after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Posts Tagged ‘Supper

Supper’s fried chicken shows promise

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t says:  So I recently talked up Supper’s Fried Chicken Tuesdays to some friends, thinking that it’d be a great deal … even if it only half lives up to the Food & Wine hype.  But perhaps it was foolish of me to make mention of the “deal”, as I, myself, had never had this mysterious “pastrami-brined/seasoned” fried chicken.  I began to fear that maybe Supper would make me eat my words … so the FTC got together on the first convenient Tuesday and did some top-notch investigative reporting …

July 2012, Tuesday Dinner, Party of 4.  kp kinda-sorta-forgot to show, so we were down to 4.  While we missed kp, we knew that we had to soldier on … for the sake of the blog!  We’d have to raise a drumstick in honor of our night-shift-working friend …

veggie teaser

Feeling that perhaps we needed some veggies to blunt the inordinate amount of fried chicken we were about to consume, we decided to go for some appetizers.  Above, you see the pickled veggie tray.  First allow me to draw your attention to that egg-salad-looking-concoction in the center.  That, my friend, is their house-made ricotta with some olives.  Let it be known that this stuff was surprisingly good, with a creaminess and lemon zing that reminded me almost of a lemon curd (but not as sweet).  Good stuff for sure.  As for the other pickled veggies, they weren’t bad.  I can’t say they were at all that mind-blowing, but I guess it is nice to get exactly what you ordered: well-executed pickling of tomatoes, beans, okra, and rhubarb.

a also ventured the gazpacho.  As gazpachos go, it was a pretty impressive with surprisingly bold vivid flavors for a cold soup.  We discussed it a bit, and it seems like everyone had comments about it, but I’m not sure there was a single conclusion on what was successful/lacking.  For instance, I found the acidity to be quite refreshing, but v felt that maybe it was a bit too harsh.  a wondered whether the bacon was necessary, but of course, in my opinion, bacon is always necessary.  I found the corn flavor (“corniness” as I called it) to be quite a pleasant surprise, whereas I feel like others appreciated it but were not-so-surprised.  In the end, I think we all liked one thing or another about it, so I suppose that makes it a successful dish?

bring on the chicken (on a very large plate) …

… and the sides: slaw and smokey potato salad

Don’t be misled by the pictures above – there was actually a substantial amount of food – all of it just happened to be served in ridiculously large plates/bowls (much to my chagrin – all that wasted space!).  I firmly believe that there was plenty of food for two people, so the two orders was more-than-enough for the four of us (I only shot a picture of one order above).  So let’s dissect the chicken first.  The skin was hands-down amazing.  Super light, super crisp, firmly adherent to the chicken, and full of that pastrami seasoning that really brought a complementary element to the chicken.  Beautiful.  The chicken, itself, was “ok-to-good” at the least and “good-to-very-good” at the best – I think it depends on which cut you happen to pick up.  The white pieces were a smidge over-cooked (kinda like how every piece of chicken I cook at home comes out), while the dark ones remained nice and juicy.  Thus, the chicken, like the appetizers, was also controversial.  While I felt that the skin could more than make up for the chicken cookery, g felt quite the opposite, as no amount of fried magic can distract her from the meat, itself.  a and v fell somewhere in-between g and me.

