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Author Archives: Bluejeanfoodcritic

Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet – Audubon, NJ

Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet – Audubon, NJ

Just the word buffet on any dining establishment sign usually turns me off, but when trying to please a toddler it is a destination where they will have the opportunity run around and say “NO” to a multitude of foods offered to them instead of just one. With dinner needing to be eaten as soon as possible, nothing prepared at home, and my son cooped in the car for way too long, we stopped at Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet (HGSB).

buffet

HGSB is a step above your average Chinese buffet, but not as nice as other Asian themed buffets I have been to. You know you are at any buffet for the quantity, not quality, and to save time from the usual sit-down restaurant. HGSB had a little bit of everything for everyone and was just OK. For the price they were very economical and I must admit the staff was amazing with my son. I am not going to get into detail with what I had as HGSB stated the menu changes daily and even if a menu item was there one day it is no guarantee it would ever reappear.

buffet food

I did enjoy for the price point that HGSB offered sushi, hibachi selections, Chinese foods, American dishes, and a nice sized fruit bar. It was a nice change of pace from the normal, but was by no means great. Would I go back? If I was in a rush and in the same situation, yes I would, but I would not plan in advance to go to HGSB.

Overall

Two out of Five Stars

High Steaks! The Great Philly Cheesesteak Challenge & Cocktail Competition

Hey Philadelphia!!!! How would you like to experience gourmet versions of Philadelphia’s beloved Cheesesteak, Cocktail competitions, a benefit street party to celebrate the five year anniversary of restaurant Square 1682, and all proceeds of this amazing event going towards the great charity Philabundance????

Well you are in luck because on Sunday, October 12th from 1-4pm it is going to be a party you should not miss!!!! Come join Bluejeanfoodcritic.com as we are covering the event along with everyone else who is hip. Want to join?? All the info is below:

Press release:

Square 1682 to host

High Steaks! The Great Philly Cheesesteak Challenge & Cocktail Competition

5TH Anniversary Culinary Block Party Celebration Benefits Philabundance

PHILADELPHIA (September 29, 2014) – Square 1682’s Chef Caitlin Mateo and team will celebrate the popular restaurant’s fifth anniversary with High Steaks: The Great Philly Cheesesteak Challenge & Cocktail Competition, an all-inclusive block party, open to the public and featuring an array of Philadelphia kitchen and bar talent on Sunday, October 12, from 1-4pm along Sansom Street, between 16th and 17th Sts.

NEW FOR THIS YEAR: Kimpton City Lead Bartender Chauncey Scates (formerly of the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Stateside, and Nashville’s acclaimed Patterson House and one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30) will spearhead the Cocktail Competition.

The Cheesteak Challenge is a competition among Philadelphia chefs to get creative and do their unique rendition of Philadelphia’s most iconic sandwich. Attendees can sample chefs’ creations while sipping on mini-cocktails from top bartenders, beer from Victory Brewing Co. and samples from local distiller Manatawny Still Works. Soft drinks and water will also be included.

Participants are still being added to the line up that includes Will BYOB, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Rouge, Red Owl Tavern, Rex 1516, Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery, Crow and the Pitcher, Paradiso Restaurant and Wine Bar, Devil’s Den, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Circles Contemporary Thai Cuisine, Tuk Tuk Real, and Square 1682.

Look for more information in the coming week on added restaurants and bar talent.

Tickets $40 on sale now and CLICK HERE to buy or $45 day of event

Twitter: #HighSteaksPhilly @Square1682

ABOUT SQUARE 1682:

Square 1682 is located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, just steps from Rittenhouse Square. The corner restaurant and popular bar was recently voted USA Today’s Best Hotel Bar by 10best.com and USA Today Travel – thanks in part to City Lead Bartender Chauncey Scates, who was recently spotlighted on Zagat’s 30 Under 30. Executive Caitlin Mateo wields a deft touch in crafting dishes that manage to intrigue and comfort, all the time. Square 1682 is also a LEED-certified restaurant with a strong commitment to ecologically responsible culinary practices and dedication to independent farmers, local purveyors, boutique ranches and sustainable fisheries. Square 1682 is adjacent to Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Philadelphia; 121 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103; (215) 563-5008; http://www.square1682.com

ABOUT KIMPTON RESTAURANTS:

Founded in 1981 by Bill Kimpton, San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is a collection of boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants in the U.S. and the acknowledged industry pioneer who first introduced the boutique hotel concept to America. Like each hotel, all Kimpton restaurants share common cornerstones: heartfelt care; chef-driven, seasonal menus that celebrate local farms and purveyors; artisanal wines hand-selected by master sommelier Emily Wines; cocktails crafted by master mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout; and striking interiors with a vibrant style and design. Guided by company-wide EarthCare practices, Kimpton restaurants demonstrate a dedication to preserving the environment through the use of local and sustainable ingredients whenever possible. With concepts ranging from rustic Italian cuisine in the Pacific Northwest to oceanic fare on the Florida coast and alluring lounges and bars tucked away in the nation’s capital, each Kimpton Restaurant is as distinct and expressive as its location. Kimpton restaurants include Fifth Floor in San Francisco, Tulio in Seattle, Poste Moderne Brasserie in Washington, D.C. and Panzano in Denver. For more information, please visit http://www.KimptonRestaurants.com or call 1-800- KIMPTON.

