Saturday, January 24, 2015

POSTED: Friday, January 23, 2015, 2:07 AM
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Another day, another "top" list.

Serious Eats explores the roast pork sandwich, which many cheesesteak-weary Philadelphians acknowledge is truly the Philadelphia sandwich nowadays.

Serious Eats' Niki Achitoff-Gray contends that roast pork sandwiches "have a lot more flavor agents working in their favor" than cheesesteaks do.

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 3:33 PM

Center City is crisscrossed by tiny alleys that time, developers, and the 21st century largely forgot, so you may not have noticed an orange liquor application on what appears to be an orphaned carriage house on Cypress Street, behind Vetri's parking lot, the University of the Arts, and the Center City One condo building.

It's literally in the shadow of the Kimmel Center, whose glass roof gleams a half-block west across Broad Street.

If neighborhood resident Ram Krishnan has his way, the turquoise-trimmed building will become a European-style cafe called The Republic.

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 1:00 PM
Smith & Wollensky, at the Rittenhouse Hotel. (TIM REARDON / Philly.com)

Buzzing around the commercial real estate community is an ad for the space now occupied by Smith & Wollensky, the swank chain steakhouse in the Rittenhouse Hotel (210 W. Rittenhouse Square).

S&W, which succeeded Nicholas Nickolas in 2000, is very much open and has not set a closing date. It very well may sign a new lease. (I await a response from a rep at S&W corporate.)

Meanwhile, the flyer from the McDevitt Company says the 10,250 square feet over 2½ floors will be available in "summer 2015."

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 11:29 AM
The future site of the Pour House in Airport Square in North Wales.

One door closes and another door opens.

Literally.

On Tuesday, Jan. 20, it was last call at the Romano's Macaroni Grill location on Route 309 in Airport Square in North Wales, Pa.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 10:56 PM
Chef/partner Justin Bogle at Avance, ambitious successor to Le Bec-Fin at 1523 Walnut St. (DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer)

Worry no more for chef Justin Bogle, left holding the bag last summer when investors closed Avance in Center City.

Jose Garces has brought him on as corporate executive chef.

In this position - last held by Michael Fiorello - the Roxborough-bred Bogle oversees recipe and menu development for the entire group, whose holdings include Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, and Distrito.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 3:19 PM

Is a positive restaurant review really worth $1 million?

Times of London critic Giles Coren chuckled over the phone. He does not seem sure.

"I've written something and I'd get a call saying, 'Your review cost me 250,000 in lost bookings.' "

POSTED: Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 10:55 AM
Rob Wasserman at Parlor Pizza Bar, the successor to The Saint James at Suburban Square in Ardmore. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

Might Philadelphia's long-standing restaurant expansion be coming to an end? I have 70 reasons that will not happen anytime soon.

That is the number of projects targeted to open in the first half of 2015.

Admittedly, not all are white-tablecloth or even fine-dining. A steak shop, a bowling alley, and an ice cream parlor are in the mix, as well as a few chains - no doubt to annoy purists who choose to ignore the fact that out-of-towners' investment in a city is a key barometer of a local economy. So, hello, there, Cheesecake Factory.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 10:00 AM
Philadelphians say they are generous tippers, says Zagat Survey. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

Philadelphians dine out less frequently than the national average but when they do, they tip well. They also love bacon, tend not to send a dish back to the kitchen, are unlikely to stiff a bad server, and don't mind pilfering forks and salt shakers.

Zagat Survey, the restaurant pollsters, has again sliced and diced data gathered from the dining public.

It is served up in chart form in the 2015 Dining Trends Survey, released Jan. 20.

About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, 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 mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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