t says: We’ve had a pretty month since coming back from London – the summer is flying by! We need to play a little catch-up.
t says: Every now and then you hear about something devastating and have a severe negative reaction: sadness, anger, regret. These emotions are often appropriate, following things like national/international tragedies, losses of family, etc. But every now and then, they sneak up and ninja you at times you didn’t expect. For example – it’s like when you trade in your first car – I mean who cares – it’s just a car! It didn’t matter yesterday, when you used your foot to kick your door closed because your hands were full. And you were so excited today, when you bought a new car! But I’ll never forget the few seconds of remorse that flashed into my mind as we left the dealer, never to see our trusty ‘ol red-orange-burgundy-colored S40 behind ever again [even though we were driving away in a newer, better car!]. Sometimes I still look for her …
Well, today is one of those days:
Pig BYOB extraordinaire, Cochon, has closed.
For those that don’t know, Cochon was the classic “Philly BYO” in the truest sense. It was small. It was homely. Chef cooked spendidly, but stayed out of the spotlight. Prices were incredibly reasonable, often in the low-20’s. Portions were incredible. You always felt like you were “getting away with something” when you ate there – like how could it be that you had such a great meal without spending $50 per head?!
That said, I recognize that g and I haven’t been to Cochon in years – 2013 according to our blog. Of course, we still recommended it to everyone, but we just hadn’t made it there ourselves. I guess we, like the rest of Philly, forgot about it. Damn. Had we lost our way? Maybe we got caught up in things like “craft cocktails”, “beer gardens”, and “tasting menus”. We sought out the hot new restaurants with narrow niches, like Pho and “plant-based” cuisine. “Interesting wine lists” made us tolerate the non-BYO-tariff. “Celebrity chefs” came from New York and/or television cooking shows. Meanwhile, the Solomonov, Vetri, and 13th Street empires continue to grow, proving that success-begets-success. The Philly dining scene has certainly lost its Scrappy-Doo attitude, nowadays far closer in resemblance to Fred[dy Prinze Junior].
So let’s to take a moment to reflect on the Cochon:
It all started in 2009 for us. (Cochon apparently opened in 2007, though).
There were pork shoulders and tenderloins and everything inbetween (want “the fish?” or “the duck?” – it probably had pork in it).
But of course, the memories that will get me just a little choked up will be those of the BRUNCH:
The Elvis French Toast and Those One-Inch-Thick Pancakes (sometimes with chocolate!)
So yes, we at adsz will mourne the loss of Cochon. While I am sad they didn’t have a celebratory “Cochon is closing week!” where undoubtedly the adsz would have dropped everything to attend one last hurrah – perhaps it is better this way, leaving us with the fond memories of dining with mimosas/wine in hand, raising a glass to how lucky we were be together, eating [there].
t says: Aaaannnnndddddd … we’re back! Time to bring us up to date:
Overall, we liked Le Chabannais. The food was good, but in my opinion, it lacked some of the boundary-pushing “greatness” of Le Chateaubriand. g made the case that they would probably shape up in the upcoming months to begin introducing some of the experimentalism that made the original so much fun. The service was also still “figuring it out”, which is appropriate for Day 3 of opening. But I will say – the “wine guy”, who basically became our server because we talked to him so much, was EXCELLENT. Don’t get me wrong, our “actual” server (i.e. the one we had who took our order and our bill) was great, too, but that wine guy was the one who played us like a fiddle. If anyone at at Le Chabanais is reading this, the one who we loved was the skinny , dark haired guy with thick black glasses, from Southern France with a French accent. Give that man a raise. He was accomodating and friendly and complimentary in a way that was the perfect combination of youth and professionalism.
In summary, our time in London was pretty gosh-darn awesome. We encountered lots of great food, did a lot of shopping, and had a blast with our friends. If it just wasn’t so expensive of a city, we might head back sooner rather than later!
t says: Another day in London, another day of seeking out fabulous food and things to do.
t says: After waking up from my nap and looking back at my previous post, I couldn’t help but laugh – it was probably the most unpolished piece of writing on here in a long time – and I recall thinking to myself at the time: “this will be the best post ever”. Sleep deprivation will do that to you.
As I sit in bed, drinking a cup of hotel tea (btw, “Dean Street Townhouse” in London is frickin’ amazing – it’s not much to look at, but the amenities are spot on), I reflect on the rest of yesterday. What did I do after that post went up? Well, I took a nap … woke up … and ate more ramen:
g and I were finally reunited after dinner! Yay! Happy anniversary to us!
And we finished off the day with some gelato and pastries from Ottolenghi. They were fabulous too. I forgot to take photos so you’ll just have to take my word for it …
So now I wonder what today will bring …
t says: I’ve been in London for about 3 hours. Surely someone wouldn’t actually have enough info to warrant a full post in just three hours of being in a foreign country? Wrong. I do.
