1/30/2013 10:51:00 AM

Eat This, Do This, Read This: Philly Weekend Planner, February 1-3

Since it’s Italian Week, we're recommending some great Italian food this weekend. Then you can move on to enjoy wings (the veggie kind) and other healthy (!) snacks as you settle in front of the TV for the big game. Between the sports and the food, read about those ever-present wings and laugh your way through a takedown of celery, certainly the most evil of all vegetables.

Eat This

Pasta Special at Francoluigi’s
Any of the dishes at this South Philly Italian will satisfy a noodle craving in classic style, thanks to chef Franco Borda’s family connection to an Italian importing company. However, when you settle into your seat in the split-level dining room tucked behind the corner pizzeria, make sure to ask for the specials of the night. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a chance to order the fagottini with peas and pancetta, whisper-thin cheese-filled purses swimming in a rich vodka sauce. Wash them down with a $24 bottle of wine (any bottle on the list, through the end of February). It may not be a trip Italy, but it’s a great night out (215-755-8900).

Pizza at Bufad
Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello have quietly launched this brick-oven pizzeria near their other establishments, Prohibition Taproom and Cafe Lift, and the pizza emerging from the kiln are intriguing. A changing selection of Roman-style pies has recently included combinations like butternut squash with sage and Grana Padano; potato slices with Pecorino and rosemary; and Gorgonzola with pancetta and balsamic vinegar. A small selection of antipasti and Italian soups are available to fill out your meal, all at incredibly reasonable prices (215-238-9311).

Do This

First Annual Veggie Wing Bowl at Adobe Cafe
If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll love the focus on meat-free food at this event, and if you’re a die-hard traditionalist when it comes to chicken wings, feel free to laugh. Held at Adobe Cafe on East Passyunk this Saturday, the first annual veggie wing eating contest is also a stand-up comedy show. Four comedians and four rounds of competitive eating kick off at 7:30 PM in the upstairs room. The seitan is pay as you go, but the show is free (215-551-2243).

Heart-Healthy Fundraiser at South Philly Bar & Grill
The one drawback to Super Bowl food is its effect on your heart. While fantastically tasty, wings, chips, dogs and other common gameday snacks are not that healthy, but you don’t have to overload on grease to enjoy TV-friendly food. Instead, hit up the East Passyunk pub for a party hosted by the Female Football Frenzy. As you take in the big game, nibble on lettuce wraps with chicken cashew stir fry, roasted veggie wraps, fruit and yogurt parfait and other better bites. Buy at $10 or $25 ticket at the door starting at 6 PM, and know that all proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association (215-334-3300).

Read This

The Three Most Vicious Lies About Celery
The New York Times recently published a piece touting the wonderful merits of celery, but if you’ve ever tried to diet, you might not feel too kindly about the fibrous veggie. Gawker has your back with this hysterical takedown, taking the author to task for her praise of the forever-chew stalks. Do you agree that “celery is an insult to human dignity”? Click over to see Mallory Ortberg make that case.

Why Chicken Wings Dominate Super Bowl Snack Time
"A chicken has two wings, and chicken companies are not able to produce wings without the rest of the chicken." So says the 2013 Wing Report. Though there’s a shortage of the ingredient, Americans will still rush to buy them for the big game this weekend. NPR’s The Salt takes a look at why, noting that the once-cheap chicken part now costs more than breast meat. Will wings be part of your Sunday party?

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