Monday, April 26, 2010

Potato Pizza

I know what you're thinking.. "La Rosa? Again? Haven't you guys written about them 10,000 times?" Yes but I had never tried the potato pizza. Never even know they made it until perusing an old Craig Laban article.

Man it is terrific. I had some of their tomato pie a couple weeks ago. But the potato / rosemary / black pepper on white pie is incredible. I love some wood-fired thin crust truffle-topped whatever, fine if I want to go out and try something new.. but when I just want to order a pizza that I know is going to be delicious every time this is the place.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cider Donuts

There's really nothing better than getting food gifts. I tell people who travel a lot to bring me back Oki Dogs and Pink's wrapped in tin foil and they think I'm joking. Anyway thanks Aaron for these awesome cider donuts from Atkins Farm in Massachusetts. These are pretty small but tasty.

They also do these giant cream filled donuts that honestly weigh almost a pound each - check out the post from a few years ago-

Best Donuts - Atkins Farm

Atkins Farms Country Market
Rt 116 & Bay RD
South Amherst, MA 01002

Friday, April 23, 2010

Nicky & Pete's Famous Hot Dogs

Apologies for the double post - this is also going up on Serious Eats today- but I just can't get enough of this place, and wanted to post more photos. I found it scanning the phone book for the words "hot dog" and honestly expected something ancient along the lines of APJ Texas Weiners.

Nicky & Pete's is deep in West Philly (actually Overbrook) in a tiny italian neighborhood that consists of maybe 4 blocks. Apparently everyone fled to New Jersey in the 80's. Down the street from an honest to god Italian Social club and next door to a cafe with guys screaming in Sicilian out front. When we pulled out the cameras we got a "you lookin for somebuddy?" and dirty looks. Awesome.

It's is also a full-on steak, hoagie and cutlet shop so I was expecting maybe 3 variations of hot dog on the menu, but there's 13. And 4 styles of fish cake sandwich: plain, the philly combo (with a hot dog) the "special" fish cake with chili and whiz (don't knock it til you've tried it) and "fish & chips" with fried potatoes. Amazing.

All the hot dogs were awesome. I didn't realize that they had pepper hash as a topping until I got home and read the menu. We tried a Philly Combo, Jersey Dog with fried potatoes, peppers and onions, Chili dog, Baltimore Dog with slaw and bacon, Nicky & Pete's special with whiz and special sauce.

All the signs of a serious philly hot dog joint are here- split & grilled dogs, fish cakes, lots of whiz, BOTH cole slaw and pepper hash (in case you thought they were the same thing, or even close). The steaks & hoagies and homemade meatball sandwiches look good too. Crab fries, pepper shooters, you can even buy fresh bread to take home.

Also if you go up here you might also want to check out the original location of Jim's Steaks right around the corner.

Nicky & Pete's Famous Hot Dogs
349 N. 64th St. (Near Callowhill)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Philly restaurant tchotchka

Just picked up this shot glass from The Pub at a flea market this weekend. If you missed my earlier post the Pub is an old school steakhouse still open in New Jersey that had multiple locations in Philadelphia in the 60's.

Figured I'd also throw in a scan of this Levis' matchbook I recently picked up on ebay for 2 dollars. Levis was another legendary Philadelphia spot, serving up hot dogs right off of south street from 1895 until the early 90's.

There are rumblings of a Levis' rennaisance going on. Amazing beverages -you might know their line of Elliot's Amazing juices, especially if you lived in the suburbs of Philly in the 80's- owns the rights to the Levis name and recently reintroduced Champ Cherry Soda, soon to be available by the case at Bell Beverage at Front & Oregon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mexico on the Square

Tim had invited me to check out the University of the Arts Senior Illustration Show, which made me feel awkward, but was also inspiring. It also made me feel old because no one puts up originals anymore, its all computer compiled and printed out.

Tim told me we should get tacos around the corner on 15th and Pine. Hawk had tipped Tim off about this new taco place from the same people who owned the Savoy Flower shop ( Hawk you can correct me if I'm wrong)

The tacos were delicious, so were the sopes. My favorite the Al Pastor was spicy and the hidden pineapples were cooked down so they were extra sweet. The potato flautas were good, but I like my potato in the flautas to be more mashed inside, this was kind of like a potato wedge wrapped and fried. The kicker that made this place super awesome, was the green salsa. It was really thick and creamy. The cook asked us how our food was and we said it was awesome, and I inquired about the creamy green salsa.

He said "When I blend the salsa, not all Mexican people do it, but I add avocado so its more like guacamole."

Confirmed. Awesome.

Mexico on the Square
1511 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 732-1907

Ric's Bagels

I'm sometimes bummed that there isn't a neighborhood bagel shop I can get to in Philadelphia. But the closest has to be the bag of assorted Ric's Bagels I can pick up from Green Aisle Grocery. It gets there on Saturday and its pretty much gone by Monday. They are fresh and chewy and the everything bagel has chunks of sea salt that make them good all alone, or with a salad. Ric's has other delicious bread items like fluffy english muffins and eat the whole loaf cinnamon swirl bread that you can get if your not in a bagel mood.

