October 28, 2012

New & Improved

Nan Zhou La Mian has gotten a face lift. Bigger store, bigger menu and a new location. My mom and I journeyed over for a quick lunch and opted to order our respective favorites despite the extended menu.

Aromatic Platter of tendons, pig ear and beef
Beef Shaved Noodles
Beef Pulled Noodles
Loving the upgraded camera!

October 14, 2012

Jose Garces Trading Co. 5 down, 2 to go

Back in the day, my first few posts on this blog often compared the restaurants of Steven Starr and Jose Garces'. 2 years and a few restaurants later, I still stand by initial assessment that Garces' restaurants are easily superior. The food's consistently better and more innovative so before graduation, V and I are trying to hit up every single one of the Iron Chef's restaurants. What is sad is that I actually don't have any legit blog posts on most of his restaurants because I always use V's phone and then I never get the pictures :/ Maybe I'll have to make myself also do a blog post one each of his restaurants to make the experience complete.

Cheese Platter (Goat Manchego) with Truffle Honey
Salami with Mustard
House Bread & Olive Oil
I've been to Jose Garces Trading Co. 2 previous times (you can see the post here), but never for their restaurant week. Although not spectacular, the dining experience was still quite enjoyable. Plus no restaurant in the city can beat having a wine cellar that cells $10 bottles of wine in the actual restaurant. A few things that Garces Trading is very well known for: cheese, cured meat and the flatbreads. There's a deli by the front of the shop that sells all sorts of goodies including local cheeses, vinegar, olive oils and meats. Plus, you get the awesome truffle lavender honey (first made famous in his other restaurant Amada) when you order the cheese plate and I'm pretty sure this honey has its own cult following.

Scallop with Peanut Sauce

October 9, 2012

Ramen Bar!

Spicy Pork Ramen w/ Straight Noodles
Miso Ramen w/ Wave Noodles
I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about the new Ramen Bar by 40th and Locust. Maybe I just have low standards for ramen, (I still think Shin ramen is an amazing 2am meal), but I'm a fan of this place. Especially compared to the heavy weights in New York like Ippudo and Momofuku, this place is in terms of relative value and quality is comparative. No its not as good as Ippudo but it is a lot cheaper and it is still pretty good.  I'm particularly fond of the thick broth which I think is crazy flavorful.

Harvest Seasonal Grill

The new Harvest Seasonal Grill opened last week in the old Marathon Grill location by the Rave Theater. The concept of the restaurant is that everything is farm-to-table with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. The inside of the restaurant has been beautifully renovated with a new open ceiling in the front half as well as an open faced kitchen in the back. Almost everything on the menu is under 500 calories. On paper, the business plan sounds great especially with all of the calorie conscious students at Penn. Problem is, I  don't really like the food.
Pear & Bleu Flatbread - Seasonal Pears, Birch Run Hills Bleu Cheese, Baby Arugula, Fig Glaze
The flatbread was tasty but something was off about the dish. The arugula seemed too wilted which is kind of weird when all of the ingredients are supposed to be crazy fresh. I was a fan of the blue cheese which was exciting since I hate blue cheese. The reason why they get away with making the flatbread under 500 calories is by making the crust absurdly thin. I would almost prefer a smaller portion but with more ingredients to the dish.

Grilled Portobello Burger - Housemade Mozzarella, Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, Mixed Greens, Tomatoes, Honey Whole Wheat Bun
Cashew Pork - Apples, Raisins, Baby Spinach, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Natural Jus
The burger was tasty but felt underwhelming. The only ingredient that really jazzed up the burger was the mozazarella. The cashew pork dish was interesting. It was surprisingly sweet and reminded me of Sunday brunch apple french toast which then made me want to just eat french toast instead. A comforting and homey dish but a little too much sweetness for my liking.

Probably won't be coming back to visit this place for a while.

October 2, 2012

Back to Pietros

Just had our induction dinner at Pietro's a week and a half ago. I always feel obligated to blog about it since this was the location of my first blog post :) Throwback here. Tried the arugula salad which was quite tasty, the bruschetta which was somewhat underwhelming and the sausage and arugula / prosciutto pizzas which are still the winners on the menu.

A huge array of oven pizza
Arugula salad

Dessert Platter
More pizza

Went to the new Harvest restaurant (old Marathon Grill location) by 40th and Walnut, will have to write something up shortly.