The mixed feelings persisted when evaluating the sides.  I quite-liked the smoky potato salad, but g felt the potatoes to be undercooked (g held no punches today).  Meanwhile v was quick to point out that while she enjoyed the sides and the chicken, she just couldn’t quite justify this particular combination of flavors.  In retrospect, I kind of agree – I felt that each component was good on its own (the chicken, the slaw, the potatoes), but it’s not like putting them together resulted in a symphony greater than the sum of its parts … but maybe we’re being too picky?  I mean, come on, it’s two-people’s-worth of food for $25 – that’s a good deal, right?  <Insert a moment’s pause while I stroke my fake beard and ponder this question>  Hmmmm.  <Insert squinty eyes and a cocked eyebrow.>  I’ve decided: “a conditional yes”.  FedNuts has better chicken, but not-as-devilishly-crisp skin.  “Pastrami” is not one of their flavors, but I’m sure that if they put their mind to it, they could get a similar taste with a juicier product.  However, Fednuts lacks the sides.  However, they have donuts.  However, they’re far away.  So, three howevers later, I guess it’s a tough call … but surely as soon as FedNuts opens a closer branch, they will completely eclipse Supper’s chicken in my mind (I prefer donuts to sides – you may feel differently … but I doubt it).  Perhaps a better comparison would be between Supper and Rotisseur, as they both do “normal” sides.  Right off the bat, Rotisseur has better chicken, but lacks the skin-advantage because it’s not fried.  Supper has better sides.  Rotisseur is BYO.  Supper has more seating.  Agh!  It’s too hard to declare a victor!  You know what would settle all of this?  Simple.  Make a time machine and go to Meritage circa 2010 for their Korean Fried Chicken – still my favorite fried chicken of all time.  Actually, I wonder if Chef Colle (or her sous Anne Miller – actually, is she still sous at Meritage?  No idea.) still does Korean fried chicken every now and then.  If it’s the same as it was two years ago (and if the sides are still as good as they were back then), then they could totally out-chicken all these guys.  Oh well … I guess you’ll just have to go to all these places and decide for yourself.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

25 July 2012 at 1:22am

Supper’s still got those red velvet waffles

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t says:  I know we/I kind of ragged on Supper’s brunch the last time we went.  Sorry Supper, we gotta call it like we taste it.  Be that as it may, we did give Supper another whirl recently, and I feel that to make up for the bad things I said last time, I should focus only on good things this time.  Fortunately, Supper made that easy for me with their long-time brunch standard bearer:

red velvet waffles (enlarged to show texture)

This time was even better than I remember – the waffles were moister, the sweet cream was fluffier, the sauce and cherries had more of a vibrant punch.  I’d say that this is probably Supper’s best brunch dish.  So go there.  Eat it.  And if you don’t like it, then you have no soul (or you don’t like sweet brunch foods).  Now if only Supper also had a dynamite savory dish to go along with these waffles (I’m not sure if the burger counts – I’m looking for an awesome egg-based dish I suppose), we’d be able to consider them again for “best brunch”  …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

4 May 2012 at 1:03am

pie for supper at Supper’s pi day!

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t says:  I just got back from dinner at Supper.  It was pi day!!  Get it?  “Pi” day, as in 3.14, as in 3/14, as in March 14.  Pretty cool, right?  Yea it is.

So Supper brought out some awesome pies, savory and sweet:
Ritz-and-crab pie
Veal tongue pie
Rabbit pot pie
Pork pie
PB pie
Mississippi mud pie
Pecan pie
Apple pie

Now, it should be noted that these weren’t just “pies”.  Supper actually had far fancier names for these, so it’s probably not fair for me to call them all “pies”.  But whatever …

Another awesome little coinkidink was that pi day happened to fall on a Wednesday … which means that it’s BYO night at supper!!  So not only was there a two-pies-for-$20 deal, but we could bring our own wine!  Boo-yah!  I immediately signed up the usual crew to go and notified them via email.  There was some attrition, so only a, v, and I were able to go.  That’s cool – more wine for us!

We didn’t take any pictures and we didn’t get all super-critical, but had a blast.  I went with the veal tongue pie which was prepared more like a chili poured on top of a layer of frito’s.  It was quite tasty – like the best meat-based tortilla chip dip ever!  The one drawback was that cilantro was still served with the stems on – I hate that.

a’s rabbit pot pie was homey and delicious.  v’s crab pie was more like a crab cake, but at least a very well done one.

And all of the dessert pies we sampled were quite delicious: the peanut butter one was a densely whipped PB cream with a peanut crust, the Mississippi mud pie was like a moist brownie with a pie crust, and the pecan pie was exactly that – a well-done pecan pie.

