Food & Drink

Made with love for your love: Local Valentine’s Day gifts and specials

Posted on 13 February 2016

Photo from Snapdragon Flowers’ Facebook page.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the new flower and gift shop, Snapdragon Flowers, recently opened on Baltimore Avenue. The store is offering special Valentine’s Day rose bouquets and three sizes of designer’s choice roses in reusable heart-shaped boxes. But that’s not all. There is also a free same-day delivery within the 19143 zip code ($10 fee for same-day delivery within 10 miles of 19143; $15 fee for next-day delivery within 15 miles of 19143). Check out the Snapdragon Flowers website and Facebook page for more details. The store is located at 5015 Baltimore Avenue.

Also located on the 5000 block of Baltimore, VIX Emporium has a nice selection of goodies for sweeties, like jewelry, scented candles, Valentine cards, warm scarves, and more. Paul Carpenter’s ever-popular pint glasses are back in stock, which pair wonderfully with new brass bottle openers. There are also handmade ceramic mugs, guaranteed to make any drink taste better. Stop in and see what gifts catch your fancy, and pick up a box of Girl Scout cookies while they last.

While on Baltimore Avenue, also check out Zed’s Last Minute Gift Shop (Facebook page). The store offers an eclectic mix of vintage and modern pieces at affordable prices. At Zed’s, which has relocated to 4514 Baltimore Avenue from its original location across the street, you can also find some unique ethnic treasures and beauty products.

If you didn’t get a chance yet, stop by the recently opened Jinxed Store (4521 Baltimore Ave.) and check out their selection of art, clothing, and antiques.

Also check out these Valentine’s Day specials at local restaurants:


                           Renata’s Kitchen.

Couples are invited to enjoy a romantic candlelit 7-course prix-fixe Valentine’s Day chef’s tasting menu at Renata’s Kitchen (4533 Baltimore Ave.). The $45 menu features shared plates from the Middle East, and vegetarian options are also available. And you’re welcome to bring your wine, of course! To make a reservation, call 267.275.8254.

This weekend, Clarkville is offering a Valentine’s Day special for couples in love or just besties. You can get two appetizers, a heart shaped cheese pizza (cut broken upon request) and a dessert to share for $25. This special is for eat-in only, and reservations are accepted but not required (email or call 215-387-4992).

Distrito Taqueria has Valentine’s Day specials all weekend, like $20 margarita pitchers and $5 guacamole and chips.

For information on Valentine’s weekend events, visit our Events page.

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Dottie’s Donuts finds a home

Posted on 26 January 2016

If you’ve been to Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Mariposa Food Coop or Green Line Cafe, you’ve probably seen a Dottie’s Donut on the counter display. This Philadelphia startup has been churning out 50 different flavors of vegan donuts for the past year, and distributing them to other businesses, but for the very first time, Dottie’s Donuts will finally have its own brick and mortar store – at 4531 Springfield Avenue.

Owners Jeff Poleon and Matt Quinn don’t like advertising their products as vegan because they don’t want to alienate the non-vegan market. “After years of working in the food industry, we realized that there were a lot of assumptions about vegan foods,” explained Poleon. “So when we decided to start our business, we decided it was just a donut.”

They crafted a recipe out of coconut milk and a natural egg substitute, which is almost indistinguishable from a typical donut recipe. “Vegan is a bonus point. Kind of broadens our customer base,” Poleon added.

The shop will finally allow the owners to interact with their customers face-to-face. They lauded the Philadelphia population for being “more accepting” and adventurous when it comes to trying new foods than other places. The shop will give the team behind Dottie’s a chance to directly discuss their vision with their audience.  Continue Reading

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Girl Scout cookies go on sale this Thursday

Posted on 13 January 2016

girl-scout-cookiesLocal Girl Scout troops are getting ready to set up their tables for the annual cookie sale, which begins on Thursday, Jan. 14. Starting tomorrow and until March 13, you can buy delicious cookies with great eight flavors around the neighborhood, including at some grocery stores (check out the Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut).

