Monday, October 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, October 20, 2014, 12:12 AM

Debbie Grady was reading the paper at her Pottstown farm about two years ago when she learned that Triumph Brewing was pulling out of Old City.

Her son-in-law John Wible, meanwhile, was quite serious about his homebrewing.

Next thing she knew, she says, she was on the line to Wible and old friend Ken Merriman - a restaurant manager - telling them: "Triumph's on the market and I want to buy it."

POSTED: Saturday, October 18, 2014, 3:28 AM

What is the value of a positive restaurant review?

To hear Times of London critic Giles Coren, $1 million in additional business.

Coren, the latest in a long line of cranky British food-TV personalities, is out with Million Dollar Critic, a series by Canada's W Network and BBC America that documents his dining experiences in five restaurants in each of six cities, including Toronto, Providence, Charleston and Philadelphia.

POSTED: Friday, October 17, 2014, 4:01 PM

To think, we in Philadelphia lived hundreds of years without a restaurant specializing in shabu shabu - that Asian cook-your-own noodle soup concept.

Now in the space of less than a year, we have two Chinese-run spots around the corner from each other: Simply Shabu, a BYOB that was awarded two Craig LaBan bells, opened in January at 1023 Cherry St., and much more recently, there's Hippot Shabu Shabu, a mod-looking spot that replaced Mixx at 1002 Arch St. (One key difference: Hippot expects its liquor license shortly.)

At Hippot, you sit at tables with cooking surfaces that accommodate group-size or individual pots of broth (pork or "hot and spicy"). You get a choice of beef, lamb, pork, chicken or seafood, assorted vegetable garnishes, and a choice of fish-meat noodles, potato noodles, Shanghai noodles, udon, bean vermicelli, vermicelli, or ramen. 

POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 7:59 PM

Brewerytown has been a neighborhood in transition for the last several years, with new development drawing new residents and businesses. 

Crime & Punishment, a brewery and brew pub, is targeting late 2014 at 2711 W. Girard Ave.

Brian Dwyer, one of the brains behind the Fishtown/Kensington hit Pizza Brain, has a deal at 2843 W. Girard Ave. But it's shrouded in mystery.

POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 11:27 AM

Great news for fans of Ting Wong, arguably Chinatown's best Hong Kong-style duck house: 

It will not close permanently, according to signs posted this morning in the window.

Nothing wrong with that

POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 12:46 AM
#TBT: Stephen Starr at Buddakan in Philadelphia in 1998. (William F. Steinmetz/Staff Photographer)

Five of Stephen Starr's restaurants have made Restaurant Business magazine's list of top 100 independent restaurants, in terms of gross sales.

At 9 on the list was Buddakan New York, in Chelsea Market, did an estimated $21.5 million in 2013 sales.

At 70 was Parc on Rittenhouse Square, with an estimated $11.9 million.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 4:33 PM
Joy Crump, Coatesville High 1986. (BRAVO)

Top Chef's season 12 starts Wednesday, Oct. 15 (10 p.m., Bravo).

The cast usually has some sort of a Philly connection, and the Boston season is no different.

Joy Crump, 46, a 1986 graduate of Coatesville High, is executive chef and co-owner of Foode, a restaurant and catering service in Fredericksburg, Va.

Crump, one of five kids, says her parents divorced when she was 3. With her father in L.A. and later in Atlanta, "we spent our money on airfare getting together, so we didn’t go out to dinner. We stayed at home and we cooked. Cooking became an extension and an expression of love. It's the only thing I’ve ever known."
POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 3:37 PM
Brian Ricci, whose last stop was Kennett in Queen Village. (DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer)

The executive chef has been hired for Brick & Mortar, the restaurant, lounge and meeting space on track for a late-November opening on the ground floor of the Goldtex Building (315 N. 12th St.) in the Loft District.

He's Brian Ricci, who recently left a four-year spell as executive chef at Kennett. (See Craig LaBan's review here.) His resume also includes posts at Django, Supper, and Pub & Kitchen, plus Tabla in New York.

Ricci has a line of condiments (Nifty Spreads) sold at Green Aisle, Fair Food, Elixr Coffee, and Greensgrow.

About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at

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