b

bananafishes's Profile

Title Last Reply

Kermit's Bake Shoppe, anyone been?

The best things there are the raspberry rugelach, flourless chocolate cake, and sticky bun/chai bun. The bagels have a nice crust, but the crumb is a little too bready. I prefer my bagels to have a denser crumb. The cakes are a little too expensive for the size. All the cookies are tasty, buttery and flaky without being too crumbly, and, the price per pound for cookies is way better than most of the Italian bakeries (Termini and Isgro's, I'm looking at you!!!). Haven't tried the pockets yet; looking forward to doing that soon.

Mar 07, 2014
bananafishes in Philadelphia

Direct for top Philadelphia Restaurants

Not generally a fan of these kinds of lists, but Eater38's is way better than Philly Mag's. While there are a lot of good restaurants on the Philly Mag list, they tend to get all weak in the knees over names, and sometimes there's no substance behind the name (witness how many Stephen Starr restaurants are on the list. They're good, but not GREAT.)

LeBan's guide to Chinatown

My go-to for the full Korean is Seorabol (a couple blocks north of 2nd and Olney) http://philadelphiakoreanrestaurant.com/
Some people like Kim's, but it gets SO smoky in there, sometimes. The Center City Korean options range from awful (how glad am I that Miga has finally closed? I cringed every time someone was tricked into thinking that was good Korean) to edible fast food (Rice and Mix, Giwa, Koreana). Good fast food Korean can also be had in the food courts at the two H Marts.

Jan 17, 2014
bananafishes in Philadelphia

Making jam with or without pectin?

The purpose of the lemon juice is to provide an acid for the pectin's magic to work. Any acid will do, but lemon juice usually contributes a pleasant, and not overwhelming flavor. If you look at the structure of a pectin molecule, it has branches. These branches need to become ionized in order for the pectin's colloidal properties to work. The acid allows the ionization to happen. Once that happens, the pectin chain can start attaching to other pectin chains, which creates pockets that hold onto liquids and other stuff, which in turn creates the gel that we recognize as jam. Someone with a lot of jam-making experience can intuit how to adjust the ratios of sugar, acid, and pectin to optimize the gelling properties.

Dec 23, 2009
bananafishes in Home Cooking

Student in Philly for month... where to go?

white dog, now that it's changed hands, is not the beast it used to be.

Jun 07, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Wanted: Garlic Scapes

in Philadelphia?

if so, Iovine's at RTM has them (at least they did when I was there on Saturday). Also many of the Asian grocers in Chinatown usually have them.

Jun 04, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Help pick my birthday dinner... please.

Amada: love. but your party needs to be meat and cheese-eaters. they have a table that would be the perfect size for your group on a raised area, but it's my understanding that reservations for larger groups go FAST
estia: ok, but if you're going for greek, go to
dmitri's: sure, not the same "rank" as the others, but still fun, good food, and not as pretentious as the other places can be sometimes

Jun 01, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

BYOB for B-Day Dinner (Phila)

I haven't been to Marigold for a larger group, but I think their food is spot on--creative, but accessible. They have also always been very accomodating with all my requests, so I'm sure they would work with you.

Jun 01, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Scallion Pancake Sandwich (w/beef) - anywhere in Philly like Dumpling House on Eldridge in NYC

wow...where has this been all my life? this sounds AWESOME.

May 29, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Best ethnic cuisine in Philly?

don't know of a place you can get all of those, but...

reuben: herschel's (in Reading Terminal Market)
chicken salad: hymie's (lower merion), more than just ice cream (locust btwn 11th and 12th)
cuban: any of the taquerias
fancy sandwiches with stuff: marathon grill--come to think of it, they used to have pretty good chicken salad, too...

May 29, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Produce Junction - locations

What about going to Reading Terminal Market? I find the prices and quality at Iovine's is really good. The prices at OK Lee are low, but the quality is spotty. Sometimes it's great, and sometimes it's awful.

May 29, 2009
bananafishes in Philadelphia

Falafel in Philly?

oh yeah...totally forgot about alyan's (just south of south on 4th). good falafel and GREAT french fries.

May 29, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Falafel in Philly?

don't laugh, but there is a lunch cart on Penn's campus that makes great falafel and other vegetarian dishes and sandwiches. It is called Magic Carpet, and I think they have another truck somewhere in the city, but I don't know where it is.