ABOUT PHILABUNDANCE: There are almost a million people in the Delaware Valley who face hunger every day. Their stories are as diverse as the nine counties served by Philabundance: working families hit hard by the recession, women and children, seniors trying to make ends meet. The one thing they have in common is being part of a food system that desperately needs additional support. Astonishingly, more than a quarter of the food in the United States goes to waste each year. Within the Delaware Valley, Philabundance has experienced 26 percent more people coming to us for food compared to last year. Philabundance was created in 1984 with the simple belief that no man, woman or child should go hungry. Our growth and eventual integration with the Philadelphia Food Bank in 2005 has made us the region’s largest hunger relief organization. We are now able to address hunger through direct service programs and a network of 500 member agencies, as well as contribute to a broad spectrum of social services through food cupboards, emergency kitchens, shelters, daycare and senior centers and beyond. Philabundance has taken a stronghold of the hunger issue in the Delaware Valley, implementing both emergency relief and also long-term strategies to strengthen the hunger safety net. There is no quick fix, but with a unified dedication from our partners, donors and the public at large, we are creating innovative programs and support to our agencies that make nutritious food accessible to all.

http://www.philabundance.org/about-us/mission-history/#sthash.6zMTtRVL.dp

Miles Table – Philadelphia, PA

Miles Table – Philadelphia, PA

The burger was once a quick and cheap lunch option. That was in the past, before the burger revolution. Now it seems like everyplace I go touts they have the perfect burger and charge a price that demands perfection. I happened to stop in Miles Table (MT) with their sleek and modern décor and hipster vibe to try their burger rendition.

MT seems like a restaurant, but everyone must order at the front of the establishment. The order process was slow and tedious with others in front of me in line asking everything imaginable about what they were about or not about to eat. The girl behind the counter was obviously frustrated with the steady stream of nonsensical questions while yelling into the kitchen or the dining area to alert new food orders or orders that were ready for pick up while music is blaring throughout the restaurant. With such confusion and loudness it really took away from the feeling that I think MT is trying to exude, which I assume they are aiming for soothing rather than shocking. Once able to order I asked for the Miles Burger which consisted of ground chuck, apple wood bacon, remoulade, brioche, cheddar, and hand cut fries.

miles t

It was a good combination and the fries were absolutely fabulous, but the burger had some big misses. First I ordered the burger medium. I did indeed get medium on half of my burger as well extremely rare on the other half. The odd part as visible in the picture as well is that the bacon was the same exact way. One piece was nice and crispy and the other soggy as hell. It is almost as if only half of my burger was on the grill and very odd the way it came out. MT seems to have the right mix going on from the food to their beautiful interior. They are just missing out due to the execution and delivery of what I think they are trying to provide on both fronts. A few tweaks and MT could go from OK to oh you have to go.

Overall

Two and half stars out of Five

P’unk Burger

Press Release:

P’unk Burger

Address:
1823 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Anticipated Opening:
November, 2014

Owners:

(Owners of SliCE in South Philly, Rittenhouse and Washington Township)

Concept:
* Fresh and tasty all-natural burgers, fries and shakes
* Fresh food, not fast food
* Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options

* Natural, organic fountain soda in traditional and unexpected flavors
Square Footage:
* Approximately 500 square feet (dining room only)

Capacity:
* 25-35 seats inside (bar stools and counter along wall, tables and chairs, seating in front window)

Dining Options:
* Dine-in, delivery and take-out; BYO

Special Features:
* The front window nook will become a personal dining and gaming space with a cocktail arcade game table with the classic favorite Burger Time (plus 59 other arcade game options)

* Plug in with added extra additional outlets and free WiFi

** Focus:
* Marlo has spent a lifetime in the kitchen. She grew up in a family that loved to cook and, more importantly, loved to eat. Her father Louis Fioravanti owned and operated two popular kitchenettes (Marlo’s and Cousins), and a neighborhood grocery and butcher store (The Meat Barn). While helping her father, she developed her passion for food, while sharpening her palate. She also learned to value quality and freshness.
* With SliCE, Marlo and her husband Jason took these ideals and focused on one product they could pour their hearts into and deliver with the highest standards. SliCE’s Trenton-style pizzas have been named Best of Philly, Best Gluten Free, winner of the Pizza Olympics, etc.