Girl Scout troops Junior 91143, Brownie 93273, and Daisy 91569 will be selling cookies from Jan. 14 to Jan. 24. Check out their table locations and schedule below. All the classics are $4 a box, plus gluten-free Trios (peanut butter, oatmeal, and chocolate) will be offered for $5.

Orders of 12 boxes or more can also be delivered (please contact Amy at; cash only).

Eastern Mountain Sports
3401 Chestnut Street

Jan. 14 – 4:00-6:00pm
Jan. 15 – 4:00-6:00pm
Jan. 21 – 4:00-6:00pm
Jan. 22 – 4:00-6:00pm  Continue Reading

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Eat healthy dinner on Tuesday, help a West Philly school

Posted on 11 January 2016

HerbansGrilledChickenHerban Quality Eats, a fast-casual restaurant that recently opened at 36th and Market, is kicking off its dinner service on Tuesday, Jan. 12 with a Pay-What-You-Want dinner. All the proceeds from the event will go directly to Morton McMichael School, a K-8 school located in West Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood. Dinner will be served from 5 – 9 p.m.

Herban, which is run by two Wharton grads, specializes in homestyle plates with a wholesome twist. The team’s mission is to “make nutritious taste delicious.”

The restaurant is currently open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Starting Wednesday, January 13 Herban Quality Eats will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. For more information, visit

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What to do on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

Posted on 31 December 2015

new_years_eve_phillyHere’s a sampling of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day events and happenings in West Philly and Center City. Also, a reminder that subway trains will be running all night tonight to accommodate New Year’s Eve travelers. Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Philadelphia will ring in 2016 not once but twice with New Year’s Eve fireworks on the Delaware River waterfront (Penn’s Landing). The first show starts at 6 p.m., and the second one is at midnight. If you can’t make it to Penn’s Landing, check out this Visit Philly guide to the best spots to watch the fireworks and ring in the New Year.

New Year’s Eve Yoga

Studio 34 is hosting the annual New Year’s Eve Yoga and Mochi event from 8 – 10 p.m. This is a fun and inspiring all-levels yoga workshop led by Studio 34 teacher Morgan Andrews. After class, mochi (sweet chewy rice cakes) will be served. Admission for this class is sliding scale, $10-$20. Click here for more information. Also, you can try some hot yoga for free at Bikram Yoga West Philly (4145 Chestnut St), just bring a screenshot of this ad. Bikram Yoga is holding classes today until 4:30 p.m., and there will be one class on New Year’s Day, at 11 a.m. Here’s the schedule for this week.  Continue Reading

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Herban Quality Eats opening fast-casual restaurant at 36th and Market

Posted on 14 December 2015


Photo from Herban Quality Eats’ Facebook page.

Herban Quality Eats, a West Philly healthy food startup, which has been operating for a little over a year out of the shared kitchen space at the Culinary Center at 48th and Spruce, is opening a fast-casual restaurant this Tuesday at 3601 Market Street. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the recently completed University City Science Center’s high-rise apartment building.

The restaurant will open at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 15 and to celebrate the opening, the first 101 guests will be treated to a free lunch.

BuildYourPlateAt Herban (a mashup of “herb” and “urban”), diners can build their platter starting with a base such as Himalayan red rice, seasoned kale, or chilled whole wheat peanut noodles, then adding a protein: you can choose from grilled chicken, backyard steak, pesto salmon, or “the vegan jawn”, a mix of lentils, quinoa, and sweet potatoes baked into protein-packed balls. Next, you can pick a sauce to accompany your combo, from herbed tomato, walnut coriander, and Herban hot sauce. And to finish off your plate you can choose two sides, like roasted Brussels sprouts and quinoa ‘n cheese.

Salads are also on Herban’s menu: the Montego with organic baby spinach, avocado,  plantain chips, fresh pineapple, and jalapeno-lime vinaigrette and the Spruce with organic kale, feta cheese, pear, pecans, dried cranberries, and balsamic-ginger vinaigrette.

Throughout December, Herban Quality Eats will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. In 2016 they will extend their hours. For more information, visit

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