Saturday, October 09, 2004

I cheated, I found is information while searching Google and needed to share it with you the original author Mark Glicksman @ better explains the food from my home town.. there is more information like the soft pretzel story to be found by clicking that link!

The Italian Sandwiches of Philadelphia Italian Americans have settled throughout the Philadelphia region. But, the cultural heart of this community is certainly South Philadelphia - where you can find row houses with scrubbed front steps and ornately decorated interiors - and where traditions die very hard. Out of South Philadelphia have come the sandwiches that I consider Philadelphia's greatest contribution to the culinary arts. What makes them so special? The answer is simple - it's the rolls! Deep within South Philadelphia are bakeries whose hearths yield Italian rolls of unspeakable perfection. Their crust has a medium texture, midway between the hard crust of a baguette and the wimpy crust of a packaged supermarket roll. And, the interior is soft, with a wonderful yeasty taste.
These long rolls are the essential and irreplaceable ingredient of a true Philadelphia sandwich. Early each morning, they travel in brown paper bags from South Philly to small sandwich shops throughout the city and suburbs. You simply cannot make an authentic Philadelphia sandwich without an authentic Philadelphia roll. You can't freeze it, and you can't ship it. You cannot make a true Philadelphia sandwich in Los Angeles, or Chicago, or New Orleans, or even in New York. If you are more than a 1 hour drive from South Philly, forget it - give it up!

Philadelphia Sandwiches ExplainedTHE HOAGIE
A hoagie is what you might think of as a hero or a submarine sandwich. But, it's not the same. Slice a fresh Philadelphia Italian roll. Sprinkle lightly with oil. Then add shredded lettuce, onions, your sandwich fillings, and sliced tomato. Finally, sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. A Philadelphia hoagie normally contains cheese in addition to the specified filling. So, for example, a roast beef hoagie contains roast beef plus cheese. The cheese is normally sliced provolone. If you don't want cheese make sure you say "No cheese". Pickles are almost never used in a Philadelphia hoagie.
Hoagie Varieties:
Italian or "regular" - Italian hams and salamis
Ham - American style ham
Tuna - tuna salad
Roast Beef
Turkey - turkey breast
Cheese - just cheese - usually a few varieties
Vegetarian - lettuce, tomato, onions, peppers, sometimes eggplant, plus cheese of course Hoagie Variations:
"Dry" - hold the oil - less fat, but still tastes great
"With Mayo" - to many (including me), it sounds sacrilegious, but hoagies are occasionally ordered with mayo instead of oil
"No Onions" - for certain social occasions - however, definitely less tasty
"With Hot Peppers" - add sliced hot cherry peppers (medium hot flavor)
"With Sweet Peppers" - add jarred sweet peppers
"No Cheese" - for those who want to cut fat or who don't want to mix cheese with meat - still tastes great
"With American Cheese" - substitute American cheese for the provolone
Although most people outside of Philadelphia are familiar with the Philadelphia cheese steak, locals think in terms of steak sandwiches with or without cheese. Without cheese, the sandwich is referred to as a "steak" (not a "steak sandwich"). With cheese, it's a "cheese steak" (or "cheesesteak" - both spellings are in use). Beware of any restaurant, even in Philadelphia, that offers a "Philly Cheese Steak". Most likely, you will be disappointed. If they have to say "Philly", then it's not authentic!
A Philly steak is not really a steak at all - it's a sandwich made with shredded beef, cooked on a grill top. The story is often told of the Philadelphian who ventures to a restaurant in Chicago. He orders his favorite, a "steak". After some discussion, the waiter determines that what the customer really wants is a steak sandwich. He returns with a beautiful thick Chicago steak on a piece of white bread. The customer is appalled!
Philly Steak Variations:
"With Onions" - add fried onions
"With Raw Onions"
"With Sauce" - top with tomato sauce
"Pizza Steak" - a cheese steak with tomato sauce
"With Hot Peppers" - add sliced hot cherry peppers (medium hot flavor)
"With Sweet Peppers" - add jarred sweet peppers
"With Cooked Peppers" - as above, but grill the peppers first
"Steak Hoagie" - a steak sandwich with fresh tomatoes, raw onion, cheese, and herbs - can also be ordered "without cheese"
"Chicken Steak" and "Chicken Cheese Steak" - substitute grilled shredded chicken for the beef - a new concept that is seeking a market among tradition bound Philadelphians - worth a try, but not as good as the original. The "Philly Lean" It seems that a well dressed visitor was in town. Desiring to partake of a rea He was taken to South Philly by his friend, a native Philadelphian. Knowing how much Mr. Clinton likes to eat (and no slouch himself), Rendell offered the President a steak from Pat's. As Mr. Clinton was about to take his first bite, our Mayor asked him if he was familiar with the Philly "lean," a necessary adjunct to a steak sandwich from Pat's. Mr. Clinton ignored the remark, opting , instead, to take a big bite. No dummy, however, as the juice dripped onto his suit front and sleeve, Mr. Clinton smiled, said, "Oh, I get it!" and bent forward before he took his second bite!

