the corner

Last Friday a couple of us were lucky enough to join Foodspotting investor Jay Jamison for dinner. We had dinner at The Corner, located at the former APO Bar & Lounge.

sweet breads

masa tots

Dinner was great! I had an order of Masa Tots to start. They were tots made from corn, jalapenos, and onions and served over a chipotle sauce. Some of the others started with pork belly sliders and sweet breads. Oh, how I wish I coulda tried them! My entree was the Truffle Grilled Cheese without the braised short ribs (unfortunately). The sandwich was served with fries and a pickle. I also enjoyed my first Brooklyn Lager in can!

truffle grilled cheese

It was a pleasure joining Jay and other Philly Foodspotters for dinner on Friday!

PS. I will be in charge of May’s Philly eat-up…stay tuned!

The Corner
102 S 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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the abbaye

It’s been almost a year since I’ve visited The Abbaye. I had a great time last year when I went even though it was just for a drink or two. There is no good excuse for why I haven’t been in so long and after last night’s dinner, I will not forget about this place again.

One of the reasons I chose to come here last night, besides the fact that it’s been too long, was that they have some great vegetarian/vegan food options. Some of my friends have raved about their vegan wings in particular. That being said, vegan wings were ordered for our appetizer (pictured above). They were delicious. The Abbaye makes these in house! The wings were full of flavor and had a crisp outside, a texture almost dead on with fried chicken skin. These were some of, if not the best, faux meat experiences I’ve ever had! After Lent is over, I’m still going to order these…they’re THAT good.

seitan cheesesteak

In addition to the wings, I ordered the seitan cheesesteak. I’ve had other sandwiches made with seitan before and enjoyed them, however, this was the first time I’ve had a vegetarian cheesesteak. The cheesesteak is served on a roll with melted gruyere, grilled onions, grilled tomato, and a roasted garlic aioli. I haven’t had other veg cheesesteaks to compare but this was delicious as well. The chopped up pieces of seitan were tasty and not dry at all. The cheesesteak came with a pickle, frites, and a dipping sauce.

The menu is pretty huge. Even though I could easily eliminate the meat options, I still read through everything and started to wonder how some of the stuff would taste once Lent is over (ex. Abbaye Burger, Smokey Chimay Wings). I NEED to come back to try those. Seriously had an awesome time last night. I’d like to apologize to my stomach for ignoring this fantastic place in NoLibs for almost a year. Hope to be back soon!

Also, I got to try one of their pâtés at this year’s Brewer’s Plate and it was great! Looking forward to trying the non-vegetarian ones!

The Abbaye
637 N 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

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beer: sierra nevada hoptimum

Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum is a 10.4% ABV, full cone IPA. Hoptimum was released earlier this year and I grabbed a bottle from the local store since they only had a case of it. I thought it was alright. It’s one of the hoppier beers I’ve had in a while.

Unrelated to the taste…the label was pretty cool. It’s literally a portrait of a hop head.

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Last night was the March Foodspotting eat-up! Tommy Up, owner of PYT was awesome enough to set up a special menu for the eat-up featuring mini versions of the burgers he serves. This gave us a chance to try a couple of different ones.

Since I’m vegetarian for Lent, I luckily sat with two others eating vegetarian friendly burgers so we got to share the three veg burgers offered! We had the Calibunga burger – white bean, basil, garlic, tomato & breadcrumb patty and topped with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onion; Portabella goat cheese burger – portabella topped with red peppers, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and a balsamic reduction; black bean burger – topped avocado & lettuce.

mini portabella burgers

It was quite an awesome time. There may have been some pickleback shots taken as well as some “adult milkshakes”…

cereal killer shake – vanilla ice cream, frosted flakes, vodka

Some thoughts at the end of the night…Is that black bean burger gunna stay on the menu? That was effing good. Also, when did PYT start serving tots? Did I just never notice that?!

Thanks to Tommy Up and Dan for setting this up!

Stay tuned for April’s Foodspotting eat-up!

The Piazza at Schmidt’s
1050 N. Hancock Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Some other photos taken last night:

mini calibunga burgers

special menu

mini black bean burgers


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brewer’s plate 2011

Last Sunday was the 7th annual Brewer’s Plate. Brewer’s Plate is Fair Food‘s annual fundraiser featuring independently owned restaurants, craft breweries, and farms all located within 150 miles of Philadelphia. Proceeds went towards Fair Food, a non-profit supporting local food and sustainable agriculture in the Philadelphia region.

assortment of pâtés from the abbaye

This year’s Brewer’s Plate was held at the Penn Museum in University City. There were two main areas where everyone set up as well as a “speakeasy” lounge in the bottom floor. For VIPs, there was access to two tents set up in the garden outside which featured additional offerings.

speakeasy area

It was extremely difficult to resist trying some of the food, but I had to since I went vegetarian for Lent. So there were a couple things that I could only eat with my eyes. J.G. Domestic had a foie gras mousse topped with an orange gelee. The South Philadelphia Tap Room had steak tartare.

bindi’s meatball over chickpea curry

Some places served meatless dishes or even had a meatless version of what they were serving. Royal Tavern served up a roast pork sandwich which I tried with just the broccoli rabe and aioli(?). That sandwich tasted great just like that; I can only imagine with the pork in it! Bindi served a meatball in a chickpea curry. I really enjoyed that sans meatball.

I unfortunately missed Barbuzzo/Lolita/Bindi Chef Marcie Turney’s and Fork Chef Terence Feury’s demos in the tent. Got caught up elsewhere and didn’t know what time that stuff was going on!

victory hop wallop infused truffles from éclat chocolate

There were some delicious sweets at Brewer’s Plate too! Éclat Chocolate from West Chester had truffles infused with Victory‘s Hop Wallop beer. John & Kira’s had several chocolates out, including their ladybug ganache ones.

the bent spoon’s ice creams

The Bent Spoon, an artisanal ice creamery from Princeton, NJ, was showcasing three flavors: Dark Philosophy – 61% fair trade chocolate, and Brewery Ommegang’s Three Philosophers; Golden Honey Monkey – local NJ honey and Victory’s Golden Monkey; Peachy Nugget Nectar Sorbet – local NJ peaches and Tröegs Nugget Nectar. All three flavors were delicious.

boxcar brewing company

Beer was everywhere. There were several breweries in attendance from local Philly ones, Philadelphia Brewing Company and Yards to Dogfish Head – Milton, DE, Flying Fish – Cherry Hill, NJ, Sly Fox – Phoenixville, PA, Boxcar – West Chester, PA, and Fegley’s Brew Works – Allentown/Bethlehem, PA just to name a couple!

This event was a total blast and I definitely recommend attending next year. It’s a great way to enjoy local food and drink while supporting the local scene.

Here are more photos I took:

vip tents

dogfish head

j.g. domestic

foie gras mousse from j.g. domestic

flying fish head brewer casey hughes with the newest exit beer, exit 9

khyber pass pub

khyber pass pub’s bacon grease popcorn

royal tavern

royal tavern’s pork sandwiches

happy attendees


victory brewing company

chef scott schroeder of south philadelphia tap room

steak tartare from south philadelphia tap room

more happy attendees!

chef jeremy nolen of brauhaus schmitz

root cocktails

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