Monday, July 28, 2008

13th Street

I remember when this part of Philly only offered up Woody's and Sansom Cinema. Now it's all cleaned up with places like Lolita and Grocery.

Which is good if you like to eat and drink. At the strange hour of 4 though most of these restaurants are closed untill dinner. So Brielle and I went into Vintage Wine Bar. We had the most amazing, Brie en Croute and Seared Duck Salad. The Brie en Croute was a chunk of brie wrapped in puff pastry and then covered with carmelized pears. Yummy.

Then we went to Apothecary to sit on the roofdeck. Apothercary has an extensive list of amazings artisan cocktails and they have great service. Being on the roof reminded me of how beautiful Philly was from the rooftop. Our friend Matt said it looked like Spain.

Nam Son

Formerly the "other" Nam Phoung, I think this place finally changed it's name due to confusion with the other Nam Phoung.

Again I already talked about the hoagies. But the rest of the food in the restaurant is yums too, especially for summer a fresh bowl of "bun" is awesome.

I6th and Washington, in the Asian supermarket next to Duncan Donuts.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Laura's Fudge Shop

I had the most amazing suprise birthday party ( thank you Tim and Brielle ) and I feel so stoked to have the most amazing friends. And of course the food was good.

In the hung over aftermath, my friend Katie brought me fudge and salt water taffy from the Ocean City, Jersey. And there's nothing better than waking up to this hot pink box hung over and eating some fudge.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Flo's Hot Dogs

I guess I've never really had a good hot dog until about a week ago. A lot of cooks and restaurants don't really put much value or care into the hot dog, it's usually an afterthought - something easy and fast to sell to the masses. Sure I've eaten and made some outstanding hot dogs, but never experienced the kind of dedication that manifests itself in a Flo's hot dog.

Open only a few hours a day (11-3), the line was out the door and around the corner. To my surprise the only person behind the counter was a lone woman-apparently not Flo herself, but the Heiress to the Flo's empire, Gail Stacy. The history of Flo's and various newspaper clippings are displayed on the wall of this tiny shack, with a ceiling so low I my head bumped it in some places.

As I watched the solitary woman furiously steaming buns and scribbling orders onto a pad I realized that the 20 or so people packed into the 110 degree shack were all completely silent. It was like a religious experience. Someone asked the magic hot dog woman if she had any help today and she went on a long diatribe about the lack of work ethic in today's youth and her reluctance to let anyone in on her secret sauce recipe - before angrily correcting someone on flo's terminology after they asked for a "hot dog with chili and relish".

Flo's only serves hot dogs, at $2.25 a pop, along with chips, soda, and coffee. That's it. A Flo's "special" - what everyone orders - is a natural casing hot dog on a steamed new england style bun with flo's relish (which is more like a spicy chutney) , celery salt and mayonnaise. The only other option is mustard. If you ask for Relish, Hot Sauce, Or Chili it's all the same thing, Flo's homemade secret spicy hot dog relish. Don't even think of saying the word ketchup. Sounds wierd but it's amazing. I'm the only person in line to order less than 8 hot dogs, by the time I leave the parking lot is overflowing and actually causing a traffic jam on Route 1, and the line out the door is about 150 people long.

I almost feel obligated to help this poor woman that is about to single handedly serve about 3000 hot dogs from a small bun steamer and a pot of water on a single burner, especially after tasting the best hot dog of my life and washing it down with a delicious Moxie.

1359 Route 1
Cape Neddick, ME

Gilly's in Portsmouth NH

So on the way to Maine to go camping I stumbled into this dining car on a side street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire that claimed to have the state's best hot dogs.

I soon learned that New Englanders are serious about their hot dogs - natural casings, special fluffy white hot dog rolls, gravy fries?? Even the burger - that looked the same as every other slapped on the grill diner burger - tasted incredible.

also they are open LATE until 2:30 AM every night except monday.

175 Fleet Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801 US

Monday, July 21, 2008


Here is the official Wikipedia definition of Izakaya:

"An izakaya (居酒屋?) is a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. The food is usually more substantial than that offered in other types of drinking establishments in Japan such as bars or snack bars.
They are popular, casual and relatively cheap places for after-work drinking."

Which is basically true. This was one of the greatest eating experiences I ever had. My friend Saya took me to her neighborhood Izakaya, which was in Nerima near Tokyo. She told me she never took any of her japanese friends or visitors from the states because it was too disgusting. I was the exception of course.

It was actually far cleaner than most bars in Philly. We had these really refreshing sochu and grapefruit juice drinks. Saya ordered what is now my favorite fresh cabbage with japanese mayonaisse and miso. Everything is delivered fresh and made for that day only, so when it runs out, its out. The grilled pumpkin was amazing and the endamame was sooo fresh and salty.

Sigh I miss it already.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Taiwan Street Food

During my short stay in Taiwan everyone I knew told me to eat street food. Which is I guess awesome. So our friends took us to a market and got us these crazy deep fried egg pockets and it was awesome but greasy. They give it to you in a plastic bag so its all piping hot and then burns your hand.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I've been meaning to go back to Cafe Apamate for a while now, i walk past it almost every day. In a city full of overrated, expensive mega-restaurants that rarely live up to the p.r. hype that gets the suckers through the doors, a place like Apamate is a welcome change.

It's casual enough that you could just get a cup of coffee and read the newspaper, but the menu is impressive. We tried at least half of the pinxtos (tapas) menu - sausage "candies", serrano & bechamel croquettes, goat cheese with pistachios, stuffed calamari, gazpacho shooters, scallops, charcuterie plate. And the dulce de leche churros are probably the best in the city.

The food isn't as mind blowing as amada or tinto, but for a small byob with 1 or 2 cooks in the kitchen - and reasonable prices- they do a fantastic job, and you dont have to push your way through a sea of jackasses in pastel shirts & hair gel to get a table.

Cafe Apamate
1620 South St.