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Author Archives: Bluejeanfoodcritic

Luke’s Lobster – Philadelphia, PA

Luke’s Lobster – Philadelphia, PA

Lobster roll is not something you think of when dining in and
around Philadelphia. The New England area is more what comes to
mind, but Luke’s Lobster (LL) by way of New York City not New
England wants you to think otherwise. Order of the day would be
none other than you guessed it, Lobster Roll with a side of chips.

Luke's Lobster


LL’s lobster roll is hands down one of the best I have had outside
of the New England area and far and away the best I have ever had
at a chain restaurant. Albeit they are on the small end of being a
chain restaurant with only eleven locations. They are a chain

The roll was perfect and grilled just like you want. The lobster
meat was varied between claw, knuckle, and tail with a decent
amount of meat provided with the lemon butter drizzled throughout
and just the right combination of seasonings highlighting its
flavor profile, while still allowing the lobster meat to shine.

LL was not cheap to eat at by any means, but lobster is not cheap
anywhere you want to eat it at. Eating at LL is not something you
could do on a daily basis and not go broke, but LL sure is a nice
place to treat yourself to one of the finest lobster rolls around
every now and again. The service was friendly and the decor is
cute in its fisherman style. I just wonder with all of the menu
items being on the higher end of prices, maybe they could throw a
few cheap options on there as well for a friend who comes with you
and doesn’t want to shell out twenty dollars for lunch or does not
like seafood.

Four out of Five Stars

Mexican Passover Menu at Cantina Feliz

Press Release:


PHILADELPHIA (March 25, 2014) — Chef Tim Spinner has created a Mexican Passover menu that will be served at Cantina Feliz, a contemporary Mexican restaurant in Fort Washington. The 4-course “Passover Feliz” menu will be available from Monday, April 14 – Sunday, April 20.

“Our Passover Feliz menu brings a little Mexican fun to spice up the holiday,” said Chef Tim Spinner, co-owner of the three Feliz Restaurants (Cantina Feliz, La Calaca Feliz and Taqueria Feliz) with business partner,  Brian Sirhal.

PASSOVER FELIZ (Happy Passover)  

4-course menu

Available April 14 – 20, 2014

Wild King Salmon Tostada, Mango, Jicama, Pineapple, Malanga Chip

Matzo Ball Soup, Red Chile, Avocado, Chicken

Braised Short Rib Taco – Morita Chile Barbeque Sauce, Chipotle Coleslaw, Boston Bibb Lettuce

Flourless Chocolate Cake – Sweet Potato Caramel, Rhubarb Mousse

The 4-course Passover prix fixe is $27 per person plus tax and gratuity. This menu meets most Passover requirements, but is not kosher. The tostadas are malanga (a root vegetable) and boston bibb will be used for tacos shells.

Cantina Feliz, 424 S. Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, is a festive restaurant with a full bar and many private dining spaces for 16 – 55 people, ideal for families or groups of friends that want a private holiday meal. Cantina Feliz is a family-friendly restaurant.

Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival

#DOAC April 4th & 5th and you will be treated to the Atlantic City, New Jersey Beer and Music Festival. Over 100 different brewers and lots of music. This is an event not to be missed. The Bluejeanfoodcritic team will be down there covering the event for those of you who can not make it, but for those of you who want to join the party and for more information CLICK HERE

Ed Hitzel’s Table for One Radio Show Appearance

Mark your calendars, stream live off the internet, or tune in your radio. I will be guest host on the great Ed Hitzel’s Table for One radio show Saturday, April 19th. Ed Hitzel is the premier name in food for the Tri-State area with a weekly radio show, tv segments for NBC 40, and the definitive guide  to eating with his must read food magazine and newsletters. Going to be a great time, hope all of you tune in. Guests and segments for show will be announced closer to show date. 

