The Short Rib Pizza boasts short ribs, fig pesto, three cheeses, and micro greens
Isn’t it a happy day when you go to a restaurant and the food you thought was going to be good tastes so much better than you anticipated? It happened to me at The Tomato Bistro in Manayunk, a hip Philadelphia neighborhood where there’s no shortage of food options any time of day or night.
I met a friend for lunch last week at this cute, two-story spot just off Main Street. The menu is creative and casual, with soups, sliders, salads, pizzas, and a buffet during the week and adding omelettes and a brunch buffet on weekends. While we were trying to pick just the right thing to eat, our server brought us each a complementary starter – an herby, little-bit-chunky tomato soup in an espresso cup and house-made mini almond biscotti, to dunk in the soup of course. A tasty way to begin lunch, indeed.
It’s going to take something really super-spectacular this week to top my Monday night.
How come? Because my friend Kara and I met the one and only Ruth Reichl. I know, I’m gushing just a bit. But in my defense, it’s Ruth Reichl, restaurant critic/editor/memoirist/James Beard Award winner and now fiction writer. And for the 90 minutes we were in the same place at the same time, she was as warm and down-to-earth in person as she sounds in interviews and looks on television.
Treat yourself to this: A frozen blood orange margarita, courtesy of El Vez in Philadelphia
I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to drinks. Typically, I stick with the original mojito, vodka tonic, or piña colada, and am happy. Just give me a respectable version of the classic; no need for peach this or pomegranate that.
Scrumptious sweet potato torte; it doesn’t get any better than this
It’s been a busy – and productive – week since my Thanksgiving post last week. Since then, my nice, neat dining room with some stacked dishes and serving pieces has turned into Thanksgiving Supply Central. We’ve added wine, a large coffee maker, paper goods, and food from the first trip to the grocery store.
On the cooking side, I’ve finished making the squash soup (and froze 2 large batches) and I made one sweet potato torte (see recipe below) and froze it yesterday as a test. I’ve never frozen the torte before, but thought if I could make it early, it would free up precious oven time on Thursday. I’m going to thaw it tomorrow and if holds its consistency after it’s warmed up, my experiment will have worked, which means I’ll make the other one this weekend and freeze that one, too.
Peaches, nectarines and apples, oh my! Check out the harvest from Highland Orchards in West Chester, PA.
I recently upgraded my point-and-shoot camera to a Canon dSLR, and I’m very excited to learn how to use it. I enlisted my son, Andrew (a journalist/photographer who knows his way around cameras so well that his photos have been published on several news sites), to help me figure out all the settings so I can improve my blog photos.
Federal Donuts on Sansom Street in Center City Philadelphia
In the spirit of disclosure, I’d like to say that I really try to eat well – fruits, veggies, portion control and all that – but sometimes I fall off the wagon.
Friday was one of those days. It started as every morning does for me. A multigrain English muffin with a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter. So far, so good. My son, Dan, and I drove to Philadelphia to do a couple of things, and we finished up around lunchtime. We were getting hungry, and I remembered a perfect lunch spot for something utterly different and fun.
Lunch special: Spicy tuna and shrimp tempura rolls at Kumo
I’m of the opinion that people who love food love to tell other people who love food all about the great food they just ate. I enjoy hearing all the details about a zippy tuna tartare or tart key lime pie or rich braised short ribs. And, frankly, I like sharing my stories, too. So here’s the not-overly-long story about the amazing spicy tuna rolls at my favorite sushi place.
I finished up a freelance editing job earlier this week, and was hungry, of course, since it was almost 2 p.m. and I hadn’t brought anything for lunch. I’d been craving sushi for a couple of weeks, and realized it was a short drive to Kumo (www.kumopa.com) in Collegeville. I hoped I hadn’t missed the lunch service. My luck prevailed, and I got a table near the sushi bar.
Is June flying by for you, too? The last few weeks have come and gone in a flash. And May was no different. It was unusually busy for our family, with my son’s grad school graduation, my brother’s 50th birthday party, a quick trip to North Carolina, and a wedding in Baltimore. But I recently grabbed a couple of hours to explore some nearby farmers markets.
The Downingtown Farmers Market opened in May in Kerr Park and is already gaining many fans. My first visit to this producer-only market started at the yellowy-green Dia Doce food truck. If you’re up on cupcake trivia, the Dia Doce baking duo won the popular Food Network show, “Cupcake Wars,” with their gluten-free and vegan treats. Beyond the truck, stands were filled with fruits and vegetables, herb plants, breads, chocolates, honey, salsa, and even beer. Farmers within 50 miles of the borough brought pasture-raised beef, lamb, veal, and pork; chicken; sausage; and eggs. I sampled locally made almond and cinnamon butters from the Naughty Nutty Love stand, and took home small containers of SubLIME sorbetto and Rustic Lemon gelato from Jenny & Frank’s Artisan Gelato. (They were devoured the next day.)