Friday, April 15, 2011

Flavors of the Avenue Sneak Peek

As mentioned before, Passyunk Avenue is a happenin' place these days. As so often happens when a neighborhood changes, there is a certain sense of sadness at the loss of some of the old traditional businesses that were on the strip, but the good news is that East Passyunk still maintains a lot of its old flavor from when I was a kid: if you're after religious articles, a nice wedge of Provolone, or just a really gaudy Communion dress, you can still find them there. But now you can also find awesome gelato, sushi, and one of the better BYOs in the city (Fond).

To draw attention to and celebrate the Passyunk Avenue dining scene, the Flavors of the Avenue festival was created, and it's being held on Saturday, April 30 this year. We were lucky enough to attend a sneak preview event at Urban Jungle, and among the houseplants and gardening supplies, we made some culinary discoveries that suggest that Flavors promises to be a delicious affair.

Some standouts included Fond's spring pea soup and delicious toasted-coconut-topped chocolate brownie squares; Salt and Pepper's beet salad with pineapple; penne with gorgonzola sauce from Mamma Maria; sneakily spicy tasso panini from Plenty; and a walnut-studded tzatziki from Albanian newcomer Mondial Cafe. Other restaurants participating in Flavors include Paradiso, Izumi, Le Virtu, Tre Scalini and Green Eggs Cafe.

For $30, which includes wine and beer, it would be a great way to spend a spring afternoon (if we didn't already have tons of other stuff going on that weekend!). Go check it out and see how the Avenue has changed over the past few years. But remember, it's still pronounced "pash-SHUNK".