Saturday, May 30, 2009

UPDATE: Two teams have dropped out of the contest due to unforeseen circumstances. However, their entry fees have already been paid, and the organizers at Hava Nagrilla are looking for volunteers to fill in those empty spots at no cost. Please contact me if you're interested in participating in this delicious BBQ contest for FREE!


With one of the cutest play on words for the title of an event I've heard in a long time, this Kosher BBQ contest held at Willow Grove Day Camp is not to be missed! The event is on Sunday, June 7th, and kicks off at 10 am, with eating and festivities planned throughout the day until 3pm. There is no other Kosher BBQ contest in the Philadelphia region and very few throughout the rest of the country, so if BBQ is your thing, don't let this opportunity pass you by.

A host of celebrity judges (Sixers announcer Marc Zumnoff, chef Derek Davis, and meteorologist Glen 'Hurricane' Schwartz!) will lend their taste buds to picking the top contenders among the 16 teams currently signed up to compete in Chicken, Brisket, Beans and Beef Ribs. In addition to those high-profile judges, my friend Jess (from Fries with that Shake) and I were asked to serve on the food judging panels, and we happily accepted!

From the Hava Nagrilla website:

Golden Slipper Club & Charities is hosting this unique event for the general public to promote Jewish culture and raise money for our charitable endeavors. It will involve a wide array of activities, all in the name of family fun, camaraderie, and charity including:

The Kosher BBQ contest, complete with trophies for the best beans, brisket, chicken, ribs, best team name, most creative booth, and overall grand champion

Celebrity judges who will determine the best recipes

Kids Corner with moon bounce, games, face painting and other great activities

3-on-3 Basketball Tournament

Kosher BBQ Cooking Demonstration by Chef Thomas J. Macrina, Executive Chef of the Desmond Hotel

Raffle drawing for a brand new Mini Cooper. Buy a raffle now!

Kosher Pickle Eating Contest

Rubber Chicken Toss Contest

Live Entertainment and more!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Root Liqueur

Coming this June to PLCB stores in the Philadelphia area is Root Liqueur. The folks that brought us the deliciously smooth Hendrick's Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum, have created a totally new, 100% organic spirit.
Root 038
Root was created for the Art in the Age brand and based on an early Native American recipe for Root Tea. Made with herbs, citrus, spices and pure cane sugar, Root is unlike any liqueur you've had before, but remarkably familiar due to it's similarities to Birch Beer and Root Beer.
Root 026
I was lucky enough to attend a tasting of Root at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction down on 3rd street in Old City. Nicholas, an extremely skilled bartender who lends his talents to Apothecary Lounge, was behind the make-shift bar mixing up his original cocktail recipes created with Root.
Root 028
With a complex profile of anise, birch, vanilla, citrus and pepper, Root mixes up best with a light spirits or dark beer. But can also be enjoyed neat, or with a single ice cube to release the rich and smoky flavors. My favorite cocktail of the evening was Root & Birch, a good pour of Root Liqueur and Pennsylvania birch beer over ice.
Root Mosaic
Because of the aromatic nature of Root, it has endless possibilities outside of the glass and in your baked goods. On hand were a delicious Shoo Fly Pie made with Root as well as a quick bread baked up with Root-soaked fruit. My guest for the night, Kitchenplay, and I quickly thought of a handful of ways we'd like to use Root when it hits the market: added to a quick chocolate sauce, mixed with powdered sugar for a quick bundt cake glaze, or even as a background flavor in a batch of chocolate truffles!

For more information on this awesome new spirit about to hit Philadelphia liquor stores next week, visit Art in the Age.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

