Posts for February 4, 2013

Watch the Teaser for Waffle Hut, a Food-Focused TV Pilot

Welcome to Waffle Hut, a fictional restaurant in Traver, Ohio, where everyone is a talented sketch-comedy veteran. There's Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids, Reno 911) as restaurant owner Reba, plus Colleen Camp, Melanie Hutsell (SNL), Beth Crosby, Jack Plotnick, Sam Pancake, and Drew Droege, who is playing a woman who has "deer tick's disease." It's a pilot that was written and directed by William Butler and shot last year, but has only popped up online in the last couple of days. And it appears the show is still up for grabs, so check out the trailer and decide for yourself if Waffle Hut deserved (deserves?) to be picked up for a cable slot.

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New Facade Shows There’s Signs of Life at Royal Sushi & Izakaya

A scene from Royal Sushi's pop-up back in 2011.

Last week brought word of Royal Sushi & Izakaya, the long overdue sushi and Japanese pub concept that Khyber, Royal Tavern and Cantina owners Stephen Simons and Dave Frank have been working on for, like, forever near 2nd and Catherine streets, taking part in next month’s Brewer’s Plate. Now Naked Philly is reporting there’s some more signs of life for the endlessly delayed project. Seems a brand new facade has recently gone up on the front of the property. Gone is the time-worn, intricately carved wood frontage. In its place is new brickwork. Though not much to go on, it shows work’s underway, and progress is being made. How long until an opening? Your guess is as good as ours. [Naked Philly]

Earlier: Long-Awaited Royal Sushi & Izakaya to Make an Appearance at the Brewer’s Plate

The Avenue Delicatessen Coming Soon to Lansdowne

The Avenue Delicatessen

The Avenue Delicatessen is currently coming together in the heart of Lansdowne. When it opens this coming spring, it could be the area’s only enterprise to successfully marry the Italian and Jewish deli traditions. Laura Frangiosa, who served as chef-in-residence at Cook by Audrey Claire, will serve such culinary creations as Italian wedding matzoh ball soup and Reuben arancini, as well as things like lasagna, porchetta, corned beef, and pastrami once the place is up and running. But until then, she and partners Joshua Skaroff and Brian Flounders want to erect an illuminated sign to rival that of its immediate next door neighbor, Historic Lansdowne Theater, which is about to begin a new chapter as a live music venue. To do so, they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $8,000 they need to make the sign happen. Help them out, and you could be looking forward to everything from preview bites to a private dinner for you and guests.

Takeru Kobayashi Reduced to Pay-for-Play Stunt Eating at Low-Rent Frat Parties

So, speaking of Nathan's Famous, last night six-time Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Takeru Kobayashi ate a Domino's pizza at some dude's Super Bowl party. He was paid $1,500 for this, Deadspin reports, and as you can see in the video ahead, the competitive eater almost doesn't pull it off. Also, a vaguely xenophobic beer-chugging contest went down after this. Awesome.

"Thirty seconds!" »

‘Fork-Tender’ Pork Belly Is Fette Sau’s ‘Best Cut of Swine’; Fieni’s ‘Distinguishes Itself From the Red Gravy-Splashed Masses’

• With three bells, Craig LaBan enthusiastically approves of Fette Sau, and goes as far as saying the Brooklyn export is “the barbecue destination we've been waiting for.” The “juicy, fork-tender” pork belly is the Frankford Ave. smoke shack’s “best cut of swine,” while the brisket arrives with a smoke ring “so vivid it could have been colored by Crayola,” and the “massive” short rib comes “almost caramelized from a basting of its own fat to velvety tenderness.” But the St. Louis-cut ribs have “just a bit more chew than [he] would have preferred.” [Inquirer]

• Adam Erace writes the food is where Vorhees, New Jersey’s Fieni’s “distinguishes itself from the red gravy-splashed masses” in the Garden State. He offers a “soulful scrippelle soup” with “thin egg crepes unspooled like Persian carpets,” and a “lemony and earthy and rich” Veal Costa Smeralda as proof. He adds that the eggplant Parmigiana, “layered with deeply crimson, cooked-all-day-tasting tomato sauce and melted mozzarella,” was “something to behold.” [Courier-Post]

Chefs Who Served Whale Sushi Are Going to Jail

Spicy blubber rolls: Not worth the jail time.

In 2010, the documentarian-activist team behind the Academy award–winning movie The Cove
— which exposed the cruelty and the clandestine practice of dolphin-slaughter in Japan — made waves stateside when they revealed that a popular sushi restaurant near the Santa Monica Airport was serving endangered whale meat in plain sight. After two undercover diners at the Hump were offered "pink broad slices" of what turned out to be Sei whale, the team circled back with federal agents. While for a moment it seemed like charges might be dropped, a federal jury last week indicted the owners of the restaurant's parent company and two former sushi chefs for conspiracy to import and sell an endangered species. In addition to the parent company facing fines of up to $1.2 million, one of the two chefs may serve 67 years in federal prison. [LAT, Earlier, Earlier]

Spike Mendelsohn Confirms Good Stuff Eatery Is Coming to Rittenhouse

Spike MendelsohnPhoto: Bravo

Rumors have been putting Top Chef alum, Spike Mendelsohn and a local branch of his D.C. -based Good Stuff Eatery here in Philly for quite some time. But now it looks like it’s official. The Insider reports that Good Stuff bigwigs confirmed they will open a location of Spike’s burgers and burger ephemera concept at 108 S. 18th Street, in the space that last housed sushi bar Numa. Time frame and other precious details haven’t been worked out yet. Since we’re in neck deep with the burger joints around here already, can’t we pass on this, and just get Jen Carroll back instead? [Insider; Earlier]

Pizza Perfection: 101 Awesome American Pies (and Slices)

It must be hell to be a carbophobe these days, particularly in New York. After all, you can't swing a cat in this town without hitting a delicately crisp, brightly flavored, meticulously crafted pizza. All over the city, you can see these tortured souls muddling through their starch-free lives, battling temptation at every turn.

That goes for the rest of the USA, too. »

Restaurant Gives $4 Discount for ‘Well-Behaved Kids’

Still doesn't cover the tax.

If you haven't been reading your restaurant receipts closely, start now. Receipt rants are all the rage these days, and whether you're offended or flattered, you'll certainly have a viral Reddit hit on your hands. A waiter at the Sogno Di Vino restaurant in Poulsbo, Washington, apparently gave a customer a $4 discount for having "well-behaved kids." Isn't that expected when you bring your children out to a nice Italian restaurant and wine bar? [Earlier, MSN]

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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.

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    “Everything a restaurant should be!”

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

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


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