Tag Archives: Philadelphia

graduation dinner, philly made

And now, some food porn from my graduation dinner at Paesano’s in Fishtown and subsequent dessert at Capogiro Gelateria, the 13th Street location.

Potato Arrosto

Giardina - Roasted Eggplant with Fennel, Peppers, Fresh Mozzarella, and Pesto

Paesano - Beef Brisket with Roasted Tomato, Provolone, Horseradish Mayonnaise, and a Fried Egg

Arista - Whole Roast Suckling Pig, Broccoli Rabe, Italian Longhots & Jus

Avocado and Chocolate Gelato

Uh…yum. The photographs of my dad’s dinner and my dessert came out poorly, but I will mention them anyway. Pop got the Zawzeech, which is a straight up sausage and pepper sandwich. He is still talking about it, three days later.

At Capogiro, I got a trio of gelatos: Sea Salt, Lime Cilantro, and Grapefruit Campari. My favorite was definitely the Sea Salt, but all three worked perfectly together as a combination. I think Capogiro will be one of the things I miss most about Philly eats.

balmorhea, philly beer

I been bad. The transition from San Diego to NJ to Haverford was a tumultuous one, and I failed to find any free moments for myself or “one palate.” It’s time to amend. Earlier this week, I went to see Balmorhea at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown, Philly, PA. Impressed, I was, with the venue, the band (omgz), and, most importantly, the beer selection.

My night began with the Sly Fox O’Reilly’s Stout. When I think “stout,” I anticipate a heavy nose and a thick, deep flavor profile. The head on this beer was really light, and the brew itself was ridden with notes of chocolate and coffee, however, these notes were not as accented as I would have liked. Overall, I was pretty “meh” about this effort by Sly Fox.

Next, I had a Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady. When I saw this on the menu, I asked if it was a red ale because I recently discovered how much I like red ales. The bartendress replied with a coy “Yes” and told me that I looked like a “red ale kinda gal, even in the dark,” whatever that means, so I ordered it. Anyway, BeerAdvocate calls it an ESB, or Extra Special/Strong Bitter, which is not red ale. Despite her lack of knowledge and potentially creepy comment, I enjoyed this beer, even with a mouth that was expecting a red ale. It was much milder and less sour than I had hoped, but it served its purpose.

I can’t begin to describe my excitement for exploring Main Line and Philadelphia-area bars and bar-venues like Johnny Brenda’s. On the train ride home from this show, I encountered an overly friendly Philly native who took to recommending some places to me, including the Tattooed Mom where he works. Commence creation of “To Do”/”To Drink” list.

n., that part of a plant or tree which is normally below the earth’s surface

Root beer is my favorite soda. I can live without most carbonated sugarbombs, to be honest, but once I start drinking root beer, I will only stop when there’s none left in my vicinity. The bubbles and spiciness of an ice cold root beer (preferably from a glass bottle) leave this warm tingle on the tongue that gets me every time.

Root beer as we know it actually started off as “root tea,” made with sassafras, sarsaparilla, birch bark, and other roots and herbs. But at the onset of Prohibition, a Philadelphia pharmacist named Charles Hires removed the alcohol from this beverage and repackaged it as root beer (haha) so that the residents of PA would have something delicious to drink the place of wine and spirits.

A Philadelphia-based company called Art in the Age (taken from “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”) has created a wonderful alcoholic complement to the flavors in root beer called ROOT. I first heard of it one evening while dining at Supper on South Street, where we had one of those waiters that loves answering questions and catering to your every preference. He even went to the kitchen to check if they had Romanesco broccoli in stock for one of the dishes that called for locally grown cauliflower. Whaddaguy! I’m pretty sure his name was Kenrick.

ROOT appeared in several of the cocktails on the menu, so we asked him what it was. He described it as what root beer would have been had Prohibition never happened. Indeed, Art in the Age has recreated the pre-temperance alcoholic root tea. And it’s organic! Organic booze is obviously the way to go, right? Apparently, the FDA banned sassafras root in 1960, but a combination of citrus, wintergreen, and spearmint round out their “special essence of sassafras.” Kenrick made us ROOT floats for dessert: two small scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, one shot of ROOT, and half a bottle of Rogue Chocolate Stout. I have been talking about them like a broken record ever since, and finally, on the 4th of July, I recreated the greatness.

Anyway, this entry was brought on by a discovery via GoogleReader. I consider myself much more of a cook than a baker, especially when it comes to from-scratch cake. This morning, though, I found a recipe for root beer cake topped with root cream. I am going to make this for the next special occasion that merits a cake, and depending on the result, it will likely be my go-to cake in the future. Yummmm.

P.S. Art in the Age is having a birthday party for Walter Benjamin on July 15th in Philly, for those of your who are in Philly/interested/interesting. I wish I could go!