L’Angolo-West Review

In November 2016, the Inky’s famed restaurant reviewer Craig LaBan named L’Angolo in South Philadelphia as one of his favorite Italian BYOBs. We, the mom and pop proprietors here at TownieHQ, had yet to try out it’s H-Town sister, L’Angolo-West. LaBan said the South Philly restaurant was a “gem … for garlicky artichokes, grilled seafood, and braised duck pappardelle.” We were excited to try it. Friday night, June 22, we headed over to celebrate our 20th year of marriage. The problem, which if one is truly Italian isn’t a problem at all, was that we couldn’t get a reservation until 9pm. 9pm is the early crowd in Italy. We’ve been to Italy. The only people dining out before 9pm are the Americans. No worries. The weather was holding, so we walked over to Crossbar to have a beer while we waited. We said hello to people we knew sitting under the umbrellas at Crossbar. We went in and found seats at the counter. On our right, we met a nice young man in fatigues, tattoos and a jarhead haircut who recommended Jai Alai beer (can). He said it was a popular beer akin to Sierra Nevada that he serves a lot in his bartending job. (The conversation went by quickly so we didn’t catch the establishment where he works.) On our left was a young couple who are expecting their first child in September. They are moving to Htown from Roxborough, mostly for the schools and the easier commutes. Sounds just like us, but back in 2000. We welcomed them and told them to look for community groups on Facebook to join. 9 pm rolled around. We walked up to Eagle past the Oakmont Pub. L’Angolo’s was hopping, with most of the outdoor seating occupied. We opted to sit inside. We were greeted warmly by Loraine, the hostess, at her tiny stand right by the door. The entrance to L’Angelo-West is a double doorway with a ramp in between the doors. The entrance seems like it could be redesigned to add for more waiting area. We were the last stragglers of the evening, though, so Loraine seated … [Read more...]

Pop-up dining comes H-town

"Pop-up" dining is so 2014. In 2016, we Townies are just catching up. (For suburbia, though, being only 2 years behind NYC and Philly is not too bad. H-town is cutting edge!). Eventbrite.com saw such a serious uptick in pop-up listings in 2014 (47% increase from 2013), they had to take a closer look. They analyzed 40,000 events listed and saw it was the most explosive trend on the site, with 82% growth. In industry standards, that's just plain bonkers. The long and short of it: Pop-up dining is a great way for restaurants to maximize use of their space, for chefs to break out of normal roles and for diners to try something different. Since the dawn of the Web, "sampling" experiences are the new normal, and we Townies are doing it. It's a good thing, too. Events like this will attract more of the highly-desired Millennial buyers to the real estate market in H-Town. H-Town has an aging population with a lot of empty houses. We'll be competing for those buyers with neighboring towns. We need a great mix of urban-style attractions along with affordable houses and great schools. We've posted before about the pop-ups coming to Kettle. Here's an update. There's a company called fEATures (notice the "EAT" in the middle) that acts as an event co-ordinator of the pop-ups. Here is there upcoming schedule for dinners at H-Town's Kettle restaurant at the corner of Brookline & Darby:   LINKS: We like that the fEATures pop-up people are using Philly area start-up Ticketleap for their ticketing. Get more info at their website or their Facebook page. Look through the restaurant/dining industry talk in the Eventbrite article. There's lots of info from their survey of 2,ooo pop-up attendees. A more casual read about the study and trend can be found in a March, 2014 article at Huffpo. Better Homes and Gardens talks about the Millennial buyer's wants and needs. Photo Credit: INHABIT on Flickr … [Read more...]