Weekend Planner: Lamb Burgers, Lemon Society and a Beer Block Party
Changing of the seasons are the best reason to live in the Northeast, and the gradual shift this year just gives us all the more time to appreciate it. Reach even further ahead with a summer-perfect backyard burger and a plate of pristine raw fish, then get your drink on with two ways to help others. If you eat the best vegan cheesesteak Philly has to offer, does that mean you get to splurge on chocolate chip cookies? We’re saying yes.
American Lamb Burger at Border Springs RTM
Border Springs lamb makes up the patty for the burger at the bar at Avance that just about everyone has freaked out over recently. At the farm’s own stand in Reading Terminal Market, chef Nick Macri just introduced his own take. This version is on a toasted Wild Flour Bakery challah roll with American cheese, mustard, mayo, arugula and chopped red onion. On the side, a pickle spear and chips, just like that burger you’ll be eating at backyard parties as soon as warm weather comes ‘round ($11; 215-627-2100).
Tuna Tiradito at Jose Pistola’s
Chef Adan Trinidad is a master of melding Asian flavors with Mexican food, so as good as the nachos at this Spruce Street tavern are, do not miss his raw fish dishes. Just when we thought the coconut-lemongrass tuna ceviche could not be topped, a plate of the tuna tiradito landed at our table and proved us wrong. Squares of tuna dissolve on your tongue, preceded by the saltiness of soy and followed by the tang of citrus. If you plan to share the dish, order a double portion so there’s no need to fight ($12; 215-545-4101).
Lemon Society Speakeasy
Swing and sip in style at the highest event space in Philadelphia from 8-11 PM on Saturday, March 22, as this young professionals group hosts their third annual benefit for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Bartenders from Alla Spina, Southwark, Franklin Mortgage and The Gaslight will vie to impress judges and guests with their drinks, and you can join with an $80 ticket here. It’s a fun evening that is all about helping the fight against childhood cancer.
Hawthornes Family Fundraiser
Last month, a devastating fire tore through the building housing Chris Fetfatzes and Heather Annechiarico run Hawthornes, shutting down the beloved 11th and Fitzwater beer cafe. Your chance to help get the 1000-plus-label bottle shop up and running quickly comes Sunday, March 23. From 1-5 PM, swing by Bella Vista Beer across the street for a block party where $20 gets you unlimited beer and access to a raffle of tons of great food and drink prizes.
The Woman Who Invented the Chocolate Chip Cookie
Contrary to the reigning mythology, the chocolate chip cookie was not invented by mistake. Instead, it was a brilliant brainstorm by one Ruth Wakefield, savvy chef and owner of a Massachusetts restaurant by the name of...Toll House. Philadelphia-based author Carolyn Wyman unearths her true story in this piece for Slate. All we can say is, thank you, Ruth, forever thanks.
And the Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly Is...
**Spoilers ahead** Vegan evangelist and Daily News writer Vance Lehmkuhl held a monthlong contest to find the best vegan cheesesteak in Philadelphia, and the results are in. Blackbird Pizzeria just off South Street took the top prize, while Cantina Dos Segundos walked away with the people’s choice win. Click over to get the (non-)meaty details on the best seitans specialties between the bun.