The Back Porch Cafe

19 06 2012

My family recently went on a lovely vacation to Bethany Beach, Delaware. A friend found out we were going and gave me a gift card to The Back Porch Cafe in Rehoboth, which is about a 30-minute drive north of Bethany. We had planned on cooking our own meals while on vacation, so this was a welcomed surprise since the Back Porch is known as a more gourmet destination in that area. We decided to make a reservation on Father’s Day for 11:00, when it opened, figuring it would be the best time to take a toddler.

The building is on the main strip in Rehoboth, amongst typical souvenir shops and a Hooters right across the street. The restaurant is charming, with a bright blue exterior and its entrance off of the street. A friendly dog greets you as you arrive.

Our brunch menu:

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We started with the cheese and fruit plate, as we knew all three of us would enjoy it.  We were just a bit disappointed, as the two cheeses seemed pretty standard, but overall it was enjoyable (Anabel ate most of it).

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Matt ordered a glass of the champagne from Domaine Carneros but this is what he got:

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When we received our check we realized that it was the “Havana Daydream,” a very un-Matt-like drink, but he was a good sport about it. I got a very delicious Bloody Mary. I also took a chance and ordered the blue cheese and pear omelette.  I should have trusted my instincts and not ordered this.  I did not care for the combination of the sweet and syrupy pears in eggs, but maybe someone else would have really enjoyed this.  I also would have liked more cheese, but it was the same blue cheese as was on the cheese plate so it didn’t matter too much.  The eggs were more rubbery than fluffy.  The potatoes: perfection.  Crispy and chewy and almost burned, just the way I like them.

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Matt loved his scallops and cleaned his plate. I, for one, can’t eat non-breakfast food before noon, so I didn’t try it, but he really enjoyed the flavors and the scallops were done well.

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I was so happy to have a chance to try a fine-dining restaurant on our vacation, but I hope to go back some day for dinner to get a true feel for the place, and give them another chance at impressing me with their food.





Frickles

3 04 2012

Frickles=fried pickles. Best. Appetizer. Ever. At the Hop Angel Brauhouse.  Good beers, too.

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Green Eggs Cafe

8 03 2012

We recently spent a lovely morning at Green Eggs Cafe celebrating Chad’s birthday. There are two locations: one in Northern Liberties and one in South Philly. We made the quick drive to NoLibs and found parking pretty easily at 9:30 on a Sunday morning.

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With the no reservations policy, it was smart we got there as early as we did, as soon after we arrived the place filled up and a long line outside started to form. We were a party of eight plus one toddler. Unfortunately, the only available space was a table really made for six, and there was no room for a high chair, so Anabel took turns sitting on our laps. 

The ambience was a bit tense, as the servers waited for us to decide if we would stay in the cramped quarters or leave.  We decided to stay, and I almost felt the staff regret our decision.  There was a bit of a hoity toity air about the place, but maybe I’ve just been in the burbs for too long and am overly sensitive to center city attitudes.  We did notice the interesting item menu below–if you can’t make it out through the blur, it is a “Carafe of Valencia Orange Juice served with a complimentary bottle of prosecco” for $30.  Huh.

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Adding to the feeling of being annoying customers, the sign below also didn’t help us to feel any more welcomed.

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I do understand the problem of a wait, but I don’t see any other local brunch hot spots being so obvious–nothing on the tables at the Morning Glory Diner, at least the last time I checked.

In any case, all of the food was amazingly delicious.  My stuffed french toast (below) was truly a treat and I took half of it home as leftovers.  Which brings me to my next gripe.

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Yes, the establishment has an eco-conscious philosophy, but charging for a take out container? Really? If I had known, I would have brought my own Tupperware. 

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I think that the management here is just a little too up tight. I can see how the local NoLibs crowd would flock to a place as trendy as the Green Eggs Cafe but this old school gal probably won’t be going back, no matter how good their food is and earth conscious they are.





Philadelphia Chutney Company

16 02 2012

The Philadelphia Chutney Company is located on Temple University’s campus in North Philadelphia.  No menu, no prices, no explanation.  But it doesn’t matter, because this is good Indian food.  When I went there were three vegetables and three chicken dishes available over rice.  Choose one meat and two veggies for $6.  It was one of the heaviest lunches I’ve picked up on campus and I could only finish half of it. 

