Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Philippine Bread House

Perhaps I meant to go to the Philippine Bread House and Restaurant the other day when I got lost in search of a Filipino sandwich and came out empty-handed at Ciavelita’s . Well, The Philippine Bread House doesn’t have sandwiches either. (Where did my mind come up with that notion?)

What the Philippine Bread House does have is homemade Philippine cuisine lined up on the front counter in Corningware blue cornflower casserole dishes (it doesn’t get any more unpretentious), but this bakery/restaurant more famously bakes up sweet, Spanish-influence Filipino breads on the premises.

The Philippine Bread House just outside of downtown Newark, Delaware on Kirkwood highway resides in an old Taco Bell building, and is a little over a month old, but their New Jersey location has been around for a while and has its share of devotees.

Philippine cuisine is not vegetarian friendly, so I could not sample the lunch offerings from the casserole dishes. I sampled the breads, and let me just say…nom nom nom. I ate so many yummy sweet rolls that I had a tummy ache (in a good way). Pandesal - soft, subtly sweet rolls traditionally eaten for breakfast. A bag of twelve costs $1.75! These are great alone, but would be perfect with jam or in bread pudding.

Ensaymada – soft, sweet bread topped with butter, sugar and mild white cheese. Um, cheese? Yes! It was so good; I nearly fell on the floor, but was already sitting on the floor.

Ube cake – just like the ensaymada, but with a ribbon of dark purple ube. The ube doesn’t have much flavor, but the purple sure is pretty.

Cheese roll – sweet, football-shaped roll topped with sugar and butter, and a ribbon of cream cheese inside.

All are fabulous, but the winner is the ensaymada. I wish I worked in an office so I could bring in a huge tray of ensaymadas and be everyone’s hero!

The Philippine Bread House and Restaurant
1020 Capitol Trail, Newark, Delaware, 19711


daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Avocado Ice Cream

Not a single craving for ice cream came knocking this winter (bizarre!), so I did not break out the ice cream machine, or even purchase a pint of ice cream from the grocer. But, folks, the ice cream machine is officially back in action!

The desire for ice cream began about a month ago, when I wanted to make ___ ice cream (can’t say; it might still be coming), but couldn’t find the main ingredient. I tried to make ice cream last weekend, but forgot half of the machine in Wilmington (doh!). This weekend the ingredients and the machine came together, and it happened – avocado ice cream!!

I do love the Vietnamese avocado shakes so, so much. And when I was in Mexico I was eating avocado everyday, wondering why I don’t eat it more often (it’s fattening). This past weekend presented us with a Mexican brunch, so avocado ice cream was my contribution to the meal, and kick off to the ice cream season.

Yes, it tastes like avocado – but with sugar and cream. If you've ever ventured into the realm of non-traditional ice cream flavors, you already know that anything tastes spectacular mixed with sugar and cream, then frozen.

The sour cream adds a tangy note that's not present in the Vietnamese avocado shakes. If I were to make it again I might skip the sour cream, and just sub in more avocado. Just a thought; still yummy, though.

There’s no egg custard base to cook; just throw the six ingredients in the blender, and then in the ice cream machine. Painfully simple.

Hee hee! The avocado-green blender really is avocado-green.

Avocado Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 1 quart

3 ripe avocados, pits removed and flesh cut into chunks
¾ cup sugar
1 cup fat free sour cream
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
pinch of salt

  • Put avocado chunks and the remaining ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Pour blended ingredients into an ice cream machine, and churn until frozen.
  • Store in freezer.

Friday, April 25, 2008

This Week Only Gets Better!

I just spent two and a half hours trying to locate Ciavelita’s, a Filipino grocery and take-out store on the outskirts of Wilmington because, for some reason, I had it in my mind that they had some sort of awesome Filipino sandwich.

I finally find the place after cruising around two shopping centers; a stop in the Indian grocery store in the same vicinity to ask if they’ve heard of Ciavelita’s (never heard of it!); a call to the boy so he can look it up on the computer (why so many Wilmington restaurants don’t have web sites is beyond me); a drive back into town to another Filipino grocery and take-out store (empty; must have been Ciavelita’s previous location, ‘cause how many Filipino grocery and take-out places can Wilmington have?); a call to Ciavelita’s for explicit directions (the phone was busy for a very long time previously); then a drive back out to the road I was on before about six find Ciavelita’s tucked in a tiny strip perpendicular to the road it’s listed on…and three doors down from the Indian grocery store!

