Kraftwork with Kennett mushrooms and ricotta dumplings

I’ve been hearing about the beer selection at Kraftwork for months, so when it was time to see my friend David off to his new job in Chicago, I suggested we try it out. Crowded for a Tuesday night and loud, we decided to sit outside so we could catch up a bit. The beer menu is certainly above-average, focusing more on artisinal and microbrews than local beers, but you can also order in an 8 ounce glass in to get in a maximum number of “samples.” And the food wasn’t bad, either. My favorite was the ricotta dumplings, above, with wilted chard (my favorite vegetable) and a savory sweet pepper harrisa sauce.

Kraftwork had a Kennett Mushroom special that I had to order, both for the mushrooms, which I can’t NOT order, and for the local flavor. The mushrooms themselves, touched with truffle oil and under two soft poached eggs. I’d have improved the dish with a thicker, richer toast (the thin toasted wheat slice was a little disappointing).

And of course I couldn’t turn down the toasted garlic and herb fries with Yards’ Porter mustard aoli. I mean, come one. I ate them with a fork, with plenty of aoli.

Jelly Donut

I would just like to say that I went to the Pennsylvania Dutch festival at Reading Terminal Market, and I ate this fresh, homemade jelly donut, and it was amazing. AMAZING, like a totally different kind of donut that put all other donuts to shame. Slightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, pumped full of sugary jelly and still warm from the fryer. Yum.

HUGE southern brunch at Honey’s Sit-and-Eat

I love brunch, and by the time I sit down to eat, my eyes are often bigger than my stomach. I tend towards the spicy-Mexican-eggs-style brunch, but on this particular morning, scoring a seat at the bar at Honey’s with minimal wait, I thought I’d try something different. I don’t think that I’ve ever had chicken friend steak, but hey – it sounded huge and delicious, and I was in the mood for gravy. I added to eggs to the platter for good measure (it’s not brunch without eggs!) and the resulting platter was HUGE. And really really good. The “steak” was fried nice, with some nice little veggies in it, the gravy smooth, the potatoes crispy and savory, and the biscuit basically overkill.

My honey ordered the biscuit sandwich with veggie gravy, sausage, and latke. While he thought it was “OK” my awesome platter overshadowed his breakfast, which he also deemed “dry.” Luckily, I had enough to share!

Stuffed Frying Peppers

I love hot peppers, and these big fryers are just spicy enough to make a stuffed pepper with a lot of kick. I did these simply-style – black beans, fresh corn, some chopped tomatoes, fried onions and a little gargonzola. My kitchen was out of commission, but the toaster oven worked just fine with this quick, fresh dinner.

ALSO about my new posts on my new twitter account @veggicurious

Center City Sips at Cooperage

I rarely make it to Philadelphia’s summer weekly happy hour party. I always feel like I have to rush there to beat the crowds, it’s load, and sometimes I’m disappointed with the service. But if you’re going out after work on a Wednesday anyway, like I was last week, it can be a good opportunity to try a new place, check out the menu, and have a cheap drink.

I decided to meet my friend Bridget at Cooperage because they had an exciting CCS drink menu, and I like that they focus on local and seasonal food. They call their style “southern bistro” and, as you would expect, there are plenty of meaty options, but I also ordered the above sweet potato tots with maple chutney. I wasn’t so sure about the chutney, but it was actually delicious – sweet but not overwhelming. The tots were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. While they were the only half-price veggie option, I was also really tempted by the sides:     Paperbag Greens ($5), Leek Bread Pudding ($4), Creamy Grits ($3)
Oven Roasted Mushrooms ($4), Asparagus Casserole ($4), Side Salad ($4) – all of which sounded so delicious, I could have made an entire meal out of them! I’d love it if Cooperage added a few vegetarian mains, but you could certainly make a tasty meal from their large selection of salads and sides.

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Lunch Special at City Tap

I love the green roof at City Tap, and the abundant outdoors space and fire pits, even the spacious inside. I have to tell you though, that while they advertise a lunch special, their lunch waitstaff is slow on the draw, and won’t mention it to your first. So I’ll tell you. $10 for a margharita pizza and a beer (an 8 oz.). Not a bad deal, considering the pizza is large and crispy and while not fancy, is a fun lunch dated. Try it!

A vegetable-stuffed breakfast burrito

Burritos are made for leftovers. Fry-up anything you have in the fridge, add some protein, and through it in a tortilla with some cheese and hot sauce and you have a seriously hefty breakfast. The above burrito makes us of all the summer vegetables on my counter and in my crisper. Onions fried with garlic and zucchini, egg fried on the side, a few Tbs. of black beans, a pinch of cumin and a chili pepper for good measure, some leftover Chinese take-out rice, chopped fresh tomato, some fresh parsley and my favorite garlic chive cheddar, all in a Frontier tortilla (hey ‘burque!) with green chilies delivered by my aunt. A burrito like this is a brunch burrito, and more!