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Welllll ???
How was it .

Oct 27, 2008
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Veal Stock Please

D'angelos demiglace isnt demiglace, it's reduced veal stock and it's awful, it has a bitter aftertaste indicative of burning the bones.
D'artagnan makes an OK veal and duck "demiglace" that you can use for your preparation but again, it isnt demiglace.
You can find it at Dibrunos or whole foods.
Every single product on the market, again let me repeat EVERY SINGLE product on the market labelled demiglace isnt.
Demiglace is very different from reduced Veal jus.

Mar 01, 2008
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Personal Chef in Philadelphia to do cooking demo for a party

Where are the pictures ?

Sep 12, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Personal Chef in Philadelphia to do cooking demo for a party

Great Idea, the blog speaks for itself and in addition to food has an intellectual humor to it. Did you have the Suzuki at M Buckethead ?

Sep 12, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Philly Mag: Best of Philly

Second guessing magazines selections strikes me as dicey and a matter of opinion but some of the selctions are so egregious that they are essentially absurd.

Best new BYOB is a place called "Modo-mio" and it's described as Osteria at a lower price point, completely ridiculous, the food at Modo moi is hit or miss at best and the $30 price fixed menu is just to increase revenues. The bread is the worst I have experienced in any restaurant on the planet.

The best salad in the city is at a boring pan asian restaurant that isnt even in Philly but Radnor and is a themeless assemblage of items with requisite"Asian" ingredients like edamame and tofu. With all the chefs using farm vegetables in the city, just strikes me as ODD.

Best Cheap Eats.
Wegmans ?
Say what, isnt the closest Wegmans To Philadelphia in New Jersey ?
With all the fantastic Pho places in south philly like cafe diem and the latin restaurants in north philly, they pick some sanitized grocery store selling westernized bullsh*t versions of ethnic foods. I like Wegmans but a grocery store for best cheap eats ?

Tiffin is Good.
Zento is good.

Xochitl has overrated cocktails.

The best soup in Philadelphia is in haddonfield New jersey, just absurd.
Again cafe diem makes the best pho in philadelphia.

Best food classes at Tria.
Tria does not sell food, they sell retail items from a panini grill.

Best Sandwich in Philadelphia is in Norristown.

Grey lodge has good fries.

Best Chinese in Philadelphia is in Ardmore though there are places like Chung king and sichuan tasty in CHINATOWN....hello.

To answer your question eastcoastwineman..

"what did they miss" ?
They missed the boat.
I cannnot understand any logical reasons why any of the winners should be outside philadelphia, some are actually in a different state.
That being said even some of the locals picked show that no thorough research has been done and it is simply a matter of opinions borne out of laziness, you dont have to look that hard to find the actual best places

Jul 29, 2007
Chowtalk in Food Media & News

Cheez Whiz Question...

folks react with misguided passion, we cant all like the same thing, my basic point is not to say you should not eat whiz, it's that if you care about the meat you should not use whiz. Whiz is used to hide lame meat and is frankly for steak philistines. I have never been to D'allesandros, done tony lukes, cosmi's and Johns. All three blow away pat's and genos. Authenticity isnt my issue,I just care if it's good. The differenece between Pat/Genos and Johns/Tony Luke is like the difference between the Outback and the Capital grill meat-wise.

Jun 25, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Cheez Whiz Question...

A few things.
1. It's hard to get consensus because everyone has a bias based on flavor memories.
2. History is the basis of what a true cheesesteak is.
3. Cheesesteaks were served before cheese whiz was invented.

That being said, here is the deal.

Pat's and Geno's ARE tourist traps.
Tony Lukes isnt exactly a tourist trap but it's 18th street location isnt anywhere near as good as the South Philly spot.

The most important thing about a cheesesteak is the meat and the roll.
It is possible to have an excellent cheesesteak without whiz.
In fact steaks at John's Roast Pork at Wececoe and Snyder are far more delicious with sharp provolone. They dont do whiz and as far as I recall it was the cheesesteak place that won a beard award and was hailed by Gourmet magazine among others as the best cheesesteak.
Cosmi's Deli in South Philly also makes a far better steak than Pats or Geno's.
Pat's and Geno's are high volume low quality steak joints that are VERY famous but so is Bookbinders and Appleby's.
They use lower quality meat and the rolls have no texture or crisp like the ones at John's.
They please crowds but mass conformity has never been an indication of quality.

