Posts for February 22, 2013

Pod’s Pouring the Colors of the Rainbow with New Cocktails; East Passyunk Ave. Does Its Own Restaurant Week

• Color yourself tipsy: Pod just revamped its popular “Color Cocktail” series. The University City restaurant is rolling out a visible spectrum of boozy fun in the form of five color coordinated drinks. They include a green tequila concoction that’s mixed with green veggie juice, fresh lime, vermouth and agave; a gold number that gets its hue from a combination of housemade Kubocha squash syrup, fresh lemon juice, Applejack, orange vodka; a pink one that’s made with housemade raspberry syrup, fresh lime juice, Lillet, gin, red pepper slices, and apricot liquor; and red, which has housemade grenandine, Campari, Sochu, white wine. [Grub Street]

Butcher & the Brewer survivor Jennifer Choplin is now the head honcho in the kitchen at G-Ho’s SoWe. Right now the menu remains the same, but expect meaty and game-y upgrades in future revisions. [Grub Street]

• Further proving that restaurant weeks never die (they just move on to other neighborhoods), East Passyunk Ave. kicks off its first ever restaurant week on Sunday, February 24. It runs through Saturday, March 2. Restaurants as diverse as taqueria El Zarape to Will BYOB are participating. Check the EPRW website for more on participating restaurants. [Grub Street]

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Couple Who Found Dead Bird in Their Salad Really Just Need to Learn How to Make Salad

They seem to have bad luck with dead birds in foodstuffs in the U.K., what with that whole "Sing a Song of Sixpence" thing and now this, the tale of a Gloucestershire couple who were just sitting down to a nice steak dinner under dimmed lights when one of them discovered a large, stanky, and dead Blackcap European warbler on his plate. "My first reaction," says James Watson, "was why have I got a soggy fishcake on my plate?" But that was no soggy fishcake, and so the couple complained to retailer Tesco and were compensated with a £200 gift card, which is much better than the simple apology another British couple received the last time this exact same thing happened. Which, in a way, says something about the sorry state of cooking skills — why aren't these people washing their greens before use? That's still the best way to beat salmonella, after all. Also, why wouldn't they dress greens the old-fashioned way, by evenly distributing vinaigrette to all the leafy things inside a bowl? It's much easier to spot a dead, five-inch bird that way. Also, eating under mood-lighting, we get it, but was this salad made in the dark, too? Only the warbler knows for sure, and he isn't singing anymore. [Daily Mail, Earlier]

Cuba Libre Crowdsourcing Empanadas

Cuba Libre's empanadas

Since that empanada pop-up behind Cuba Libre proved to be a big bust last year, Guillermo Pernot is taking a different route this time around for his month-long celebration of the savory pastry that’s a staple of Cuban cuisine. This year Pernot will crowdsource ideas for empanadas, accepting suggestions via Facebook and Twitter from March 1 through March 9. The three best submissions will be turned into recipes that folks can vote on, again through Facebook, from March 18 through March 22. The most popular choice will then be added to the collection of empanadas that the restaurant will put on the menu in April. We know it’s a ways away, but it’s still worth getting excited about the “Caippy Hour” Happy Hour that all of this leads up to on April 8 for National Empanada Day. That’s when all of Pernot’s empanadas will be available for one dollar each.

Did the Smoke Truck Get Snuffed Out?

On hiatus, or out of commission?Photo: Collin Keefe

What in the name of hickory-smoked brisket happened to the Smoke Truck? The once promising mobile barbecue operation that Wishing Well owner Chris Martino and former Bebe’s BBQ/Fergie’s pit dude Mark Coates launched late in 2011 seemed poised for world domination after scoring some righteous ink in Food & Wine, which included the truck on of its “Best New BBQ” last year, and then went on to take top honors at 2012 Vendy Awards. The rig’s been rather idle of late. Grub’s noticed that is hasn’t budged from its parking space in front of Wishing Well in months — perhaps its three flat tires have something to do with that — and it’s been an eternity since we’ve noticed the fragrant aroma of smoke and meat on the winds wafting down Ninth Street.

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Man Crashes Car Into 7-Eleven, Pours Himself Some Coffee

Not to be outdone by a Seattle man who was hit by a city bus but quickly bounced back to go fetch some French roast down the street or the Nebraska senior who plowed through the façade of Valentino's Pizza and ordered a pie from inside the wrecked dining room, an intrepid 56-year-old Californian named Dennis Cortopassi intentionally crashed his car through the window of a 7-Eleven outside Sacramento on Wednesday morning, then got out of his car and poured himself a coffee. Cortopassi threw a hissy fit and knocked things off the store's shelves after clerks called the cops. He was later arrested and taken to the Yolo County jail. YOLO indeed, Cortopassi.

