Thursday, July 2, 2009


YOU might have heard that some things have changed this year with regards to Philadelphia's America's Birthday celebration. Some things won't be affected by the economy this year. The Parkway will still be having it's "Fiesta on the Parkway" including the NBA/Sprite best dunkers contest in Philadelphia! We are setting up an outdoor basketball court on Ben Franklin Parkway between 21st and 22nd this Saturday (July 4th), and will begin the competition at 4pm. Registrants need to sign up at 1PM.

There will still be spectacular Philadelphia fireworks set off on the Art Museum steps and from behind the museum
A great VIP section for watching Sheryl Crow and The Roots at the country's largest free outdoor concert on July 4th. (I think you have to put all those words in there for it to count)But, the parade has been moved to the morning and historic side of the City, so there won't be a large painted heart in the middle of the road in front of the Art Museum. Also the stage has been moved. (Look at all this room in front of the stage)
Melanie Johnson, executive director of Welcome America, says the July 4th concert will still take place in front of the art museum, however...
"We moved the stage. It used to be on the steps of the art museum, and now it's in Eakins Oval (the grassy area in front of the museum). And the reason for that is we thought the sight lines would be much better. It also saves us some money." She's right, it saved them $300,000 which is significant, but the sight lines are flawed. It's not on the grass section of Eakin's Oval, it's on the parking lot among a bunch of trees.I'm gonna reserve my opinion until tomorrow, but the sight lines seem to suck here, except if your a VIP, as the media stage is set up about 100 years back. This stage holds the sound board, ABC6 folks and the camera crew. So get here early and put your lawn chair on the grass to the right or left on the blacktop.
The 2009 Stage area, and last years placement. It won't be as much of a spectacle to us at the Philadelphian who enjoy watching the hoards of people below us. I'm sure Melanie's hands were tied as my opinion is the sight lines are bad. Last year, there used to be the entire 4 lane street and huge grassy area in front of the Washington statue for people to sit. Now the sight line is much more narrower, and across the street is the triangular garden which is smack in the middle of the sight line. Plus the stage is lower, and not on the raised steps.
This is the view from the bottom of the Art Museum steps last night. There used to be all the unobstructed space on either side of this statue to see the stage, now you will have to look through and around a cluster of trees.
At least these newly planted trees near the Art Musuem will hopefully remain untouched.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Max Brenner - Chocolate By the Bald Man Is Now Opened In Philadelphia

