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Holly Moore's Profile

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Soft-Serve Machine Rental 8/2/2013

Maybe hire a food truck. There are a couple of Fro Yo trucks that let people build their own. Or could be fun to have a Mr. Frostee blaring away.

Eliminates the need for you to sanitize the equipment, keep everything clean (build your own gets real messy real fast) and pack up later.

Jul 27, 2013
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Glenside-Jack Frost-Oh No!

Through Facebook I just got this response from Jack Frost:

"Burgers are fresh not frozen like always. fries are fresh cut just like before .... ownership did change but only for the 4th time in 52 years of being jack frost. we kept all of the same products that you have enjoyed in the past. we even were lucky enough to have five of last seasons employees stay with us for the 2013 season. jack frost is here to stay and we strive to serve the same fresh food as always."

GREAT NEWS!!!

Mar 27, 2013
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Glenside-Jack Frost-Oh No!

Sad to hear. Hopefully the new owners will listen to customers upset with such a drop in quality. The more people who stop by and complain, the more the owners may listen.

I remember my first visit and being blown away by how good everything was - burgers, dogs, fries, frozen custard. I was amazed they were taking the time to fresh cut fries. Just not many places left doing that. I made excuses to be in the Glenside area just so I could hit Jack Frost for lunch.

Edited to add: Just checked and they have a Face Book page - Jack-Frost. Probably a good place to share concern. However one of Jack Frost's posts says they are doing "hand-cut fries," so maybe things haven't changed and it was just a bad day. Hope that is the case.

Mar 26, 2013
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Philly’s best short-order cooks, lunch counters, one-$ spots? I’ll start with McNally’s.

Not totally short order, but the counter experience where you sit down and the cooking happens across the counter = Blue Belly Barbecue at 6th and Catherine.

Another place, George's Sandwich Shop - the one on 9th just South of Christian. Old School.

And pushing the definition a bit, many of the lunch trucks like Spot, Street Food Philly, Sunflower Food Truck, Say Cheese, Vernalicious and Lucky Old Souls. Some of the best short order cooking happening nowadays.

Mar 16, 2013
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Italian marketplace visit

Sonny D'Angelo for sausages and game.

George's (the one just south of Christian) and Paesano's, closer to Washington, for two approaches to South Philly style sandwiches.

Tamales from Los Amigos - If they have them there will be a sign on their door.

Sarcone's bakery for bread and Sarcone's deli for hoagies built on Sarcone's bread.

But it is only a few blocks long. Walk it all and soak in the stands and shops, the vendors and the shoppers.

Dec 04, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Slice Can't Compete With Domino's

Just me being a tad Yogi Berraish.

Dec 03, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Slice Can't Compete With Domino's

Domino's loses money on every pizza, but makes up for it with volume.

Dec 02, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

famous cheesesteaks

My current favorite cheesesteak is built by Spot Burger - a tiny yellow food cart off the Drexel Campus at 33rd and Arch. They use sirloin instead of rib eye and grill to order.

Oct 02, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Carman's Country Kitchen is Closing

After twenty two years Carman’s Country Kitchen, 11th and Wharton, will close Sunday, December 16. Carman lost her lease when her landlord decided to open a corner pizza business. Just the push she needs. Eventual closing was inevitable. It is a time for new challenges and new worlds to conquer. Carman hopes to take her cooking and people skills overseas, maybe Europe or the Middle East.

Philadelphia is losing one of its more unique restaurants. A small place, three tables, maybe eight counter seats and, in good weather, room for eight around the table built into the bed of Carman’s red and yellow pickup. The décor at Carman’s Country Kitchen is more Pleasure Chest than country kitchen, not for the small of mind. Friendly servers know the regulars and qualify newcomers, making sure they understand what they are in for.

Carman’s menu changes weekly - depends on what is in season and long time purveyors like Anastastio Produce and Esposito’s meats insist she try. Her dishes are always imaginative, sometimes quirky – often surprising combinations that work extraordinarily well. Every week there is a different choice of French toast, pancakes or waffles, an omelet and one more special. This week’s options - honey crisp applesauce pancakes or waffles with cherries and blackberries; roasted butternut squash and banana challah French toast; spinach, lentil, smoked gouda and vegetable medley omelet and roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, gravy, two eggs and toast.

