Monday, November 16, 2015

Finding a Good Restaurant in Wilmington: Or how I really don't enjoy cooking

Philadelphia is definitely an eater's city (I don't use the word foodie - it sounds pretentious and childish all at once).  And I miss it. It's been a long hard journey to find good restaurants in Wilmington. Each time a new restaurant opens, a kernel of hope grows only to be smashed to smithereens when we actually eat there.

So I've compiled the top 3 restaurants that I enjoy - if you know of any others that are better - by all means please comment. 


This is probably the best restaurant in the area - and it's not even in Wilmington. It's owned by husband/wife chef team of Merry Catanuto and William Hoffman in a former house (thus the clever name). Fresh, local and delicious food.

Drinks on the veranda? I'm posh like that.


Location:
1336 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin DE 19707.
(302) 234-2255
Hours:
1-9:30 Tuesday - Saturday, 10-2 for Sunday brunch and 5-7 for prix fixe Sunday supper, 
Happy Hour Tuesday - Friday 3-6, closed Mondays.
$$-$$$
Do:
  • Go for Brunch and order anything with bacon (unless you are vegan/vegetarian/or have religious dietary restrictions, in which case, they have plenty of other great food)
  • Have their fries! (unless you don't eat carbs/starch in which case I am sorry because the fries are really awesome)
Don't:
  • Go when already starving as I have found service to be slow. Very slow sometimes. It's the only real drawback. 
  • Worry if their lot is full.  You can park in the lot by the park. 

This Malaysian restaurant is a hidden gem in the Independence Mall on Concord Pike (not to be confused with Independence Hall in Philadelphia - they don't have food there). The food is tasty and reasonably priced. 

Roti - It may not look like much but it tastes great!


Location:
Independence Mall
1601 Concord Pike, Suite 73 
Wilmington, DE 19803
302 543 5286 t.
Hours:
Lunch: 
Monday thru Saturday 11:30am-3:00pm, Sunday 12:00noon - 3:00pm 
Dinner: 
Monday thru Thursday 3:00pm-10:00pm, Friday and Saturday 3:00pm-10:30pm
Sunday 3:00pm-9:00pm
$-$$
Do:
  • Have their Roti
  • Try their Pad Thai, Thai Basil Noodles, and Pineapple Fried Rice
  • Have their fountain soda -it's among the best that I have had. (Unless you don't drink soda. Which I try not to but honestly it is so very good)
Don't:
  • Worry - they have a lot of vegetarian and vegan options
  • Feel overwhelmed by the service - they are very attentive. Very very attentive.

Great draft beer and great food. Three locations in the Wilmington/Newark/Kennett Square areas.



Location:
2502 Foulk Road
Valley View Plaza
Shopping Center
302.439.3231
Hours:
Open 'til 1am
Lunch:
Mon - Sat: 11:30am - 5pm, Sun: 10am - 2pm
Dinner:
Sun - Wed: 5pm - 9pm,Thu - Sat: 5pm - 10pm
$$
Do:
  • Have their pulled pork - best I have had!!! (only if you eat pork, of course)
  • Ask for a taste of any of their draft beers
  • Take advantage of Happy Hour! ( Happy Hour Monday thru Friday- 3 to 6 pm)
Don't:
  • I don't really have any don'ts....
  • Drink and Drive! (This is a given but I feel it does need repeating)
Honorable Mention:
Harry's Fish Market + Grill - good food at great prices in the riverfront market. Their $3 Monday burger deal has lines out the market.
Kid Shelleen's - Love their brunch if you can get in. Very crowded, and a little pricey. Also half-price burgers on Tuesdays. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Philly Withdrawal: Or I Didn't go see the Pope and I'm Fine with it


As you may have noticed, or not, because I don't actually have very many followers; I haven't written a new blog in months.

This is mostly due to the following:
1. I am very very lazy
2. I am very very boring

I thought about writing but then also I thought, what do I write about as I no longer live in Philly? It seems fraudulent to sucker people into this blog only for them to discover that I am no longer a pseudo- authority on Philadelphia city living.

When I first moved I thought that I would still go into Philly at least once a week.  That turned into once a month and now it's maybe every two months. Mostly because driving in Philly turns me rabid - and points 1 and 2 above.

While I still call this post Philly Do and Don't - it's mostly a lie.  Sorry!

Of recent newsworthiness - the Pope was in Philadelphia.  I was not. I heard that everyone was very nice and that many locals left in fear of the anticipated crowds.

