chifa: duck week

chifa duck

The moment I got the newsletter from Garces Restaurant Group regarding Duck Week at Chifa, Chef Jose Garces’s Peruvian/Cantonese restaurant, I knew I had to go. Duck is one of my favorite meats and what better opportunity for me to indulge! I’ve been here once before for Restaurant Week and had a great experience, so this one was sure to be something special.

manchego/yucca puffs w/ sriracha/guava butter

first course

solterito salad – edamame, long beans, tomatoes, queso fresco, toasted garlic dressing
marinated olives – yuzu-marinated peruvian olives, pickled white onions
duck ceviche – duck confit, cherry puree, foie gras torchon, brioche croutons

second course

mussels – white rum, coconut broth, thai basil, lemongrass, jalapeno
duck buns – roasted duck, hoisin glaze, pickled diakon & carrot, togarashi mayo
duck chicharron – crispy duck, green curry lentils, pickled ginger and napa cabbage, cracklins

third course

yu choy – ginger-soy glazed snap peas, chinese water spinach, enoki mushrooms, fennel
duck chaufa – wok fried rice, duck confit, soy glazed duck breast
chifa duck – served with hoisin, scallions & sichuan peppercorn crepes

dessert course

foie gras ice cream – pistachio cookie, caramel apple paint, cracklins, pink peppercorns
Those puffs that were brought out at the start were AMAZING. Absolutely delicious on their own and the spicy and sweet sriracha/guava butter set them over the edge!

I don’t love or hate mussels. I eat them, but I probably would never order them at a restaurant if it were to be my entree. Nothing quite reels me in about them. The broth of Chifa’s mussels though…oh boy. I’m pretty sure I took my spoon to it and finished it all. That could very well be the cause of my stomach ache the next day or so..that or the mass amount of food consumed.

The pork chicharron dish was great. It had a very homestyle, comfort food feel to it and was extremely flavorful. The ginger packed a punch!

I really enjoyed Chifa’s take on peking duck. It was served along with the traditional ingredients, hoisin, scallions, and a pancake/crepe to wrap it all up in. Chifa puts their own spin on it with the addition of sichuan pepper crepes. What a great idea that was! The crepes had a touch of sweet with a hint of sichuan peppercorn, which was great, since a lot of sichuan peppercorn can be extremely overwhelming. All together, it made for one delicious peking duck dish.

Everything was fantastic and if there’s to be another Duck Week in 2011, count me in for sure!

Huge thanks for hockey teammate/friend Samer for tagging along, glad you enjoyed the meal!

Chifa has a Weyerbacher beer dinner coming up on October 28, get to it!

Chifa
707 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215.925.5555

Chifa on Urbanspoon

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village whiskey, round 2


Last week, I finally made my second trip to Village Whiskey. During my first visit to Village Whiskey, I unfortunately didn’t get to try the duck fat fries and the Whiskey King burger.

I was having a pretty awful day…so in an attempt to feel better, I indulged in the duck fat fries and the Whiskey King burger (pictured above).


duck fat fries

The fries were tasty with a good crispness to them. I didn’t dare bother dipping them in the ketchup as I find ketchup and fries together to be a sin, unless they’re really subpar fries that only ketchup can save.

The burger I got the last time was fantastic, but this one just completely blew that one out of the water. Can there possibly be more flavor than the burger I ordered last time? Yes, yes there can. Everything was delish…the beef, foie gras, the sharpness of the bleu cheese, sweetness of the cipollinis…ahhh foodgasm. You honestly have to try this. It’s a little steep at the price of $26, but if you’ve never tried it, it’s worth the investment!

Post meal I was in a food coma for maybe almost 2 hours…but ohhh was it worth it…

Village Whiskey
118 S 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215.665.1088

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distrito


Distrito is one of the restaurants I’ve always wanted to go to, but never attempted to go…until I heard they were starting weekend brunch. The atmosphere was comfy and full of pinata-ish colors (green, white, blue, (primarily pink). I sat right next to the bar on one of the long wraparound wicker “benches”.


I started the morning off with some horchata, something I’ve been wanting to try for for a while now. Definitely enjoyed it. It was just sweet enough and nothing too strong that I had to chase with a water afterwards. Not that I have tasted previous horchatas to compare to though… I also got to try some of the Ojo Rojo, a drink consisting of coffee, mexican hot chocolate, patron xo, whipped cream, and caramel. THAT was pretty damn good.


We ordered Nachos Ignacio as our appetizer. My main entree was the huevos rancheros. Around the table the following was ordered:


enchiladas de pollo


breakfast burrito


steak & (scrambled) eggs


torrijas

I really enjoyed my huevos rancheros. They’re definitely some of the best I’ve had…soooo tasty! I got to try a little bit of everything at the table and they were all great. The one that really stuck out besides my huevos were the torrijas. The torrijas is a tres leches french toast. I’m a sucker for tres leches and the toast was delicious and had a texture similar to a churro but a couple steps lower on the crispy scale (a good, not bad thing in my book). It almost made me wish I ordered it, though I rarely order the sweet things for breakfast.


huevos rancheros

For the last dessert course:


side of platano y crema


flan


tres leches

Distrito’s take on the sweet plaintain was interesting. It was served with a little bit of refried beans and some queso fresco. The plantain was sweet and mixed with the beans and cheese definitely made for an interesting flavor but it was good.

The Tres Leches cake was ridiculous. Could have been my favorite dish throughout the whole meal. The flavor was delicate and had that “just right” feeling to it. I could (and maybe would) eat SO much of this if I had the opportunity.

Definitely want to go back already…anyone wanna join?

Check out full brunch menu here

Distrito
3945 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.222.1657

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village whiskey

Ever since my gf and I dined at Amada, I’ve been a big fan of Jose Garces. He’s an extremely successful chef who’s only in his 30’s and owns six Philadelphia restaurants. Garces has also recently become the next iron chef…beating out all the competition (I have yet to watch all the episodes I’ve DVR’ed). I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting him at Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation food charity event last summer. During Philadelphia Restaurant Week, I had the chance to try Chifa, a Peruvian/Cantonese “fusion” restaurant which Garces opened up fairly recently (within the last year or so). More recently, Garces opened up Village Whiskey, next to his wine bar, Tinto within the past 6 months…


As soon as I found out about this place, I knew I had to make a trip. Unfortunately, the wait for a table was an hour and a half…so my friend and I just walked around the bar area and the back. Fortunately, a couple was leaving and my friend and I were able to snag a stand up spot along the back wall.


VW’s menu sports a lot of great offerings. They have a bunch of finger foods such as cheese puffs, oysters, and pretzels as well as different kinds of pickles (cipollinis, beets, onions). Of course, what stands out in my mind from the menu though are the Whiskey King burger (w/ maple bourbon glazed cipollini, rogue bleu cheese, applewood bacon, and foie gras) and the duck fat french fries! Had I not been heading up to a crazy alumni weekend at Lehigh after this, I would have ordered those. Instead, I opted for a Village Burger with rogue bleu cheese and caramelized onions. I also ordered a Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Stout to go along.


The service was great despite the place being packed. The meal came out within 15-20 and had a pickle on the side. If you know me at all, you know I’m not crazy about pickles…but I ate this one! As I took my first bite, I wandered off into a bit of burger heaven. It was just so damn delicious. The bread was perfect. The burger was juicy and just right. The forementioned plus the other additions all came together to make this easily one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.


Due to the pretty awesome drink menu and great food offerings, I have unfinished business here and will without question be back in the (hopefully) near future.

DEFINITELY, definitely check this place out if you can!

Village Whiskey
118 S 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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