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mazchristo's Profile

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GOOD food for pre-marathon carb load

Hey Chicago, I'm a Philly Chowhound headed for Chicago next weekend for the marathon and I could use some suggestions for Saturday night dinner. I need GOOD pasta/Italian (not Maggianos-eque), but casual for 6 downtown (we're staying at the Marriot) Please help us fuel our race!!

Oct 04, 2008
mazchristo in Chicago Area

Normandy Farms- Jim Coleman's Place?

Does anyone have any opinion on this place?

Mar 17, 2008
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Great restos for biz din in P'Burgh??

Need help for Bostonian and other out of towners visiting on biz. All like to eat great food. Where should we go?

Mar 05, 2008
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Bindi: what's the word?

Anyone been?

Jan 18, 2008
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Where can I get real Italian 00 Flour?

Try Claudio's. If it's not on the shelves, ask if they know where to get it. Otherwise, call or email Vetri or Osteria and ask where they get theirs (wholesale, but they may be able to point you in the right direction).

Dec 29, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Xochitl or Lolita?

Lolita definitely. The food is outstanding. Xochitl's appetizers are excellent. Guacamole made tableside, terrific, and margaritas may be the best in town, but the entrees are not an exhibit of the best authentic Mexican food in town. Even if Lolita is technically "inspired" and not "authentic", Marcy Turney may as well have just crossed the border for how good it is! Plus, if you're a college student concerned about cash, you'll save at Lolita with it's BYO policy.

Dec 29, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Ramen Recommendations in San Fran?

I'm here for 3 days and would love some authentic ramen. Any suggestions?

Las Bugambilias

Las Bugambilias is great. Small but spacious, pretty dining room. Casual. Staff is friendly and welcoming. Food is terrific, authentic, VERY flavorful. Try the chiles rellenos or the Carne Tampiquena. Salsas that come with the basket of chips are freshly made, often- changing and addicting. Tortilla soup is delicious and different. Granada cocktail is like a pomegranate margarita and they don't hold back on the tequila. Desserts surprised and also change daily. If they have it, try the tres leches trifle.

Nov 07, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

suggestion needed for next sunday

Check to see if Rembrandt's, London Grill, or Aspen- all in Fairmount- have brunch. I'm pretty sure Rembrandt's does. Waterworks has brunch. Not cheap, but it's not Four Seasons or LaCroix excpensive, either. There's always Marathon on the Square, or any of the Marathon Grills, for that matter. Very straightforward food to please everyone, including kids. Not sure if Bistro San Tropez has brunch, but worth a look.

Apr 24, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Thinking About Going To a Culinary School...

Hi Chrissy. I went to culinary school here in Philadelphia. Happy to chat with you about my experiences over email. Also, check out for some helpful info about personal chefing.

Apr 21, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Audrey Claire/La Colombe

Chapterhouse on 9th and Bainbridge is great. Beautiful space, good coffee and tea. Philadelphia Java Co. on 4th btwn Lombard and South is also great and owned by good people. They do serve La Colombe but they have soy milk. Fork, etc. on 3rd and Market also serves LC but has soy milk and excellent baked goods, particularly bread. There's a place on the east side of 15th street (and Chesnut-ish)with a German (?) name that starts with an H. Also a little shop on the west side of 16th, on a corner (Chestnut or Sansom maybe). I think they are also La Colombe and sell Miel baked goods.

Apr 18, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

fun, reasonably-priced dinner in philly

Try Vietnam. Excellent food, everyone will find something on the huge menu (even the pickiest of eaters, I know from big group experience), good service, great space. Three floors plus a neat little relatively undiscovered lounge/bar upstairs with delicious lemongrass martinis. In Chinatown on N. 11th past Race (convenient to Center City).

Apr 17, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Fri Night - Dinner for 20? and other stops to not miss...

Donna, also try Amada. Tapas, beautiful space, great food, can arrange for a big group.

Mar 22, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Fri Night - Dinner for 20? and other stops to not miss...

Hi Donna. Gayle and Vetri are probably too small for your group of 20, though you should add both to your possible spots for the smaller group. Also add Lolita to that list (which is a BYO). Of the others, I'd check in to Rae and Buddakan before Bookbinders and Cuba Libre. Bar Ferdinand could probably arrange for a big group. It's tapas, cool atmosphere, but in Northern Liberties, which will be a cab ride from your hotel. Osteria is Mark Vetri's newest place and is reported to be fantastic. James has a beautiful separate room that could acccommodate your group. Tequilas is beautiful, great food and very accommodating to big groups. I've worked with them before for corporate meetings. You can also walk there on a nice night from the Marriott (conven center?). Check out Braserie Perrier and Alma de Cuba, too.

Mar 22, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Clementine's BYO

Anyone been to Clementine's Bistro, the latest addition to the E. Passyunk restaurant row?

Mar 12, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Looking for moderately priced "unique to Philly" Saturday lunch recs.

Not a ton open Sat afternoon but here are some options:
Vietnam on east side of 11th north of Race (there are two- I prefer the one on the right side as you head north on 11th rather than the one across the street with the green neon sign)
Caribou Cafe Walnut btwn 11th and 12th. Good crab cakes, french bistro, Stella on tap, etc.
Farmicia on 3rd btwn Market and Chestnut
Society Hill on the corner of 3rd and Chestnut
Sabrina's in the Italian Market, 9th and Christian (get the polenta fries). BYO
Waterworks- offers brunch, the ambiance/view is nice though the menu/food isn't superb. The desserts are great, though (get the ice cream which is all made in house)

Jan 31, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania

Tomato sauce--secret ingredient?

I'm a traditionalist when it comes to sauce, so I stick close to my mom's but have started to alter it just a bit. I use whole tomatoes and crush them by hand. I go easier on the onions and heavier on the garlic to make it taste more like a fresh tomato sauce rather than a blanket of marinara. I usually sprinkle a few pinches of sugar to balance the tomato acid and a splash of vinegar for some background tang. Oregano, basil, parsley (fresh herbs if the season allows). You can try adding chopped carrots and celery to the original saute of onions and garlic. They add their sweetness, but it's not my favorite twist. Also try making your sauce with crumbled sweet Italian sausage for a change of pace. Have fun!

Jan 31, 2007
mazchristo in Home Cooking


Pork belly was fantastic (the accompanying spaetzle is perfect...browned just right) and the sauce will temp you to lick the bowl. Eggs with smoked trout and creme fraiche is an excellent dish and makes you wonder why you don't make it for yourself at home- it's so simple but so satisfying. I loved the chocolate pain de genes and didn't expect to be so wowed by it. The vanilla lime sauce is an amazing compliment to the cake, which is actually decadently rich. And the panna cotta is how panna cotta should be. Great wine and smart, professional advice from the bartender. Enjoy!

Jan 31, 2007
mazchristo in Pennsylvania