This Post is (Almost) All About Food and Philly.

There’s been a lot of food in my life between weddings, five days of work orientation/events and – wait for it – passing the bar. Shaun and I are excited to report [after about 24 hours of obsessively refreshing the PA Board of Law Examiners’ website] that our names are actually on the list of “successful applicants.” This means (1) now I am a lawyer, and (2) now you don’t have to hear any of the insane excuses I spent the last few months putting together in the event of my [what seemed at times inevitable] failure.

Passing the bar is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s a celebration involving good food and good drinks, because CONGRATULATIONS! You passed! But alternatively, it’s: CONGRATULATIONS! Now you get to work all the time for the rest of your life because you are a barred attorney. We ignored the latter and focused on the former with dinner at  Tinto on 20th and Sansom Friday night.

Jose Garces ranks high on the Chefs I Have A Crush On list [see also: Michael Solomonov, Gabrielle Hamilton] and I’m always finding excuses to go to Amada or Village Whiskey, two of his other Philly staples. We actually walked all the way to Amada first, only to discover they were only serving their Restaurant Week menu. After approximately two hours of wandering we learned that everywhere was only serving Restaurant Week, and settled in at Tinto with a glass of wine to wait for a table [hint: it was already 9PM and we were hungry]. We’re not the biggest fans of RW because I never have an appetite for four courses and we rarely order dessert so we usually lose money on the deal; however, Tinto is a Basque Tapas [!!!!] restaurant, and their RW offering was to choose four tapas and a dessert rather than three “courses.” They were already ahead of the game.

BUT THEN they had Rueda by the glass, AND THEN there was sangria, so Tinto won before we even got our food. Which was awesome, too: la peral and boucheron cheeses, an arugula salad with mission figs and goat cheese croquettes, more mission figs, meatballs, mussels in a tomato sauce, green beans with dates and almonds and the most delicious octopus dish, ever. Seriously, Philadelphians, if you haven’t been here GO NOW. Tinto skyrocketed to the top of our weekend list. It doesn’t hurt that it’s now associated with a wonderful memory, just like Zahav.*

We started Saturday with big plans to continue celebrating. After a trip to the farmer’s market [pumpkin hummus!], Trader Joe’s, and my office to drop off some heavy things [why are UVA’s diplomas so huge?], we had lunch at Pumpkin Market which serves the best tofu banh mi salad around [you can also get it on a sandwich]. It happened to be Bloktoberfest, so South Street from 18th-Broad was a huge party, too. Second weekend we’ve been in town, and the second weekend there’s been a street fair. This city. Kills. It.

we obviously got hot sauce on the side, too.


Unfortunately, I started feeling ill during a run later that afternoon,** and even though I tried to remedy it with THIS:

my favorite fall beer.

And this awesome dinner that Shaun made [gluten-free vegan sausage from the Rittenhouse farmer’s market…kind of looks like a log but I assure you it was fantastic]:

…My upset stomach/head got the best of me and I was in bed by 8PM, whining and watching Boardwalk Empire. This meant we shelved our plans to try a new bar in town, Tietra, but we’ll just push it to next weekend when we have a visitor. I was disappointed I couldn’t continue the bar exam celebration, but sleeping for more than six hours also felt grand. And gave me plenty of energy to prepare a new raw, vegan dish for the week: raw mock “tuna” salad.

yep, there’s grapes in it.

The raw, vegan mayonnaise in this dish is delicious. My one criticism is it was too sweet. The recipe calls for one tablespoon raw agave nectar, but next time I will cut back. The “tuna” is walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds soaked and pulsed in a food processor. Add in some lemon, cucumber and grapes [great idea], and you’ve got a really, really cool dish. This is much, much heavier than a traditional tuna salad because it’s entirely nuts and seeds, so I would be careful with quantities, but you can definitely stretch this out over a week’s worth of lunches, maybe even for two people.



You should head to [you guessed it] Rawmazing for the recipe [here’s the link]. I followed it exactly. Her pictures are also way cooler than mine, which don’t really give this dish credit. I made a tuna salad salad for tomorrow at work, and I’m already excited to eat it.

Now we’ve got to hop out of our bar exam success cloud/food coma and start getting ready for another week of being real lawyers. Because we’re really lawyers now. It’s kind of awesome.

* Side note, when I searched my posts to link back to the one I wrote about Zahav, I was slightly grossed out with myself when I saw just how many of the near-300 posts on this website contain the word “Zahav” in them. I have a problem.

** Yes, I’ve started running again. Yes, I’m very slow now and it drives me crazy. Yes, I also signed up for a race on November 4th. Yes, this is probably stupid. No, I am not going to listen [of course], so the topic is moot. Thank you.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Food, Philly, Recipes


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: Tumblr:


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

2 Comments on “This Post is (Almost) All About Food and Philly.”

  1. Michelle
    October 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    oh mm banh mi! one of my favorite vietnamese things to eat. “banh mi” means bread or sandwich. i see what they did there, putting the pickled vegetables and tofu on a salad. what did they serve in those two sauce dishes?

    • October 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

      I think the one was just a balsamic viniagarette. THe other one was a cilantro aioli that they usually put on the banh mi sandwich. SUCH a good spot to eat!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: