Eating & Drinking

South Philly Barbacoa’s Cristina Martinez wins James Beard award

Cristina Martinez wins James Beard award for best Mid-Atlantic chef

Restauranteur Cristina Martinez opened South Philly Barbacoa as a food cart 5 years after moving to Philadelphia from Mexico.

Christina Martinez, the Passyunk Square restauranteur known for her lamb dishes, now named the best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region by the James Beard Foundation.


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Martinez, who opened South Philly Barbacoa as a food cart in 2014, was honored at the foundation’s ceremony in Chicago. South Philly Barbacoa has become famous for its barbacoa tacos and lamb and chickpea consomme.

Christina Martinez also owns Casa Mexico Martinez

The restauranteur, a native of Capulhuac, Mexico – arrived in Philadelphia in 2009. She began working as a pastry chef at Amis in Center City where she met her now-husband and business partner Ben Miller.

Martinez, who is an undocumented immigrant, was fired after the company learned of her illegal status in 2014. That firing sparked her to begin working on the concept that would become South Philly Barbacoa.

She became an activist for the undocumented immigrant community, sharing her experience on “Mejor vete, Cristina,” a Spanish-language podcast about her life.

Martinez also helped create a support group called the Popular Alliance For Undocumented Workers Rights which provided meals and support during the pandemic.

South Philly Barbacoa moved quickly, and in 2017 Martinez received her first James Beard nomination for the best chef in the Mid-Atlantic reward.

She was nominated three more times between 2018 and 2020.

Philadelphia chefs Jesse Ito, of Royal Izakaya, a sushi restaurant, and Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, from Kalaya Thai Kitchen, were semi-finalists for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Ellen Yin of Fork, a.kitchen and High Street Hospitality, was a finalist in the restaurateur of the year category.

Love a Quality Martini? Whiskey Old Fashioned? Knox & Dobson RTD Superiors Cocktails are your answer

Love a Quality Martini? Whiskey Old Fashioned? Knox & Dobson Introduces Superior Ready-To-Drink Bottled Cocktails

Knox & Dobson toasts to their new collection of premium ready-to-drink bottled cocktails that are expertly designed to be shared with friends, so simply…

Open, Pour, and Enjoy!


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Knox & Dobson’s new bottled cocktail collection was meticulously curated with an uncompromising commitment to excellence in quality, craftsmanship, and taste by Knox & Dobson President Rob Levy and Creative Director Peter Lloyd Jones (The Raymond 1886, Everson Royce Bar) who heads Knox & Dobson’s formulation and product development.

Knox & Dobson Ready-To-Drink Bottled Cocktails

Featuring a gin Martini, classic Old Fashioned, Improved Whiskey Cocktail with Maraska Maraschino Liqueur, and Rye Manhattan, Knox & Dobson uses the highest quality ingredients including hand-selected barrel aged whiskey, distilled gin, natural cane sugar, and authentic Angostura Bitters.


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Love their flavor? Vote Cuba Libre for Philly’s Best Mojito


From the award-winning design of the bottle, these superior bottled cocktails were solely created so expertly handcrafted cocktails could be shared and effortlessly enjoyed anywhere.

 

“Our mission was to create a collection of cocktails that were equal in taste and quality to those freshly crafted by a skilled bartender. Peter Lloyd Jones was the best choice, and I can’t imagine working with anyone better, “

says Levy.

Pete was Head Barman at 1886 Bar at The Raymond and he was also behind the stick at Everson Royce Bar for several years, so his experience is invaluable, and his passion and creativity make him the perfect partner at Knox & Dobson.”

Levy’s upbringing in Skokie, Illinois, at Knox Avenue and Dobson Street is where Levy spent most of his adolescence in the ‘60s and 70’s hanging out “on the corner” with neighborhood kids who remain lifelong friends.

Knox & Dobson is as much an elevated on-the-go craft beverage experience as it is a distillation of hometown pride and a love of bringing people together.


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Each Knox & Dobson bottled cocktail is 200 milliliters and features two servings. Whether you are a classic Martini drinker (34% ABV), this is a take on the classic combining gin with dry vermouth to create a flavor profile of an aromatic gin martini that is slightly earthy and refreshing to drink. Lloyd Jones recommends serving this cocktail up or over ice, garnished with olives.

Old Fashioned aficionados (38% ABV) can savor this cocktail which consists of straight aged bourbon, natural cane sugar, orange oil and Angostura Bitters with tastes of aged bourbon with bright citrus flavors, bitters, raw cinnamon, clove, and American oak.

The Improved Whiskey Cocktail (35.42% ABV) – made with straight aged rye whiskey, Maraska Maraschino Liqueur and Angostura bitters – has a spiced flavor profile combined with American oak, citrus, along with bright and deep cherry notes.

