10/10/2012 04:38:00 PM

Eat This, Do This, Read This: Philly Weekend Planner, October 11-13

We had our first taste of a real chill this week, and with it comes the chance to eat belly-warming fall foods and dress in sweaters for sunny outdoor block parties. Find all this and more in our picks for this weekend, along with some reads on a patent for cheesesteaks and the sad state of restaurant workers’ paychecks.

Eat This

Chili Pot Pie at Magpie
The South Street West pie-only cafe has just rolled out a new menu, and just about every single item is drool-worthy, from the sweet praline streusel pumpkin custard pie to the version with savory butternut squash and smoked Gouda. However, our favorite on the list is this Frito-topped creation, which sees spicy black bean and chorizo chili inside an individual mini pie crust with melted cheddar beneath the chips. The irreverence of the dish almost clashes with the cozy grandma vibe of the shop - but not so much that we wouldn’t stop in on a blustery weekend afternoon to scarf one down  ($9.50).

Roasted Pheasant at The Mildred
Mike Santoro is adding a few new dishes to the menu to the just-launched dining room in Bella Vista, including this big bird from Four Story Hill Farm in Honesdale, PA. Meant to be shared by three (!) diners, the pheasant is roasted vertically on the restaurant’s signature Staub cast-iron cookware, where a center spike allows heat to radiate evenly, making for juicy meat throughout the animal. When we mentioned that the preparation reminded us exactly of a beer can chicken, the chef looked slightly offended, but it was meant entirely as a compliment. The meal is served with duck fat potatoes, Brussels sprouts, quince, cauliflower and other veggies for $56.

Do This

Fourth Annual Bloktoberfest
The daylong block party is returning for its fourth year, taking over South Street West on Saturday from Broad to 18th street. Beer is the main attraction, with over 27 mostly local ales, lagers and ciders on offer from noon-8 PM. Buy your beer bracelet in advance to save a fiver - it’s just $15 (with three drink tickets) or $25 (with five drink tickets) when you purchase online. Plenty of food will be available for purchase during the fest, including bites from The Cambridge, Jet Wine Bar, The Quick Fixx and a handful of your favorite food trucks. Proceeds benefit local charities and neighborhood associations.

Cheesesteak Challenge at Square 1682
On Sunday, head a few blocks north for the the third annual “High Steaks” sandwich competition hosted by chef Guillermo Tellez of Square 1682. The block party runs from 2-5 PM, and the main event will see 10 of Philly’s best chefs face off to see who can make the best and most creative cheesesteak. As is usually the case in these cooking contests, the audience is the real winner, because your $25 entrance fee entitles you to unlimited samples of all the entries. The event benefits education nonprofit Philadelphia Academies.

Read This

Philly Cheesesteak Trademark Case Pits Campo's Deli Against U.S. Patent Office
Is “Philadelphia’s Cheesesteak” the same thing as “Philadelphia Cheesesteak”? Patent lawyers for Campo’s Deli say the answer is definitively “No.” The hoagie shop is trying to trademark the phrase as it angles to expand past its current four shop locations, but the application has been rebuffed so far. The story made it to the Huffington Post this week, click over to read more.

Study: Most Can't Support a Family on Philadelphia Restaurant Wages
With results that should be surprising to no one who has worked in area kitchens or dining rooms, a study was just released that definitively says restaurant workers just don’t make enough to support a regular family lifestyle. There’s rarely health insurance in the food biz, and sick days are unheard of. What should be done? Suggestions from the advocacy group that commissioned the report include raising minimum wage and minimum tipped wage. The Philadelphia Inquirer has the full story.

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