Food and Drink

Clearly Philadelphians have no taste

saywhatphilly.jpgGirl Scout Cookie season is upon us and you know what that means! A poll on Philly.com asking people what their favorite kind is. To the right you'll see the results as of 11:32pm today.

Clearly, these people have no taste. Sure, we all know that people love the disgusting Thin Mints but how could the far superior Shortbread cookie (known, confusingly, in these parts as Trefoils) come in last? I do believe the invisible hand of the powerful Mint lobby is at work here. I can see them in their white linen suits sipping on a trefoils.jpgjulep and making sure that the honorable Shortbread cookie was once again passed over the the top spot.

How else can you explain the Do-si-do (or the Peanut Butter Sandwich) actually scoring about 100 FEWER votes than the Shortbread cookie, yet the Do-si-do is still listed above the Trefoil.

Fie on this poll, say I, fie indeed.

I shant rest until this crime against shortbread is corrected.


Parc: ok food, horribly awful service

parc.jpgI'm not one to complain about restaurants. It is true that I've never worked in the service industry (or retail for that matter), but I understand those jobs aren't easy. Dealing with hungry people like me can't possibly be pleasant for anyone. I get it.

That being said, when I'm spending pretty good money for a lunch I expect a certain level of service. Especially when I'm taking my mom out to lunch (as you know, she was in town for Thanksgiving) on one of her few visits to Philly.

I thought it would be a great idea to take my Mom to Parc, Stephen Star's new French restaurant on Rittenhouse Square. I had been there before for lunch, and enjoyed it.

The afternoon started out well as the very friendly hostess showed us to a table with a great view of the Square. The table was set, and it had two empty water glasses. My mother and I say down, chatted, looked over the menus.

Five minutes pass. Our water glasses are still empty but we have decided what we are going to order.

10 minutes pass. Our water glasses remain empty. I fail to make eye contact with the 2 waiters who walk past our table a few times (though they serve the ladies seated next to us).

15 minutes pass. Still no water in our glasses. Still no eye contact with any waiters. Still no service.

20 minutes pass. Our glasses are decidedly empty, but our coats are back on as we decide to leave.

On the way out I tell the hostess, 'You might not want to seat anyone else at that table.'

'Oh, was there a draft?'

I shake my head and say, 'Nope, but we sat there for 20 minutes while 3 different waiters ignored us.'

The manager of Parc was there, and he did apologize to us. He seemed genuinely upset and wanted us to sit back down, but at that point we just wanted to eat, we weren't interested in drama.

We ended up going to Rouge where our water glasses were filled within 2 minutes of us sitting down, and we had ordered within 5 minutes (we both got the famous Rouge burger, because that's just what you get at Rouge!).


Lunch and the Italian Market


Lunch and the Italian Market from Fork You on Vimeo.

Another video for your viewing pleasure. This time took the Flip MinoHD along to lunch at Ants Pants with Marisa and Shay. Then Marisa and I headed to the Italian Market for some wondering around (and to buy the cookies that were featured in my Flip vs. Zi6 video).

Watch. Laugh. Enjoy.

Oh, and if you're in Philly you should check out Ants Pants Cafe. It was very good.


Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper

drpeppercherryforscott.jpg

Sweet, sweet Pepsi is my first carbonated love (the Mexican type especially, since they still use pure cane sugar), but a little over 3 years ago I decided that I should really cut back on my Pepsi consumption. They only problem was that I hated diet soda.

I then found Diet Dr. Pepper, which tastes more like Dr. Pepper than you would think, and all was well in soda land. I wasn't in love with Diet Dr. Pepper, but it filled my caffeine needs adequately.

Then the wonderful folks at Dr. Pepper introduced the best diet soda known to man: Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper (unlike the atrocity that is Diet Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper). There was a time when the Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper (henceforth to be called 'DCVDP') flowed like water. You could walk into any store in Philly and get yourself a little can of wonderful. Then, out of no where, the DCVDP river dried up. Sure, once in a cherry moon (see what I did there?) I would discover a cache of the stuff, but it looked like my love affair with the good Doctor was coming to a close.

That is, until I went to Lancaster County. I was there for a certain wedding but whilst there Marisa wanted to do some antiquing (which is lady talk for "let's look at old crap we don't need being sold by people who are at least as old as the dusty artifacts they are hawking"). I was parched, so we stopped at a Turkey Hill Convenience store and there was great rejoicing.

The picture above shows me in my moment of triumph: the store had some DCVDP and so I did what anyone in my position would do: immediately grabbed every bottle they had. Then I thought about it a second, and put most of them back leaving me with 3 bottles of ambrosia.

Luckily for me, it would seem that DCVDP is making a comeback in the Philly area. My local CVS had some in stock last night (and I bought another 3 bottles), so I am hoping that means the DCVDP flows again.


Fork You Live: March 15th, 2008 at 2pm

Where are you going to be this Saturday at 2pm? You should have at Foster's on Market and 4th in Philadelphia to attend a taping of Fork You Live, America's favorite cooking podcast starring myself and Marisa.

