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Author Archives: Bluejeanfoodcritic

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

The Perfect Peach

(The following is a special report on Bluejeanfoodcritic.com written by guest contributing writer Angela Timm)

Tuesday, September 9, The Tortilla Press, Collingswood, New Jersey. Summer comes to a triumphant end for one South Jersey amateur baker. After months of delicious competition the five South Jersey finalists for the 2nd Annual Perfect Peach Pie Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council sat face to face in a final showdown of the sweetest kind. Phyliss Rudolph, of Ventnor, impressed judges at the Margate Farmers Market. Anne Danilak, of Mickleton/East Greenwich Twp, took the title at the NJ Peach Festival at the Gloucester County 4-H Fair. Gretchen Gautier stole the show with impeccably fresh glazed peaches and shortbread pie crust at the Hammonton Downtown Market. Bill Paulin, Brigantine’s Pie Guy, won first place against friendly but fierce competition at the Brigantine Farmers Market. Cheryl Pope was the hometown favorite after her victory at the Collingswood Farmers Market. Judges Chef Mark Smith from The Tortilla Press, Michael DiBartolo, owner of DiBartolo’s Bakery, and John and Mary Ebert, from Springdale Farm crowned perfection among its peers.

pie judges

And the Grand Prize winner was….Gretchen Guatier from Hammonton!

pie winner

After the announcement, I enjoyed carne asada tacos served on fresh corn tortillas topped with onions, lime, and cilantro garnished with generous amounts of roasted tomato jalapeno salsa and tomatillo avocado salsa.

There could be no finer way to celebrate this season’s delicious and abundant harvest of peaches.

pie pie

Little Tuna – Haddonfield, NJ

Little Tuna – Haddonfield, NJ

Situated right in the heart of Haddonfield, New Jersey’s bustling downtown is Little Tuna (LT). You walk through a small, yet charming seafood market in order to get to the restaurant. Once inside the décor is modern and fresh and a nice change from the usual fishing nets and ocean paraphernalia found hanging around most seafood establishments. LT had a decent sized crowd for lunch the day I visited and I would start my meal off with a bowl of roasted lobster bisque with sherry.

little tuna soup

This might have been one of the top five lobster bisque soups I have ever had. If this soup tastes this good every day, I wonder how LT does not have a line of customers out the door with bowls in hand waiting for a ladle full of this liquid gold. It was creamy, sweet, extremely flavorful and generous with portions of lobster meat. The only thing I would change would be that I would like a jar of large oyster crackers to accompany the soup instead of two packets of the smaller crackers. Up next would be honey jalapeno sea scallops.

litte tuna scallop

The scallops came served in a metal sizzling dish topped with a honey jalapeno sauce and stuffed with crab meat. The meal also included carrots, broccoli, and mashed potatoes. I really liked the flavor combination of the honey jalapeno topping the scallops and the crab meat added was delicious and portion generous. The vegetables were crisp and cooked nicely as were the mashed potatoes. The scallops were overcooked just slightly, but were of decent size. The service at LT was efficient and friendly and the prices were reasonable for a nice seafood restaurant. LT served me one of the better lunches I had in some time and I look forward to trying even more things from the in the future, unless I just fill myself with that amazing roasted lobster bisque with sherry.

Overall

Four and quarter Stars out of Five

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