The menu does its part, but it is Carman who makes Carman’s Country Kitchen so special. Sparkling, sometimes outrageous, Carman is almost as happy shocking customers as feeding them. Carman’s life is the stuff of novels. She has been most everywhere, done most everything and knows most everyone.

Carman cooks up a storm when the place is packed, and chats up customers when time permits -talking everything from Israeli politics to a recent dinner at Bibou and the pontificating wine sophisticates at nearby tables. For many regulars Carman is the “Fixer.” Lost your job, breaking up, looking for an apartment, cat has kittens needing homes, seeking a savvy political connection or a good doctor? Carman is a good bet to have just the right answer.

There is not much time left to stop by. Carman has a bunch of travel scheduled the next couple of months – a little in October and more in November. Best bet is to call the same day and make sure she is there.

Sep 17, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Research Critique Request

I'm a fan of the Down Home Diner's scrapple and poached egg.. At one time they used Mr. Moyers. Not sure who they use nowadays, but I'm guessing the scrapple still comes from a Reading Terminal Market vendor.

My favorite scrapple is as old school as it gets - from Brunic's at 17th and McKean in South Philadelphia. Brunic's is a long time luncheonette that is mostly cooking the same as they did fifty years ago. Super thick slabs of scrapple started in the oven and finished on the grill.

Nowadays a few Philadelphia places have been gentrifying scrapple. Not sure that is progress or a good thing.

Aug 04, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Le Virtu: Not Living Up to It's Reputation

I'd keep Le Virtu on my list.

Jul 12, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

The new Le Bec Fin

Tis summer and the weekend Center City restaurant business is always way down through a few weeks after Labor Day. Tis also 100 degrees this afternoon. I would not project too much from tables being available today.

Jul 07, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Philly is the second best burger city!

Hot Diggity and Eurpopean Republic fries are same size as those I've had at Pommes Frites stands in Belgium. For the past few years, most everyone has been selling shoestring fries which are so thin they are often over or under fried and don't hold up. It is good to see proper fries becoming more common in Philadelphia.

Jun 29, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Philly is the second best burger city!

Lists always got me through writer's block and a deadline.

Jun 28, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Philly's Best Hot Dogs

Just to be sure, headed back to day. Mike is still putting out a five grease stain hot dog. In the summer he takes Saturdays off. Be sure to have him layer on some of his pepper hash.

Jun 28, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Philly's Best Hot Dogs

The article missed what I consider the best hot dog in Philadelphia - the one from the Hot Dog Guy at 24th and Passyunk.

Jun 28, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Philly is the second best burger city!

Kinda what I was trying to say - questioning the credibility of this poll.

Jun 28, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Philly is the second best burger city!

I can't wait to visit San Juan, the fifth best burger city in all the US and its territories.

Jun 27, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Talula's Garden: report + comping question

Comping for mistakes has become more common over the last ten years. I know you didn't, but many customers come to expect it. Yelp flows over with complaints of not being comped when issues occur.

I think Tablua's Garden handled the situation nicely - at least by late 1900's standards. The server was apologetic and made a point to notify the manager. The manager stopped by. The kitchen fired up a new entree. Good reactions all around.

One person having their entree and one not is awkward. I sometimes don't send back minor issue dishes, such as a steak ordered medium rare and served medium, to avoid that dilemma. When both are willing, the person with the food might offer to share some of their entree and then share the other entree when it arrives. Other than that there is really no good answer. It would be classy if the server offered to return both entrees to the kitchen and serve two fresh plates, but I've never seen it happen.

It would have been nice if the restaurant did offer up a bit of penance. Back when I had my place, it was usually a round of wine - or sometimes we sent out a quickly available appetizer to an entree-less diner to tide things over. Or maybe an after-dinner drink.

The most savvy response would be a future comp, "Next time the two of you come back, the appetizers are on us." That might bring you back, when you weren't intending to give the place a second chance.

