7/26/2012 01:38:00 PM

Eat This, Do This, Read This: Philly Weekend Planner, July 27-29

July was a great month in Philadelphia, and all the food-related happenings were enough to make you forget about ever wanting to escape to the shore. The same holds true for the last weekend before the calendar ticks over to August, and we’ve picked some choice eats, a festival for each day and a couple of good reads for your bit of down time.

Eat This

Brunch at Frankford Hall
What goes great with beer, picnic tables and ping pong? Brunch. Stephen Starr’s Fishtown beer garden has just launched a quad of dishes to cure your Sunday morning munchies, and they are all worthy of a trip up Frankford Ave. The German breakfast platter brings a surprisingly light liverwurst (it reminded us of Dandelion’s duck liver parfait), plus grilled ham, a hard boiled egg, thick buttery toast and several accoutrements to perk up your palate. On the more traditional tip are a stack of fluffy-yet-toothy pancakes smothered by blueberry preserves and an open-face sausage and egg sandwich, oozing with gruy√®re and topped with slivers of leeks. If you aren’t ready to handle that much heft, go with the salad Lyonnaise - after you puncture the perfectly poached egg, it’s plenty satisfying, while providing a welcome, light crunch. Order an entree for $9 and get a radler (Deutsch for shandy) or Bloody for just $3 more (11:30 AM-2 PM; 215-634-3338).

Crudo of the Day at Stateside
George Sabatino has been straight up killing it at this East Passyunk tavern. Witness: yesterday, not only did Anthony Bourdain stop at Stateside for lunch while shooting for The Layover, but Philadelphia Magazine announced Sabatino won best chef in the 2012 Best of Philly awards. For a weekend bite that won’t slow you down, check out his crudo, which changes daily. Recent incarnations have been as gorgeous as they are tantalizing, with combinations like halibut tartare with melon soup, radish and chili oil (described by one fan as “an edible painting of summer”) and fluke and cantaloupe sashimi with a mango-cucumber salsa. The only drawback - what with all the accolades, you may not be able to score a seat (215-551-2500).

Do This

Philadelphia Vendy Awards
Food trucks are everywhere these days, but which one is the best? This street food throwdown is your chance to find out. Eight finalists in the savory category and four dessert-slinging mobile kitchens will post up at The Lot in West Philly, doling out tastes of their best treats. A panel of judges will make the final decision, but your $55 ticket ($60 at the gate) brings you the opportunity to weigh in for the people’s choice award, while filling your belly and washing it all down with plenty of beer. Kids under 12 get in for $25 each. Even better, the whole event is a fundraiser for The Food Trust. We’ll be there shooting photos all day, so be sure to say hello (3-7 PM; tickets available here).

East Passyunk Car Show & Street Festival
For the seventh year running, this South Philadelphia diagonal strip will be shut down from Broad to Dickinson and play host to over 140 show cars, including burnished antiques, tricked-out muscle cars and other custom-fitted autos. Restaurants along the ave will host musical performances and set up outdoor stands to sell drinks and snacks, and performers from the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts will twirl and swing above your head (noon-5 PM; free).

Read This

Setting the Table for Better Minds, Better Bodies and Better People
Hometown superchef Marc Vetri makes his debut on the Huffington Post food blog with a moving article about the Vetri Foundation’s Eatiquette Program. School lunches have deteriorated to the point where a bowl of jello is considered a serving of fruit. To combat this health hazard that is holding back the next generation, Vetri launched a family-style eating program at a summer camp for low-income students. After learning to set the table, cook good food and enjoy it with their classmates, kids stopped misbehaving and even took their new manners and interest in healthy eats home to their families. Hopefully, there’s much more of this to come.

Never Eat the Same Gazpacho Twice
Personal chef Judith Klinger does a wonderful job chronicling her summers in Umbria, Italy on her Aroma Cucina blog, and comes up with a great primer on making use of the season’s best produce, no matter where you happen to be. A couple of loose recipes are given (cucumber gazpacho with pistachio sounds delish), but the post is full of general tips on how to experiment with what’s in your garden (or CSA basket) to come up with a cool, satisfying meal.


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