Monday, March 31, 2008

WholeFoods Markup --- More Market MoFo's

Recall the Estonian firewood? It makes a good fire I know because last weekend I was at an ACME and it was on sale for $3.59. We bought 5 sacks. I guess since it's spring and all they offered a good deal. I'll go check at WFM and see what's up over there.

I'm back. The same wood from Estonia $7.

Recall the shock at the $10 bag of mussels. I thought maybe I was out of the loop because I hadn't shopped them in a bit. No-- $2 a pound at Reading Terminal and see for yourself at the Italian Market. Listen, Johnny's Blues hits a sour note at $10 and that is a total MOFO.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

For Your Juice Is Better Than Wine

Minneola, you are truly wondrous right now.

Pair of Porkers

Philly is a known international contender in the Roast Pork Sandwich division. Discerning consumers and seasoned competitors keep the standards nearly as high as the expectations.

For consistent quality, attention to detail, and general excellence in both flavor and service Dinic rules the genre. Johns has the gritty philly scene that so many equate with authenticity but it doesn't make the sandwich any better.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The scent of Daphne is transporting. Serge Lutens, Guerlain, and Francois Robert have nothing to compare.


' is among the first Japanese maple cultivars to leaf out in Spring.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Brooklyn Put Your Dough Balls Up

The Brooklyn dough that WholeFoods sells is excellent. The flavor is superb it's gets a toasted nutty wheat flavor, it crisps nicely and most importantly it is easy to handle. I made pizza and another strombo both were delicious. The second strombo was all supermarket ingredients: polly-o mozz, maggio ricotta, superfresh capacola, supermarket spinach and ragu. Yes, it was the best strombo I can recall.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

OUTBACK In Praise of the Fundamentals

Cherry Hill is not my kind of place. I don't have a good reason for loathing this area except maybe the drivers, the fashion, the strip malls ......Maybe I unfairly equate Cherry Hill with blatant vulgarity. Still I go the Outback Steakhouse there. I pass Carabba's, Olive Garden, Buca and the diners. Longhorn was once along the way. We pass them all to go to Outback.

Once we cross the bridge we let our critical guard down some and in this spirit Outback almost* always exceeds our expectations.

Reasons to go to Outback (Cherry Hill, NJ)

1- Hunger
2- They open the door for you.
3- The silverware is shiny and the server doesn't need to make adjustments.
4- The stemware/glassware is stylish and clean.
5- Pineapple chipolte margarita (inexpensive)
6- Way better than average chicken wings and coconut shrimp (inexpensive)
7- Teamwork equals good service.
8- Temperatures on dishes are right on.
9- Housekeeping is on the ball. They are constantly cleaning and taking care of Biz. It shows a heads up spirit as well as the proper hustle and attention to detail that gives pride and a professional vibe.
10- The beef is tasty, cooked properly and is very good eating without sauce or whatevah.
11- On your doggie bag you'll find the date and the contents!

I do love Steak 38, but it's been a lil while.

*Once at Outback our server was very strung out and needed extra $$$. How did we know she needed $$$? She told us so. Our check was really low and we were kinda freaked when she said that since she took care of us, we should take care of her.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday Hoagie

Called upon to put together a casual bite for Easter brunch I found really nice tiny shrimp at WFM for $4.99lb and black forest bacon $6.99. I thought a metro baguette and some of them French onions and yellow tomatoes and horse radish mayo would make a nice hoagie. Raced over to Reading Terminal market, closed. Back to wholefoods and got 2 rolls and few tomatoes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ghosts of South St Present

South St shape of things to come

The future is closer than I thought.

I was wondering why they loped off all those trees on South. Although i still think it could be a typo cause those trees in pic look like 2013.

INRI Organic? On $ale

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Irish

WholeFoods market had this good looking brisket for $5.99# and Kerrygold 2/4$ deal! The beef is simmering right now.

Thinking of corned beef specials. Wish I had thought of it earlier. Stuck with rye bread and slaw from Superfresh which sadly is superior to rye bread and slaw from Wholefoods.

Update: the brisket was delish the color was blah because uncured but the flavor was great. The Arnolds rye and Superfresh slaw not bad at all.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Reading Terminal Strombo Sunday

I was at WholeFood$ this morning having coffee, relaxing with my thoughts when I recalled a friend mentioning that WFM sells a decent pizza dough. I found "Real New York Pizza Dough" "Made in Brooklyn, New York" in the frozen section and bought the 2# bag for 5$. I'd been lusting after some home made stromboli so I headed over to RTM and found that Salumeria is open on Sunday. Grabbed some capicola. pepperoni, polly-0 mozz and (a separate snack) slice of truffled liver pate and crackers. (pate was well past prime)

Iovine too was open for mushrooms, peppers, onions forgot to get some plum tomatoes.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How We Roll

For a special occasion menu we hit Hung Vuong for some lobsters, consulted Steingarten for a few details, grabbed some oysters & tots from WholeFoods then cracked the Champagne*.

