FYI, Philly is taking a trip to Chester County, as well as new Mexican, African and Filipino restaurants in Philadelphia
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Reading Terminal welcomes the 1st Filipino restaurant, Tambayan
Tambayan has been open for less than two weeks and owner Kathy Mirano is already struggling to keep up with demand.
His restaurant in Reading Terminal is believed to be the first in the market’s nearly 130-year history to serve Filipino fare.
Iconic dishes include the pancit – a noodle made from fried rice mixed with vegetables and shrimp, pork or chicken, fresh lumpia – an egg roll stuffed with vegetables and dipped in Kathy’s homemade sauce, and his barbecue.
Mirano is a proud native of Batangas, a province near the capital of Manila. She came to the United States 26 years ago and has worked in the market for 21 of those years.
During the pandemic, she began selling cupcakes to doctors and nurses at Jefferson Hospital. She called her virtual business Runners Sweets and Treats because “I’m an addicted runner, an ultra-marathoner.”
Now with the opening of Tambayan, you can get the desserts and a home cooked meal.
And whether it’s sweet or savory, you’ll find it everywhere.
It is one of the most beloved foods in the Filipino culture, Kathy puts the purple potato in her macaroons. She also makes ube drink and ube rolls with sharp cheddar inside and halo-halo, a Filipino dessert drink with her homemade ube ice cream.
Tambayan means it’s a place to spend time and Kathy says opening the restaurant is as much about sharing your food as it is sharing your culture.
Maraming salamat, she explains, means thank you very much, and she says that to every customer lining up at the counter to taste her authentic dishes.
Tambayan | Instagram
Runners candies and treats | Instagram
Reading Terminal Market (on the east side of the market, near Arch Street)
51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Suya Suya brings West African fast-casual to Philly
Suya Suya is a new restaurant from Northern Liberties that serves one of West Africa’s most popular street food.
“Suya” is a grilled meat kebab that originated in Nigeria and later became popular throughout West Africa.
Chef-owner Dera Nd-Ezuma was raised in Nigeria but grew up in South Jersey – he came here as a teenager to play basketball.
His job became an accountant, then opened his first restaurant to share the food of his culture.
Nd-Ezuma presents his suya as a bowl that you build with a protein, a base and a side. All the spices are imported from Nigeria and each bowl is personalized according to the customer’s choice.
Suya Suya | Facebook | Instagram
400 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123
11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, until 6 p.m. on Sunday
5 Mexican spots you absolutely must try
As part of our cultural food tour around Philly, we discovered some of the gems of Mexican restaurants in Philadelphia.
First off, Izzy is 33 in South Philadelphia. Chef Isrrael Romero has created a menu with 33 of his favorite dishes, including fan-favorite Churro French toast and the Mexican Breakfast Stack.
Also in South Philly, Chef Jennifer Zavala is preparing to open her first brick and mortar store on Passyunk Ave, Juana Tamale.
Named after her years of selling tamales from her food truck and her father’s nickname for her.
Juana Tamale is slated to open in September with a limited menu of Birria tacos, Churros, and her Mexican version of Ramen noodles.
Chef Aurora Hernandez of San Miguelito Mexican Cuisine is known for her hand-pressed tortillas. Aurora and her boyfriend, Adolfo Florencio, cook up classics in their kitchen, such as marinated pork, beef, and fried fish tacos in the San Miguelito specialty dish.
El Purepecha recently received a worthy upgrade. The owners, Chef Alex Medina and Janneth Sinichi, are happy to continue serving their loyal customers some of their favorites like chicken fajitas and al pastor.
Medina also prepares a Michelada behind the bar that begins with a beer mug lined with black salsa and dried chili peppers, topped with your beer of choice.
Another novelty, Sor Ynéz brings locals to their bar places. Their cocktail menu includes favorites like Selena, with pickled watermelon, and Frida, which is a charred corn margarita. You’ll find a ton of vegan and vegetarian options like the Sikil Pak and the ‘Alt’ Pastor, which is pineapple-marinated cauliflower instead of pork.
33 from Izzy | Facebook
1703 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Juana Tamale | Instagram
1941 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Mexican Cuisine from San Miguelito | Facebook
2654 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Mexican cuisine El Purepecha | Facebook | Instagram
315 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Sor Ynéz | Facebook | Instagram
1800 N American St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Cucina Maria continues the legacy of the initiator, with a protégé at the helm
Chef Maria Forte grew up in Italy, where her mother ran a restaurant for years.
In Philly, she was a staple of the Italian restaurant scene, opening up a few hot spots before retiring during the pandemic with Cucina Forte in Bella Vista.
