10/03/2012 04:56:00 PM

Eat This, Do This, Read This: Philly Weekend Planner, October 5-7

It’s probably a blessing in disguise that Center City Restaurant Week takes a break over the weekend - there’s so much other eating, drinking and festing to take care of. Check out our top choices for how to relax, along with some interesting reads (the NYT is harshing on Jen Carroll!) to keep you busy on your days off.

Eat This

Open Faced Scrapple Sandwich at Hickory Lane Bistro
We really do feel bad for people who live outside the Philadelphia region and have never heard of scrapple. At Fairmount’s Hickory Lane Bistro, chef Matt Zagorski treats the amazing breakfast meat right, serving a huge slice of classic Habbersett atop two slices of grilled dark sourdough bread. The meat is finished off with goat cheese, sautéed spinach and two perfect sunny side up eggs. This may look like too much to handle, but it’s so tasty we’ll be surprised if you don’t clean your plate (yes, speaking from experience here). Find the sandwich for $13 at brunch on both Saturday and Sunday (215-769-2420).

Cider Donut with Duck Ragout at a.kitchen
Donuts pretty much always catch our eye, and this one is more unusual than most. On chef Bryan Sikora’s new fall menu, the pastry in question is a cake round with fresh apple baked inside a crisp exterior. It stands in for much more boring pasta beneath a rich sauce made from apple-cider-braised duck. A few slices of duck breast on top and a bonus “donut hole” fritter on the side make this a reason to hit up Rittenhouse this weekend ($16; 215-825-7030).

Do This

Midtown Village Fall Festival
This daylong outdoor festival is back for a seventh year, and - just like the quickly expanding neighborhood - it’s bigger than ever. Thirteenth Street will be closed to traffic from Locust to Chestnut, and the food and drink vendors, dunk tanks, DJs, crafts and more also spill onto Sansom Street in both directions. McGillin’s Olde Ale House will host a rocking beer garden outside its entrance on Drury Street, and you can expect eats from El Vez, Barbuzzo, Lolita, Sampan, Opa, Time and everyone else in the hood. The fun goes down on Saturday from noon-8 PM, rain or shine.

Pumpkin Smash at City Tap House
Get a good night’s sleep after Saturday’s festivities, because you won’t want to miss the Sunday party. One of the biggest celebrations of pumpkin beer in the region will take over the University City beer bar from 1-8 PM, and will feature more than 25 pumpkin brews on draft. Entertainment will include live music and a pumpkin pie eating contest. A $10 entrance fee scores you a commemorative tasting glass and your first pour free, or just spot a fiver at the door and sip your way through with a regular pint - the beer will taste just as good (215-662-0105).

Read This

Full of Advice, and Full of Themselves
Tonight is the premiere of Food Network’s Life After Top Chef, and the New York Times leads off its review with a paragraph about Philly’s own Jennifer Carroll. The writer notes her non-sportsmanlike hubris - and later on, her “sad, defeated eyes” - but we can feel better knowing she does in fact have a restaurant in the works now. If only Concrete Blonde was opening Philadelphia and not New York!

The Top Bars in Philadelphia
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board released its data for all 2011 purchases by bars and restaurants, and The Insider has sifted through the numbers. Click over to see which venue spent the most on booze last year. Spoiler: steak houses sure do carry some expensive stuff.

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