This is a whiskey cocktail that is meant to be sipped and savored.

Finally, the Rye Manhattan (36% ABV) is made with straight aged rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. The tantalizing pairing of the aged whiskey combined with the aromatic Italian-style vermouth creates a spice, citrus and charred oakwood profile that will have anyone asking for another round.

 

Who’s ready for happy hour? And, if your go-to cocktail isn’t on the menu just yet, don’t worry. The Knox & Dobson bar cart will be rolling this Summer with more cocktails on the way and no shortage of inspiration.

Knox & Dobson’s new collection of superior bottled cocktails are best served chilled or over ice and each cocktail features two servings, perfect for sharing, so simply chill, OpenPour, and Enjoy!

 

Knox & Dobson is available for delivery anywhere Nationwide, so visit www.KnoxandDobson to order your new favorite bottled cocktails today. Knox & Dobson is now available at 15 Total Wine & More California stores – Brea, Daly City, Long Beach, Northridge, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, Redondo Beach, Roseville, San Diego, San Jose, San Mateo, San Ramon, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tustin and soon to be in all 28 Total Wine & More California stores; Bristol Farms South Pasadena and soon to be in all 14 Bristol Farms California stores; Bar Keeper Los Angeles; Cypress Liquor Los Angeles; Everson Royce Bar Pasadena; Gerlach’s Pasadena; Highland Park Wine; K&L Wine Merchants in Los Angeles and San Francisco; and The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. To see the full list of locations, please visit Knox & Dobson’s Find a Stockist.

Love their flavor? Vote Cuba Libre for Philly’s Best Mojito

Love their flavor? Vote Cuba Libre for Philly’s Best Mojito
For the second year in a row, Cuba Libre has been nominated for having the best mojito in Philadelphia!
If you love their tasty drinks, help them defend their title, and vote for Cuba Libre in Metro Philly’s contest.

After being voted as Metro Philly’s Best Mojito in 2021, they’re trying to continue our streak! Help them win best mojito again by voting here (find them under the “Bars & Nightlife category).


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Voting is open through Sept. 8, and you can vote once per day in each category.

What makes Cuba Libre’s mojito THE BEST in the city?!

they use fresh-pressed sugarcane (rather than simple syrup!) along with fresh lime juice. Trust us – it makes all the difference!

They thank you for your support, Philly!

Vote now!


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The Love offers a Refined and Delicious Neighborhood destination


 

El Vez Offer Upscale Eats for Flashy Night Out

El Vez Offers Upscale Eats for Flashy Night Out

As bright and boisterous as a joy ride in a Tijuana taxi, El Vez exudes fun at every conceivable turn.

The flashy, frenetic Latin decor, featuring high-backed velvet Hollywood booths and an eye-popping low-rider bike elevated above the dining room, creates the perfect conditions for memorable food and drink.


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Unexpected interpretations of Mexican classics join traditional cooking on the expansive menu, complemented by a bar that boasts one of the biggest tequila selections — and the best margaritas — in the city. Striking the ideal balance between a south-of-the-border celebration and a hot and flashy Las Vegas blowout, El Vez is the embodiment of Mex-Eclectic spirit.

OPEN FOR PICKUP, DELIVERY, INDOOR AND OUTDOOR DINING

Monday – Thursday: 12-4pm (lunch); 4-10pm (dinner)
Friday: 12-4pm (lunch); 4-11pm (dinner)
Saturday: 12-3pm (brunch); 4-11pm (dinner)
Sunday: 12-3pm (brunch); 4-10pm (dinner)

The Love offers a Refined and Delicious Neighborhood destination

The Love offers a Refined and Delicious Neighborhood destination

Just steps away from beautiful Rittenhouse Square, this bilevel sanctuary features a total of 150 seats, split between our indoor seating, outdoor seating along18th Street, and an upper-level loft.

A one-of-a-kind beverage program inspired by personal travels to vineyards, breweries and cideries in the region is equally as enticing as the cuisine.

The creative energy emanating from the kitchen and bar is matched by a front-of-house service staff passionate about providing homey, honest hospitality.


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Talula’s Garden near Washington Square Serves Up American cuisine in a chic farmhouse


 

Aimee Olexy

One of the most recognized personalities in Philadelphia dining, Aimee has the ability to send the “fine-dining elite into effusions of breathless adjectives,” according to Philadelphia magazine.

Her dynamic restaurant brand has evolved dramatically over the past 20 years, growing into a family of distinctive restaurants that celebrates food at its most elemental.

