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Looking for a critique of my Philly food itinerary

Completely agree with Buckethead on Vetri vs. Osteria. I tend to skip entrees at Osteria and stick with pasta, pizza and budino.

Aug 13, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Any Philly area Ch'ers send their knives out to be sharpened?

If you are in the Mt. Airy area, there is a relatively new Farmers Market on Tuesdays that has a knife sharpener stall. I have been taking my knives to Kilian Hardware in Chestnut Hill, but I know they are simply using the Chef's Choice sharpener.

Aug 11, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Dinner for 2 under $100

I fourth Modo Mio though I know they (and it's sister restaurant Monsu, which is Sicilian and also a good choice) is closed Labor Day weekend. I would add Vietnam in Chinatown, if you are up for Vietnamese. If you go, we love BBQ platter for two which about $28. Best deal in town and delicious. Service and setting is a cut above many Chinatown restos.

Aug 11, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Night Market

I love the idea of a Night Market, but we did a walk through at about 8:00 and decided that standing in one line for 30 minutes to get food, and another long line for drink, just wasn't worth it. I hope the next event has more vendors so that lines could be more manageable.

Aug 10, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Has anyone been to Chestnut 7?

It is early days yet and I will give it another try, as long as I can sit somewhere where I can hear myself think.

Aug 06, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Has anyone been to Chestnut 7?

My husband and I went there Thursday night (we couldn't wait in the 30 minute long lines at the Night Market). We shared the "Chop" salad that had a sweet chili dressing. The salad had very long shreds of things and eating the salad required you to do more chopping of your own. Loved the dressing though.

I had the pizza with sausage. It was decent, not great. My husband was happy with his pork chop. His initial order was the fried chicken but the chef "wasn't happy with the recipe yet."

Just a note about the scene. We walked in and the noise level was so loud at the reception stand that we had to shout to be heard. The bar area has been expanded and the wall between the bar and the main dining room was removed, so it makes for one large loud space. They've removed half the tables on the patio, which seems strange because that has always been the big draw for me (not Solaris's food). We did eat on the patio and it was a treat simply to be outside.

Aug 06, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

THANK YOU!!!!

Is it the "wet bottom" variety of shoo fly pie? The difference between wet and dry bottom is the amount of goo. The dry bottom has 1/4 of an inch and the wet bottom has 1/2 or more goo.

Aug 01, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Ambler Restaurant Week

I have a reservation at Massa on Friday. We haven't been there so I am looking forward to it.

Jul 12, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

I need New York Style coffee cake!

What constitutes a New York coffee cake Becca?

Jul 11, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Best British Bites?

I recommend the Dandelion off of Rittenhouse Square. Excellent lamb shepherds pie, fish and chips, burger, AND sticky toffee pudding.

Jul 11, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

King of Prussia-Malvern area Recommendations?

I absolutely agree with cwdonald about the fact that Blackfish's steak, because their steak is one of the best steaks I've ever had.

Jul 09, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

BYO on the Main Line

Thanks for all your thoughts! We are going to Saffron in Ambler. It is an BYO Indian. I've been there once and was very impressed with their food. Speaking of Ambler, another good choice would have been Massa, a new Italian/Portuguese resto. I guess Ambler isn't technically the Mail Line, but close enough.

Jul 09, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

BYO on the Main Line

$90 for two instead of $120 at Blackfish.

Jul 06, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

BYO on the Main Line

I am looking for a BYO on the Main Line for Saturday, July 23rd. I would like the best food for the price. If it weren't for the price, I would choose Blackfish. Anyone have a sleeper they love?
Thanks!

Jul 06, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Blackfish or Modo Mio?

I love both. If money is any consideration, Blackfish probably could be close to double Modo Mio.

Jul 06, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Sour Cherries

Congratulations! It is always a good feeling to produce a good pie. I don't know exactly why I've felt so daunted, but there are tricks to success.

Jul 05, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Sour Cherries

Speaking of crumb crusts, I made Cooks Illustrated blueberry pie this weekend and instead of the lattice crust, I used smittenkitchen's almond crumble. This now my 'go to' pie topping! The added texture and flavor from the almonds was DIVINE!

