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Sara Levine


Grandma's passover Pancakes

This leavening-free recipe comes from my very own Jewish Grandma Florence, of Scranton, PA. Separating the eggs and beating the egg whites takes a couple extra minutes, but it's worth it when you taste the light fluffy goodness of these pancakes. Ingredients: 1/2 cup matzoh meal 3/4 tsp salt 1 tbsp sugar 3/4 cup cold water 3 eggs Directions: 1.

On tapa the trend

Small plates are the newest and hottest dining trend, and Philly has finally caught on. They have great appeal, allowing diners to sample a wide range of the menu and submit to the dietician's biggest no-no: grazing.

All hail the queen

Until the age of 18, I thought the Queen only existed on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where I spent two weeks of every summer of my childhood.

The gioia of cooking

The first clue that Gioia Mia is an authentic Italian restaurant is not the antipasto della casa, with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, or the perfect preparation of rigatoni all'amatriciana.

Cook takes on Kitchen

Friday morning, Steven Cook answers six calls for reservations in a span of 15 minutes. He politely turns some callers away--those naively hoping to get squeezed in for Saturday night, or for Valentines Day, still two weeks away. Others are in the know. They've heard the raves deeming Marigold Kitchen, tucked away in a residential neighborhood of West Philadelphia, the city's best new BYOB. They know about the 3-bell rating from feared Philadelphia Inquirer critic Craig LaBan; they've even seen accolades in Gourmet and Food and Wine magazines, bibles worshipped by foodies across the country.

Pura love, 100 Percent

If you can't make it down to Mexico or South America for spring break, just head a few miles North, to Pura Vida.

A cart of one's own

Vegetarians, vegans and Kosher kids who don't partake in Hemos or the Steak Queen don't have to miss out on Philly's wonderfully cheap food cart lunches.

Drink like the irish

The lively crowd in the front room -- the one where you'll find the long, mahogany bar -- should be a clue as to what Irish Pub does best.

Mediterranean comfort

Highlights: Early Bird Special, Monday-Friday 5-7 p.m., buy one entree, get the second half-price BYOB Drawbacks: $12-$15 cab ride from campus Price ranges: Appetizers $5-$8 Entrees $14-$22 Despite its location in up-and-coming, though out-of-the-way Northern Liberties, those in the know flock to Aden.

Bottle of red, bottle of white

College Student's BYOB ritual: En route downtown, you make your cab pull over in front of Wine and Spirits at 41st and Market.

Greek Goddess

Step into Estia, and immediately escape the impending Philadelphia winter. This new addition to the Center City scene transports the diner from Locust Street straight to Greece.

Word on the street; Absolut Middle School

On breaks from college in the early years, I slept in the white sleigh bed that I begged for in third grade.

Holy crap -- Uma Thurman is on j-date?!?

In Prime, Meryl Streep portrays the Jewish Mother rather convincingly as Lisa Metzger, a therapist who discovers her patient (Uma Thurman), who's 37, divorced and definitely not Jewish, is dating her 23-year-old son (Bryan Greenberg). Sure, she'd rather her son be a CPA or a lawyer than follow his true calling as an artist and worries about the religion of her future grandchildren over a pastrami on rye, but Streep refrains from beating the stereotype to death.

Pick a Parent

Find your parents' TV counterparts, and follow our suggestions of where to feed them this weekend -- or, better yet, where they should feed you.

Airport ales

Let's face it. No hour spent waiting in the airport is a Happy Hour. They know you're trapped, and don't feel the need to entice you with any specials.

Flying for foodies

Last Friday afternoon, as weary travelers waited in a lengthy line to pass through Philadelphia International Airport security, we self-importantly strode past them, under the protective wing of our escort Ruth, a Philadelphia Airport executive.

It's French, you fat-ass

Europeans don't do brunch. The concept of one huge meal that's supposed to merge breakfast and lunch -- but really provides an excuse to eat enough food to take care of dinner too -- was invented by us gluttonous Americans.

Better than your mom

There comes a point when you've placed just one too many orders with campusfood.com and eaten one too many meals on the stack of Franzia boxes that serves as your classy coffee table.

100 dollar cheesesteak?

Stephen Starr's take on the cheesesteak is a far cry from the paper-wrapped, whiz-topped Philly classic you know and love.

Fork me, baby

Late-night dining options are very, very sad. Wherever you are, you can always count on some diner serving up questionable eggs all night.
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