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Archive | Restaurants

What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

A Cheesesteak with a Difference

Tonight only: enjoy an “Abbruzze Cheesesteak” at Pat’s for a good cause!

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight, July 18th, Di Bruno Bros.’ owner Emilio Mignucci will join Frank Olivieri, owner of Pat’s King of Steaks as they share the grill and serve a limited-time Abbruzze Cheesesteak. All proceeds will go to Frank Olivieri’s Spread the Whiz Foundation, which partners with schools to teach kids about healthy food choices through artistic and cooking expressions.

Longtime friends, Emilio and Frank, both graduates of The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College have grown up in their family businesses. Frank’s great uncle, Pat Olivieri, opened Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia in 1930. Pat, a hot dog vendor, wanted something different for lunch one day and made a sandwich of chopped steak and onion. He shared it with a regular customer, a cab driver, who loved it so much he spread the word. Frank’s work in the community and growth of Pat’s King of Steaks has allowed his uncle Pat’s legacy to live on over 86 years.

Emilio, with his brother Bill Mignucci and their cousin William Mignucci, Jr. have grown their family business from the original Di Bruno Bros. in the historic Italian Market to a company with five retail stores, e-commerce, national distribution, and a catering and commissary kitchen. As Di Bruno Bros. approaches their 80th anniversary, Emilio is creating a cheesesteak using their “infamous” Abbruzze Cheese Spread – a zesty garlic and herb spread with red chile pepper flakes. Named after the region where Danny and Joe Di Bruno were born, the Abbruzze Cheesesteak will reinvent the King of Steaks for one day only.

Di Bruno Bros. and Emilio join the ranks of Marc Vetri, Jose Garces, and Michael Solomonov
who have all shared the grill with Olivieri to support the Spread the Whiz Foundation.

 

 

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Celebrate Dad with Tasty Freebies in South Philly

Several restaurants in South Philly are offering special deals for Dads this Father’s Day, Sunday June 17th.  They include:

SliCE

1180 S. 10th St. (215) 463-0868, http://www.slicepa.com

On Sunday, June 17, purchase a large pizza for the family and Dad receives a free small pizza of any variety on the menu. Any toppings, any variety, any crust – it’s all for him and him alone to enjoy! Available for dine-in or take-out. On the go with Dad this Father’s Day? Bring him in for a free slice with the family for lunch- for dine-in only. Only one offer per Dad. (Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian offerings)

Slice owner Jason celebrates with his family. Photo courtesy of Slice.


P’unk Burger

1823 East Passyunk Ave. 215-468-7865, http://punkburger.com

Bring Pop in on Father’s Day to East Passyunk’s burger, shake and fries organic hot spot for a free Root Beer Float. Dads will enjoy their choice of ice cream – including vegan varieties – with Fair Trade and organic Maine Root fountain soda. (Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian offerings).

Burger & shake at Punk Burger. Photo courtesy Punk Burger.

 


Puyero Venezulean Flavor

524 S 4th St. (267) 928-4584, http://www.puyeroflavor.com/

On Sunday, June 17th, this family-owned casual eatery invites Dad and the whole family down for lunch or dinner. All the Dads will eat free all day in the dining room with his choice of any arepa. Puyero is the perfect spot to celebrate in the casual, vibrant, and fun atmosphere – with no fuss, no reservations. (Gluten free offerings)

Puyero’s cachapas (sweetcorn pancakes). Courtesy Puyero Venezuelan Flavor.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Mamma Maria Ristorante Italiano to Hold Polenta Event

By Joseph Myers

Growing up in Abruzzi as the fourth of six children, Maria di Marco adored time with her family, especially when she and her kin came together to eat. Particularly fond of her father Vincenzo’s culinary creations, the doting daughter sought to emulate the patriarch’s proficiency by preparing many Italian staples, notably polenta. On Wednesday, June 20, she will honor his example and show off her admiration for the cornmeal-based delight by making it the main dish at Mamma Maria Ristorante Italiano, 1637 E. Passyunk Ave.

“I want polenta to be the star for one night,” the proprietor said from the eatery that she has helmed for 26 years. At the $35-per-person event, di Marco will recall her days coming of age in the Old Country by making a version akin to her parent’s thin polenta. The gathering, slated to begin at 6 p.m., will mark the only time she will serve polenta this season. A vegetable antipasto and a salad will bookend the meal. The BYOB restaurant is happy to serve wine and offers complementary homemade limoncello to patrons. The lemony liqueur will also be the featured ingredient in an eponymous cake.

“I feel excited to be doing this because polenta means so much to me thanks to my childhood and my father.” di Marco credits her father for inspiring her career path, “He helped me to see I belong in the kitchen, and the time I spent learning that is something that I will never forget.” She recalls her family’s meals as unifying events. “We bonded so much when we ate, the eight of us,” di Marco said, “so I want others to enjoy the polenta and feel the same kind of warmth.”

Mamma Maria di Marco at the 2018 East Passyunk Red Gravy Cook-off.

Though customers who desire to dine at the restaurant that night need not order the polenta, di Marco, whose local clout includes having recently served as a judge for the East Passyunk Crossing Red Gravy Cook-off, hopes they’ll request the option, especially if they have never tried it. Regardless of the guests’ familiarity with the oh-so-tasty creation, di Marco will find herself in a festive mood as she fraternizes with the attendees, and her father will not be far from her mind.

