t says: Check it out – people think that adding coconut oil will make rice a bit healthier via chemistry. Pretty cool – but will it still have the same texture and taste?
t says: You know, there are some restaurants in the city that have been open for some time and have fallen out of the limelight. Maybe the chef isn’t using the fanciest gastronomic techniques. Maybe the decor isn’t minimalist-chic. Maybe the menu doesn’t have enough hipster-ironic items. But they still do a damn fine job. Take Talula’s Garden. Now I have to confess that it’s hard for g and me to be unbiased when it comes to all things Talula, so I won’t do a course-by-course breakdown … but I’ll leave the punchlines here:
1) TG gives first-class service – prompt and frequent clearing and resetting of tables, cheery smiles from happy servers. No one’s “cool”, no one’s stuck-up or snotty (i.e. no long tirades over the conception of the idea of a dish and sourcing for every single ingredient). This is a lesson in old-school serving, where people appear genuinely concerned about whether you are having a great meal.
2) Their food still brings the thunder …
Sure there were other dishes we had that were also fantastic (other pasta, shortrib, crudo, vegetables), but I think what’s important is that TG still has “it”. I know there have been chef changes, and I know that farm-to-table isn’t sexy anymore – but these weren’t the reasons to go. The reason to go is because I cannot think of a place that expresses its ingredients as well as TG, no matter how far-fetched or familiar they are. No fancy foams, mists, or meat glue – just a plate of ingredients prepared in such a way that honors and elevates the raw product. When you’re done eating, the first question you ask isn’t “Holy crap – how did the chef do that?”, it’s “holy crap – where can I get me some ramps?”. It’s a shame, because I think that this recipe will not yield chef stardom in the way other, more “unique” places will (i.e. those places with cutting edge techniques, or fusion of disparate cultures, who are in it for the “show” of it al), but for us, TG will always remain as one of our “special occasion” restaurants.
3) Oh – and did I mention that their desserts are fantastic? Have your cheese and eat your sweets, too!
Ok … so g and I love TG. Nothing new there …
t says: Before heading off to Florida (g and I were sick of the cold), we hit up a few awesome eateries:
t says: In December, g had a feeling that Philly was going to get two March snowfalls back-to-back on the week of her birthday, so she preemptively decided that we should visit her grandparents in Florida. (Ok, that’s not how it really went, but just go with it.) So we did visit Florida, and it was a great trip! Good time with family, good food, good weather:
As usual, there were lots of food pictures – but we did do other things in Key West, too! We saw 6-fingered cats at Hemingway House. We visited the outside of Truman’s Little White House (we didn’t bother going inside). We also did one of those hop-on-hop-off things (I mean, why not? It’s like sight-seeing AND transportation all in one!). Duvall street offered quite a few sights (although Spring Break was just starting up the weekend we went). In the end, we quite enjoyed the cute little island. Sure it’s a little over-priced, but similar in our minds to a visit of New Orleans (just a whole lot smaller).
As for the rest of our Florida vacay – it involved so much rest and relaxation that I accomplished only 50% of the work I set out to do (and by “work”, I mean things like this blog). That’s a sign of an excellent vacation.
t says: As if I didn’t have enough vices already.
t says: So … let’s say you just finished a dental appointment and were looking for a congratulatory treat (still no cavities!) – something to rub in the face of those smug hygienists (“yea … I floss 17 times a day and brush before and after every meal …”) – something that’d give you a real reason to floss … What’d you eat first? I was on the prowl near Rittenhouse … and wandered into the Bakeshop on 20th … which gave me several options … like this one with which I left the store:
Guess I should move up my next 6-month cleaning …
t says: Ah, yes. Valentine’s Day. g and I love celebrating it, but we just hate eating out at restaurants during it. Determined to stay at home for yet another Valentine’s Day, this year we enlisted the help of a and v to make it a truly special day …
… but first: we have to play some catch-up.