But alas Ric's actual bakery is all the way in Lancaster, so thank goodness for Andrew and Adam at the Green Aisle.

Ric's Bread Bakery
24 N Queen
Lancaster, PA 17604
(717) 392-8385

Spring Lunch

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Voodoo Doughnut - Maple Bacon Bar

Note: this is a guest post from Garrett Morlan, an illustrator and designer living in Seattle who will be sending in reports from the northwest on occasion. Check out more of his work at

If you haven't yet seen it on the likes of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" or Adam Richmond's "Man vs. Food", downtown Portland's Voodoo Doughnut is a bizarre and fun bakery. The original location is super tiny and the atmosphere alone will make you think you are in some sort of dark fun house or New Orleans style voodoo shop complete with severed arms and skulls aplenty.

Voodoo Doughnut has a wide array of tasty and creative concoctions, from the classic "Voodoo Doughnut" a voodoo doll shaped doughnut with pretzel stick sticking out of it, or the "Arnold Palmer"
which is a cake doughnut covered with lemon and tea powder. But the must have, the end all be all in flavor indulgences in my opinion is the Bacon Maple Bar, a standard bar shaped doughnut covered in plenty of gooey maple icing and topped off with a couple strips of delicious crispy bacon.

The Bacon Maple Bar is by far the best doughnut i’ve ever had. If you think that bacon and doughnuts don’t go together, well just think of getting a little wayward maple syrup on your bacon when you eat pancakes or french toast, but this is even better. This salty and sweet mixture is out of this world and you just can’t beat it, besides, bacon makes everything better! Although I did find myself thinking that if I eat too many of these i'll end up either hallucinating as if cursed by a voodoo witch doctor or just on a hospital gurney.

Overall the doughnuts are huge, fresh, soft and delicious and if you are ever in Portland, OR. swing by and get something, you won't be disappointed. And if you find that you LOVE Voodoo Doughnut, well, you can actually get married there too!

A Legal Voodoo Wedding is $300 and includes:
Legal wedding Ceremony , Doughnuts and coffee for 6 people.
(6 people only due to limited capacity)

Voodoo Doughnut
22 SW 3rd Avenue
Portland Oregon

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cosmi's Deli

Is it possible that I have never written about Cosmi's here before, aside from the Best Of Philly 2008 post? Anyway if you don't know it's one of the best hoagies in the city. Really a toss up between them and Chickie's. But Cosmi's gets bonus points for being open late and on Sunday.

Folks swear by their cheesesteaks but I have to admit, In the cheesesteak realm I am more a fan of the popular, less authentic whiz and soft roll variety. But on a Hoagie I want mortadella, capicola, sopresetta, the good stuff, and lots of it, on a seeded roll with some longhots, and you can't get that at Wawa.

Sure you can get something like this on foccacia bread in center city but when I eat this kind of sandwich I want to feel 200 years of mummers and fat guy playing cards on the corner south philly history in every bite. They also do every kind of cutlet and parm sandwich as well as a flounder hoagie. Plus in the summer they have fresh jersey tomatoes. Heaven.

Cosmi's Deli
8th & Dickenson

Hot Dog Of The Week Update

Citizen's Bank Park - South Philly Dog

Phillies fans picked the South Philly with broccoli rabe, long hots and sharp provolone as their signature hot dog. I stole Chau's photos and turned it into Hot Dog Of The Week. I thought the big controversy would be about which dog they picked but instead it became a raging message board battle about the inferiority of skinless hot dogs.

Hatfield Grill Cart
Citizens Bank Park Stadium, section 125
Philadelphia PA

Fat Frank's - Bellows Falls, Vermont

This place was one of my favorites from a recent trip to New England. Natural casing dogs, new england buns, amazing house made chili cheese fries, and lots of local microbrews.

Fat Franks
92 Rockingham Street,
Bellows Falls VT

Danny's Drive In - Stratford Connecticut

We hit a traffic Jam on I-95 on the way here from Vermont, had to pull off the highway and blow through a million red lights in a rented truck to make it before they closed. Risked life and limb but so worth it. Deep fried dogs on toasted rolls and heavenly slaw that tasted like vanilla.

Danny's Drive-In
940 Ferry Boulevard,
Stratford CT

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Artist Series: Awesome Amy

Drawing for food is founded by 2 illustrators who draw for food. A lot of our friends make art for food but also make awesome food, or at least really love food.

Amy Kauffman is an amazing artist as well as a crazy good cook. Sometimes I think Amy actually isn't my friend. Only because I tell her it's summer and I'm trying to lose weight, but she'll stop by 2 days in a row with fresh homemade cream donuts or fleur de sel chocolate caramels that she "happened" to make. What a jerk.

an ongoing project
November 1, 1974 to the present...1 for each day lived
folded gum wrappers

folded tootsie roll wrappers and
hand cast hydrocal picture frames

untitled (Trident)
folded gum wrappers

untitled (trident)
folded Trident gum wrappers

What's your favorite thing to eat in Philadelphia?