In all, aside from the cilantro stems, we really had no complaints with Supper’s pies.  For $20 a head, we were full, and our mouths were happy.  It was quite a deal!  The server was a little weird/awkward, but maybe it’s because customers aren’t spending much moo-lah on pi day.  Whatever.  He warmed up some by the end of the meal.  By the way, can you imagine what’ll happen on 3/14/15?  That’s gonna be SUPER-[nerdily-]awesome

OH … and the wine!

I brought two bottles of pinot noir not from what I feel are traditional pinot noir countries: Italy and Argentina.  a picked out the Argentinian one.  I was excited because the reviewers had nice things to say about it:

“Dark ruby red in color, it reveals a charming bouquet of smoke, spice box, raspberry, and cherry. Silky, sweet and savory on the palate, this elegant, concentrated effort displays impeccable balance and length. It is an excellent value in quality Pinot Noir.”  -WA 91 pts

“Quite good and honest, with full raspberry, cherry and tea aromas along with a hint of grassiness. The palate is dark and full-bodied, with toasty cherry and herbal tea flavors. Finishes long, full and several steps ahead of most of the competition. Drink now.” -WE 88 pts

So we poured the wine into Supper’s nice a big glasses, gave it some swirl-action, and then got to it …

2008 Alma Negra Pinot Noir (Mendoza, Argentina, $21.98 at wineworksonline.com).  The nose was interesting in the beginning – smelling a lot like earth and chocolate and tart red berries.  As it opened up, the nose developed into more like a cranberry apple pie.  On the palate, it had some tart cranberries and sour cherry and this hint of something … different.  In retrospect, I honestly think that it was indeed that “herbal tea” flavor – you know – it’s what you get when you order tea, but instead someone gives you a cup of some sort of fake Rooibos crap.  It wasn’t something I was ready for and it caught me offguard.  Overall, it tasted kind of weird but it wasn’t like a restrained, elegantly balanced French pinot, and it wasn’t fresh-and-fruity like new world pinots.  It just didn’t quite taste like a pinot.  v called it a “heavy beaujolais”.  Quite right!  And, while it improved with food for sure, ultimately, I don’t think I’ll be venturing any more Argentinian pinots in the near future.  Darn.

I wonder what the Italian one will taste like?

Written by afterdinnersneeze

14 March 2012 at 11:10pm

a & v supper at supper

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v says: At one point a and I wanted to have a section of afterdinnersneeze entitled “a to z + v”. [t clarifies: They wanted to see if they’ve gone to a Philly restaurant for every letter in the alphabet.] We worked on it for quite some time, but never got around to completing it. We were missing two letters when we starting writing the list, S and Q (which we eventually decided could be Cuba Libre because of its pronuncation).  One day we ran by Supper and I yelled, “That’s our S”. a was confused by my enthusiasm, as he had no idea what I was talking about until I explained. He immediately shared in my enthusiasm and made reservations for a Sunday night.

It wasn’t the 1000 point table or that Supper is BYO on Sundays that made this meal special, it was the food. I always says that you can judge a restaurant by its vegetarian dishes. If I’m right, then Supper is the best restaurant in Philadelphia. I ordered the Daily Harvest, but substituted the pretzels for the first course. The pretzels were fresh and the mustard potent. While the combination was tasty, the ratio was off – too much mustard, too few pretzels. The Blue Elephant Farm Salad was one of the tastiest, albeit healthiest salads I have ever had at a restaurant. The vegetable quartet was comprised of four unique, palate challenging dishes. I ended my meal with the banana bread pudding, which rivals the bread pudding at Barbuzzo; ‘nuff said.

a says:  I think this is one of the best meals he’s had in the city. the squid appetizer was inventive and full of flavor, yet light. The duck and waffle is interesting entree and does many things well. Best duck in the city… It’s definitely on the short-list. v says it was the best duck she’s had since Django… that’s right… she said Django…

Written by afterdinnersneeze

25 February 2012 at 7:45pm

supper’s brunch disappoints [despite a big dog]

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t says:  adsz likes Supper’s brunch, having recommended it in the past as a great place to go for Saturday brunch, as our perennial brunch favorite (i.e. Cochon) is closed on Saturdays.  Having a hankering for some red velvet waffles, we went again.  Here’s how it went down.

