Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, September 22, 2014, 9:59 AM
The interior of Robeks Fresh Juices and Smoothies on Chestnut Street. (Stephanie Aaronson/

Today (9/22) is the Philadelphia debut of the brick-and-mortar location of Robeks, the L.A.-rooted, made-to-order smoothie/fresh juice company.

It's at 1035 Chestnut St., just off the corner of 11th and Chestnut Streets, next to a Taco Bell (for dietary balance).

Regional director Kimberly Berger expects to open 37 of these units around the region.

POSTED: Saturday, September 20, 2014, 4:32 PM
College buddies Fred Elmalek and Fabrice Goutte opened So Crepe on South Street on April 1, 2013. (Hillary Petrozziello / Staff Photographer)

Apparently, one egg is not un oeuf.

A year and a half after opening So Crepe at 1506 South St., Frederic Elmalek and Fabrice Goutte are preparing to open their second creperie.

They've inked a lease at 4357 Main St. in Manayunk, which was Agiato for a spell and then BLT for about five minutes earlier this year.

POSTED: Friday, September 19, 2014, 12:49 PM
Behind the kitchen counter at Volver in the Kimmel Center are (from left) chef de cuisine Natalie Maronski, chef Jose Garces, and designer Marguerite Rodgers. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Going on six months, Volvér - the big-ticket Jose Garces experience at the Kimmel Center - is dispensing with its ticketing policy as it offers lower-priced options.

In sum: You don't have to pay north of $325 a head anymore, you may book dinner on OpenTable, and Vetri regains the title as the most expensive restaurant in Philadelphia.

Through his rep, Garces told me that guests had told management that "it was a cumbersome and confusing process."

POSTED: Friday, September 19, 2014, 3:01 AM

Steve Rodriguez, a designer on a mission to elevate the classic Philly sandwich shop, soft-opens his baby - First Street Steaks (1204 N. Front St., 215-839-9868) - midday on Friday, Sept. 19.

He'll open for lunch and dinner at first.

Next week (9/22) come the regular hours and breakfast: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

POSTED: Thursday, September 18, 2014, 1:53 PM
Finnigan's Wake at Third and Spring Garden Streets. (LUIS FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ / Staff Photographer)

Something is up at Finnigan's Wake, the sprawling Irish pub that for 17 years has been a gateway to Northern Liberties at Third and Spring Garden Streets.

It's been open only infrequently on recent weekends and for private parties and is being prepped for a sale, according to people close to the restaurant.

It had been listed for $3.9 million.

POSTED: Thursday, September 18, 2014, 11:39 AM
The bitterballen from Noord, in its natural habitat. Chef Joncarl Lachman will serve them at Feastival. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)

Attendees of the previous four Feastival events - the food-forward fundraiser for FringeArts - have regretted that they have but one stomach.

So many great things to try from the dozens of restaurants, bars and food/drink companies out there. 

With nearly 90 exhibitors for tonight's fifth annual Feastival - which starts at 7 p.m. at a tent on Penn's Landing between Chestnut and Market Streets - wouldn't it be wonderful to have a plan of attack?

POSTED: Thursday, September 18, 2014, 8:40 AM

Three Smashburger locations in New Jersey will celebrate National Cheeseburger Day  by giving away Classic Smashburgers for six hours during the lunch and dinner rush.

It's today - Thursday, Sept. 18 - from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m.

Locations are in Cherry Hill (56 Haddonfield Rd., across from the Cherry Hill Mall), Voorhees (1120 White Horse Rd.), and Lawrenceville (3321 Route 1).

POSTED: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 4:26 PM
Jennifer Carroll goes head to head with Nyesha Arrington. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Another Top Chef spin-off, so of course Philly's Jennifer Carroll will turn up on it.

This time, it's Top Chef Duels, a Bravo series that pits onetime chef'testants in one-on-one competitions. They're playing for charity - the American Brain Foundation in Carroll's case.

On the series' seventh show tonight (10 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17), Carroll is in the barrel, cooking against Nyesha Arrington (Top Chef Texas). The camera - and to a greater extent, the microphone - loves the brassy Northeast Philly woman with the sassy mouth.

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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