While I may not have been familiar with Fire & Ice prior to my cooking session with Executive Chef Chris Nguyen, apparently the Old City restaurant is known to quite a few locals for their monthly “Drag Yourself to Brunch” event which is–yep, you guessed it–brunch and live drag show. Now, I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing I love more than a plate of scrambled eggs, it’s a crew of fabulous drag queens.
The next edition will be going down this Sunday, May 19, featuring special VIP guest Johnny Weir. Admission is $35 if you wanna eat and drink (price includes a free Bloody Mary or mimosa) and just $10 should you just want to catch the show.
Either way, I recommend sticking around for lunch/dinner. Perhaps these pics might entice you…
PW’s new biweekly column, “Forking Stupid,” sees 25-year-old Nicole Finkbiner persuading professional chefs from Philadelphia’s great restaurants to please teach her, for the love of god, how to cook—one dish at a time. This week, Nicole visits Fire & Ice in Old City to cook up some classic Viet-Thai dishes.
Red Curry Noodles
2 oz. thinly sliced chicken breast
1 cup of sliced baby bok choy, or whatever seasonal veggies you have available
5 oz. julienned onions
5 oz. julienned bell peppers (any color)
1/4 tsp minced galangal (Thai ginger), if available
1/4 tsp minced kaffir lime leaves, if available
1/2 tsp red curry paste
1 pt of wide rice noodles, soaked in cold water overnight
2 tbs coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbs torn Thai basil (the widely available Italian basil is OK, too)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
pinch of sugar
1. Heat wok on high. Add 2 tablespoons of corn oil, and add, in order, onions, peppers, galangal, lime leaves, red curry paste, sliced chicken. Stir constantly for three to five minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
2. Add the chicken stock, the bok choy/veggies, coconut milk and noodles, and stir until evenly mixed.
3. Stir in the torn basil. Serves 2.
Shaky Beef Salad
3 oz. cubed uncooked strip steak
1 oz. diced red or yellow bell peppers
1 oz. diced onions
1 tsp minced garlic 2 oz. french fries (fried separately)
1 oz. torn watercress lettuce (or any lettuce available)
1/4 of a plum tomato cut in small wedges
|1 hard-boiled egg
½ tsp soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbs corn oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1. Heat wok in high. Add corn oil, and add, in order, the beef, onions, peppers, garlic, salt (to taste) and a pinch of sugar.
2. Cook meat until desired internal temperature is reached, then add crispy fries.
3. Meanwhile, combine the lime juice, garlic, pepper and soy sauce.
3. In a bowl, toss greens with the lime jus, then top with the hot beef so that it wilts the greens.
4. Arrange tomatoes and egg. Serve immediately.
When I lived in Brooklyn, I made it to the Flea once. There were bikes of all shades and colors, cool jewelry (I bought some Erica Weiner stuff), furniture that made me daydream of the budget and apartment I’d one day have, oh and food. And drink. Pretty sure I had a bangin’ pink lemonade. I never thought the spot was so organized that it could up and declare a new location. Like Philly. But on June 2nd, a Sunday, the Brooklyn Flea arrives at the Piazza. The five-year-old successful flea market will have its first weekend in the Jared Kushner-bought Bart Blatstein monstrosity in just a few short weeks.
Kushner’s the husband of Ivanka Trump, and he owns the New York Observer. He’s teamed up with Flea co-founder Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby to bring their model to a Philly space, their first moment of expansion. We’re hoping it’s a continuation of a trend; seems like New York’s finally seeing the beauty of our fair city. In the not-too-distant past we’ve seen stuff like 3rd Ward, SuitSupply, Joe Coffee and, wait, is that Uniglo coming to Philadelphia? Man, it’s awesome.
Here’s the rundown on the Philly Flea: It’s a curated shopping and food experience for your Sunday morning and afternoon in Northern Liberties, and it launches on June 2. There are limited spots, a fee, an application process, and the powers that be pick and choose to achieve a blissful mix of art, furniture, vintage, modern, crafty, handmade, prefab and mad food. (Among the vendors slated are Philadelphia Salvage, Three Potato Four, At Home Modern, Peg & Awl and Forage Haberdashery.) Brooklyn Flea’s been a fertile starting place for dozens of businesses looking to start small, build clientele and create a name for itself before moving into a brick-and-mortar location. No doubt that’ll happen in our Philly locale, and it’s exciting to see which startups will get the green light from the Philly Flea team.
The Piazza’s one weird space. But did you know that it can contain nearly 8,000 people? There’s no other space within a short radius of Center City that can so easily and professionally host such an excellent collection of vending tables and tents. There’ve been maybe a dozen businesses that have come and gone since Blatstein cut some deals for cheap rent in the piazza’s youth, a result of a number of factors, no doubt. Personally, I have no desire to dine at a place like Gunner’s Run (again). But when the Flea’s chosen food vendors populate the Brooklyn Philly Flea, they’ll pretty easily become the most solid eats outside of the dependable Bar Ferdinand and El Camino Real that will neighbor the flea (and benefit handily).
It’s just good all around: New York expanding to Philadelphia, sophistication in the form of curated shopping, a thing to do every weekend and a revitalization of one weird, underused space. Starting in June, you’ve got a good reason to head up, if nothing else for a good place to stroll with a coffee in hand and peruse high-to-low-end goods and art. Plus there’s like a 1000-percent guarantee that some cuties’ll be shoppin’ too.
Also, one quick note about the Flea’s June 2 opener: Since it’s the day after the sure-to-be-bangin’ Roots Picnic, call it the official “Roots Family Post Picnic Brunch,” ’cause according to insiders, Questlove and a slew of other dope local DJ are set to rock the Piazza stage.