Why should you come? Well, other than the fact that it is a hoot, we'll give you some brownies, blondies, or rice crispy treats. What is not to like about that?


Fork You Live: Mac and cheese

Another episode of Fork You is up for your enjoyment! This time around we made three kinds of Mac and cheese.

This episode also marks the first Fork You ever that I didn't edit myself. I'll admit it was a little tough to let someone else work on my baby, but I think you'll agree that Vincent did a great job with the material.

Don't forget that there is yet another Fork You Live this Saturday at Foster's. All the details are here. We'll be making brownies, blondies, and rice crispy treats! Be there, or you don't get a square (see what I did there?).


Adventures in limited edition food: Diet Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper

cherrychocolatedrpepper.jpgHurrah! A new series on Blankbaby! That's right, folks, I plan on actually POSTING to Blankbaby once again (who is excited?).

This new series was inspired by Terry. He stopped by my desk after I tweeted about the MacBook Air and said, "I'm going to ask your opinion about what everyone must be asking you about: Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper."

Terry, being the scamp that he is, knew that no one had asked me about said bubbly beverage, but that I would be intrigued. Ever since swearing off sweet, sweet Pepsi I have been a Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper drinker. I frickin' love the stuff, which is sad because it isn't as widely available as I would like (what's up with that, bottlers and distributors of Dr. Pepper?). It would follow that Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper would pique my interest. Terry waskind enough to give me a can from the 3 cases that he bought (without tasting the stuff first, I might add). Terry seemed to be enjoying it, but one must note that Terry is a fan of the vile Diet Berries & Cream Dr. Pepper, so his opinion is suspect.

Oonto the review:

The packaging

badcandrpepper.jpgTerry supplied me with a can of this stuff, as seen to the right. As you can see both on bottles and cans of this stuff the image of cherries semi-coated with chocolate are displayed prominently. I don't care for this one bit, mostly because the image of a red orb dripping with some DietDrP_CherryVan.jpgsort of brown liquid doesn't scream, 'DRINK ME!' It mostly says, 'potential biohazard,' to me.

Contrast this with the branding for Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper as seen here. The cherries, though you can hardly make them out in this picture, look like heathy cherries and the pin-striping calls to mind a soda shop from yesteryear. Who wouldn't want to quaff a heaping mouthful of anything in that can?

Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper could learn a thing or two from Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper's packaging, though the addition of the pin-wheel burst is a nice touch but it still doesn't work as well as the pin-striping.

The taste

I was skeptical, at best, when I first heard of this beverage. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate to begin with (I like it just fine, but I do not go ga-ga for it like some people) so I was doubtful that Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper would unseat Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper as the king of my diet soda drinking. I was afraid that the chocolate would be overpowering, and just kill the rest of the soda. I'm happy to report that the chocolate isn't overpowering at all. There is, what can only be described as a 'ribbon' of chocolaty taste in this beverage which does not offend the taste-buds at all.

Before all you chocolohics rush out to buy 45 cases of this stuff let me point out that while I could easily identify the taste as chocolaty it isn't a pure chocolate taste. At first I was reminded of Yoo-hoo but then Terry set me straight: it sort of tastes like you're drinking a chocolate Tootsie-Pop. I like chocolate Tootsie-Pops, but Godiva they ain't.

Did I like it? Chocolate Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper isn't bad, and is a fine once in awhile beverage. It isn't the beverage I would reach for first to quench my thirst, and furthermore if I see it for sale I won't buy it for myself.

Final Thoughts

I applaud the fine people at Dr. Pepper for being inventive with their products. It is tough to keep something that has been around for as long as Dr. Pepper has been interesting, and they are doing a great job. I still love Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, but I am always willing to give their newest additions a fair shake. Chocolate Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper is drinkable, which is more than I can say for the vile Berries & Cream Dr. Pepper, so at least progress is being made. I, for one, look forward to a brave new Dr. Pepper future.


Fork You: Turkey sidecar

The second part of Fork You's three part series on Thanksgiving is ready for your viewing pleasure (we cooked a turkey in the first part, and that turkey was damned good). This time around we whip up some garlic mashed potatoes and a healthy serving of peas and carrots. As Marisa explains, we went with peas and carrots because I hate string beans.

Anyway, check out the episode and feel free to copy the recipes down and make these sides yourself (Scott and Marisa not included).


I'm a food blogger?

phillyfoodbloggers.jpgSomehow, without knowing it, I became something of a food blogger. I became aware of this when I was included on an email about the upcoming Philadelphia Food Blogger Meetup and Potluck. Who knew?

I'll be going, because I like free food and I like bloggers. The only problem is, what the hell should I bring? I don't know nothing about food and these folks are going to want to be impressed with whatever I bring. The pressure, as they say, is on.


Fork You Season 2, Episode 1

Looky here, another episode of Fork You, and this time we're talking coffee. Peet's was kind enough to send Erica Hess to talk with us about the ins and outs of making a good cup of coffee.

This episode also marks the debut of our fancy new camera, and our second season! If you do watch this episode, bigger is better... so instead of watching it here watch it over here (or click this link for the QuickTime version).


