Craig LaBan travels off the beaten path to the Indonesian-centric Sky Cafe, and pretty much orders everything he shouldn't. He asks about the Sator beans, and finds out it translates to stinky beans. Finally, the server realizes LaBan is ordering everything he's told not to.
"That little maxim should be inscribed as Rule No. 1 for adventure foodists, and the contrarian art of reverse menu counseling is duly applied as Yu heads back to his mother's kitchen with an order for satay Padang, fishy fried rice, and a side of sator beans. Nothing is so scary that it can't be nibbled once, especially if it offers a glimpse of rarely seen authentic flavors, such as the Medan-style specialties on display at pleasant Sky Cafe."
LaBan assures those people who are not daring with their stomach that there is plenty they will enjoy, as well, including a succulent beef randang, and a delicious chicken soup called soto Medan.
Adam Erace heads to Le Bercail in West Philly, where West African cooking is on the menu, which Erace has a hard time navigating.
"Cryptic, taciturn and loosely organized into sections like "Sauce" and "Grillade," Le Bercail's list of offerings is not so much a menu to peruse as a mystery to solve. Fortunately, the cautiously friendly staff — one woman ran the sparsely populated apricot dining room the night I visited — provide clues when pressed."
Readable menu or not, Erace loved most everything he had. From the Millet pudding to the crispy-skinned tilapia, you'll find something to enjoy.
Phyllis Stein-Novack went all Italian Market on us, and stopped by local haunt Nina's Trattroria. As usual, she brings adventurous eater Sandy, who this time around, had never eaten gnocchi before.
"Sandy has never tasted gnocchi. Nina’s version ($15 as an entrée) prepared with ricotta cheese contained dreadful, hard as small rocks of granite swimming in too much gravy that overpowered them."
Sandy probably won't be ordering gnocchi ever again. What has this woman actually eaten before? She must have stayed alive ingesting mountains of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for years now. All in all, a bad set of entrees and superb appetizers equals 2 tips of the toque.
THE BLOGS: Bridges, Burgers, and Beer is going meatless for Lent, so he heads to Govinda's for a Soy Chicken Cheesesteak, which wasn't as awful as it sounds; Philly Phoodie heads to Wedge+Fig and finds a long hair in his chicken salad; and Fidel Gastro is obsessed with the new Doritos Tacos Loco at The Bell.