Talula’s Table, her hybrid gourmet café and BYOB in Kennett Square, hosts nightly 12-person tastings, so incredibly coveted that Portfolio.com dubbed it

“The Toughest Table in America.”

Talula’s Garden, which Olexy opened in partnership with Stephen Starr in 2011, aims to capture a small-town sense of community on an ambitious downtown scale.

Talula’s Daily, the bright and sunny café that opened next door in 2013, provides coffee, local artisanal groceries, fresh-baked breads and wholesome take-home meals in a space that transforms into a homey supper club by night.

Olexy and Starr opened The Love in Rittenhouse Square in 2017.

No matter where you’re dining, don’t be surprised if you catch Olexy tableside, rhapsodizing about her newest cheeses to groups of enchanted diners.

“I work a lot and I love it,” says Olexy. “My work is who I am — and that is the only way I know to live.”

Philly’s Old City Eats Returns with Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar

After a two-year hiatus, Old City Eats is returning to the neighborhood with food and drink deals at Cuba Libre and 20+ other restaurants! Bonus:
To kick off the weekly summer special, Old City is having a Block Party on May 26.

Old City Eats (OCE) will run every Thursday night from 4-7 p.m. from May 26 until Aug. 25.

On OCE Thursdays at Cuba Libre, enjoy their full Happy Hour menu (available until 7pm instead of 6:30) plus a weekly featured mojito for $6! And don’t miss the kickoff Block Party on Thursday, May 26!

The outdoor Block Party on 2nd Street will run between Market and Chestnut Streets from 4-9 p.m.

Come out and see!

During the May 26 Block Party, stop by the Cuba Libre tent to get chicken empanadas (2 for $10), our signature Classic Mojito ($12), our Bacardi Coconut Rum Punch in a real coconut ($14; $8 refill with coconut), or a Santilli American IPA from Nightshift Brewing ($6).


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Philly’s Mystical Genie’s Secret Bazaar is coming!


Refreshing coconut water and homemade limonada rosa for sale, along with their famous Mango Cinnamon butter ($5 – 4oz jar).

While you’re sipping and snacking, enjoy music from their DJ and catch professional Latin dance performances at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Don’t forget to also get your turn spinning their prize wheel!

Prizes include a free mojito, sangria, and various bar bites during your next Happy Hour visit at Cuba Libre plus mystery prizes from other Old City businesses!

To get your spin, join e-mail list, or show them you’re already on it!


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See the full list of participating restaurants for OCE. Cuba Libre is located at 10 S. 2nd St. in Old City (at the corner of 2nd & Market Streets).

Philly’s Mystical Genie’s Secret Bazaar is coming!

Philly’s Mystical Genie’s Secret Bazaar is coming! Uncover the bazaar’s mysteries as you get caught up in a storybook experience of your own making.

It all takes place art 901 Market St, Suite 1150, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Your unforgettable adventure awaits!

EXPLORE A MAGICAL WORLD

Immerse yourself in the classic tale of “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp.” You won’t just watch it: you’ll experience it!

SHOPPING, GAMES, PERFORMANCES!

The Genie’s Secret Bazaar Philadelphia combines the fun of an American carnival with the adventure of The Grand Bazaar to create a magical world for adults and children alike. Prepare to delve into a beautiful hideaway where merchants, fortune tellers, and awe-inspiring artists spin an imaginative tale of adventure.

Featuring colorful stalls bustling with activity; enjoy a snack and shop for local treasures during your visit!


Related:

After a two-year hiatus, Old City Eats is returning to the neighborhood with food and drink deals at Cuba Libre and 20+ other restaurants!


MAGIC, ADVENTURE, TREACHERY!

There’s plenty to see and do while roaming the bazaar. Watch performance vignettes in secret theaters featuring a magician, shadow puppets, and a one-of-a-kind diorama. Solve hidden puzzles in a scavenger hunt and win prizes at old-timey carnival games. See sparks fly when Aladdin encounters an evil genie.


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Rock superstars Incubus Annc hits East Coast July 31 – Aug 6 on Summer tour with Sublime with Rome and The Aquadolls


Date: Thursdays–Sundays from June 2022

Duration: 2 hours

Location: Fashion District Philadelphia, 901 Market St, Suite 1150, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Age requirement: All ages welcome! Most suitable for 8+

Price: Starting at $30

Food vendors: Rock N Rolls, Bao & Bun Studio, Saté Kampar, Hardena & Fat Lady Brewing

Talula’s Garden near Washington Square Serves Up American cuisine in a chic farmhouse

Talula’s Garden near Washington Square Serves Up American cuisine in a chic farmhouse

Driven by local ingredients prepared in unbreakable harmony with the season, Talula’s Garden is a celebration of cooking the way it ought to be.

