Say Cheese!

18 04 2012

Here goes the first rating for my 2012 Grilled Cheese Battle.

Say Cheese! is one of many new “gourmet” food trucks on Temple’s campus, located right outside of the Tyler School of Art at 13th and Norris.  I ordered a standard “Recruit” from their menu and below are my ratings and explanations.

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Overall appearance: 8  Nice shape and size, good toasting on the bread.

Overall taste: 8 I mean, how can you really screw up a grilled cheese? This one had a nice taste with the Horsey Mustard spread giving it a bite.
Size: 8 Not too big, not too small.
Greasiness: 8 There must be some greasiness to a grilled cheese.  I like it when the butter causes it and not the cheese.  This one had that covered.
Cheese (quality and quantity): 6 Great cheese, great taste, but it wasn’t melted all the way through.  HUGE pet peeve of mine!
Carbohydrate Delivery System: 10 Really yummy Italian bread
Price: 8 $4 Reasonable for the quality, but there are cheaper sandwiches on campus.
Extras: 9 The spread and one veg were included.

Service and timing: 10 The peeps at Say Cheese! are always friendly and from the time I walked up to the truck to the time I got my sandwich only took 10 minutes (there were two people in front of me).
Accuracy of order: 10

Total score: 85

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Grilled Cheese Battle

12 04 2012

A couple of years ago I tasted a bunch of breakfast sandwiches from trucks on campus and deemed a winner. With the nice spring weather coming soon and two new grilled cheese trucks near my office, I’ve decided to start a grilled cheese battle. Here’s the matrix (a possible 10 points per category):

Overall appearance
Overall taste
Size
Greasiness
Cheese (quality and quantity)
Carbohydrate Delivery System (credit: Matt Palmer)
Price
Extras
Service and timing
Accuracy of order
Total score: Possible 100

Stay tuned.





Frickles

3 04 2012

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

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Yumtown

19 03 2012

Words can’t describe my love for the Yumtown truck that parks outside of my building at Temple University. The all-local ingredients must just add that extra bit of home-cooked flavor to everything they make.

Most recently I tried their empanada with chicken and potatoes with a side of plantain chips and salsa.

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My mouth is watering as I remember eating this for lunch. The empanada was steaming hot filled with hunks of slightly spicy filling. I’ve found that plantain chips are hard to perfect: too often they are too dry, too crunchy, or too flavorless. These succeeded in every way to be perfect and the salsa with pineapple complemented everything, you guessed it, perfectly.

All Temple students and employees should visit Yumtown as often as they can, and if you ever find yourself lost in North Philly, stop by, get your bearings, and have a snack from Yumtown.





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.





Dia Doce cupcakes

4 03 2012

Matt bought these cupcakes from the Dia Doce cupcake truck when it was parked in our local Whole Foods parking lot.

The strawberry and lemon blueberry flavors were fresh and tasted like the berries had been picked straight off the vine that morning. When I bit into the frosting, it had that nice thin sugary crust that protected the soft and fluffy insides. Perfect.

The cake was very moist and sticky–almost too crumbly and light–and I would have liked mine to be a bit denser.

More information about Dia Doce, and the truck’s schedule, can be found here.

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Cherry Blossom Season and Philadelphia Taiko Center

19 02 2012

The Philadelphia Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is right around the corner, from March 23-April 21. Events around the city include performances by the Tamagawa Taiko Drum group, the Blossom Bash, Sakura Sunday (our favorite), and kabuki theater performances for the first time ever.

Matt has established the Philadelphia Taiko Center and is teaching taiko drum lessons at the Asian Arts Initiative. So far the classes are a success, and this is a perfect way to get in the mood for cherry blossom season! He is teaching a special introductory level class on March 24th. You can visit Philadelphia Taiko Center on Facebook for more information, or see below.

Taiko classes are held at 1223 Vine Street, in the Asian Arts Initiative. Introductory classes are scheduled for 9:30 – 11:00 on Saturday mornings. Beginner adults runs from 11:00 – 12:30 Saturdays. Participation in the intro class or instructor ok is required for beginners and beyond classes. Email taikomatt@gmail.com for more information and registration details. Cost of class is $55/month (typically four classes every month). Follow Philadelphia Taiko Center on twitter: @PhillyTaiko