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UPDATED: Nutella Celebrates It’s 50th By Going On Tour In A Van

UPDATE: The Hazelnuts up at Nutella HQ have tweaked the times a little. Rather than Sunday June 29th, the truck will be at the porch at 30th Street Station Saturday, June 28th: 10am-3pm. the Parkway date of July 4th remains unchanged.

Years ago we found ourselves sleeping in our van in a Walmart parking lot outside of Bismarck North Dakota. We remember this because it was late April and as the snow fell and we huddled in an under-downed sleeping bag we thought to ourselves. What the fuck? It’s April 24th goddammit how is it snowing? Hours later as the sun rose over the tops of some really big trees, we opened our pantry – the van was seriously pimped for touring – and thought maybe a fingerful of Nutella would make a lovely breakfast. The Nutella was froze! Our goal became to be one of those hotel-room-sleeping-in musicians by the time we turned 50, if not waaaaay before. Well it turned out ok for us, but you can imagine the Hmmm-face we made when we read that to celebrate turning 50 this year, Nutella is going on tour with their “Spread The Happy” tour:

Nutella is celebrating 50 years as The Original Hazelnut Spread this year with fans of the brand throughout the U.S. with the Nutella “Spread the Happy” Truck Tour.

From Thursday, June 26th- Friday, July 4th, local Philadelphia fans will receive complimentary samples of Nutella®* paired with various foods, play interactive games, have the opportunity to show their love for Nutella on social media, and participate in Nutella branded gear giveaways*!
For the next six months, the Nutella brand will tour the country celebrating the happiness that Nutella brings with each bite. The truck tour is an extension of Nutella’s latest “Spread the Happy,” advertising campaign, which follows the journey of a single jar of Nutella as it is passed between breakfast tables, waffle trucks and offices of America, capturing a sense that there’s an endless chain of people who share a common love of Nutella.

For additional “Spread the Happy” Truck Tour dates and locations as well as delicious ways to enjoy Nutella, please visit the Nutella Tumblr page at NutellaUSA.Tumblr.

So if you are are a hazel nut and wanna get in on the fun, we recommend Sunday, June 29th on the Porch at 30th Street Station from 9am-1pm. If you can’t make it then, you can get your spread on on July 4th on the parkway from 10am to 3pm. What better way to celebrate America’s birthday then with some european spread.

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Lunch Break: German Food Edition

Right now, The Germans are thumping’ the USA 1-0. If we understand futbol rules, a German win will require us all to learn to speak our new overlords’ language. So here’s a start.

Burrito Burrumble:’s Local Locales, Cuchina Zapata vs. Taco Don Memo


So, Nate and the Silver Surfers are at it again. Over at Nate Silver and his team of 538 specials have set out to find America’s Best Burrito, which is noble, impossible, subjective, and awesome all at the same time. In 2007, Nate carried out the micro version of this experiment in his Chicago neighborhood, now with ESPN writing the checks, Nate has taken on the entire nation.

You can read any of the articles over there and get way into the SABurritoMetrics of the endeavor, including the formula for Value Over Replacement Burrito (VORB):

VORB is calculated as follows: .232 * (max(1,ln(adj_vol))*(pred_stars-3.3)/moe).
In this formula:

The constant term .232 represents a scalar multiple whose sole function is to make VORB more legible, such that the top 0.1 percent of restaurants have a VORB of 10 or higher.

adj_vol represents the number of reviews adjusted for a restaurant’s location and how recently it opened. adj_vol is taken as a natural logarithm, which means that the returns to additional reviews are diminishing.
pred_stars represents the predicted star rating going forward and is in turn based on the average star rating (adjusted for geography), the raw (unadjusted) number of reviews, and the share of 5-star ratings. Specifically, the formula for pred_stars is: 2.784+(avg_stars+five_share)*0.176+ln(raw_vol)*-0.328+ln(raw_vol)*(adj_stars+five_share)*0.093, where adj_stars is the average star rating after the regional adjustment, five_share is the percentage of 5-star reviews, and raw_vol is the unadjusted number of reviews.

