Daily Digestif

Lancaster Is Hot, Townsend Soft-Opens This Weekend, New Temple Food Co-Op

By Danya Henninger  |  April 24, 2014
Credit: Danya Henninger

Your daily roundup of Philly food tidbits

• Lancaster, PA is “totally happening,” and those aren’t even ironic air quotes. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan gives the low-down on the hottest new restaurant scene in Eastern Pennsylvania. Near the land where the eccentrically talented Tom Culton farms his sought-after heirloom produce are city-level BYOs, scratch-cooking kitchens, noodle shops, craft beer pubs and other reasons to make it a worthy food-lovers destination.

Townsend is soft-opening for a sneak preview this weekend. Drink Philly has the news that the new East Passyunk bistro from Townsend Wentz will be open 5-10 PM, Friday and noon-10 PM Saturday. Along with French-Italian food from Wentz, look for cocktails by Keith Raimondi (formerly at Lemon Hill) and a wine list from Lauren Harris, who worked with Wentz at McCrossen’s Tavern.

• It’s about to get easier for Temple students to keep off that freshman 15. This fall, Rad Dish Co-Op Cafe and Grocer will open on the North Philadelphia campus, reports Green Philly Blog, serving vegetarian and vegan dishes that can also have meat added by request. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be stocked on the shelves, along with other sustainable groceries.

• For her “Turning the Tables” series, Philadelphia City Paper food editor Caroline Russock cooked dinner for Lucio Palazzo of Taqueria Feliz and learned a lot about the chef’s food history. He started from nowhere, as “assistant pastry assistant” at Brasserie Perrier, and made his way through Pumpkin, Zahav and Xochitl before landing at La Calaca Feliz. His first experience with real Mexican food came in California when he was 21, and it changed his life forever.

• Ramps! For the Philadelphia Daily News, Beth D’Addono traipsed through the forest with Eli Kulp (Fork, High Street on Market, a.kitchen + bar) and professional forager Evan Strusinski. Is picking food out of the ground dangerous? Nope. "You have a much greater chance getting E. coli from something produced on a factory farm," Kulp tells her.