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fresh (rendered) lard?

Most any Mexican grocery should have it. I get it at the butcher/grocery at the corner of 9th and Ellsworth.

May 10, 2013
pschneider in Philadelphia

Aji amarillo?

Thanks for the tips. I went to the Savory store in Princeton over the weekend and picked up some whole dried and some ground.

As a side note, the store manager said they will ship up to a set amount of product for a fixed shipping fee if you contact the store directly. With a large purchase, the shipping cost can be considerably less than what the website charges.

Jan 22, 2013
pschneider in Philadelphia

Aji amarillo?

Anyone know where to buy aji amarillo powder (Bolivian or Peruvian yellow chile powder)? The Shop and Bag supermarket on North Broad Street (formerly Supremo), my usual go-to place for odd Latin ingredients, had yellow aji paste and jarred yellow aji peppers from Peru, but no powder. Thanks.

Jan 01, 2013
pschneider in Philadelphia

where to buy decent corn tortillas

Aside from San Roman (which is great, and their fried chips are spectacular!), there's also a tortilleria with fresh warm tortillas in Norristown, on Chain Street just off of Marshall. Perhaps more convenient to you than 9th Street. You can also get perfectly good commercial tortillas at every Mexican grocery in town. Unfortunately, northwest Phila. is a Mexican grocery desert!

Jun 19, 2012
pschneider in Philadelphia

Recommendations near Shriners Hospital?

Barryg is right that Chinatown is not that far away. Maybe easier than driving is to take the subway from Broad and Erie (one block north of the hospital). Take the 8th & Market train to the Chinatown stop at 8th & Race. You'll be there in around 15 minutes. (Or take the regular Broad Street train to City Hall and transfer to the Market Street line to 8th & Market.) One excellent spicy option, a bit closer than Han Dynasty, is the Szechuan Tasty House at 902 Arch, about 2 blocks from either of those Septa stops. Closed Mondays.

Jan 04, 2012
pschneider in Philadelphia

Recommendations near Shriners Hospital?

Unfortunately, that area is pretty much a desert for good eating. One bright light: there is good NY-style pizza at King of Pizza, 3633 Germantown Avenue (behind the hospital, one block north, on the east side of the street). They have just 2 varieties: plain and sausage, and the place is pretty much a dive. But the pizza's good.

There's no Chinese anywhere nearby except your standard corner takeout joints. The best of those is at the SE corner of Germantown and Tioga, but I wouldn't call it anything remotely close to authentic. There's decent but standard fried fish and french fries at Peter's Seafood, 3514 Germantown. You can get a good breakfast (eggs, pancakes, home fries) till mid-afternoon closing at Erie Square, 3651 Germantown. There's a place selling kabob and rice platters on Venango between Broad and Germantown; the people there are nice but I never much liked the food; it's pretty bland. There's OK Jamaican at Caribbean Feast a few blocks south, on Rising Sun just east of Broad. But last time I was there, a few years ago, food was not as good as it once was and service was very slow.

For anything different or better, you'll need to get in your car. Or succumb to the cafeteria at Temple Hospital across Tioga. If you're able to drive, good Puerto Rican/Dominican is not far away (e.g. Sunshine Restaurant, 3500 N. 5th, 2 1/2 blocks below Erie; Freddy and Tony's at 2nd and Allegheny; or Porky's Point, 3824 N. 5th for take-out or stand-at-the-counter pig ears and cuchifrito). There are a few Vietnamese places near the intersection of Adams and Rising Sun; but that's not exactly close.

Good luck to your son.

Jan 03, 2012
pschneider in Philadelphia

Salvadoran in Upper Darby, pupusas

This past weekend I stumbled on El Cuscatleco, 29 Garrett Road in Upper Darby. It bills itself as a Salvadoran/Mexican restaurant, and the menu seems pretty evenly divided between the two. I wasn't hungry for more than a snack so I had pupusas, which I love and are so hard to find in Philadelphia, and they were delicious.

