south philadelphia tap room

It took me way too long to get down here. I’ve always heard great things about the food Chef Scott Schroeder makes. He also tweets photos of his food and it always looks awesome. For example, there’s the grilled cheese & tomato soup and the extremely rare chicken fried cheesesteak. After seeing these, you’re probably wondering why it took me so long to go.

Grilled cheese in mind, I made my way down after work yesterday. To my surprise, an insert was handed out in addition to the regular menu which included Scott’s Dogs, hot dogs which will soon be served from a cart in a collaboration with Southwark Chef Nick Macri, an appetizer of “mexican construction worker style headcheese tacos”, and “my grandmom’s tomato and mayonnaise sandwich”. Whoa! If you follow Scott on Twitter, you have definitely seen him talk about a simple sandwich of tomato and mayo. I never thought it was weird, but I certainly have never had or heard of it. It certainly intrigued me. After I saw that Scott was offering this on the menu, I had no choice but to order it. I had to see what all the fuss was about. The sandwich (pictured above) is made from Lancaster county tomatoes, white bread, and mayo and is accompanied by a side of fries, salad, or pasta salad. It was freaking delicious. I would ramble on more, but my words honestly don’t do it any justice. You HAVE to make it down here.

grilled cheese & tomato soup

One of the three of us did get the grilled cheese and she was kind enough to let me try a piece. That was quite fantastic too. If I had a couple more beers in me, there’s no doubt in my mind I would have ordered a grilled cheese too. I also tried one of the headcheese tacos which was tasty. They had quite the spice kick!

mexican construction worker style headcheese tacos

I will definitely be back. The place has a chill vibe, the beer selection is good, and Scott’s food rocks. I also have unfinished business (grilled cheese/tomato soup, the burger, Scott’s Dogs, and a chicken fried cheesesteak…if I get lucky).

If you think it’s too far to get to it’s only a couple blocks northwest of the Snyder stop on the Broad Street Line. Do it.

South Philadelphia Tap Room
1509 Mifflin Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145

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cooking: five cheese mac & cheese with roasted tomatoes & mushrooms

Last weekend, Meg, from Runner’s Kitchen, and I made the BEST mac and cheese. EVER.

We were inspired by a Saveur recipe and messed around with the cheese types and the quantities of each. Also, since we wanted to make a side, we decided to roast some tomatoes and mushrooms. There were a ton of leftovers and I had them for lunch for the next two days. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring home a lot and experienced some withdrawal on day 3…

grating the cheese

Anyway, here are the recipes…

Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Mushrooms
Serves 4 as a side

-6-8 roma tomatoes, halved
-10 oz. pack of baby portobellas/crimini mushrooms, quartered
-olive oil
-salt & pepper, to taste
-fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Preheat oven to 475°.

In large bowl, toss tomatoes and mushrooms with olive oil until coated. Season with salt and pepper and toss once more.

Spread out tomatoes and mushrooms in a single layer onto a sheetpan. Place in oven for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with basil and serve.

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 6-8
Adapted from Saveur’s Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

-1 lb campanelle pasta
-6 tbsp unsalted butter
-3/4 c panko bread crumbs
-1 c parmesan, grated
-1/2 tsp paprika
-2 shallots, minced
-1 bay leaf
-1/4 c ap flour
-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
-3 c milk
-10 oz sharp white cheddar, grated
-8 oz gruyere, grated
-8 oz fontina, grated
-3 oz gorgonzola, crumbled
-salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°.

In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions only HALFWAY. This is important since you want the pasta to finish cooking in the oven while absorbing some of the flavor of the sauce. Once halfway cooked, drain and set aside.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. Add the panko breadcrumbs and parmesan. Toss to coat. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium to large pot, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, paprika, and bay leaf. Stirring often until shallots soften. Add cayenne and flour and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk. Whisk often until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.

Whisk in the cheese slowly (reserve a handful of gruyere for the top), ensuring all the cheese melts together nicely. Take the pasta and stir into the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the macaroni and cheese in a 9″ x 12″ baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining gruyere across the top. Next, sprinkle the bread crumb mixture across the top till evenly distributed.

Cover a sheetpan with foil and place the baking dish on top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The dish is ready when the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

For more mouthwatering photos, check out Runner’s Kitchen.

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