Not the Actual Pope

Here in Wilmington, DE nothing really changed. No one left, but no one really visited either. Well, they might have attended Taste of Trolley Square.

Facts:

  • Taste of Trolley Square is an annual event in Wilmington
  • This was the first year so I don't think they can claim it to be annual
  • I did not attend
  • It's actually been over a year since I wrote a blog post


Next Post: Columbus Inn: Or Where I'd go if I Needed a Rich Old Boyfriend

Monday, April 28, 2014

Broad Street Run: Or how to survive when you haven't really trained for this


About:
Broad Street Run is a historic 10 miler, started in the 80s, that takes the runner through Philadelphia starting at Broad st and Somerville Ave. and ending at the Navy Yards.
Lifted from runverse.com/blog

Fact:
  • It is such a popular run with over 50,000 (this number may not be completely accurate (give or take a few thousand)) participants that there is now a lottery to get in the run

Picture this...
  • It's September. You and your friend are talking about how you need something to motivate you and how you will totally train for Broad Street.
  • February commences and you and your friend talk about how you totally haven't trained but that you still have a few months until the race (You secretly hope that you won't make it into the lottery) And.....you win a spot in the lottery!
Where's the link for Denial?

  • It's a WEEK BEFORE THE RACE. And you are completely unprepared. Completely.  Did I mention completely? You've been on your dreadmill a few times - jogged a couple of miles but when you do the math you start to freak out.


DON'T: 
  • Panic.  It will be ok! I promise.  And if not - there are medics close by.

  • Start out too fast.  You haven't really run much so just keep it to slow and steady.
  • Think about how much more you have to go
  • Or what that puddle is or how you spilled your water down the front of your shirt
  • Or how you are on mile 5 and that woman cheering you on has already completed the race and double-backed
  • Worry - there is always someone slower than you. Unless you are last. In which case, maybe you should worry a little.
  • Turn into that person who has to put a sticker on your car declaring that you completed a race. I'm talking to you 13.1s and 26.2s. No one cares but you! And maybe me because I've turned this into a slight rant.
Do:
  • Go to the bathroom before running - there are tons of people and lots of portables but it's still never enough.  (Warning! The below clip has strong language and blue dye)


  • If you do need to use the bathroom before the start - DO make friends with someone who has toilet paper because the dumpster that you are peeing behind in an alley doesn't come stocked. (Not that that happened or anything)
  •  Concentrate on your breathing. (Believe me it will save you from hyperventilating while thinking about how crazy you were to run this)
  • Walk if you need to.  There is no shame in it. But maybe don't suddenly stop short in front of someone forcing them to either run into you or to stumble and fall. (Have you seen the detritus on the ground??)
  • Think about how amazing that this many people are together running/jogging/walking/cheering
  • Plan ahead of time where to meet your friends/family.  It's a madhouse out there!
  • Have fun. It is a truly amazing experience. 
PS. I won't be there because I am lazy and out of shape so this a recollection of a couple years ago. (I now regret not training)  Go Philly!






Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wilmington, Delaware: Or Nothing Like Philly

It's been almost a year since I posted.  I'm sure that you've all missed me! And now I must make my announcement!......  I've cured cancer!*


*(I didn't. But you can imagine what it would be like if I did)





Actually, I moved to Wilmington, Delaware.  That's right - I'm no longer a resident of Philadelphia but it is only a short 40 minute drive away! (Too bad that I hate to drive). But dry your tears! I will still post about Philly and now, as an added bonus, at no extra cost, Delaware!

Pros:
  • Wilmington is  - as I already mentioned - close to Philadelphia! And Baltimore! And sort of - Washington, D.C.
  • TAX FREE!!!! That's right mo-fos - no tax on food! Or drink! Or clothes! Or Amazon deliveries! And all sorts of other stuff!
  • Parking doesn't cost a fortune! I can park in front of my residence - FOR FREE!
  • Car State Inspection - FREE! Are you sensing a trend?
  • It has the Riverfront.  It's very pretty and there are restaurants and a new IMAX theater.
This picture does not show said restaurants or IMAX

Cons:
  • No Whole Foods (yeah, yeah, yeah, First World Problems)
  • The city motto is kind of lame.  But I'll let you decide. 
  • The Restaurants cannot compare to Philly - and we have really really tried to find great ones (We will settle for just good at this point)
  • It's not Philly
Facts:
  • I love Philly. I always will but it is nice to have a change.
  • I like having a yard
  • We also have a connection to William Penn! New Castle, Delaware was once part of Pennsylvania.
Statue of William Penn in historic New Castle

  • There is a SEPTA train from Philly to Wilmington so you don't need to have a car to get here! (HINT HINT)


Monday, August 27, 2012

The Johnson Victrola Museum or The Only Thing Open in Dover, Delaware on a Saturday

So, I realize that I've been extremely lax in writing my blog and it's all your fault. But enough of blaming you, I've moved on.