A partnership with award-winning restaurateur Aimee Olexy, a true farm-to-table ethos inspires Talula’s unforgettable approach to food, interpretations of traditional Mid-Atlantic cuisine with a light and modern touch.

Talula’s Garden near Washington Square

The indoor-outdoor space exudes a cozy, upbeat vibe, with attention to detail that extends from the gorgeous patio to the cheese bar, home to “Maítre Fromager” Olexy’s standout program.


Related:

Sampan has small & large plates Pan-Asian Cuisine and Happy Hour by Restaurateur Michael Schulson


Lush plants and vegetation throughout remind guests that the land is the source of all things wholesome and delicious.

Aimee Olexy

One of the most recognized personalities in Philadelphia dining, Aimee has the ability to send the

“fine-dining elite into effusions of breathless adjectives,”

according to Philadelphia magazine.

Her dynamic restaurant brand has evolved dramatically over the past 20 years, growing into a family of distinctive restaurants that celebrates food at its most elemental.

Talula’s Table, her hybrid gourmet café and BYOB in Kennett Square, hosts nightly 12-person tastings, so incredibly coveted that Portfolio.com dubbed it “The Toughest Table in America.”


Related:

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Talula’s Garden, which Olexy opened in partnership with Stephen Starr in 2011, aims to capture a small-town sense of community on an ambitious downtown scale. Talula’s Daily, the bright and sunny café that opened next door in 2013, provides coffee, local artisanal groceries, fresh-baked breads and wholesome take-home meals in a space that transforms into a homey supper club by night. Olexy and Starr opened The Love in Rittenhouse Square in 2017.

No matter where you’re dining, don’t be surprised if you catch Olexy tableside, rhapsodizing about her newest cheeses to groups of enchanted diners. “I work a lot and I love it,” says Olexy. “My work is who I am — and that is the only way I know to live.”

Sampan has small & large plates Pan-Asian Cuisine and Happy Hour

Sampan has small & large plates Pan-Asian Cuisine and Happy Hour by Restaurateur Michael Schulson

Sampan is an oasis of contemporary Asian small plates located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia’s hot Midtown Village neighborhood.

A dramatic back-lit wall mural sets the scene for artful food, emerging from the restaurant’s centrally located open kitchen while a carefully curated selection of wine, beer, sake and cocktails complement guests’ experiences.

samson-Philadelphia-panasian

GRAFFITI BAR

Tucked into the rear of the restaurant on a private 30-seat open-air patio, Graffiti Bar debuted in April 2010.

Serving the same acclaimed Asian food and drinks by Chef Schulson that have made Sampan instantly popular, it’s also a haven for sports fans, equipped with TVs behind the bar, and home to our daily Happy Hour.


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Open all year round, Graffiti Bar can be found down a narrow chain linked fence alley surrounded by a mural commissioned by local artist Ali M Williams. Heat lamps for chilly nights and the soft glow of candlelight make it a perfect spot no matter the season.

Every Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., Graffiti Bar offers one of the best Happy Hours in the city featuring Satays, Dumplings & Spring Rolls, Bao Buns & more. Drinks include a daily-changing cocktail, wine and beer specials.

Restaurateur Michael Schulson

Restaurateur Michael Schulson

Restaurateur Michael Schulson

Michael Schulson is the chef and restaurateur behind the Schulson Collective of restaurants whose imagination and ingenuity have made him one of Philadelphia’s most successful hospitality professionals.

Michael Schulson is the chef and restaurateur behind the Schulson Collective restaurant group whose imagination and vision have made him one of Philadelphia’s most successful hospitality professionals. Schulson is the owner of day-to-night destination Double Knot, along with DK Sushi, the fine-casual sushi concept located at the University of Pennsylvania; the expansive Independence Beer Garden; Sampan and the adjacent Graffiti Bar; and serves as chef-partner at Izakaya at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.. Schulson Collective’s portfolio also includes the new-American spot, Harp & Crown, in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, as well as contemporary izakaya restaurant, Monkitail, and cocktail lounge, Nokku, at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Most recently, Schulson opened his red gravy Italian restaurant, Giuseppe & Sons, and his boutique steakhouse, Alpen Rose.


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Schulson attended and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, working his way up the culinary chain of command in such acclaimed restaurants as New York’s Peacock Alley at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and David Burke’s Park Avenue Café, and Philadelphia’s Le Bec-Fin and Susanna Foo. Before setting out on his own, Schulson helmed legendary kitchens in New York City (Buddakan) and Philadelphia (Pod) and traveled to Japan. He eventually learned the ability to speak conversational Japanese following his stints in prestigious Tokyo kitchens, among them Spago and the Four Seasons Hotel.

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