Gratzfeed Review: Fudge Brownie M&M’s

Hey y’all. Gratz here checking in from Quarantine. You know what I realized? There’s a ton of snacks out there. What’s good? What stinks? What’s even out there in the snack game? Chances are you might be cooped up and a little bored. Well, what’s the number one activity to fight boredom? You guessed it, snacking. Figured I’d start posting some reviews so we can squeeze some joy out of life by way of food. First up, fudge brownie m&m’s. Enjoy!

Gratzfeed Episode 3- Marmont Steakhouse & Bar

What’s up everyone? It’s been a while since I did the blog thing but I’m excited to say we’re going to focus in on ramping up content on a more consistent basis this year.

A while back I did a little write up about Marmont Steakhouse in Philly. One of my favorite places to have a steak dinner in the city. It’s a low key spot in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Delicious, high quality food without all the hubbub of those fancy schmancy places (it’s OK to leave your blazer at home, don’t worry). Besides the stellar food, the service is aces too. Not much more you can ask for in a neighborhood restaurant.

So check it out, watch me eat some food and say the word phenomenal three times in five minutes (I swear I know some other words too). Enjoy!

Gratzfood Episode 2: The Philly Taco

The Philly Taco is a concoction so foul that it can only belong to…well, Philly. A South Street legend that few have tried and even fewer have finished, Gratzfeed investigates the notorious creation firsthand. Will he live to tell about it? Click the video and find out. Warning, this is not for the faint of the heart.

 

Gratzfood Review: Delco’s Original Steaks & Hoagies

I hate to admit it, but I’m pretty cocky when it comes to cheesesteaks. If there’s a great steak in the area, I like to think I’ve probably at least heard of it before. Well, I’m glad to have been humbled by the gentlemen of Delco’s Original. In my defense, the place is a little outside my normal radius (Chadds Ford, PA), but finding the best cheesesteaks can be an exercise of almost limitless boundaries and in such a competitive field, excuses are for the weak. The place was suggested by my dad, who was actually referred by a local who’s been in the area for a while. I was a little skeptical, but as we say here in Philly, “trust the process”.

Speaking of “trust the process”, the place was pretty Philly-ed out, which of course is a positive. Who wouldn’t want to eat a cheesesteak while looking at walls of Philadelphia sports regalia?  Maybe losers, that’s who. The place itself sits inside a pretty unassuming shopping center. While you may be thinking rinky dink, Delco’s Original is far from it. Don’t get me wrong it’s nothing fancy, but there’s way divey-er joints out there. The place is well lit and clean. There are a few tables to sit at and they clearly do a great takeout business too. After living in Philadelphia for a while it was refreshing not being shoulder to shoulder waiting in line with some schlub breathing on me. Plenty of help behind the counter and the guys there were all friendly and knew what they were doing.

Now, it’s one thing to pay homage to Philly sports and have good service, but it’s all for nought if the food doesn’t stack up. Well, lets put it this way… my mouth is watering just thinking about these bad boys. Tried the beef cheesesteak and the chicken too. Both out of this world. Plenty of meat which was hot, fresh and delicious. Everyone knows good bread makes a sandwich and the rolls here were out of this world as they had a nice crispy texture to them. We also had fries which were amazing as well. I loved this place. If you really want to experience all the great cheesesteaks in the area then you probably want to add this to your list and make a trip. Lastly, like I said the Philly vibes are strong with this one, so make sure you grab a tastykake on your way out too. IMG_9843.jpg

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Amendment: John’s Roast Pork Makes A Top 5 Cheesesteak

The constitution may very well be the most important document in America to this day. Gratzfeed’s top 5 cheesesteak article, a close second. Like the constitution, sometimes amendments are needed as times evolve and things change. They’re an important way to update and preserve the integrity of important works. As a result, I am making the very first amendment to my most popular article.

I first had John’s Roast Pork some years ago. While I think I liked it, I never thought it was quite the sandwich some had made it out to be. As the years went by, time and time again I kept hearing John’s Roast Pork’ cheesesteaks being referred to as some of the best Philly had to offer. I decided I had to give it another go. Another go turned into another go. Another go into another and so on and so fourth. Get it?

