Sunday, September 23, 2007

Out and About In Philly

Sorry about the lack of posts lately, but it's been a rather crushing week or so at the job.  While the project isn't complete yet by any means, the finish line is on the horizon and I can at least THINK about other things.

On the positive side, I have had a couple of very good meals this week since I have been too tired to cook.    On Monday, the GF whipped up a great Italian sausage sandwich made with turkey sausage.  Very good!  Tuesday was 12th Street Cantina pizza at work - actually very good stuff!

I was a big fan of the meal Thursday night at Alma de Cuba.  Lobster and Crab ceviche was tasty and there was a good-sized portion, not something you can always say about a Stephen Starr appetizer.  While I think it wasn't a true ceviche, it WAS finished in a very nice citrus sauce.  The sugarcane tuna entree was very good, excellent rare tuna with a coffee and sugar searing that was
a nice change to the usual tuna preparations.  Their caipirinha  was more sour than I usually have, but still very good.

Friday, we tried the newish Mexican Post outlet at 1601 Cherry.  I love the hot, cramped, noisy 2nd Street location.  But they should have stopped there.   While it was a Friday, you should still be able to get decent service and good food.  You can't.  The 2 high-end margaritas I had differed widely.  We were largely ignored in our corner of the dining area and the food was not up to the Post standards.  Skip it unless you're looking for a happy hour crowd.

The King Tut exhibit at The Franklin Institute afterwards was very interesting and had some wonderful and exquisitely detailed work, but lacked a "WOW!" centerpiece.  It's amazing how well-preserved the 3200 year old relics are, but the splendor associated with the words "King Tut" was absent.

Last night, the GF and I met the parents in the city for a visit to Sotto Varalli.  I've eaten here a good bit and the one thing I will say is that these guy know how to make risotto.   I started with six Malpeque oysters on the halfshell that were good-sized and salty. I had the seafood risotto as an entree, filled with excellent littleneck clams, some middling mussels, shrimp, half a lobster tail and a huge hunk of crab.  A+!!!  The GF's chicken risotto was also well-received.  My parents raved about the Maine-inspired corn and crab chowder and the colossal crab appetizer.  I had mango mousse for dessert, the ladies had bread pudding and my dad had creme brulee.  All the desserts were tasty, but basically average.  The house chianti was terrible at best, but the pinot noir was smooth and easy to drink with the seafood.  Service by both our new server and the experienced Eddie was top-notch.

We finished the night at my usual haunt, where Laurentiu was making a surprise appearance behind th
e busy Valanni bar.  I celebrated my recent decision to remain at UArts with a healthy pour of Lagavulin 16 year old, which I had last with my brother to celebrate his promotion last year.  It's still damn good stuff.   The GF had a Laurentiu creation that tasted spot on like a watermelon Jolly Rancher.

Today I am going to join the Great American House Hunt, looking around the area for new digs.  Also planning to try to catch some of the Phils and Eagles games.  Enjoy the day!

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