From this week’s Philadelphia City Paper:
City Grange, a 70-seat eatery geared toward a complete reliance on local, sustainable products, will soft-open Aug. 6 in preparation for its grand opening in early September. Chef Chris Lichtman says his menu will feature American regional and comfort dishes, and he stresses that the restaurant’s mission statement is serious — in other words, this isn’t just a bandwagon reaction to the “buy fresh, buy local” philosophy steadily gaining ground in Philly. “Everyone here, from the servers to the beverage director, feels deeply about promoting local cuisines,” he says. Yep, beverage director — they have a liquor license and will serve choice beers and wines from local breweries and vineyards. Bite This: Menu items will include a rustic casserole with heirloom tomato, eggplant, onion, shaved fennel, basil, thyme and local goat cheese; and corn fritters, a staple of Amish cuisine.
Westin Philadelphia, 99 S. 17th St., 215-575-6904
Sounds tasty to me.
My question: Is “buy fresh, buy local” a “bandwagon”? And if it becomes one, is that a bad thing? After all, it’s not exactly a restaurant fad. Eating on giant beds? Serving foam with everything? Those are fads. Serving fresh food that’s actually in season? Not so much.
I say, if it actually leads to restaurants sourcing their ingredients from farmer’s markets, having seasonal menus and not serving us some nasty-ass pale pink tomatoes from a box? Load up that bandwagon!
In other Philly restaurant news, Ida Mae’s Bruncherie, a proud purveyor of fresh,local food, is opening for dinner as of tomorrow. If their dinner is half as good as their Irish breakfast, we’re in for a treat. Between this and Bistro Juliana, Fishtown’s on the move.
- Eat one meal per week during the month of September that is made using locally grown ingredients. Non-local oil and spices are allowed.
- Can, freeze, dry, or otherwise preserve two things during the month.
- Utilize one new resource for locally grown food during September – that could be a new restaurant, farmer’s market, etc.
This is an easy way to learn more about what’s available locally– and you’ll save money, too.