Posts for December 3, 2012

Watch the Trailer for A Film About Coffee

"There's so much about coffee that we don't understand," says a subject filmed for A Film About Coffee, a forthcoming documentary from Brandon Loper, a San Francisco–based director. From the looks of things, Loper talked to the experts, obsessives, and some philosopher-baristas on his way to understanding the forces that shape coffee culture around the world. Here's his behind-the-scenes production blog, and check out the teaser trailer, straight ahead.

Espresso served in porcelian, arabica poured through a sock. »

British Restaurant Offers Dim Sum With a Side of Condoms

Seal the deal at their safe-sex lounge.Photo: Daily Mail

Here's one restaurant Kate Middleton probably won't frequent once she recovers from morning sickness hyperemesis gravidarum: Cabbages and Condoms. The Oxford restaurant has the distinction of being the first in the U.K. to offer "leaflets on protective sex when your meal ends," plus other safe-sex-themed goods. The restaurant, a chainlet that's really big in Thailand, reminds customers that "our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy" and that purchasing condoms should be as routine as, you know, buying cabbage. After wooing over "fascinating" dim sum and "wonderfully herbaceous" shrimp soup, diners can linger over condom-themed mugs, keyrings, and books, purchases that might seem presumptuous before a third or so date. It still sounds better than Modern Toilet restaurant. [Daily Mail, Earlier]

Pizza Brain ‘More Than a Hipster Prank’; Catelli Duo a ‘Whole Lot Younger and Hipper’ Than Its Predecessor

• Craig LaBan checks out the Frankford Ave. pizza memorabilia museum and pizzeria known as Pizza Brain and realizes it’s much more than a “funky slice shop” and “North Philly hipster prank.” From the “delicately roasty” crusts, “bright sauce,” and “basil plume flickering with garden freshness,” he finds “there is substance behind the counters,” and in the “worthy variations on the classic crispy American genre.” The “too acidic” red sauce on the vegan Tom pie, and the “funky” and “off-balance” blue cheese on a Granny Smiths, almond and onion pie both “need tweaking.” The “butterfat-rich confections” offered at Little Baby’s Ice Cream (also under the same roof) are “as well-crafted as they are bold.” [Inquirer]

• In Vorhees, Adam Erace reports back that Catelli Duo is “a whole lot younger and hipper than its predecessor ever was”, and was “very obviously” inspired by Philly restaurants Osteria, Barbuzzo, Zavino and Pizzeria Stella. “Rosemary-rubbed” Osteria wings were “awesome,” while “soft scamorza-stuffed meatballs” left him thinking Mar Vetri ought to “watch his back” when he opens in Moorestown. The “tumble of clunky” calamari “tasted bright and fiery,” but “looked like something not fit for print.” A “floppy” crusted mushroom pizza “should have been cooked harder and seasoned stronger.” Fortunately, an order of “rich braised” beef short ribs proved “satisfying.” [Courier-Post]

Your Tap Water Might Be Giving You Food Allergies

Noooo. First peanuts, then gluten, and now tap water is killing us, too. According to research from New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, pesticides lurking in our perfectly tasty, really rather cheap tap water can be linked to food and environmental allergies that might cause tongue-tingling, hives, and even death. Oh, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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City of Brotherly Grub: Twenty Places Featured on Television Food Programs

Just ahead of his departure from Travel Channel, Anthony Bourdain finally took the time to pay Philadelphia its due in the form of an episode of The Layover. While here, he and his crew took in the sights with stops at the Barnes Foundation and the Mutter Museum, before checking out some of what our town offers in the way of food and drink. With that episode set to make its debut tonight, Grub decided now was as good a time as any for a quick review of the city and the restaurants that the food media has decided were fit for airing. Check them out straight ahead.

Will BYOB Serving a 20-Course Multi-Sensory Dinner


A few seats for Will BYOB’s colossal, 20-course Multi-sensory Dinner on Tuesday night remain available. Chef-owner Christopher Kearse is teaming with conceptual culinary artist Rob Sidor’s Inspiracle for the lavish tasting odyssey that a rep for the restaurant promises will engage all the senses. Sample dishes include exploding Wianno oyster, with salsify, oyster leaf and licorice vapor, and rabbit and foie gras rilette with caramelized white soy and mangosteen. Reservations are going for $200 per person, and $350 for couples. Act quick, available seats will likely be gobbled up today.

Fond Wraps Service on Passyunk Ave.; Reopening Later This Week Around the Corner

Fond's new digs

East Passyunk Ave pioneers, Lee Styer and wife Jessie Prawlucki lowered the curtain on their popular BYOB, Fond, after wrapping dinner service Saturday. The restaurant’s second act opens Thursday, December 6, just around the corner at 11th and Tasker streets. The new spot is bigger, will feature an eight-seat bar, bigger kitchen, and a chef’s table in a small back room, according to the Passyunk Post. Overall menu and concept will remain fairly the same after the move, but the new location will offer late night bar snacks. And in spite of the liquor license, guests will still be permitted to bring their own booze. No corkage fee will be levied Tuesday through Thursday nights, but a $10 will be added to the check on weekends. [Passyunk Post]

Earlier: Fountainhead Saloon Project Is Dead; Fond Moving In

Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Spotted Pig’ Is a Project With David Beckham

Really, we can't wait.Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Make it stop: Just before taking the field for his final game with the L.A. Galaxy, David Beckham was quoted as saying his next career moves involve business plans with Gordon Ramsay, including a restaurant. "It will be a business thing but owning a restaurant is going to be fun as well," Beckham told the Sun. When we last heard about Ramsay's business plans, of course, they included a preemptive U.K. trademark filing for the name of the Spotted Pig, the New York restaurant owned by Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield. There's been speculation that Ramsay moved to trademark the name of a restaurant he does not own to snipe at onetime sparring partner Mario Batali, a Spotted Pig investor, but we're pretty sure the Gordo-Becks project is the Spotted Pig U.K., or some such attempt. Here's why.

Would you buy a hamburger from these men? »

Grubstreet Sweeps

Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Bryn Mawr Pizza See the menu

    “Pizza is alright”

    The food is alright... there honestly is no "atmosphere" since it consists of just an oven, two small tables and a television.

  • Derek's See the menu

    “Everything a restaurant should be!”

    Others talk the talk, Derek has always walked the walk.

  • Lion King See the menu

    “My other spot”

    When it comes to the generals...(chicken that is) they'll make you sign up for recruitment


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