A return to the old, yet it’s new…

I had a chance to eat at an old favorite recently – “Friday Saturday Sunday” in Philadelphia.  I have many memories at this place over the years, from dinners with old friends and family, to running into co-workers while there with friends and family.  The restaurant closed about a year ago, changed ownership, and underwent a transformative renovation.

I was nervous to return for fear that it wouldn’t compare to prior visits.  Boy was I wrong!  First of all, the space itself looks terrific.  It’s warm and inviting, but it still feels classy and special.

Second of all, the food was great.  I can even say I think that the food now is better than before.  The prior menu contained a lot of old favorites, which were great.  However, the new menu is food-forward but in a good way.

Fellow eater and I decided to indulge in the pasta special of the day, which was a lamb and goat cheese ravioli with sorrel mushrooms and pecorino cheese.  I’m not a lamb fan but this was delicious.  The pastas are made on premises and you can definitely tell.

FE had the escargot which he really enjoyed (I ate most of the pasta, sorry FE).  FE had filet mignon and I had the grilled shrimp with grits.  Both were excellent.  The shrimp was so flavorful that it didn’t even need the sauce that came with it.

We didn’t try dessert.  I wasn’t in love with any of the choices so I didn’t want to waste the calories.  The homemade ice cream sounded intriguing but I wasn’t wild about any of the daily flavors that were offered when I was there.  Definitely next time!

Finally, the service was stellar as usual.  I was happy to see that Mr. Connelly is still working there, and we were fortunate enough that he took care of us on this particular night.

I’m happy to highly recommend this restaurant, but please don’t swarm it so I can still get a reservation!

A return to the old, yet it’s new…

What I’ve been eating…

I have to confess, I was lucky enough to eat at Barclay Prime yet again recently.  I ate my usual and it was excellent (again).  I did have the coffee ice cream with chocolate brownie chunks this time, which was the special flavor of the day.  Wow.

I was also lucky enough to have a chance to eat at a brand new “fast casual” place called “Verts”.  Verts is on 16th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets in Philly (side of the 1601 Market building).  It just opened on 3/10.  I was walking by around lunchtime so I decided to stop in.  Apparently, half of the Philly lunch crowd had the same idea!  I was about the 25th person in line.  I decided to stick it out to see if it was worth it.  It was.  And p.s. the line moved quickly.

I ordered a rice bowl with falafel, cucumber and tomato salad, cabbage, pickled jalapeños, chickpeas, and red pepper seasoning.  I also had a side of pita chips and hummus.  I decided to go conservative since this was my first time here.  It was delicious.  The falafel was comparable to Naf Naf up the street (also very good).  The toppings were fresh and flavorful.  The jalapeños were so hot that my mouth was numb (also a good sign).

I can’t wait to go back and try the turkey and mushroom meatballs!

What I’ve been eating…

Marcus Lemonis’ “The Partner”

Marcus Lemonis of “The Profit” has a new series on CNBC called “The Partner”.  I really want to love this show but two episodes in, the jury’s still out for me.  The concept is good – Marcus is looking for someone to be his business partner and to help him shoulder the load of work he’s taken on via “The Profit”.

I love Marcus Lemonis’ “The Profit” and the concepts of “people, process, product” that he promotes.  It’s clear that he takes this seriously and it carries over into “The Partner”.

On paper, the candidate’s credentials were very impressive.  However, their credentials aren’t necessarily translating to their actions.  I’m sure this is in part due to the presence of the cameras, as well as the enormous time crunch.

I was particularly disappointed in Chuck Brewer, who was “fired” this week.  I predicted that he and Peilin Pratt were the candidates to beat during the first episode.  However, he displayed no personality and his personal branding campaign was weak.  It was definitely the right decision to fire him this week.

Erin Cobb is a great candidate but something about his personality rubs me the wrong way.  Perhaps he’s a bit overconfident?  I really like Peilin and I think she’ll be in the final two.  I’m also biased in her favor because I love candy (she and her husband have an online candy business)!

I suspect that Marcus will keep the non-profit candidate Julianna Reed for a while because she’s the underdog.  She’s definitely impressed me more as time goes by, but I’m still skeptical that she has the gravitas to be the partner.

I believe this series only has three more episodes so I intend to stick with it.  I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it.

Marcus Lemonis’ “The Partner”

What I’m reading…

I literally just finished reading “Killing the Rising Sun” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. I’ve read the other books in the “Killing” series, with the exception of the Jesus one, and they’re all good at keeping my attention.  This one was no different.  I finished it in two days.  The authors have a way of combining all of the different narratives that keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next, even though we know how it ultimately turned out.

This book covers the end of World War II and the transition to rebuilding afterwards, with the focus on Japan.  I’m a big fan of Douglas MacArthur and enjoyed the portions devoted to his exploits both during and after the war.  He certainly had a big ego but he got the job done when it needed to be done, without apology.  We need more of that in our leaders today.

The book also caused me to consider what the world would be like if Japan had prevailed in the war.  It’s hard to imagine.  There’s a show on Amazon Prime called “The Man in the High Castle” that contemplates this and it’s an interesting series.

I also finished “The Nightingale” recently (Kristin Hannah).  It was a good story about two sisters living in occupied France during World War II.  I’m not into fiction as much as non-fiction but the story was good.  Predictable, but good.  It was recommended to me by a colleague who was reading it for a book club.  It appears to be very popular and was hard to get from the library.

Waiting for “Exit West” and “A Man Called Ove” from the library but it may be a while.  Happy reading!

What I’m reading…

Another excellent meal at Barclay Prime

We had an impromptu “family party” at Barclay Prime in Philadelphia recently.  Fortunately, we were able to snag a last minute reservation in the lounge for our party of five.  Matt took care of us and as always, he went above and beyond in ensuring our comfort and satisfaction.

We had wagyu sliders, truffle mac and cheese, butterball potatoes, kale salad, roasted cauliflower, brussels sprouts, filet mignon, salmon, and ribeye.  Everything tasted great and the pace of the meal was perfect.

We ended the meal with two of the warm deep dish cookies, one with mint oreo ice cream and the other with chocolate chip ice cream.  Delicious!

Fortunately I’m going back with colleagues soon.

FYI the Patriot Parking garage around the corner on Chancellor Street offers validated parking for $17.

Another excellent meal at Barclay Prime

Back from a Scandinavian hiatus…

Sorry I’ve been away for a while.  To be honest, I didn’t have much to write about recently.  However, I just finished the third season of “Rita” on Netflix.  The show is from Denmark and is about a middle-aged single mother who is a teacher at a struggling school.  She is the resident anarchist at the school and looks out for the students in unconventional ways.

Of course, she has a lot of personal baggage that’s covered on the show as well.  I enjoyed the exposure not only to the Danish school system, but also how different Danish culture is from American culture.  For example, an episode about abortion was handled very pointedly and didn’t have a happy ending.  In the USA, that topic is the third rail of television and is rarely addressed.  And if it is, there’s a pollyanna ending that has no basis in reality.  I highly recommend this series.

I also finished “Occupied” on Netflix.  This is only one season so far but I’m intrigued.  It’s set in Norway where the political party in power has done away with using fossil fuels because of climate change.  Russia and the rest of Europe get nervous because this cuts off their access to Norway’s rich oil stores.  Russia essentially occupies Norway in an attempt to intimidate the government into changing the policy.  International intrigue ensues, and I was hooked.

I am onto Jessica Jones next.

Happy watching!

Back from a Scandinavian hiatus…