Sunday, August 31, 2008

Really Love Your Peaches

My Sunday devotional with the fruit from Three Springs at Headhouse started just this Summer. For the last few weeks I've swooned over the white peaches. They are off the charts in their deliciousness.

My plan is to glorify the fruit by making white peach ice cream. I took some direction from this blogger whose creation is surely sublime.

The ice cream machine is at the beach. I'll be reporting back.

UPDATE: I didn't think this was so great. The flavor was fine but not like the exquisite taste that is the peach by itself. I used all very nice ingredients and it looked fine but the flavor was too subdued. I gave it away to my Cape May cousins.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

8 for a Buck

When I get caught unprepared and get stuck buying WholeFoods' lemons for a dollar each, I wanna make them walk the plank.

If you're waiting for a deal on citrus at WFM, you could come down with scurvy. Today Iovine at RTM had these juicy fruits 8/dollar.

Burgers for a Buck -- Hipster nutrition outreach

Over at Wholefoods Market they have a labor day deal that offers a burger for a dollar. Burger choices are au poivre, blue & bacon, cheddar, etc. hipsters and the early bird special creatures are lining up like seagulls at a fried dough shack. A customer in front of me looked at her package and asked why it was so cheap, the team member explained the special, she said umm ok I'll take 10 of those and 10 of these etc

We sampled a few, not bad at all although the au poive was au sel-ly salty.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gaetano Grillfreak

Loin lamb chops at Superfresh the other day were an excellent deal. There were like $1.50 each! They were Australian and delicious. WholeFoods market had buffalo ribeye on sale $15.99 and NJ swordfish $16.99. We grilled it all. Barbaric and delicious with some pierre robert, 1/2 a braid from di'bruno and a green bean salad with NJ tomatoes and red onion........and also a past prime gattinara from plcb.


We stopped by to check out Dujour the other day. The place just opened in the Symphony House at Broad & Pine. It's all sparkly clean and fresh inside.

Conceptually it seems like they take whatever trade shows up. It was a little bit cafeteria in feeling with a cafe like line that starts at the front with quite a few menu boards.

We were greeted and sat promptly. Our server was charming and heads-up about the dishes, although he was as surprised as I was to learn there was no tequila in the house. They did have Perrier and the $9 Ommegang beer my date ordered...

The whole place is hard surfaces except for the low banquettes. I wanted to ask for a booster seat (I'm 6'2) but I thought for once I'd suck it up since the lil lady is only 5'1. We tried 3 dishes: calamari, fried green tomatoes and the PB&J foie gras. They were all tasty, fresh and confidently executed. The dishes we sampled each lacked a bit of focus. I thought the emphasis was on precious rather than taste. For example, halved cherry tomatoes on the calamari is a little too unfinished for an $11 dish and the croutes for the foie gras had a convenience product flatness to them. Still though the overall quality was apparent and Dujour has only been open a few days.

Love Roller Coaster Ride

First real roller coaster ride yesterday at Dorney. It was thrilling.

I had a great time but still gotta shout out a few beefs. 1- my 2 favorite things (wave pool and go karts) were both closed with no heads up at all. That's an amusement park Mofo, Dorney. 2- OMG --they will suck every last cent out of you here. Soda machines are $3.50. WTF? Parking and shoe box lockers are each $10!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Grub

Whole Foods had sirloin on sale $4.99/#. The yukon golds for the potato salad came from WFM as well as the Pineapple for pineapple granita that was $3.99.

Momma's Applesauce

Mamma's was a new vendor outside Whole Foods on Saturday joining Graiff Farms and Beechwood orchards. Her sauce was tasty and low sugar. Mamma explained that it's made in the huge and modern kitchen of her church in NJ. A sweet church lady selling applesauce out of her Mercedes!

Reggiano @ Whole Foods -- Market Mofo

I grabbed a little nugget of Reg the other day, and it was $9. WTF? Looking at the $/# I saw $17.99/#. I put it back and walked down to Talluto where it was $13.99/#. It's a mofo that WFM doesn't stock Grana, but gouging on Reggiano is a total market mofo.

