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Hansel's Profile

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Sahara Grill

Apples and oranges is right.

But I thoroughly enjoyed dinner there a few months ago. Refreshingly non-trendy place. Food was good, service a little slow, but comfortable relaxed place. Admittedly, I love middle eastern food.

Jan 29, 2015
Hansel in Philadelphia

Bagels

Well, Knead Bagels (725 Walnut Street) are very tasty, but they are billed as "non-traditional" bagels. It may be the flavors that are non-traditional, but I also think they are more like very good bread than the old fashioned chewy NY bagel.

For Philadelphia, South Street Bagels (just a bit south of South Street on S. 3rd Street) are considered good. But again, I don't think they're quite the dense chewy bagel you are talking about. (I myself used to get H&H when I lived on the Upper West Side many moons ago...)

Jan 01, 2015
Hansel in Philadelphia

Panettone

Well, I've struck out twice at getting panettone at High Street - they only make a few (5 the day before Christmas), and that day they sold out by 7:25 a.m. Reminds me a little bit of the chicken at Federal Donuts (on the Q&A on their website, the answer to "Why don't you make more chicken?" is "Why don't YOU make more chicken?"

Because panettone is too hard to make, that's why.

Sounds like they'll have more panettone this Sunday, but I'll be out of town. So, this year, I'll be having the $9 one from Reading Terminal. I'm sure I'll love it. Better luck next year.

Dec 26, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia

Eating near the ICA?

I second Han Dynasty. Good choice.

Dec 23, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia

Panettone

OK -Coincidentally, I just picked up a copy of the new edible Philly magazine, and lo, there was the picture of the upside down panettone from High Street. Fascinating! I am going to be all over this. (Plus, other holiday breads he is making include vollkornbrot and a porridge bread made with oatmeal.) This definitely calls for a stroll to High Street. I know I said that I think commercial panettone are best (and maybe I will still think so), but I am definitely up for trying his chocolate apricot cardamom and cherry almond jasmine. I'm a huge panettone (and bread) fan, so I'll let you know.

Nov 30, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia

Panettone

I don't think I've ever had a bad panettone. :)

I do think, sadly, and I probably agree with the person recommending you get them from Italy, that when I got one once from a local Philly bakery it wasn't actually as good to me as the commercial boxed ones.

Maybe it's the preservatives I like...

Nov 30, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia

Brunch/lunch rec near 4th & South St.?

I know this is a bit late but Kennett is good. 848 S 2nd.

www.kennettrestaurant.com

Brick Bat Books is great!

Nov 11, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia

Where to buy a turkey in Philly?

I second (or is it third) the recommendation for the Fair Food Project in Reading Terminal Market. They have several turkey options, and the quality is excellent.

Nov 11, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia

Greek restaurants in the city

Philadelphia has its own Greek church festival, at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, at 256 South 8th Street, but it's at the end of May-beginning of June thereabouts.

I love Greek food, too. Effie's was a real disappointment, though I haven't been in years, and I was never all that partial to South Street Souvlaki, but also haven't been in years. For Mediterranean (Lebanese), Cedars is a reliable favorite - actually the first restaurant I went to when I moved to Phila. 20+ years ago, and still get food from there on a monthly basis.

Jul 02, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia
1

Seville (bitter) oranges?

Anyone know a source for them in Philadelphia? I think this is the season. Thanks!

Jan 25, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia

Pete Wells doesn't like Han Dynasty

I have enjoyed dinner at Han Dynasty but, honestly, there are not very many Szechuan restaurants in Philly. NYC has had lots of really good Szechuan restaurants going back almost 40 years when I lived there. (Jeez, can't believe it's that long.)

Jan 25, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia

Special occasion brunch not as pricy as Lacroix

For future reference, we recently had a very pleasant brunch at Talula's Garden at Washington Square. Definitely "refined" enough for older guests, and a nice menu selection.

Haven't myself been to Fork for brunch, but imagine that would be good as well.

Jan 21, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia
1

Lunch/brunch near airport?

Thanks everyone, for all your practical suggestions. You were right...we were a bit ambitious for such a short layover. The Marriott turned out to be perfect - I mean, not exciting, but pleasant and highly convenient. Allowed us to maximize our time together and a pleasant place to hang out. Didn't realize how it was right there.

Thanks for talking sense...

P.S. Would like to try Tap Room some time, have not been. But brunch in Philly is always so crazy, so not willing to risk a wait on such a tight schedule.

Jan 18, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia
1

Lunch/brunch near airport?

We're meeting a friend with a layover at the airport. Can anyone recommend a vegetarian-friendly restaurant with decent food in relative proximity to the airport? We'd like to go somewhere that we can get to from the airport and park in less than 15 minutes. Then, we hope to have a couple hours to hang out and eat.

Any ideas appreciated!

Jan 14, 2014
Hansel in Philadelphia

Best Ethiopian

Went to Baklava just this past week for Ethiopian food. We were the only guests on a Thursday night, and I was concerned that the wait might be long, but it was very prompt. Ordered the mixed meat and vegetable platter. It was good - a little spicier than I would like, though. Perhaps this would be a plus for someone else.

I have generally been disappointed in Ethiopian food in Philadelphia, so very interested in others' recommendations. Would also be interested in knowing if anyone local does 100% teff injera.

