Archive for April, 2011

Gemelli Moving to Manayunk; Replacement in the Works

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Gemelli chef/owner Clark Gilbert has sold his Narberth restaurant to John Wolferth (formerly of Sola), which will change name and concepts in a few weeks.

Fear not Gemelli fans — Gilbert will be moving the restaurant to Manayunk (4161 Main St.), in the spot that last housed Mango Moon, which recently closed. The new Gemelli will have a liquor license.

Michael Klein shares a funny story about what brought Wolferth and Gilbert together:

“After selling [Sola] in 2006, [Wolferth] says he took a break and got into quick serve. But when Gilbert opened Gemelli on Woodbine Avenue in October 2009, Wolferth says he showed up at the back door with his chef’s coat and knives. That inspired him to go back into the full-service restaurant game.”

Whole Foods Milepost Pub, Devon

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011


Whole Foods Devon customers will be quite familiar with the recent construction that has expanded the space into the former Homebaked Ham store and revamped their prepared foods area a bit (including the addition of a pizza parlor).

“The Milepost Pub” is now open in the front area of the store (next to the cafe seating area). It offers 300 bottles of beer, 6 local taps for on-site pints or take-away growlers, and a wine-by-the-glass vending machine. The pub also offers a menu of small plates for noshing while you sip. Though the takeout beer area is rather small (and cold!), it is packed with a great variety of local beers, US crafts and imports. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the selection is different enough from that of nearby Wegman’s, so trips to both stores are warranted for the completist. The Pub is open daily from 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM, and on Sundays, from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM.

In semi-related news, WP Realty is also in the process of expanding the Whole Foods shopping center (once Devon Village, to be called The Shops at Devon), including the addition of another restaurant. (There’s a second building to the west of where Whole Foods currently stands.) No word on what that might be or when it will be ready.

Review: Town Hall Coffee, Merion Station

Monday, April 18th, 2011
Read full review >>

Philadelphia Butter Cake on the Main Line

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Weinrich Bakery's Butter Cake

My family is not originally from this area, so although we have lived here for more than 20 years, we are often less familiar with local traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, especially those that have begun to fade away. One such specialty is Philadelphia Butter Cake (a.k.a. German Butter Cake, but not to be confused with St. Louis Butter Cake), a dessert known for its sweet, decadent, butter-based frosting. We’d actually never heard of this until recently, but once informed, I was quickly determined to find out more and seek some out in the local area.

Though butter cake is not exactly a hot topic online, quite a few posts can be found on message boards, blogs and review sites, written by people who grew up in this area (Northeast Philly especially), that reference it as something that was one of their favorite treats as a kid. It appears this pastry was quite popular through the 60’s and into the early 70s (and surely before that), but started to lose its luster in the late 70s, perhaps early 80s. While there are some bakeries that still make it today, it is a lost art, handcrafted only by those establishments that still remain from the heyday.


Xilantro to Open Spring 2011

Sunday, April 10th, 2011


Another (an actual?) Mexican-themed restaurant is coming to Wayne — in addition to the Spanish/Mexican tapas joint Matador (in the old Vivo/Freehouse space), Xilantro (which apparently is based on the Aztec spelling of the divisive herb), an upscale Mexican restaurant & lounge, will be opening its doors in late May 2011, just across N. Wayne Ave.

The owners hail from existing restaurants El Serape in Blue Bell and Los Serapes in Chalfont and Horsham (as well as a place called Cilantro – traditional spelling – in Salem, MA). Expect a more authentic Mexican theme than Matador, and tequila, as they have acquired a liquor license.

Xilantro’s seasonal menu will feature both “progressive” and “authentic” Mexican fare. Appetizers will include Guacamole made table-side, freshly-made tortillas and Arriba Chihuahua Nachos (which seems like a fancy way to say Nachos). Entrees include Grouper en Papillate, Filete Tres Chiles and Grilled Pork Chops with Tomatillo Sauce and Crunchy Plantain.

At lunch, guests can choose from a wide array of dishes such as Xilantro del Mar Salad, Salmon Tropical and a variety of Tacos, Enchiladas and Fajitas. In addition, all of the dishes that are made with corn products are gluten free.

The bar at Xilantro will house one of the largest selections of premium tequila in the Philadelphia area, with over 100 tequilas, along with Mexican inspired cocktails including specialty margaritas, Mexican beers and wines from around the world.

Menus (PDFs via Lunch | Dinner

103 N. Wayne Ave.
Wayne, PA
Website | Xilantro’s Facebook Page

Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10:30pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 11:30pm
Sunday Brunch: Noon – 3pm
Sunday Dinner: 3 – 10pm
Catering & Special Parties also available.