I have listened to the cd in my car’s player four times, and eaten the emergency granola bar in my backpack!

I was once lost in this same area a few years ago for about forty minutes looking for a WWE wrestling match (don’t ask!).

At Ciavelita's there are a few tables in the foreground, a few sparse racks of groceries along the walls and in a side room, and a steam table in the back with about ten deep dishes filled with goodies.

I ask if there’s anything vegetarian. Yes, two dishes. They look the same – both green beans and potatoes. What’s the difference? They’re the same, but they taste different. So what’s the difference? One is made with shrimp paste and the other is made with oyster sauce. Oh, I’ll pass. (The food did look good in that homemade, hole-in-the-wall, hidden-gem way, but nothing was vegetarian.)

I think Ciavelita’s Filipino sandwich (doesn't exist) got jumbled in my mind with Vietnamese sandwich and Delaware’s awesomely good veggie turkey sub from Capriotti’s. Filipino sandwich: Vietnamese sandwich. Ciavelita’s: Capriotti’s. You can see how things got crossed, right?

The food looked good, and I’ve already invested two and a half hours to this place, so why not another hour to tell you how to get there. So, you wanna find it?

Keep your eyes peeled for the Motto Computer sign.

3317 Old Capital Trail,
Wilmington, DE 19808

Google it if you like, but GoogleMaps won’t find it.

  • Drive down Kirkwood Highway (Hwy 2) away from Wilmington towards Newark.
  • After you pass Hwy 141, then Prices Corner Shopping Center on the left, then McDonald's on the left, you’ll turn left on Newport Gap Pike (Hwy 62).
  • Turn left on Old Capital Trail.
  • See that “B” place marker on the map below? Turn left there after the Moto Computer sign, but before the Tom’s Barber Shop sign.
  • Ciavelita’s is on the right hand side next to Motto Computer.
  • Ciavelita's does not have a sign out on the main road. They are in the back with a small sign, so if you think you’ll see it from the main road as you drive past, you’ll be driving around for two and a half hours like I did.

Somebody, please go eat there. I’ve invested a lot of time in this place, and I can’t eat anything!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Urban Gardening 2.0 - Late April

A garden update so soon? There’s been a lot of activity in the garden – by squirrels! See that empty strip down the center of the bed? Lettuce was there. The squirrels at it all in one day!

Man, we’ve got some scruffy, half-tailed, one-eared squirrels in South Philly, and these badass squirrels have a palate for salad. They bounded over the fence, flung all one pound of their mangy asses on the bird netting until it collapsed, and then feasted. They crawled though the cracks, too. If I weren’t so nonchalant about life, I’d join the old-geezer-with-shotgun gang.

So, we just planted some more lettuce. And rigged the bird netting in a more secure fashion.

Running out of room! Out with superfluous beauty; in with utilitarian foodstuff.

It’s been so warm lately that it’s easy to grab up some tomatoes and peppers, forgetting that the last frost date is in May. Professionally, I’m being a good person and holding off on warm-weather plants for my clients (having hundreds of dollars of plants die is no fun), but, for myself, I can do what I want.

With the replacement lettuce, we also planted tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos. Still kicking and going strong from the first planting are snap peas, celery, cilantro, spinach, arugula, and mizuna. Yeah, our squirrels don’t like spinach, arugula, and mizuna – just lettuce!

After the planting this weekend, we enjoyed our first salad from the garden (greens only) with a side of Jerusalem artichoke pickles.

Guess what? While I was messing around with scrapers and not posting about food, the squirrels ate the lettuce again – all of it! Lettuce performed so well for us last year. This year, no dice. C’est la vie.

Urban Gardening 2.0 - Late March
Urban Gardening 1.0

Monday, April 21, 2008

Uhg, Scrapers!

It finally happened! I had my blog posts scraped from my RSS feeds and posted in their entirety on some crap site that exists for ads. Not just one post, but every single post for the past two months.