November 2011, Sunday Brunch, Party of 2.  g and I strolled in and confirmed our opentable reservation (another 100 pts!  yes!).  We were seated within 60 seconds and had our heads in menus in another 5.  Exxxxxcellent.  The menu had some new sweet breakfast items that I had to choose between: Pumpkin Pie French Toast and Gingerbread Pancakes.  Feeling in the mood for some pumpkin pie in breakfast form, I opted for the French Toast:

pumpkin pie french toast = pie crust + spiced sour cream + chunks-o-pumpkin

The dish came out and I was ecstatic.  It looks awesome, right?  Sure did!  Unfortunately, something about it just didn’t deliver.  The spiced cream was very subtle – mostly because my brain kept wanting it to taste like pumpkin, but it didn’t (that’s probably my brain’s fault).  The pumpkin, itself, didn’t really have much oomph to it, either, adding more of a textural element than any real “pumpkin”.  And the pie crust was just that: pie crust.  Actually, the crust crumbles were a little on the anemic side – more like the pie crust on the bottom of a piece of Pumpkin pie and not that fluted edges that get brown and tasty.  So basically, I was left with the French toast as the main harbinger of flavor (with maple syrup, of course).  Normally, that’d be ok, as I’m a sucker for egg-dipped bread.  In this situation, however, the bread, while browned to perfection, suffered from the same fate that Distrito’s French toast had in the past: too heavy/oily/fatty.  It’s the kind of thing that you bite into and immediately react, “whoa, that’s rich” … which is surprising because it’s not a piece of PORK BELLY or chocolate cake – it’s French toast!  It’s most certainly a side effect of the cooking process and likely intentional – some will love it and some will hate it.  After the first bite, I kind of hated it.  To illustrate just how overwhelming this sensation was, I only finished one of the slabs, and the other one I opted to not take home (and I normally take everything home).  Yea, that’s some serious aversion.  So in the end, what I had was some exceedingly unctuous French toast but not a a single thing to take the edge off of the richness (n.b. the toast, itself, didn’t really bring much to the table – it was more like a vehicle for fried-ness).  Damn.

g went for the chilaquiles navidad, fondly remembering the chilaquiles from San Francisco’s Ferry Building Market.  Supper’s rendition was a bit more, shall we say, “refined”.

chilaquiles navidad = eggs + tortilla + red salsa + green salsa + chorizo

I want to say first and foremost that these were not bad, as g did get around to eating the entirety of her plate.  That said, these did not quite live up to her memories and were certainly not worth the $14.  The problem list is long.  The chorizo was cold (i.e. cooler than room temperature), which is a big error.  Neither of the salsas were as cooked down or as deep as she was expecting – but they weren’t fresh and zingy, either.  g takes the mic:  It’s like they put together some Mexican ingredients, but it didn’t really have that punchy flavor that they had in San Francisco.  t yanks the cord to steal the mic back:  My question – why serve the cilantro with stems?  I mean, maybe I’m just a sissy, but I don’t like trying to chew stems.  That’s the second time they’ve done this, so maybe it’s their style: no sissies allowed.

g and I also shared that Supper Dog.  We loved their Supper Burger, so we figured the Supper Dog would be a smashing success as well.

supper dog = PORK SHOULDER dog + BACON + bbq onions + sauerkraut + bun + fried pickles

I have to confess that this dish looks a little ridiculous.  It’s clear that it’s composition is for wow-factor moreso than practicality.  Seeing no way that I’d be able to distribute the bread to the unclad parts of dog, I was forced to attack this thing with a fork and knife.  As far as taste goes, g was particularly surprised with how “hot doggy” the hot dog tasted, and I guess I was as well.  It’s like you’d imagine it would taste like straight-up PORK, but there’s no mistaking that the inspiration was indeed “hot dog”.  sr would have been proud.  But that’s where the similarities end, because no hot dog tastes this good (it had a meatier, sweeter taste to it).  Couple the dog with those bbq onions and I was in heaven.  The sauerkraut and BACON, on the other hand, were a bit superfluous, as I would have easily traded in either/both for more of those onions for my dog.  I’m normally not one to turn down BACON, but, as usual when bacon wraps things, the side touching the bacon (i.e. not exposed to heat) wasn’t texturally pleasing, coming across very chewy/slimy/unappetizing.  The sour and delicately fried pickles were a great way to reset the palate, while the aioli really didn’t do anything for me, so I skipped it.   The bread, let’s face it, was unnecessarily fussy; give me a softer bun that actually promotes the use of my hands instead of a fork and knife and I would have written a title of, “Supper’s Super Dog Saves Brunch!”.  So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the dish was a little “too much”; “over-accessorized” is what g would say – but there’s something here for sure.

