Dec 2006

Fellini Cafe Trattoria – Philadelphia

Fellini Cafe Trattoria is a local chain in the Philadelphia region. There are six locations (mostly located in the ‘burbs) and all are independently run by each franchisee. The menu is consistent across all the locations where I have dined. I tried Fellini for the first time my sophomore year of college for a Cross Country team dinner and have loved it ever since. I even had my 22nd birthday party there! Sadly, since my Swarthmore days, the Baltimore Pike location has shut its doors. Luckily, a Fellini opened up one block from my apartment in Center City. Woot.

I usually go to Fellini for dinner, but have always wanted to go for lunch because they only serve paninis at lunch. During our visit, Wes and I both ordered paninis. I had the Panino Fellini, while Wes had the Panino al Pollo. The complimentary bread was very good, it would’ve been better if it were warm.

While Fellini makes a mean pasta, their paninis are mediocre. Our paninis were a let down because they didn’t meet our expectations of grill marks and melted cheese. However, after this experience I am starting to question my expectations because my panino from Paninoteca back in October also lacked grill marks and melted cheese.

Here’s how Wikipedia defines “panino”: “A panino is a sandwich made from a small loaf of bread, typically a ciabatta. The loaf is often cut horizontally and filled with salami, ham, meat, cheese or other food, and sometimes served hot.” I think my definition may be a off.

Expectations aside, my panino had both high and low points. The “homemade bread” was a definite high. It was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and held the contents well. The mixed green salad was also delicious. I requested provolone cheese for my sandwich, which was good but pricy ($1.50). The panino’s lows were pretty low. The Parma ham was most definitely deli counter ham and skimpily applied. And the tomato sauce on the bread made it soggy and cold.

I did not try Wes’ al pollo, but it seemed similar to mine (minus the ham, plus chicken). The chicken was grilled and cut into strips and seemed a bit more robust than my ham. Wes said that his grilled chicken had a “burnt” taste in spots, but other than that it was good. The panini portions were ridiculous. I could only finish half of mine and Wes only ate a quarter of his.

Next time, I’ll stick to the pasta!

Fellini Cafe Trattoria *CLOSED*
2216 Walnut St, Philadelphia 19103
Phone: 215-972-0860

Felinni's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Dec 2006

Sandy's Restaurant – Philadelphia

December 1, 2006
Cuisine: American (traditional), Diner

231 S 24th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Phone: 215-732-8335
Website: none

Entree I: Egg Sandwich with Cheese ($3.35)

Entree II: Egg Platter – Two eggs over easy, home fries, bacon, whole wheat toast with jam and butter ($7.95)

After months of talking about going out for a meal, my friend Wes and I finally had lunch at his favorite eatery. Sandy’s is conveniently located across the street from Wes’ house–he’s been frequenting this joint for years and the staff know him by name AND order. Very impressive.

Sandy’s is more or less a greasy spoon, a charming greasy spoon, but a greasy spoon nevertheless. They serve hoagies, grinders, cheesesteaks, fried chicken, regular sandwiches and even some seafood and Greek specialties. Sandy’s also serves breakfast all day long, which Wes and I took advantage of on our visit.

I had the egg and cheese sandwich, while Wes had his usual. My sandwich was made on whole wheat bread with Swiss cheese. The sandwich was pretty straight forward; it tasted like the sum of all it’s individual parts. It was good, but I’ve made the same sandwich on a number of occasions at home. Perhaps next time I will have a Gyro since I can’t make that at home.

I didn’t taste any of Wes’ egg platter, but I’m pretty sure I knew what it tasted like–the sum of all its individual parts.

Sandy's Lunch on Urbanspoon

Dec 2006

Banana Cornbread

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 banana, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Place the maple syrup, mashed bananas, apple sauce, milk and vanilla into a blender or food processor; puree until smooth OR mix by hand. Mix together cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture until blended. Fold in sliced bananas. Pour into prepared pan. Bake is preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until brown on top.

Adapted from recipe for Banana Walnut Cornbread. [For Printable Recipe Click Here]