after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Posts Tagged ‘Zavino


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t says:  It’s my fault.  It’s not due to a lack of eating.  It’s not due to a lack of photo-taking.  It’s not even due to a lack of time to type.  I’m not sure what’s gobbling up my time (it’s clearly not because Scrubs is now on … ok … maybe it is …).  Let’s play some catch-up:


While in SF, we went to Nopalito, where g had her most “craveable” meal. I mean, we ate a LOT of good things, but she chose this place when pushed (g confesses: I think it’s dumb when t asks me these questions, like, “what was your best meal?” – they were all fantastic meals – for different reasons – how do you choose? [t breaks in: ok “every-parent-ever”; “no I can’t choose between my children – I love them all the same – just differently] back to g: *rolls her eyes* whatever … anyways, I was telling t that when I look back, I’d definitely “crave” the food at Nopalito – it’s simple but it’s soooo good, and it’s not too fancy of a place, and the prices are reasonable and it’s not too much of a production when you get there – you pick up a menu, you order, and delicious food comes out! done!)!  t takes over: so above is a seafood and avocado “soup”/gazpacho thing that was wonderful opposite the ?Brussels sprout quesadilla?.  Yes.  Brussels sprouts.  In Quesadilla.  Boom.  Mind blown.  Brain bits splattered on the wall behind you.


And of courrse, the carnitas, which is like the best tacos I could ever put together. Oh, and the empanada in the foreground? See all those bright colors. As good as it looks, it was 10 times better to taste. Gawd we love this place.  g says:  and it’s different than when we get “fancier” Tex/Mexican food in Philly.  Our dishes weren’t “too heavy” or “too oily”.  I mean this was heavier than Don Pepe that cm’s parent’s delivered, but it still was much lighter than here in Philly.


Oh yes … Griddle Fresh for brunch … first page of the menu blew my mind – I had no need to read anything else on the pages that followed.


green tea latte – exactly as you imagine it would taste. It did look like a milkshake, however, which was a funny incongruence with what it tasted like (it’s a warm drink).


This mess-of-a-dish was fabulous. I should incorporate more parm-reg in all of my morning breakfasts. The savory-salty note really helped me consume more sweet-juicy strawberries and syrup-laden French toast. Dangerous …


k had some issues with her pancakes. she asked if they were going to be “too cheesy”. The guy said “no – not at all – they’re pancakes”. I think the miscommunication centered around exactly how cooked through the marscapone/ricotta pancakes were going to be. It’s ok – they were delicious.


If your corned beef hash experiences are like mine, they are courtesy of a Hormel canned product … but not in California … where they use real corned beef slices and real potato chunks to make their hash. I swear cm must have had a whole cow’s worth of beef in this thing (don’t be fooled by the photo – it was a lot of hash – I’m pretty sure he had some leftover).


g went fruit + egg. No frills. Just fruit and an egg. Snoozeville, right? I agree. Well … just so long as she’s happy …


Dinner at Redd was “ok”. I mean, the food was good, and in line with what we’d expect to pay for fine dining in Napa. However, they didn’t quite nail the dishes as they did the first time we went. We missed the “spark”.


I have no idea where I ate this.  I distinctly remembered “wanting to be healthy” … so I got a “salad”.  Of course, it had these little pork cubes on the side – so as a “salad” and it was fabulous. I should routinely take some shreds of pork and fry them together into a chicken-nugget-like objects more often.


my name is t, and I have a problem. No, the problem is not alcoholism, the problem is that I only have 12 spaces in my wine-bottle-carrier for the airplane. Fortunately, I’m also a master probem-solver (we had to drink a bottle or two right then-and-there …).


kp has bigger problems than me. He lacks the 55-bottle wine fridge I have. So he had to perform a “draft” of which of his bottles were going to be stored in perfect conditions … and which ones were going to be in “near-perfect” 65-degrees of his SF apartment … cuz, you know, temperatures don’t really get much colder than that in SF … *looks out the window at the 27-degree weather outside right now in Philly*


We hit up brenda’s “Meat and Three”, which is probably kp’s most frequented restaurant/take-out. This is their watermelon sweet tea. Yes it’s outrageously good. Can’t believe I’ve gone this long without Snapple bottling this stuff. Sooooo good.


Imagine banana chocolate chip pancakes you might have had at Honey’s. And make them better. Like WAY better. Much fluffier, with a richer more buttermilky taste. I’m thankful my pants couldn’t expand anymore, otherwise I would eaten myself into insulin resistance.


Meanwhile … back in Philly … a and I hit up Zavino for lunch. Here they started off with a bang – a delicious “ricotta of the day” that was light and sproingy (“sproingy”? is that a word? is it onomatopoiea? sure, why not?) Not as decadent as Barbuzzo, but at least they give you ample bread …


Also had top-notch meatballs – I was afraid the sauce was going to be too sweet, but these were solid.


And now: bacon pizza … BACON PIZZA. Slam dunk, right? WRONG. a and I can’t figure out what went wrong. It had bacon and onion and arugula. But it just couldn’t get itself together. It also had some pickle on it, which made it weird – it made it come off like “all-the-toppings-you’d-want-on-a-burger-but-no-burger”. Weird. We won’t be ordered that again. We missed the ‘Stache pizza. Teaches us for committing to “trying something new”.


As I’ve been eating out a lot, my waistline is growing. It was hard to notice because I spend so much time in pants with drawstrings … but it was noticed! As a result, I had to miss out on a bakesale. How good could the “Ultimate Bake Shop Triple Choc Cake” be? I don’t know.


g and I hit up Pizzeria Vetri the other day as well. The salad was an interesting concoction of cauliflower, kale, raisins, etc. I felt like it was the best thing we ate!


