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...]

Restaurant happenings we don’t really care about

When longtime beloved dive diner Hanne's at Darby and Eagle closed, it was replaced with Havertown Grille. Both charming in their own ways, we were happy to see another diner take that space when it was left empty. It's still a regular on our breakfast rotation. We haven't yet tried the old-Irish-Shop now McKenna's but we hear good things. Kettle is always a fave, of course. That Kettle Omelet or the Veggie Scramble. Yum. Today the Main Line Times has some news about Marc Vetri selling his restaurants (except Vetri) to... Urban Outfitters? (Anyone else think that's weird?), about SNAP pizza (which is awesome for Celiac's as well as you omnivores) getting more space even FARTHER away from H-Town, and one other food-business happening that doesn't matter. We've already forgotten about it. We like dining out, of course, but the restaurant scene in H-Town has upped it's game so much in the last few years, our jeans don't fit. Edgewood is excellent and would impress anyone (we don't care who you are). Slice It Up pizza regularly burns the "gluten-free" fries but everything else is great (try the wings!). Brick N Brew... Kaffir Thai. We hear the Thai takeout place near the "ghetto" Rita's on WCP is killer, too. The best place to see our own little restaurant wars is the Havertown Community Facebook group. Lots o' opinions there, as you can imagine. And apparently there's this one Townie old guy who is Yelp Famous. Has a huge following and everything. We contacted him for an interview but he snubbed us. We aren't Yelp famous, I guess. We aren't even HavertownieHQ famous. Whatevs. Yelp's a cesspool anyway. So there. Anyway, here are links. We're kind of over big, blue, underlined links interrupting our reading flow. Our brain voice hums along, reading normally, then IT HAS TO SHOUT because: hypertext. The really annoying practice was probably invented by Yelp. Main Line Times, droning on about some food stuff Havertown Community Facebook Group – Use at … [Read more...]

Kaya’s Closing. ¡Vivan las tapas (y margaritas)!

First time I went to Kaya's was as a participant of a belly dancing group run by a local adult school teacher slash Chatham mom at the time. Small BYOBs like Kayas are usually dark, black holes to me because I have a serious case of Celiac's disease. Health-nut hipster I am not. Wheat gluten literally wears away at my insides (I'm not using "literally" figuratively here). So I tend to stay away from tiny, owner/chef restaurants. A chef's job is hard enough on any given night. They don't need a needy diner to boot. But I shouldn't have waited. The dinner Mr. Hawthorne of Kaya's presented was amazing. My meal was made just for me, with many of the similar ingredients to what the other diners were having. It was just scrumptious. I cleared my plate. Then I got up and did some belly dancing, in a room of mostly middle-aged white women. Fun times. Sorry to say that Kaya's just announced that they are closing, and some other outfit is coming to take over their lease. Unfortunately, it is a restaurant where I probably won't bother eating, as many of the traditional items contain mucho gluten. La Tez will be a tapas restaurant. Not familiar with tapas? It's basically fancy snack food to munch on while you drink. The main point of a tapas place is to drink (and chat. But mostly to drink). But here's where it gets interesante: La Tez is a Bring-your-own-boozle (not fighting the bottle vs. booze war here) establishment. The restaurant will provide the margarita mix ingredients (no alcohol therein) and we the customer are to provide the tequila. Which, as it so happens, contains 0% gluten. Which makes it one of my most preferred liqueurs. Which I had too much of last month to celebrate my birthday... Anyhoo! Here's what wikipedia has to say about the origin of "tapas:" The word "tapas" is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover". According to The Joy of Cooking, the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian … [Read more...]