In conclusion, I’m a little disappointed in this brunch, overall.  Actually, maybe I’m more than a “little disappointed” – I am going to have to remove Supper as our Saturday choice for brunch.  Sorry guys.  On one hand, I feel bad about it because the proprietors seem like such nice, hard-working people.  Then again, I’ve also heard that they claim to have “started” the farm-to-table concept in Philly.  While I’m not Philly-food-historian, I think that may be a bit untrue.  While I don’t know exactly who “started it”, I’m pretty sure that White Dog Cafe has at least been doing it longer, having had its roots from even before Fork opened its doors.  Be that as it may, we’ll be back around to Supper eventually to give its brunch another go.  In the meantime, stay tuned for the brunch spot that will take Supper’s spot on our “gold standards” list.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

29 November 2011 at 3:46pm

Supper’s Superior Burger

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t says:  g and I went to Supper a long long time ago and ventured their burger.  It was frickin’ delicious.  Since then, we’ve noticed that no one really mentions the Supper burger – people are too busy talking about burgers at Village Whiskey or Rouge or Butcher and Singer or Grace Tavern, but not a breath about Supper.  I’m not saying that those burgers aren’t also yummy, but to be completely omitted from Philly Mag’s burger challenge is ridiculous (especially cuz I feel it’s better than the VW burger)!  So I figured maybe they stopped making it or something.  But they haven’t.  So I figured maybe it wasn’t as good as I had remembered.  g and I made it our mission to find out …

8/2011, Wednesday 6pm, Party of 2.  g and I rolled into Supper without reservations on a Wednesday.  It was a spur-of-the-moment decision.  They seated us without a problem.  We consulted the menu but knew precisely what we were there for: the burger.  But we got a few apps to whet our appetite.

g's "Green Salad"

Funny thing about the green salad – it wasn’t entirely green.  It had a slice of peach, some bacon, buttermilk dressing, and that cornbread thingee (which reminded me more of some kind of hush puppy).  g housed it.  She says: “It was simple but it was fresh and it let all the ingredients sing.”  So there we go – they make a good salad.

The Pepper "Special"

I had the pepper special.  Holy crap.  It was amazing.  The peppers had a wonderful char on them and the texture had just the right amount of bite (like not too firm and not complete mush).  It was served with a “lime crema”, which, upon investigation (i.e. asking the waiter), consisted of creme fraiche, lime, and “some other herbs”.  There was also some salt and cilantro.  All together, everything made sense.  The peppers were spicy and smokey, tempered by the crema and brightened by some lime and the uplifting zing of cilantro.  I am going to steal that lime crema idea for sure.  The only real drawback of the appetizer is that I feel that the cilantro leaves should have been separated from the stems (and the stems discarded), as I found the stems kind of hard to eat.

Supper Burger.

g and I split the burger because we find that it’s just too large for each of us to get one on our own.  For bigger people, I’d recommend trying one by yourself.  Disclaimer: at $14, it is pricey for a burger – but it does come with some duck fat fries, and it’s the cheapest dinner entree on the menu by far.  The burger is made of ground brisket (as far as I know) and it has such a wonderful flavor.  It’s not just “hey, I’m beef” – there’s something more.  It has a delightfully seared outside, a sweet inside, and is, as should be, well-seasoned.  I will say that this time, however, we found the burger to be a bit on the crumbly side, so I do have to penalize them for that (I had to use my fork to hunt down the pieces of meat the escaped from the burger onto the plate).  The gruyere cheese brought in a nice cheesy funk without overpowering the thickly cut bacon and beef.  The healthy slice of yellow tomato was perfect, and the bread, which appeared thick, was actually quite soft and served in a perfect proportion to the amount of meat.  Despite the burger being a bit volatile this time around, I say that the Supper burger has retained its adsz crown.  The duck fat fries were crispy and well-seasoned (no one likes soggy fries – and I like these ones better than at VW) and pickles and were perfectly balanced between sour and sweet (I ate them plain!).