First things first: Mother nature decided to play a dastardly trick on me. She decided to wrath-of-gawd-rain at the exact same time I was trying to finishing up work and getting back to home to retrieve my things to go to the airport. I was drenched. I changed at home, packed my water-logged shoes (those were the ones I wanted to wear for the trip), pulled out my B-string shoes (a pair of flip-flops) and fired up my cab-calling app on my iPhone … which NO cab responded to! W!T!F! So I pulled up Uber, that threatened me with a 4.9x surge pricing modifier … Those suns of motherless goats … I reluctantly took UberX up on the offer, as there was no way to actually predict what the cost was going to be, but Lady Luck gave Mother Nature the middle finger, as the price was STILL cheaper than the regular cab I was planning to use to go to the airport! Yay!
So now I’m at good-‘ol-PHL. I saunter in with only 1 hour to my flight boarding time (1hr 45 minutes to takeoff) for an international flight. Mere mortals might have been worried – I’m sure if g was there, she woulda given me all kinds of silent treatment. But not me – I had not a care in the world, because I had a secret weapon: TSA PreCheck … otherwise known as the TSA No-Wait-Keep-Your-Shoes-On-Don’t-Take-Stuff-Out-Of-Your-Bags-And-Laught-At-Everyone-Else-In-Line-With-Their-Sad-Faces. I roll up into terminal A security and wonder, “gee … where is the pre-check line?”. I ask the guard: “oh, sorry – we’re not doing pre-check in terminal A, and A-west PreCheck closed an hour ago – you’d have to go to terminal B”. I could hear the normies in the security line cracking a smile: “oh, this priveleged boogerhead is gonna’ git’ ‘is now – he’s gonna’ wait in line with us”. I then gave them the figurative middle finger by turning around, going out of terminal A and walking around the outside of the airport to terminal B; I was going to TSA PreCheck if it killed me … And so, after a nice 15-minute walked, I sashayed through Terminal B’s pre-check and galavanted my way back to Terminal A from the inside, making sure I walked by extra-slowly in front of that 60-minute long nightmare of a line waiting to go through the scanners. Ahhhhhhh – life was good. No one could stop me.
So then I finally get on the plane (once again, someone was angry at me and assigned me Zone 6 to board, which means that only people who bought their tickets within the last hour before takeoff were boarding after me), get in my seat, and stair at empty row upon empty row in front of me. Aww-sookie-sookie – I was about to pole-vault up a row and take over a entire 5-seats to myself. It was going to be the most luxurious flight ever. And it was – complete with semi-edible airplane food, and watching semi-terrible movie Wolverine for free. As I opened up a few extra blankets for myself and spread across my 5-seat kingdom, I was awakened by the cabin lights going on, some guy lying on the aisle at the foot of my kingdom, and a flight attendant voicing aloud, “is there a doctor on the plane?”. SUNUVAMOTHERLESSGOAT. While I don’t know what protects patient/passenger privacy regarding health matters on planes (?HIPAA?), I’ll just say that the events that followed took up the remaining 3 hours of my flight, with frequent vital sign checks, mental status checks, etc. Fortunately, I did get to meet other cool doctors on the plane, so that was fun. Unfortunately, I then had to interact with the London paramedics team on the ground, and that was not-so-fun (for reasons I won’t voice online).
So there I was. A sleep-deprived t. Halitotic (if that’s a word). Zombie-ing my way through border security and customs. Fortunately, g gave me step-by-step directions on how to get through LHR and to our hotel. Hooray for awesome wives.
I dropped my stuff, showered off the airplane filth, and checked out every restaurant within a 2 block radius of our hotel. I ended up at the ramen joint called Tonkotsu. The host was a bit unfriendly, but the food totally ripped my face off. Like my face, right now, having just eaten there, is lying beside me in bed, staring at me, mouthing, “how could you do that to me?”. I’m sorry face – it was an accident – check it out.
So now, it’s time for a nap. Who knows what the remainder of Day 1 in London will bring!
t says: g and I are heading to London (g’s already there) and we come to find out all kinds of cool things are going down:
Di Bruno is having fun: http://www.uwishunu.com/2015/06/di-bruno-bros-hosts-an-epic-cheese-dinner-with-six-european-master-cheesemakers-and-a-visit-from-chef-marc-vetri-thursday-june-25/
Amada is having fun: http://www.phillymag.com/foobooz/2014/09/23/pig-amada/
Vetri is having fun (and there’s the Baltimore Ave Dollar Stroll!): http://philly.eater.com/2015/6/17/8799527/rose-class-at-vetri-baltimore-avenue-dollar-stroll-returns
At least Mercato’s fun will still be ongoing when we get back into town: http://www.phillymag.com/foobooz/2015/06/22/mercato-has-a-plan-to-make-tuesdays-tastier/
But really – I can’t complain – I’ll be in London!