Philadelphia Cooks 2016: Fine Dining Event

Philadelphia Cooks is a premiere dining event hosted by foobooz of Philadelphia magazine. This annual event allows diners to taste sample dishes and meet the chefs from the kitchens of Philadelphia’s best restaurants, handpicked by the editors of Philadelphia magazine.

The event has been a success in past years. This year, 25 of the participating restaurants were featured in Philadelphia magazine’s 2016 “50 Best Restaurants” list. We won’t comment on whether this list is bias or not, but you can. This event is open to the public as long as you pay the $95 fee. (Early registration is over.)

Philadelphia Cooks 2016
FEBRUARY 16, 2016 | 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown

Participating restaurants:
A.Kitchen | Aldine* | Bing Bing Dim Sum* | Bistrot La Minette* | Brigantessa* | Bud & Marilyn’s* | Buena Onda | Butcher & Singer | Cheu Noodle Bar* | Coeur | El Vez | The Farm and Fisherman* | The Fat Ham* | Fitler Dining Room* | The Good King Tavern* | Helm* | Heritage* | High Street on Market* | Hungry Pigeon | Indeblue | Jerry’s Bar | La Peg | Laurel* | Le Virtù* | Lo Spiedo | Marigold Kitchen* | Monsu | Morimoto | The Olde Bar | Palladino’s | Pub & Kitchen* | Russet* | South* | Talula’s Garden* | Townsend* | Tredici | Twisted Tail | Urban Farmer | V Street* | Vedge* | Volvér* | Whetstone Tavern | Zeppoli*

High value homes near stadiums / Southport development

Curbed Philly cites a Trulia report that reveals that homes within a 2-mile radius of Lincoln Financial Field receive significantly boosts in value by 44.3 percent. This radius includes a large area of South Philadelphia neighborhoods, including Lower Moyamensing, Whitman, Passyunk, New Bold, etc.

South Philly Home Increase
South Philadelphia homes around the stadium district have increased in value (via Trulia)

Port Authority board continues to seek final proposals for Southport development One of the seven original proposals was dismissed and the six remaining groups will now be asked to submit financial and development plans.

5 Best Brunch Cafes in Philadelphia 2016

Brunching is one of the fasting growing hobby in Philadelphia. With dozens of brunch cafes and restaurants opening annually, it can be difficult not to overlook the best brunch spots.

Here is our list of the best must-try brunch places for your brunching adventures, boozy or not.

Cafe La Maude
Northern Liberties
816 N 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(267) 318-7869
This French-Lebanese cafe serves breakfast, brunch, lunch & pastries in Euro-style digs with sidewalk tables. They’ll serve your coffee in the most adorable mugs.

Cafe Lift
Avenue of the Arts
428 N 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 922-3031
This popular American brunch and lunch cafe offers a chill vibe, featuring art on the walls in an industrial space.

Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat
Northern Liberties
800 North 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 925-1150
Honey’s is a Cash-only, BYOB diner offering a menu of Jewish & Southern comfort eats in a basic space.

Oregon Diner
Whitman
302 W Oregon Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 462-5566
Oregon Diner is an old school, traditional diner that has kept up with modern times. It has been a South Philly staple since the ’60s for filling diner fare served 24/7 in a booth-lined setting. It keeps intact that close neighborhood, old diner feel but has implemented new menu items to serve Philadelphia’s growing brunch needs. They also serve all the alcohol you can possibly consume on a Sunday morning, which is a lot.

Sabrina’s Cafe
Bella Vista
910 Christian St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 574-1599
Sabrina’s has three locations in Philadelphia, including locations in the Art Museum and University City, but the Italian Market location takes the number 1 spot for brunch. It’s original, BYOB, and gives you the real unique experience of city brunching.

Bring Philly Street Cleaning Back, says Councilman Squilla & Mayor Kenney

Councilman Mark Squilla wants to make Philadelphia a cleaner and safer place. He wants to reintroduce a street-cleaning program and  plastic bag fee bill again.  “I still think we need a street-cleaning program,” said Squilla. “Now, my South Philly brethren will probably freak out about it. But I would be a proponent.” It wouldn’t have to be the exact same program that failed years back; but a discussion about what might work to keep our city cleaner and safer is due.

Mayor Jim Ken­ney told philly.com last June that he would support the street-cleaning program if he got elected as mayor. His support of the program is to be expected.

Some opponents of the street-cleaning program claim that it is too inconvenient to move cars during the few street cleaning hours. Every major city, including heavily populated and overcrowded New York city, has a street-cleaning program.

Philadelphia is rated the dirtiest city in America again and again. Tourists are turned away by the filth, which in turn hurt local businesses. Perhaps it is time to discuss a change for a better, cleaner Philadelphia.

Kenney in Office: end of City Hall Parking

On this cold Monday morning, Jim Kenney was sworn in to begin his role Philadelphia’s 99th Mayor.

Major Jim Kenney’s first task? Kenney was quick to clear all parked cars from the north apron of City Hall. This public area was previously used by city officials to illegally park their cars. Council President Darrell Clarke, former Mayor Michael Nutter, School District Superintendent William Hite and other officials had all previously used this public space to park their cars.

Jim Kenney mayor
Mayor Jim Kenney’s Inauguration (photo via @JimFKenney twitter)

Maybe this is a small part of Mayor Kenney’s initiative to green the city, from the top down. We don’t expect to see Hite bike to work anytime soon, but mayor Kenney lives close enough for such a feat.

Perhaps Mayor Kenney will soon enforce parking laws in other parts of the city such as South Philly. It has been long known that parking laws are not enforced south of Washington Ave on S Broad St or anywhere on Oregon Ave. Perhaps it is about time someone looks into the decades of safety data and loss revenue from the lack of law enforcement.

Philly Teachers & Students Beg for Donation to Buy Books

It’s no news that Philadelphia public school funding is sorely lacking. Many students and teachers in the Philadelphia school district have taken it into their own hands to gather funds for books and basic classroom necessities.

The efforts these elementary school teachers must make to ensure their students have the bare minimum – is both beautiful and sad. There is always talk of budgeting in city hall, but our children and students can’t even get their basic needs.

Some of the recent donation requests are from elementary schools serving kindergarteners to fifth graders:

classroom asks for donations
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it from you.”

Ms J from George Sharswood Elementary School is trying to teach her third graders to read, but the school cannot afford even used paperback books for the children. Ms J writes, “My students need to read The One and Only Ivan. This literacy read aloud and read along will promote fluency and comprehension… The book donation will have a significant impact on the students because the children experience the value of a donation.”

Mrs. Collier from Francis Scott Key Elementary School is asking for donations to help fund a listening center to promote literacy. Mrs Collier writes, “Your donation to our classroom will expose my English Language Learners to resources that will improve comprehension and fluency. Students will be able to enjoy having text dictated to them.”

Philadelphia school teachers often resort to paying for school supplies out of their own pocket. Even with campaigns such as these, most donations seem to be contributed by fellow school teachers rather than any third-party generous supporter.

If you choose to donate via DonorsChoose.org, remember to use a promo code such as DISNEYCREATIVITY so that your donation can be matched.