I remember when the Max Brenner - Chocolate By the Bald Man opened in NYC a few years back, it was highly anticipated and the lines were out the door for weeks on end. No doubt that will be happening here beginning today when the doors open for the public at 3:30PM. Sure Philly has some excellent restaurants but we don't have one that is an all around family fun experience like well Max Brenner - Chocolate By the Bald Man. CHOCOLATE is on the MENU, and not just the kids menu. So just in time for July 4th, there's something else to celebrate in Philadelphia 1500 Walnut St.; 215-344-8150, (but don't call for reservations, it's first come, first served) BTW Philadelphia is only thee 2nd city in the USA to get this Restaurant - THANK YOU MAX!!! (the others are in Austrailia, Singapore, Phillipines and Israel)
So if you love CHOCOLATE, and who doesn't
then this is the place for you, but don't fret you outliers there's non-chocolate food on the menu too and it's pretty darn delicious too. You know how I love a good burger. Thankfully these babies are 4oz so I didn't rack up too many calories. Delicious, but only one as I am in the middle of my NBC10/Fusion Cross Training gym "Be a 10 in 10 Weeks" biggest loser weight loss challenge.
And let me introduce you to your servers. These folks know the menu, and are really pleasant. The peeps behind the scenes preparing your food.
Chuck and Carol Fee, Tim Kerner, Adam Schneider, Joe and Barbara Beller. Attorney Joe Beller, and asst' Carol worked on the contracts for the space where Max Brenner is located.
The Park Hyatt's Jason Cabrera is enjoying the Max Brenner signature Classic Truffle Chocolate Martini, Eddie Dseguera is munching on the chocolate pizza and The Park Hyatt GM Jeff Miller is enjoying a Mojito. Did I mention Max Brenner has a liquor license too.
Photographer Christopher Gabello who earlier in the day completed a photo shoot at the restaurant. They open up, he shoots them. Doesn't get any better than hiring him to do those professional shoots. Kate Ryan who is doing PR on her own these days, chats with James Jackson
Max Brenner's has a store where you can purchase chocolate to eat, or perhaps do a facial. The Epicurious states that "[T]he first time I tried the Vanilla Bourbon Brazilian Brown Sugar Cane and Cocoa Nib Body Scrub ($23) from confectioner Max Brenner's new spa collection, I have to admit, I was tempted to taste it. It smells that good. The heavenly aroma reminds me of being in a chocolate shop, or better yet, a chocolate factory. It has a raw earthy cocoa smell that must come from the nibs, but there's also a mild sweetness, which likely comes from the brown sugar cane and vanilla bourbon. Add some cocoa butter and you have one serious scrub: It leaves your skin soft and smooth with a hint of that irresistible smell."
Beth Davis, Andrea Palmer, Danni Patterson, Catherine Renehan, Sarah Bast, Lisa, Dan and little Gabe Shats. Did I mention it's a fun family place with a kids menu, and coloring book. Darn I forgot mine there, I have to go back and get it, it's that adorable.
Snackbar's Jonathan Makar inspects the digs.
Lisa Schanberger and James Jackson III, the managing partner of Roy's the Hawaiian Fusion restaurant down the street.
Publish Post
At your service managers...JR Gomez, Bryon Phillips, Kathy Majewski, Meg Scott and Allan Beardslee Jr.

Blackened Sesame Salmon with wasabi. Yum. I did try this one.
According to the Fiesty Foodie who had brunch in the NYC Max Brenner: "We both opted to get the "lazy breakfast" for $11.95 and holy cow, the amount of food they bring you is obscene. The menu's description reads: "two eggs any style with your choice of the following two: bacon, mushrooms, ham, chives, tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese; served with home fries, and a basket of country toast with pure melted chocolate spread, peanut butter, apple & brandy jam and butter." ..."It was awesome. Decadent. Delicious. Yum. Heaven...then we went home and took a nap."
Foobooz guru Arthur Ectchis and the Philadelphia Visitor Center's concierge guru Albert Lee
Chocolate gifts galore
For a $1.50 you can get a specialty chocolate square. I thought that was steep, but when it was explained that the chocolate is so rich you will only want to eat one piece, like Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory I just didn't believe one piece would satisfy me, but low and behold it did. And unlike Violet I didn't have to be rolled out of the place.
Sweet ending, cappuccino with 2 thin slices of chocolate was a good ending to a sweet night.
Hours will start at 9 a.m. for breakfast and will segue into brunch/lunch. There are full dinner and late-night menus til 12AM weeknights, and 1AM weekends. (See menus here.) PHILADELPHIA – 1500 Walnut Street - NOW OPEN!
We accept guests on a first come first serve basis.
T: 1- 215-344-8150 Hours of Operation:
Mon – Thurs - 09:00am – Midnight
Fri - Sat - 09:00am – 01:00am
Sun - 09:00am – 11pm
On the good ship lollipop.
Its a sweet trip to a candy shop
Where bon-bons play
On the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay.
(Now if we could only get a Bubba Gump on the waterfront my life would be complete)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. is like a gourmet bar, but it's not a restaurant

The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., known for being the center for the largest alcohol ring in the country during the prohibition era, is re-opening as a historic and refreshing addition to the nightlife scene in Philadelphia. The Franklin is located 112 S 18th St, but unless you know the address you might not be able to find the place as it's entrance is very subtle. On the opening night there was no mistaking where the front door was as you had to be on one of the lists that these young ladies held.
Sandra Grekulavic, Greta Baith, Jillian Hundzynski, Jen Sherlock

The Franklin is all about the table service, not to be confused with bottle service as you are not going to find that here. There is no minimum as long as you have one drink. The bar is very tiny and located in the back of the room, guests are encouraged to take a seat and enjoy table service by a smartly dressed server. There is no VIP section, as all their guests are VIPs as far as they're concerned.