Cheeze whiz is garbage, it isnt even cheese.
It's reconstituted milk products with sweeteners like corn syrup added, transfats and stabilizers like carrrageenan and xanthan gum to keep it from transforming into the mess it is.

It's absurd that all these people are basically waxing poetic about what is essentially velveeta and as stated, it is a completely artificial product and defeats the point of using high quality ribeye.

Jun 17, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania


They clearly arent if they have no tablecloths or wineglasses BUT have ketchup bottles on the table. Creating your interpretation of the Phrase "Over-stylized" defeats the point. One could make the point that Jones and continental arent fancier than they need to be, they are just modern playgrounds that cost a lot of money and look like they cost a lot of money but cost/price isnt the issue......"Aesthetic" is the issue.
707 has a much more formal and fine dining aesthetic.

May 05, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania


Jones and continental midtown are NOT white tablecloth restaurants with silverware and stemware place settings.....

May 05, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania


Actually $9 + $6.50 + $15.50.
Regardless it seems chintzy.
I only walked past it and the contrast of the decor with the food posted on the website is bizzare. Over stylized restaurants with basic comfort (boring) food never survive.

May 04, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

best steak frites in Philadelphia?

Steak Frites refers to a pan roasted steak and french fries usually with a meat based sauce and maitre'dhotel butter. The best steak frites was at the Blue Angel, steak frites really should be made with a hanger steak and must be done french style in a pan not the grill.
The steak frites at Brasserie Perrier is just ok, it's a low grade new york strip and it is cheap but not very flavorful.

Apr 26, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania


1. Swanky bubbles is not a Japanese restaurant, the first rule of good sushi is to eat it in a japanese restaurant. The food at swanky is also mediocre, it's a trendy champagne bar. Great for drinks but not food and not especially sushi.

2.Morimoto is good but it isnt the best sushi on the east coast.
Morimoto has excellent sushi as does Zento, Zento however presents a better Value.
Any restaurant can buy Uni anytime.
I would go to Zento or Morimoto if you want to "splurge".
The best sushi on the east coast is clearly between the restaurants "Karumazushi" and "Yasuda" which both blow away Morimoto.

Apr 09, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Audrey Claire/La Colombe

Audrey Claire doesnt get any buzz because it's at least 7 years old.
Plain and simple, doesnt mean it's bad, its just been around forever and that kind of buzz in unsustainable for simple mediteranean food.

Feb 21, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania


The drinks are gooooooood indeed. Ceviches were tasty, if not as detailed as Pernot's but tasty nonetheless, we got a bit tipsy and asked how the name is correctly pronouced....

Didnt study for your finals ?........ So Cheat.

Feb 13, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

What's Good @ Rae?

Of course you can disagree, nothing wrong with that. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the restaurant is so big that it spills into the lobby under the escalator and it is singularly the brightest dining room after 5pm in philadelphia. "Rabbit Nachos?" who does that ?
Half the menu is safe and boring, the other tries too hard and pretty much looks that way.
They cant pull off concepts of modern cooking and molecular gastronomy cuteness, the "mushroom paper" our waiter described to us (served with mushroom soup) was just silly and tasteless. The rest as you say is just meat and potatos.
The point is why do I want to drive to a multi level garage of which the lower floors are reserved for office workers to park my car, take an elevator down, walk through a lobby, be questioned by cira center renta-cops as to why I am there only to eat a mediocre meal that is no better than what I can eat in center city at Rouge (which I despise) or Brasserie Perrier ?

This review says it all......

By the way what was it you had exactly that you mistook for chicken ?

Feb 12, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

What exactly is a Theme restaurant and do Stephen Starr places qualify?

Steakhouse is a theme.
Barclay prime was directly copied from Prime 112 in Miami.

Everyone is doing it, even Colicchio at Craftsteak.

So laugh out loud indeed, its all the same.