Jul 04, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Sour Cherries

I am seeing pie recipes that blind bake for 15 minutes to avoid "soggy bottoms," as Julia C. would say.

Jun 30, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Sour Cherries

Funny you identify this slab pie recipe. I saved it to my desktop last year, but have yet to attempt it.

Jun 30, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Sour Cherries

Buttertart, here is the recipe I wanted to try:

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/So...

Then will add this almond crumble:

http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/07/sou...

Should be excellent! I lost my recipe and recently remembered I had gotten it from an old Joy of Cooking.

Jun 29, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Sour Cherries

Fair Food Stand at the Reading Terminal Market still has sour cherries. I just got their weekly email.

Jun 29, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Sour Cherries

I got two quarts yesterday at Weavers Way in Chestnut Hill. Pitted and froze them for that special dinner that needs a sour cream cherry crumb pie.

Jun 24, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

BYO with a great steak, Ambler, Chestnut Hill area???

This suggestion may be too far out, but I loved the steak at Blackfish in Conshe.

Jun 11, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Osteria winter menu

My recs are: the lombarda pizza, candele pasta with wild boar bolognese, and the budino for dessert. I wanna go but Modo Mio is on for Friday.

Jan 18, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Boiled peanuts

Oops! You are right. TJ's has blistered peanuts.

Jan 15, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

It's getting close! Cantina Feliz

Cantina Feliz really met our expectations. We went the second night they were open (last night) and the first surprise was that the parking lot was full. (We had a 7:45 resie.) We wound up parking in the deli's lot next door.

My husband had been to this location when it was Maritas and he said that it is now even bigger. They apparently tweaked the decor from Alison's II by adding murals on several walls to add color and energy to the place. Anyway, the resaurant was PACKED. We had friends that had a 6:30 reservation and wanted to add another couple, and were told there wasn't space.

Anyway, we started with guac and chips. Loved both but it wasn't a huge serving, so really wasn't enough for four. One of us got the vegetable enchilada and was very happy with it. I snuck a bite and the flavor balance was delicious and was fairly portioned. I got the carnitas tacos and my husband agreed to share his steak al carbon tacos. Push came to shove he weaseled out and I got just a bite of steak; it was very good. The Al Carbon dishes come with accompaniments including refried beans, salsa and tortillas and the carnitas didn't, so I got the rice and beans side dish. The carnitas were tender and flavorful and had 3 tacos that were enough food for me (for $9.95!). We added sweet plantains the were quite good. The last dish ordered was a short rib soup (Caldo de Res) which I didn't get to taste, but the owner was very happy and ate every bite.

This restaurants prices are surprisingly reasonable. Where we got into trouble was the margaritas. As an experiment, I got the house marg ($7) and my friend tried the $15 one to see if it was twice as good. I liked mine better; more acid and flavor overall.

We ended with Tres Leches Cake which I am not a fan of in general, and this one was too dry. I ordered a chocolate pudding type thing with carmel popcorn. Liked the popcorn. The chocolate was OK. They had only 3 desserts and the waiter said that they wanted to have a limited dessert menu, but to have 3 perfect dishes. Seems there is some work to do here. I suggested churros. Would have loved some fried dough with chocolate sauce!!

Service was surprising smooth and knowledgeable given it was only the 2nd night. My only complaints aside from dessert was that the refried beans and the salsa was very salty. This from someone with a high tolerance for salt.

They are on Open Table and you definitely need reservations, at least on the weekends. I am looking forward to going back. Want to try the roast suckling pig for 4.

Jan 15, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

It's getting close! Cantina Feliz

I have resies for Friday. Can't wait. Will report back.

Jan 10, 2011
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

ISO Leaf Lard

Greater Philadelphia.

Nov 22, 2010
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

ISO Leaf Lard

I know I can get this special lard (for pie crusts) at Dietrich Meats but it requires an hour drive one way. Anyone know of a local source?
Thanks!

Nov 21, 2010
alonna Smith in Philadelphia

Northeast Philly

Where is the Lancaster County Market and what days are they open?

Nov 08, 2010
alonna Smith in Philadelphia