Yeah, they attributed me by putting a link to my posts with the word “source” at the bottom, but they have ads, and I distinctly say with a Creative Common license that you can’t use my content for commercial purposes. You cannot scrape the content I work very hard to produce, reprint it word for word, picture for picture, and put ads all over it!

I don’t mind if some blogger uses a picture from my site (attributed to me, of course) to gush about how cute they think a cupcake is. I don’t mind if a food news aggregator takes a snippet of my work (attributed to me, of course) and works it into their own post (Foobooz does an exemplary job of playing nicely). These are all within the parameters of my Creative Commons license (I really don’t need one, everything I write and produce is copyrighted, but it’s a nice way of saying, “You can use my work, if…”).

I’ve caught others infringing on my rights (a Philly restaurant and a Philly gossip/news blog that uses/used a photo without attribution), but let it slide. Small potatoes. I couldn’t let it slide this time.

I’m sure most of you reading this are much more blog/computer savvy than myself, and already know what I'm about to say, but in case you’re wondering if you’re being stolen from, and what to do about it, here’s what I just did:

  • Every few months I check Copyscape to to see who is copying my work. Mostly I get plagiarized by crap recipe sites that exist for ads. They usually just take the recipes, and everyone knows that recipes are not really protected.
  • If you find that someone is violating your terms of content use (and can’t contact them to request they remove your content, because most of these sites don’t have a way to contact them), follow these nicely outlined steps to fight scrapers over on ProBlogger.

I had already done step 1 (license your content) from the ProBlogger article.

Step 2 (add a link to your original post in your RSS feed). I just installed a disclaimer at the bottom of my feed that links to my site (not the individual post, we'll see if I need to go there) that deters sites from automatically scraping my feed. Some people publish only a partial post to RSS feeds, and that helps deter scrapers, too. As a blog reader, I hate this. I’m too lazy/busy to click over to the full post when I’m scrolling the many blogs that are in my reader. Partial post and you’re dead to me.

I just completed step 3 (report scrapers to AdSense); step 4 (report scrapers to Google); and step 5 (report scrapers to their web hosting service).

As of right now, the web hosting service (they acted very quickly!) has disabled web access for the stolen content (and, for now, their entire site), and have informed the client to remove the stolen content. And there’s a letter in the mail to Google (gotta have it in writing! and I will write a letter in a heartbeat).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Shore Thang

After waking up slightly hung-over from the Philly food blogger meet-up (thanks for hosting E.), I jetted off to the New Jersey shore for a guided tour by a person who has been going every year since conception. Free tour by a professional shore-goer? On a beautiful weekend? Sign me up!

We started with the boardwalk and amusement park in Wildwood. I had no idea that there was an amusement park actually on the boardwalk. In fact, I didn't know Wildwood was the name of a town. I thought Wildwood was the name of an amusement park somewhere in NJ (people talk about how they're going to Wildwood to ride the rides, so I thought...). Learned something!

Ate a couple of slices of Mack’s pizza on the Wildwood boardwalk. Mack’s or Sam’s? Which is the best? I don’t understand the love of NY-style pizza, so I'm not a qualified judge. People say they don’t like Mack’s because of the cheddar cheese, but I found the sharp flavor kind of nice…for greasy, floppy pizza.

I can get into some Kohr Brothers ice cream, though. I didn’t understand why the sign said “light” when it tasted so rich and creamy, but then I looked it up, and, yep, it’s supposedly lighter than the average ice cream cone.

Then we drove all the way up to the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ. We played the mini-est mini golf ever (20 holes in an area the size of my small apartment) on the boardwalk. I tied for first place! Skills, I got ‘em.

I saw Ocean City’s famed Mack and Manco’s pizza, but, really, what’s the point when I don’t like NY-style pizza. Plus, the ghost of Mexico was/is still haunting me!

Yay, NJ!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pretty, Nasty Eggs

So, I get a handful of pheasant eggs for my birthday from my friend’s farm (maybe it was just a hostess gift; they were just thrust at me near the time of my birthday), and aren’t they pretty! Martha Stewart should create a collection of paints based on the colors of egg shells, but she’s already done that.

