Philly Food Blogger Meet-Up

I’ve been blogging for less than a year and this will be my third mention of Supper. I really, really love the place. What can I say? When my new friend, Wendy, told me that she was organizing a Philly Food Bloggers Meet-Up at Supper, all I could say was yes and YES! The chance to meet other food bloggers AND have a tasty brunch at Supper was exciting on so many levels. The menu looked divine and the fabulous owners, Jen and Mitch Prensky, promised to have a small, passed versions of some of their most popular brunch menu items with a special nod to us bloggers–they had a full sized version of each dish for photography purposes. LOVE these guys!

I walked into the restaurant on the cool Saturday afternoon and headed upstairs to Supper’s private dining room where Wendy and other food bloggers milled about with their mimosas in hand. I grabbed a hot apple beignet and quickly started chatting with Wendy, Helen and Tenaya (no handshakes due to finger-lickin’ greasiness from the beignets) before making my way to the bar.

Somewhere along the way I had my first taste of the morning–Dock Street porter pancakes with candied apples, vanilla suds and homemade cracker jacks.

I loved the strong vanilla flavor in the foam and the “cracker jacks” made for a great crunch amidst the dense chewiness of the pancakes.

While standing at the bar, I got a chance to chat with the fabulous tag team couple behind 22nd & Philly. Ironically, my husband played youth soccer with Mr. 22nd & Philly so it was fun to get to know him and his wife a little better. While we were chatting, we got comfortable with one another pretty quickly. You have to when you’re eating dessert for brunch like Supper’s RENOWNED red velvet waffles with cream cheese mousse and bourbon cherries. Things tend to get a little racy.

Isn’t that just stunning? I will say that I enjoyed the small portion of it and don’t know if my (minimal) sweet tooth could handle an entire serving of this luscious dish.

While our hungry group milled about, Mitch and Jen did more than just organize the event. They were kind enough to chat with us, entertain us with stories (Mitch’s professional background is fascinating) and even pose for pictures. He is pictured below with the folks from 22nd & Philly and my friend, LeeAnne.

I could have eaten about 37 of the Dixie biscuits with scrambled egg, ham and pimento cheese. These little sliders were awesome but the grits that accompanied the full-sized verion were buttery and divine!

On the “lunch” side of brunch, Mitch and Jen served two of their favorite menu items–the Supper burger and Supper dog. I first had the burger at the Hair o’the Dog Brunch on New Year’s Day–there was no better hangover cure than the juicy burger with caramlized onions, roasted tomato, bacon and gruyere. The baby burgers were super cute and a perfect three-bite taste.

The Supper dog was my hands-down favorite (although the Dixie biscuit was a very close second.) You may remember that I don’t really eat pork. Well, folks, the Supper dog ruined that for me (I’m obviously really disappointed about that!) The dog is 100% pork shoulder wrapped in bacon and deep fried (!!!) with sauerkraut, bbq onions and a beer mustard on a split top roll. This is what they looked like in the mini version.

But check out this full-sized monster of a dog.

O….M….G….

I love how it’s perched so daintily atop the split top bun. Wow. I just loved everything about this dish. Oh, and once the photos were all taken, those fried pickle chips disappeared in a heartbeat. I could have eaten those guys all day long.

Aside from the afternoon’s food, which was phenomenal, it was great getting to put faces to the names of the folks I know from Twitter and the the blogosphere. Many, many thanks to Mitch and Jen for a mouth-watering spread and great company to boot! If you haven’t been to Supper, you’re definitely missing out.

Check out some of the other attendees (I stole this list from 22nd & Philly.)

1. La Phemme Phoodie
2. Philly Foodie
4. Midtown Lunch Philadelphia
5. Eating in South Jersey
6. Two Eat Philly
7. Jonny Sparks Lounge
8. The Pour Curator
9. NJ Epicurean
10. In Search of Beer
11. Exton Dish
12. Doris and Jilly Cook
13. South Jersey Locavore

14. Zagat Buzz

15. Apples and Cheese Please

And check out these great write-ups of the event:
Apples and Cheese Please
22nd & Philly
In Search of Beer
La Phemme Phoodie (the lovely organizer of this event)

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Hair o’the Dog Brunch at Supper

A few weeks ago, Mitch Prensky, the Chef-Owner of Supper Restaurant (@supperphilly) tweeted out some interested news. Supper, which happens to be one of my favorite restaurants, was planning on having a New Year’s Day “Hair o’the Dog” Brunch. What is so interesting about that, one may ask. Well, he and his wife, Jennifer, were holding the brunch as a fundraiser for PAWS Animal Rescue…and we could bring our dog!!! Now, if I haven’t mentioned it before, my husband and I have a four-year old English bulldog named Jewels and she is the light of our lives. We rescued her from HeavenSent Bulldog Rescue, an amazing, volunteer-run, breed-specific rescue, and are big advocates of pet adoption/rescue. We love going to brunch during the warmer months because we can sit outside with Jewels and have a leisurely meal. Somehow, winter brunch isn’t quite as fun without our little bulldog so we were SUPER excited at the opportunity. Brunch with Jewels AND an awesome meal??? Yes, please!

We woke up late on New Year’s Day and headed up to 9th & South ready for a tasty meal. We found a parking spot right away (this is a big deal!) and made sure Jewels peed before we entered the restaurant because we didn’t want to be “those people” whose dog peed in the middle of Supper. When we got to the door, we were greeted with this sign.

