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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: November, 2010

POSTED: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 11:53 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk
  • Philly coffee baron La Colombe is opening a cafe in the Residences at the Ritz (15th Street at South Penn Square) in about 11 weeks, to supplement the flagship store on 19th Street north of Rittenhouse Square and two in New York City. The founders, Todd Carmichael and Jean Philippe Iberti, are in Chicago signing a lease and plan to open in L.A. They're expanding in different cities to boost their business of wholesaling to fine restaurants. That's really using their bean.
  • Freshii, a fresh, fast-serve concept, is also under construction at the Residences at the Ritz.
  • Get Gino's burgers at 1970s prices on Sunday (Nov. 14), as the revived Gino's (across from the King of Prussia Mall, on Route 202 at Allendale Road) does a rollback from noon to 3 p.m. to coincide with its ribbon-cutting. Founder and football legend Gino Marchetti, 83, will be there. CEO Tom Romano is expecting 1,000 people to show up. Here's some history.
  • On a personal note: Today we'll send off Fran Alberstadt, who lost her blessedly short final battle with cancer on Monday at age 82. Aunt Fran, my father's sister, was a Mad Woman, writing ad copy in the '60s. In retirement, she and her husband, Joe, traveled the world. Her Zagat-like knowledge of local restaurants was honed from an aversion to cooking that the kids in the family actively supported. Years ago, Fran volunteered to host a holiday meal. She put a fully frozen turkey, giblet bag still in the cavity, into the oven, set it to 450, and wondered why it wasn't done after three hours. Little wonder that she and Joe dined out five times a week.
POSTED: Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 3:41 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk
  • Friday, Nov. 12 saw the debut of the Wayne branch of White Dog Cafe (200 W. Lancaster Ave., across from Anthropologie). This spot has been nearly two years in the making. Menu from chef Zach Grainda (previously at Daddy O hews to the locavore American fare making the rounds today. (See dinner menu here. Lunch will start Nov. 16.) The handsome interior gives off mixed signals -- the dog pictures on the wall and the dark woods in the bar area seem right out of Radnor Hunt, while the bright, whitewashed look in two dining rooms has a Pottery Barn feel. Don't miss the "library," which has a series of books whimsically suspended from the ceiling. As for opening, owner Marty Grims awaits approval from the LCB. If you're one of those first-nighters who feels obliged to one-up your friends about your travels, you'll have to call 610-225-3701.
  • Shake-up at Reading Terminal Market: The Beer Garden, which has been there for 25 years or so, has been sold to veggie guys Vinnie and Jimmy Iovine, who plan a gastropub to be called Molly Malloy’s Bar & Grill.* The transfer of ownership will take effect when the Iovines’ liquor license application is approved, possibly within 90 days from now. Then it’s renovation time. The Beer Garden is still open under Tony Novelli.   *- Name changed
  • Mark Coates, who closed his Bebe's BBQ shop in the Italian Market, has taken to Facebook and Twitter to announce that he's now chef at Fergie's Pub. He spent Tuesday picking up a smoker for the restaurant. 
POSTED: Monday, November 8, 2010, 4:58 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk
  • HeadHouse, the craft-beer bar in Society Hill (122 Lombard St.) that opened in June and closed a month later, has a grand reopening up for this weekend (Nov. 12-13-14). Madame Saito, who owns the business, has drafted chef Daniel D'Angelo, a chef-instructor at the Art Institute. The menu now covers America and Asia -- sliders and wings and sushi, oh my -- and there are 20 beers on tap plus 150 by the bottle. For the grand opening, food and drinks will be priced at $5. 
  • Old City's Khyber Pass Pub (56 S. Second St.) returns Tuesday (Nov. 9) in soft-reopening mode with a Southern-influenced menu by chef Mark McKinney, who runs the kitchens at sibling operations Royal Tavern and Cantina Dos Segundos. He's importing bread from Leidenheimer Baking Co. in Louisiana for the po'boys. Here's a sample menu. The official opening will be Nov. 18.
POSTED: Sunday, November 7, 2010, 8:11 AM
O Christmas tree, still standing outside the Spectrum.

While a thousand scavengers picked the Spectrum clean of its remaining contents on Saturday, one arena fixture is spoken for:

The nearly two-stories-tall blue spruce on the west side of the arena, near the subway station.

The Spectrum has donated this 40-plus-year-old tree to the city, which will truck it up Broad Street in a couple of weeks.

POSTED: Sunday, November 7, 2010, 8:10 AM

Bensalem's Parx Casino hired Kevin Dillon, Johnny "Drama" Chase of HBO's Entourage, to cut the ribbon on its poker room and to play a few hands Friday night.

Nice work if you can get it.

POSTED: Friday, November 5, 2010, 12:26 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk
  • A long-dormant project in Fairmount is back on track. Fare, a sustainable-food themer that was known as Meze when work started in May 2009, should be open in early 2011. "We were working through conceptual things," says partner David Orphanides, a zoning lawyer and partner who has retained the services of chef Tim Bellew and front-of-the-house manager/wine guru Robert Amar. (Yes, Amar had been attached to the still-in-progress restaurant project Speck, but he and chef Shola Olunloyo parted company; the situation has ended up in court, as Amar alleges that he's owed back pay.)
  • PJ Whelihan's will open its Downingtown location (853 E. Lancaster Ave., where Primavera Pizza Kitchen was) on the week of Nov. 15.
  • Elevation Burger, which recently opened a spot in Providence Town Center in Oaks/Collegeville, is looking to mid-December for a shop in Moorestown Mall.
  • University City's Hummus is looking at a "couple of weeks" for the opening of a larger  outpost at 18 Greenfield Ave. in Ardmore.
POSTED: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 1:37 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Looks like a Middle Eastern BYO rivalry is shaping up.

The spot at the southeast corner of 13th and Pine Streets that was Leila Cafe will become King Tut, serving what Egyptian-born building owner Thamer Seoudi calls "ancient cuisine built on nature." He also asserts that he is a direct descendant of Tutankhamun and that he owns another King Tut location in Glassboro, N.J. Menu will include samak tahini (a fish dish) and some Greek specialties plus hookahs. He expects to open about Dec. 1, serving on two levels plus outside. Seoudi says he and Leila owner Mohamad Kammoun had a falling out.

Kammoun, meanwhile, is building out a new space a few blocks away, at 1356 South St. for Leila Cafe. This was noted in late September on Brownstoner. Kammoun hopes to be open by the end of the month, with his previous menu (including hookahs).

POSTED: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 9:28 AM
Erin O'Hearn and husband Sal Paone Jr. (Image via (

To the readers and Action News viewers obsessed with such matters:

Reporter Erin O'Hearn is pregnant with her second child, a source close to her confirms. Her due date has not been divulged.

She married builder Sal Paone Jr. on Sept. 6, 2008, and their daughter, Sienna, was born July 25, 2009.

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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