Philly Thrillist)

It's a great place to play table gamesor hang with your favorite girl, Chad Boonswag and Lisa CorrealeEvery drink is made to order by dapper bartenders (tie, vest/suspenders), who start by hand-carving chips from three types of "gourmet" ice (Kold-Draft, nugget, culinary grade); the 20 menu concoctions are broken into six categories: American History, Water of Life, Summer Sippin, Revivers & Tonics, Island Coolers, and Martini Through Time -- all more sophisticated than the stuff that caused you to tank American History. Many mixers are made in-house (from lemon juice to grenadine), and all booze is top shelf, from the Buffalo Trace in the Brown Derby, to the Inland Julep's Siembra Azul Reposado, to the Hayman's Old Tom gin in the Billy Penn Club, to the Blood and Sand's Famous Grouse ("Who bled in my sand?"). (Thrillist)
Don Bell and Kristie Gonzales

City Paper Meal Ticket editor Drew Lazor with Michelle Flisek

Phoodie states: ... there is that cocktail list. It’s six pages long. It’s epic. And there’s not a single simple-syrup cosmo-tini soul destroyer in the bunch. In fact, The Franklin doesn’t even serve vodka. Not a drop in the whole place. How’s that for Douche Prevention? You are in the provinces of Whiskey and Gin here (along with plenty of other non-vodka spirits), and their rule is firm yet enlightened. We tried the Billy Penn Club (an almost margarita-tasting gin/egg white concoction), the Brown Derby (a bourbon/grapefruit/honey headbanger) and our favorite, the Simó Cup (a gin/Pimm’s/lemon/cucumber salvation). Which is a great start. There’s only five pages of drinks left to try.Veronica Scarpellino and Thrillist Josh Valocchi
Casey, Nellie, Greg Burhart, The New England Patriots Alex Smith, Julie Abrahmson and The St. Louis Cardinals Anthony Becht,

Nate Greene and Philly2Philly's Chenoa H Greene
Jayne Hamel, Vicky Martelli, Aly McNichols, Dana Chaby, Jackie Nauen and Rob Beck

NBC10's "Be A 10 in 10 Weeks" Megan Smith with Louise CastellanoSam Gross, guest, Anne Nikolaus, Chris Prabhu (Thank you for reading PCC), Stacey Kracher, Yuval Yona
Hadas Kuznits interviews head bartender Alex Day.

Although The Franklin doesn't serve food, they have contracted with Di Bruno Bros for private event catering.
Stylish Bela Shehu and Anthony DiMeo III
VH1's Tough Love Steve Ward and Angeline Panepresso
Foobooz Editor Arthur Etchells with a friend
Greta Baith and Sandra Grelculaic
Michael Welsh, here with Chris Doggett. Chris is the President/Ceo of the Frankin as well as the managing partner and says The Franklin is going to be a comfortable place with lots of banquette seating and a smattering of small tables. There's a bar in the back where some people may prefer standing, but he stresses it's all about comfort, enjoying each other and the drinks. "We're going to have an expansive drink menu consisting of ‘special’ drinks with top shelf liquor. People are going to come here because we're going to be serving delicious drinks that can't be found anywhere else." The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. is the kind of place you want to go to to sit and enjoy a drink with that special someone, or a few friends. It's not a S&M bar (Stand & Model), instead it's a relaxed atmosphere where you can let your hair down and just enjoy yourself.