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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Last Saturday was World Foodspotting Day and to celebrate the first birthday of Foodspotting, several foodspotters around the world met up with others to eat and “spot”!

Chef Levin of Adsum in Philadelphia put together a special brunch menu for the day. The menu consisted of a breakfast poutine, fried chicken & waffles, and a specialty cocktail. The breakfast poutine had duck fat fries topped with brown gravy, sausage gravy, mozzarella curd, and a fried egg. The fried chicken and waffles were topped with a jalapeno maple syrup. Lastly, the specialty cocktail was called the Figure Study, consisting of SNAP, fig sorbet, champagne, and Peychaud bitters.

fried chicken & waffles w/ jalapeno maple syrup

I’m pretty sure I would have gone with the breakfast poutine, especially since I’ve heard their super poutine off their dinner menu is awesome, but since I consumed poutine-ish fries the night before, I had to decline. My body just said no to the consumption of gravy covered fries twice within 24 hours. In lieu of the poutine, I went for the fried chicken & waffles. It was delicious. The combination of jalapeno with the maple syrup was interesting and tasty. Wish I had room to try other food cause the menu looked pretty awesome.

It was great to run into some familiar faces as well as meet some new ones. Huge thanks to Chef Levin and the Adsum crew, Alexis of teaspoons & petals, and of course, Foodspotting!

700 S 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

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10 arts – top chef all-stars premiere party

Last night I went to 10 Arts for the Top Chef All-Stars Premiere Party with my friend Jen of Married to a Meat-Eater. Chef Jen Carroll had a pretty awesome run in the sixth season, Top Chef: Las Vegas, and is competing again in All-Stars. To celebrate, 10 Arts played episodes of Top Chef: Las Vegas until the premiere of All-Stars (Season 8 ) at 10 pm. In addition to the viewing, Chef Jen offered a special five course tasting menu featuring some of the dishes she made in season 6.

first course

clam ceviche – tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, mint, basil – made during a quickfire challenge
second course

blue bay mussels – steamed mussels, pea tendrils, potato lemongrass emulsion – also made during a quickfire challenge
third course

halibut – poached halibut, braised endive, black peppercorn lobster-bourbon sauce – made during an elimination challenge based on personal vices

fourth course

snake river kobe skirt steak – grilled kobe beef, salad of fennel, asian pear and orange, tomato-cardamom broth – made during an elimination challenge with chef kevin gillespie
pasta dish jen ordered – don’t remember the name but it was ridiculously good
fifth course

s’mores – soft chocolate, pomegranate, toasted marshmallow, graham ice cream – childhood favorite dessert of chef jen
spice cake – ice cream, persimmons
petits fours
We were lucky enough to get invited by Chef Jen to take a look at the kitchen. It was very, very cool to be able to take a peek.

Drinkwise, I started off the night with a Ri-Pear cocktail (Anjou pears, Grey Goose La Poire, white cranberry juice) and eventually had two Chef Takes Manhattan’s, 10 Arts’s special of the night.

Chef Eric Ripert originally intended on attending but unfortunately had to cancel last minute. Also, I ran into Chef Kevin Sbraga, winner of this last season’s Top Chef: D.C. (Season 7).

I’ve only been here one other time for restaurant week and I didn’t feel that I got quite the experience. Tonight was absolutely terrific. I will surely be back, hopefully soon to try Pastry Chef Monica Glass’s Sucre dessert bar or the Five Bite Lunch.

Huge thanks to Chef Jen Carroll, Chef Monica Glass (thanks for the extra desserts!), our excellent waiter Keeton, and rest of the 10 Arts staff. The dinner was fantastic and definitely an experience to remember.

10 Arts Bistro & Lounge by Eric Ripert
The Ritz-Carlton
10 Avenue of the Arts
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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2010 vendy awards!

I was a volunteer at this year’s Vendys in New York City. You’ve probably read all about the Vendys already since I’m posting this a couple weeks after.

vendy cup

This year’s Vendy Awards were held at Governors Island. Several NYC food trucks were nominated for three categories, Vendy Cup/MasterCard People’s Taste, Rookie Vendor of the Year, and Dessert. The nominees for the Vendy Cup/People’s Taste Awards were: King of Falafel & Shawarma, Bistro Truck, Schnitzel & Things, El Rey de Sabor, and Patacon Pisao.

patacon pisao

schnitzel & things

king of falafel & shawarma

The nominees for Rookie Vendor of the Year were Souvlaki GR, A-Pou’s Taste, Mexicue, The Cinnamon Snail, and 99% Vegetarian.

souvlaki gr

Lastly, the nominees for Dessert were Guerrilla Ice Cream, Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Dessert Truck, Yao’s Dragon Beard Candy, and Kelvin Slush.

yao’s dragon beard candy

kelvin slush

A couple of Philly food trucks made the drive up! Honest Tom’s Taco Shop was among three Philly trucks to serve at the Vendys. The other two were Chester Spring’s Birchrun on a Roll and Denise’s Soul Food Restaurant.

honest tom’s taco shop

Now, without further ado, on to some food photos!

bistro truck – lamb tajine, rustic lentils, and dijon chicken (cw from bottom)

schnitzel & things – veal schnitzel & schnitz lolli w/ sides (potato salad, cucumber salad, sauerkraut, chickpea salad, and roasted beet & feta salad)

king of falafel & shawarma – falafel

the cinnamon snail – korean bbq seitan, porcini hempseed crusted tempeh, and ginger island grilled tofu (cw from left)

yao’s dragon beard candy – long tzi tang (pulled sugar around crushed peanuts)

guerrilla ice cream – libertacao (72% chocolate & port wine ice cream topped w/ brueleed frozen banana & cashews)

guerrilla ice cream – 8888 uprising (mango, lemongrass & palm sugar sorbet topped w/ shredded coconut and lime zest)

patacon pisao – tres leches

There was an abundance of food and I pretty much got to try everything sans Kelvin Slush. I knew I shoulda gotten a slush when the line was short! The line grew 10x in size as the day went on.

At the end of the day, there were a couple dishes/desserts that were my favorites. I still think about them to this day, wondering when the next time I can eat it will be…

souvlaki gr – pork souvlaki (pork, tomato, red onion, french fries, and tzatziki in a pita)

patacon pisao – chicken patacon (plantain sandwich)

king of falafel & shawarma – shawarma & rice

big gay ice cream truck – salty pimp (vanilla ice cream w/ dulce de leche, sea salt, and a chocolate dip)

The winners for the Cup, Rookie, and Dessert categories were King of Falafel & Shawarma, Souvlaki GR, and Kelvin Slush, respectively. Sigh, really wish I tried some slush! I’m just gunna have to make my way over one of these days.

I left Governors Island extremely full but content. It was a fantastic day of eating, enjoying the gorgeous weather, hanging out with RK, and meeting some great people (Amy Cao of Amy Blogs Chow and Dan Cohen of Danny Macaroons). Thanks for the macaroon, Dan! It was delicious!

In more local news, it was announced that Philly is set to have a Vendys of their own next year! Can’t wait!

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