Food & Drink

Ramadan closings, hours, specials

July 1, 2014

This is a  reminder that the fasting month of Ramadan began on June 28 and some local businesses will be closed or will have limited hours of operation in observance of the holiday.

Saad’s Halal restaurant at 45th and Walnut is closed until Saturday, Aug 2, according to the signs posted on its windows.


Photo from Manakeesh Facebook page.

Manakeesh, a Lebanese cafe and bakery located across the street from Saads, is closed during the day to observe Ramadan, but opens in the evening, from 8 p.m. to midnight. The special Ramadan hours are in effect until Tuesday, July 29. Manakeesh is inviting residents to try their special menu during this month: specialty burgers, stuffed grape leaves with lamb and more (see their Facebook page for more info).

Kabobeesh restaurant (42nd and Chestnut), a great Pakistani food joint, will have regular hours during Ramadan and will be serving free Iftar Sampler plates to everyone fasting during this month, according to their Facebook page. No purchase is necessary.

“Ramadan Mubarak” to our Muslim neighbors!


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Free outdoor movies coming to Clark Park; Thursday market update (updated)

June 26, 2014


Photo courtesy Awesome Fest.

This summer, Clark Park is hosting some great arts events. The annual Shakespeare in Clark Park is returning on July 30 with epic performances of Henry IV (more info coming soon), and starting this Thursday, the park will welcome The Awesome Fest, also an annual event happening at various Philadelphia venues. The Awesome Fest was launched in 2010 and since then showcased over 200 Philadelphia premieres from the world’s most prestigious film festivals.

The fest opens tonight at 9 p.m. at Clark Park (43rd and Baltimore) with another Philadelphia premiere – Riot on the Dance Floor. Update: The remaining Awesome Fest movie screenings at Clark Park are: The Wizard Of Oz synced with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of the Moon (July 10), Death Metal Angola (July 17), Jingle Bell Rocks! (July 24), Phantom of The Paradise (Aug 7), and Skanks (Aug 14), all starting at 9 p.m.. Films are presented on a state-of-the-art, 30-foot outdoor screen, and are free to the public. For more Awesome Fest events, click here. The fest closes on August 17.

Clark Park Summer Film Series also kicks off this week, with the first film showing on Friday, June 27, at 8 p.m. in the Bowl (45th and Regent). Gasland Part II will be shown. This showing is also free. Don’t forget to bring your popcorn, blankets and chairs.


Clark Park Farmers’ Market.

Here’s also a quick update on the Clark Park Thursday market events and vendors:

Unfortunately, Tune Up Philly (Facebook page) have cancelled the rest of their dates at Clark Park Thursday, according to Food Trust Market Director Lisa Kelly. West Philly Local reported last week on The Food Trust’s plans to bring Paul Smith of Tune Up Philly and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra to the market every Thursday throughout June and July for interactive demonstrations on how to make musical instruments out of vegetables. There are no more details available at this time.

There is some good news about today’s market though. To coincide with the kickoff of The Awesome Fest at Clark Park, there will be a free canning demonstration from 4 – 6 p.m., led by local food writer Emily Teel. She will be sharing her knowledge on how to can produce from your favorite farmers’ market. Also, lots of information on home canning as well as recipes and other canning goodies will be offered at this event.

In addition, The Food Trust is bringing several new food trucks to the park today – Poi DogCurbside CreameryMom-Mom’s Polish Food CartPie Stand (2014’s Vendy Award winners!), and Flavor Spot (a food truck spinoff of the popular Jamaican restaurant). The trucks will be on site for the market from 3 p.m. on through The Awesome Fest.

Please don’t forget that the usual market vendors will be there from 3 to 7 p.m. Quaff Meadows, Homestead Gardens, and Frecon Farms are bringing their fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and more to the market.

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West Philly news roundup: Marigold Kitchen update, save The Seven Giants and more

June 25, 2014

Check out some of the latest news, upcoming events and other happenings around the neighborhoods.

Around 700 homes in Kingsessing were still without gas service on Tuesday night due to a water main break near 56th St and Woodland Ave on Saturday, according to NBC10. The water main break caused a disruption to the natural gas line. Initially 60 homes in the area were affected but during the repair work, hundreds more homes were disconnected from natural gas service as far east as 52nd Street, according to reports.

MarigoldKitchen• Good news for Marigold Kitchen fans! The highly-acclaimed Spruce Hill restaurant, whose owner Robert Halpern is moving on (and moving out of the state), is not closing after all, as was initially reported. Well, at least not for good. Halpern sold his business to his own chefs de cuisine, Tim Lanza and Andrew Kochan, both 26, The Insider reports. Halpern’s executive chef, Keith Krajewski, will also continue his work at this location, according to The Insider. The restaurant will serve its last dinner under Halpern’s ownership on Saturday, June 28. After that, it will close for some kitchen refurbishment work and will reopen in early September.