Apr 25, 2011
pschneider in Philadelphia

squash blossoms?

You can order them in season from Weavers Way Coop in Mount Airy; they'll pick them for you at the WW farm in Germantown. You don't have to be a member to shop at WW but you might have to be a member to order.

Apr 22, 2011
pschneider in Philadelphia

Boned rabbit?

I tried three butchers in the Italian Market but I think I somehow missed D'Angelo's. And their website says they do bone it. I'll try them. Thanks for the tip!

Feb 26, 2011
pschneider in Philadelphia

Boned rabbit?

Does anyone know of a butcher who will bone a rabbit? (I want to make stuffed rolled rabbit and don't trust myself not to hack it to shreds if I try boning it myself.) I tried the Italian Market, Reading Terminal, and Chestnut Hill Farmers Market. Everyone will cut it up but no one will bone it. I also tried a couple of live poultry places. They were both out of rabbit today, they said they would bone it if they had it, but I'm not confident they understood my request.

By the way, the live poultry place at 12th and Spring Garden was the least smelly of any of these places I've been in--definitely where I'll go back the next time I want a fresh-killed hen.

Thanks for any tips.

Feb 26, 2011
pschneider in Philadelphia

Fresh Ground Masa Por Favor?

They sell it at the tortilleria in Norristown (on Chain Street--?-- just off of Marshall)

May 26, 2010
pschneider in Philadelphia

looking for Seville oranges in Delco

I don't know Delco, but they usually have them in Philadelphia at the supermarket formerly called Supremo (I don't remember the current name) on Broad Street at Wingohocking, just above the Roosevelt Boulevard expressway. You could try other Latino- or Caribbean-oriented markets. They're usually called "naranja agria."

Jan 31, 2010
pschneider in Philadelphia

The best authentic pizza in the Philly area

Joe's on 16th just below Sansom has an excellent NY-style slice. Not sweet, not gloppy. Crust is usually nicely crisp. Just good basic pizza.

Sep 28, 2009
pschneider in Philadelphia

PHL - Los Taquitos de Puebla has gone downhill

LTP is one of my favorite places too, and I hadn't been there in quite awhile, so I read your post with trepidation. Based on my experience at lunch today, though, I'm hopeful you were just twice unlucky. I'm happy to say that today, at least, everything was as good as ever. The plate with the cucumbers and limes had some nice cebollas encurtidas with slivers of habanero, and there was a grilled omion (cebollita) on the plate with the tacos, just as before. There were two very tasty homemade salsas, green (chunky with tomatillos and hot from chiles) and red-orange (from dried chiles; not a tomato-ey concoction). The tacos al pastor were great. I didn't look in the back to see if the meat had come from a spit, but it looked and tasted that way. Sharply cut layers of meat that showed no signs of having been grilled after being cut, naturally fatty as they should be but with no excess sauce or cooking oil. The only thing missing was pineapple, but often as not that's missing in Mexico City, too. Altogether a satisfying experience. $6 for 3 tacos.

Sep 28, 2009
pschneider in Pennsylvania

Tacos- Rising Sun and Tabor

I've been there. The tacos are quite decent. Limited selection, maybe 4 or 5 different kinds. Decent red and green salsas on the side. Not as good as my favorite South Philly taqueria (Los Taquitos de Puebla) but way better than your average food truck food. Vendor is very friendly.

May 28, 2008
pschneider in Pennsylvania

Chinese Salt and Pepper Shrimp/Squid/etc. in Philadelphia

Szechuan Tasty House, 9th and Arch Streets, has this dish and it's delicious, perfectly fried.

Jan 14, 2008
pschneider in Pennsylvania

New Mexican places: anyone tried them?