Oh, what to do with special eggs? I don’t use a lot of eggs, but when I do I either (1) make them disappear in desserts; (2) make deviled eggs; (3) make egg salad, or (4) make scrambled eggs (occasionally a frittata). That’s about it!

For a little comparison, that big one is a large chicken egg.

I detest runny yolks, so soft boiled eggs, poached eggs, and sunny-side-up eggs are all out. No fried egg on top of my bibimbap, no eggs benedict for breakfast, and never will you see me dipping toast in egg yolk. Blech, blech, puke! Even hard, fully-cooked egg yolk by itself gets the cold shoulder (gotta mix it with mayo and throw it back in the egg).

But I should do something with these pheasant eggs other than just make them disappear into ice cream. How about I quit being a baby and try eating an egg sunny side up, you know, just to test myself and see if I’m a bigger person than I used to be?

How about on a pizza? I know, how gross does that look! But people swear by these egg-topped pizzas (they probably like dipping toast in egg yolk, too).

I was a big girl and tried it. Blech! I found that cooked eggs can be easily peeled off pizza and thrown in the trash.

Should have made pheasant egg salad...but aren’t those eggs pretty!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The ol’ noggin is a little fuzzy, but I believe Rangoon was my first dining experience in Philly. All I remember is that I liked what I had.

That first go-round was almost six years ago (I can’t believe I’ve been here that long!), and I accompanied a group of girls who came into the city to dine at a different ethnic restaurant once a month, and that month it was Burmese – a mix of traditional Myanmar foods, and Chinese, Thai, and Indian foods, but...Burmese cuisine it it's own distinct cuisine.

Rangoon is not fancy; it’s your typical Asian dining interior. The menu is extensive, and you will need a good ten minutes of your undivided attention (or twenty if you plan on talking to your friends) while trying to decide what to order.

We started with spring rolls (an unadventurous diner ordered this), and, yep, they’re spring roll-y!

Then we tried the Firecracker Lentil Fritter, a fried lentil, onion, mint, and chile appetizer. The fritter was a little dry, but had nice spicy flavor. I usually try to pick dishes highlighted as spicy (this one was) at Chinese and other Asian restaurants, because often I find those dishes pack more flavor – and usually aren’t any where close to hot enough to kill me.

I forget the name of this dish, and can’t find it on the online menu, but it’s a cold noodle dish, and the menu description says something like, “unique blend of spices” and “not to be missed.” I’m such a goob (or maybe a sucker) when I order, and there was no way that I couldn’t take them up on what seemed like a challenge.

Oh, I hated this dish! Don’t know what those spices were, but the cumulative effect did not impress me. I found the noodles bland and the coating sauce mealy. I merely poked at the noodles with my fork.

I ate my partner’s dish, instead – Jungle Tofu with fried tofu, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and snow peas in a coconut green curry sauce. This is not the green curry sauce you’re used to at Thai restaurants; it’s much sweeter. My partner liked his dish, but thought it too sweet. I liked it, in it's own sweet Jungle way.

So, here’s the take home message…Burmese food is not quite Chinese, not quite Thai, and not quite Indian; it’s different. And there are so many choices on Rangoon’s menu that, if you find one that doesn’t agree with you (those special noodles aren’t that special), you should try again.

112 N. 9th St
., Philadelphia, PA 19107

Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mexico - But Avocado Is A Good Fat

When asked where I’ve traveled, I’m always a little embarrassed that Mexico does not appear on the list. How could I have never been to Mexico? It’s so close!

Traveling across the country in a car with my dog (I don’t have a dog), and dropping below the Texas border into Mexico on whim is how I always imagined I’d get to Mexico…but this never happened.

What did happen was my boyfriend’s parents gave us (me, the boy, his brother and his wife) their time share!!! When someone gives you a vacation, you take it! (Thanks H. and E.)

We went to Acapulco, Mexico glamorous beach town of the Hollywood jetset in the 50's; large resort city for tourists and locals today. It's that place in Mexico you win trips to if you play The Price Is Right. So many unfulfilled dreams!

Don't judge. Everyone does it, including the locals. We went to Walmart to stock up on groceries for the week since we had a kitchen in our room. Produce was so cheap. And a stack of 50 or so tortillas was 50 cents. That's just pennies apiece, if you're counting!