The chicken tikka masala was creamy and delicious with the perfectly tender and slightly spicy chickpeas complimenting it perfectly.  The potatoes were a bit al dente and bland, but it didn’t matter.   All of the flavors combined well enough for a repeat visit.

*Disclaimer: the website is a bit misleading for the Liacouras Walk location. Don’t expect to find everything listed in the store.





Jake’s Sandwich Board

3 11 2011

Jake’s Sandwich Board, located on 12th between Walnut and Sansom, was such a fun place to have lunch last week. With menu items such as the “Barnyard” and the “Black & White & Peanut Chew” milkshake, it will take you a while to choose what to have for lunch.

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I chose the “Turbacon” with slow roasted turkey breast, cranberry-apple spread, smoky grilled bacon, and savory brown gravy.  It came with a side of potato pancakes, which were on the sandwich, not on the side.  And what a surprising addition they were.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed my sandwich nearly as much without that crispy but melt-in-your-mouth potatoey goodness. The sandwich roll was tasty and fresh.

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See the juiciness? It was more than I could handle–literally.  I couldn’t finish the sandwich but I wanted to really badly.  If you work in the city, go there for lunch.  If you don’t, get there some other time.  You won’t regret it.

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Garces Trading Company

14 09 2011

I was recently invited to a press lunch at Garces Trading Company, hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Philly Homegrown and Center City District to kick off Restaurant Week in Philadelphia.  I was so incredibly excited for this opportunity for a number of reasons.  I have been neglecting my blog lately, mostly because I’m either busy or sleeping, and I haven’t had much time to explore or eat (out).  I also had never been to Garces Trading Company and welcomed the occasion to share a meal there with some fellow foodies.

Garces Trading Company is mostly known nationally through Chef Jose Garces, now Iron Chef Garces (he was a Philadelphia restaurateur before he was an Iron Chef, TYVM).  The menu was filled with local flares and flavors, which created the perfect atmosphere for our group of locavores to chat and trade food knowledge and passions.

The austere front of the restaurant somewhat misrepresents the warm feel on the inside.

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Unfortunately, there was some unsightly construction blocking my shot of the entire restaurant that day, but you get the idea.

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The interior is inviting, with a variety of seating options.

20110914-063550.jpgI chose the cheese plate as my first course.  It was a cow’s milk cheese from Stoudt’s Brewery called Ferdinand, served with a lemon balm “faux miel” or “fake honey.” The cheese was nutty and the sweet and citrusy side was a wonderful complement.

20110914-063646.jpgThe funghi pizza came as a second course (the dough was made with duck lard–how could you not?) and the citrusy theme continued with just a dash of lemon zest on top.  What a genius idea–somehow it was the perfect fresh taste to go with the earthy shrooms.

20110914-063659.jpgThe dessert course I chose was a pumpkin cake with cranberry gelee. The layers provided a variety of textures and flavors that just worked.

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Also in the restaurant is a chance to take the food goodness home with you.  Breads, meats, cheeses and desserts tempt you here:

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Olive oils and vinegars tempt you further here:

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And just when you thought you’d had enough, the wine store tempts you here:

20110914-063724.jpgI was so pleasantly surprised by the wine shop.  The purveyor knew her stuff and actually wanted to talk to you about wine (unlike PLCB employees at other locations) and most selections were under $20.

Just one more temptation before I go:

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Yes, I bought some, among other goodies.  That’s another post.





Le Pain Quotidien

11 09 2011

What a find!

I hadn’t been out to eat in the city for a while and am always worried about taking Anabel out, even though she is generally a very good baby. My brother chose Le Pain Quotidien for a brunch with my family on Saturday and we all loved it, even Anabel.

The atmosphere was warm and welcoming. The noise level was high enough so that a rambunctious baby wouldn’t be heard, but not so noisy that you couldn’t have a conversation over brunch. Our waitresses were so accommodating and thoughtful. The food was perfect. Between the six of us, we had a huge bread basket; two ham and gruyere croissants; many bowls of fresh berries; and a few omelettes. All of which got rave reviews.

It’s difficult taking food photos with a baby in tow.  That’s OK.  Just take my word for it that it all looked appetizing and go check it out for yourself.  I look forward to going back very soon.

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There was also a very impressive selection of desserts:
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And as I said, Anabel loved it, too.  She ate her first blackberry and piece of bread there.

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