My last visit to the area once known as the Italian market, on 9th Street below Washington, I ate at Los Taquitos de Puebla but noticed some new-ish Mexican places. One, Moctezuma, looks like it just opened. It had a more extensive menu than your average taqueria. Another, Acapulco, isn't really that new, has been around at least a year or so. Has anyone tried them---or tried any other new Mexican restaurants in the area?

Dec 10, 2007
pschneider in Pennsylvania

North Broad street

A couple of other Jamaican options: one at the intersection of Broad, Rising Sun, and Westmoreland (entrance on Rising Sun). Another one just up the block from Golden Krust. Sorry, I can't remember their names, but they're both pretty decent. At Golden Krust, I always get rice and peas with oxtail gravy. Very cheap and the gravy gives tons of flavor without paying for the meat.

There's a good crepe cart on the west side of Broad just below Tioga. I'm not much of a fan of lunch trucks but this one is good--fresh ingredients and the cook (he's French) is a nice guy.

I like the breakfast all day at Erie Square restaurant, On Germantown Ave. just below Erie (about 1/4 block east of Broad and Erie). Not really anything special, just your basic diner breakfast, but good and cheap (under $2.50 for eggs, home fries, and toast).

I wish there were more good places on this long busy street.

Dec 10, 2007
pschneider in Pennsylvania

Cambodian Restaurant in Philadelphia

There are several Cambodian restaurants near the corner of 7th and Wolf in South Philly. (They have signs in Cambodian, as well as Chinese, English, and Vietnamese.) One is called the New Phnom Penh. I haven't tried any of them though, so I can't make a recommendation.

Aug 12, 2007
pschneider in Pennsylvania

Where can I get lard?

Just about every Mexican grocery store has it. Brand is often "El Puerquito de Oro" (the little golden pig), sold in 27 oz. plastic containers. Nice porky-flavored lard. There are many Mexican grocery stores around 9th and Washington in the "Italian" Market area. I'm surprised you can't find lard in supermarkets, I used to get the white flavorless stuff there, but this Mexican stuff is much better.

Dec 19, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

Pupusas and Salvadoran food in Allentown

I was in Allentown today and happened upon the CabaƱas Salvadoran Restaurant at 958 Hamilton Street, downtown. The lovely owner/waitress said they've been open just a month. Delicious pupusas ($1.25 each, choice of queso, chicharron, or revueltas--mixed) with a good cabbage curtido. I also had the carne asada lunch special ($5)--basic but quite tasty, with rice, refried beans, and wonderful thick handmade tortillas (Salvadoran style, more like an arepa than a Mexican tortilla). Also on the menu are typical latino dishes like pollo guisado, bistec encebollado, tamales, ceviche, etc., as well as hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. So if you need your pupusa fix, here's a place to get it!

Dec 16, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

South Jersey or Philly-area: I'm looking for precooked tamales or prepared masa

There's a woman who sells them on 9th Street, at the corner of the alley just above Washington. I had them once and wasn't too impressed. Rather dry and the meat filling didn't have much flavor. The ones on Marshall were much better.

Nov 29, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

Where to buy pork belly in Philly?

You should be able to find it at any butcher or supermarket in Chinatown or at the big Asian markets on Washington Ave.

Nov 24, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

South Jersey or Philly-area: I'm looking for precooked tamales or prepared masa

A couple of other suggestions: The tortilleria in Norristown on Chain Street, near Marshall, has prepared masa. Also in Norristown, some of the Mexican groceries on Marshall have good tamales, at least on weekends. In South Jersey, you could try the groceries around the area in Camden where 27th, Westfield, and Federal meet. I'd bet some of them have decent tamales, again perhaps only on weekends. Or maybe try the vendors at the soccer fields in the park near 29th and Harrison in Camden.

Nov 21, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

fresh hoja santa---found!!!

I've found the holy grail! The butcher at the corner of 9th and Ellsworth has a huge box of fresh hoja santa leaves. This is the first time I've seen them in Philadelphia. He says he got them from the New York area and plans to stock them whenever he can get them. (In case you've never had them, they impart a flavor to stews, soups, moles, etc. like that of root beer, except much more subtle.)

