August 12, 2007

Street Carts, Duck Parts and New Blog Starts

Matyson's Roasted Spiced Duck Breast

My apologies that posting has been light here recently. That will change. Work has been hectic this summer and I’ve been busy writing for other publications. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve been writing about elsewhere:

Frommers: The folks at recently wrote an article on the World’s Best Street Food. Philadelphia was one of the featured cities. I was quoted in the article and so was my friend Albert Yee of Messy & Picky.

City Paper: A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a Pocket Sommelier column on Matyson. I paired a Sauternes with a seared foie gras dish and a Burgundy with roasted duck breast (picture above). I know I’ve written a lot about foie gras recently. But the motivation for this piece was not the foie; it was the Sauternes. The PLCB does not carry a lot of Sauternes and what they do carry can be pricey. Because the PLCB is closing out the 1999 Chateau de Rayne-Vigneau 1er Cru—which normally retails for around $44—for a mere $29.99, I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about this pairing. The Burgundy I paired with the duck breast is also a solid find at the Colombus Blvd. store. It’s virtually impossible to find any Old World Pinot Noir on the shelves at the PLCB stores, let alone a drinkable Pinot (Old or New World) under $30. That's why I was pleased to find the 2002 Louis Jadot Pernand-Vergelesses Clos de la Croix de Pierre ($26). It doesn’t have all of the delicate finesse of a profound Burgundy, but at least it gets all of the fingerprints right.

WineCHOW: I’ve been quite busy writing the WineCHOW column at Recently, I’ve written about transfat bans, tips on tipping, celebrity chefs, taking photos of food in restaurants, what it takes to be a restaurant critic, and using cell phones in restaurants. My next WineCHOW column will address how to tell if a wine is corked and what to do if a restaurant serves you one.

Farm to Philly: Mac at pesky’apostrophy decided to host a group blog about finding and eating locally grown/produced food in Philadelphia, its surrounding suburbs and South Jersey. I jumped on board. It’s called Farm to Philly. I’ll be writing mostly about restaurants that source their ingredients from local farmers. Technically, the site has not yet gone live, but we’re already posting like gangbusters. We’ll be issuing a press release when it does go live, so keep your eyes peeled for that. In an upcoming Farm to Philly post, I'll make some kick ass pesto with locally sourced basil (that's right folks: I do cook). And if you're nice, I may even share the recipe with you.

Coming up soon on PhilaFoodie: I’ll profile the new menu at Cuba Libre and Concept Chef Guillermo Pernot finally speaks out on why ¡Pasión! closed. I’ll review Philly’s newest Indian restaurant. And I’ll also address the Rick’s Steaks v. Reading Terminal Market litigation.


Mac said...

If I hadn't just roasted all the garlic I harvested out of the garden, I would have given you some for the pesto!

Oh well, it went for a good cause: I'm making a big batch of tomato sauce as I type - roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, and roasted garlic. Yum.

And all local, of course!

PhilaFoodie said...

Mac: That tomato sauce sounds yummy. Can't wait to see some pics and read more about it.

Anahit said...

As a recent transplant to Philly (thanks to my husband, and somewhat against my will) and a fellow foodie, oenophile and lawyer, your blog is part of my Philly survival kit (along with a glassy stare, Di Brunos, etc.). So, I hope you understand, that I don't mean any disrespect when I ask -- Do you plan to take someone along with you who can act as a "reality check" for you in reviewing the new Indian restaurant you mention? I am completely ignorant of your experience with different kinds of Asian cuisine and, of course, stand ready to be educated, corrected and chastised. I just happen to belong to the school of thought that touts the dismal nature of Philly's South Asian cuiscene. For example, witness the award of the "Best of Philly 2007-Indian" to a restaurant that (based on one corporate catering experience) cares little about their cooking. By no means am I suggesting that only desis know how to evaluate the merits, or lack thereof, of desi food. If that were indeed true, then South Asian cuisine in the U.S., propped up by my homies, wouldn't be wallowing in the sea of mediocrity as it does at present. At some base level, I am just angered by the complexity of the sub-continent's cuisine being reduced to the nondescript, ersatz curries that passes for "Indian food" here in the U.S. Please keep up the good work! Cheers (and I hope, no hard feelings)!

PhilaFoodie said...

Your words are too kind, Anahit. Thank you for continuing to tune in. Reviewers have to taste the food for themselves. Otherwise, their opinions would be unreliable. I also think it’s important for a reviewer to have (1) a sufficiently deep database of culinary experiences to evaluate a particular type of restaurant; (2) the analytical acumen to evaluate what he or she is experiencing; and (3) the ability to write about it in a compelling and meaningful way. I may not be a “desi,” but I think I’ve got my bases covered. ;-) Without giving too much away before the review is published, I will say that my opinion is similar to yours regarding Philadelphia’s Indian cuisine scene.