Sunday, November 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, November 13, 2014, 2:37 PM
Dining room with fireplace at Cantina Avenida, 7402 Germantown Ave. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Restaurants might be opening left and right, but doors are locking on a few places, too:

Mount Airy's Avenida went to a less-expensive cantina style - as Cantina Avenida - earlier this year. But that didn't help, as it's closed.

Darling's Cafe, the go-to for Moore College students and budget-conscious Parkway tourists, is shut at 21st and Spring Streets. People are being referred to the Darling's Diner at the Piazza at Schmidt's in Northern Liberties.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 3:18 PM
Chorizo platter at Manita Burrito.

Twice a month over the summer, Mugshots Coffeehouse (1925 Fairmount Ave.) was the scene of a burrito pop-up from Bistro 7 chef/owner Michael O'Halloran and business partner and friend Noam Kugelmass.

Now, Manita Burrito is a permanent thing Thursday through Sunday nights at Mugshots.

The signature menu item is the freekeh burrito, built around the super-grain made of roasted green wheat. And while O'Halloran is the front man in this enterprise and cooked healthfully while living in Tucson ages ago, he gives credit to his sous chef, Bertin Lopez, a native of Puebla whose restaurant past includes Azafran.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 4:00 AM

Just about four months after the opening of Guy Fieri's Chophouse at Bally's in Atlantic City, Fieri himself dropped by for a look-see at the place.

It's money, all right, sitting right there next to the Buca di Beppo on the second level, above the casino floor: red banquettes, lobster tank, expansive bar, lively vibe. Even critics are grooving on the menu, which takes a typically Fieri-esque approach to the traditional chophouse menu. (Yes, there's donkey sauce.)

Caesars has imported three big, bold chef names of late to its Atlantic City properties: Steve Martorano at Harrah's, Fieri at Bally's and Gordon Ramsay, whose pub will open at Caesars in February.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 12:28 AM

Wednesday, Nov. 12 (at 7:30 a.m.) is day one for Knead Bagels (725 Walnut St.), filling the Washington Square West storefront previously occupied by Philly's Cafe and Tuscany Cafe.

Chef Adam Willner, working with his wife, Cheri, calls this "a modern interpretation of the traditional bagel shop."

In sum, he's boiling his bagels in the old-fashioned way but he's cheffing up the varieties.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 4:22 PM
The wares from Federal Donuts. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)

The idea of regional cuisine in America has been twisted and turned.

You can get cheesesteaks everywhere, just as you can get muffuleta. Someone mixes a croissant and a doughnut and invents the Cronut. Next thing you know, everyone is offering one.

Is anything unique anymore?

POSTED: Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 12:16 PM
Stella Rossa, 10th and Walnut streets.

Those pesky trademarks.

Restaurateur Dave Magrogan again is facing objections over the name of one of his restaurants.

The Texas-based wine importer behind the Stella Rosa brand raised a fuss over Magrogan's use of Stella Rossa for his Italian restaurants.

POSTED: Monday, November 10, 2014, 3:11 PM
DiVello's Deli in Cherry Hill. (via web)

I'm hearing a great wailing from Cherry Hill/Haddonfield steak and hoagie fans because DiVello's Deli, an old-school sandwich shop on Kresson Road at Haddonfield-Berlin Road, has closed.

My informant guesses it was abrupt because on Friday, she noticed brown paper on the doors and windows with a hand-written note: "Closed - Thanks for 36 years." 

The phone simply rings.

POSTED: Monday, November 10, 2014, 12:44 PM
The former Lox, Stock & Barrel at CityView.

The Korean barbecue specialist Miga, on 15th Street just below Walnut, had to close in July 2012 because of the redevelopment of the block; a new building, including a Cheesecake Factory, is being built now.

Two and a half years ago, Miga owner Sam Cho vowed to return.

If the deal goes through as expected, Miga (or a facsimile) will open at the CityView Condos at 20th and Hamilton Streets, in the Art Museum area.

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

Michael Klein
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