Rather than going with a generic diner staple, he opted to highlight Trolley Car’s selection of less traditional fare. And instead of testing my culinary skills by having me prepare the dish step by step alongside him, Dwight decided to test my gastrointestinal fortitude by feeding me plate after plate of food.
I showed up dressed like an official member of the El Rey wait staff in jeans and a flannel shirt—then stepped inside their kitchen, smelled all the seasoned meats and spicy sauces around me, and watched my hopes of blending in fly right out the window.
Being the generous Italian that he is, Chef Kristian Leuzzi, owner of both Kris and Stogie Joe’s in South Philly, most certainly wasn’t going to let me leave my personalized cooking lesson, or his restaurant, without a solid lunch in my stomach: a braised veal short-rib sandwich with a side of gnocchi.
This past summer, my editor and I decided that it might be interesting to review my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. My mother took it to heart. And as the weeks leading up to the feast ticked by, she put the word out—to my father, to my wife, probably to my 2-year-old daughter—that she was killing herself, literally breaking her back (her words, verbatim) preparing for the big meal.
Even as deeper java notes reveal themselves, so too do hints of bright citrus. Rich and captivating, this is a monster of a beer.
Black bass with cockles embodied the season perfectly: Each delicate bite of fish, dragged through the zucchini-basil purée, was like a transmogrification of the farmers market onto the plate.
Rough-mashed with the perfect amount of lime (i.e.: mucho), onions, tomatoes and cilantro, it’s a study in the seemingly disproportionate joys of simplicity and balance.
Octopus, borne upon a pedestal of congee, arrives cocooned in char from the grill after a leisurely poaching in a bath of olive, lemon, sambal and more.