national mechanics – national veggie burger

I’ve added the National Veggie Burger at National Mechanics to my lenten burger list ever since I read about it on Mac & Cheese. Since I’ve been working in Center City a lot last week, it was the perfect opportunity to try it.

Accompanied by steak fries and a pickle, the National Veggie Burger is served on a fresh roll with your choice of cheese (I went with cheddar), lettuce, tomato, and red onion. The bun was perfectly crusty with a light, airy inside. The veggie patty consisted of julienned carrots, zucchini, broccoli, and mushrooms. It was slightly crisp and flavorful; you could taste all the veggies in it. Glad to have a veggie burger that wasn’t made up of beans, not that that’s a bad thing. You just don’t find beanless veggie burgers very often.

Also, National Mechanics has a burger special, Monday to Friday from 11 am – 7 pm. $7 for the National Burger or National Veggie Burger. Not a bad deal at all!

National Mechanics
22 S 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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philly foodspotting eat-up at franklin fountain – october 2011

Attendance at last night’s Foodspotting eat-up was a bit on the light side but still a great time. I think the intention was to order Mt. Vesuvius sundaes but no one was feeling that bold.

Their seasonal flavor was pumpkin so almost everyone went with a pumpkin ice cream. Foodspotter Melissa went with The Great Pumpkin sundae (pictured above) which is comprised of pumpkin ice cream, homemade hot caramel, salted pecans, whipped cream, and ground cinnamon.

Damn, why didn’t I get that? I was able to snag a couple spoonfuls and it was delicious. I ended up with a simple college ice (one scoop, one topping) of pumpkin and caramel and hot caramel. Still good, but I should have gotten The Great Pumpkin!

Run over to Franklin Fountain now and try their pumpkin ice cream…before I eat it all! Just kidding.

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Our next event is a Weird Food Eat-Up on Thursday, October 27! Check out more info here!

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khyber pass pub – khyber burger

You guys were all probably wondering when the hell I was going to get around to having my beloved Khyber Pass Pub’s burger. Well, I finally got around to having it last week, so there!

I ordered a Khyber Burger medium-rare with onion rings. The Khyber Burger is made up of angus beef, bacon, bbq onions, smoked cheddar, and creole mustard. It’s also served on a brioche bun.

khyber burger x-section

The Khyber Burger is one solid burger. It tasted great and you will not be disappointed, I wasn’t. As much as I love burgers though, I will give in to the po boys or fried green tomato BLT in the future because they’re just too awesome here.

Khyber Pass Pub
56 S 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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cuba libre – brunch without borders

Cuba Libre in Old City has a new menu for their 10th anniversary which has been inspired by Chef Guillermo Pernot’s recent trip to Cuba. One of the menu changes is their Brunch without Borders. Brunch without Borders is a $25, all-you-can-eat meal featuring several piqueos (small plates). Last Saturday, a friend and I certainly indulged until our stomachs reached their borders!

cafe cuba libre w/ shot of spiced rum

There were so many drinks to start the day off from coffees, tropical cocktails, and juices. I think I chose the best one though. My drink of choice was the Cafe Cuba Libre with an added shot of spiced rum. It’s Cuban coffee with steamed coconut milk and Cuba Libre spiced rum. This stuff was so ridiculously good. Could I have these everyday?

torta de cangrejo benedict

We certainly tried a ton of items, but the ones shown here were definitely our favorites. The Torta de Cangrejo Benedict was an interesting take on eggs benedict. It consisted of a jumbo lump crabmeat & potato cake topped with a poached egg and tomato Hollandaise served over an avocado mash.

cobbano salad

Another piqueo we ordered twice was the Cobbano Salad. Essentially a Cobb salad with Cuban flair, it had pulled pork, plaintains, hearts of palm, grape tomatoes, avocado, bacon, Cabrales cheese, hard boiled egg, scallions, watercress, and baby spinach tossed in a light mustard vinaigrette.

sopa levanta muerto

We may have also ordered the Sopa Levanta Muerto twice as well. Despite being fairly hot on Sunday, this was too good not to order twice. The translation means Raise the Dead Soup, which is named due to it’s consumption by those hungover to “raise spirits and body”…perfect for the Friday nights we both had. This soup had a delicious broth made up of some coconut milk and had crab meat, scallops, shrimp, and mussels.

To end our meal, we ordered the torreja (pictured above). It was a hazelnut and almond encrusted brioche French toast topped with strawberries, Frangelico-Mascarpone cheese, honey, and powdered sugar.

You can also order all these items a la carte should you not want to Brunch without Borders. Here is the rest of the brunch menu.

Cuba Libre
10 S. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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royal sushi & izakaya pop-up at the khyber pass pub

Before the Khyber became the Khyber Pass Pub, there were talks about it becoming an izakaya of some sorts. The name of the izakaya is Royal Sushi & Izakaya and Chef Todd Dae Kulper will be in charge. The location is still to be determined so they’re going to have a series of these pop-ups and the pop-up this past Monday at the Khyber Pass Pub was the first.

pork belly buns

If you showed up on Monday, you’re well aware how much of a madhouse the Khyber was. The pop-up started at 5pm and I arrived around 6pm to meet up with some friends. When I got there, the wait was about an hour. Lucky for me, one of my friends had a seat at the bar…which eventually led to our party sitting at the bar. Within the next hour, I overheard some people say that it was now a 3 hour wait!

grilled eggplant buns

Even though the featured dish was the hakata style ramen, there were several items on the menu to choose from: crispy bok choy, pork belly buns, grilled trigger fish jerky, grilled eggplant buns, and gyoza, just to name a few.

grilled trigger fish jerky

The grilled trigger fish jerky was tasty. It came with a small dollop of Kewpie mayo. Does anyone know if you could special order this stuff anywhere? It’s quite fishy but I could totally eat it as a snack. They do have dried seafood “jerky” snacks at the Asian market after all.

hitachino nest real ginger brew

In addition to the food, there was beer and two specialty cocktails. Sorry, I can’t remember what the cocktails were. Sapporo was served as well as three different Hitachino beers, the Real Ginger Brew, the White Ale, and the Classic Ale. I was able to try all three and the ginger one was my favorite.

I’m new to the world of legit ramen. Before this night, the only ramen experiences I had were from college and childhood…and that ramen was of the instant noodle variety of course, so keep that in mind if you thought this ramen was bad. I found the hakata style ramen to be satisfying. It had a bunch of ingredients including pork shoulder, pork belly, a soft boiled egg, wood ear mushrooms, spicy miso, scallions, and more. Not sure how much meat should normally be in ramen, but I wouldn’t have complained if there was more in my bowl.

In the end, I’m glad I got to try out some of the dishes. Once Royal Sushi & Izakaya sets up shop, I’ll definitely come in for a ramen fix, especially since Philly seems to have a lack of ramen places, unlike that other city.

I would imagine they’d be posting updates as to when their next pop-up will be on here.

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