Wednesday, November 15, 2017

&pizza Review

Originating from D.C., &pizza was one of the first fast-casual and quick-serve pizza spots to make its mark across the east coast. With locations stretching to NYC, Virginia, and Philly, they're seeking to ensure that quick-serve pizzas are deliciously handmade. As an anti-establishment ethos hocking creative pies, I was excited to stop by to check out &pizza's Philly outpost. 

Located on 15th and Walnut. &pizza is sleek, open, and modern. In addition to pies, they have craft fountain sodas including ginger-berry lemonade, burdock & anise root beer, mango & passion fruit, dark cherry cola, pear & fig elixir, and cereal milk cream soda (think Momofuku Milk Bar)! They've even got home-brewed teas like unsweetened lemongrass-peach, sweet peach-ginger, and sweet mint. But I digress ... let's get on with the pizzas!

Pizza [$9.73]
Craft your own or go with the hits

Step up to the counter and you can order the tried and true classics. Or you can craft your own, by choosing either a traditional, ancient grain, or gluten free dough for $2.78 extra. Then you layer a choice from a variety of sauces, including classic or spicy tomato, buffalo sauce, garlic ricotta, mushroom truffle, or basil pesto. Pick your cheese, a myriad of toppings, and you're set! 

American Honey 
Spicy tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, arugula, goat cheese, hot honey, red pepper flakes

First off, the dough is crusty and nicely leoparded - perfect to act as a vessel to house a myriad of toppings to create flavor bombs. The American Honey has kick from the spicy tomato and red pepper flakes, heft from the meaty pepperoni, bitter freshness from the arugula, and a cooling creaminess from the goat cheese and honey. 

Mushroom truffle, garlic ricotta, mozzarella, mushroom, grilled onion, goat cheese, fig balsamic

Consider me moonstruck with the mushroom truffle pie. Garlic ricotta and a rich truffle sauce acts as a base, with the grilled onions and goat cheese partnering up for sweetness and tang. I even asked for chicken here for additional substance. Fig balsamic brought forth some sweetness to tie it all together.  

Farmer's Daughter
Spicy tomato, mozzarella, Italian sausage, egg, red pepper chili oil, parmesan

The Farmer's Daughter is pretty special. You can request your eggs to be cracked over-easy or scrambled in your pie. A melange of Italian sausage, red pepper chili oil, and spicy tomato provides you with a hearty bite with a bit of kick. The yolk offers up creaminess along with the fresh mozzarella. 

Dirty Bird *Limited Edition*
Garlic ricotta, shredded mozzarella, jalapeno, chicken, buffalo sauce, ranch, banana pepper, romaine, blue cheese, red pepper flakes

For a limited time, &pizza is catering to all of the buffalo chix fans out there. The Dirty Bird is easily one of my favorites - plenty of chicken studded throughout and creamy with the garlic ricotta, ranch, and buffalo sauce. The jalapeno and banana peppers counter the funk of the blue cheese. 

Cookie [$1.16]

Need a sweet treat? &pizza partners with Momofuku Milk Bar (yes, *that* David Chang + Christina Tosi empire) to offer Cereal Milk cookies to satiate your sweet tooth after indulging in some of their fresh-made pies. 

So if you're aching for a fresh-made pie beyond your standard takeout, be sure to stop by &pizza. The staff's friendly and the pizzas come out quick, hot, and are delicious. 

FTC Disclaimer: Thanks to &pizza and Village Marketing for allowing me to try &pizza. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased. 

&pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Hummusology Review

In Israel, you can find hummusiyas at almost every corner. And located near Jefferson Hospital, Hummusology offers up Washington Square West denizens a healthful, yet delicious way to indulge in everyone's favorite chick-pea snack.

 The hummus is served warm, imparting a soothing and comforting depth to each bite. And everything's made from scratch, including their fluffy pitas, which are par-baked off-site, but then finished in the oven. 

Cheese Bureka [$10] 
Cheese-stuffed puff-pastry, hummus, tahini, hard-boiled egg, Israeli salad

I highly recommend starting off with the burekas, which are filled with cheese or potato. The puff pastry is warm and crispy, housing smooth, creamy cheese. Perfect to dip with the hummus and satisfying tahini. The dish also comes with a hard-boiled egg, an Israeli salad of cucumbers and tomatoes, and bright, acidic pickles. Easily eats like a meal! 

Hamshula [$12]
Hummus, shakshuka, chickpeas, green sauce, tahini

But we were obviously here for the hummus. Reasonably priced from around $10 to $12, there's plenty to fill you up, especially during these upcoming cold winter months. Nutty, creamy, and warm, the hummus is topped with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika and cumin. Besides the classico, Hummusology also offers several varieties topped with roasted veggies, cooked fava beans, or even sauteed mushrooms. We opted for the hamshuka, essentially a marriage with hummus and shakshuka. The acidity of the roasted tomatoes contrasted nicely with the rich hummus. Perfect to scoop up with the pita and I enjoyed alternating between the bites of pickle and salad to provide some freshness.  