This just popped into our Inbox from the Morgan’s Pier team:
“We can’t believe it’s almost here! Our doors re-open TODAY at 4pm, and the kitchen fires up at 5, with some exciting new additions and some old summer favorites.
Dave P of Making Time will be kicking-off our entertainment season in a BIG way with a FREE DJ set of futuristic sounds for your ears from 10pm-2am! We’ve also got a weekend of incredible DJ’s lined up like Harvard Bass, Liv Spencer + Prince Language. See the full list here and click here to RSVP for FREE admission to this Friday & Saturday’s shows!
Keep the dance vibes going all summer with local DJs every weeknight, and DJs from across the globe every weekend—like Simian Mobile Disco, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, and Dimitri From Paris.
Throughout the season, our buds over at R5 Productions are pulling out all the stops with FREE shows every Wednesday Night—including some heavy-hitters like Cold Cave, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and We Were Promised Jetpacks—from June 5th-August 28th.
This year, we’ll have a picnic menu, with all items around $10, that’s foodie, vegan, veggie, kid, omnivore—you name it—friendly. This menu is served in our Picnic Area. Although we won’t be taking reservations for this section, with 300 seats, there should be plenty of room for all.
In addition to the picnic options, there’s also a $30 fixed price menu, served exclusively in the elevated Dining Area. Space is limited so we encourage you to make your reservations here.
You can always find our upcoming events, specials and information at MorgansPier.com and for our nightly dinner specials & updates as they happen keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter. Can’t wait to see you at the Pier!
Man, oh man. We’d been checking in on the site to see what kind of shows and schedule they were booking, but we weren’t expecting this kind of fullness. Not gonna lie: In reading the hours of operation—and by that, we guess, they mainly mean when the kitchen’s open, not how late they’ll be serving drinks—it’s gonna be a service industry summer at the Pier. The picnic menu’s available from 5 to 11pm Sunday through Thursday and only 5 to 10pm on Friday and Saturday.
Things I can’t wait to put in my mouth from that menu: Smoky Party Wings; honey + chili glaze ($7.50), Blistered Shishito Peppers; ranch dressing + lemon wedge ($7.00), BBQ Pulled Mushroom Buns; house tofu + cucumber salad ($6.50), Really Good Fries; spicy salt + daily aioli (Side $3.00/Basket $7.00), Poached Lobster & Bibb; green goddess + brioche crumbs ($10.00), White Fish Salad Sammie; baby arugula + pickled red onion ($8.00), Slow Roasted Bacon Sammie; pickled cabbage + spicy mustard ($7.50).
Oh, and the talent. A handful of shows that made our eyes bug: a Classixx DJ set on Friday, June 14th ($5.00), a Cold Cave show a few days later on Wednesday, June 19th (free), then a Simian Mobile Disco DJ set on Saturday, the 22nd ($5.00), and OMG a Small Black free show on Wednesday, June 26th, and DAMN a James Murphy DJ set on the weekend of July 4th ($10.00) on Saturday night, the 6th). There’s obviously a ton more booked, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg and the tip that’s closest to May.
Check out this cool lil’ mini-short doc about DFA records to get excited for James Murphy to visit our little pier on Columbus Ave.
On Friday, May 3rd, Preston & Steve from the 93.3 WMMR morning show hosted the reopening of the uber-popular Lorenzo & Sons Pizza on South Street, which closed last June after a fire consumed its interior. A crowd of supporters showed up to celebrate and eat pizza at the South Philly favorite, and Lorenzo’s donated 50 percent of the proceeds from the entire day’s sales to Philabundance.
At roughly the same time this week’s installment of Forking Stupid hit newsstands, it was announced that this fall, The Farm and Fisherman’s Chef Joshua Lawler will be bringing his farm-to-table cuisine and hospitality to the good people of New Jersey, opening a second and much larger restaurant, The Farm and Fisherman Tavern & Market, in Cherry Hill (1442 East Route 70).
The Market will feature the freshest seasonal and local products, ranging from sustainably, humanely raised meats and fish, butchered by hand, to fair trade coffees, craft beers, bountiful produce and painstakingly aged cheeses. Meanwhile, the Tavern will serve similarly honest and artfully prepared small plates, snacks, entrees and family-style meals in a casual, 100-seat dining room.
Now that I’ve filled you in on this exciting piece of breaking news, check out the elaborate spring salad Josh and I crafted as well as the unmentioned masterpiece I used my fingers to create with the salad’s remnants…
As some of you may already be aware, the galleries and shops in Old City have recently come together to expand the neighborhood’s iconic First Friday festivities to include an entire weekend of art, shopping and dining.
What you probably weren’t aware of is that they have something extra special in store for the May edition of First Friday Weekends.
Marking the 100th anniversary of the patenting of the zipper, this Saturday, 12 of the neighborhood’s best design and fashion destinations are taking part in a free, zipper-centric fashion show dubbed “ZIP 19106.”
Students from Philadelphia University, along with a few local boutique staffers, will be modeling a variety of clothing, objects and accessories—all featuring zippers—during an energetic runway show narrated by Snyderman-Works Galleries Director Frank Hopson and set to the live tunes of DJ Adub.
Afterwards, the models will mingle with the crowd to give you a closer look at their fashions and answer any questions you may have about where you can find them. Chances are you’re going to be particularly intrigued by Kate Cusack’s intricate, sculptural and surprisingly chic zipper jewelry (see right).
Meanwhile, food and drinks will be provided by several local restaurants, including Art in the Age, Cuba Libre, Wedge + Fig and Pinot. As for the boutiques and stores participating in the show—all of which will all remain open during the event, some offering special sales and spirits—that list includes Franklin Square, Smak Parlour, More Than Old, Three Sirens Boutique, The Geisha House, Sugarcube and US* U.S. Boutique.