HeadHouse Market Versailles DPG

I got to the market near closing time today. Versailles was desperately huckstering their 'baked goods'. This apple thing pictured was $3 reduced to $1. Rather than continuosly talk smack about this vendor I gave them another shot. Voila, I had my 1st DPG. Even at $1 this thing is questionable. Shoppers were snatching their stuff up like crazy. Seems like folks waited until the end for the mark down which in this case was a Dangerous Price Break.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dangerous Price Break

This is a new feature joining Market Mofo and Businesses that Botch in addressing the appalling hi-jinx that are foisted upon the culinary consumer.

For example a DPB (dangerous price break) could go to Whole Foods Market for their $ale on the Japanese Maple trees. It merits this designation because initially the trees were $69 they reduced them to $49 but indicated on the signage that they had been priced at $99. At that point they were clearly a DPB; soon after they were reduced to $29.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hello this is Barack

The craziest coinkydink: Last night I was singing "I am Barack.... I am Oba-a-ma.... and Barack feels no pain..." to Simon & Garfunkel's "I am a Rock." Just then the phone rings:

B.O. - Hello Gaetano?

G. - Yes sir?

B.O. - My aides passed me an exec summary of your blog and I'd like your opinion.

G.- I'm honored sir. B.O.- Can we speak plainly? G.- Yes. B.O.- How do you feel about the Muslims? G.- They sound good to me Barack. B.O.- That was a trick question Gaetano, I'm impressed. Now tell me how should I order my cheesesteak next time I'm in town. G.- Depends Sir, first off don't show up at a spot because everyone else has. I suggest go to Steve's in the Northeast and say "Mushroom, cheese steak hoagie with american, don't be shy with the mayonaise". B.O.- sounds damn good Gaetano. One last thing, any suggestions on capturing the vote on philly's gold coast? G.-Sir go see the aristocrats and use it as a guide.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

At the Italian Market

We had a margarita focussed mini dinner party on Tuesday.

Decent citrus on 9th St was 1/5 the price of Whole Foods Market. Limes were 10 for $1, lemons & oranges 5 for $1, and grapefruits were 2 or 3 for $1 depending on size. Pears were tasty too and priced right.

Seafood shopping on 9th st is perilous but it was too late for a trip to RTM (also sketchy) and WFM had no calamari so I made an exec chef decision and took 2# @ $2.99#. It was just passable as far as freshness but was a good dish with homemade tomatillo salsa.
Tomatillo's $1/#.

Philadelphia's Gold Coast --- All that Glitters

What are they smoking on the 'square' !!! They've gone coastal?

I've noted the "compendium" is zany but c'mon. Present a garnish of plausible with that serving of desperate elitist consumerism.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rattlesnake Jerky

That there is rattlesnake jerky.

As i tried to think through a good way to use it my GF suggested some pork cutlets with tater tots. spinach and fried eggs. Some sage and marjoram for a lil pan sauce. Pork cutlets from Whole Foods market are local and lean but tasty enough.
Of course WFM tater tots are the golden standard for tots.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cheese Steak Apologist

There's a show on one of the cable food channels about popular fried grub around the country. Some of the "food" popular in other parts of the US: deep fried hamburgers and batter fried bacon, deep fried hotdogs, fried candy bars, these ideas ignore the art part of cuisine completely.

Now the Philadelphia cheese steak is a different matter. It is not a fried dish but still it gets my goat when when the sincerely ignorant preach about nutrition, cheese whiz, crazy fat content etc. Maybe a nasty 'sandwich' from a spot like Dellasandros, Jim's, Geno's or Pats is blantantly abusive to your palate and biology but the essential cheesesteak is way better that plenty of other "local favorites" and healthier than many hamburgers.

Here's why i say so. 4-5 oz of fresh beef, like the chipped eye shown, is far leaner that than 80/20 or worse ground flesh that constitutes most burgers for example or corned beef. 2 slices of american is no worse than 2 oz of swiss on say on a ham and cheese, and a steak roll is at least equal to those 'wraps' that are perceived as outside the box. Everyone wants to take issue w whiz. Sure it's easy pickens with a name like whiz but donut eating, soda drinking beer swigging, french fry eating critics need to get out of their glass houses and keep it real.

