Lets Eat Me Pork Pizza and Get Loaded to the Gunwhales!

porkpizza3

Woo Hoo! 50th post! Super pumped. To celebrate- check out my guest post over at Zen and Potatoes. It’s the recipe for my mom’s mouth-watering Orange Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls. Mmm. But now, back to the pizza pARRRty!

My oh my, was this pizza good. I’d been meaning to pop back in for dinner at this Queen Village eatery for a few months now. Ever since I happened upon one of their exquisitely crafted cocktails (with a sprig of thyme!), I knew I was going to be in for a treat. Well, I’ve proven myself right. This pork pizza was truly a standout. Like I said, it all starts with a great crust. Now, I don’t discriminate when it comes to pizza. My favorites range from huge, greasy, cheese-laden slices, to the super thin crust artisinal variety. This falls nicely in the middle. Just a pinch thicker than Trios, but a bit more fluffy also. Then, of course, come the masterful toppings. Tender slow roasted pork, sweet cooked onions, whole roasted cloves of garlic, creamy dollops of farmer’s cheese (similar to ricotta), a drizzle of honey , a sprinkle of crushed red pepper, and tons of rosemary- which I love because it reminds me of Thanksgiving, and I looove Thanksgiving. So damn good. Really amazing, unexpected comfort food. I could have eaten the whole pie.

Think you know where I found this booty?

 

Psst! Click back to Monday’s post to see if you knew the answer… Well, I guess I already gave it away…

 

 

 

Hand Over Me Arugula Pizza or Dance the Hempen Jig!

It’s going to be a pizza pARRRty this week! Many moons ago, I stopped into this Fishtown trattoria with a Groupon deal. (This was around the time all that controversy came out against Groupon, and I was embarrassed about even using it- but it was accepted with a smile.) I told the college-aged kid siting at the counter that we were interested in getting pizza, and asked for recommendations. He suggested the pizza you see above. Imma be honest, I was skeptical. I’m a big fan of pizza, not a big fan of salad, and very on the fence about mixing the two. But he also informed us that they will happily split pizzas with any two of their specialty options, so I we chose a meat lover’s half- and figured I’d at least that. Well color me surprised. Yes, the pepperoni and sausage side was awesome- but the arugula option was gold star worthy. See- all good pizza starts with good crust. This one is on the thin-ish side, and everything you want a good crust to be- crisp, chewy, fluffy, yummy. (I don’t know why it’s square, but I’m in full support of it.) They bake that crust with a coating of cheese, and then once it’s out of the oven, top it with freshly diced tomatoes, arugula, prosciutto, shaved parmesan, and a drizzle extra virgin olive oil. It’s artfully arranged, so if you eat carefully, you’ll get a little of something in each bite. And the peppery arugula with the salty prosciutto and parmesan, tossed with the sweet tomatoes on that tender crust- MMM! One of my favorite pizzas in the city- and I don’t even need to unbutton my jeans when I’m finished.

Think you know where I found this booty?
Click through to see…

Board the Man of War, and Don’t Forget Me Shaking Beef!

Last week, me Vietnamese Bestie took me out for some authentic Viet food in Bella Vista. I was planning on getting my tried-and true favorite- pho, but after stepping into the restaurant and seeing all of the delicious food laid upon fellow diner’s tables, that all flew out the window. I made a  game time decision to trust my Bestie’s pro status, and let her pick everything. And the food that came out… my god. Normally, I write about dishes that I’ve already had at least once before. See, I’m a lazy food blogger, and don’t like taking pictures of everything I’m going to eat before I eat it. (My dining companions aren’t big fans of it either.) So I usually go to a restaurant with a known favorite dish in mind, and take pictures of only that item. But since my posts have had a definite lack of Vietnamese cuisine, I took pictures of everything that came out in hopes that there would be a stand-out. (Thanks for being so patient, Bestie!)  And honestly, after I tried each new dish, I thought, “This is what I’ll be writing about.” It was all just. SO. GOOD. And the crème de la crème just happened to be last to arrive. It’s me Bestie’s favorite dish, and now I know why. In Vietnamese it’s called Bo Luc Lac- I guess Shaking Beef is its rap name. It’s super tender, kind of sweet, kind of salty, intensely flavorful cubes of beef served on a bed of fresh watercress and unfortunately out of season tomatoes. And you see that little dish of sauce? Mmm. I think it’s just a little lemon juice, and tons of salt and cracked black pepper. It basically just heightens all the flavors of the dish. It’s shockingly good. The delicate marinated beef with the crunchy freshness of the watercress, topped with the flavor explosion sauce. YUM. I would eat this everyday.