Falafel Sandwich

Hummusology also offers a new falafel sandwich. Housed within their pita is warm hummus, tahini, Israeli salad, pickles, and of course, crispy nuggets of falafel. It's the perfect hand-held meal-to-go. 

So if you're craving the perfect meal that's both healthy and delicious, be sure to stop by Hummusology. You won't be disappointed! 

FTC Disclaimer: Thanks to Hummusology & Breslow Partners for having us. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased.

Hummusology Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Founding Farmers King of Prussia Review

If you've ever been to the King of Prussia Town Center, you know it's a burgeoning enclave, replete with a myriad of dining options beyond your typical mall eats. In fact, I'd venture to say that it's well worth the drive out from Center City because I have yet to be disappointed by any of the restaurants. And after visiting the newly opened Founding Farmers, I'd highly recommend it as one of your first stops on your KoP food tour. 

Clockwise from Top Right: Founding Farmers' hand-crafted liquors | Upstairs Bar Area | Downstairs Cafe 

The first three locations are in D.C. and Virginia and considering the name of the restaurant, it only made sense to come to Philadelphia. The values of the American family farmer are at the core of what they do, with more than 47,000 family farmers owning the majority stake in this restaurant group. Each menu item is made in-house daily. They also work diligently to ensure sustainability and with a focus on scratch cooking. They grind their own meat, press their own juices, bake their own bread, and yes, even churn their own butter. You can definitely taste the difference! Downstairs, they have a to-go cafe and upstairs, they offer a la carte dining all day. On the weekends, you can get a full taste of all of their offerings. Their Farmers Market Buffet Brunch is $29 pp and even includes passed items straight to your table. It's only $14 for children ages 7-12 and free if they're 6 and under!

Clockwise from Top Right: First Bake Blend Drip Coffee from Compass Coffee | Super Premium Tea Time | Breakfast Cocktails | Scratch-made Manhattan Soda [Coffee, Espresso, Jerk Soda, Whipped Cream]

Also included in your meal is tea service and Compass Coffee's First Bake Blend drip coffee (a company started by two former marines!). Of course, you can also indulge in a variety of breakfast cocktails and scratch-made sodas. I really enjoyed the Manhattan soda, which definitely offered up an effervescent caffeine jolt in my step to the buffet. 

Clockwise from Top Right: Bacon Lollies | Spinach & Tomato Eggs Benedict | Fried Shrimp | Pierogi Cart 

But before I even had a chance to do so, the servers came around to our table offering up a variety of dumplings from their pierogi cart, bacon lollies which were reminiscent of candied jerk bacon, spinach & tomato eggs benedict, and fried shrimp with a wonderfully crispy and meaty texture. 

Clockwise from Top Right: French Toast | Breakfast Staples | Bruleed Grapefruit | Carving Table [Maple Black Pepper Bacon, Picnic Ham. Brisket, Turkey]

After the initial foray into what Founding Farmers had to offer, I had to check out what else was available. You'll find everything you'd ever want or need for breakfast, including hash browns, eggs (they have a cacio e pepe iteration!), sausages, fruit, french toast, and pancakes. Head over to the carving station for ham, brisket or turkey. I obviously went back for seconds of the hand-carved maple black pepper bacon - thick-cut, juicy, and unctuous. 

Clockwise from Top Right: Hot Crab & Artichoke Dip | Winter Stew | Seven Cheese Mac | Cheese Ravioli Bolognese

Looking for even heartier fare? Indulge in crab and artichoke dip, a meaty winter stew, indulgent seven cheese mac, or their homemade cheese ravioli with a hearty bolognese sauce. 

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas | Spicy & Regular Southern Fried Chicken

You'd be remiss if you didn't try their chicken enchiladas. But you're a fool if you don't grab the fried chicken. They offer up a spicy and regular version and it was definitely some of the best fried chicken I've had in recent memory. A crisp well-seasoned batter housed tender, moist chicken that was perfect to pair with ... 

Buck's Donuts | Philadelphia Vanilla Bean Cheesecake | Build Your Own Sundae Bar

Donuts! All baked in-house, Founding Farmers offered up a variety of glazed, baked, and filled donuts that are also seasonal (pumpkin spice lovers will be happy!). They also have blondies, vanilla bean cheesecakes, trifles, fruit crisps, and a build-your-own ice cream sundae bar if donuts aren't enough to satiate your sweet tooth!

So what are you waiting for? If you're venturing out to the KoP mall, don't stick to what you know. Head over to the Town Center and check out what Founding Farmers has to offer. You won't be disappointed! 

FTC Disclaimer: I was invited by the Founding Farmers PR team. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased.