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Food & Drink

West Philly news roundup (updated)

Posted on 11 June 2014

Here is a summary of some of the latest local news, upcoming events, and fundraising campaigns.

• Parents of West Philadelphia area school children are going to City Hall from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 12 to rally for funding for the public schools, according to an announcement by the Spruce Hill Community Association. A group is meeting outside the main entrance of Penn Alexander School (43rd & Locust) at 8:45 a.m. to travel by trolley together. The goal is to ask City Hall and Governor Corbett for much needed financial support for the school year 2014-15 and beyond. Children and community members are welcome to join the group.

Here’s the schedule:

10 – 10:15 a.m.: Press Conference Council 4th floor outside of Council chambers
10:20 – 10:40 a.m.: Make rounds and speak with other Council members
10:50 a.m.: Walk to Governor’s office at Broad and Walnut
11 a.m.: Press conference at Governor’s office
12 p.m.: Meeting with Governor’s staff and delivering letter to Governor’s office

 Curio Theatre is creating a ground breaking play about the Rev. Frank Schaefer who was defrocked in Lebanon PA for officiating his son’s gay wedding. The Frank Schaefer Project is Curio’s most ambitious production to date and needs help. The goal is $10,000 and there are 25 days to go. For more info and to donate, go here.

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Magic Circle at PIC. (Photo from parentinfantcenter.org)

 The Parent Infant Center (PIC) is in the process of transforming their main play space into a nature-based outdoor classroom and playground for children, both at PIC and in the community, according to PIC’s Communication Manager Rachel Isaacson. The new space, called Magic Circle, will host a Make Music Philly event on Saturday, June 21 (more on this later). This will be a chance for PIC to not only celebrate music, but welcome their neighbors to the Magic Circle. Read more on the PIC News blog.

 If you’re looking to support a local cause this summer, try Ben & Jerry’s limited time “For the Birds” milkshake. $1.00 from each shake sold will benefit the Spruce Hill Bird Sanctuary. The shake features strawberry and vanilla ice cream blended together with chocolate sprinkles, with some Oreo’s on bottom, and topped off with fresh whipped cream and peanuts. From June 14th to June 28th at the 40th Street Ben & Jerry’s location (between Locust and Walnut).

 Local independent publisher The Head & The Hand Press will be hosting an opening at Milk & Honey Market (45th & Baltimore) on Thursday, June 12 at 6-7:30 p.m. to celebrate the new placement of their chapbook vending machine (a first one in West Philly!). The vending machine features $2 chapbooks from up-and-coming writers, many of which are Philadelphia area residents. The event will feature author readings from the Press’ newer chapbooks, including West Philly resident Patrick McNeil, Joey Sweeney (of local entertainment blog Philebrity), and Simone Zelitch (author of forthcoming novel, Waveland). The event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be provided. No RSVP is required, but attendees are welcome to visit the event’s Facebook page.

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World Cup fever! Where to watch in the neighborhoods (updated)

Posted on 10 June 2014

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Café Renata co-owner Yasser Aiq raises the flag of Brazil for the World Cup, which starts Thursday. Café Renata, which is BYOB, is one of a few venues around the neighborhoods that is welcoming World Cup revelers with open arms. (Photo by Mike Lyons / West Philly Local)

 

The 2014 World Cup starts Thursday in Brazil and many local watering holes and cafés are getting ready. We have a few places listed below that have said they will have their TVs tuned in for the duration of the tournament (June 12 – July 13) and will be welcoming neighborhood soccer fans. By the way, the tournament kicks off at 4 p.m. on Thursday with a Group A game – Brazil vs. Croatia. Let us know if you know of any other spots where shouting, cheering and maybe even a vuvuzela or two are encouraged.

• Cafe Renata, 4305 Locust St (Facebook page). The opening game party starts at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 12 (a complimentary Lager will be served with any lunch order).

• City Tap House, 3925 Walnut St (Facebook page).

• Drinker’s West, 39th and Chestnut (Facebook page). All the World Cup games will be shown at all three Drinker’s Philly locations, including Drinker’s West. You can stop by for drinks, tacos, hot dogs and soccer.

• Harvest Seasonal Bar & Grill, 40th and Walnut (Facebook page).

• Pasqually’s Pizza, 200 S. 43rd St. (Facebook page).

• Saint Declan’s Well Irish American Pub, 3131 Walnut St (Facebook page). Food and drink specials and giveaways will be offered during the games.

