Tag Archives: Sbraga

Summer at Sbraga

Summer at Sbraga

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association.  Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2013.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Juniper Commons – Flashback to the ’80s

Enjoy a review of one of Philadelphia’s new restaurants on the Avenue of the Arts – Juniper Commons – in my January issue of The Judicial Palate.

Juniper Commons Flashback to the ’80s

This article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2015.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

The Fat Ham – Hamming It Up in Philadelphia

Chef Kevin Sbraga’s new restaurant, The Fat Ham, is slated to open this Friday, December 6th in University City.  Last night, my husband Vincent and I were fortunate enough to attend Friends and Family Night where we experienced the real deal in contemporary Southern food at an unlikely location on Philadelphia’s Left Bank.

Located at 3131 Walnut Street, The Fat Ham is Kevin Sbraga’s second restaurant; his top rated, flagship restaurant, Sbraga, located on Broad Street opened in 2011.  Ben Fileccia, the general manager of Sbraga, has brought his leadership talents to the other side of the Schuylkill.

The Fat Ham is a relaxed and cozy, 44 – seat space that boasts wood topped tables, eclectic seating and subway tiles that form unique wall art – the fat ham.  Other distinctive touches are the whiskey barrels for aging cocktails in the bar area and the servers’ plaid shirts, which add to the homey feel.

The fat ham at The Fat Ham

The fat ham at The Fat Ham

The bottle of The Fat Ham hot sauce on each table – made in house, of course – is a sign of the pleasant spiciness to the fare.   The bread, a corn biscuit in true Southern style, had just the right touch of sugar, allowing the natural sweetness of the corn to take center stage.   As there are no main courses, the more than helpful (and able to navigate a small space with agility) waitstaff recommends that each guest order three dishes, which are served family style and intended for sharing.

We started with a salad of mustard greens with benne (sesame) seeds, peanuts and hot vinegar dressing.  This refreshing, light salad packed a subtle heat in its vinegar dressing.  We then enjoyed the “Fat Ham Board” of bacon, ham, chicken liver and terrine paired with pickled vegetables and toasted bread points.  The chicken liver was among the best I have had; according to my husband, it was as creamy as an iced cream.

Then came the star, the “Hot Chicken” on white bread with ranch dressing and dill pickles.  We chose the dark meat option and were pleased with the juiciness of the meat and the crunchiness of the breading.  The heat from this dish was tempered by the white bread and ranch dressing.  The collard greens with ham hocks and pot liquor were next.  The ham was shredded after it was cooked down, and the whole combination was melt in your mouth comfort food.

Then came the crispy fried green tomatoes with buttermilk horseradish and the smoked lamb belly with cola sauce, green beans and tomatoes.  The lamb was sinful…the rendered lamb fat and cola sauce made for a decadent finale.  Finale to the savory dishes, that is.  For dessert, we ordered the banana pudding doughnut with spiced sugar.  The experience of having the doughnut dissolve on your tongue, leaving the banana pudding behind, is one that I highly recommend.

There is no doubt that the warm feel and tasty menu items, not to mention the very reasonable prices, will appeal to students and university employees as well as Philadelphians and visitors looking for a flair of the South in the City of Brotherly Love.

Autumn Soup at Sbraga

My favorite Philadelphia restaurant, Sbraga, is currently serving the ultimate autumn soup – carrot ginger.  The ginger provides a kick that is balanced by the sweetness of the carrot.  A perfect spoonful will include a piece of the charred marshmallow slowly melting into the velvety gold puree.  You will also notice an occasional surprise hidden in the rich, creamy soup – chopped pistachios.  This first course is sure to stimulate the palate for the courses to follow.

carrot soup

 

 

 

Summer at Sbraga

Check out my new article reviewing top Philly restaurant – Sbraga – on the Culinary Chronicles page.