O Sandwiches

I'm a bit behind jumping on the Vietnamese Hoagie Bandwagon, but jumping I am. These things are great sandwiches! Characterized by crusty french baguette surrounding crunchy lightly pickled veggies, this sandwich is a light lunch in comparison to a traditional Italian-style hoagie.
O Sandwiches (3)
I devoured this particular sandwich after picking up my race packet for the Broad Street Run down by the stadiums. Since I was practically in the neighborhood, and had my trusty foodie friend Jess along for the ride, and we were hungry, we just had to try out O Sandwiches as neither of us had been there for a hoagie. Jess is a veteran Vietnamese hoagie consumer, so I let her be my guide. I chose the BBQ pork bahn mi and said yes when the counter girl asked if I wanted jalapenos and black pepper. The pork was shredded and had a deep pink tone to it from the BBQ marinade. Fresh sliced cucumber as well as pickled carrots and daikon are added next, followed by slices of jalapenos, cilantro and black pepper.
O Sandwiches (8)
The grilled pork bahn differs only slightly from the previously pictured version. Here thin slices of pork are quickly grilled and lightly seasoned before hitting the bread and getting loaded up with veggies.
O Sandwiches (6)
We also ordered the pork summer rolls. A well-seasoned link of Vietnamese sausage was split down the middle and rolled up with lettuce, rice noodles, carrots and cucumber. Served with a hoisin peanut dipping sauce, this was a fresh and tasty appetizer.

Even though I really enjoyed the two sandwiches from O, rumor has it that better Vietnamese hoagies are available in the city, so more taste testing will continue through the summer. Please let me know where you think I can get the BEST Vietnamese Hoagie in Philly and I'll go try them out.

O Sandwiches
1205 South 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
O Sandwiches on Urbanspoon


Summer is peeking it's head around the corner, so the next Peanut Butter Exhibition Challenge is going to celebrate the outdoors by featuring recipes for the barbecue grill that include our theme ingredient, peanut butter!

Along with my co-creator Nick, The Peanut Butter Boy, this Exhibition is happy to continue with the support of Kitchen Courage and What's For Dinner? While the pool of recipes in the round-up is a prize in itself, this time around we have have a special gift from Stonyfield Farm for the ultimate winner of this barbecue challenge.

Think outside of the box on this one, do you have a secret weapon with a peanut butter marinade? Salad dressing? Barbecue sauce? Bring out those recipes and pick one to submit to our challenge and you could be a winner. The deadline for submission is June 8th @ Noon, Eastern Standard Time.

Recipes will be judged via the photo, recipe, and instructions for preparation in terms of Peanut Butter Weight, Portability, Creativity and Preparation Time.

Post and submit your “Barbecue” recipe by the deadline - one entry per person so choose wisely. Pictures are highly recommended but not required. You may use any nut butter instead of peanut butter since nut butters are easily interchangeable. Please link to The Peanut Butter Boy's Post from the posted recipe to indicate that you are entering this contest.

Click here to submit your recipe online. Alternatively, email “” with “PBE #6″ as the subject and the following information:

Recipe Title
Recipe or Recipe Permalink

All recipes will be listed but the judges will vote for the Top 3. All 3 winners receive a badge to place on their site. Courtesy of Stonyfield, the first place winner will receive a Stonyfield yogurt cookbook, a reusable Stonyfield shopping bag, 2 (16oz) containers and 4 (5.3oz) containers of Oikos greek yogurt and various other coupons. Good luck!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Citysearch has launched a new website devoted to desserts called SugarBomber. I was lucky enough to be invited to be a SugarBomber Dictator, submitting photos and descriptions of scrumptious desserts from my dining escapades in Philadelphia and beyond. I'm excited about the site, it has me drooling on a daily basis, so I want you all to check it out too!

Every day new photos are added from across the country, each one more delicious looking then the next. If you've got a sweet tooth like I've got, you're going to love it. You can follw @TopTooth on Twitter for regular updates about SugarBomber, or add SugarBomber to your RSS feed so you don't miss a bite.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

2009 Broad Street Run

I'm participating in my first distance run tomorrow morning at 8:30 sharp. The Broad Street Run is a 10 mile race starting at Central High School and ending in the Navy Yard down in South Philly. I'm carbo-loading tonight with a pasta dinner. I'm making whole wheat penne with zucchini, peppers, mushrooms and grilled chicken, as well as a loaf of garlic bread. I've been training for this thing for months, but the butterflies in my stomach have been aflutter all day today. I hope the carb-overload dinner will send me into an early and deep slumber and I will awake tomorrow ready to kick Broad Street's ass, in the rain.

As a reward, my friends at A Full Plate Cafe have invited me to brunch, complete with mimosas. Just what I'll need after a damp 10 mile run.

Wish me luck!