Eat It With Mom!
This is the first year in quite a while that Penn's commencement weekend doesn't coincide with Mother's Day (Sun., May 11), an alarming coincidence which usually creates an irritating scenario of impossible-to-get restaurant reservations. Now that you've got a bit more flexibility, what will you do for mom to make her feel special? Bring her flowers? Breakfast in bed? Or will you follow the advice of the unfailingly salacious press releases from Fogo de Ch�o
and buy her an unlimited selection of meat on skewers during a "culinary journey" with the Chestnut Street rodizio? The release describes how "Fogo's gaucho chefs and servers answer to Mom's every whim, carving up 15 savory cuts of meat tableside," which is really what my mom wants from everyone, all the time. The restaurant is open on Mother's Day for lunch ($38.50) and dinner ($48.50); both prices include as many trips to the salad bar as Mom wants and endless chargrilled meats. � Fogo de Ch�o, 1337 Chestnut St. 215.636.9700. www.fogodechao.com
Eat It Later!
Speaking of rodizios, Fogo de Ch�o is getting some competition from Chima
, another Brazilian steakhouse chain opening in Center City on May 27. This one will also offer endless meats (and fishes) chargrilled on skewers by gauchos in costume and an unlimited salad bar for $48.50. It begs the question: Does a town really need two churrascarias? Three, if you count the rustic rodizio-in-a-diner Picanha up in the Northeast? If the whole idea of a rodizio is to have too much food, then why not have too many restaurants to serve it in also? Of course sometimes we forget there are some restaurant-poor towns that would kill for this sort of plenty, so we'll just say thanks and eat our meat. � Chima, 1901 JFK Blvd. 215.525.3233. www.chima.cc
The possibly jinxed spot on 19th Street that once was Tragos, Cha Cha Sushi and Bootsie's is now Ashoka Palace
, a moderately priced Indian restaurant owned by Kinder Jit Singh, who cheffed at the now-defunct Taj Mahal several years back. Bootsie's wasn't the fanciest-looking establishment on the block, but Ashoka Palace's decor comes off as a bit grim, despite being painted a pleasant shade of pink. The prices are quite reasonable for Rittenhouse, though--the most expensive item on the menu is Ashoka shrimp biryani for $12. So if they had to skimp on the swanky decor to pass on the savings to customers in these difficult times, we'll shut our eyes take it, as long as the food is good. � Ashoka Palace, 38 S. 19th St. 215.564.6466