3.3 is a constant term that represents a “replacement level” restaurant.
moe (for “margin of error”) represents the standard error of pred_stars, and is a function of the unadjusted number of reviews. The formula for moe is: 0.264/(sqrt(raw_vol)+0.083).

Parts of the equation use the “raw” number of reviews, rather than the number adjusted for region and recency. The reason for this is that while a newly opened restaurant in an area with sparse Yelp coverage like Fargo, North Dakota, might do quite well to receive even five or 10 reviews — signifying its relative popularity — this is nevertheless a small sample size, subject to more mean reversion. As I mentioned, VORB considers the number of reviews for two reasons: first, as a predictor of future star ratings (where the prediction becomes more reliable after more reviews), and second, as a signal of popularity. The unadjusted review count serves the first purpose better while the adjusted review count serves the second one better, so the formula uses each figure in different ways. ^

Yeah, that’s bullshit, but we love it. Anyway, our math skillz are not even remotely up for that challenge, plus Yelp’s interface sometimes makes us nauseous, which for a restaurant finding app is a huge negative VORRFA, so we decided to be like Joe Morgan, or Mitt Romney and ignore the numbers and go with our gut.

The tweet-sized explanation of Nate’s Burrito Bracket would be; Divide the country in to regions, appoint regional celebrities or whatever, choose a few good joints from yelp and run it through the VORBarometer. Seed brackets. select winners. repeat.

Well Nate chose David Chang to select the field of entrants from the Northeast region and two Philadelphia joints, both food trucks, were on the list.

Today, we visited both Taco Don Memo at 38th and Spruce and Cuchina Zapata at 31st and Chestnut. Honestly, we tried to do this a week ago, but The Zapatistas are on Drexel’s schedule and when the kids are on break, so are they. But today, business was booming. A gaggle of young and good looking peeps were hanging out waiting to pluck their lunch from the steady stream of burritos and tacos coming from the truck. We asked for “The burrito that made David Chang take notice” and though it took about 20 minutes because they were busy with a capital B, we walked back to our car with the Cap’n Crunch Tilapia Burrito.

Over on UPenn’s campus at Taco Don Memo, things were more sedate. We asked if they were tight with Chang or anyone and they said nope. In fact, they didn’t know they were on the list until someone showed them. Again we asked for the favorite burrito and were steered toward a pork burrito with rice and beans and sour cream and cheese and all the fixins.

We took these puppies home and almost completely unscientifically dug in. We did take out our lil’ scale simply because the TDM Burrito seemed so much girthier than the CZ Version. As you can see, your $7 at TDM will yield you almost twice as much volume as your $6 CZ entree. Then we said, “fuck science, we’re hungry” and began to judge with our mouth.

First lets talk about Cuchina Zapata. The tilapia was flaky and warm and breaded with Cap’n Crunch, which in our opinion is just sizzle and not really steak. Though the Cap’n did add a little crunch to the fish, it was hard to discern much cereal flavor and we feel that panko or any other coating could’ve worked just as well, though the words Cap’n Crunch are likely to boost sales as we ourselves were pretty excited to taste the breading.

But the better crunch was actually provided by the red cabbage, A wonderful counterpart to the soft innards of the fish and the tortilla. This burrito was sauced and spiced lightly but perfectly allowing the fish to take it’s bow. It was obvious that we were eating food designed and prepared by a real chef. It’s now that Nate and David or whomever would make up some numbers and run ‘em through the formula gauntlet to get a number, but we’re just gonna say, very very good. Hell’s yeah, we would eat this burrito again, but what really intrigued us were the short rib tacos. That’s prolly what we’ll get next time.