"That's a difficult question. In the wintertime, I get cravings for Indian food. When I do, our go to place is Karma in Old City because my husband took me there when we were dating and at the time it was close to his gallery 1Pixel. Plus the food is amazing. Their naan is addictive and the days their service is spot on, they'll bring you fresh bread that's soft and chewy that's perfectly charred. It's really indescribable the bite to this bread. "

Is your creative process better with a full or empty stomach?

"If I'm on a roll, I often don't require any kind of food and just like to have a glass of water on hand. If I have a creative block, I often have to tool around in the kitchen and make something to be creative and get myself to think about something other than no art production."

What is your favorite midnite art deadline snack?

"Deadline snack is usually something that has chocolate and peanut butter, something that satisfies both the sweet and savory requirements. If I'm installing, I often nosh on Haribu Happy Colas, and if I'm lucky I might find some Fizzy Colas which give me that added sugar kick, but they are hard to come by."

homemade chips, guacamole, and roasted tomatilla salsa

Chicken Pot Pie ( Amy won't give me the recipe but those are little floating homemade pieces of pie crust, and its pretty ridiculous overall, best chicken soup I ever had )

Taco bar: homemade corn tortillas
mexican style pulled pork taco with cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream
korean style bbq pork taco with red leaf lettuce, pickled daikon, and kimchi cucumbers

homemade fried cheese ravioli with parmesan, parsley and homemade marinara

Here's Amy's guacamole recipe:

Guacamole Recipe
sharp knife
2 bowls
reamer (isn't necessary)

2 Ripe Avocados
1 Jalapeno
1 lime
salt (sea or kosher)

cut avocados in half
remove seeds
place in a bowl and mash with a fork leaving some chunks in for texture
cut the jalapeno into tiny bits (for heat leave white ribs and seeds in/ for milder flavor remove white ribs and seeds)
toss jalapeno bits into the mashed avocado
slice lime in half and squeeze juice with a reamer or by hand into the avocado and jalapeno
add a pinch of sea or kosher salt into the mix, stir and taste to see if it needs to be seasoned further
put everything in a new bowl and serve with chips

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Pub

After Caroline's great post on Roll-N-Roaster I thought I'd keep the retro theme alive. Before Steven Starr, Neil Stein, or even George Perrier, going out for a fancy dinner in Philadelphia meant either Bookbinder's for seafood or The Pub.

At one point in the 1960's there were five branches of The Pub in the Philadelphia area - the original in Pennsauken NJ, the "Little Pub" on 1421 Sansom Street (now Chris' Jazz Cafe) another location at 1522 Chestnut (photo of the back door on Sansom - I think - here), one on Allegheny Ave, and the mind - blowing Polynesian Pub Tiki at 18th & Walnut right on Rittenhouse Square. The Pennsauken location is sadly the only one left standing.

If you live in Philadelphia you've no doubt passed The Pub a million times, on the way to the shore or sitting on the Chinatown bus blasting through the South Jersey landscape of disintegrating bright yellow liquor stores, derelict strip malls and discount furniture emporiums.

This will not prepare you for the amazing mountain lodge meets medieval palace that lies within. Nothing has changed since 1960, which is mostly a good thing. Taxidermied deer heads, multiple suits of armor, shields and spears and coats of arms line the walls and up the gigantic cielings. The dining room holds about 500 people and the bar area alone is the size of most center city restaurants.

So what about the food? If you're expecting prime aged kobe beef with forest mushrooms, obviously this is not the place. But both times I've been here, my charcoal grilled steaks - wheeled to the table on a sizzling grill cart by diner-sweet waitresses, and ladled with a pool of no-frills beef jus- have been cooked perfectly. And the massive onion rings were crisp and delicious, and quite possibly not from a bag.

All entrees come with unlimited warm loaves of bread stabbed with a knife, your choice of potato side, and the "famous" salad bar. The pre-dressed Caesar salad is OK but I went for a big pile of iceberg lettuce and veggies drowned in ranch dressing. Everything was fresh which is more than I can say for most salad bars and the best part is the maple-leaf shaped wooden plate you pile your salads on.

I would suggest sticking with steaks, The prime rib and filet are decent and I would guess NY strip is also a good choice. The filet kabobs are more affordable but not as juicy. Ribs were OK but kind of tough and oversauced.. real Barbecue has ruined me for mediocre ribs anyway.

Half roast chicken might be something to try. Crab meat stuffed seafood, give it a shot if you want to roll the dice, that stuff scares the hell out of me. The biggest bummer are the twice baked potatoes that are lacking any sort of salt, fat, or flavor.. same goes for the fries and mash... But who cares? Order a giant drink (made with "1 1/2" shots of booze) and have a great goddamn time.

Part of me thinks that with a new chef, or even just a few tweaks to the menu (prime steaks, better sides and desserts, table-side caesar, even more giant retro cocktails) this place could be the best steakhouse in Philly.

But I doubt any restauranteurs have the stones to invest in a place like this without remodeling it into some douchey luxe-lounge nightmare. Which would scare away the loyal Jersey locals who pack The Pub every night. Just as well to leave it exactly the way it is.

7600 Kaighn Avenue
Pennsauken, NJ 08110

Time Travel - Citypaper Review from 1998
• great collection of menus from The Pub Tiki