There also used to be (don't know if it's still there--haven't been in a couple of years) a lunch truck on (I think) JFK and 16th by one of the subway/train station outs. It had great falafel, too. I always got the grilled chicken and falafel wrap. The falafel was crispy outside, moist inside and flavorful. Plus they load the sandwich with great grilled chicken and other yummy things.

In general, I'd bet your best bets for falafel are mostly lunch trucks. BUT I've had a lot of people (three vegetarians and loads of non-vegetarians) tell me that Saad's at 45th and Walnut is great. I have been meaning to go, but haven't yet.

May 29, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

non pho noodles in Philly?

When I was in Australia there were these noodle houses where you picked your noodle, your broth, and the stuff that you wanted in it (pork, veggies, garlic, shrimp, boiled egg, etc, etc--they let you be very specific), then they would drop it all in a basket, give it a quick boil and throw it in a bowl with the chosen broth. It was cheap and delicious.

In googling NanZhou, it sounds promising. I love that their noodles are hand drawn. However, a lot of the reviews say that they use a lot of cilantro, and I am allergic. Will they do them without the cilantro?

May 28, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

< 30 people wedding reception

I had my rehearsal dinner (about 30 people) at Fork. They gave us a private room, and worked extensively with us for the menu. The food was delicious (and there were actually choices for our guests!), and the service friendly and efficient. If you don't care about having space for dancing, I would highly recommend Fork.

May 28, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Ice Cream Sundaes - CC West?

I second More Than Just Ice Cream! Great variety of ice creams and toppings, and apple pie, too! I always get a sundae with mint chip ice cream and marshmallow topping and hot fudge. They have good banana splits, too.

The new place at 13th and pine is (I think) Philadelphia Water Ice? Anyways, it is mostly water ice and Rita's-style gelato (as in custard mixed with water ice). It also has custard and soft serve. Also has regular ice cream and toppings.

May 28, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

non pho noodles in Philly?

Any recommendations for a noodle house in Philadelphia that is NOT a pho house? Ideally, one of those noodle places where they let you pick what goes in, then drop it after you've picked.

May 27, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Best ethnic cuisine in Philly?

Korean---go to Koreatown (Olney)...easily accessible by the MFL

May 27, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Need a cheese platter for housewarming party in CC

I agree with votes for Downtown Cheese. Salumeria, which is in the same aisle in RTM as Downtown Cheese also has good stuff, but the people at Downtown Cheese actually know cheese. Just tell them you're putting together a cheese plate, and the rough flavors that you want, and they'll make suggestions and give you tastes until you have a nice selection. I like to do this much better than telling them what I want, because I always end up with a new delicious cheese that I haven't tried before.

May 08, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Layover Lunch Spot

Caribou Cafe. It's a little French-style bistro on Walnut, between 11th and 12th. They do a great lunch and brunch, have a bar (make a nice mimosa!), and outdoor seating that is great when the weather is nice. It's close to the Market East station, so you can just hop on the R1 from the airport and use the R1 to get back.

May 08, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Best sashimi in Philly?

I tried Sakeya recently, and was very pleased. I got the hwe dap bap (basically a Korean chirashi bowl), and my husband had the tekkadon, and the fish was fresh and tasty, and the vegetables in the hwe dap bap crisp and delicious. Since those were good, I imagine their sashimi is good, since those are both essentially sashimi sitting on top of a bowl of rice.

http://thesakeya.com/

May 08, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Philly - Where to have a nice dinner for 12-15 people on a Friday or Saturday?

I had my rehearsal dinner at Fork. They have a special room that is connected to their market, which is a door down from the main restaurant. The food was delicious, and service impeccable, and we didn't have to worry about blocking up the tables for other reservations, because it was our own room! If you like Italian, Dante and Luigi's has good food, and plenty of space. Plus any of the Steven Starr joints would have plenty of space. If you want something a little more fun, Marrakesh might be a good place. It's cozy, but if you make a reservation, they can definitely accomodate 12 in their upper room.

May 08, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Non-speaking Korean wants to go to Seorabol

I sent an email to the email listed on the website, which is seorabol@gmail.com. I will send another email to this email address.

Thanks to all for the comments, and thanks for the help getting the reservation! I can't wait!!!!

