l swiss chard dumplings

Seafood Pasta
bucatini l ocean butter l smoked tomato sauce l oysters l clams l scallops

Dessert
Italian Rainbow Cake l Pistachio Cannoli


To accommodate a larger crowd, the meal will take place at Du Jour Cafe, 2001 Market Street.

Can’t make the event? Each year, Vegan Commissary features a unique holiday sandwich with proceeds going back to the community. This season’s Moist Maker (yes, that is an old-school Friends reference) is vegan turkey, sweet potato mash, stuffing, gravy, shaved brussels sprouts, and cranberry marmalade piled on thick cut whole grain toast. The sandwich benefits farmers who have been negatively impacted by the Fair Food Farmstand’s closure.


Vegan Commissary
http://www.vegancommissary.com/
1429 Wolf Street
215-964-3232

Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
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