|Pies at Marra's are still finished in the original oven, built in 1927|
Eat This (Pizza Week Edition)Pizza Alla Bianca at Marra’s
What continues to bring crowds through the black-and-white-tiled facade of this East Passyunk fixture? “People feel like they’re eating at a friend’s house, not going out to dinner,” manager (and co-owner's wife) Michelle tells us, describing the welcoming, relaxed family atmosphere that pervades the multiple dining rooms. She should know - she's the granddaughter of Italian immigrants Salvatore and Chiarina Marra, who founded the South Philly restaurant in 1927. Her brother John oversees the old-school pizza craft practiced in the same oven that’s turned out pies for the past 85 years, and the offering he’s most proud of is the bianca, a white pie dressed with the colors of Italy - broccoli rabe, sausage, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic - and topped with provolone cheese. Even after a lifetime of pizzeria life, the crunchy, bubbling “antipasti on a pie” is still his go-to snack, and it could easily be yours, too ($20.50; 215-463-9249).
Sweet Corn & Bacon Pizza at Isabella
For a seasonally appropriate take on the easy-eating snack, head to Conshohocken, where chef Michael Cappon’s pie of the month is sweet corn and bacon. Kernels of roasted corn are sprinkled over the organic flour crust, which has been smeared with pesto and topped with charred onion, applewood bacon, piquillo peppers and fontina cheese. The result is a warm-weather treat that goes well with a crisp white wine, and on Sundays the Mediterranean tapas house is BYO, so you can choose the perfect pairing ($18; 484-532-7470).
Do ThisTaste of Philadelphia
The official “Welcome America” celebration kicks off on Friday with this three-day festival at Penn’s Landing. Entry is free, and stands from Darling’s Diner, Gigi Restaurant & Lounge and Marabella Meatball Co., along with food trucks Gozen Yogurt, Say Cheese, Gigi & Big R’s, Sweet Box, Lil Dan’s and Vernalicious, will be offering assorted bites ranging from $1-$5 each. On Saturday evening, stick around to have the best view of the first of the holiday fireworks, lighting up the Delaware River with colorful explosions (5-10 PM Friday, 11 AM-10 PM Saturday, 11 AM-7 PM Sunday).
Watch the July 4th sparks fly from the other side while mixing in some military history at a fireworks viewing party on the Battleship New Jersey. The former warship turned museum is hosting a cocktail reception and BBQ surf and turf dinner, where you can mingle amid the big guns that watch over the huge open deck or take a short tour to inspect the inner workings of the steel behemoth. Tickets are $175, and all proceeds benefit the ongoing restoration and preservation of the historic vessel (5:30 PM).
Read ThisLunch: An Urban Invention
Though it may be the best part of the workday, before we were sequestered in offices for the majority of our waking hours, a set midday meal didn’t really exist. Edible Geography chronicles the rise of lunch, from the transition out of the fields and into urban environments, to the “new” technology of sandwiches (ladies got instructions on how to butter sliced bread). Curious about the origins of the three-martini power lunch? Read all about it.
Soap: How Much Cleaner Does It Actually Make Your Hands?
Are you diligent about getting a squirt of soap from the dispensers in public restrooms as you leave? You might simply be stocking up on bacteria, recent studies find. You might be better off with plain water, as long as you rub your hands together vigorously. The latest findings on hand washing are intriguing and surprising, and Brian Fung lays them all out on the health channel of The Atlantic. Think we’ll go cop a few bottles of Purell, just to be safe.