Feb 12, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Low Tide at DiBruno's Center City

Iodine marine odor is the smell of the sea, not the smell of the beach or fish, the smell of the sea,
It isnt a contradiction.
Whole foods "odorless" fish is rinsed which is why it looks watery.
It is still old and actually so expensive that it doesnt move as quickly.
You have a much higher probability of buying bad fish at whole foods and dibruno than at RTM

Feb 12, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Bar Ferdinand?

Better Tapas.

Feb 12, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

What's Good @ Rae?

The place is annoying.
The whole deconstruction-cute menu language is just silly and he food isnt that good.
It's so bright like eating in an airport terminal and as romantic as taking your wife to a power tool convention.

Feb 11, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

What's Up With Bootsies??

Bootsies sucks.....
Thier valentines dish is

Shrimp stuffed with duck confit, wrapped in proscuitto and finished with pistachio oil and espresso.

Feb 11, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania


Best hangar steak in the city.

Feb 11, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Low Tide at DiBruno's Center City

The Seafood section there smells way too fishy, frankly I am shocked that they dont sem to care., Slack is great but if they are going to charge those prices, frankly the stuff should be better.
Scallops are supposed to have an iodine marine smell.

Feb 11, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

What exactly is a Theme restaurant and do Stephen Starr places qualify?

Not all Starr restaurants are theme restaurants.
Striped Bass isnt.
Morimoto isnt.
All the rest are.

Theme restaurants are places that are created with food as an afterthought and decor and general vibe being the most emphasised elelments.
As a customer, you generally have to feel indebted to owners and employees of theme restaurants for allowing you to be hip enough to eat there.

Feb 11, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Vetri: Degustazione or a la carte?

A la carte.
30 % of the tasting menu is boring and there are no choices.
A la carte gives you more control.

Feb 11, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Dinner near TLA on South Street

Ansill for sure.
Overtures is in a time warp from 1970, Great small plates at Ansill. quick service.
Creperie is mediocre, royal tavern just sells a bunch of fried food.

Feb 11, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Bad Genji

Try ZENTo in old city.
Quite good.

Feb 11, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Bar Ferdinand?

Nope....quite disappointing.
Cheap, great prices but boring food.
Weak spanish flavors.
Sketchy neighborhood at night.
Head on down to Amada in old city.

Feb 11, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania


I cant understand why people spend millions of dollars on restaurants and serve such incredibly lame food, went to Oceannaire last night, first time.
Place was just a juxtaposed mess. Before I get to the food, just some reflections on the space. Why build a very fancy restaurant with white tablecloths if you are going to pile in the middle of the table, Tabasco, Ketchup, an entire container of sea salt enough fot the entire restaurant, chowder cookies in the plastic wrapper's, stacks of side plates. It felt like a fancy Seafood Shanty. Why build an elaborate oyster and raw bar, display the shellfish in front of the customers, put stools at the bar so people could ostensibly SIT there BUT if they want oysters, they have to order it from a waiter not the oyster shuckers standing around twiddling thier thumbs waiting for the waiters to take your order......why....WTF.

SO we sat at a table.

Tried to go with two simple fish dishes, had a green salad to start which was just OK.
Waiter claims they fly in the fish dailym which prompted me to ask "even the Salmon ?"
Yes they were flown in today........So we ordered the Halibut T-bone and the "Shetland Island Salmon with Apple risotto and carrot broth"
Mind you besides the fact that the shetland islands are about 100miles from the coast of the south pole.......the food was just horrible.
Zero salt, Zero flavor, both woefully overcooked, the risotto was cooked, cooled, formed into a cake and fried like a crabcake I kid you not.
You could tilt your plate and the "carrot Broth" would not move.
Just a completely horrendous experience.
I know this is harsh but this is just a cavernous space with food no better than a Devon or Red Lobster.

Feb 04, 2007
Chowtalk in Chains

Le Bec-Fin Review (long)

Le bec fin *never* had any michelin stars.
Michelin doesnt review philadelphia restaurants.

Feb 03, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania

Sushi Wow?

Depends on what you are asking for, Pod's Sushi is terrible, rice too cold, bland, no visible sushi chefs hardly ever.

I you want him to be "wowed about the actual sushi", sit at morimoto's sushi bar. if you want him to be wowed by the interior design (which is now dated) go to pod, but Pods sushi is lame.

Feb 02, 2007
Chowtalk in Pennsylvania