Saturday, August 5, 2017

MAGPIE (PHILADELPHIA, PA)

Magpie
1622 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
www.iluvmagpie.com
Tel: 267.519.2904
Cuisine: Dessert, Pies
$ (under $15)
Sat, 07/15/2017, 8:30pm walk-in
    (4 piglets)



Following our indulgence of Philly cheesesteaks, my family and I were in the mood for something sweet. We wanted dessert that was a bit different than the usual ice cream pick. As we searched, we discovered a coffee and pie spot that wasn't too far from our current location.

Magpie is a pie spot that offers seasonal pies made by hand. It is located in a cute little area that seems to have a cool foodie feel to it. The store is quite small with a long bar countertop area as well as a few tables surrounding it. The interior is simple, but cute, reminding you that you just stepped into something that resembles Anthropology. The menu is basic with pies, coffee, and ice cream.

The menu
Cute Little sitting area

The bar seating

The bar
CAPPUCCINO ($3.75): The cappuccino was delicious. It was thick and frothy and had a cute heart design. The espresso had the perfect amount of strength that I didn't even need to add sugar.

GHIRADELLI WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE ($4.00): with house made marshmallow. This was delicious. The marshmallow wasn't the typical jetpuff marshmallow. It was light and airy and the white chocolate was sweet but not overly sweet. It was a good drink if you like hot chocolate and want something a bit different.

BLUEBERRY CRUMB A LA MODE ($6.00 +$2.50 FOR ICE CREAM): I thought this pie was just ok. I loved the crumb topping cause it is one of my favorites, but the whole pie altogether didn't amaze me. The crust had a nice buttery texture. I wasn't a fan of the ice cream. It was just way too crystalized and icy and lacked the creamy consistency I always look for in ice cream.  

BUTTERSCOTCH BOURBON ($5.25): I really enjoyed this pie. I'm a fan of butterscotch so a butterscotch pie made my dreams come true. It was creamy and buttery and the bourbon was really subtle. It was not too heavy and the crust was flaky. A good overall pie.

MY FAVORITE. BLACK AND WHITE ($5.50): This was a really good pie. It was rich with chocolate undertones without being overly decadent. I loved all the textures, from the buttery pie crust, to the creamy filling all the way to the crispy chocolate balls. It was a pie party in my mouth.
Overall, Magpie is a great dessert spot if you're looking for something different than the common ice cream. It is fairly small and cozy and offers great coffee options for the coffee lovers. They also have pie milkshakes where you can pick your favorite pie flavor and turn it into a drink! Additionally, if you're into savory pies, they have that too! Basically, it's a win-win situation for all.

Notable Dishes: Black and White Pie and Ghiradelli White Hot Chocolate

Sunday, July 30, 2017

GENO'S STEAKS (PHILADELPHIA, PA)

Geno's Steaks
1219 S. 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
www.genosteaks.com
Tel: 215.389.0659
Cuisine: Cheesesteaks
$ (under $15)
Sat, 07/15/2017, 7:30pm walk-in
    (3.5 Piglets)



Geno's is another iconic cheesesteak spot located across the street from Pat's. It is a rivalry between the two about who tastes better and which one is more authentic. In order to establish which one wins, my family and I did a comparison by eating one right after the other.

The place is just as busy as Pat's. There is also seating al fresco. There are two windows for ordering: one for the cheesesteaks and one for drinks and fries. We decided to try the fries here eventhough we did not order them at Pat's.

Condiments

Menu

Cash only

Drinks and Fries
CHEESESTEAK WITH WHIZ ($10.00): The steak was just ok. It is different than Pat's in the sense that Geno's has larger slices vs Pat's has chopped up steak. I felt as though it wasn't seasoned well and lacked a bit of flavor. The bread was good and it wasn't as greasy as Pat's. 

MY FAVORITE DISH. PEPPER CHEESE STEAK ($11.00): I preferred this sandwich over the cheesesteak with whiz. It had more flavor and the peppers gave it a little kick it needed. 

FRIES WITH WHIZ ON THE SIDE ($5.00): This was amazing. The fries were skinny fries, which is my fry of choice. The cheese dip  of whiz is delicious. It coagulates when it's cold, but who cares! The fries are crisp and when combined with the cheese, it takes it to a whole new level. This is the only way fries should be eaten in Philly. 
Overall, I thought Geno's was ok. Based on flavor, I think Pat's outweighs Geno's in that aspect. I think the slices of beef just made it more difficult to season the steak. We also asked them to slice the sandwich in quarters, but the workers were not the brightest and didn't know what quarters meant. That being said, it's still not bad. It's a great alternative to Pat's if the line is long. The rivalry between Pat's or Geno's is what I believe to be a personal preference of the type of beef you like. 

