Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mayonnaise Sammy

Delicious Mayo Sandwich Special from the South Philly Taproom. Thick cut fluffy bread, jersey tomatoes, and lots of mayo. Super Yum. That day was a hard decision in specials, I ended up getting the corndog, mayonnaise sandwich, and the cheesesteak sliders. What's wrong with me?

South Philly Taproom
1509 Mifflin Street,
Philadelphia, Pa 19145

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ja Jang Myun


MinHee, super cute, only buys little kid food at the HMart

Most Genius invention, split bowl

Korean cheezy pasta type thing?


H-Mart tour, this time I was taken to the one in Upper Darby. The actual market was okay, I didn't enjoy it as much as the one in Cherry Hill but the food court was awesome. Here MinHee ordered the Ja Jang Myun split bowl for me, and so far the unanimous answer to the reason for the split bowl, no one could decide between the 2 dishes so the split bowl was invented. True story, asked 2 different Korean people, who didnt know each other, and this was their answer.

This dish is a Korean take on Chinese food, black bean sauce with an al dente ramen noodle, the other side is a spicy seafood soup with the al dente ramen noodle. This dish is hands down delicious. I could eat this everyday any hour of the day and be stoked. Minhee, explained to me that this was super cheap take out food in Korea. This didn't even make me feel gross.

That strange cheezy pasta dish photo up there was like a wierd guilty pleasure I needed to know about. It was duk bok gi, rice cake thingies, covered in this spicy kind of sweet tomato sauce thing, covered with cheese and served with a hard boiled egg. Amazing and delicious and totally guilty. Wasn't the most delicious, but I could see myself drunk really really wanting this.

Thanks Hmart and Minhee.

7050 Terminal Square
Upper Darby, PA 19082

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Jerseys Are In

A week or so ago I was at Cosmi's waiting for some "soprasud" on seeded bread (next time you're there don't miss the hand written signs for "perjoot" and "gabagul" - not poking fun, I love that shit.. this is Philadelphia, not Italy ) when a truck pulled up out front and the tattooed guy behind the counter announced "da Jerseys are in!"

The "Jerseys" above (smaller ones on the right) are from the Italian Market, 50 cents a pound.. a bit banged up but fine for cooking. The Pennsylvania heirlooms on the left are from the Amish dudes at the Passyunk Square farmer's market (every wednesday 3-7pm) - 2.25 a pound for some GIANT yellow and red ugly ripe jawns.

Iovine Brothers at the Reading Terminal also has heaping piles of local zebra striped green, yellow, orange and dark red tomatoes for next to nothing. Another good spot for heirlooms is the saturday Rittenhouse Square market, and I'd bet Sue's Produce on 18th street has some good ones too.

So obviously we've been living off of tomato salad and gazpacho for the last 3 weeks.. plus I just turned that pile above into some killer "gravy" that I planned to freeze for the future but I'll probably just eat it all in the next few days.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Burger Joint

I swear Hawk briefly covered 500 Degrees but I can't seem to find that posting. But I wanted to try it out, and I was pretty stoked with my findings. Here's the low down, it's not a chain, it's actually the same owners as Rouge across from Rittenhouse Square.

I was never compelled to eat here because it does look like a Chipotle like burger chain. But it doesn't have the real fast food look of something like 5 Guys and Fries.

It made me think that it would taste like a Marathon Grill Burger by the looks of the decor. Which is not bad, just not something I am looking for.

But I was fooled. It's actually quite quality, local products, and done well. The rolls I'm pretty positive are the Challah rolls from Wildflour bakery ( only because I eat one everyday for breakfast ) They have Birch Beer at the fountain ( super points ) some kind of microbrew ginger ale which was awesome ( not too sweet, mild ginger flavor ). The kicker for me, or table slammer, are the milkshakes. They are made with Bassett's ice cream. This made me very happy. And it was delicious.

The French fries were restaurant quality and I ordered the truffle fries. Delicious, not too truffley tasting and they were sea salted. I also asked for the homemade 'Fry Sauce' and 'Spice Sauce'. Both crazy awesome and at no extra charge. The tables all have- malt vinegar, BBQ sauce, spicy mustard, and ketchup. They were all filled to the top and clean.

Shout out to the BBQ sauce, um it was smokey, peppery, and vinegary but had that yummy glazy consistency I like with BBQ sauce.

Overall, a stoked experience and now my favorite casual burger. Although my medium was a little overcooked but still juicy. I did say that when I got to know them better I would start ordering it medium rare. I hope next time I get more pink.

500 Degrees : A Burger Joint
1504 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rutt's Hut

Stopped at Rutt's at 9 in the morning on the way to 5 days of camping. Deep fried hot dogs with relish and cheese whiz washed down with breakfast Budweiser. Also corn on the cob.