May 08, 2009
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

want food input for a Philly wedding

I got married in December at the Independence Seaport Museum (about 100), who uses Frog Comissary exclusively. We chose them, b/c our focus (like yours) was to have great food, and we'd heard great things about Frog. Our first tasting went horribly, but after a call to them after, they really worked their butts off, and had us back to a second tasting, that was EXACTLY what we had envisioned. They put together the exact menu we wanted, and didn't make us pick from a boiler plate menu. They did cupcakes (I'm obsessed with them) that were delicious. All the food was beautifully displayed AND delicious at the wedding. EVERYONE was complimentary, and we were very pleased. What started out a little rockily ended spectacularly.

Sep 23, 2008
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Rehearsal Dinner in New Hope

I second Phillip's Mill!

Sep 23, 2008
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Good eats between Convention Ctr and Art Museum

??? Chinese is the only Asian that is really carb-heavy, and even that is only carb-heavy if you eat things like lo mein (yuk). Other Asian cuisines are heavily veg and meat, and if you don't eat the rice that comes with, or avoid noodle dishes, then you could have an almost no-carb meal. Try Malaysian (Penang or Banana Leaf) or Vietnamese (Vietnam). Both places have rice and noodle dishes on the menu, but also have a huge variety of dishes that are just veg and meat. I love the mango shrimp and salt-baked fish at Penang, and the grilled appetizer platter (sized to share! comes with lettuce to make lettuce wraps!) and sauteed baby bok choy at Vietnam.

Sep 09, 2008
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Mangosteens in Philadelphia

Sometimes I find mangosteens at Iovine's or OK Lee Produce, both at Reading Terminal Market. I have also found mangosteens at H Mart, in Upper Darby and the Asian produce-only stores in Chinatown. I haven't found any places that have them all the time. It's not illegal to carry them, just difficult.

Sep 09, 2008
bananafishes in Philadelphia

New to Philly (downtown & society hill)

make your own salad: VIP market on Walnut, between 12th and 13th (or 13th and Broad...I can never remember), or Greenmarket on Chestnut, between 13th and Broad-- both are markets with huge salad bars. Also, all of the Marathon Grill locations have a make your own salad option. There is a location at 15th (or 16th?) and Sansom, and one between Broad and Juniper on Chestnut.

Some fairly budget-friendly (to extremely budget-friendly) things that are on my permanent go-to list...

Monk's (or Nodding Head when Monk's is too crowded)- Belgian Brew Pub (Huge beer selection and great burgers and frites--Nodding Head is a microbrewery owned by the same people)
Banana Leaf (or Penang, which doesn't serve alcohol--BL does) -- Malaysian (though also has the best pad thai I've had in the city, so far)
Vietnam or Nam Phuong-- Vietnamese (at Vietnam order the grilled app platter! at Nam Phuong get anything that is grilled on sugar cane!)
HK Golden Phoenix -- dim sum (I will probably get slammed for that, but so far, it's my favorite dim sum place--the vietnamese dim sum places on Washington don't have as large a variety)
Wasabi House -- sushi (not fancy sushi--just tasty and inexpensive)
Taqueria Veracruzana -- cheap, good Mex (avoid El Azteca!!!)
Caribou -- French bistro
South Street Souvlaki
Alyan's -- middle eastern -- get the fries with peppers and onions!
Marrakesh -- fun Moroccan-- eat with your hands-- a lot of people don't like how dark and crowded it is, but I think it adds to the charm
and of course,
Reading Terminal Market (my current market faves-- the dumpling and veg noodle soup and Sang Kee, the pancakes and turkey bacon at Dutch Eating Place, the beef and caramelized onion sandwich at George's Pizza, the turkey reuben at herschel's, the cupcakes at Flying Monkey)

Aug 27, 2008
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Boba Tea (Bubble Tea) in Philly?

zen is decent.

Aug 27, 2008
bananafishes in Pennsylvania

Lee How Fook, recommend your dish

Just ate there last night, and LOVED the pan-fried chicken with lemon sauce. I think they also do that with duck and fish, so will probably try that next time. My husband really loved the pan-fried noodle with brisket, but it had a little more five-spice than I tend to like. I also like their noodle soups, and of course their hot and sour soup. The sauteed pea greens had good flavor, and was a generous portion.

Aug 18, 2008
bananafishes in Pennsylvania