Monday, December 22, 2014

POSTED: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 4:22 PM
Angelo Lutz, who owns Kitchen Consigliere Cafe in Collingswood. (DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer)
Back in late October, chef Aarón Sánchez was in town to sample tacos for his Cooking Channel series Taco Trip.

Well, the episode has a date: Jan. 13 at 9:30 p.m., when Sanchez samples Union Taco's Philly cheesesteak taco, a scrapple taco at Sancho Pistola's, a Thai duck fusion taco at Tuk Tuk Real, and a cauliflower taco from La Calaca Feliz.

One of the Philly area's more colorful chefs, Angelo Lutz of Kitchen Consigliere Cafe in Collingswood, will turn up as a contestant on Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen on Dec. 7 (10 p.m.).

POSTED: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 4:00 AM
Teddy Sourias at the construction site destined to become U-Bahn.

Teddy Sourias and his crew at the beer bar BRU (1318 Chestnut St.) have been working since last winter underground on a new venue, U-Bahn.

The new-age rathskeller will see the light of day (only figuratively) in the next six weeks or so.

Sourias is positioning U-Bahn - which will have a "secret" staircase connecting the two venues - as a hip underground clubhouse whose high ceilings will suggest a German subway station. The location (1320 Chestnut) was Huyler’s Candy in the late 1800s and was Jeans West clothing store most recently.

POSTED: Monday, November 24, 2014, 1:37 PM

Workers at the Navy Yard are getting a nifty perk next spring:

Tacconelli's pizza, hot out of the oven.

Port Richmond's Mercer Cafe has signed a lease to open a restaurant at 15th Street and Kitty Hawk Avenue, next to the Dinic's location. (It's Building 623, if you're an old salt.)

POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2014, 1:37 AM

Don't go to Suburban Station's newest shop if you're looking for a huge menu.

Milkhouse (where Moe's was next to "Track 1, Section A," 267-606-6757) sells panini-pressed grilled cheese sandwiches, soup, breakfast sandwiches, fries, milkshakes and La Colombe drip coffee.

Tommy Guest (Philly Pretzel Factory), Brendan Smith (Smiths in Rittenhouse) and Shannon Heil (back in restaurants after a break) were kicking around potential quick-serve food ideas, and quickly discounted burgers because, as Smith said, "everyone's doing them. But we wanted to stick to comfort food."

POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2014, 12:42 AM
Olivier DeSaintmartin at Roti.

To update the crop of projected restaurant openings over the next eight weeks or so:

Mere hours old is The Crazy Sofa, a sushi/small plater, next to the Regal theater in Newtown Square (the former Roux 3).

Any day now, Collingswood will see the debut of Local Market and Cafe (714 Haddon Ave.), which will sell foods to go or eat-in and will have a coffee bar, deli, butcher, bakery and grocery sections.

POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2014, 9:33 PM

Four owners from four Latin lands are running Latin Flavor, a cafeteria-style restaurant opening Friday, Nov. 21 at 627 South St. (267-519-2027), a storefront whose previous occupants include Baklava Cafe and Gaja Gaja.

Aramis Ramirez is from Cuba, his wife, Francis Carrion, is Dominican, Maribel Martinez is from Puerto Rico, and her husband, Jose, is Salvadoran. (The men met working out at an LA Fitness in Cherry Hill. Ramirez owns Palmas del Mar, a restaurant in Willingboro.)

Latin Flavor is set up with a hot table with items such as pepper chicken, tripe, roast pork, fried pork, pigs' feet, oxtail, and Cuban-style wings. They're sold with sides as platters for $9 to $12. Sandwiches ($7 to $8) include a Cuban.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 11:05 PM
Colin Mason, chef at Sola. (DALLYN PAVEY)

Colin Mason, whose resume includes Fork, Nectar, Susanna Foo, and Kanella, has landed as executive chef at Sola, Brian Engler's BYOB in Bryn Mawr. 

He credits his appreciation for food to his time at a boarding school in Hershey, where he and his classmates worked the fields and grew their own produce for the campus.

Among his main courses are Ricotta Gnudi (hen of the woods mushrooms, squash, brown butter, pecorino, $22); Crispy Wild Striped Bass (roasted cauliflower, fregola sarda, tomato fennel sauce, $28); Pistachio-Crusted Alaskan Halibut (roasted Brussels sprouts, sunchoke puree, $34), and Roasted Duck Breast (warm grain salad, apple, cucumber, cumin-carrot puree, $34).

POSTED: Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 4:52 PM

The term "no-tip restaurant" - which is what people are attaching to Girard Brasserie in Fishtown - is a bit of a misnomer, say owners Brian Oliveira and Cristian Mora.

"It isn’t that we are banning tipping," says Mora, a welll-traveled Miami native who met Oliveira, a chef, last year while both worked at Parc on Rittenhouse Square.

"We’re not putting it on the guest to pay our staff’s salary. We are paying their salary. If [customers] go above and beyond and want to leave a true gratuity, which is the meaning of the word, by all means."

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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