The thing that makes a proper steak sandwich pop is in the technique. Thin slices of beef are cooked freshly and quickly capturing the flavors and served a la minute. There is nothing unhealthy about that technique and it is the heart of the excellence that is a proper Philly cheese steak.

Shrimp & Jersey Corn Cakes

Beechwood Orchards and Graiff produce are outside South St Whole Foods Market on Saturday from 10 to 2-ish. Both have great looking stuff, that actually is "super fresh" and the pricing is well below Whole Foods. Both vendors are knowledgeable and share legit expertise with customers. I grab something every Saturday, it has always been a good deal.

Graiff had NJ white corn $.50 each. I grabbed 4 and made these cakes using the fritter recipe from "Joy". The shrimp were u10's/ $14.99 lb from Cape May Lobster House. Chipotle salsa from WFM and a RIPE avocado from Super Fresh.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

City Paper - Talula's Table

Whoa, an inspiring culinary read describing a local spot that cranks out supreme cuisine. David Snyder, PW's new reviewer, scores with a stirring take on Talula's Table in Kennett Sq.

Impressive 6 pack from review:
1- Explains how & why a Kennett Sq. table is more desirable than anywhere in Philly.
2- Irreproachable ingredients are an essential foundation.
3- Menu is intimately reflective of market.
4- Sense of beauty in culinary expression.
5- Irreplaceable value of authentic hospitality.
6- "Everyone should be fortunate enough to experience Talula's Table"

Pictured Cape May Frying Oysters on City Paper just out of the pan --courtesy of the Little Lady.

19th Annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival

It was festive at RTM for the fest.

Folks were lining up for the fresh made donuts. Imagine observing the complete process: mixing dough, kneading, cutting out donuts, frying them up and glazing them! Whoooo ee

Also had a sausage sandwich that was very tasty.

Friday, August 8, 2008

5 Kinds of Scrapple

Something's fishy:
2 new "steak houses" have planned openings this fall in CC. One, Union Trust is going to provide S&P and get temps right with high ceilings the other, Butcher & Singer will be "evoking old style Hollywood with prime steaks, a raw bar and classic cocktails. "

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

KYW positively Philadelphia

I'm not the biggest fan of 1060 radio, but I accept that they are the news voice of Philly. "To the dump dump dump" and "you might not think of yourself as a high net worth ass hat" and "businesses that botch" grate on my sensibilities with their greedy vulgarity.

Anyway I heard a snippet about a new steakhouse opening on Chestnut, and the report was basically a straight up promotional piece. I looked it up at The part that got my goat was the owner's bragging. Salt and pepper will be on the table. They guarantee temps will be correct. They have montague broillers. word. BFD. Really, Outback does all that. WTF?

I'm feeling shades of Crescent City which was a really handsome spot that but lacked a critical component i.e. a clue.

Am I cranky cause it's so toasty in Philly? Maybe. Still I'd like to hear KYW make what's important interesting. I'd say saving money and enjoying high quality local food is important. So KYW could put a smile on my face with some teasers about the markets at city hall, Jeff, headhouse etc....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Blooming Glen Headhouse Market

Blooming Glen is consistently impressive and impossible to pass by.

Delychee-ous Blood Clams !

Huong Vuong had these delectable clams and lovely lychees today both @ $2.99/lb.

Clams in chili sauce with some bun tom nuong. All ingredients from Hung Vuong.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Philly Fringe Festival

Wow the fringe magazine is incredible. So many creative people in town at one time it'll be jumping up in here. Check out the offerings, amazing performances for low $$, some free.

I didn't see any Starr organization ads in the fringe mag but this was on the back cover of Philly Mag.

Businesses That Botch II

South St. Superfresh in keeping with their practice of hiding or discontinuing desirable products has removed the fresh roll section from bakery area near the seafood department. Today I was searching for a roll and overheard an employee discussing with another customer the frustrating lack of communication between front line employees and decision makers "they don't listen to shit we say".

I did find this roll in an old school bakery case presented as if it were precious. It tasted fine and realistically it is precious since the closest legit roll is over on Spruce St at the rama joint. Whole Foods market has not followed through with their threat to expand the bakery, very honorable WFM.