“He was a very good man, and I’m grateful for all that he did for me,” she said, flashing a wide smile. She dubbed her father’s polenta “the best thing in the family,” and she looks forward to sharing this treat with patrons.

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Foodie Friday: Tasty bits to digest

There’s been a smorgasbord of South Philly restaurant news in the blog-o-sphere. Here are some links to whet your appetite, so to speak…


Northwest corner of 12th & Morris gets a tenant!

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Michael Kline broke the news yesterday that something’s (finally!) coming to the retail space at the northwest corner of 12th & Morris streets (1646 S. 12th St.):

Separatist Beer Project, the onetime gypsy brewer from Easton known until recently as Sole Artisan Ales, says it has signed a lease for what it calls “a concept bar and beer experience”

Kline spoke with the owner Joe Fay who said the new bar would serve its beer plus wines and coffee. According to Kline:

He described the look as “modern Scandinavian.” The basement, with 10-foot ceilings, will be a kind of rathskeller, with barrel- and bottle-aging and a large table to be used for special events.

The bar could open “as soon as August.”

The space was originally slated for a restaurant by Chris Scarduzio. He bowed out before the building broke ground.  The retail space has sat empty since the building was completed about two years ago. See our previous coverage about the site here and here, and here.

1646 S 12th Street. Photo courtesy of E-Built. www.ebuiltinc.com


Smoke signals

Mike’s BBQ, 1703 S. 11th St., received a nice review in the Cherry Hill Courier-Post.  Writer Emily Teel sums it up: “Barbecue in South Philly? Mike’s isn’t just blowing smoke.”


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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

We’re not Teas N’ You. Banh mi and bubble tea are coming to East Passyunk Ave.

New Southeast Asian quick-serve spot opens May 31st

By C.T. Liotta

The first thing you notice about Teas N’ Mi, 1907 East Passyunk Ave., is the sign – a bright red tongue between two baguette rolls that sandwich the company’s name. It’s bright and draws attention, and perfectly captures the light-hearted mood of a shop that offers drink items called Billie Jean is MATCHA lover and COCO? Is it tea you’re looking for?

Teas N’ Mi sign at night. Photo from www.teasnmi.com.

The shop is the creation of Tuyen Tran and Diana Gov, two long-time Philadelphia residents who give food associated with their parents’ birthplaces – Vietnam and Cambodia – a Passyunk Avenue-twist.

“One day we were walking along Passyunk Ave. and wondered why there wasn’t a bubble tea shop around this area.  So we decided, why not do bubble tea and banh mi?” said Tran. “This is our first venture together.  Diana and I have both been in the restaurant industry and we both cook at home often, putting ideas together.”

For South Philadelphians who may be unfamiliar with banh mi, it’s a made-to-order Vietnamese cold-cut hoagie traditionally served in sandwich shops and food stalls. The most popular sandwich on the menu, named Teas N’ Me Specialty, is traditionally called banh mi thit nguoi. It features, “Cold cuts, pickled carrots, pate, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeno. The pork and pate are both fresh-made,” says Tran. Continue Reading →

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista 

Looking on the bright CIDER of life

Kerry McKenzie is more than a glass half-full kind of guy. In fact, he’s a glass-is-always-full-guy…full of the hard cider he brews at Hale & True Cider Co. The cidery and taproom opened last week at 613 S. 7th Street. McKenzie, a chipper 29-year-old, smartly credits his wife and partner Risa as the mastermind behind his establishment. “We were already fermenting kimchi and kombucha when we stumbled upon a street fair on South Street and tasted hard cider for the first time.” McKenzie continues, “we were so excited to find out that cider could be something more than sweet!”

Kerry and Risa McKenzie

The couple switched their fermenting work to produce hard ciders, including some of the signature products at their new, 40-seat establishment.  Highlights include their “Standard” made from a mix of six different apples; “Hail to the Hop!” which allows the hops to sit for at least four to five days after fermenting; “Lil’ Sunshine” which has a mix of locally-grown honey and oranges; and “Sail Away” made from mango puree. This last favorite was inspired by the multitude of fresh mango he and his new bride ate on their honeymoon just a few months ago in Hawaii.

Kerry was born and raised in South Jersey, about 40 minutes from the heart of South Philly. He visited the city frequently even before he was able to drive – his parents would drop him off at South Street’s TLA and other hot spots. He met Risa met in college and the newly-married couple now live in Lower Moyamensing.  While scouting for locations it was natural that they gravitated to South Street where their love for cider began.

Kerry doesn’t profess to having a favorite among the many offerings at Hale & True except to say that for him, “drier is always better than sweet! Especially where hard cider is concerned.”

Hale & True has partnered with The Good King Tavern to provide a small menu of light snacks.  The cidery is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 10pm, Friday from 4pm to 12am, Saturday 12pm to 12am and Sunday 12pm to 9am.

Hale & True’s interior was designed by USA Architects and Cohere.  The furniture was crafted by Sweetwater Wood Design, owned by Kerry’s father and brother. Photo by Coleman Yunger.

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