He also sells freshly made pipian made with the hoja santa plus tomatillos, scallion greens, ground pepitas, etc. His wife(?) brought out a taste (wonderful herbal flavor) and then told me exactly how to make it, which I did today and it's delicious. This is a wonderfully friendly shop (I mentioned it in a previous post) with good meats and other Mexican ingredients. What a great addition to the Philadelphia chow scene!

Nov 05, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

Epazote in CC Philadelphia

I echo that. I bought one plant two years ago (from someone in Reading Terminal, I forget which stand) and put it in my garden. It self-seeded and in two years has completely taken over--there must be hundreds of plants now--I need to get rid of them! For winter, I've been freezing it rather than drying it. Now...does anyone know where to get fresh hoja santa leaves? I found some once in Union City New Jersey but that's too far a schlep!

Nov 02, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

real tacos al pastor in Italian Market area?

I didn't notice any prepared food in the shop. I guess that would go for chicharrones too, but perhaps they sell pieces of rind uncooked. I'll take a better look next time.
--Peter

Oct 30, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

real tacos al pastor in Italian Market area?

Sorry, I didn't notice whether there were chicharrones. As for carnitas, I think of that as a cooked dish. I guess I'm not sure what it would lik like in a butcher shop.
--Peter

Oct 30, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

real tacos al pastor in Italian Market area?

To reply to my own query,
Los Taquitos de Puebla is open! Craig LaBan wrote it up in his offal article last Thursday, for their tacos de cabeza and tacos de ojo. I wasn't up for trying those, but I had their tacos al pastor and they're by far the best I've had in Philadelphia. They do have a trompo. It wasn't on this afternoon when I went, but the tacos tasted like they had been cooked that way--dry-ish (rather than the saucy meat you get elsewhere) fatty, flavorful slivers of pork, with cilantro and onion, on doubled little tortillas. Two delicious salsas, a red one made with dried chile and an especially delicious green one of tomatillo and avocado. They brought out a "salad" plate as soon as we sat down, with fiery onions marinated with habanero chile, nopales with onion, a little pico de gallo, cucumber and radish slices, and lime for the tacos. Delicious. No chips, so you know it's authentic (maybe they have them if you ask). The owner (?) said they're open from 11 am to midnight every day. He told me they have barbacoa de borrego (ram) on Sundays. So guess where I'm going this Sunday? It's on 9th just below Ellsworth (about a block below Washington).

Also at that corner is a new-ish Mexican butcher shop. I got a gallina, which the very friendly owner cut up for me, and chicken feet for soup. He also had very good looking beef and pork, as well as rabbit, tripe, and other stuff. The owner told me he sells borrego, so I just might try making my own barbacoa sometime. He has good-looking bags of dried avocado leaves just for that. Also a small selection of vegetables and groceries.

It's so great to see those blocks of the "Italian" market below Washington filling up again with new businesses. There's another little restaurant across the street that advertises barbacoa de borrego on Sundays too. Groceries, a barber shop, music stores. All Mexican. I guess the Geno guy would prefer the street the way it used to be, virtually abandoned, rather than hear the sound of Spanish. What a jerk.
--Peter

Oct 28, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania

Supremo Supermarket?

I shop there frequently. Lots of Latino bottled/packaged ingredients from many different countries, arranged by country. Good stewing hens, cheap. Other meat cuts that cater to a Latino clientele and are hard to find at regular supermarkets. Ripe avocados (great if you need to make guacamole the same day). Sour oranges, which can be very hard to find elsewhere. Fresh epazote (see another current thread). Fresh and dried chiles. A million varieties of Mexican and Central American-style cheese and cream. Plus the regular supermarket stuff. Enjoy.
Peter

Oct 17, 2006
pschneider in Pennsylvania