We unwrapped the Taco Don Memo Burrito, picked an end and went to town. This was also an excellent burrito, though more of a classical take. The marinated and barbecued pork jumped right out front to say hi, then the seasoned rice also took a solo, then some sour cream then the beans. Finally, like a band finding the pocket, the flavors all mingled and became music. And it was a pretty good song too. Like we said, fairly standard burrito but excellently done. clearly a great piece of work from an unassuming little food cart.

So now you’re gonna want us to pick one of them over the other and that’s gonna be hard. Both offerings were equally delicious but a bit different. Neither one triggered that endorphin rush of, “ZOMG This is the best thing ever! I must instagram the fuck out of this until the world knows!” which is probably a good thing since we’d then spend the rest of our lunches chasing that particular dragon, like we did with one cheese omelet at one particular Waffle House in Alabama in 1992. But both were among the best we can recall and we would, without hesitation recommend each truck to anyone who is proximal and looking for a really good burrito. Cuchina Zapata boasts home made fresh fruit drinks. We had the mango and a single refreshing sip burst forth with a mangonic sweetness that made us want to sit on the tropical beach and let a chocolate brown skinned-woman sit behind us and put our hair in cornrows. Taco Don Memo’s beverage offerings include those weird flavored sodas from the “ethnic” aisle. Pineapple, Coconut, Guava and Sangria were some of the more interesting offerings. And though we didn’t partake this time, perhaps a little sangria soda would pair nicely with the full-figured burrito Taco Don is peddling.

But we suppose we gotta choose, Ok Nate here ya go let’s choose a few arbitrary categories:

  • Creativity: CZ takes this over TDM
  • Presentation: CZ again
  • Quality of ingredients: This is a tie. Everything was delicious and even in the event of some gastrointestinal malady later today, we will be unlikely to discern whose burrito broke us, so tie.
  • Flavor: This is a very close call, but I’m going to give it to Taco Don Memo by a single grain of rice. The Silverados would eschew, or have workarounds for the apple/orange Tilapia/BBQ Pork comparisons we make today, but we don’t so, perhaps unfairly we are giving the nod to TDM because their burrito came with more cowbell than a fish burrito at a competitors. Hey. sometimes life isn’t fair.
  • Alacrity: TDM wins easily. Though we visited both locations during the lunch rush, TDM was able to prepare and serve our food immediately while the crowd at CZ meant that we spent 20 minutes worrying if our meter would run out and if this would be a $35 burrito, (it wasn’t but waiting is never fun, despite the amiable nature of everyone today.

So that, makes our score:

Cuchina Zapata: 2.5

Taco Don Memo 2.5

Great another tie. Ok, we’re gonna go break this tie with CPoz. CZ’s $6, 13.6oz burrito comes out to $.441/oz while the big boy at TDM is $7 for 24.2oz or $.289/oz. So lets end this great Philadelphia Yelp/Chang/Silver debate and declare Taco Don Memo the champion by the tiniest of margins. We suppose the good news is that they are both here and y’all can eat at ‘em anytime you want.

IMG_7671 IMG_7670

If you have opinions, please leave them in the comments, If an overwhelming number of you come to the aid of one or the other of these fine spots, we’re not above reversing our decision. There are moral absolutes in this world. This just isn’t one.


Lunch Break: Bugging You Again Edition

Pretty much since jump street with this gig, we’ve been fascinated with insect ingestion. We remain convinced that, long term, it’s pretty much the only feasible, affordable way to get protein into 7 billion people every day. Westerners are behind the curve due to our ick factor, but really, eventually you’ll have two choices. Get rich, or eat bugs. As a food blogger/folksinger, it’s pretty clear, we’ve made our choice.

Lunch Break: Soccer Pop Edition

Look, like most Americans we have no real beef with soccer and during this month we may even come to enjoy the spectacle to a degree. Still when it’s all over, we’re not gonna go sing all day with the Son’s of Ben or anything, we will treat it much the same as we treat Rhythmic Gymnastics or women’s Nordic Combined; we will watch a bit, proclaim our armchair expertise, criticize the unpronounceably named athletes for failing so blatantly at feats we only recently learned existed. We will draw ridiculous correlations between the teams’ match-ups and the international geopolitical climate. We will celebrate or denounce the victors, based on story lines and perceptions stoked by media narratives, regardless of relevance or truth, and then a month from now we will forget it all until 2018 when we’ll do it all again. But we’ll always have Cake Pops.


