Food and Drink

Chef's Table with Biederman's Eugene Mopsik

Biederman’s Speciality Foods’ owner Lauren Biederman and self-proclaimed “loxsmith Eugene Mopsik.
Biederman's Speciality Foods owner Lauren Biederman and self-proclaimed "loxsmith" Eugene Mopsik. Photo courtesy of Gab Bonghi

Photographer Eugene Mopsik has traded his camera lens for a slicing knife.

State of play: Mopsik is the self-proclaimed "loxsmith" at Biederman's Speciality Foods on Christian Street, which opened in late 2020.

  • With no formal culinary background, Mopsik came out of retirement to slice fish and cook at the shop near the Italian Market.
Taylor Allen
Jan 10, 2022 - Business

Philly pushes for more federal relief for restaurants

Illustration of a fork and knife folded in a napkin made of a hundred dollar bill.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Mayor Jim Kenney joined 24 other mayors in urging Congress to provide more aid to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Why it matters: Philly's restaurant and hospitality industry is struggling the most out of any other sector in recovering from pandemic-driven shutdowns and changes, Pew data shows.

Driving the news: Kenney signed a Jan. 7 letter to House and Senate leaders warning that "the impact on our local economies will be catastrophic" if restaurants don't receive help soon.

Taylor Allen
Jan 5, 2022 - Business

Philly's restaurant industry grapples with vaccine mandate

Illustration of a fork, knife and syringe on a napkin.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Philly's hospitality and restaurant industries are easing into the new vaccine mandate.

Driving the news: The city started requiring proof of vaccination for patrons going to bars, sports venues and most establishments that sell food and beverages on-site on Monday.

  • The mandate takes effect as Philadelphia grapples with a COVID-19 surge, primarily driven by the Omicron variant. As of Tuesday, the city has a nearly 40% positivity rate.

Chef's Table: Belaynesh Wondimagegnehu of Buna Cafe

Chef Belaynesh Wondimagegnehu of Buna Cafe.
Chef Belaynesh Wondimagegnehu of Buna Cafe. Photo courtesy of Wondimagegnehu

Chef Belaynesh Wondimagegnehu opened her Ethiopian restaurant in West Philadelphia, Buna Cafe, in the middle of the pandemic.

State of play: Wondimagegnehu said the cafe began taking orders in late 2020 as a way "to give our community and ourselves something positive to look forward to hope, and wholesome food."

  • "Cooking is what I know — something I've done my whole life and something I know offers comfort and brings people together," said Wondimagegnehu, who founded the restaurant with her husband Demelash Demeasie.
Mike D'Onofrio
Updated Dec 22, 2021 - Food and Drink

Philadelphia's noteworthy restaurant openings of 2021

Photo courtesy of Korshak Bagels.
Photo courtesy of Korshak Bagels

Philadelphia's food scene continues to grow even in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

The big picture: The restaurant industry has struggled to contend with dining restrictions, rising food prices, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions during the past two years.

Yes, but: Eateries have rolled with the punches and evolved.

  • Restaurants throughout the city continue to offer creative to-go options, and some streeteries are here to stay, depending on the location.

Philadelphia's top Instacart orders of 2021

A graphic showing the the grocery items ordered on Instacart that saw an increase and decrease in popularity in 2021.
Illustration courtesy of Instacart

Instacart has the goods on what Philadelphia is eating.

Driving the news: The top purchases that dominated Philly's Instacart orders in 2021 were turkey bacon, salmon fillets, spinach, tofu and frozen vegetarian burgers, according to a recent report from the grocery delivery company.

W Philadelphia unveils new winter cocktails at hotel lounge

Winter decor in the lobby at the W Philadelphia Hotel. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios

W Philadelphia recently rolled out a new winter cocktail line at the hotel's Living Room lounge, and I had to check it out.

What I tried: Fireside Lit ($18) is a fun choice for tequila lovers. The cocktail has both mezcal and Reposado tequila, mixed with Campari, blood orange and lime.

New Jersey natives review Fishtown favorite Pizzeria Beddia

On the left, Cantabrian anchovies and a salad with fresh vegetigable; on the right, two pizza pies from Pizzeria Beddia in Fishtown.
Cantabrian anchovies, a salad with apples and radishes and two pizza pies from Pizzeria Beddia in Fishtown. Photos: Mike D'Onofrio and Alexa Mencia/Axios

As New Jersey natives — where good pizza is plentiful — we felt compelled to give our take on one of Philly’s best pizza joints, Pizzeria Beddia.

State of plate: If you're looking for a top-of-the-line pizzeria experience, this Fishtown spot won't disappoint.

  • Enjoy shared seating, old school kitchen tables and lighting that's perfect for snapping Instagram photos.
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