*(Below is from


Ed Hitzel’s Table for One Radio Show

A three-hour, award-winning broadcast every Saturday morning on every aspect of the food and beverage industry, dining and restaurants in New Jersey. Celebrity guests include Mike Ditka, Georges Perrier, Craig LeBan, John Bull, Tim Zagat, Paula Deen, The Soup Nazi, Daniel Boulud and more.

Listen on the web:, or by clicking on the antique radio.

Radio Schedule. The show broadcasts live from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and reaches all of southern New Jersey and into Delaware and Pennsylania on three stations.

  • WOND, News talk 1400 am in Atlantic City, Cape May and Long Beach Island and the Delaware beaches.
  • WGYM 1580 am in Hammonton, Cherry Hill and Camden County and into Burlington County.
  • WSNJ 1240 am in Millville reaching Cumbertland, Salem, and Gloucester counties and Wilmington, Del.

Garlic Lovers Unite as Tropicana Celebrates Garlic Week April 19-26

Press Relase:

Garlic Lovers Unite as Tropicana Celebrates
Garlic Week April 19-26


ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (March 20, 2014) — Tropicana Casino & Resort invites one and all to have a stinking good time at Garlic Week , April 19 – 26, 2014. In honor of National Garlic Day, celebrate everyone’s favorite aromatic ingredient with appetizers, main dishes, cocktails and desserts that all feature – you guessed it – garlic.

Enjoy these specially-priced, good-and-garlicky offerings in restaurants and bars throughout the resort.

Garlic Lovers Delight:

First Course
Roasted elephant garlic wrapped in prosciutto, accompanied with sun-dried tomato focaccia bread at  The Palm

Second Course
Garlic Marinated steak tips with Irish Garlic Mac & Cheese and Garlic breaded fried pickles at RiRa Irish Pub

Third Course
Ghirardelli Chocolate Garlic Lava Cake with Vanilla Gelato at Seaside Café, iL Verdi, or FIN

After dinner cocktails
• Picked Garlic Martini at Carmine’s
• Vampire’s Hell Martini with Garlic & Basil Infused Vodka, Dry Vermouth and a Lemon Zest garnish at Firewaters
• Garlic-Habeňero Bloody Mary at Tango’s or Rumba Lounge


A’DAM GOOD SPORTS BAR – Getting in on the pungent action is as easy as pie – pizza pie that is. This happening hot spot is offering up their famous Spinach & Garlic White Pizza for just $8.00.

THE BAR AT FIN- Sushi lovers must try Shrimp Tempura and Crispy Garlic Roll $15 (Not available 4/21 and 4/22)

CARMINE’S – Come hungry and enjoy your garlic family style with Carmine’s signature take ongarlic bread, featuring toasted compobasso bread, garlic butter and Romano cheese for $15.50. Or try the Garlic and Oil Pasta with fresh, roasted garlic sauce, Romano cheese and breadcrumbs over your choice of pasta for 27.50. Other options include the Shrimp Fra Diavolo in garlic sauce for $37.50 and a Pickled Garlic Martini for $11. Cheers!

CHICKIE’S AND PETE’S – This place is famous for their garlicky, spicy, white wine sauce. Get it over your choice of mussels ($12.95,) clams ($10.95) or crabs ($17.95) and powerful perfection.

FIESTA BUFFET- Get your fill of garlic at Fiesta Buffet with an all-you-can-eat menu that includesHerb and Garlic Crusted Prime Rib, Garlic Steamed Clams and Mussels, and Forty Garlic Clove Roasted Chicken (Available 4/19, 4/20, 4/25, 4/26)

FIN- Known for the freshest seafood in Atlantic City, FIN has created three special dishes to please any garlic lovers palate: Barnegat Bay Littleneck Clams Steamed in their own juices, Heirloom Garlic, Fresh Basil, Plum Tomatoes, White Wine Butter $15; Cape May Scallops & Wild Pacific Shrimp- Roasted Heirloom Tomato Garlic Scampi Butter, Asparagus and Kennett Square Mushroom Risotto $34; 12 oz Prime New York Sirloin- Roasted Garlic Herb Butter, Garlic Parmesan Fries 40. In the mood for something sweet? Top off your meal with our Ghirardelli Chocolate Garlic Lava Cakewith Vanilla Gelato $ 8.00 (Not available 4/21 and 4/22)

FIREWATERS –Vampire’s Hell Martini with Garlic & Basil Infused Vodka, Dry Vermouth and a Lemon Zest garnish $8.00.