Dinner And A Movie At AMC Dine-In Theatre In West Chester


When we were in our late teens, Ethan Hawke made that terrible movie about the rugby team in the Andes who had to eat each other after their plane crashed. Having a macabre fascination with all things cannibal, we of course ponied up the $7 and went to see it. It was a big affair, all of our friends joined us including our then gal-pal who used to carry around a giant black purse full of everyfuckingthing. Well on this night, everything included Roy Rogers 8-piece bucket that we had purchased beforehand and smuggled in. The plan was, when Ethan and the boys decided that it was time to chow down on their pals, we would chow down on the chicken. Sure, we prolly should’ve chosen a pork-centric entree, but chicken comes in those handy buckets.

Honestly, we just intended a lighthearted prank among ourselves, but we didn’t think it through olfactorally and when after about an hour the screen stars daintily nibble on some ass-fibers of their pals, Joanna opened her black bag and began passing chicken parts down the aisle. We hadn’t counted on the frankly delicious aroma that wafted through the entire theatre adding to the sensory experience of each and every moviegoer. As they mumbled and whipped their heads around, we furtively ripped flesh from bone. It was hilarious. Sadly, all of the Donner Party movies we’ve ever seen – and we’ve seen them all – have been direct to video affairs and so we have been unable to recreate that laugh till you cry and almost choke on a wing, euphoria.

Fuck Baseball, eating in front of the TV is really the national pastime. We, like plenty of ‘Murkins don’t even have a real dining room table. We have some foldy-outy Ikea thing we can wheel into the middle of the room, provided we move the baby grand first, but that’s only if fancy people are coming over. Otherwise, we are a sitting on the couch with plates on the coffee table with game on, household. And we’re not alone. Staring at screens while ladling corn syrup into our gaping maws should be our national crest, if not a flag redesign, with no disrespect thrown at the lovely Ms. Griscom Ashburn Claypoole Ross.

For decades now, Tv’s, like Americans themselves have been growing wider and channels more copies and streaming more comprehensible. Combine that with a stagnant middle-class wage, longer more exhausting working days and the increasing craptitdanence of the movies that actually hit the corporate screens and you have a movie industry in decline. Soon guys like Bruce Willis or Sandra Bullock will see their acting fees stagnate. Good luck feeding your family on $25 million a movie.

Well, AMC theaters is not going to take this lying down – they’ll actually take it reclining and rocking. Four months ago the AMC 9 Painter’s Crossing shut down to retool. Well last weekend they opened up the new and improved AMC Dine-in theatre complete with full service kitchen and bar. They somewhat cleverly name the bar, “Mcguffin’s” and are seeking to draw you and yours back to the movies, not with better films, or lower feature prices but with piles and piles of food.

It’s well known that We’re not picky about what we eat in the dark. Will we pay $3.50 for a few ounces of m&ms? yeah we will. Will we pay more per ounce for popcorn than the equivalent measure of Filet Mignon? Yup? This was a fine racket while it lasted but then our home screens and TV offerings got pretty good, and back at mi casa, the popcorn only costs as much as popcorn. Well the AMCFO’s did some research and found out that folks would leave their houses if the movie going experience was more like staying home, or at least less like going to a movie theatre.

Thus was born the Dine-In Theatre. The AMC Painter’s crossing ripped out all the old seats and replaced them with big ole La-Z-Boy wide-glides. There is a pivoting tray table and a call button that is electronically wired to the waitress station, so press a button and she’ll be right over to freshen your drink before Tom Cruise gets killed for the 19th time. These large seats reduce capacity by 50%-70% but are well worth it to the theater industrial complex because you’re not at home.