Dec 09, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

Dinner near Camden Yards

We'll be staying one night at a B&B near Camden Yards in a couple weeks. I don't know Baltimore at all! Can you recommend a place for dinner in the area (or walking distance, don't mind long walk)? Ethnic would be good, or anything that is interesting or particularly good. All I've seen are references to the Corner Wine Bistro, which seems to get mixed reviews - any thoughts?

Thanks!

Famous plum torte as muffins?

Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions! I think I will try this weekend. I have always used muffin liners, but I LOVE the idea of a sweet "crust." Thanks for the sugar idea!

Aug 05, 2013
Hansel in Home Cooking

Famous plum torte as muffins?

I love Marian Burros' famous "Plum Torte" recipe, which used to be printed in the New York Times every year. Has anyone ever made it into muffins? I think it would make spectacular muffins, but I've never made a cake recipe into muffins. Is it fairly straightforward - do you just cook them for less time, or do not all cake recipes make good muffins?

I also wondered about making my (sorry to brag) terrific carrot cake recipe into cupcakes.

If anyone has experience with this, please let me know. Thanks!

Aug 03, 2013
Hansel in Home Cooking

Favorite local pastries?

Thanks for these suggestions! I will definitely try the lemon bars next time I'm at RTM.

Sorry to be so out of the know, but I had never heard of Artisan Boulanger, which I see is opening at a new location and people seem quite excited. But this reminds me, does anyone know who makes the pastries at a variety of local coffeeshops, like Milk and Honey and Java Co. in Queen Village, Next Door Cafe up on Washington Square, etc.? They all seem to have the same croissants, which are quite good, as well as (and I really like these, they are very simple but good) little brioche rolls with sugar on top. They obviously all come from the same place, but I'm not sure where. I once asked, and I think they said someone who used to bake for Le Bec Fin, but I'm not sure.

Aug 03, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

Favorite local pastries?

Woops! Now I realize why I couldn't find any mention of cannele - It's because I was spelling it wrong. It's canele, and it has indeed been recognized by chowhounds in these pages.

Aug 02, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

Favorite local pastries?

Reading the recent thread on cronuts (which I've never had) made me wonder - what are favorite local pastries that people would recommend? I am surprised that there has not been a single mention on chowhound of Market Day cannele, which I think are just fantastic.

Coincidentally, I was looking for a "best blueberry muffin recipe" online recently, and what came up but an old chowhound thread which mentioned the late lamented blueberry muffins from the Pink Rose Bakery. (I was one of the posters.) I do miss them...

Aug 02, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

Pita

Hamifgash Restaurant (811 Sansom) has fluffy pita. I like it a lot, though I'm no expert.

Jul 31, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

Brunch near Walnut Street Theatre?

I agree that Jones would be good for kids. Never had brunch there, but imagine it would be good.

Another option would be the recently opened cafe at Talula's Garden. (208 W. Washington Square) There are a bunch of tables, but I think you order from one of two counters with chalkboard menus, rather than being waited on. I got there very early one morning before work, and they had just put out a beautiful looking frittata. I had a lemon scone that was outstanding, and I'm not even a big scone fan.

There's also a Pain Quotidien near the Walnut Street Theatre.

Jul 30, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

Little Baby's Ice Cream in West Philly

I'd second the Zsa's recommendation. I know you want to get a cone in the neighborhood, so go to little baby's (I've never been.) But if you can make it to the Headhouse Market some Sunday, get a container of Zsa's to take home and share with mom. (They usually have a table at the Sunday market.). I'm a huge fan of the lemon buttermilk, which I think is incredibly refreshing (love that buttermilk tang) - just the thing for a hot summer day. The peanut butter is awesome too. They don't do cones, do have ice cream sandwiches, though I've never tried them. Zsa's is now my favorite ice cream treat.

Jul 27, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

local corn

That's odd - I've gotten good sized ears at Headhouse, and I thought they were very good. (And I'm sometimes a bit suspicious of the Jersey farmer because he always seems to have produce ahead of anyone else.) But I wouldn't call this the peak of the season. Really, for corn, I feel it's just the beginning of the season.

local corn

If you don't mind the sweetness (and I didn't think these were too sweet), they were very good - tender, (not stiff cow corn), juicy, tasty. Beautiful ears, too, no wormy bits, but maybe that comes later in the season.

Jul 21, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

local corn

I thought they were both delicious. I know some people complain that the "super sweet" white corn is too sweet, but I really liked these. I did get some corn a few weeks ago (don't remember where) that was not great, but these recent ones were good.

Jul 21, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

local corn

Got some sweet white from the Amish farmer at the Reading Terminal (towards the back of the terminal, the one who sells potholders), and also from the Jersey farmer at the Sunday Headhouse Farmers Market.

Jul 21, 2013
Hansel in Philadelphia

Using sour cherries (split from San Francisco Bay Area board)

Sorry, meant sugar, not dugar. Getting used to new phone

Jul 02, 2013
Hansel in Home Cooking

Using sour cherries (split from San Francisco Bay Area board)

Was it the Marian Burros plum torte? That doesn't have almond in it. But I was just wondering how her recipe would work with sour cherries. Would you have to add more dugar? Any advice?

Jul 02, 2013
Hansel in Home Cooking