Think you know where I found this booty?
Click through to see…

This Veal Pappardelle Brought a Spring Upon Me Cable!

papardelle

Mmm.. this pappardelle was part of a larger food experience that completely blew me away.  I was expecting good things out of this Washington Square resto, but what I got was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had in Philly. Sure there are dishes here and there at so-so restaurants that totally hit the spot, but every single bite of food I had here was wonderful. And I tried an exorbitant amount of food. So, you’d think it’d be hard to pick just one dish to feature, but as soon as a strand of this house-made rosemary pappardelle touched my lips, I knew it was meant to be. The pasta was tossed with impossibly tender braised veal, itsy-bitsy pieces of sauteed kale, bites of fancy mushrooms, and garlic-tomato jus. It was finished with a shaving of salty cheese, and apparently tears from the gods. Drool. Just enough for an appetizer, and so meaty and comforting. It’s exactly what you want from a seasonal winter menu- executed to perfection. All-in-all, fabulous night. Amazing food, great friends, beautiful decor… I wished we could have been seated outside, but I don’t think it would have had quite the desired effect with hats and gloves on.

Think you know where I found this booty?
Click through to see…

We Will Duel to the Death for Me Stuffed Meatballs!

It’s REALLY hard to pick a favorite at this Mediterranean hot-spot. There’s the artfully crafted goat cheese plate, or the thin-crust, melt-in-your-mouth pizzas, or the most coveted dessert in the city. But I ended up choosing these stuffed meatballs because they are just. So. Damn. Good. I mean, come on- they’re MEATBALLS stuffed with CHEESE. And they’re not just any meatballs. They’re made of house-ground shortrib and pork shoulder, stuffed with caciocavallo cheese (which according to Wikipedia, is similar to aged provolone), covered with a mouth-watering chunky red sauce, a dollop of calabrian chile paste, and a sprinkling of fresh oregano. Hubba Hubba. The result is an intensely flavorful, juicy meatball, oozing with perfectly melted cheese. A little bit sweet from the red sauce, and a little bit spicy from the chiles. (And sitting in the most adorable mini cast iron pans!) Good lord. I could set up a shrine and start praying to these. Then again, you could probably close your eyes, spin around three times, point to anything on the menu, and you’d leave feeling the same way.

Think you know where I found this booty?

Click through to see…

Me Gentlemen O’ Fortune Love this Eggs Benedict Crepe!

crepe

So I recently had to make a lunchtime trek to City Hall for a replacement social security card. (Yes Dad, I know. It’s about time.) After getting through the process much faster than expected, I thought it would be a good idea to check my Yelp app to find something yummy in the neighborhood. Broaden my horizons a little. I couldn’t have been more surprised to find that there was a crepe shop directly between my Rittenhouse office and City Hall, with a solid five star rating. I was skeptical, but I walked over. What I found was a true hidden gem. It’s among the expanse of office buildings and nothingness on JFK, so chances are, I’ve passed it and not even noticed. I decided to go with the Crepe Bearnaise, which was described as the eggs benedict crepe. It was carefully delivered to my spot at the counter, looking more delicious than I had even hoped. It was really, really wonderful. The perfectly thin, fluffy crepe, artfully folded with layers of egg, melted cheese and thinly sliced ham. It’s finished with a drizzle of bearnaise sauce- the cousin of the mighty hollandaise, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Damn. Just straight-up good food. I keep going back intending to try another savory concoction, but the pull of the Crepe Bearnaise is just too strong.

Think you know where I found this booty?

Click through to see…

Get Yer Squawky Parrot Away from Me Hau-Mok-Poo!

thaicrab

Oh yeah. Using fancy names now. A few weeks ago, on the way to a certain hot chocolate crawl, Bestie Q suggested that we go to try out the new South Street Thai restaurant Bestie M recommended. Bestie M had gushed about the food she had, and without connecting the dots, I had also read a stellar review from my friends at 22nd and Philly just the same morning. I love when things work out like that. With all of this good publicity, I just had to try it for myself. I decided to go out on a limb and get a dish that I couldn’t pronounce, but that Kristy had especially raved about. The Hau-Mok-Poo was described as a steamed crab meat mousse with curry, coconut milk, Chinese broccoli, and kaffir lime leaves in a banana leaf cup. It was absolutely delicious. Kind of like a super-light quiche. The airy mousse, combined with the meaty crab and all of the intense Thai flavors was incredible, and presented beautifully. With a good portion of fresh, tasty Chinese broccoli and a side of steamed white rice, it was really a star dish. So glad I went with these intimidatingly-named eats and not my normal shrimp pad Thai. Okay, okay, In the spirit of honesty, we also got the shrimp pad Thai. But it was awesome. And I’m not ashamed.