As for the grub, it’s pretty standard fare. We tried a few entries and appetizers and y’know, it’s like any of the competent food you’d find at Applebees or Friday’s or wherever your awful co-workers go for happy hour on thursday evenings. The prices are in line with that stuff also. The Mushroom and Swiss Burger is $10.50 and the Blackened Salmon with Red Bliss Potatoes and Veggies is $14.99 so you’re getting much better value than the popcorn and candy you used to buy for $15 a pound.

So all of this is nice. These are moderate improvements, even if you don’t want to stuff your fat face, the comfy chair is as advertised and you are a mere button press away from a server who can bring you drink after drink after drink after drink – though AMC theaters have a 100% carding policy so even your incontinent old grandfather has to bring his ID if he wants to get his Boilermaker on. McGuffin’s carries the usual corporate stuff but includes a local beer or two. We’re told the Painter’s Crossing location will feature Yards Brawler as well as a little craft lager out of Pottsville that begins with a Y.

Oh, and there’s one more thing. Do you hate kids? Of course you do. Well the new theaters come in two varieties, their Fork & Screen rooms designed for a family experience, or their Cinema Suites layout, the major difference being that the latter is 21+. Which is not to say that it’s where you can eat chicken wings while you watch the 40th anniversary directors cut of Deep Throat. Rather, it’s simply a place where you don’t have to worry about sticky little kids all hopped up on Waffle Sundaes with candied bacon, tearing ass down the aisle while you’re trying to figure out why Daniel Craig was cast in a romantic comedy, or if Diane Keaton has had any work done. And most importantly, no teenage jerk squad will be allowed to smuggle in chicken and ruin cannibalism for everyone.

The AMC Dine-In Theatre is at
112 Wilmington Pike
West Chester, PA 19382

Phoodie Recipe Corner: Here Today, Bone To Marrow


As we age, watching our dog do dog stuff consumes an ever growing slice of the pie chart of our day. Like David Attenborough or Marlin Perkins or whatever. As Queequeg methodically checks off items on his doggie “To Do” list, we find ourselves making list of correlating human activities. Where Q will deeply inhale with his snout an inch from his new friend’s rectum and follow up with a playful bit of superficial fellatio, We will opt for a hearty handshake and a friendly “Howdjado?” and stuff like that.

We enjoy the vicarious joy felt watching our dog prance with glee. When he is happy, he tends to physically, and prolly chemically alter our mood and there isn’t much that makes little fuckface as happy as a marrow bone. Purchased in styrofoam and cellophane from supermarkets these beef leg bones sit in the freezer and are doled out when he’s been a very good boy, or if there’s a playoff game on and we need 90 minutes of peace. So we started wondering; Is bone marrow really that awesome? Maybe we should find a recipe and try it out. Here is that recipe, courtesy of Bon Appetit. They went with veal bones, we opted for Cow but it’s a big tent:

Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad:


  • 8 3′-4′-long pieces veal marrow bones
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • Coarse gray sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2′-thick slices rustic white bread, toasted


Preheat oven to 450°. Place bones, wider cut side down, in an ovenproof skillet or roasting pan. Roast bones until marrow is soft and begins to separate from bone but before it begins to melt, 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness of bones.
Meanwhile, toss parsley, shallots, oil, lemon juice, and capers in a medium bowl to coat. Season salad to taste with gray sea salt and pepper.
Divide marrow bones and salad among plates. Serve with toast and gray sea salt. Using a long, thin spoon, scoop marrow onto toast, top with salad, and garnish with a pinch or two of salt.

That’s a tricky part, getting a spoon thin enough. One of those long diner milk shake spoons works, but do you have one of those? We don’t. If you can’t find a spoon, A butter knife will suffice. What you’ll spread on your  ”rustic white bread” should taste like warm creamy butter soft beef. We can totally see why Queequeg is such a fan. Maybe we should see if his other favorite foods are as mouth watering to humans. We shall now search for recipes for Catshit and fallen twig casserole. Watch this space.