 

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Food, real estate and more business updates

Posted on 23 May 2014

In an effort to keep the West Philly community up-to-date on happenings in the area, West Philly Local followed up on some projects we have followed over the last year. Here’s what we found so far:

TacoAngelenoGrandopeningFirst, for the most important update, Taco Angeleno is open for business! The outdoor taco joint, located at 5019 Baltimore Avenue, officially opened on Thursday, May 8 after months of delays and red tape. The grand opening party is this Friday (May 23), from 5 – 9 p.m. If Taco Angeleno’s Facebook page is any indication, it seems business is so far going well for owner Vanessa Jerolmack—even selling out of food her first weekend open. To satisfy those taco cravings, stop by Taco Angeleno from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

In other local food related news, the guys from Pitruco Pizza, the popular wood fired pizza truck often seen on the Drexel campus, who are also serving their signature fare as Enjay’s Pizza at Smokey Joe’s on 40th St, recently started a delivery service out to 50th Street for a $2 charge. “A real nice service for the neighborhood,” writes West Philly Local reader and Pitruco/Enjay’s fan Louis Tannen.

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Gush Gallery co-founders Sarah Thielke and Stephanie Slate (Photo courtesy of Thielke and Slate).

This summer, Taco Angeleno will have a new neighbor, Gush Gallery. The art gallery space, which West Philly Local profiled in January, will open Friday, Aug 1 at 5015 Baltimore Avenue, which is currently home to a local barber shop (owners Sarah Thielke and Stephanie Slate get the keys to the space on July 1). On opening day, which is also a First Friday event, the duo will premiere their first group exhibit, “Embark,” which will feature local artists. There’s a chance they may open a week earlier than the exhibit’s launch date, but don’t hold them to it.

SedgleyIn real estate news, it seems construction of the Sedgley Apartments (pictured right) will finally be finished by next week and available to rent in June, Noah Ostroff, principal at 400 S. 45th Street, LLC., told West Philly Local. This is different than what he told us in September; when asked about the six month difference, Ostroff said there weren’t any delays, but “construction took longer than expected.”  Continue Reading

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The Flying Deutschman lands on Clark Park

Posted on 07 May 2014

A crowd forms at The Flying Deutschman Saturday afternoon (Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local)

A crowd forms at The Flying Deutschman Saturday afternoon (Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local)

Chef Stirling Sowerby is all over the place.

Not in a bad way, though. Instead, as Sowerby and I are chatting in front of his food truck, The Flying Deutschman, the energetic German chef bounces between cooking on the line to mingling with customers and then back to our conversation. At one point, he even feeds a piece of his signature bratwurst to a 10-week-old grey and white pitbull mix named Sapphire.

It’s mid-day on Saturday when I stopped by Sowerby truck, which is parked on the Chester Avenue side of Clark Park. There’s a rotating line of people—some repeat customers—ordering from the Deutschman’s simple German street food menu of schnitzels, bratwursts, bockwursts, and hefty sides. It’s delicious food, and a first for the West Philly area.

Among the tacos and smoked meats, The Flying Deutschman stands out.

Chef Stirling Sowerby cooking on the line (Photo

Chef Stirling Sowerby cooking on the line (Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local)

Launched on March 1st, The Flying Deutschman is an entirely new venture for the 55-year-old Sowerby, who’s owned restaurants back in Germany (he moved to the States 18 years ago). And being unknown territory is “kinda the reason” he dove head first into the business, he said, dropping about $120,000 into the truck. Sowerby’s also hired a few students from his alma mater, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill, to serve as his line cooks.

At the moment, he’s only stationed at Clark Park on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or 3 p.m., depending on the day), and on Tuesdays at the Navy Yard. He is currently working on other locations. But Clark Park holds a special place for him.

The Flying Deutschman’s first stop at Clark Park was his third day on the road—and his first successful day as a food truck owner. “That’s why I have some form of emotional attachment to that local[e],” Sowerby told West Philly Local.

So far, the Deutschman suits Sowerby well.

But how’s business? “I think very good, but you really should ask the customer that question,” he told West Philly Local. “For me as a chef, I look at repeat customers and those I have since day one.  If you have time just come by and try it, that’s the best way to judge food.”

We did, and this is what a couple of West Philly Local readers had to say:

But you be the judge.

Annamarya Scaccia

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Saying goodbye to Marigold Kitchen

Posted on 02 May 2014

MarigoldKitchen

We’re sad to report that one of Spruce Hill’s fixtures, Marigold Kitchen, is closing soon, according to various reports. The owner and chef, Robert Halpern, is moving on and selling the restaurant, which he has owned since 2009.