Get me hazelnut! »

Plastic Found in Packaged Sausage

For all you readers out there who are fans of Smithfield Packing Co.'s "Gwaltney mild pork sausage roll" — beware! The Virginia company's recalling 38,000 pounds of pork sausage after finding it mixed with small pieces of plastic, which likely came from gloves. No one's reported any injuries, but two unlucky consumers filed complaints. How appetizing. [AP]

Peter Serpico Previews New Philly Restaurant, Reveals (a Few) More Details


Looks like Peter Serpico has finally broken his silence about his forthcoming collaboration with Philadelphia’s “King of Restaurants,” Stephen Starr. Bon Appetit’s Matt Duckor caught up with the former mastermind behind David Chang’s empire while checking out a dinner Tuesday that he and Starr’s former menu development whiz Chris Painter co-hosted at Il Pittore. In a quick Q&A, Serpico covers a lot of ground, including his take on life in Philly (It’s more laid back and conducive to raising a family than New York); why his restaurant will be “American” rather than “Asian”; and why at the end of the day he prefers the company of electricians over that of chefs. Right now the restaurant is still under construction, but is reportedly still on track to open this spring. [BA]

Overheated and Loopy Paula Deen Dances on Today

In town for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Paula Deen stopped by Today this morning to make some low-cal Buffalo chicken bites, but also some Oscar picks. As TMZ notes, Paula was given a sugar-free and nonalcoholic "morning mojito" to sip, but the Food Network star was nonetheless moved to get up and do a little salsa dancing on live national TV, even outshining the professionals. Seriously, Bobby Flay may be signed up, but it's really Deen who should be next up on Dancing With the Stars. Her Today appearance got a little bit strange, however, after the cha-cha, when she sat back down and told everyone how she'd been sprayed by a skunk. Then she asked Al Roker if he wanted to smell her hand.

"Balls, y'all!" »

Will the Actual Value Initiative Kill Philly’s Restaurant Boom?

Frankford Hall may have to start charging folks for ping pong.

No doubt the Actual Value Initiative, the city’s new property assessment system that’s retabulating old and forever corrupted actual market value data, has more than a few residents in some neighborhoods freaking out about rapidly rising real estate taxes. But even more worrisome is the toll the initiative is going to take on small businesses, especially restaurants. According to the Daily News, the East Passyunk Avenue’s booming restaurant row is poised to take a huge hit. Under the new system, Lynn Rinaldi and Corey Baver will have to cough up almost twice as much in property taxes for Paradiso, the restaurant that they opened eight years ago.

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Bobby Flay Reportedly Headed to Dancing With the Stars [Updated]

He already runs marathons.Photo: Rob Kim/WireImage

While no one's yet spotted him stocking up on tights at Capezio, word is this morning that the Food Network and Mesa Grill chef Bobby Flay has been cast on season 16 of Dancing With The Stars, alongside Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Sean Lowe from The Bachelor. Hollywood Life notes that while the official announcement won't be made until next week, they've shaken down a "source close to the show" who adds that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is on the fence, but may also suit up. Cue the music. Update: Zagat finds out Flay is open to the idea, but hasn't signed on for the show. "My wife told me that she would divorce me if I did it," he says. [HL, Earlier]

Is Tabasco Launching Its Own Version of Sriracha?

You know he ain't gonna die.Photo: Amazon

Is Huy Fong's rooster sauce, better know to the world (Bart Simpson included) as Sriracha sauce, flying too close to the sun? Consider the advent of Sriracha chocolate bars, potato chips, and the sauce's role in a not-so-secret Subway sandwich condiment. Businessweek takes a look at the company's modest 68-year-old founder David Tran, a Vietnam native who, back in 1979, hopped on a Boston-bound freighter named the Huy Fong, and within a year had launched one of the unlikeliest, not to mention coolest food success stories ever.

Under development. »

Watch Elon Musk Recount Sending Cheese to Outer Space

The inventor of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPal stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live last night and chatted about how he and his Dragon spacecraft crew sent a wheel of cheese to space as a test. It was the largest wheel of Gruyère cheese he could find at a Beverley Hills cheese shop. And no, he didn't taste-test it when it came back. So much for a $100 million pasteurization process.

Funky. »

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