Once we entered the restaurant there were fresh cloth napkins for paw cleaning. After a quick wipe down, we walked up to the hostess stand and were greeted with overwhelming love and rubs for Jewels. They also gave her a squeaky toy!  Jewels was visibly excited about the opportunity to eat inside with us. She obviously knew that something special was going on and relished in the excitement AND extra attention. She tends to be a bit of an attention whore sometimes, but I’m ok with that. We headed over to our seats and perused the menu. My order went as follows: water, coffee, bloody mary, food. I was torn between the traditional bloody mary and the bloody maria, Supper’s spicier version, but I kept things simple and was pleased with the result.

There was still a nice bite and plenty of chewy horseradish. I LOVE horseradish. My husband got something similar with bourbon instead of vodka–he can’t quite recall but remembers that it had Kentucky in the name. On another note, check out the little milk bottle behind my bloody mary–they served the milk for my coffee in that container. Too cute!

Even though there were tons of tasty sounding things on the menu, the best post-New Year’s Eve (and pre-parade) meal for us both was the traditional Supper burger.

The burger had caramelized onions, smoked bacon, gruyere and  roasted tomatoes with a side of duckfat fries and house made pickles. Need I say more? Literally, no words could describe this better than looking at the picture and ingredients. Well, maybe they could, but none of MY words could…Meanwhile, Jewels was playing with her toy and licking her lips after tastes of burger.

While we were dining, we ran into a Twitter “friend” of mine and her pug, Meatball. Meatball and Jewels sniffed each other a bit, but each of them seemed more interested in the surrounding people–and food, of course.  Meatball is a cutie though!

As we were waiting for the check, Jewels looked up at me–“any burger left, Mom?”

It was a successful brunch for all and hopefully Supper was able to give a nice donation to PAWS for all of their hard work and dedication.  Thank you to Supper for helping kick off our 2011 with a smile.

Sunday Supper

Ever since Supper opened, I wanted to check it out. We finally made it there for my birthday this year and had a great time and even better food. Let me begin by saying that their chef, Mitch Prensky, is a pretty cool dude. I met him a few years back at the Super Fresh on South Street. He was buying something strange like marshmallows and hot sauce and I struck up a conversation about how I hoped he wasn’t going to put those two food items together. He was super friendly which further piqued my interest in Supper. We didn’t make it there until this year, but it was definitely worth the wait. Four enthusiastic thumbs up to Supper for both the food and service.

Fast forward to last night. My best friend lives just a few blocks from Supper and we’ve been trying to find time to check out their Sunday Supper–a prix-fixe, buffet-style supper that takes place the first Sunday of each month. Well, yesterday was BFF’s birthday and she proposed Sunday Supper. Never one to turn down a dinner at Supper (or supper at Summer?) I enthusiastically agreed.

The day before dinner, my friend texted me to let me know that her in-laws would be joining us and asking if we minded. I forgot to mention that she has the unfortunate delight of sharing her birthday with her mother-in-law. Don’t get me wrong–her mother-in-law is a lovely woman, however this fateful date will never be hers alone.

We got to the restaurant and they led us upstairs where the buffet was taking place. While we waited for the in-laws, the four of us ordered some cocktails. I was a little confused when she asked my husband and I whether we wanted olives in our dirty martinis. Dirty martinis=olive juice + olives, right? When my husband’s drink came crystal clear and without olives, she hurriedly brought him some, although I don’t believe she actually “dirtied” our martinis.

Although it was a buffet, they included one menu per table so we were able to see what we would be eating. My friend’s parents (I’m friends with the husband too, so it seems silly to keep calling them the in-laws) are not the most adventurous eaters and we all knew that this would be a stretch for them. The menu looked delicious to the rest of us though.

I started by loading up my plate with a bit of everything.

From the top, going clockwise, the dishes are toasted Israeli cous cous with Blue Elephant Farm herbs and vegetables; roasted summer squash stuffed with Blue Elephant vegetable tagine, feta and toasted almonds; grilled lamb shoulder marinated in yogurt and mint and topped with apricot chutney; grilled flatbreads with eggplant salad–there were two different types. One was smoother and one was chunkier and Charmoula roasted striped bass with Blue Elephant cucumber and onion salad.

Highlights for everyone included the bass (his mom loved it!) Folks were mixed on the lamb, although I think it was personal preference more than anything else. I’m not a huge lamb eater, but I enjoyed with the (as you can see) plethora of apricot chutney. The cous cous and stuffed squash were nice, summery sides. I loved the texture of the cous cous but felt like it was a bit too acidic at times. The squash was flavorful but a bit tough to eat due to the size. As silly as it sounds, I enjoyed the nicely charred flatbread with eggplant and even topped it with chutney on my second trip up to the buffet.

We finished with walnut baklava with cardamom ice cream.

Sorry for the poor picture quality. I promise I’ll stop using my camera phone at some point. It was hard to get a read on others’ takes of this dessert because we were all so full by the time it was brought to the table. I quite enjoyed the syrupy sweetness of the walnut baklava and scooped up a little spoonful of ice cream with each bite. The cardamom flavor was definitely present, yet not overwhelming.

Overall, we had a truly enjoyable evening. The two birthday girls seemed to enjoy themselves and we shared lots of laughs, including me mishearing a “Black Mandarin” drink order as a “Black Man Drink” (my friend’s father is African American and I did a double take when I heard him order) and our stifled laughs regarding a book that his mom sent my friend and described as “kind of like Stephen King with a Christian twist.” When we left the restaurant, our night was completed by the shock that his parents had #1 Parked in a handicapped spot with no handicapped tags and #2 Had not been ticketed! I guess that is the ultimate birthday gift.

Overall, Sunday Supper was a relaxing, pleasant and definitely tasty way to spend our Sunday evening. If you are interested in going, I would suggest that you check the menu to make sure you’re interested in what is being served and BYOB. Although I enjoyed my martini, we could have saved some money by BYOBing a few bottles of wine as they waive the corkage fee during Sunday Suppers. Check it out!