Sour Cream & Onion Quakes

sourcreamquakes.jpg Thanks to the whole Scott Gets Fit thing I've had to rethink my snacking behavior. Gone are the days when I would get 14 donuts and a pint of ice cream (that's a slight exaggeration, I would eat 2 donuts and a pint of ice cream max). However, it is silly to think that since you're trying to lose weight you can't have a snack.

Today I was at the store getting some salad dressing for dinner (well, to put on the salad that I was having for dinner) and I saw these Sour Cream & Onion Quake sitting on the shelf. I enjoy rice cakes, and I enjoy sour cream and onion so I thought it was prudent to give them a shot.

10 cakes is 70 calories, which isn't bad I suppose, but the important thing is that they are super tasty. I might be in love with the Quaker Oats dude (or is that Barbara Bush?).


Sticky Toffee Pudding Ice Cream

stickytoffee.jpgToday was spent on the couch watching TV (and dozing off from time to time). I was going to venture forth to the gym, but the lure of the television (and the prospect of going out in the heat) thwarted that plan. That’s why I found myself in Wawa a few hours ago scoping out the ice cream case. Let me explain.

Since I am a co-host of the fastest growing cooking podcast on the Internet (Fork You! Tell your friends, and have them tell their friends) I feel the need to keep up with the goings on in the food world, so I watch the Food Network. It is true that I watched lots of the Food Network’s offerings before Fork You, but now that I help produce a cooking show myself it is that much more interesting. Today the Food Network had a 2 hour special on called ‘Scoop,’ which chronicled last year’s Haagen-Daz competition to find a new flavor. I was hooked for two reasons:
  1. I love ice cream
  2. I have a weakness for reality television

I tuned in late, but I was able to watch as they narrowed the field from five finalists to the eventual winning flavor (there can be only one!). I was entertained enough to find out if the winning flavor, Sticky Toffee Pudding, was available at my local Wawa (getting fit be damned!). Off I went to Wawa to purchase dinner (a hoagie) and dessert (hopefully a pint of said ice cream). As I approached the ice cream case I saw my prey. It would seem that Sticky Toffee Pudding is selling pretty well because the good people at Haagen-Daz have not only given it a permanent place in their flavor lineup, but also made it a ‘Featured Flavor,’ whatever the hell that means.

At this point I should mention I have never actually had the British dessert that this ice cream is based on, but I was willing to try it out for you, dear reader.

What the hell is in Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream? Its website describes it as:

rich vanilla ice cream swirled with sticky toffee sauce and morsels of moist brown sugar cake.

Which sounds darned good to me. One of my favorite food combinations of all time is vanilla ice cream and cake, so how could I go wrong?

Sticky Toffee Pudding Ice CreamI snatched up the only pint of the stuff Wawa had and ran home. I ate my dinner (you can’t have dessert until you eat your dinner, after all) and served myself 3 scoops of Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream in a simple, white bowl. Sniffing the ice cream revealed a crisp vanilla aroma with a hint of spice (from the cake bits no doubt). I slide my spoon into a mound of the cold stuff, and slowly put it into my mouth.

That first spoonful was soon followed by many more, until I was licking the bowl clean. This crap is good. The cake has a slight spice to it, and the toffee isn’t overpowering at all (as I feared it might be). Haagen-Daz makes a good vanilla ice cream, and since that’s this flavor’s base it only helps the overall taste (if you don’t like vanilla ice cream then this isn’t for you. You also might be a Communist). Some could peg this ice cream as overly sweet (it is sugar cake in sugary ice cream with a ribbon of toffee, so it is going to be a little sweet) but I didn’t find the sweetness to be too much for me.

This ice cream strikes me as being the type best enjoyed by itself (much like myself). Putting it into a sundae or milkshake would be too much, since the added sweetness would push it over the edge. Enjoy this scooped into a bowl, and you won’t regret it.

Interestingly, this isn’t the only flavor in Haagen-Daz’s lineup featured in last year’s Scoop competition, though it is the only one that advertises that fact. Another finalist is also being sold by Haagen-Daz in their new Reserve line of ice creams. Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle was a judge favorite, but it would seem the public (which picked last year’s winner) liked the Sticky stuff more. Luckily, you can get yourself a pint of the judge’s favorite now too, if coconut is your thing (it isn’t mine, so I am glad that it didn’t win the competition).

Sadly, the third of the top three finalists in the Scoop competition doesn’t seem to be on sale anywhere. Canoli flavored ice cream, it would seem, will remain unavailable for most of America (unless you make your own, but it would probably be easier to just buy a regular canoli).

Now, if you'll excuse me I have the remainder of a pint of ice cream to devour.


Fork You 9: Rub Your Breasts

That's right, another episode of Fork You has been unleashed. This time Marisa and I make some chicken.

The show's title has garnered a little criticism for being, perhaps, too racy. I think it is brilliant, but I also thought of it, so that should come as no surprise. I mean, I was talking about chicken breasts... and we do rub them in the show. Makes sense to me.