GOLDEN DYNASTY- Stir Fried Seafood Trio with a Garlic Chile Sauce $32 (Available 4/19, 4/20, 4/25, 4/26)

HOOTERS – One dozen garlic steamed clams $8.99

IL VERDI- Mussels Posillipo steamed in their own juices with Garlic, Plum Tomatoes, Basil  and Parsley $15, Spaghettini alla Pescatore - Thin Spaghetti with Rock Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, Calamari, Calabrian Chilies, Roasted Garlic, Fresh Basil, Roasted Plum Tomatoes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil $32 In the mood for something sweet? Top off your meal with our Ghirardelli Chocolate Garlic Lava Cake with Vanilla Gelato $ 8.00 (Available 4/19, 4/20, 4/25, 4/26)

MRS. FIELDS – Our resident cookie baker gets in on the garlic craze with your choice of butter, cream cheese or peanut butter on a garlic bagel, just $2.75. That will start your morning right!

OLD FARMER’S ALMANAC- Receive 15% off any garlic mixes including garlic breads, garlic dips, garlic salsa, and pickled garlic

THE PALM- Roasted elephant garlic wrapped in prosciutto, accompanied with sun-dried tomato focaccia bread $14.95

RIRA IRISH PUB- Enjoy an entire Garlic Week menu starting at just $8 featuring Garlic breaded fried pickles, Irish Garlic Mac & Cheese, Garlic Marinated steak tips, and much more!

SEASIDE CAFÉ- Garlic is definitely on the menu at Seaside Café featuring items like Garlic Parmesan Wings $9.95, Pizza Bianco with Grilled Artichokes, Roasted Garlic Spinach, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Ricotta $16.95,and Garlic Rubbed Grilled Cheese With Bacon And Tomatoes 9.95 In the mood for something sweet? Top off your meal with our Ghirardelli Chocolate Garlic Lava Cake with Vanilla Gelato $ 8.00

TANGO’S & RUMBA LOUNGE- Take your bloody mary to the next level with our Garlic-Habeňero Infused Vodka! $11 including tax.

Garlic Week Hotel Package
Garlic Week Package

  • Overnight Accommodations
  • $20 food and beverage credit valid at any Tropicana owned outlet
  • Health Club Admission for Two

1 Night Package Price $69.00 – Sunday, April 20 – Thursday, April 24, 2014 Only

1 Night Package Price $169.00 – Friday, April 25, 2014 Only

To reserve, call 1-800-345-8767 and use booking code: TGARLIC Rates are based on double occupancy and do not include tax and occupancy fees.

Food & Wine Presents: DO AC Boardwalk Wine Promenade

Press Release:

(September 27 – 28)

The Atlantic City Alliance’s outdoor wine stroll along the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk returns with new wines to the market and rare and expensive wines and champagnes. The Wine Promenade brings together all 11 Atlantic City casino resorts to celebrate viniculture and the history, pageantry and energy of AC. The event returns in September this year with FOOD & WINE joining as the new official culinary media partner.

One hundred wines will be presented at multiple destinations along a one-mile stretch of the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk (between Steel Pier and Tropicana Casino & Resort) from 12pm – 5pm each day. Insider access to rare and expensive wines and champagnes handpicked by expert and media personality Leslie Sbrocco plus gourmet bites, live music and breathtaking ocean views combine to create an only-in-Atlantic City spectacular. Tickets go on sale in June.