[Image Via: Bon Appetit]

Lunch Break: Swapple Edition

Next week we carve a swan to look like an apple.

Farmers Fridge Vending Machine Proves You Don’t Make Friends With Salad

ac414a_692c8669a30ffc0db12407c2420869e2.png_srz_400_491_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzWe remember first seeing those self-checkout stations at the supermarket. We grumbled and griped about the corporations replacing American union jobs with machines, we grumbled about the ever isolationist nature of an electronic society and how eventually all human contact will be through screens until we needn’t ever leave the basement and like snakes, our limbs would evolve away leaving us as pudding stained Hutts who stare wide-eyed into light emitting rectangles searching for the love and connection to perhaps provide escape out of the solitudinous prison of our own making through the real, shared, sometimes messy, seldom pretty humanity from which we have willingly and foolishly recoiled. And staunchly we refused to queue, opting for the familiarity of a live cashier, well at first anyway. Eventually a Rory Gilmore style pro/con list and a rereading of Player Piano showed that though this might surely hasten the death of the republic – a republic which is in no way well at all – enduring the banal fuck-uppery of the sparsely toothed mouth-breathers running the cash registers at Thriftway is a hardship greater than the freedom of subsequent generations of Americans. We’re not proud of this decision, but curly endive and cilantro are two different things with two different prices and we’re tired of explaining this and also we got shit do do and the self checkout lane is so much quicker.

As we adapt to our increasingly faceless transactions we become more casual with, and trusting of the machines. This will of course be our downfall if apes do not first rise up and become our masters. In the 80′s we remember fielding confirmation of transmission phone calls from people who had just faxed us. So it was with the first emails and texts, but eventually we grew to trust in and rely on the machines.

Now, exotic vending machines are not a new thing. We’re pretty sure the Japanese economy would be crippled with out them and we think we heard somewhere that there is one at the center of a sacred Shinto shrine that dispenses new emperors every 70 years or so when one is required. But the achilles heel of the vending industrial complex is time. Sure if you’re selling mini helmets or those sticky octopi, or schoolgirl panties, time is not a factor – though in the latter’s case, a steeping period might be to the delight of the end user – but when we start talking about food, perishable food, that’s where people pause longer before adaptation.

And so it was that most food vending machines dealt in canned and non-perishables. You see, there is still another human being – for now – on the other end of your vending transaction, it’s just that he or she has completed their part before you even began yours. It might have been an hour ago, it might have been days ago. Which is why there is an instinctive almost biological, autonomic bridling or at least nose scrunching when we say to you that Farmer’s Fridge is bringing fresh vegetables to a vending machine near you.

Vending machine food is seldom more that fat, salt, sugar and chemicals but Farmer’s Fridge wants to change all that. From their website, here’s how it works:

  • We get fresh produce every morning.
  • We arrive at 5 a.m. and make everything from scratch… daily.
  • We make everything in our local, fully licensed, shared kitchen… daily.
  • We deliver the salads to the machine at 10 a.m. and remove the unsold salads (which we donate to a local food pantry)… daily.
  • We discount any unsold salads by $1 at 6 p.m. … nightly.


The greens and such are ordered via touch screen and delivered to you in BPA Free plastic jars which you can return to the machine to be cleaned and resaladified. The machines will offer more than just typical salads and include snacks and breakfast items like berries and yogurt or carrot sticks and hummus.

The machines are not yet in Philadelphia, but they could be, alls we need is a few of you Phoodaphiles/Xenophobes/Agoraphobes to fill out this here form and get a few of these produce providers all up in the delaware valley. In the comments section on the form, you can write something like, “We’re not one of the fattest cities in the country anymore, but we’re still one of the rudest, please keep us from speaking to each other and bring us a salad shooter. KThanksBye.”

Lunch Break: Food For Our Inner Child Edition

This soothes the soul of our inner little fucker. Below is another way to go

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