The Bar / Dining room is pretty much the greatest place I have ever seen in my life. Once South Philly is completely gentrified I might just move to New Jersey and hang out here all day drawing hot dogs at the bar.

Read my full, official Rutt's Hut article over at Serious Eats.

Rutt's Hut
facebook page
417 River Road
Clifton, NJ

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Noon Mark Diner - Keene Valley NY

On the drive home from camping in the Adirondacks, rolled up to this amazing diner in the small mountain town of Keene Valley (maybe 10 miles west of Lake Placid). Huge place, used to be a farmhouse, packed with people. It's also a bus stop.

The vibe and menu is small town but with homemade everything, maybe a touch of healthiness with the 7 grain bread and overall much more than you would expect from a diner. Really fast and friendly service especially considering our group consisted of least a dozen bearded dudes recovering from a week of whiskey, cliff diving and grilled meat.

All the bread, donuts, pies and pastries are made there - super simple, choice of donut is sugar or plain. Delicious. Breakfast was awesome. Big slab of ham steak, great corned beef hash, fresh eggs, endless refills of coffee. Dinnertime they have BBQ night on the patio in the back and even fresh Trout pulled right out of the river.

Also "Michigan Hot Dogs" are on the menu which I didn't try since I had plenty of them over the course of the trip. I was surprised to see Michigans this far south of Plattsburgh (where they originated) but hot dogs are everywhere up here.

Great example of everything a diner can be. Classic and comfortable and modern at the same time without any gimmicks but just great real fresh food. Please for the love of pete can we get one of these on Broad Street?

Noon Mark Diner
1770 Nys Route 73
Keene Valley, NY

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kewpie Cutie

I love mayonnaise, it's no secret. And most of all, I love Kewpie mayonnaise, with a little naked baby arms stretched out asking me to squeeze. Creepy. The best part is the opening is a pastry top, so the mayonnaise comes out looking like frosting.

Oh the Japanese.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hot Dog Madness - New Mexico Chile Dogs, Italian Dogs in Toms River, and Philly's Dapper Dog

Drawing For Food correspondent Caroline Russock recently came back from New Mexico with some fantastic photos of Albuquerque's Dog House Drive In, a route 66 truck driver counter joint packed to the gills with "rough and tumble dudes who looked like they've been baking in the New Mexican desert for their entire lives" and known for their hot dogs.

The Dog House serves foot long, split and grilled beef & pork dogs served on toasted rolls and slathered in red New Mexico style chile. Also on the menu - frito pie and green chile cheeseburgers. Read the full story on Serious Eats.

Dog House Drive-In
1216 Central Ave SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 243-101


Finally had my first authentic Italian Hot Dog at Joe-Joe's in Tom's River and it was awesome. A real New Jersey style Italian dog is deep fried and served on either a half or quarter loaf of "pizza bread" (a unique product made by a few old-school bakeries in North Jersey) and topped with peppers, onions, and deep fried potato wedges. Awesome.

A lot of places sell a watered down version that's basically a hot dog on a sub roll with hash browns and sauteed peppers. Which is fine but doesn't compare to the places like Joe-Joe's or Jimmy Buff's that specialize in Italian Hot Dogs. Do yourself a favor and check out what might be the country's least well known and most delicious hot dog variation. Read the full article on Serious Eats.

Joe-Joe's Italian Hot Dogs
2039 Route 37 E
Toms River NJ
(732) 270-9720


I tried several times to catch Philadelphia's Dapper Dog cart at lunch at their main spot on the corner of 3rd & Poplar (across from the Standard Tap) but they were closed due to rain or technical difficulties. I was about to give up on them until my buddy Nick stumbled out of a bar and right into the Dapper Dog cart and stopped by with a pile of hot dogs.

The special (and my favorite) was a grilled dog topped with mounds of mashed potatoes and grilled scallion. Sounds weird but it wasn't bad, especially since the potatoes were damn good themselves. The beans on the "michigan" chili dog turned me off a bit but damn do they give you a lot of toppings for $3.50. Mac & Cheese dog was decent, some serious carb-on carb action to soak up all the alcohol in your system.

Other toppings include tomato sauce, pepperoni, asparagus, fried eggs. After 2am you can get one with anything (or everything) on it for 5 bucks. As well as setting up in Northern Liberties on weekend nights, Dapper Dog does a lot of street fairs and special events, follow their twitter and facebook for info. For more on Dapper Dog check out the feature on Serious Eats and a write up over at Don't Buy All The Hot Dogs.

Dapper Dog
2nd & Poplar