The English elms at The Woodlands (Photo courtesy The Woodlands)

• The Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion is asking the community to help them save seven English elm trees (they’re called “The 7 Giants”), some of the most significant historic trees on the grounds thanks to their size and age (they date back to the late 18th century). The trees are suffering from Dutch Elm Disease, which may kill them if left untreated. Treatment and monitoring of the disease is costly, so the Woodlands has started a fundraising campaign to help cover the costs. The initial goal is $20,000. For more information and to donate, click here.

Little Baby’s Ice Cream has created a new flavor called the Works, now available at LBIC’s Cedar Park location (49th and Catharine). Proceeds from the sale benefit Neighborhood Bike Works, a non-profit that offers youth bike education programs and bike repair classes for adults.

• deathofsamuelmillerWest Philly based art rock band The Chairman Dances will present their new album, The Death of Samuel Miller (out 6/27 via Grizzly Records), on Friday, June 27 at The Rotunda (40th and Walnut). Spelling Reform (Facebook page) and Vita and the Woolf (Facebook page) will also take part in the album release show, which begins at 8 p.m. ($10). The Chairman Dances’ song “Prophetess” was No. 2 in WXPN‘s list of the 5 best Philly songs of 2013. The music video for the new record’s single, “Dance to the Neighbor’s Stereo,” is streaming on Vimeo.


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What’s for sale at today’s Clark Park Farmers’ Market?

June 21, 2014

Summer is here so we took a stroll at today’s Farmers’ Market at Clark Park and checked what produce is available.

Here are a few things that stood out.




These organic tomatoes (they’ve never been sprayed by any pesticides) are $2.75/pound. Also for sale a few sorts of tomato plants – only $2 per plant. There’s a good selection of greens – lettuce for $2.50 each, fresh basil for $2/bunch and others.

Fresh organic berries are $4.50/pint – blueberries, strawberries and cherries.

Just a reminder that Saturday’s farmers’ market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


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A map of the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll and Clark Park’s Thursday market news

June 18, 2014


Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of UCD)

As we reported last week, one of the most popular local events of the year, the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, returns this Thursday and brings $1 specials from over 30 local businesses. There will be only one Dollar Stroll this year, so get ready for huge crowds in the area.

The stroll will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. along Baltimore Avenue between 43rd and 51st streets. Check out the map for more information on the participants and their offers.

Just a reminder that there also will be a book sale to benefit the Kingsessing Library branch during the stroll. The sale will be held at three locations – 4740 Baltimore Ave, 50th and Baltimore (near VIX Emporium) and 45th and Baltimore (near Milk & Honey).

vegetableinstrumentsAlso this Thursday, families are invited to stop by the Clark Park Farmers’ Market at 43rd and Baltimore for a free family activity. The Food Trust will be hosting Paul Smith of Tune Up Philly and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (Facebook page) at the market from 3 to 7 p.m. He’ll be doing interactive demonstrations on how to create musical instruments out of carrots! Every Thursday throughout June and July, Tune Up Philly will be at the market looking to grow their Vegetable Orchestra. This is the first week for this engaging musical experience which also nurtures awareness about healthy and local foods.

For an example of carrot instruments in action, here is a cool video of the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra making instruments and playing them.

The Food Trust is planning many events at the Clark Park Thursday farmers’ market this summer in an “attempt to revitalize the market and make it a fun destination for families on Thursday afternoons,” according to Food Trust Market Director Lisa Kelly. “We’re bringing in a few new vendors and food trucks as well as planning several free events over the course of the market season,” Kelly told West Philly Local by e-mail. Stay tuned for more details and also regularly check our Events Calendar.


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Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll returns next week

June 13, 2014

Dollar Stroll

Photos by Mike Lyons / West Philly Local

One of the most popular West Philly events of the year, the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, returns next week. This summer’s one and only Dollar Stroll, where you can buy $1 food items, drinks, special memberships, tickets, and other deals from Baltimore Avenue businesses, is scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. The event will take place rain or shine, so we hope the weather behaves.

Baltimore Avenue Dollar StrollOver 30 businesses will participate in this Dollar Stroll, veterans and newcomers alike. When out on the stroll, make sure to also check out wares from Greensgrow West, Pound Cake Heaven, and Zed’s Gifts, the businesses we recently welcomed in the neighborhood. Mobile food vendors, like Dadz Grilled Cheez, Lil’ Pop Shop, Made in the Shade Lemonade, Milk and Sugar, the Tot Cart, and The Whirly Pig, will offer $1 treats at the event as well.

Apart from the $1 deals, the stroll will feature plenty of free entertainment. Local bands Purples and City Rain will rock the Y-Not Radio Stage at 46th Street. Street performers, fire artists, face painters, and balloon artists will also be entertaining young and old alike along the avenue.

Checkout the flier below for more information on the stroll, its participants, and their offers.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Baltimore Avenue Business Association is coordinating a book sale to benefit the Kingsessing Library Branch, located on 51st Street between Chester and Kingsessing, and is asking for book donations. The books will be sold at the Dollar Stroll and other sales events. If you have any old books that you don’t need please drop them off before Thursday at one of the following locations: VIX Emporium, 50th and Baltimore, the Gold Standard Cafe, 48th and Baltimore, or Milk & Honey, 45th and Baltimore. No textbooks, please.



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