Eat ThisPanelle at Paesano’s
Philly is a sandwich town, and though the cheesesteak/roast pork/Italian hoagie options are so plentiful you might never tire of them, the Panelle at Paesano’s is worth a step off the meat train. Both the Girard Avenue and Ninth Street locations of Peter McAndrews’ creative quick-serve offer this veggie-friendly meal, which is anything but boring. Sicilian-style chick pea fritters are surrounded by sweet, caramelized onions, pungent roasted tomato and crunchy roasted fennel, then drizzled with “Godzuki” (a hot sauce and sour cream mashup). Rolled in a thin pita shell and grilled to a satisfying crisp, the combo is filling and flavorful, but will leave you with zero post-hoagie regrets ($6; Girard Ave: 267-886-9556, Italian Market: 215-440-0371).
Carbonated Cocktails at Garces Trading Company
The trend of custom-carbonated cocktails has made its way to Philadelphia, thanks to GTC beverage manager Brandon Thomas. Recipes are pre-mixed, frozen to 30 degrees, carbonated and then bottled, awaiting guests who’d like to add some pop to a summer brunch or light dinner at Jose Garces’ spacious Locust Street dining room. Try the refreshing Avenue 1111, made with Tanqueray, house lime cordial, mint and ginger beer; the Italian-inflected Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, orange oil); or the Iron Chef America-tested Pepino Fresco, which combines Cuervo Gold and St. Germain elderflower liqueur with celery, cucumber and lemon juice. Each is opened, poured and garnished to order ($12; 215-574-1099).
Do ThisTwo-for-One Dinner at 401 Diner
Instead of battling beach-bound crowds to start the weekend, save time and coin with a two-for-one meal at this elevated diner in the heart of Conshohocken. Through the end of August, each weekday sees a different entree selected for the deal, and Fridays you can score two chicken parmesan dishes (spaghetti and marinara included) for just $15. The comfort food dining room is BYO with no corkage fee, so if you do your liquor store shopping well, you could come away with a whole evening at $25 or less (484-351-8029).
Picnic at Davio’s
Make the most of a weekend in town with an easy picnic in beautiful Rittenhouse Square (or any other park). Order ahead and the Italian steakhouse will fill a basket with your chosen salad, sandwich, dessert and still or sparkling water for two, along with a blanket, which you can pick up and take with you for $95 (including a tax, gratuity and a deposit). When you’re done, simply return the blanket and basket to get a $50 refund (215-563-4810).
Read ThisCraig LaBan on Jersey Shore Dining (Part 1 and Part 2)
If you do have plans to go down the shore this summer, best to check out The Philadelphia Inquirer food critic’s two-part overview of the myriad seaside dining options. He finds a few worthy bites and sips in Atlantic City’s newest casino, Revel, and is thankful for longtime standbys the Magnolia Room in Cape May and Smitty’s Clam Bar in Somers Point. Briny little necks sound so good, we can almost taste them now.
How Your Chicken Dinner Is Creating a Drug-Resistant Superbug
This long (and somewhat frightening) piece at The Atlantic was penned by public health specialist Maryn McKenna, who takes a look at how overuse of antibiotics in commercial chicken farming is contributing to the rise of certain types of infections suffered by American men and women. It’s an epidemic in the making, she argues, and requires and deserves more attention. Will free-range poultry save us?