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Source for Szechuan peppercorns?

very likely at one of the chinese markets in Chinatown.. I think there's one on 10th though I get the streets mixed up easily.

Jul 19, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

Old City Dinner Recommendations

agreed on Chifa. plus if you are at all familiar with vietnamese food it's hard to take pho and banh mi that are smaller and less good than those sold in actual vietnamese places.

OP, Kanella should have no prob with 6 people (especially if you make reservations) and has a rustic, homey feel vs. the others which are more upscale/formal. Also agreed that you should take Farmacia off your list. Another place to consider (mainly if you can't get reservations at the others) is Fork - nice French/American food in an informal but elegant spot, and in your price range - their coffee shop next door is a nice place for breakfast as well if you want to leave the hotel.

Jun 30, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

Two day trip to Philly, need help

this may be true (re: Garces). They have great euro-style sandwiches for lunch if the OP is in the area and doesn't want the gutbusting DiNics or Paesano's (which I would also recommend!).

Jun 29, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

Two day trip to Philly, need help

Tria is good.. for something a bit more off the beaten path/unique I would also recommend Monsu (to add to the many good options on your list so far). A bit further south but it's excellent SIcilian food, which you don't get as often. Another good one is Garces Trading Company, homestyle mediterranean/American with one of the better wine shops inside the place, so it's BYO without the hassle.

Jun 29, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

Great Pizza in Philadelphia

FrancoLuigi's is the best I've had as far as NY style goes - large slices, thin crust, not too much sauce as many philly places do. I'm mainly commenting to say that no self-respecting NYer would go to SOHO pizza, however.

Jun 29, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

Where to get good sausage?

a couple of times I've gotten stuff from D'Angelos there are really big chunks of veggies in there (carrots mainly) - I wasn't sure if that was the style or just laziness/filler. That said they have the widest range of meats I've seen (rabbit, duck etc).

thanks for the Renaissance tip. I loved what I got at the truck and will have to pick some up at Green Aisle.

Jun 29, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

FEDERAL DONUTS

any new info on this? I've been googling a bit and no firm date aside from "summer"? I guess I'm mainly wondering if anyone has passed by and seen the progress... hoping it will be open for a friend's birthday in a couple of weeks, but that might be wishful thinking.

Jun 21, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

Fresh Figs

There is a farmer who frequents the Fitler Sq market who often has them (Highland Orchards of DE) but I believe figs usually come out mid to late summer.

May 09, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

FAVORITE DISHES 2011

House-made sausage at Southwark

Han Dynasty cucumber salad

South Philly Tap Room fried chicken w/ jalapeno/honey corn bread

Sweet potato fries from the green truck at Temple (can't remember the name but I wish I had reasons to be in that neighborhood again)

Monsu Eggs Basildict for brunch

May 02, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

Has anyone been to Cooperage?

I have been there for lunch a few times. Food is solid, nothing that I was dying to try again. I like the short rib sandwich best, whiskey list looked great though it was not part of my workday plan, unfortunately.

May 02, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

favorite healthy/fresh food in Philly?

I will also reply to myself here and say that I tried the new take-out place on Passyunk, Plenty, last night and it was great. Not healthy by specialty or anything, but had a lot of good-looking sides and salads. I had a portobello sandwich and it was great, my friend had the tasso ham which was also excellent (if not particularly light). Bread was perfectly crusty.

Apr 29, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

favorite healthy/fresh food in Philly?

I eat so well in Philly but I often feel like the best things are heavy meaty things - especially thinking of the better gastropubs with their admittedly delicious fried chicken, pork belly, updates of cheesesteak, etc. With the whole meat/butcher craze going on among many up and coming chefs, sometimes i feel like all I eat is bacon and brisket (though I definitely admit I have some say in the matter!).

I feel like I need a little boost of my vegetable eating now that spring is upon us. What are your favorite places for lighter, healthy eating - not necessarily vegetarian but maybe more "mediterranean" in terms of meat/veg balance? I am generally talking about the low to mid-range - small plates or entrees that come out to 15-20/person without drinks, but open to all suggestions... even if it's just specific dishes at certain places.
thanks

Apr 28, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

best food neighborhood in chicago?

OK, this is a bit of an experiment, but.. I am a Philadelphia and NYC hound moving to Chicago later this year. Based on food alone, where should I live in Chicago? Don't worry about housing costs, nice real estate, etc - other sites will help me with that (though I am not really interested in the burbs). I'm mainly talking about a local concentration of cheap, interesting food - ethnic diversity is a plus, as are non-chain coffee shops, restaurants, etc. Fine dining is less of an issue since I can always travel for a special occasion.

Some background:
- In both NY and Philly, I have lived in neighborhoods with great food choices, with a particular emphasis on great local food markets/specialty shops, as going out is less of a top priority than everyday stuff.
- For those who are familiar with those places, in NY I lived near Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, giving me access to amazing Middle Eastern grocers, Smith St/Cobble hill restaurants and Italian specialty shops (I moved away before Trader Joe's arrived in that area). In Philly I live near the Italian Market, with great Italian and Mexican groceries, a plethora of Vietnamese grocers and restaurants, cool bars/small independent BYOBs, etc.
- Farmer's markets are a plus too.

thanks!

Apr 04, 2011
bess in Chicago Area

Vegan / Vegan Friendly in Philadelphia / Bucks County

ditto.. many of philly's gastropubs have vegan options - in addition to the Royal Tavern, the new Khyber Pass Pub (same owners) has vegan sandwiches and sides, and the South Philly Tap Room has several vegetarian (not sure about vegan) options. the POPE has seitan as a meat option on a few things, but overall their food is not as good.