Walmart has a huge, self-serve pastry section where you walk around the aisles of sweets (yep, aisles!) with tongs and a tray, grabbing everything you want. The boy found me all giddy-like in the aisles and proceeded to put some of the pastries on my platter back on the shelves. I pleaded that it was unsanitary and against the rules (there are no rules). I'd buy a lot more pastries at home if I didn't have to ask someone behind a counter to get what I wanted. Maybe it's better we keep the system we have of keeping pastries behind glass.Our first meal out was at a corner taqueria in Zocalo, the central, older section of Acapulco. My vegetarian tacos where a pile of cheese studded with mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, corn, and jicama. The open air venue with views out to the busy and noisy street was the best part.

I'm particularly fond of the complimentary bowls of spicy pickled vegetables many restaurants set down on the table along with the various salsas and condiments.

The boy loves ceviche (Peruvian ceviche with its strong lime flavors, to be exact), and gave the ceviche in Acapulco a couple of tries. The ceviche in Acapulco is a tomato-based, gazpacho-like ceviche. Great in hot weather.

Wanna know where all the VW Bugs have gone? They're in Mexico serving out the rest of their long lives as taxis. Five people crammed in a taxi is fun! There are larger taxis, too. There are actually tons of taxis. Do not fear; you will never be stranded anywhere in Mexico.There are also a ton of independently run buses painted, decorated, and lit-up per the driver's fancy (cartoon characters and neon lights are popular) that will also take you places. Our taxi adventures ranged from $25 (airport rip-off and shortest trip we took) to $10 (toe-curling, speeding taxi). The bus cost us 45 cents per person and took us on our longest ride of the vacation out to Pie de La Cuesta.Pie de la Cuesta is a small, uncrowded beach town just outside of Acapulco, bordered by the ocean on one side of the street and a lake on the other side of the street. Pie de la Cuesta has no high-rise resorts only tiny hotels and bungalows. If I were to return for vacation to the Acapulco area, I'd stay in Pie de la Cuesta.

The sun also sets over the ocean at Pie de la Cuesta (the Acapulco bay does not face west). Above is our Mexican spread eaten on the beach at sunset in Pie de la Cuesta.

See the dish in the lower left corner? Those are sopes a round, thick, fried dough topped with refried beans and cheese. They remind me of little Mexican pizzas. I've never had them before, and they turned out to be one of my favorite foods of the trip!

And, really, how could I not order that drink to enjoy the sunset?

I really wanted to take home this beach dog! He's the perfect size for me. And he looks like Maisy Mouse!

Lots of homeless dogs in Mexico! But they're so well behaved and so much wiser than American dogs. No begging whatsoever. They can navigate traffic, and interact with the world peacefully. I just imagine letting a psycho, hyperactive, pampered American dog loose in Mexico and watching the Mexican dogs laugh on the inside and calmly walk away from the immaturity.

Another Mexican spread. Vegetarian options at most places serving Mexican food mean cheese cheese tacos, cheese enchiladas, cheese quesadillas, chile rellenos stuffed with cheese, bean and cheese sopes, etc. Mexican food also means fried. All good and delicious, but not every day! The fruit for breakfast did not negate the unhealthy diet I ate this past week. There's a reason why the Mexican diet is not on the list cultural diets proven to boost longevity and health.

Just like many trips abroad where cheese must be relied on to sustain my vegetarian diet, I'm calling a moratorium on cheese consumption. For a few days, at least!

Nice vacation. Nice to be back.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Outta Here

Just a reminder that if you're searching for the golden ticket into the upcoming Philly Food Blogger's Meet-up (deets here), I'll be off tanning my birthmark until April 13. I promise to send out info the very second I touch down on US soil. So, start queuing up!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

Need I say more! OK, just a tad more…

I made these for my friend’s birthday. She’s not a sweet person, but when she does indulge she prefers chocolate. So, I indulged her. It was her birthday, after all!

I wanted to make her a special chocolate cupcake. Chocolate and peanut butter (two great tastes that taste great together!) were on my mind. Then I ran into peanut butter and jelly cupcakes made by hollowing out the center of a white cupcake, filling with jelly, and topping with peanut butter frosting. Yum! But let’s make it chocolate. Even better!

