Instafood: MMS Gallery

Whew! I’m still here. I may not be posting… er… very often, but that doesn’t mean I’m not cooking, eating, exploring, and shooting it all along the way. Sometimes I forget to pat myself on the back for all the awesome food I make and count the blessings for the food love other people put in front of me. Today, I got the confidence boost I needed, one that came after a quite reflective weekend.

Long story short, a pretty rad lady I know founded and created a simple, yet beautifully-executed concept, The MMS Gallery: Masterpieces Made Simple (acronym intended). It’s an online collection showcasing user-submitted smartphone photography from around the globe. I stopped in here or there to check out their first couple of themes, but the topic of their third was right up my alley: FOOD!

After a month or so of submitting pics, I went about my life. Summer has been flying so I sorta forgot about it all until I got an event invite to the gallery opening… and saw their infographic about the submissions… and realized 7, yes 7, of my photos were chosen!! This shot is my fave – a #nofilter capture of Spring afternoon white sangria with one of my favorite ladies, Heidi.

See the rest of my MMS photos after the jump.

MMS Gallery Opening
Thursday July 14th | 630-930pm |1000 N Hancock St Suite 103

Check out this Geekadelphia article/interview w. my favorite creative couple,
Hilary Sedgwick + Kenny Kim about their creation of The MMS Gallery.

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Quickie: Marathon Catering

I can’t believe it’s been 10 months still I started at Marathon. I’ve learned so much about how a family-run six-restaurant local chain with successful catering & private event departments functions and thrives. My role began as the Director of Sales & Marketing, but when our event planner left, I was tossed right back into the private events world and juggling many hats. There’s certainly pros and cons to every job, but I truly appreciate the times I get to let my talents shine. With the recent update of our catering menu, I had the opportunity to shoot some photos of the amazing food we deliver to Philadelphia businesses every day. Let’s eat!

Rise + Shine

Jay’s Hand-Cut Turkey Sandwich

 Market Salad

Sweet + Salty

I can’t speak of Marathon Catering & Events without a shout-out to my office ladies.
You bring (update: brought) sunshine into each of my work days! Thank you.

Marathon Catering & Private Events
215.561.0500 | www.eatmarathon.com/catering

Restaurant Rewind: Barbuzzo

The food was pretty outstanding. The Salted Caramel Budino is HEAVEN!

The service was fairly underwhelming – pretty typical during Restaurant Week.

The pictures sum it up.

Barbuzzo
110 S. 13th St. | Philadelphia, PA 19107 |215.546.9300
www.barbuzzo.com

Restaurant Rewind: Green Eggs Cafe

While a I fully agree with Saveur that there’s no better place for lunch on a roll than Philly, I think we’re also a serious contender for best brunch, too. There’s notorious waits at Sabrina’s & Honey’s Sit-n-Eat and Carman’s eccentric interpretation of “down home” at her Country Kitchen and a South Philly spot proud to where its heart on its chef sleeve, Green Eggs Cafe.

Green Eggs’ namesake is about taking care of our Mother Earth, as noted in their mission. Their full commitment to conservation, sustainability, & environmental responsibility deserves respect as does the locally-sourced food they gracefully deliver. They don’t even have freezers so they’re certainly not faking the funk like many other places w. their guarantee of freshness.

As most solid brunch places go, a wait is expected on the weekends. Green Eggs alleviates that with comfy couches & free coffee in their next door waiting room. Finally seated, Dre, my sis, & I mulled over what deliciousness to order and indulged in a “complimentary” bottle of prosecco paired with a carafe of chilled fresh-squeezed orange juice. Just as the mimosa buzz hit, our youthful server delivered the best of their sweet & savory breakfast selections.

Creme Brûlée French Toast w. Fresh Berry Compote

Artichoke + Mushroom Frittata w. Truffle Cream

Cheddar Grits w. Scrapple Toast

Waffles w. Berry Compote + Crème Anglaise

Green Eggs Cafe
1306 Dickinson Street | Philadelphia, PA 19147 | 215.226.EGGS (3447)
http://www.greeneggscafe.net/

Restaurant Rewind: Phillips Seafood in AC

On May 19th (bear with me, folks! I just started a new job!), I had the pleasure of attending a food blogger dinner hosted by Breslow Partners and Phillips Seafood. I have yet to share my personal philosophy on sharing my restaurant dining experiences, so what better time than the present. It pretty much boils down to a commitment to post only about positive encounters (gratis meal, as in this case, or not) and our evening at Phillips definitely fits that criteria.

Dre & I rushed to AC after work that Wednesday, checked into our amazing room in the new Chairman Tower at the Taj Mahal (thanks, Mike!), and hurried over to the Pier at Caesars. We arrived at Phillips first and were greeted with smiles from Tina & Jennifer, the dynamic mother-daughter duo behind Breslow Partners. Our server, Mike, took drink orders as we got to know our hostesses and perused the amazing menu of food coming our way. How could you not be excited for this?

Phillips Seafood Blogger Dinner Menu

Cocktails arrived and so did 5 other new friends. It was so great to meet the people behind the local food blogs I enjoy, let alone dive into an indulgent seafood feast with them. Lisa & Lisa joined us first, from Jersey Girl Cooks and John and Lisa are Eating in South Jersey, respectively (har-har!). We then welcomed Allie of A Food Coma and her guest Mikey with Elaine of Elle Eats rounding out the group. No sooner did we finish our introductions when our first course arrived, Steamed Mojito Clams.

