Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I made fruitcake, and it wasn't horrible.
also discovered that "nuts to you" - 20th & chestnut - is awesome.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

divan turkish kitchen

right along the gentrification frontier at 22nd & carpenter. went on the friday after christmas and there was almost nobody there so I was a little worried. but the food was fantastic. sorry forgot my camera so you get drawings.

had some crispy fried calf's liver that was delicious, and grilled lamb that a little bit strangely came with flour tortillas as the "flatbread" but whatever it was great. the lamb and beef dumplings were almost like raviolis, in tomato sauce and a yogurt mint white sauce which also seemed a little wierd at first but we were ready to lick the plate clean at the end.

it's also BYOB but with a $10 corking fee (ouch). they have some turkish beer & wine which seems to be the way to go.

divan turkish kitchen
22nd & carpenter

Friday, December 26, 2008

Drawing for Food

This is a delayed posting, but for Drawing for Food's Birthday Hawk cooked dinner for our friends. This included the best celery root soup I ever had, pressed cuban sandwiches, pork tacos with homemade everything, and my new obsession with truffle honey.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

what I really eat

believe it or not I was a vegetarian for 5 or 6 years and have much experience in the way of rice & beans.
when I don't have a lot of time or money this is still my staple meal.

I usually keep some pork chops or chicken thighs (dirt cheap) in the freezer, defrost in the microwave and sear in the pan. pull it out, throw in some bacon or chorizo (or not), whatever vegetables are rolling around in the bottom of the fridge - onions, peppers, celery, throw in the rice and toast it a second, maybe add some tomato paste if there's any.

Deglaze with miller lite or box wine or leftover coffee..throw your chicken back in there and a can of beans.. fill the rest with stock or water. Throw in a bay leaf or herbs if you got 'em. (This is a great time to get rid of almost rotten $12 herbs you bought at whole foods for something you never even made) The chicken thigh or leg should be done the same time as the rice as long as you don't use anything too big.

And it's even better the next morning with tortillas and eggs for breakfast. I could eat this every day for the rest of my life.

frog legs

the last place we ate in paris was a tiny rustic looking bistro hidden on a dark alley complete with pictures of old french butchers and pots hanging from the ceiling. they specialize in frog legs.. which I know apparently the french don't really eat but whatever they were delicious, like french chicken wings.

actually everything here was delicious especially the pumpkin soup with foie gras, mixed green salad with goat cheese brik, scallops with truffled potatoes, braised pork. nothing insane just simple and delicious and well made if not a little touristy with the toulouse letrec poster reprints everywhere.

walking around the latin quarter area at night half drunk is pretty incredible, the streets are lined with dudes making crepes and cases full of sandwiches and bars with secret underground caves where beer is 2 euros but coca cola is 6.

roger la grenouille
26-28 rue des grands augustines
left bank/latin quarter, paris

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

french street food

Being in paris I felt obligated to go into restaurants, but honestly I could have been happy eating nothing but street food the whole time I was there. the streets and alleys are lined with gleaming cases of sandwiches, spinning greek gryo meat, pastries, seafood, crepes, rotisserie chickens, even hot dog and cheesesteak baguettes. I seriously don't know who the hell eats all of this food.

One place even had a huge cornocopia of shellfish just sitting in front of the restaurant. Lobsters, open oysters, shrimp, etc... I thought it was fake but they were real, just sitting out in the street. Here they would either get eaten by bums or shut down by the health department.

Monday, December 8, 2008

breakfast in paris

Breakfast in france usually means a croissant and some coffee. which is great but if you're a filthy american like me you want a giant plate with eggs and a few varieties of meat all cooked in fat along with your bread. So I was happy to find a little tobacco/lottery stand a few blocks from our hotel proudly advertising "petit dejeuner" including "fried ham and eggs".

Past the old french guys smoking and drinking beer at 10 oclock in the morning were a few tables. We sat down and ordered some coffee and croque madam sandwiches which if you dont know is a grilled/toasted/warm ham and cheese sandwich with an egg on top and sometimes bechamel sauce.

The guy at the counter took a big swig of wine and walked into the back to cook up our sandwiches, which were damn good. nothing fancy just good french ham slathered with cheese & topped with fried eggs. and even a little side salad.. pretty awesome for a newsstand full of smoking drunks. Oh and the coffee in france is better than anything else, I dont know why, maybe it's in the water or something, even the stuff that comes out of vending machines tastes like magic.

Friday, November 14, 2008


In a world where you can shop all nite and the exchange rate is really good, Korea is my new favorite place in Asia. Don't get me wrong, the Japanese are good at snacks and the chinese have good dim sum, but nothing sat better in my stomach than a bowl of rice and kimchee and ginseng honey tea.

Plus where else will you find an apple carved like a cup, filled with fresh apple juice and sochu?

I learned that Duk Bok Gi, rice cakes, were my favorite snacks. And that only really fresh kim chee is served with Mandoo. I also sadly learned that homemade kimchee is a dying art because it costs too much to make it at home.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bistro La Minette

I popped into La Minette for just a taster of this new french bistro, in an already populated french corner of South Philly.

It was everything I like about eating out. From the high backed red bench that lined the wall to the ceramic jugs that held the wine. High Fives, or as Brielle described our sorbet "Best".

This little corner of South Philly might have stolen my heart for the time being, with Southwark, Coquette, La Minette, and Beau Monde all in 2 minutes of each other.

Bistrot La Minette

Sunday, September 28, 2008


reading this blog you would think we cook 5 course meals every night, but most nights I just eat chicken and salad with ranch dressing and fake bacon bits. cooking from scratch in a home kitchen without floor hoses and dishwashers and 400 horsepower stick blenders makes a big goddamn mess.

but sometimes you just need to have meatballs. especially with a blend of 3 meats, ricotta cheese, grated parm, fresh herbs and everything mixed in there. these were the size of baseballs, and served them up with these vegetable lasagna-ish (no pasta) towers dripping with fresh mozzarella and sitting in a pool of parmesan-vodka cream sauce.

Super Snacks

Japan is really good at snacks. My last nite with Saya, Ryohei and Jiro involved Okonomiyaki and Manju. Both not so good for you, both I could eat all nite with my delicious grapefruit sochu. The most social food ever. All we got were the raw ingredients and a comic strip on how to cook it. Lucky for me Saya was a pro.

Our Okonomiyaki was basically a noodle pancake cabbage pizza with yummy sauce on it. The Manju was, well I am not sure, but it was amazing.