I had great success with the chocolate stout cupcakes I made last year for her birthday, but didn’t want beer all up in my cpb&j cupcakes. A little coffee subbed for the beer did the trick!

Grape jelly just wasn’t going to cut it. I used cherry preserves, and, oh my god! If you’re thinking of skipping the jelly part, don’t!

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
Makes about 22 cupcakes

1 cup brewed coffee
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

  • Bring coffee and butter to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat on the stove. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth, and let cool.
  • Beat eggs and sour cream in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and beat to combine.
  • Fill individual, lined cupcake molds 3/4 full, and bake for 18-20 minutes in a preheated 350° oven. Let cool.

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 teaspoons whipping cream

  • Beat sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla extract together. Add whipping cream, if frosting is too thick.
To Assemble
1 jar of cherry preserves
  • Cut a cone shaped hole in the top of the cupcake with a sharp knife. Remove the cupcake plug, cut the tip of the cone off, and set the top aside. Fill the hole with jelly, and place the top of the plug back on the cupcake.
  • Frost cupcake. (Chocolate shavings optional.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Just like clockwork, my birthday comes every year at the end of March, and so does my friend’s. This means we usually share a birthday celebration. This year we were taken out to dinner at a location that remained a surprise until we crossed Market St. walking up 3rd. Yeah, at that point I guessed it. Chloe!

This was my first visit to the small, contemporary American BYOB in Old City that always appears on lists of romantic restaurants . They don’t take reservations or credit cards, so we ladies waited on the bench out front while the gents found an ATM. By the time they were back, we were in!

The inside is small, dimly lit, and kind of homey with knick knacks and a hand written specials board on the wall. It’s noisy, too. Small place packed with chattering people and it gets loud. Chloe is comfy and cozy, but I don’t know about romantic. Romance is overrated, anyway!

Low light; poor pictures. It's called "romantic."

A complimentary plate of hummus and bread came with our appetizers. No one at our table was fond of their hummus, which was subtly smoky, and as one person put it, tasted just like beans.

We started with two appetizers from the specials board. Everyone enjoyed the fried butternut squash and mushroom cakes. There were noticeable hunks of squash and mushrooms, and the flavors blended well.

The fish eater’s ordered the smoked trout appetizer with capers, watercress and red onion salad, and, I think, horseradish cream sauce. While I personally cannot report on the dish, everyone loved it.

Chloe has one vegetarian entrée on the menu – roasted pumpkin and ricotta ravioli with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and brown sage butter. By default, I had that! The filling was not cloyingly sweet as some pumpkin filled raviolis unfortunately are, but the brown sage butter sauce ruined the dish for me. The raviolis were swimming in a flavorless oil slick. Blech!

The boy ordered the grilled salmon fillet with crispy polenta, sweet and sour eggplant chutney, and parsley gremolata. He really loved this dish. I snuck a little eggplant chutney and it was nice!

Manners tell me not to molest other people’s food with my hands or camera, so I will tell you what the others ordered. The guy got the pan seared sea scallops with crispy potato pancake, watercress and red onion salad, and smoked chili and sour cream chili. He liked it a lot, as did his partner who normally doesn’t like scallops.

She ordered the sushi grade tuna seared rare with banana ginger soy broth, jasmine rice, seaweed salad, and crispy wonton chip. She was hesitant to order this dish because fish and banana did not sound like a great combination, but the server assured her that the banana was subtle. Turns out banana and tuna together, no matter how subtle, is not for her! She also did not like the tuna. She felt it should have been left raw instead of seared.

For dessert, I shared a slice of chocolate mouse pie with chocolate and raspberry drizzle and cream. Nothing special. It was what it was.

The other side of the table ordered the chocolate gateau and the warm banana bread pudding. Out of the three desserts, given a chance to do it again, I’d go with the banana bread pudding!

By some cruel twist of fate, the two birthday girls struck out and the boys hit gold. All in all, it was a lovely evening at a cozy restaurant that none of us had ever been to, but with only one vegetarian entrée that disagrees with me, I don’t’ see a need for my return.

232 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA, 19106


Wed.-Sat., 5 p.m-9:30 p.m.

BYOB, cash only, no reservations