* With P’unk Burger, the duo hope to again focus on a limited menu they can execute perfectly. While quality, freshness and made-to-order are at the top of their list, they also want to focus on natural and organic ingredients. They seek to offer non-guilty options for those that care what they put into their bodies, but crave a delicious burger, shake and fries.
Location Significance:
* P’unk Burger will open in Chhaya’s former space – which is located directly next door to Marlo’s mom’s boutique, A Star is Born at 1821 East Passyunk.
Starting Hours/Days:
* Monday through Sunday 11:00am to 10:00pm, with special late-night menu and extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays (exact time to be announced)

Look/Vibe:
* Modern day twist on a classic Passyunk diner

Potito’s Bakery – 547 N. 20th Street – Philadelphia, PA

Potito’s Bakery – 547 N. 20th Street – Philadelphia, PA

“Holy Cannoli”, I said while visiting the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. The reason being is I spotted a Potito’s Bakery (PB) far away from their South Philadelphia neighborhood. I enjoy a good cannoli, and for some reason just not got around to having one from PB. So with them in my vision and in need of a treat, it was a perfect fit.

The interior of PB is very tiny at this location. This location is take-out only as there is nowhere to sit and room for only a patron or two at a time. The staff was very friendly and accommodating and even threw out a few suggestions of things to try.  I knew my mission was for cannoli and that is what I ordered.

potito

I only walked a block or two before opening the box. The ricotta cannoli filling was a little mushy and soft for my liking and created the cannoli to smear a bit on the paper it was wrapped in. The shell was nice with a nice light feel in each bite and a touch of cinnamon in the mix, but with the filling being on the liquid side it oozed out both sides and created quite a mess with each bite. The filling was decent, not great, but I have a feeling I may have just got a bad batch or it was not stored properly and would have been really nice combination with the shell they provided if done right.

Overall

Two and Half out of Five Stars

Honolulu Baby Burger Wins Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar’s Third Annual Burger Contest

Press Release:

Honolulu Baby Burger Wins Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar’s Third Annual Burger Contest

Winning burger featuring charred pineapple, volcanic fire roasted red peppers and SPAM on Zinburger’s menu from September 15-21

Zinburger 2014 Burger Contest Winner - Honolulu Baby Burger

Livingston, NJ – September 12, 2014 – After hundreds of submissions and weeks of online voting, burger fans will now be saying ‘Aloha’ to the Honolulu Baby Burger at Zinburger.

The Honolulu Baby Burger priced at $12, will be featured at all nine east coast Zinburger locations from September 15-21.

The Honolulu Baby Burger consists of a Certified Angus Beef patty with charred pineapple, volcanic fire roasted red peppers, swiss cheese, mayo and a Hawaiian favorite  – SPAM – all between two oven roasted bronzed buns.

According to Sandy Dostal Thornton, the creator of the winning burger, a Hawaiian-style burger was just the perfect choice.

“”Hawaii is our favorite place in the world to visit,” said Thornton. “Also, my dad used to sing the song ‘Honolulu Baby’ to me when I was a little girl so it just seemed appropriate to come up with something that represents Hawaii. Nothing says Hawaii better than pineapple and SPAM, which is truly a staple on the menu there.”

Thornton, who recently moved with her husband to the Buckhead area of Atlanta right around the same time Zinburger opened in Lenox Square earlier this summer, comes from the hospitality industry and has an affinity for great food and beverages.

“After eating at Zinburger for the first time, the food quality and the variety of the burgers was truly amazing.  So I knew my burger creation had to be novel, delicious with a little bit of whimsy.”

Besides having her winning burger featured on the Zinburger menu for one week, Thornton received a $100 gift card for placing in first place.

 

For more information, visit http://zinburgereast.com or https://www.facebook.com/ZinburgerEast.

The Pop Shop – Collingswood, NJ

The Pop Shop – Collingswood, NJ

The Pop Shop (PS) became an adult hot-spot the minute they were featured on Food Network “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”. What PS is truly known for is a fun filled meal for the young and young at heart. With lines wrapped around the corner most weekends with throngs of children just as rambunctious as they are hungry, PS has been off my radar for quite some time. That was until I had a rambunctious hungry little one myself. We visited for lunch one weekday, and PS was still a packed house. Now I know why PS is expanding to Medford, New Jersey to the former Farmers and Mechanics Bank on Main Street there.

The interior of PS is bubbly, loud, bright, and friendly. The staff was just great especially with the amount of wildness a house full of children provides. They really focus to make sure each child is enjoying themselves, while also being able to keep service moving and lag time minimal between ordering and food being served. My order would be Swiss Mushroom Burger with fries.

pop shop

It was not the best burger I have ever had, but the mushrooms were plentiful, and bun was toasted nicely. The burger was a decent size, but could use a little seasoning and maybe a better blend of meat to give it a better texture. I enjoyed how they put the bbq sauce on the side to allow me the ability to put as much as I would want on the sandwich, and the fries were nice as well.

After the meal a balloon was giving to my dining partner, which just made his day. PS is a nice change of pace to the normal stuffy dining establishments we visit most times. On a rough day or week, it is nice to get out of your element and bring the kid inside yourself out again. I would not or could not go to PS on a regular basis, but for a special comfort food meal with a crazy and fun atmosphere mixed in, it is a treat and the childlike behavior that comes out of us we all need sometimes to get out of a funk.

Overall

Three and Three-Fourth Stars out of Five

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