Eat Beat

By Kirsten Henri
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 16, 2008

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What's next for Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney, proprietors of a significant stretch of 13th Street that includes the BYOB Lolita, the Grocery gourmet market and the gorgeous home store Open House? If taking over the universe is on the agenda, it'll have to wait while they get their newly opened Indian-influenced BYOB Bindi off the ground. They've transformed the former Grocery cafe annex into a spare but inviting space, moodily lit by etched alabaster votives playing off the floor-to-ceiling windows. Turney's Bindi menu invokes Indian food the same way her menu at Lolita invokes Mexican. The sarsoon-saag paneer--spinach puree dotted with creamy cubes of fresh cheese, mustard greens and cashew--is out of this world, as is a heartbreakingly tender pork vindaloo with a sneaky back-door spiciness. Bindi, 105 S. 13th St. 215.922.6061. wwwbindibyob.com

Shop It!

NoLibsters are rejoicing over the arrival of the new Spring Garden Market, a mostly Asian superstore on Fourth and Spring Garden streets across from Silk City. While there's a small section dedicated to Goya products, A-1 Steak Sauce and Spam, we suggest you avoid this aisle and avail yourself of the huge produce section, the sparkling fish market and the delightful frozen dumpling selection. If you have easy access to the Huong Vuong market in South Philly, there's no reason to schlep north to shop here, but if you live in Northern Liberties, or even Old City, it's worth a trip. Among the highlights: premade fish balls, imitation shark fin, a dozen speckled quail eggs in a dainty miniature carton and that most noxious of fruits--the angry, spiky durian. Spring Garden Market, 400 Spring Garden St. 215.928.1288

Visit It!

If you're not comfortable in a gay bar or a piano bar, get over it, because you're depriving yourself of one of the great joys of drinking life. Tavern on Camac is one of my favorite places. While there's a club on the third floor, and the rollicking piano bar on the second, my secret hideaway spot at the Tavern has always been the Underground--a snug subterranean bar that used to feel like a cross between the basement in a Tudor mansion and a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Owners Stephen Carlino and Dennis Fee recently overhauled the Underground bar (and restaurant), giving it a fresher, more contemporary look. The facelift hasn't affected the bartenders (who are as wonderful as ever), or the stiffness of the drinks. Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St. 215.545.0900. www.tavernoncamac.com

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