At every stop along the way, Mexican immigrant Juana Franco was with her for over 20 years – first as a dishwasher, then as a cook, and eventually as head of the kitchen.
When Maria left Cucina Forte, Franco bought her the restaurant and changed the name to Cucina Maria.
Today, Franco continues to cook the classic Italian dishes she learned under Maria’s tutelage, and says she is excited to take the next step as chef-owner.
Cucina Maria | Facebook | Instagram
768 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Chester County Charm includes Longwood Gardens, Beer Gardens, Ice Cream
A trip to County Chester is packed with fun outdoor activities.
Longwood Gardens is the crown jewel of America’s Garden Capital, which includes more than 35 gardens within 30 miles of Philadelphia. You can watch the epic shows of illuminated fountains from Thursday to Saturday evening. They also have a beer garden that offers local beers made from fruits grown on site.
Kennett Square Creamery also offers local beers in an industrial setting. The site dates back to 1902, but was reclaimed as a 4,600 square foot meeting space. Indoor glamping venues provide unique spaces for private parties and live music brings the place to life on the weekends.
Chester County has an ice cream trail that includes La Michoacana. The name is rooted in the recipes the owners brought to Kennett Square in Michoacan, Mexico. You can find favorite dishes like corn and avocado and a special mushroom ice cream created for the annual mushroom festival.
Country music fans rejoice, the Citadel Country Spirit USA Tour returns August 27-29. The three-day festival features 20 acts on two stages, including headliners Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert and Chris Young.
Longwood Gardens | Facebook | Instagram
1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Place, Pennsylvania 19348
Kennett Square Creamery | Facebook | Instagram
401 Birch Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348
La Michoacana House Ice Cream | Facebook | Instagram
231 State Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Citadel Country Spirit USA | Facebook | Instagram
Friday August 27, 2021 – Sunday August 29, 2021
Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show, Dickies Arena
5 Nantmeal Road, Glenmoore, PA 19343
Watch 3 eaters attempt to eat a massive 14-pound bagel in 30 minutes
Early in the Spread Bagelry story, some employees created a bagel monster, just to see if any of them could actually finish it in 30 minutes.
Just before the pandemic, three brave friends attempted the same “Whale Challenge”: devouring a 14-pound bagel, complete with three pounds of cream cheese, two pounds of whitefish, two pounds of Nova salmon, one pound of tomatoes, a pound of cucumbers, and more.
See if a competitive eater and his two best friends can conquer the biggest bagel they’ve ever seen.
Spread Bagelry | Facebook | Instagram
Multiple locations, check the website above for the one closest to you.
Deep River Tours tells the story of 19th-century black Victorians
The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is the only authentically restored Victorian Home Museum in Philadelphia and now hosts tours that tell the tales of 19th-century black entrepreneurs, craftsmen, and intellectuals.
Karen Rogers has the story in this week’s 6abc Loves the Arts.
“You are stepping back in time to the Victorian era,” says Diane Richardson, executive director of Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion.
The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion Museum is located in the historic Tulpehocken Station district in Germantown.
“The mansion was built in 1859 by Ebenezer Maxwell for his wife and their six children,” says Diane.
The museum now runs Deep River Tours: How African Americans Crossed Waters of Oppression to Greatness in the 19th Century.
Explains Diane, “The whole tour is sort of based on a Negro Spiritual called Deep Rivers, about wading through those waters to get free.
“And it’s so important because now we can walk in the footsteps of these great people,” explains Regina Robinson.
Regina and her husband John Lewis are tour guides.
“I learn like I teach others,” John reveals.
Share stories like that of Dr. Eliza Grier.
“She came to the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. To pay her tuition, she had to work in the cotton fields every two years,” Regina describes on the tour.
You will also discover Elizabeth Keckley, dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln.
“… and a lot of Confederate brides too,” Regina reveals.
And Dr. Rebecca Cole.
“She was the second African American woman to become a doctor in the United States,” says Regina.
And John Trower, an influential businessman and caterer.
“He took care of the rich, but he gave his money to the poor,” says Diane.
The tour ends with a literal 19th-century taste, cookies and pickles from the second cookbook ever published by an African American.
“It was Mrs. Abby Fisher. She could not read or write, but she was a fabulous cook,” explains Regina.
“Deep River Tours” take place on select Sundays. The next one is August 15th.
Deep Rivers by Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion: How African Americans Crossed Waters of Oppression to Achieve Greatness | Facebook | Instagram
200 West Tulpehocken Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1914
Tour available indefinitely on certain Sundays all year round. Next tour date Sunday August 15, 1 p.m.
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