So go to Supper.  Get the burger.  Really the only thing you’ll regret is feeling a little like a cheapskate in paying so much less for an entree than everyone else at the table.  But I’m sure you’ll find some way to get over it …  Now, I do still have to get around to Grace Tavern, Rouge, and Butcher and Singer – so we’ll see what happens when push comes to shove …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

16 September 2011 at 2:23pm

New Brunches [for us]

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t says: We hit up some new brunches …

A weekend or two ago, g and I wanted brunch … on a Sunday … but Cochon was closed.  So what next?  We needed to go someplace new.  Adsum?  Maybe – but parking is kind of horrendous in that area.  Nevertheless, we called them up and they told us to come right down.  So we got in the car and started driving, our bellies dreaming of brunch … but then our eyes got distracted … by Supper.  And they have free parking.  Ok, well, they don’t have parking, but the Whole Foods across the street does … so we went for it.  We’re spontaneous, damnit!
12/2010, Saturday 1pm, Party of 2.  Supper has a lot of attractive dishes on the menu, but one stood out: Red Velvet Waffles.

And they were delicious!!  There was some cherry compote, a cream-cheese based topping, and some sort of infused maple syrup (which really didn’t matter because I mixed it with my cherries).  Are they more delicious than the French toast or pancakes at Cochon?  Not exactly … but they’re pretty close!  If it had some kind of orange peel involved or something like that to cut through some of the rich cream cheese, they might be on par.  I do wish that they’d give you just a little more because those waffles were kind of small for how much they cost.  They have other things, too.  g got some sort of egg-based dish which was pretty good (way better than her eggs at Meme), and we split an order of apple beignets which were like a cinnamon doughnut hugged an apple – pretty good!  I remember that they had quite a few more items that I wanted to try had it not been for my small stomach.  Next time …  Oh, and they had an “old-fashioned” cereal bar, which included some cereals that you don’t really see around much nowadays – quite intriguing.  Now if only they were a few bucks cheaper … (but they do have a bar, so if a morning cocktail is for you, then so is Supper!).

12/2010, Saturday, 12pm, Party of 2.  Not one week later, g and I were up for some brunch – but it was Saturday and a hot snowy mess outside. g suggested that we not drive off for another round of Supper’s brunch, rather, try to find someplace walk-able.  She suggested Day by Day. Now, we’ve gone to Day by Day before, and it’s been good, but really, nothing super-crazy going on there.  So perhaps I was less than excited to go, or maybe I was just hungry-grumpy.  Nevertheless, we rolled out, walked a few blocks, and voila – we were there!  Good thing we went, because this is what we got:

Like Sabrina’s, Day by Day offers a special “stuffed French toast” which has large slices of French toast flanking a cream-cheese based filling.  And normally they are as good as, if not better than Sabrina’s (I like the French toast, itself, better here than at Sabrina’s, but Sabrina’s normally has better filling).  Well this time, Day by Day got an extra gold star: Tiramisu stuffed French toast.  Mascarpone filled, with some chocolate chips, almonds – wonderful.  Unfortunately, one can never predict the special French toast at Day by Day (their normal stuffed French toast is good, too – but not as good as this).  As you can see, g opted for some sandwich concoction which I believe she found to be quite delicious – and she ranked the potatoes somewhere inbetween those at Supper and those at Cochon.  Quite respectable!  And the prices were pretty cheap, too!  I guess next time I won’t be so quick to poo-poo ’em!

Written by afterdinnersneeze

22 January 2011 at 12:48am