There’s a reason John’s Roast Pork has the strong reputation it does, their cheesesteaks are out of this world. The meat is flavorful. The rolls are terrific. They give you plenty of cheese and onions. But it doesn’t stop there, something about their cheesesteaks must be addressed and right this very instant. The sandwiches are HUGE. Seriously, it’s borderline offensive how much meat they pile on a single sandwich. Disturbing. Last time I went I was pretty full from just one half, but curiosity got the best of me and for some sick reason I was compelled to experience the feeling of eating a whole one again. It’s pretty much a suicide mission. It’s like having a football in your stomach. Or quintuplets. The thing is, I can eat a lot. If anything I usually complain about portions being too small. Not at John’s. You get your moneys worth and then some. You’ll be full for pretty much a whole day.

If you never been to John’s and want to get some intel, let me paint a picture. It’s your standard Philly dive joint. Small inside where a line wraps around. You either order at one stop at the counter or the next depending on if you’re getting something from the grill like a cheesesteak or the next if you’re getting a roast pork or beef. They have an enclosed seating area with benches and condiments and then some additional benches outside with no enclosure. Simple. Divey. Delicious.

On a side note, while in this case I’m focusing on the cheesesteaks, their roast pork and beef is dynamite too. Like the cheesesteaks, the sandwiches are humongous. Definitely worth a try if you’re into those.

Now you may be wondering, who’s getting bumped from the top 5? Honestly, I think I’d go with John’s Roast Pork over Tony Luke’s. Tony Luke’s is still great though and is undoubtedly a South Philly classic. So, I’m going to do the logical thing and make John’s Roast Pork 5A. and Tony Luke’s 5B. Does that make any sense? Probably not. But I want people to know Tony Luke’s is still a top cheesesteak and I want them to know about John’s Roast Pork too. There you have it, the first amendment to Gratzfeed’s top 5 cheesesteaks has been made. John’s Roast Pork, welcome to the cheesesteak elite. unnamed-5.jpg

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Gratzfood Review: Chick’n Shack Sandwich

I get really defensive when it comes to chicken sandwiches. As you probably know, I am a vocal and devout supporter of a certain Atlanta based fast food chicken chain and am undoubtedly biased towards their food. I must be honest I was a little hurt when I initially saw Shake Shack was adding a chicken sandwich to their menu. I viewed it almost as a direct attack at my beloved favorite. But as a chicken sandwich enthusiast I had to at least try it, had to see what the competition was bringing to the table. After hitting the NFL Draft in Philly my friends and I were looking for a place to eat and when someone mentioned Shake Shack there was more fanfare than the actual draft itself. Here was a golden opportunity to finally try the chick’n shack sandwich and once and for all satisfy my curiosity.

Simply put it was really good. Very crispy breast of chicken. I really enjoyed all the toppings (lettuce, pickles, buttermilk herb mayo). The herb mayo was zesty and a welcome addition as it provided just the right amount of flavor without detracting from the chicken itself. One minor complaint was the chicken breast wasn’t evenly proportioned, one bite might have been all breading while the next was all meat. Inconsistent. I think this sandwich can coexist with others because it’s just different than the competition. Different vibe. At $6.49, it’s more expensive than a normal fast food chicken sandwich. Add $2.50 for a fountain soda and another $2.99 for fries and you’re looking at a $12 meal compared to something maybe a little smaller at $7.50. This is the perfect chicken sandwich option if you have a hankering on a Sunday. Look, there’s no denying Shake Shack has pretty damn good food. This sandwich, while maybe a little expensive, doesn’t really feel like a ripoff although I can probably eat two if I forgo fries. If you’re at Shake Shack, this is certainly a viable option and I would recommend it if you’re a fan of chicken sandwiches. Not the biggest, not too small, but just about fair and the taste surpassed my expectations. This is a welcome addition to the chicken sandwich game and a legitimate option for the fast casual realm. unnamed.jpg

Underrated Gem: Marmont Steakhouse

To be completely honest, when it comes to places to get a good steak in Philly I never really thought of Marmont Steakhouse. Until I tried it. Here’s the brief story of how I discovered this place. My family and I wanted to go out for restaurant week last year. My mom told me to pick a place and we’ll make a reservation. After perusing some of the promotional menus I thought Marmont had one you couldn’t really go wrong with. Cheesesteak spring rolls, potato soup, 12 ounce ribeye and a dessert. Booked.