Where to Get a Philadelphia SandwichThere are a few famous spots particularly noted for their steaks, including:
Pat's in South Philadelphia
Jim's Steaks on South Street (which, surprisingly, isn't in South Philly)
Rick's in the Reading Terminal Market But, the best place to enjoy a Philadelphia sandwich is in one of the hundreds of small luncheonettes that dot the area. If you know a local, asking him for a recommendation - my favorite is J&J's in Glenside.

Enjoy! Anyone wishing to respond to my notes posted in this weblog can do so on the we8there forum.

Friday, October 08, 2004

There has been so many reviews that we cannot post, simply due to the fact that we are unable to verify the review. If you go through the trouble of submitting a review please leave a vaild e-mail. We automatally sent you a confirmation seconds after you submit your review, then we alert you that your review is now onlne, if I recieve a bounce back there is a very good chance you review will not get posted so no one will be able to read your comments. Not to mention if your review bounces back we believe you may have something to hide like you work of the restaurant or hotel or maybe you were just fired I don't know. Please avoid posting you review in all caps. Before posting check to see if restaurant you are about to post has already been posted if it has half of your work is done simplyClick the add review button and all the information will be filled in for you all you have to do is write your comments.

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Ah, Seattle Washington, what a wonderful city. Have you ever been to Seattle? If your answer is no, you may want to rethink your vacation plans, really! Besides the fact that Seattle sits in the shadow of Mount Saint Helen, this is a beautiful city. I have had the pleasure of visiting Seattle twice, I was there, back in 1998 for the National Association of Black Journalists Unity Convention, and again, this summer while on a road trip to British Columbia. While visiting Seattle most recently, there was one place that caught my attention, one place that I wished that I could pack up and bring back home to California with me, that place is the soul of Seattle, the Pike Place Market.
The Pike Place Market held its grand opening on August 17, 1907. Nearly a century after its founding, the Market remains a vital part of Seattle's social and economic fabric. The nine-acre historic district is the ?Soul of Seattle?, and a national treasure. It is located between 1st and Western Avenues and Pike and Virginia Streets, and a short walk from downtown Seattle's retail and hotel district.
A casual walk through the open air market is all you need to realize that this place is far from an ordinary market, the Pike Place Market is so alive you can almost feel its heart beat, as you browse through its endless shops and restaurants. If you can grow it, you can find it here. The Market is a happening place! As an authentic, working market, it's a busy place with deliveries coming and going: chefs in white coats shopping for ingredients, musicians performing on the sidewalks, shoppers laden with bags, and visitors from around the world taking in the sights.
My personal favorite is the fish flinging, Pike Place Fish Market, where I had the privilege of having an 8 pound striped bass hurled in my direction as a huge crowd cheered me on, until? it slipped out of my hands, resulting in jeers from the once supportive crowd. Being the perfectionist that I am, or glutton for punishment, you choose. I motioned to the fish flinger to give me one more chance. He tossed it, and as if in slow motion, the slippery fish landed in my hands and the crowd went wild! I was an official fish catcher. I threw my hands into the air, as if I had just hit a home run, I was the fish king! If you're hungry, there's no better place to be than the Pike Place Market. There are dozens of eateries, ranging from take out counters to full-service restaurants. Choose from Northwest flavors or international cuisines including French, Bolivian, Russian, Japanese, Irish and more. Bon appetite! The Pike Place Market is the place to visit if you ever have a chance to visit Seattle Washington. Oh, one more thing, you might want to bring an umbrella there is a good chance you may find rain during your visit.

Anyone wishing to respond to my notes posted in this weblog can do so on the we8there forum.