We listened to a record on this.
 Facts:
  • The Johnson Victrola Museum is not that easy to find.
  • It is manned by volunteers - some who are very informative, some not so much.
  • E.R Johnson grew up in Dover, DE and founded the Victor Talking Machine Company.
  • The grammy is in the shape of a Victrola.
  • E.R Johnson's Posthumous Grammy. Notice that it's in the shape of a Victrola. Coincidence? No.
  • The phrase "Put a sock in it" and "Put a lid on it" are based on controlling the volume of the Victrola.

Location:
Hours:
  • Wednesday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m
Admission:
  • Free! Wheeeeeeeee! But you should donate something, you cheap bastards.


A recording horn. I still don't really get how it worked but somehow it recorded sound onto a record.
Do:
  • Make sure to listen to the difference between an electric recording and an acoustic recording.
  • You know the RCA logo? HMV? JVC? They all show Nipper. Also? HMV stands for His Master's Voice. (Nipper looks like he's listening. Get it?)

Nipper was the artist's dog. He was known to nip at people's heels.


Don't:
  • Know what a Victrola is? A Victrola played records. If you don't know what a record is - well - then - I give up.
  • Stare at the man giving the upstairs tour with a piece of black tape on his glasses. He's seeing double. Or he is a pirate! Arrrrr!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Philly Summers: Or sunblock and sewers

The sweltering heat, the sour smells, the fashionably challenged, the cranky citizens, the extremely annoying tourists.

Fact:
  • Philadelphia in the summer does not always smell that great: wafts of sewers, eau de body odor, rotting garbage.
  • Women tend to dress like trannie hookers
  • Trannie hookers tend to dress like trannie hookers
  • Men dress in appalling shorts, baggy shirts and flip flops. I prefer the trannie hookers.

Do:
  • Wear shirts that cover your midriff. If your stomach is flat enough to show, chances are you're too young to be showing it, Lolita.
  • Go to John's Water Ice on 7th and Christian - it's a great summer treat and you won't have to deal with the tourists lining the block for Rita's.
  • Sit outside and enjoy the sun:
    • More Than Just Ice Cream @ 11th and Locust
    • Kanella @ 10th and Spruce
    • Beau Monde (even though I've had such crappy service there) @6th and Bainbridge
    • Parc (even though many of the clientele are douchebags) @ 18th and Rittenhouse
Don't:
  • Wear flipflops! Dear lord, we are in a CITY! Flipflops are for shower stalls, the beach and hotel carpets!
  • Wear cut-off jean shorts in public, you're no Daisy Duke. In fact, Daisy Duke is no Daisy Duke.
  • 
    She still looks great. My only point is that unless you are 17 and living in the country, don't wear these shorts.
    
  • Forget your deodorant. Yes, I know, you're all natural. You think your sweat doesn't smell. You. Are. WRONG.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fort Delaware: Or a kind of lame fort that you have to take a ferry to

Fact:
  • My boyfriend (hi boo!) lives in Delaware and this fort is not really all that easy to get to via public transportation from Philadelphia but if you have a car it could be a fun trip. Maybe.
  • Fort Delaware is on Pea Patch Island (one mile east of Delaware City) and in 1951 was made one of Delaware's first state parks.

  • You have to take a ferry to get to the island and it's not that cheap but it is the best part of the trip.
  • Construction on the fort began in 1819, then was destroyed by fire in 1832. The present fort was built in 1859. It closed in 1944.  
  • 2,700 confederate soldiers died while prisoners at the fort.
Transport:

Cost:
  • $11 for adults
  • $6 for children

Do:
  • Try going a little later in the season. They have more activities.
  • Go the third weekend in August for Garrison Weekend if you're into seeing reenactors doing infantry formations and artillery drills. And come on, who isn't? (Me. )
  • Look for herons - they nest on the island.

Don't:
  • Tease the guy in historical garb about his ability to play a sand bag tossing game as it may turn out that he is slightly handicapped.
  • Expect a colonial Williamsburg type of experience.  Though it does make me think of this...