Food & Drink

Finally: Chicken and biscuits delivered to your door

May 12, 2011

Half an herb-roasted rotisserie chicken, biscuit and side of slaw from Roost.


I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there is nowhere in Philadelphia where you can get a whole, free-range, herb-roasted chicken delivered to your door complete with sides.

Until now.

West Philly’s newest chicken joint, Roost, isn’t really a joint at all. It’s a hole in the wall with a stainless steel metal counter, a chalkboard menu and just enough room to salivate.

Owned by the Milk and Honey Market duo of Annie Baum-Stein and Mau Daigle, Roost is located at 4529 Springfield Ave., a couple of doors up from Wayne’s Garage. They’re using the adjacent kitchen of the recently dissolved Kitchen at Penn, which has gone on hiatus with the graduation of its general manager. The Kitchen’s chef, Jordan Miller, is the mastermind behind Roost, which offers fried chicken and chicken tenders along with the rotisserie, and a selection of sides that includes coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy, greens and mac ‘n cheese. Oh, and by the way, some amazingly good homemade buttermilk biscuits.

Whenever possible Roost uses locally grown ingredients, including the chickens.

“The farmers we use are up the road,” said Miller.

That means that the chickens, which are from Bell and Evans, are organic and a little smaller, like chickens used to be. These have no hormones or antibiotics like the factory-raised chickens with the Dolly Partonesque breasts available in the grocery store now. It also means that they are, pound-for-pound, more expensive.

Roost is also putting together a vegan menu for the herbivores out there.

A half rotisserie ($9.50), which includes a biscuit, and a side is just about right for two adults. Altogether we paid $12.50 for a half chicken and a small container of red cabbage coleslaw. We were in and out in 5 minutes. The “out” part is important – it’s take out, delivery or eat standing on the sidewalk. No tables and no chairs here.

It’s not Popeye’s prices for sure and if you stop by in person and order fried chicken you will have to wait a few minutes while it is actually fried. Thankfully, there are no heat lamps.

Our only criticism was that our biscuit was not quite done and a little gooey inside. But we chalked that up to the newness of the operation. They are still finetuning things. Roost has been unofficially open for about a week. The official opening is pending and the current hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. They are closed on Tuesdays. The delivery range is Woodland to Market and 38th to 50th.

The complete menu is here. They accept major credit cards and cash.


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Open houses this week at future Mariposa Food Co-op location (correction!)

May 2, 2011

A peek inside the future location of Mariposa at 4824 Baltimore Ave. Two open houses this week will allow residents to have a look around.

Correction: The Saturday meeting is 10 a.m. to Noon.

The Mariposa Food Co-op is hosting two community meetings this week to allow residents in West Philly to get a look at its new location on Baltimore Avenue and hear more about the progress of its expansion plans.

The first meeting is Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the soon-to-be Mariposa location at 4824 Baltimore Ave. Residents will have the chance to tour the new building, which is a five-fold increase in size over the old space, and talk to Mariposa staff and members about expansion plans. The new building is scheduled to open in October and rennovations will begin in earnest this summer.

Another open house will be held on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.10 a.m. to Noon and follow a similar format. State Rep. James R. Roebuck Jr. is scheduled to attend this open house as well to talk about the expansion.

Mariposa continues to seek support for the expansion and there are a couple of ways you can help out. A membership drive is currently under way for the new store. A loan campaign is also ongoing and donations are always accepted.


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Using the sun to deliver water

April 28, 2011

The Walnut Hill Community Farm. Photo from Philly Rooted.

OK, so you’ve built a farm on a vacant lot near the 46th Street El station. How do you get water to it? If you’re the ingenious folks at the Walnut Hill Community Farm, you build a solar powered irrigation system.

You can get a close-up look at the system on Sunday, May 1 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and even help lay out the irrigation lines. No experience is necessary and all the tools you need will be provided.

The system collects stormwater from the roof of the El station and employs solar power to run a pump to get the water to the crops. A STAKE grant paid for the system.

Walnut Hill Community Farm started last spring. The land is leased from SEPTA and the organization Philly Rooted manages the farm in cooperation with the The Enterprise Center Community Development Center. A youth group, the Walnut Hill Growers’ Cooperative, runs the urban farm portion of the operation.

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Local 44 plans craft beer bottle shop

April 27, 2011

Local 44, the friendly neighborhood craft beer pub, confirmed reports today that it will be opening a retail operation next to its location at 44th and Spruce Streets that will sell hundreds of craft beers for carryout.

Local 44 is reportedly in negotiations to lease space connected to the bar. Co-owner Leigh Maida told the City Paper’s Meal Ticket blog that she hopes the bottle shop will have a “record store vibe” that will be “heavy on the education/enthusiasm part of craft beer … no snobbery. [Customers will be able to] chat with the resident beer geek about what’s new, etc.”

An opening date has not yet been announced. Stick around for more details.

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Dinner and a movie for free

April 25, 2011

foodAs Detroit’s population continues to shrink, nature is starting to take the city back. A dwindling population and high unemployment has also drastically reduced the opportunites for healthy food options. The documentary Grown in Detroit, which is playing at The Rotunda tonight as part of an ongoing discussion about food justice, shows how a handful of students in the Motor City have turned to urban farming to raise their own food and fight the blight.

The film is about the urban gardening done by a public school in Detroit, where 300 students, many pregnant and parenting teens, who farm land near their school.

The screening is part of the monthly “Food Justice Movie Night” series at The Rotunda, sponsored by the Netter Center for Community Partnerships and the Urban Nutrition Initiative and admission is free and a discussion on urban farming and eating locally will follow. Dinner is included. The screening begins at 6 p.m.

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Manakeesh to start delivery

April 25, 2011

manakeeshWe just heard through the grapevine (aka Facebook) that Manakeesh, the Lebanese cafe and bakery at 45th and Walnut, will soon start delivery.

Yep, now you can get those great manakeesh, baklava etc. brought straight to your front door Monday through Thursday from Noon to 7 p.m. The service starts tomorrow and is available to those within a 10-block radius of the shop.

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