Think you know where I found this booty?

Click through to see…

Hump Day Duel: Swine Versus Fowl

swine_vs_fowl-11

Yarr! It’s that time again- Hump Day Duel time! And it’s another sandwich race to the death.

My brother, who only wishes to be addressed as Sweet Daddy Bones on this blog, Me First Mate, and I recently journeyed to an awesome Market East sandwich shop, and hinged our bets on a few of their masterpieces. I crossed my fingers for #1- The Swine. Sweet Daddy Bones put his money down for #6- The Fowl. (Me First Mate was disqualified for picking the least exciting sandwich.) The gates open, and they’re off! Ah! It seems like The Swine is taking the early lead. Her combination of slow cooked pulled pork and ground veal is clearly superior to The Fowl’s admittedly still-delicious slow roasted turkey breast and grilled bacon. There’s just something about The Swine’s hearty meatiness that can’t be matched. The Swine’s staying steady with the The Fowl right on her heels. The roasted peppers, fresh baby spinach and just-grated sharp provolone seem to be the perfect toppings to lighten what could be a heavy sandwich. Oh no! I see Sweet Daddy Bones throw up his hands with glee. The Fowl’s just taken the lead. Apparently, fresh ingredients are no match for hot, perfectly- cooked latkes. I should have known! Latkes on a sandwich?! Incredible. Just when I’m about to start pouting, I see The Swine neck and neck with The Fowl. They both have incredible sauces. Who will be victorious? With two sauces to add to the mix, The Fowl gets ahead by a hair. A generous portion of savory gravy swirled with a ribbon of sweet, tangy cranberry-apple spread is definitely a crowd pleaser. But after one bite of the The Swine’s homemade roasted garlic spread, you know it’s something special. The rich, sweet, earthy garlic flavor, pummeled into creamy goodness puts the sandwich into the realm of legend. There’s a flash of hooves and manes and the crowd goes wild! . Sweet Daddy Bones tips his hat to me. The Swine takes it, with The Fowl coming in just seconds behind (Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about horse races.)

Think you know where I found this booty?

Click through to see…

Be it a Merry Pirate’s Life for Me with this Hot Chocolate!

hotchocolate

Well this is festive, no? I am not a huge fan of hot beverages, per my crippling fear of burned tongues, but anything that can basically double as a dessert is okay in my book. Last week, I was pleased to attend a Foodspotting hot chocolate crawl. But- I was not prepared to have three cups of hot chocolate on an empty stomach. So one of me besties and I had some yummy Thai food, (post to come) and then headed over to meet the Foodspotting crew along their crawl. By the time we got there, they were finishing up at the second of the three stops, so we bundled back up and trekked over to the third eatery. This gave me anxiety. What if number one or two was the best, and now I’m stuck only having the worst hot chocolate? (I’m a worrier about the least important things) Well, my fears were assuaged as soon as this cup of delight was placed before me. This was the “Italian Hot Chocolate”, and with the options of dark, milk and white chocolate, I chose the milk. It was hands down the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had in my 25 long years. It was rich, light and heavy at the same time, silky… I could go on and on. It was perfection. When you imagine hot chocolate, this is what you’re dreaming of. I can’t say enough about such a simple, well executed drink. How could I have possibly doubted that bald dude?

Think you know where I found this booty?

Click through to see…

Me Thinks This Pork Belly Sandwich be Good Enough for a GUEST POST!

porkbellysandwich

Ahoy! Guest post on the horizon! Taking the December reins is Chris from the awesome blog- This is a Hot Jam. It’s a smorgasbord of street art snapshots, Tastykake reviews, inventive recipes, and brainy book write-ups. (You probably don’t have to guess that the Tastykake reviews are my favorites.) He’s come here to give my readers a little 411 on pork belly sammies, and maybe you’ll even a little something about the mating habits of pigs…Take it away, Chris!

 

Travelling the high seas is an extremely risky venture. Besides the obvious dangers–rough waters, a fierce squall, mutinies, krakens, scurvy, falling off the edge of the world, the drunken first mate who keeps crawling into your bunk to, er, mate–seafarers also had to worry about running out of food. One solution to this problem was to seed islands with mating pairs of pigs. Sailors would drop off a few animals as they passed and the swine–much like the aforementioned drunken first mate–would immediately get down to business. By the time the shipped passed the island again on its return voyage, there would be a plentiful supply of delicious pork to feast upon. Of course, even a landlubber like me can appreciate some succulent, fatty pork. This sandwich is made with smoked & crispy pork belly, cole slaw and pickled green tomato. Its damn near perfect and I can say without hesitation that its my favorite sandwich of all time.

Think you know where Chris found this booty?

Click through to see…