On tasting, it is full, yet delicate and elegant with obvious complexity. There are hints of grapefruit and lemon zest at first, and then juice, moving to richer pineapple and peaches and rounded off by an unusual touch of candied angelica!!!!

Striped Bass

Perfectly pristine striped bass fillet $12.99 WholeFoods! Great price and the fillets are from large fish. Excellent flavor, texture and freshness AND PRICE.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Johnny's Blues, Shocking!

Even I get shocked at WholeFood$ sometimes. Last night, thinking that i had some flat Chimay to dispose of, I asked for a bag of mussels. These blues were 10$ is that shocking? It turned out I had drank all the Chimay so they went into the pot with a bit of RR. The mussels were fresh, clean and tasty but too tiny to be really scrumptious. Johnny has quite a bit to say about his stuff. The mussel pic I took from his site and embellished a little because because my main quarrel with these blues is the size.

South Street Souvlaki Surprise

Wow yellow tomato! It was the best part of this Souvlaki.

Puzzling Pink Produce

Pink Lautrec Garlic, L’oignon Rosé de Roscoff, Cervennes Blond Onion, banana shallots!!! All of these riches were at Iovine on Monday. You could find more expression in your culinary statement with prime French produce. Onions get royal attention in a serious French kitchen, tartes, preserves, soup ....... Where have these ingredients been?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spree at PLCB

Hmmmmmm 40% off. Deal or squeal?

Will give the verdict when popped.

UPDATE: Yes this was a total deal. Spectacular champagne! Balanced, complex, full bodied, bold and beautiful! We had it with half shell oysters and lobster rolls. Spectaculare.


Buffalo shrimp with St. Agur dip and bier= Epicurean menage a trois.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Reading Terminal Market :: Cheesesteak Debacle

I got an update yesterday on the Olivieri fiasco. Hearing about the goings on with the Reading Terminal Board makes me want to vomit with sorrow. This group is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of the market, and it seems like ineptitude, avarice and politics have this board completely abusing its mission. I wonder if the board members shop at RTM and observe successful businesses in operation.

Nothing against Tony Luke, but RTM is not open to franchise operations.

The RTM is a cultural gem for Philly. The process of managing and safeguarding its value should be transparent. How is it ethical and whose interest is served by attempting to oust a long term responsible and successful vendor? Among the vendors, this is the story that is repeatedly told: As the Merchants president, Olivieri did not roll over for the board, and his resistance overtaxed their management and guidance abilities. If they were operating a private corporation, their lack of diplomacy, vision and judgment might not be contested, but the RTM is not a private corp. If the board is responsible for the integrity and vitality of RTM, why are they not held accountable for the wasted $$$, poor judgment, lack of diplomacy and transparency, poor organizational and management practices?

Philadelphia Flower Show

My strategy for the Flower Show is wait until the worst possible weather strikes (it almost always does on Flower Show week), then rush down to the convention center and RTM. It didn't work yesterday. It was pouring, and it was still packed at both the market and the show.

Walking home, we got caught in that freakish storm right around 5:45pm. My little lady almost got blown into Market Street traffic by the ungodly gusts.

Monday, March 3, 2008

WholeFood$ Fish

Sewansecott oysters $.99 each.
Fine flavor a sweet n' salty muskiness. A quite tasty Chesapeake oyster.

Both of these fish had nice freshness and OK price.

13.99 Tilefish, 14.99 Corvina.

Although these were both delicious It was Corvina for dinner Sunday. It had a slight gaminess to it that fit in better with the other dishes. This batch of fish was smaller than the filet sampled earlier in the week. The flavor and texture was a lot like a just caught local (NJ) weakfish. We had it with lime hollandaise, saffron orzo and green beans n' black trumpets.

Imperial Delights

The fried milk served with the Pork Chin Kiang is delightful stuff.

Also General Tso, Crystal Shrimp, and Phoenix Roll are tasty.

Imperial Inn 146 N. 10th

Cheese Steak Hoagie wit (dignity)

Reading Terminal Market ingredients.
Metro roll, Martins beef, iovine yellow tomatoes and roscoff onions.

l'oignon rosé

Roscoff onions from Iovine at Reading Terminal Market on Saturday. These onions were everything you'd expect from the French.