after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Post-Holiday Catch-up

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t says:  Greetings everyone!  How has it been this long since our last post!?  In any case, I hope the holidays have treated you as well as they’ve treated me (lots of delicious food, with little return to the skipped meals and rushed Clif Bars that typically dominate my daily intake).  It’s time to clear out the iPhone!

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I got into the spirit of the holidays by constructing a Kale Chip Christmas Tree.  Ok.  No.  Not really.  It just happened to be a very tall pile of kale chips.  Test assured that no kale was wasted in the construction of this holiday decoration (i.e. it was consumed within 24 hours by yours truly – I’m not sure if g even got a leaf).

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On a trip to NYC, g kept telling me, “there’s this place that has pretzel croissants”.  I was intrigued.  Pretzel and croissant are two mutually exclusive things in my mind, with pretzels having a savory flavor and dense texture, while croissants are buttery-sweet and lighter-than-air.  This was more like a savory take on a croissant, but they still got that pretzel flavor, which was impressive.  Check it out!  (City Bakery is a great place to people-watch).

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For our NYC lunch, g took me to this cool restaurant called Freemans that’s tucked away in this alley around the corner from Soho.  None of the pictures showed well, but what you see in front of you is a pineapple upside-down pancake as well as a delicious salad (guess which one of us got which).  I have to say that if I had to own a restaurant, I’d love to own one like Freemans – the setting was cool, the food was delish – everything about it fit together really well.  I’d be happy to try them for dinner sometime!

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For dinner, we celebrated a’s 31st birthday at Maysville.  There was a slew of tasty food that came out (above is ~1/3 of all the food) – so much that I can’t remember a single dish, specifically.  It was funny because I felt that a Philly restaurant could totally pull off these well-constructed dishes like Maysville – it just turns out that I can’t think of any one in particular that’s riffing on Southern-inspired food like this – maybe Fat Ham?  But it’s more modern than Fat Ham.  In any case, it was the usual story of “delicious NYC food with high NYC prices”.  Still – totally worth it – their bourbon selection was crazy!

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Ah yes, the Good King Tavern.  I had been wanting to go ever since g’s glowing review.  Of course, she never wrote her glowing review, so it was unknown to the blog.  But what we had was a wonderful execution of dishes that were really “something special” in the Philly brunch scene.  For example, why have “home fries”, when you can have poutine fries with a mushroom gravy!  So delicious.

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Finally!  Someone actually puts a reasonable amount of filling in a stuffed French toast!  Blueberry and cream cheese – simple enough, right?  But then why do so many people get it so wrong?  Good King rocked out this dish.

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g had no issues with the French Onion soup – it hit the spot – but I was kind of sad it didn’t come out in one of those classic crocks …

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What’s a holiday season without at least one visit to Serpico?  Underneath the scallion sauce and crusted white rice were some chili dumplings that totally blew my face off …

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… much like the smorgasboard of vegetables …  For something as innocuous-sounding as a “vegetable plate”, g and I happen to think it’s the finest display of cooked veggies in the city.  Sure, it lacks the composure of Vedge’s plates, but if what you want is vegetables, come over here and share one with the table – you won’t be sorry.  It’s an auto-order for us.

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What is so poorly shot here is the Sirloin special.  I mention it here only to say that that piece of meat was like 2 pounds.  g and I split it and felt kinda-sorta-guitly-ashamed afterwards for eating so much cow.  It might have won my Best Cow of 2014 award …  (I’m not sure why they served salt on the side – it was perfectly seasoned as it was …)

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Lo Spiedo was another new one for us.  g and I met her parents there and buckled up for some “homey” Vetri food, and I have to say that we were quite impressed!  Sure, there’s cornbread and ricotta …

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… but the real star was this mess of meat that was the pork shoulder.  With a single taste of it, I knew that Vetri had gone and absolutely destroed any pork shoulder I had ever made at home.  It was so good that I have no idea what that other dish in the background was – I musta blacked out.

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Whatever g got, it was obviously healthier than the slab of meat I was eating through …

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Oh … but here it is – this is g’s favorite dish that I just can’t understand.  It’s carrots.  That’s right: it’s carrots.  Sure, they’re roasted carrots, slathered in barbecue sauce, and topped with some kind of ?ranch?-ish aoili, but it’s still carrots …  Nevertheless, I dare you to walk up to g one day and say, “hey g, tell me about Lo Spiedo’s carrots” – and she will immediately start drooling while telling you how amazing they are (watch for saliva spray).  They’re good … but they’re carrots.

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Obligatory dessert: apple pie. It’s a bit more savory than typical apple pie (more like an apple turnover, but the ice cream really helps it finish off your meal just right.

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My parents love the 80’s .  That was their hayday.  So how could we not take them to Juniper Commons?  As hokey as the “salad bar” was, they acutally got a kick out of it!  And it allowed the rest of us to pick at their leftovers (like the beets!).  The presentation reminded me a Korean banchan …

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g went fettucine alfredo … which tasted exactly like fettucine alfredo.  I was kind of expecting a more modern take, but I guess a well-executed cheese-and-pasta dish is good, too.

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I killed this lobster roll – it was amazing.  It was more like lobster with a side of bread and French Fries, which purists might claim is not what a lobster roll should be, but who cares?  It was awesome!  And I don’t even really like lobster! (I’m a crab guy).

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my sis got the French Onion soup – now there’s a crock!  My family got things like crab cakes and steak and were very happy with their meal.  My dad even did the thing where he orders an “almost well done” steak and watches the kitchen struggle to make it so that the inside is brown, but the outside is not burnt.  They took it in stride and produced a nicely cooked piece of meat.  Of course, I don’t know if the microwave was used at all in its preparation, but who cares if it tastes good, right?

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Having lc visit, we knew we had to take her to the Dandelion (she enjoys the British, that one).  Raisin scones to start (not quite the butter-full scones at Talula’s Daily, but still good) …

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followed by a slew of egg dishes.  Ultimately, nothing too crazy went on here – all in all a very “restrained” brunching operation they have going on there.

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Our last nice meal of the new year was a visit to Petruce et al.  Holy crapballs – they killed it again – dish after dish.  For the highlights, above is the short rib with kimchee and crusted rice ?cylinders?.  It was a perfect adaptation of kalbi+kimchi+rice for white folk.  Loved it.  But perhaps the best tasting thing was the sweet potato with avocado dish.  I wish I had a picture of it.  But just envision it: sweet potato … and avocado … on top of eachother … intermingling their mushiness … I know that sounds weird, but the taste was incredible.  Probably the most surprising dish I had of this entire photo-storm.  I would go their every weekend (if my bank account could tolerate it …).  Their winelist is still solid, too!

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