Saturday, November 28, 2009


2330 Aramingo Ave,
Philadelphia, PA (inside the Rock & Roll Exxon)

Phone: 215-739-3801

A cheesesteak, from a gas station. Not that I haven't indulged in gas station steaks before, but grilladelphia takes it to a new level. In the running for my favorite cheese steak in the city. I like my meat chopped well. I like alot of cheese. If I am paying $9 for a steak, expect a alot of food. Not some stringy meat, cheese wiz tourist crap. Keeping in mind that I didn't have to get the $9 cheesesteak at grilladelphia, when you post a one pound cheesesteak on your menu, I am going to have to try it. I like to eat.

Wow, it looks big, doesn't it? You have no idea.

That, my friends, is the cheese steak pouch. And that meat is "steam grilled". They use no cooking oil, which makes for a tender "healthier" steak. There is absolutely NOTHING healthy about this sandwich. The one pounder is a meal for two. And a delicious one at that. Meat chopped fine, onions grilled nicely, this specimen was of the hoagie variety, which meant a bottom layer of lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Hot peppers were dispersed throughout and gave it an awesome kick. The roll is baked in South Philly, and is soft inside, with a little crispiness on the outside. It holds up to the mess inside and really makes this an amazing sandwich. Oh wait, did I mention, it's inside a fully stocked gas station, which even has a flavor machine to mix and match soda flavors. It gets better. Grilladelphia is open 24/7. That's right. And you can take my word for it, they taste great at 3am as well!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fu-Wah Vietnamese Hoagies

810 S 47th St, Philadelphia

If you have never had a Vietnamese hoagie, you don't know what you are missing. Which actually isn't too bad because you don't understand the amazingness that is the Vietnamese hoagie. Now I love hoagies of any kind, but these little numbers are some of my favorites. The change-up from traditional Italian coldcuts (which I also love), is a welcome reprieve to a hoagie eating kind of guy (or girl).

The hoagie originated because the French occupied Vietnam, and introduced the baguette. The rest was history. Although there are many, many toppings, traditionally you can get shredded BBQ pork, chicken or tofu at just about every hoagie shop. Here in Philly we are blessed with many shops to chose from, and on a bike ride this afternoon, I happened to be in West Philly and so I wanted to check out Fu Wah, which I have been hearing rave reviews about. Their tofu hoagie is the star, and so that what I decided to devour (I WAS on a bike ride after all). Unlike most places, they marinate their tofu, which gives the sandwich some delicious flavor, which usually can be lacking with tofu. They also included the usual sliced carrots, pickled radish, jalapeno slices and cilantro. I was missing the mayonnaise/aioli spread most Vietnamese hoagies have. Also the roll was not the crispy crunchy french style baguette we are spoiled with down in South Philly, and Chinatown. Overall, a good stop if you are in West Philly and craving a fresh crunchy hoagie, but I would still prefer my other Vietnamese hoagie joints.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Turkey Tacos

I love Mexican food, and these tacos are a quick and easy weeknight meal. Using turkey is an awesome alternative to beef, but one problem is that it can dry out easily, and another is it is lacking the same flavor as beef. I hadn't made these for years, but they really turned out great.

I started with one package of ground turkey. Make sure you don't get the extra lean, as it will tend to dry out. I chopped half of a Vidalia onion, and threw it in a hot pan with some olive oil and let it cook for a couple of minutes. I then threw in the pack of turkey, added some salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Next came a can of fire roasted green chilis, and cilantro. I cheated on the cilantro and used two cubes of frozen chopped cilantro (you can find it at Trader Joe's).

As that cooked, I sliced a Florida avocado. Florida avocado's differ from traditional Hass avocado's, in that they have a smooth green skin, and are about twice as large. The flavor is less creamy, but they have less fat, and thus were in keeping with my healthyishness theme.

I let the meat simmer for about 15 minutes, until it was all cooked almost through, put in some chicken stock, and threw a lid on, to let it simmer. The lid and stock really help keep the meat moist.

To serve, I garnished with some thinly sliced Avocado, chopped onions, and special sour cream sauce on flour tortillas. I take some thin authentic salsa, and mix it with some sour cream. It is quite simple, but it is absolutely delicious. It adds a some flair to chips and salsa, and really pulls a quick Mexican meal together. Plus you cut some of the fat of the sour cream with salsa. So try this meal if you need a quick healthy weeknight meal. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Schmitter

If you have ever been to Citizen's Bank for a Phillies game, you know that the food there is top notch ball park grub. But a couple years ago, I was turned on to a little known sandwich stand there that has taken the ball park sandwich to the next level. The Schmitter is an amazing sandwich, but when I heard you could try the original in Germantown, I knew I had to give it a go. McNally's Tavern is a hole in the wall, with no real signage, but if you know, you go for the Schmitter. I took a long bike ride through Wissahickon, and after a super tough climb up Bells Mill Road, a magical sandwich like this one hit the spot. I could describe the ingredients, but I think this sums it up better than I could. The special sauce (homemade Thousand Island) is out of this world, the grilled onions, and salty salami are perfect partners, and the Kaiser roll really pulls it all together and makes for a perfect serving vessel. This is one of my favorite sandwiches of all time. And an awesome bike ride for a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ginger Scallion Sauce

I have been hearing the buzz about the Momofuku cookbook coming out, and even though I have never eaten at any of these amazing (I am sure) establishments, I had to buy the book. When I was pre-ordering it from the Amazon page, the recipe for this sauce was on there. I made it that night, and could not wait to get my book after tasting this. I can't explain how good it is. It's simplicity is key, and it reminds me of Nanzhou Hand Drawn Noodle House here in Philly. MAKE THIS SAUCE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is bursting with fresh flavors, and will take about 30 minutes to make a meal out of. You will be sooo happy you did.

Ingredients (from the book):
  • 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches)
  • 1/2 cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons usukuchi (light soy sauce)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

(Makes about three cups)

Directions (from book)

Mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Use as directed, or apply as needed.

Here is the liquid part before adding the chopped Scallions and Ginger.

Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed. Though it’s best after 15 or 20 minutes of sitting, ginger scallion sauce is good from the minute it’s stirred together up to a day or two in the fridge. I added some ground beef and noodles, and mixed it all together. It's SUCH a quick and easy meal, and you and whoever you eat it with won't believe the flavor that comes from such simple ingredients. BUY THIS BOOK!