Marigold Kitchen has received great reviews and drawn customers from all over the city and beyond with its delectable dishes. Just recently, the restaurant went menu-free.

The final night of operation will be June 28, according to Philly.com’s The Insider. Regular dinner will be served until May 19, followed by a series of “small, super-seasonal ‘best of’ dinners” on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from May 30 through June 28, 2014.

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Summer CSAs that deliver to West Philly

Posted on 23 April 2014

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As the summer approaches, some of our readers may be looking for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) options in their neighborhood. The number of CSA programs that deliver fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies, as well as dairy, eggs, meat and other products to our area has grown, so we compiled this guide to help you navigate through some of the available options (for more, visit this page).

Also, please consider supporting local urban farms, like Mill Creek Farm, Farm 51, and Neighborhood Foods Farm. For information on local farmers’ markets and gardening options check our Civic Life page.

 

Greensgrow Farms Summer CSA

Schedule: mid-May through early November

Pick-up locations:

  • Greensgrow West, 4912 Baltimore Avenue, Fridays 3–6 p.m.
  • Lancaster Avenue, 37th & Lancaster, Thursdays 3:30–6:30 p.m.

What’s in the share? A variety of five-eight vegetables, plus fruit, and a protein choice (a dozen eggs, two cups of yogurt, a package of locally made tofu, a package of locally made seitan, or a wedge of butter). Eight times during the season, the share will include a locally made artisan cheese (vegan sub is available). Some weeks the share includes a locally made prepared food such as fresh pasta or locally made beer from Philadelphia Brewing Company.

Cost: Full share (24 weeks): $800; Half share (13 weeks): $448

Click here to sign up.

 

Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative

Schedule: TBA

Pick-up locations: Garden Court (5000 block of Osage Ave); Powelton Village (3700 Baring St); The Spruce St. Cafe at the Hospital of UPenn (3400 Spruce St)

What’s in the share? In the full vegetable share, you can expect to receive 9 to 12 varieties of vegetables per week. In the half vegetable share, you can expect to receive 4 to 7 varieties of vegetables per week. When abundant, fruit will be included in Full Vegetable Shares. Other options: a fruit share, which consists of 2 to 3 varieties of seasonal fruit, and other shares (bread, eggs, meat, chicken, cheese, herbs, flowers, and CSM (community supported medicine).

Cost: Full Vegetable Share: $750; Half Vegetable Share: $475. Info on other shares is available here.

Click here to sign up.

 

Philly Foodworks

Schedule: May 27 – October 23 (22 weeks)

Pick-up locations:

  • Hibiscus (4907 Catharine St). Wednesdays 3 – 7:30 p.m.

What’s in the share: Your Choice option: You commit to spend $395 with Philly Foodworks throughout the season but what you get is entirely up to you. Choose from a variety of produce, meats, dairy items, fruits, breads, spreads and more. You do not have to buy something every week, so feel free to purchase as you choose. Mix Share option: In this option you get five produce items each week based on what is available. In addition, you receive a total of $65 in credits that can be spent throughout the season at the online marketFarmer’s Choice option: In this option you receive 10 items each week based on what local farmers have available (zucchini or yellow squash, sweet corn, cantaloupe, multi-colored peppers, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce, red or yellow onions, potatoes, basil and more).

Optional shares include: bread, eggs, jams, coffee, fruit, apothecary, cheese, bacon, flowers, and more.

Cost: Your Choice option: $395; Mix Share: $395; Farmer’s Choice: $625.

Click here to sign up.

 

West Philly Foods CSA

Schedule: mid-May through mid-October (22 weeks)

Pick-up locations:

Choose from one of pick up locations each Thursday:

  • Walnut Hill Community Farm (46th and Market) from 4-7 p.m.
  • Renewal Church (47th and Cedar Ave.)  from 5-7 p.m.
  • Heritage Farms (4300 Monument Blvd.) from 3:30-6:30 p.m.
  • CHOP Hospital (Abramson Research Center Lobby) from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
  • CHOP Hospital (Karabots), 4:15-6:30 p.m.
  • High Point Cafe (2831 W. Girard Ave.) from 3-6 p.m.

What’s in the share? The veggie & fruit share includes: Green beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, basil,  summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potatoes, okra, sweet & hot peppers, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, cantaloupes, and nectarines. Full Share: Approx. 10-12 lbs; Half Share: Approx. 5-6 lbs. Value-added shares include: jams, artisan bread, nut butter, cheese, coffee, beer, cookies, ice cream and more.

Cost: Full fruit & veggie share: $610; Half share: $360. For more information on additional shares, click here.

Click here to sign up.

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