Notable Dishes: Fries with Whiz and Pepper Cheesesteak

PAT'S KING OF STEAKS (PHILADELPHIA, PA)

Pat's King of Steaks
1237 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
www.patskingofsteaks.com
Tel: 215.468.1546
Cuisine: Cheesesteaks
$ (under $15)
Sat, 07/15/2017, 7:15pm walk-in
    (4 Piglets)


Upon landing in Philly, my cousins and I decided that it was wise to hit up some iconic cheesesteak spots for my first meal in the city. In doing my research, Pat's seemed to be the destined place to visit. The spot was nestled in an Italian neighborhood of Philly with parking being a bitch. We literally went around in circles for 20 minutes and finally walked our way to this joint.

Pat's was busy. Across from Pat's was another cheesesteak joint known as Geno's that seemed to be equally busy. Obviously, we knew we had to visit Geno's right after to do a comparison of the two.

Pat's had some seating al fresco. The menu was pretty simple...cheesesteaks and hot dogs and fish cakes...and cash only.


Seating

How to order and cash only

The menu
CHEESESTEAK WITH PROVOLONE ($11.00): This was just ok for me. I liked the steak but the cheese didn't really do anything for me. I thought the flavor of the meat with the onions went well together, but it just needed more sauce and flavor. 

MY FAVORITE DISH. CHEESESTEAK ($11.00): Cheesesteak wit whiz. This was my favorite. I love the steak with whiz. I think that's how the Phillys do it and the only way to do it. The cheese seasons the steak and makes it creamy and luscious. I love it and its the only way to do it. Onions and all and the bread held up to all the meat. 
Overall, I thought Pat's was pretty good. It's a simple menu of cheesesteaks with the type of cheese of your choice. I personally think its advised to order the steaks with whiz. I could eat multiple of these. We didn't bother with the hot dogs or the fish cakes cause our focus was on the cheesesteaks. Be prepared to wait. There is always a line but it goes by pretty quickly. 

Notable dishes: Cheesesteak wit Whiz

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

PIZZANA (BRENTWOOD, LOS ANGELES, CA)

Pizzana
11712 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049
www.pizzana.com
Tel: 310.481.7108
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza
$$ ($15-$30)
Sun, 06/18/2017, 5:00pm walk-in
     (4.5 Piglets)




Pizza and I are like two peas in a pod. If I'm not eating pizza, I'm eating ice cream, fried chicken, or something remotely glutinous. Luckily, a new pizza joint backed by Chris O'Donnell (yes, the actor!) and Candace Nelson, the owner of Sprinkles, recently opened up within walking distance from my apartment. Unfortunately, this could mean some serious danger in terms of weight gain.

Pizzana is headed by chef Daniele Uditi who grew up in Italy making pizzas. The place is fairly small, with a small outdoor patio eating area and a chef's bar where you can watch the pizzas being made. It's contemporary, simple and clean. The pizzas are what they're known for, offering traditional neapolitan crust that isn't soggy, but rather a nice, chewy texture. 





The Interior

The pizza oven

The pizza comes out and is placed on a pan that has holes to let the steam out, giving a nice crispy crust. 
Pizza Making...


PATE DI FEGATINI ($13.00): Housemade Chicken Liver Pate, San Marzano Jam, Wood Fired Bread. This was amazing. The liver was smooth and creamy with a great amount of flavor and balance. It was absolutely delicious to the core and so was the bread. The only thing is, they only give you two small slices of bread and you're left with a bunch of liver leftover. 

Look at how much liver was leftover and we put a lot on our bread. We asked for more and they had to charge us an extra $5 for 4 slices. 

WOOD FIRED BREAD ($5.00): The bread was delicious, crisp and chewy. Enough said. 


CARNIVORO ($22.00): San Marzano Dop, Fior Di Latte, Spicy Soppressata, Fennel Sausage, Prosciutto Cotto, Parmigiano, Basil. This pizza is a meat lovers dream. It had everything on it and then some. If you love meat, this is your type of pizza. A good pizza with lots of flavor and spice. 

Peach Crostini with Sprinkles Ice Cream. I thought this dessert was just ok. I loved the ice cream as it was creamy and delicious, but the tart wasn't that great. It wasn't as crispy and decadent as I was hoping. 

MY FAVORITE DISH. UOVO ($19.00): Fior di Latte, Cherry Tomato, Prosciutto, Crudo, Bacon Jam, Arugula, Egg. This pizza is delicious. I thought it was fresh and it was a change to have bacon jam as the sauce. I thought it didn't taste heavy at all and the crust, oh that crust...it was delicious upon every bite. There was a little spice from the arugula. I thought it was a great pizza from the traditional meat pizza. 
Overall, Pizzana was delicious. I thought the pizzas had an amazing crust and lived up to their expectations. They import their mozzarella from Italy every two weeks to deliver the freshest cheese straight onto your plate. There were only a few issues I had with the restaurant that stopped me from giving them five piglets. The first was the pate dish. The liver pate execution was good but conceptually, it fails because they only give two small slices of bread and a whole lotta liver. I'd rather them raise the price $2 for the dish and provide four slices of bread rather than two. Additionally, I thought the service could have used a bit of improvement. It took them forever to refill our waters. We asked two times and had to tell the chef to refill our waters before anything was actually done. Other than that, it was magnificent.

Notable Dishes: Pate di Fegatini and Uovo Pizza