For more information about these and many more events visit

Cheu Noodle Bar – Philadelphia, PA

Cheu Noodle Bar – Philadelphia, PA

As their name implies “Cheu  Noodle Bar” (CNB), noodles are the
name of the game and main attraction for most at CNB. With me
being familiar with Chef Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh’s noodle
endeavors all the way back to Chef Ben’s days cooking at Matyson
when they would have a pop-up restaurant called “Round-Eye Noodle”
every now and again seeking investors, I could tell all the way
back then, that what they were doing with noodles was something
special. Well fast forward a few years. They have a restaurant of
their own, a signed a lease for a second location at the former El
Zarape at 12th and Passyunk and Morris Street intersection, and
Chef Ben is being honored by the James Beard Foundation as a
semi-finalist for “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award.

Opening the door to CNB showed without a shadow of a doubt that
the duo of Chef Ben and Shawn has been a very succesful
combination. Not a seat left in-house, jam-packed from front to
back. Great hip and trendy decor splatters the walls and ceilings,
nice music pumping through the speakers, and a staff that was as
friendly as I have ever seen in a place as busy as CNB was that
day. With my heart set on CNB, I was not deterred from having no
where to sit. I went with plan B, take-out. Having had their
noodles in the past, I decided to go everything but noodles that
day. I started out with the Black Garlic Wings.

cheu wings

The Black Garlic Wings consisted of lightly fried chicken wings
with shishito peppers, lime, and cilantro. At first sight I was a
little taken aback and unsure, but after first bite I was hooked.
They were perfectly balanced in flavor, cooked to perfection with
a nice crisp on the exterior even with all of the sauces applied
while being nice and juicy on the inside. The combination of
spices and sauce really were something special and I highly
recommend you have an order to start any meal at CNB. My main
course would be CNB’s version of Fish and Chips.

cheu fish ribs

cheu fries

The Fish and Chips would be Smoked Fish Ribs and a side of Cheu
Fries topped with miso truffle aioli and fish flakes. I will call
this the Yum and Yummy. The smoked fish ribs worked on so many
levels, even for a certified bbq judge as myself who loves pork
and beef ribs. The skin was extra crispy while the fish was as
tender and soft as biting into a cloud. The glaze on the ribs
worked beautifully giving each bite a wonderful array of tastes
while still being light enough to allow the profile of the fish to
shine. If that was not enough, the fries were amazing. I have
never had such a combination top my fries before and it was
wonderful. The fries were cooked just the way I like them as well. Not
too soft and not too crunchy. Just the right texture and with the
topping of the miso truffle aioli and fish flakes it made them

With CNB specializing in noodles and being able to produce so
extraordinarily with not a single noodle dish in my order, Chef
Ben and Shawn certainly have nothing to stop them from a long and
successful journey in the culinary world. I only hope the
consistency and quality can still be upheld with multiple
locations on the horizon. If this can be done, Chef Ben and Shawn
may be in the same sentences as the Vetri, Garces, Starr and
others who have created Philadelphia to be the great dining
destination it has become to be known globally now. Will the day
ever come that Philadelphia is not synonymous with cheesesteaks
and soft pretzels? I do not think so, but with CNB joining the
crowd we have so many more interesting things to eat and talk
about, and that is always a good thing.

Four and Half out of Five Stars

Maxwells Caribbean Take-out – Philadelphia, PA

Maxwells Caribbean Take-out – Philadelphia, PA

Getting to Maxwells Caribbean (MC) is not one of the most scenic routes in Philadelphia. Sitting in a depressed area of North Philadelphia a couple of blocks from the Temple University campus MC sits. Temple has had up upswing of dining establishments popping up throughout the years to feed the hungry student base, but MC has been here long before that trend started.

MC is strictly a take-out location. No chairs, no stools, but lots of thick glass to protect its workers from the harm of the outside world and signs posted to leave your weapons outside. The staff at MC was so friendly and helpful it is such a shame they are located in a part of town where a sit down restaurant is challenge just for safety reason alone. With my weapons left outside, I ordered a medium sized Jerk Chicken platter.