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Tap Room
10 Palmer Sq E, Princeton, NJ 08542

Feb 17, 2011
bess in Philadelphia

Food Crawl - South Philly

There are several good Mexican places in the area -
El Jarocho
Taqueria Veracruzana
Los Taquitos de Puebla
one that starts with M.. Monteverde? Montezuma? on 9th st just below Washington

Also many famed hoagie spots
Paesano's
Chickie's
Sarcone's
John's (a bit out of the way.. behind Lowe's on Columbus Ave)

I also think it would be cool to do a banh mi tour -
Ba Le Bakery
Cafe Diem
Nhu Y

Likewise, a pho tour would be great... there are whole categories of food I've left out here so you know you've got your work cut out for you!

Also, as you no doubt have noticed, many people think it is important to go to Pat's and/or Geno's for cheesesteaks. I say wait till some out of town friend comes who insists.. they are ok but nothing spectacular.

Oct 13, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

O Sandwiches shuts down

any idea why? I didn't go there often but it was a good option in that area..

Sep 24, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

Best Indoor Farmers Market in Philly

Is there any year round farmers market in Philadelphia other than the Fair Food stand in RTM? The only place I know of is a bit of a drive - Highland Orchards in Wilmington, DE. They sell their own produce, jarred/canned goods, plus local cheese, yogurts, meats, grains, and a bit of out of region produce.

Sep 12, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

Tomato "Seconds"...?

cousins apparently.. here is their website: http://www.highlandorchardsde.com/Ind... - click "a brief history" for how they are connected to the West Chester farm.

Sep 03, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

Tomato "Seconds"...?

sometimes at farmer's markets you see them (they often sell out early) - or I have heard of making a deal with a farmer for an entire flat or whatever, if you are wanting to make a lot and freeze/can. Not TOO far from Chester County, the only farm stand I have seen that often has seconds is Highland Orchards in Wilmington. Tomatoes and apples, depending on season.

Sep 03, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

Grass (pasture) Fed Chicken?

yes- I worked on a small organic farm and we used a method called the "chicken tractor" where we brought the chickens across fallow fields for about a week at a time, and they would peck at bugs and grass/weeds and scratch up the earth, making it softer and fertilizing it with their poop for the coming planting season, and then move on to the next section. I am not 100% sure but I would guess that any farmer describing their chicken as "pasture-fed" is trying to make a distinction between chickens that are actually interacting with grass and fields vs. "free range" which, legally, means very little - sometimes the "range" they have is very small, and they are still fed standard grain. As others in this thread suggest, the chicken may actually be less tender, since they have gotten more exercise, and be smaller in the breast and larger in the leg than a supermarket chicken. But marinate that thing and stew it, and it can be much more flavorful.

Aug 26, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

favorite groceries in Italian Market?

just to add to my own post for future readers.. another great spot to hit near the Market is the french (Vietnamese) bakery, Artisan Boulanger Patissier on 12th just off (west of) Passyunk. Baguettes are some of the frenchiest in Philadelphia, I would say (though I am no expert), awesome pastries too.

Aug 25, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

Avoid Farmers' Market Faux Pas

yeah, I have been offered deals many times at my local market. I don't say "are these half off" but sometimes I might ask if there is anything they want to sell at a discount. It might be awkward but that is the price of doing business in a non-standard setting.

Aug 25, 2010
bess in Features

favorite groceries in Italian Market?

another great rec- I stopped by Mancuso's (actually closer to where I live than the Italian Market per se) and wow, that fresh mozz was amazing, They were out so made some fresh for me as I waited, and it was still warm - a first for me. Got some ricotta too and it looks perfect for a pasta dinner tomorrow. thanks!

Aug 19, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

favorite groceries in Italian Market?

ooh, thanks for that Tortilleria tip. Any ideas of its hours of operation?

Aug 19, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

favorite groceries in Italian Market?

just wondering what people's must-gets are for the Italian Market. I just moved nearby and am sampling slowly.. fresh mozz and baked ricotta from Claudio's, bakery stuff from Isgro's, spices and teas from Spice Corner (though frankly, some seemed fresher than others). What are your faves? could be anything - canned/imported or freshly made, Italian or latino in the southward end.

Aug 18, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

Best Philly food souvenirs? Maybe from Reading Terminal Market?

if you wanted to go a bit more upscale (and if you'll be south), the Green Aisle Grocery on passyunk sells little jarred things from local restaurants like pickles, sauces, etc. I plan on making those gifts next time I need one.

Aug 18, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

Indian Grocers

yup, International Grocer(y?) on walnut is what came to mind for me. now I am going to have to try that toothpaste!

Aug 18, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

Your Favorite Ethnic in Philly

great thread!

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House for Chinese (noodles obviously), Ocean Harbor for Dim Sum

I really love Tiffin but I haven't been to Ekta yet.

Abyssinia or Dahlak for Ethiopian/Eritrean

Nhu Y for banh mi, Cafe Viet Huong for pho or make-your-own summer rolls

Los Taquitos de Puebla for tacos, especially Al Pastor

Claudio's for italian deli food (that is ethnic too!)

Aug 18, 2010
bess in Philadelphia

out of town hound seeks decent eats near NCSU, Raleigh

also worth mentioning (to myself) that Coopers isn't open for dinner anyway. The Pit was good though I would have been into a more old-school place.

Jun 16, 2010
bess in Southeast

out of town hound seeks decent eats near NCSU, Raleigh

great suggestions! I'll pass them on to my new-to-town friend since there is no way I'll get to all of them. much appreciated.

had a good time at Raleigh Times and the Pit so far.. I love Reverie near campus, though admittedly more for atmosphere than food per se (though my sandwich was good.. it wasn't made there).

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Raleigh Times Bar
14 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Jun 16, 2010
bess in Southeast