Foodie Friday: Pat’s VS Gino’s The Philly Cheese Steak Show Down

Foodie Friday: Pat’s VS Gino’s The Philly Cheese Steak Show Down

Everybody STOP! Hold the Phone!! The War to end all Wars is here! The time has come to finally answer the question:
Who has the best Philly Cheese Steaks in Philly; Pat’s King of Steaks vs. Geno’s Steaks.
This is a battle that has been going down for years and still goes on to this day. So we decided to get front row seats!
In the blue corner weighing in at a solid 2 pounds, the Thunder from Down Under, Pat’s King of Steaks! And his opponent, making his way from all the way across the street, coming in at 1.5 pounds, the Sauce from the Boss, Geno’s Steaks!!
Hold on, hold on…you mean to tell me these two are DIRECTLY across the street from each other?

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


You got it! Pat’s and Geno’s sit in the heart of Philadelphia literally across the street from each other. With competition so close it’s an honorable accomplishment that they are both still going strong. But the proof is in the pudding, right?
First things first;
To order a Philly Cheesesteak, one must first speak the language. You mention the type of cheese and say either “wit” or “witout”. That’s not a typo, that’s how you say it.
For example, “Yeah, can I get one American Wit” translates to, “Good day sir, may I have one Philly Cheese Steak with American cheese and onions.” You of course can order peppers and mushrooms, and some other toppings as well. But for the purposes of the taste test battle, we chose the simple ‘American Wit’.
pats v sginos Philly Cheese Steaks
Originally speaking, the cheese for these sandwiches was Cheese Wiz. Yeah, that stuff in the spray can. Mm’boy.
Here’s the skinny…er…I guess lack there of….
Pat’s King of Steaks was hot off the grill. The bread was soft and thick and the steak was moist and thinly sliced into small pieces. The cheese was put down first to optimize the melting. The onions were grilled to perfection and complimented the steak and cheese well. Price of the steak sandwich – $10.
Geno’s Steaks was room temperature. The bread was a little harder and not as thick. And to some people this may be preferable.  The steak was thinly sliced into longer pieces, but was a little dry. The cheese was thick and melted to perfection. The onions, however were not grilled thoroughly and were almost raw. Price of the steak sandwich – $10.
I am an onion lover, so the raw onions didn’t bother me so much. Tamara liked the harder bread from Geno’s better then the soft one from Pat’s. The steak from Geno’s was leaner and Pat’s had a little fat in it. As you can see from the picture (see below) Pat’s (the one on top) was fuller and provided more bang for your buck.
Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelor


And the winner is…………….
Pat’s King of Steaks!!! It was a close fight, but with more meat in your sandwich, onions grilled to perfection, and bread soft like butter, Pat’s knocked Geno’s out with a solid haymaker.
But fret not my foodie friends! We ate every bite of each of them!
Now it’s your turn! Go out and eat these steaks, share with us, and let’s keep the battle going until we’re grey and can’t remember why we’re battling in the first place.

Foodie Friday: Greek Yemista

Alright, eater friends! Come with me, Bella, to visit my father Jim in Queens, NY.
My dad was born Dimitrios Katsarelis is the suburb of Korydallos in the city of Pireaus. Pireaus is a port region in Athens the capital of Greece. He was born to his dad, Nikodimos and his mom, Garyfalia.
When we asked my father what he wanted to cook with us he smiled and said “Yemista”.
“This was always my favorite meal. As a kid growing up, I used to love it when my mother made these things.” My dad continued, “After being diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1980s, my mother went through one round of Chemo Therapy. She had a very hard time with side effects. She decided she was going to let it take it’s course and let whatever was going to happen, happen.”
My father came to Chicago in the fall of 1967 with his parents. His older sister Eleni stayed in Greece because she was in school.
They lived with another family while in Chicago. My father and his parents all slept in one bedroom until his dad was able to find an apartment for them, “I was miserable the entire time”, he said with a smirk on his face.
He explained that as a young child he had to stay very quite and couldn’t make too much noise. Which, for any 5 year old would present an issue. They stayed in Chicago until the summer of 1974.
At that point, my grandfather decided to move back to Greece. And he took his wife and my father with him.
They eventually moved back to Chicago again in 1976. My father was having problems adjusting socially in school. To make my father feel better, his mom would make him the Yemista.
My father spent almost every summer back in Greece with his parents, extended family, and childhood friends. “Those were the days I looked forward to,” he explained.