The chicken was a little more stuck to the bone than I enjoy for my jerk chicken. One of the benefits of jerk chicken usually is the luxury of a slow cooked meat that has the meat falling apart right off the bone. It was not under-cooked, but it just made it a tad bit more work than usual. The spice of the day was SPICY and I mean SPICY. The overall flavor had the signs of jerk chicken, but without any visible smoke taste applied to meat. I would have to say the MC only bakes the chicken. The plantains were cooked nicely, but I could have gone for a larger portion and the cabbage mix was nice, but again just a very small portion of it. Plenty of rice was provided, but it was not seasoned in any way.

I really enjoyed the staff at MC and hope that they are not given a hard time too frequently by the locals loitering across the street who seemed like they could get unruly at any moment and enjoyed what I can only hope was medical marijuana from New Jersey since Pennsylvania is not one of the states that offer it. They have been in business for quite sometime at their current location so they must be doing something right. My meal was good, but not great. With that being said it is hard for me to recommend an out of the way ride to get their offerings, but if you happen to be in the area or are a Temple student living around campus looking for a change of pace from fast food, food trucks, cafeteria food, and pizza joints, MC could be the spot you have just been looking for.

Three out of Five Stars

“Rocky” on Broadway and the Ultimate Rocky Weekend

Press Release from Visit Philly:

PHILADELPHIA, March 7, 2014 – The official debut of Rocky on Broadway in New York City on March 13 and the recent release of the Rocky Heavyweight collection of all six Rocky films gives fans of the beloved character Rocky Balboa the perfect excuse to re-explore the city the championship boxer called home, and Visit Philadelphia is making it easy for visitors to do just that. The Quintessential Rocky Tour of Philadelphia and the Ultimate Rocky Weekend Sweepstakes, both found at Click Here encourage visitors to explore the city where the boxer lived, loved and trained.

“Nearly 40 years later, people are still enthusiastic fans of the underdog boxer and his go-the-distance attitude, and it’s easy to understand why,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, Visit Philadelphia. “We created a tour and sweepstakes to help visitors experience the city that inspired the film and play. It’s a much different city—more modern and cosmopolitan—now than it was in Rocky’s day, but the boxer’s indomitable spirit is still very much alive here. ”

Here’s a look at how locals and visitors can celebrate Rocky’s spirit in Philadelphia:

  • Quintessential Rocky Tour of Philadelphia: The self-guided tour encompasses sites featured in many of the Rocky films, guiding visitors to the Philadelphia Museum Art, where they can run up the famous steps and snap a photo at the Rocky statue. It also guides visitors all over town to retrace Rocky’s travels from the Italian Market and Independence Hall to The Philadelphia Zoo and Rittenouse Square.
  • Ultimate Rocky Weekend Sweepstakes: Fans of the fighter have a chance to win a trip to New York and Philadelphia this summer. They can enter to win at Click Here from March 6 to April 4. The prize package, to be redeemed August 7-9, 2014, includes a one-night stay at the New York Marriott Marquis, a two-night stay at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, two tickets toRocky on Broadwaytwo tickets to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a tour of the Italian market, dinner at Victor’s Café and more. Full details are available at Click Here


Que For The Troops, June 6-7th

Warm weather and BBQ Season is almost here. Happy to announce I will be judging the Que For the Troops in Levittown, Pennsylvania June 7th. It’s for a great cause as all proceeds will go to Liberty USO. Have the whole family come out for a great day.The Delaware Valley Roadrunners Car Club will be having a car show that day as also.

Great teams like Shady Crew BBQ Tasty Licks BBQ Supply, Blazin’ Buttz BBQ Dr. Pearl’s Barbecue LLC, Medicinal Smoke BBQ Team Little Luke’s BBq Moon River Barbeque Uncle Pig’s Barbeque Pit Wilbur’s Revenge Smokin’ Hoggz BBQ Smokopolis BBQ will all be competing. Good Luck to all! For more info CLICK HERE



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