Food and Drink

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Chef’s Special

Pasta, pasta, pasta — that’s all Ronnie Ruiz ever has for dinner, and she’s getting mighty sick of it.

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Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant

Philadelphia has been a strong brewery town since colonial times. John Adams, who enjoyed apple cider every day in his native Braintree, Mass., savored his first sip of beer at The City Tavern when he arrived in Philadelphia. He told his wife Abigail how much he enjoyed it.

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Chef’s Special

Living in a small home, Diane Curtis needs every inch of storage space, and the oven is her assigned spot for pots and pans.

“Holidays are a pain,” she says. “Anything I’m not using to cook with goes down the basement for the week and we can’t find anything until I put the decorations away.”

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15th Street Bookbinder’s

Labor Day Weekend was a washout. My husband Edward suggested we go out to dinner, but many restaurants were closed that Monday. He leafed through the Zagat Guide and came up with an inspired choice. “We haven’t been to Bookbinder’s in years,” he said. I called the restaurant and, to my delight, was told dinner would be served until 9 p.m.

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Chef’s Special

When Jennifer Baldino Bonett was expecting her son, Joseph, she craved all that yummy, fatty junk food that most pregnant (and even non-pregnant) women hunger for. But she fended off those urges with a healthier version of one of her favorite treats: oatmeal cookie bars.

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P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

Several weeks ago, my friend Susan, her son Ben and I were talking about summer’s end. They had just returned from Naples, Fla., where the weather was cooler than here.

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Chef’s Special

That’s what Cecelia Drew has been singing for the past few days — and not because the weather’s getting cooler, or because her kids are heading back to school (though that helps), or because she gets to retire her bathing suit for another three seasons.

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Hitting a sharp note

As head of the music program at the Greene Street Friends School in Germantown, Tim Stopper knows there’s more than one way to produce good music — and the same goes for food.

That’s why Stopper, of Seventh and Christian streets, always seeks exotic ingredients to give his dishes more of a world beat. Take his latest hit, tomato-avocado salsa: He craved something tangy one day, and the rhythm just moved him to combine two classic Mexican flavors.

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Little Pete’s

Nearly five years ago, I wrote a column about my favorite places to lunch while shopping on Black Friday. I mentioned Little Pete’s at 19th and Chestnut streets because the restaurant offers one of the best lunch deals in town.

Last week, while a friend and I enjoyed big, juicy cheeseburgers with hot French fries and coleslaw ($5.25) and brewed iced tea ($1.20), it dawned on me that I never formally reviewed Little Pete’s. I have been a regular customer for many years. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and there’s a special brunch menu on weekends.

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Sweet meat

To unwind after a hard day, some people like to read, go for a jog, take a bubble bath or even hit the hay early.

Joyce Sampson likes to prepare a full meal, complete with all the trimmings, after a long day at the office.

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