Jun 18, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

American Sardine Bar

The chef has turned vegan, so I should probably take away their fifth grease stain, but I'm giving him time to reconsider. I am confident pork shoulder will win out. Other than that breech, the American Sardine Bar is one of my favorite joints. No pretense, solid eating, great beer. In the id section of the computer register receipt, the bartender once labeled me "DUDE." What's not to like.

The patty melt is my favorite sandwich there. I've been looking for a great local patty melt for years and finally found it at the American Sardine Bar. Yeah it's juicy/greasy. Thrice greasy. Hard not to be with a Pat Lafrieda blended patty, sauteed onions a couple of cheeses and the butter needed to grill it grilled cheese style. Onion rings are fantastic. So is the pork sandwich. The sardine sandwiches may be the perfect bar food.

Back to the chef. He is ornery. Refuses to cut sandwiches in half, uses fresh frozen Krab instead of crab, his tweets are not suitable for people of refinement. But he builds great sandwiches and carries a proper assortment of beers.

As to the dog. Doesn't bother me. It's a neighborhood tavern kind of place. That happens. I'm a dog fan, and would be happy if the dog came within petting range. But I totally appreciate why it is an issue. That said, I'd be surprised if dogs bellied up to the bar more than a few times a month, if that.

Jun 16, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Reading Terminal Breakfast

So I checked the Yelp reviews for the Down Home Diner. Such a difference from my experience. My only explanation is that these are people who don't understand the southern breakfast. The foodie correct. They consider the Down Home Diner like I would view a breakfast place that steams seitan scrapple.

Not to worry though. The Dutch Eating Place is great. You'll get a gut Pennsylvania breakfast. In the future though, take Yelp reviews with a grain of salt and a dash of nitrates.

May 11, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Reading Terminal Breakfast

Jack McDavid's Down Home Diner is one of my favorite breakfast places. Basic southern and comfort breakfasts. Recommends - scrapple and eggs, corned beef hash and eggs, SOS and biscuits with sausage gravy.

Another plus, they open at 7AM meaning you can get an early breakfast before shopping the market.

May 08, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Federal Donuts protocol

Think soup nazi with South Philadelphia attitude. Not.

Federal Donuts is going strong but without the overwhelming hoards of customers of the first few weeks. With the possible exception of weekends, if you get there before 10 you should be ok. At some point they often run out of fancies, but they are frying donuts to order until they start frying chicken - 11:45 I believe.

The folks working the counter are great - totally welcoming. I don't think ordering a couple of dozen would be an issue. If you're talking five or six dozen or more, maybe call ahead.

If you're making the trip to Philadelphia for donuts, consider a second stop, deeper into South Philadelphia - Frangelli's at 9th and Ritner - an old school bakery turning maybe the best traditional donuts in Philadelphia - especially the jelly donuts with black raspberry filling. Glazed are awfully good, too.

May 05, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

The Search for a Cobbler

You might be able to persuade the folks at Jack McDavid's Down Home Diner to bake one up for you.

Apr 24, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Prime steaks

Are you talking about Wells or someone else?

Apr 19, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Prime steaks

Are there any butchers still breaking down sides of beef? Last I know of was Sonny D'Angelo before he switched to Wagyu a few years ago. Not sure about Harry Och's. Any local butchers left that are not starting with Cryovac?

Apr 17, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Soft Pretzels

Yes

Mar 18, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Soft Pretzels

Italiano's Water Ice, 12th and Shunk in South Philadelphia bakes a great pretzel. They do a morning baking for when they open and a second baking in the mid afternoon.

Alas they are seasonal, but should be opening sometime soon.

Mar 17, 2012
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Where to buy meat (steak) in center city philadelphia?

A friend put me on to Lombardi's Prime Meats at 1801 Packer Avenue. They break down sides of beef as opposed to the far more common cryovac, factory packed. Butchers are cooperative and cut to your spec. Not steak house caliber steaks, but very close.

Nov 24, 2011
Holly Moore in Philadelphia

Breakfast near Rittenhouse Square

Understood. But there was a time in my formative years that popovers were more common and could drive customers to a restaurant. I hate to think that skills have diminished over time.

Oct 06, 2011
Holly Moore in Philadelphia