Go on, Try It!
When life hands you a plate full of tiny grasshoppers, what do you do? Grill them with garlic; slather them with avocado, chopped onion and ancho chilies; pile them on a soft tortilla and eat them, of course. This traditional Mexican snack of chupalines is now available at Tequila's for your adventurous dining pleasure. Alone, they haven't much flavor; they're mostly about adding crunchy texture and serving as a vehicle for the musky ancho. I won't lie to you--it was hard to swallow a large pile of dead bugs. But it just goes to show anything can be made palatable by adding a squirt of fresh lime and copious amounts of garlic. >> Tequila's, 1602 Locust St. 215.546.0181. www.tequilasphilly.com
Matzo ball soup is easy to mess up (how many perfectly lovely chicken broths have been ruined by leaden balls?), but not at Zeke's deli. Theirs is a minimalist version, with an appropriately chicken-forward stock and a few token carrot slices. The matzo ball itself has an almost buttery quality. Stock up on it for Passover, along with other traditional dishes like beef brisket, kugel and chopped liver. >> Zeke's 5th Street Deli, 318 S. Fifth St. 215.627.1001
Sometimes there's a mixed drink so good it makes you forget you don't actually like any of the ingredients. Take the Hendrick's and honeydew cocktail at James. I'm not a big fan of the bracing juniper jolt of gin. And melon happens to be one of my least favorite kinds of fruit. But somehow, when poured into a tumbler of ice, shaken together and garnished with a few sprigs of thyme, they make spirited magic. The tang of the gin balances out the sweetness of the melon, each one the better for their having met. >> James, 824 S. Eighth St. 215.629.4980. www.jameson8th.com
Les Dames d'Escoffier, an organization of women in the hospitality and culinary professions, is celebrating the 160th birthday of esteemed chef Auguste Escoffier with a bang-up dinner at Moonstruck Restaurant. At a Taste of Provence you get hors d'oeuvres, a multicourse meal and wine for $80 (including tax and gratuity). Proceeds go to the Dames' scholarship fund, which assists local women pursuing culinary careers. This town could use more women running its professional kitchens. Here's your chance to help them get there. >> Fri., April 20, 6:30pm. $80. Moonstruck, 7955 Oxford Ave., Fox Chase. 215.725.6000.