Foodie Friday Greek Yemista4

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


 
Eventually, after moving back and forth from Greece to America for a bit, his family moved to Astoria, Queens in New York City.  There, he had made friends and one of them was his future wife and my mother, Nina. After they were married, his parent’s moved back to Greece.
When he spoke of how he met my mother, I remember him telling me, “I was invisible to her.” But he said it was such a confident look, a masked smile, and a glow in his almond shaped eyes. It wasn’t a pity statement. It was a proud one.
She fell for him eventually and THANK GOD, right? Because, I mean, what IS a world without yours truly yanno what I mean?!….crickets?….Moving on!
I’ve heard people ask before, “Can you recall you’re earliest childhood memory?” For me, I remember the day my dad left us in America to go back to Greece and visit his mom during her last days.
I was about 5 or 6 years old. My father stood in our small apartment hallway. He was wearing a suit, carrying a suitcase, and bent down to my eye level. He kissed me with his bushy bearded face and gave me a big hug. “Be back in a little while”, he said.
My dad continues, “So, I was on the phone with my mom on my way there and she asked, ‘What do you want me to make for you when you come!?’” My dad chuckled as he continued his memory, “You have to make me Yemista! I told her and she said OK. When I got there, there was this huge tray just filled with Yemista.”
My dad stayed silent for a minute after reliving his memory. His eyes were somewhere in his past, but he still kept the smile on his face.
Foodie Friday Greek Yemista

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


So, let’s get to the good stuff!
The literal translation of “Yemista” is ‘stuffings’. Traditionally speaking, you stuff vegetables, specifically tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini.
INGREDIENTS: 

  • 3 Green peppers
  • 3 Fat red tomatoes
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 10 tbsp of White Rice
  • Yellow Onion (1 medium sized)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • EVOO (for those keeping score, that’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil) to taste
  • Fresh Parsley about 2 tbps

**Note – these measurements were for the amount we made. Remember this is an art not a science, don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit.

Foodie Friday Greek Yemista4

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


PREP AND COOK:

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Cut a small circle on an angle on the tops of the peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini. This creates a little “cork” for the veggies after they’re stuffed so don’t throw them away
  • Take out the insides of the tomatoes and zucchini and put it in a large bowl
  • Remove all the tiny seeds inside the peppers and throw them out
  • Dice up 1 medium sized yellow onion and add it to the tomato and zucchini bowl.
  • Add in 10 tbsp of UNCOOKED white rice to the bowl
  • Add salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley then stir it all together
  • Use a tablespoon to scoop the contents of the bowl back into each vegetable
  • After they are all stuffed, put their corresponding tops on
  • Place them in an oiled large baking pan and cover with Aluminum Foil
  • Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven.

Yemista1

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • If you stuff the veggies to the top, it’ll get really big when you cook it, if you stuff it about 2/3 of the way up, it’ll retain it’s shape. Neither way is the “right” way
  • Check it after 45 minutes and see if the rice is fully cooked, if not stick it back in
  • After the rice is fully cooked, you can spray the tops of the veggies with a little PAM and put it under the broiler uncovered for about 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown
  • You can also add meat to this dish! Ground lamb is a wonderful choice, but you can also use ground beef or ground turkey
  • And as always, don’t be afraid of the food! It doesn’t eat you, right?

 

FOODIE FRIDAY: NYC Street Food

FOODIE FRIDAY: NYC Street Food

Hey y’all, Tamara here from Come Sit Down With Us.
New York City might be the hardest city in the world but when it comes to spring and summer, there is nowhere else I would rather be.
On any given weekend, you can be wandering around and find a street fair chalk full of food vendors, drinks, music, and other sweet knickknacks.
Now follow me here… Put yourself on the 9th Avenue and 42nd Street. Make sure you bring your walking shoes and I recommend wearing pants that have a Velcro style waist because you WILL need to let them out by the end of the day!
The sounds of laughter are complimented by the different styles of music filling the air as the smells of barbeque and hot dogs fill your nose.
Our game plan was to walk the entire thing from 42nd Street to 57thStreet and figure out what we wanted to eat. Then we would walk back and claim our food. Mind you, that WAS our plan. We made it about 2 blocks and swiftly changed our minds.
Bella’s father was along for the ride and he went for his Greek roots and got a Lamb Gyro with EVERYTHING on it. We went for my roots and got two different Bratwursts; one pork and veal and one pork and beef. We of course added sauerkraut and German Scharf (ketchup).