The GM, Brian Fountain, and Executive Chef Paul Drew were nothing short of hospitable, informative, & accommodating through out the meal. They joined us between each course to explain the history & philosophy of Phillips along with all the juicy ingredient and prep details that really  make foodies like us drool.

Steamed Mojito Clams from Phillips

We all had already dove into the tender clams while Chef Drew recapped the Mojito-inspired ingredients that flavored the dish. Phillips excels in freshness when it comes to their seafood and these middle necks fit the bill. They were cooked in butter, rum, mint (which I believed is mis-mentioned on the menu), slivers of garlic, & anaheim peppers and served with a ramekin of extra Mojito butter on the side. We happily sopped up the remaining butter with the warm bread we were served. I appreciated learning that Phillips strives to maintain the option for sustainable seafood by returning all clam shells to the Chesapeake.

Next up was a raw bar lovers dream, The Chilled Plateau. Its top tier featured fresh Maine Lobster and Alaskan King Crab Legs, each steamed with cinnamon, cloves, lemon, Phillips seasoning, pickling spice, & orange and served chilled. Melpac & Blue Point Oysters and Middle Neck Clams on the half shell outlined the bottom tier with fresh lemon wedges and a red wine, shallot, & garlic mignonette. Bowled in the middle, were Tuna Tartar (ahi poke style), U15 Shrimp, and Jumbo Lump Crab Meat with sides of cocktail sauce & mustard sauce for dipping. It was a tower of raw seafood indulgence and I loved every bite (and swallow in the case of the oysters) of it!

The Chilled Plateau from Phillips

The penultimate course for our dinner were the famous Phillips Chesapeake Crab Cakes,  packed with their own pasteurized crab meat, a process first developed by Phillips. 300 million tons of their crab meat are canned each year with 1/3 of that coming from our Gulf. The effects of the current outrageous oil leak saddens me beyond words and I’m sure this will have a grave effect, short & long term, on Phillips crab meat distribution. Let’s all hope for the best that can come out of this unimaginable disaster. But, this afternoon, it’s back to the crab cakes…

Chef Paul Drew explained that Phillips variety includes jumbo lump, back fin, & special lump crab meat for a variety of taste & texture. The whole chunks of crab are seasoned and bound with Phillips seasoning, lemon, mustard, Worcestershire, egg, & mayo. They’re formed into mounds and chilled at 40degrees until broiling them at 450degrees. Dre inquired about their cooking approach, as growing up in Maryland he was used to the deep-fried variety. Without solicitation, the Chef was happy to whip up a batch of fried crab cakes for comparison.  Their table was split on their cooking preference, but I think Lisa (of John & Lisa) summed it up perfectly – “They’re really good baked, but ethereal fried!”

Chesapeake Crab Cakes, Potato Gratinée, & Broccolini

The crab cake entree was well-rounded with sides of Potato Gratinées with Swiss cheese and tender Broccolini. We discussed our final thoughts on the meal over a palate-cleansing dish of mango sorbet. Overall, it was a great experience to try a restaurant I normally would not have with great fellow food bloggers. It was a refreshing experience, as sometimes a classic presentation of a seafood indulgence truly hits the spot. I couldn’t ask for a better meal that this beachside feast to kick off my Spring/Summer!

Blogger Dinner Contacts

Breslow Partners

Phillips Seafood AC

Jersey Girl Cooks

John and Lisa are Eating in South Jersey

A Food Coma

Ell Eats

Weekend Update: Italian Market Festival

After our Spring Patio Brunch, Kerry came to scoop Tom, Dre, & me to join her at the Italian Market Festival. 9th Street was alive with South Philadelphians, music, arts, &, of course, amazing food! We settled our brunch over a few beers and perused our snack options. Dessert was up first! The Italian Market has always had a battle of the cannoli between Isgro Pasticceria on 10th & Christian and Termini Bros. on 7th & Dickinson. This day, Termini Bros. wins with their fresh “filled to order” cannoli! The cream was a cool, decadent on a hot South Philly day.

Termini Bros. Cannoli - Filled to order with a smile!

Termini Bros. Cannoli

Making our way back down 9th street, we relocated the impressive Trompo of marinated pork for some tasty Tacos al Pastor. Again, “to order” service with a smile!

Trompo of Al Pastor on the Italian Market

The spiced pork was moist & tender and brimmed with flavor & depth. What I was truly impressed by, however, were the tortillas. Each order didn’t just call for hand-shaved pork, but also hand-pressed & fresh grilled corn tortillas. To top them off, literally, were fresh cilantro, mango, and salsas. Taqueria Los Taquitos de Puebla (9th b/t Ellsworth & Federal Sts.) “officially” wins best tacos in Philly!

Tacos al Pastor

UPDATE: Special thanks to Drew Lazor, of CityPaper’s Mealticket food blog fame, for the shout-out! Without you, dude, we wouldn’t be able to do what we all do so well.

Italian Market + Food Love = Al Pastor Lust