This cinnamon-roll-looking thing was actually dough, rolled up with a layer of prosciutto and topped with nuts. It’s funny because all of the visual cues and proprioceptive cues (like the feeling of the fork as I was cutting it) and textural cues were that of a cinnabon … but it tasted like meat and nuts. So bizarre. It didn’t stop me from finishing it.


g loved the pizza. Personally, I felt like it was a little sweet, but she loved the fennel-on-fennel-sausage combo. She housed it.


But for me – I saved room for one of the most delicious affogatos ever. Affogato made with soft-serve? Yes please!

Ok, so now my iPhoto is all caught up.  Hooray!  Now I feel far less guilty about not updating the blog.  Ahhhhh.  I’ll be sure to try and keep up with the holiday eating season.  It’s tough, but I’m up for the challenge.


Written by afterdinnersneeze

8 December 2014 at 10:36am

that’s a serious board!

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t says:  You know, there is nothing like a weekday lunch to bestow awesomeness upon a week.  Here’s the rundown of a liesurely lunch at Zavino in University City …

May 2014, Monday Lunch, Party of 2.  The space for the new Zavino is quite nice – a modern-looking place with ample seating … and some soccer on the big screen at the bar for occasional score-checks.  But the food!  Let me tell you more about the food!


when I first walked in, I knew we had to get me some charcuterie – as they had several logs of meat behind some kind of charcuterie counter on the right … just waiting to be sliced paper-thin.  We ordered the meat board, and it came with some cheese, olives, pickled items, and bread which looked a lot like nan, but was probably just some plain pizza dough rolled out.  This was one helluva serious board!  Oddly, we found the meat to be pretty unremarkable – i mean there was great texture, but we could have used more flavor in both meats.  Similarly, the cheeses were just “fine”, both being mild (and one coming across as a pretty plain cheddar – although who knows what it really was).  Ultimately, the ample bread was the most interesting part, allowing us to construct little mini-pizzas from meat, cheese, and jams.  They just gotta step up that meat and cheese to get a real nod of approval.


the ravioli of the day, featuring rabbit, was pretty delicious, albeit small.  the flavor was interesting because it had a very potent herbed essence that hit me in the back of my mouth/palate exactly like the secret-ingredient-laden KFC original recipe.  i’m not sure if zavino would want that, but i know i loved it.  a agreed with its chickenyness – not necessarily the KFC-ness, but he, too, liked it quite a bit.


the pizza was a site to behold.  “the stache” as it’s called had a gloriously prepared whole wheat crust, as well as pesto and arugula.  i can see how some of the previous critics laid into the doughiness of the crust (it’s not paper thin and has some squish to it), but I kind of like that!  that’s pizza!  this isn’t just some thin slice of grilled bread with toppings – this is pizza!  a decided that he and v are going to totally rip this combination of ingredients for their future homemade pizzas – he just has to convince v to use their pizza stone.


so with the above criticisms I’ve laid down, why did I feel like this meal was worthy of “awesome”.  this is the key, right here.  the real winner of the meal was this rose, which contained everything i want in a summer drinking rose: berry nose, little bit of tropical fruit, finishes with a clean refreshing zip … it’s quite wonderful!


so what lunch would be complete without dessert?  i didn’t want to stick with one at zavino, as I was in the mood for some coffee at Joe just down the street.  while waiting in line, a jar of cookies caught my eye.  i immediately resolved to get one … right up until i found that they were vegan …  but then, maybe that one glass of wine had me in a buzz, but somehow, as i thought, “why would someone want to eat a vegan cookie?”, i jumped to: “why the hell not?” – and plunked down a whole $2.25 for a single cookie.  in the end, it was pretty darn good. it reminded me of a snickerdoodle cookie, but with less cinnamon, some good chocolate chips, and a nice hit of salt.  while the cookie had far less cakeinness than I enjoy (it was more like crystalline sugar), it was not a bad showing for a cookie … I wouldn’t buy another … but I wouldn’t avoid one if it was put in front of me.

So … Zavino … great for lunch [with wine].  Try it out on a weekday – you’ll thank me later!

Written by afterdinnersneeze

21 May 2014 at 9:30pm

Zavino Gets 2 Bells: Laban Lays on Some Zingers!

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t says: Laban reviewed Zavino, ultimately awarding them two bells.  g and I still have yet to go, ever since we tried so desperately to get in when they were giving away free wine before they got their liquor license.  Given some of the criticisms Laban had, I wonder if maybe he wasn’t allowed in during the snowstorm to get free wine, either – if so … payback’s a bitch.  Well, we won’t let Laban influence whether or not we go – but now we just have to find a time when we’d rather go to Zavino than the nearby Tria …

By the way – g reminded me that Tria has never let us down.  Sure, their menu could use some refreshing, but we’ve just never ever had a bad time there!  The funny thing is – we can’t even blame them for the one time that we ordered a cheese that we didn’t like – it’s not their fault we didn’t like it – they did nothing more than cut it up and serve it!  It makes me think that they have one hell of a business model …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

19 April 2010 at 2:52pm

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Zavino Now Charging for EtOH

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Although this is old news – for those who are “out of the loop” (i.e. us) Zavino finally attained their liquor license.  Why would you care?  Well, prior to this they didn’t go to “we’re-BYO-until-the-license-comes-through” route, rather, they simply offered two free glasses of wine to diners.  g and I never got in past the hours of waiting time (as I’m sure every Philadelphian and his/her mother also wanted free wine), and now the promotion’s over.  Fortunately, I read they have delicious food (the menu sounds good!) for reasonable prices, so we’ll check it out … eventually.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

16 February 2010 at 9:10am

Posted in Happenings

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