9thave2 NYC Street Fair

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


Just so you know it tastes nothing like Heinz. It’s more of a mix between ketchup and barbeque sauce. I highly recommend it! Your taste buds will not be disappointed.
We all stood together taking a bite of our dish and then passing it to the right. I could not get enough of the pork and beef Brat. Something about the crunch of the thick skin that I just loved! Bella was all Greek all day, as she usually is. Mr. Kats was really into the veal and pork Brat. So clearly we did something right.
We probably stuffed ourselves too much but you know, who cares! We can walk it off.
Now, one belt loop later, we continue our quest to concur 9th Avenue. We made our way swerving through the people and dodging the selfie sticks! Eventually, we made it to the end. With our eyes on the prize (dessert that is) we turned around with the intention on stopping for the goodies.
However, Caparihnas from ‘Rice and Beans’ got in the way. Now if you know nothing about Brazil you should know one thing; Caparihnas!
This drink is sheer joy in a glass. It’s Leblon, sugar, and muddled lime. Leblon is Brazilian Rum made from Brazilian sugar cane grown at an altitude of 1000 meters.
Just make sure you are careful because they can get the best of you!
9thave2 NYC Street Fair

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


At this point, our group has grown as Bella’s cousins had join in for the fun. We continued our wander, bouncing from vendor to vendor. Ooing and Ahhing at the Oysters being shucked or the man who had been carving the leg of Serrano per order.
 
Serrano is similar to Prosciutto, but made from a different breed of pig. The curing method for Serrano is also different to that of the Prosciutto. Bottom line: if you see it, EAT IT!
Now it wouldn’t be a street fair without stopping to get our fill of pickles from the beloved pickle man. With plenty of opportunity to sample all the different types of pickles, we went with our favorite; the full garlic sours.
We bought a quart and they probably lasted us….mmmmm….like a day.
Post pickle pursuing, we generated our final stop at The Bread Factory. A fantastic little bakery that drew my attention with lovely little fruit tarts.
9thave2 NYC Street Fair

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


Bella’s dad did us the honor by acquiring a sample of different types of delicious looking desserts. We were not disappointed! I got a berry fruit tart and Bella ate the cheesecake.
We left full, happy, and….full. Moral of the story: Should you be in New York City and find yourself in a street fair, STOP and EAT!
 
 
 

FOODIE FRIDAY: Henry’s on the Farm

Henry’s on the Farm is located in Milton, NY as part of the Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa Resort.
Tamara: “It’s really hard to surprise me. I usually can figure it out ahead of time, but this time I really had no idea where we were going. Bella really surprised me with this one!”
Bella: “Present! So!…
We parked the car in a small, unpaved lot just beyond the restaurant. Our walk to the restaurant was short but wonderful. Smells of fresh grass and warm air consumed the atmosphere. The quacks and squawks of the ducks and geese that spread across the land filled the air.
We walked across a small bridge and onto the walkway toward the restaurant. The outside of the restaurant was a beautiful red wood panel complimented by dark grey wood slats. A cute round sign that read “Henry’s on the farm” sat on top of the front door.
We entered the dark green and glass front door and ascended the wooden staircase to the dining room.
The dining room was beautifully decorated in a country chic style. Leather chairs were paired with intimate wooden tables. Huge light bulbs hung from the ceiling and emitted a warm comfortable light. The wooden bar was set off to the right and appeared to be stocked fairly well.

FOODIE FRIDAY: Restaurant Review of Henry’s on the Farm- Lesbian Travel-DopesOnTheRoad.com

Tamara (left) and Bella (right)


We decided to sit outside since the summer gods were working in our favor. The outside seating area was small, but since it was not overly crowded we had the place to ourselves.
Our server was a delightful personality stocked with red hair and a wealth of knowledge about the restaurant.
She began by explaining the specials to us then adding the tip that everything on the menu was either grown on the farm itself, harvested from the animals on the farm, or made from their personal bakery.
One of the specials was a clam dish in a white wine sauce. So OBVIOUSLY we had to get that. We shared the clams and a Caesar salad to start.
You know when clams are good when you have to ask for bread to soak up the juice just so you don’t waist and ounce of the deliciousness. I believe Tamara had said the clams were so good she could have bathed in the sauce! But you know don’t quote me on that…she’s a quirky one. The Caesar salad was about average.
Tamara ordered the wild mushroom Florentine Omelet with Tomato and Cheddar She did however substitute the cheese for Feta. It’s an addiction of hers. She always says, “Everythin’s betta with feta!”
I ordered the Country Breakfast Wrap that came with Vermont Cheddar, Peppers, Onions and Chicken Sausage. Both of our meals had a side of Country Potatoes and Fresh Fruit.
The Eggs were beyond amazing! And I’m going to credit that to the fact that they were the fresh eggs from the farm. It was a bit greasy, but definitely worth the try!
The idea that all our food was Farm to Table was just something you couldn’t overlook. Everything was exuding freshness.
FOODIE FRIDAY: Restaurant Review of Henry’s on the Farm- Lesbian Travel-DopesOnTheRoad.com

