When it comes to dining out, the Food Network’s Marc Summers says he has a “charmed existence.” Be it a Stephen Starr, Marc Vetri or a Jose Garces setting, from 25 years of work on and behind the scenes of various TV programs his beaming smile is easily recognizable in any dining room. “I always get treated to extra stuff that I didn’t plan on eating,” he says. “I guess it’s one of the perks of being on the Food Network.” It’s a mixed blessing, though. Raised on a typical Midwestern diet of beef, poultry and potatoes, he admits his palate is rather tame, but he tries to remain open to new tastes and experiences. “Often I have consumed items that in my wildest dreams I never thought I would eat,” he says. “Mario Batali is a dear friend, I love him to death, but when I visit him he always starts cutting up pig ears, pigs feat and like pig everything. And I’m like, ‘Pig shit, I’m not eating that!’ I don’t eat eyeballs, intestines or any tripey kind of stuff.” Find out what Marc had to eat this week in our latest Philadelphia Diet.
Friday, September 17
Every morning I try to start out with fruit. On Friday I had strawberries, pineapple and bananas and a glass of orange juice. I hear that juice is not good, because it has so many calories, but that’s pretty much what I do.
For lunch I walked over to 500 Degrees. I love that place. It’s fantastic. I had their regular burger with lettuce, tomato and their secret sauce. Their buns are amazing. They have these buttered brioche buns that are killer and their fries are more than any human should have in one sitting but they’re tasty.
For a snack I had three mini candy bars, including Three Musketeers and Snickers. There’s always a lot of sweets around our office. Around 3 or 4 o’clock everyday I get into this thing of “what should I eat?” I usually pop a couple [sweets] in my mouth because it’s easy. I guess after doing Unwrapped for 11 years and talking a lot about candy, I’m allowed to do that.
That night I went to La Viola for dinner. It’s one of my favorite restaurants. I started going there when I first moved here and living at 16th Walnut. I could easily eat there two or three times a week. When I find something I like, I tend to stick to it. I had the Caesar salad, gnocchi with lobster ravioli appetizer, bronzino with steamed veggies, Tartuffo and since it’s a BYOB, I brought a bottle of Parducci Petite Syrah.
Saturday, September 18
Saturday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement for all us lovely Jews who’ve been making bad choices for a year to try to get forgiven by going to temple and not eating all day.
I live in Old City now, and we were trying to figure out where to go to get something to eat after sundown. I had never been to the Sheraton over there in Society Hill. I was with my wife and a nephew who was in town. In the bar we ordered chicken quesadillas, shrimp tacos and crab cakes, which we all shared, and I had a Coke.
Then we were going to go to Amada, another one of my favorite restaurants, but it was Restaurant Week, and I hate freakin’ Restaurant Week. It just sucks. When we got there and looked at the menu,, there was nothing on it that I normally get there. So we decided to go to Barclay Prime. Luckily, because I’m on TV, I can walk into almost any restaurant without reservations and they somehow find a table for me. First they sat us at the bar and then Michelle the manager — she loves us — came out and said ‘Why are you sitting here?’ and she found us a seat in the dining room. I had Caesar salad, a rib eye steak, mashed potatoes, corn and iced tea.
Sunday, September 19
We had friends in from out of town and we took them to brunch at XIX Nineteen. I had smoked salmon, fresh shrimp, tomatoes, Caesar salad, lobster roll sushi, and fresh fruit. I have a huge sweet tooth and also ate some mini pastries, including cranberry apple pie, white chocolate raspberry tart and a lemon tart with blueberry. I also had fresh orange juice and English breakfast tea.
After brunch we went over to the Rittenhouse Art Fair. It was kind of warm out, so my wife and I shared a Mr. Softee Swirl Cone on the corner of 18th and Walnut.
That night we had dinner at Barbuzzo. I love those girls. Marcie and Val are just freakin’ amazing. I’m a pizza freak. It’s my favorite thing in the whole world. To me the best pizza is at Osteria, but Marcie and Val’s pizza at Barbuzzo is such a close second, I can’t even begin to tell you how damn good it is. They use the same pizza oven as Osteria. In addition to the pizza we had the heirloom tomato salad, skirt steak, gnocchi, red wine, tea, and an insane dessert: Peach tiramisu and chocolate whipped cream!
Monday, September 20
On Monday I tried to get back on a decent schedule and diet. I started off with strawberries, a peach and some pineapple with a mango smoothie.
For lunch I had chicken in a pita and orange Fanta at Hamifgash Glatt Kosher Grill. We’re moments away from that restaurant here at the office. Some of the kids here took me over there. I like it. It’s good. It’s fresh, and the walk over there gives me the opportunity to air out my brain a little.
That afternoon, I snacked on two Reese’s peanut butter clusters
That night my wife, who is an amazing cook, made turkey meatballs and eggplant in a red sauce. She makes the most the most fantastic red sauce. We also had a mixed green salad, Sprite Zero, and a Weight Watchers ice cream fudge bar.
Tuesday, September 21
My three breakfast choices are usually fresh fruit, Honey-Nut Cheerios or an English muffin. On Tuesday I went with an English muffin and fresh orange juice.
Since pizza is my favorite food, I like to try and experience it in as many different places as possible. This time I went to a place around 10th and Sansom called Milano’s that I had never been to before. I grabbed a quick slice of regular pizza and a medium Coke.
For dinner my wife made tomato soup, which was restaurant quality. I had that with a mixed green salad, and a Weight Watchers ice cream fudge bar for dessert.