Sunday, October 29, 2006

Down Home Diner has added a full roster of soups now that the cooler weather has arrived. Six soups were on the menu this Saturday: seafood gumbo, tomato bisque, chicken noodle, potato leek, black eye pea, and beef-barley. The signboard says they are all homemade.

Also a sure sign that summer (and gin and tonic season) is over: the price of limes and lemons both 10 for a buck at Iovine Brothers. And yellow and orange bell peppers also a bargain at 99-cents a pound, same price as green peppers; reds were $2.99. Seedless cucumbers also a relative bargain, two for a buck. California seedless grapes a good deal: two-pound clamshell for $1.49.

Not too much sign of visible construction at Hershel's East Side Deli yet. Spataro's seems to be settled in nicely at their new location. Flying Monkey added an attractive awning a couple of weeks ago, brightening the look of center court.

I wanted to try a ham steak from Giunta's Prime Shop, but so far they only have the spiral cut hams. So, instead I picked up a ham steak at Harry Ochs for the first time. An excellent slice of ham, better than any other I've purchased at the RTM since Moyers left, and, indeed, it at least matched Moyers in flavor and texture. Price was $6.99/pound, iirc, but well worth the premium.

Giunta's does have a nice selection of fowl, including Eberly's chicken. The ducks are on my radar for purchase later this fall.

What was missing from the produce vendors, imho, are baking apples. Sure, there are varieties available that can be baked in pies, cobblers or by themselves with success (the Jonathons, Winesaps and Romes come to mind), but it would be nice to see some traditional tart baking apples available, like Rhode Island Greenings, Northern Spy, or one of the sweeter Pippins.

Dedication of the restored neon sign set for Thursday, Nov. 9, 4 p.m. at the corner of 12th and Harry Ochs Way (Filbert Street). It used to hang on the RTM Headhouse at the corner of 12th and Market. Philadelphia architect Robert Venturi will be keynote speaker.

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