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


After we finished eating, our server stayed and talked to us. She educated us on the owner and the farm. The owner saved all the animals on the grounds. He either nursed them back to health or raised them to the point that his kids looked at the goats like they were there dogs.
Fun fact: the owner’s son’s name is Henry. The restaurant is named after him.
We paid up, thanked her for the great experience and left the restaurant all smiles.
Now, in a normal situation this is where the dining experience would end. Howeva! I didn’t pick this place for nothing.
The land is so beautiful you are compelled to have a stroll. If you are looking for a creative date/getaway this is it.
The acres upon acres are filled with small cottages (that you can rent!). And to my fellow human bodies wanting to impress their counterparts, this is a great spot!
We walked around hand in hand enjoying the sunshine and found our way to a spot that overlooked the Hudson River. 10 points for Bella, Tamara couldn’t stop smiling. Not to mention, the bonus points for being a gay couple and feeling very comfortable being here.
We finally made our way back to the car stopping first to look at the farm and animals. Llamas, chickens, goats, and alllllpacas!
Today’s Gold Star goes to…………………The Clams!!!! No surprise there.

FOODIE FRIDAY: How to Make Swedish Pancakes

Hi!  I’m Tamara, the other half to Come, Sit Down With Us.  I would love to give you a small glimpse into the making of who I am today.
So please grab a glass of ‘Kano’ Sauvignon Blanc and Come, Sit Down With Us!
I was born and raised in PA; Pennsylvania for those who live anywhere else (locals tend to call it PA).  I was born Pittsburgh then moved to Lancaster where I spent most of my childhood.
My love for food and wine came to me in a tangled and twisted path but a path I loved!  I was raised in a house where art was around us at all times.
My dad’s dad ‘Gramps’ was an amazing photographer and wood carver. My dad’s mom ‘Granny’ is an amazing stained glass maker.
We used to be dragged by my mother, sometimes kicking and screaming to museums. I can’t thank her enough for it now!  It created a love for the arts that took me away from Lancaster to Savannah, Georgia where I enrolled in SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design.
Here is where I got my first job at a restaurant and met Brandon.  He was one of the chefs, but he could turn anything into gold.  He hit a note in me I didn’t know was there.
Fast-forward a few years to me jumping on a plane and going to study in Lacoste, France.  I studied, ate, drank wine, traveled, ate, photographed, drank wine, and ate.
I was lucky enough to as I like to call it to “eat my way” through many other countries Europe.
I went back to Savannah, got my degree in Photography, and moved to the “Big Apple”.  Here I worked in the Photography industry but wasn’t feeling satisfied.  I kept a serving job at all times not because I needed the money but because I couldn’t take my foot out of the food industry door.
This is when I met my beautiful counterpart to come sit with us.  The love we share for food and wine was the foundation to our relationship.  With her support, I left my secure job in the field I had my degree in, to pursue my love for food.
I am now lucky enough to be surrounded by food at all times managing an amazing restaurant in Hells Kitchen.
That is me in a nutshell, a food-loving artist who’s got the travel bug.

swedish pancakes-Lesbian Travel- DopesontheRoad.com

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder


Now to the dish my family calls “Swedish Pancakes”.  Truth, I have absolutely no idea if that’s what they’re actually called.
We received the recipe from a very close family friend whom I like to call my second mother and the name came with it.
This dish is a staple in my parent’s house.  It would not be Christmas without Swedish Pancakes. On Christmas morning, we open our gifts then have Swedish Pancakes. If my mom didn’t make it, Christmas would be ruined. RUINED!
It’s a dish that holds so many memories to me that I will be carrying on that tradition to my children when I have them.
I chose the Sauvignon Blanc because it’s a wonderful dry yet fruity pair to this sweet dish.
Now it can be a little finicky, so be careful with the measuring.  When you get it right though… man is it worth every second of baking!
swedish pancakes-Lesbian Travel- DopesontheRoad.com

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder

Ingredients:

o   4 Eggs
o   1 qt milk
o   1 tsp salt
o   2 cups flour
o   1/2 cup butter

Cook:

o   Preheat oven to 400 degrees
o   Beat eggs and salt in a bowl
o   Add milk and flour SLOWLY as to avoid clumping and use an electric mixer to thoroughly and evenly blend
o   Put butter in a 9×13 pan (glass is recommended) and place in the oven until melted
o   Add egg mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes
o   Serve with sausage, jam, fruit, fresh syrup…anything you want!