Marmont is located on 2nd & Market in the Old City section of Philadelphia. The first time I went there I was kind of thrown for a loop. I was expecting some grand, fancy steakhouse but in reality the atmosphere is more of a bar setting. Some tables, the bar, few TV’s and that’s pretty much it. It’s low key and casual to say the least. In a way, it’s pretty refreshing that you can have a quality meal without all the fancy fanfare.

When going out to dinner with your mom (or at least my mom) it’s pretty essential to start with an alcoholic beverage. Marmont has you covered. They have standard beer and wine options but my eyes always gravitate to their speciality drinks. Their signature cocktail menu is expansive and no matter whether you’re a rum, gin, vodka or fan of whatever else, there’s an interesting concoction with your alcohol of choice.

Drinks are fine and dandy but unless the food is good it’s a moot point. Lets start with the appetizers. They have a potato soup with large chunks of potatoes, cheese, topped with bacon. I have had it twice and both times it was out of this world. Unfortunately it’s only a special offered on occasion which I was a little disappointed to hear during my last visit. It’s absolutely delicious and should really be a menu mainstay but since it wasn’t offered last time I opted for the fried shrimp. Woah. The shrimp were huge. You get 8, big pieces of shrimp (I know, I know it’s an oxymoron) that are full of flavor as they’re topped with fried jalapeños. Definitely a hit at the table. The real star of the show (as one may expect at a steakhouse) is the steak. I usually go with the 16 ounce ribeye ($30) cooked medium or medium rare. All three times I went it’s been with a party of four. Among the four of us we are still yet to have a bad meal at Marmont. Consistency is key and because we have had stellar meals each and every time, we gladly keep coming back. The meat is full of flavor and can go toe to toe with even the fanciest restaurants in Philadelphia. I truly believe that. I always get a side of mashed potatoes with mine which are also outstanding. Last time they came out rather cold so we mentioned it to out waitress and without hesitation she went back and got new ones for the table, which leads me to my next point…

The service is always great. The wait staff is knowledgeable and friendly and will do whatever it takes to make sure you’re satisfied. Whether it’s taking the time to explain a cut of meat or checking to see if you need another drink, we always feel well taken care of at Marmont. Sometimes at upscale places there can be an arrogance but Marmont is completely devoid of that. If you’re looking for a relaxed, casual environment to enjoy great food and service, look no further than Marmont Steakhouse.

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Starburst Is Releasing All Pink Packs This April And America Is Officially Great Again

The protests have worked. The suffering is over. Change is coming. Temporary change, but still change and a step in the right direction. Starburst has announced they will be releasing all pink packs this April. That’s not all, they will also be releasing all pink BAGS too. LIKE BAGS, LIKE THE KIND THAT ARE DESIGNED TO SUPPLY A SMALL CHILD’S ENTIRE BIRTHDAY PARTIES WORTH OF GOODIE BAGS.

What great news on a Monday. I’ve already made my official Starburst power rankings known but in case you’re unfamiliar here they are once again:

  1. Pink
  2. Orange

The only problem with this is I have to figure out the legalities of my business plan. I want to horde as many packs and bags as I can and resell them on the black market to fellow addicts. The problem is I’m pretty sure pink Starburst are still classified as scheduled one narcotics. On a side note what a great idea releasing these in April. Not only is that my birthday month but the real appeal is that these will finally take all the attention away from those disgusting sugar coated chicks and ducks that everyone buys around Easter. Those things are a real travesty. Hopefully Starburst will come to their senses and keep all pink packs around for an extended time (forever and ever) but in the meantime everybody responsibly.

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This is not fake news.

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Gratzfood Review: Craftsman Row Saloon

So my buddy’s been telling me about a place right near his work, Craftsman Row Saloon. Vouches for their food although he usually gets a salad. Fine. Then I started seeing Craftsman Row pop up on some Instagram food accounts. Then I saw their own page and something caught my attention like I was an 8 year old walking past KB Toys. “OFF THE MENU Buffalo Chicken Sandwich! Available upon request”. Well guess what? Gratzfood came. Gratzfood requested. Gratzfood ate. Shall we?

What it’s called: Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.

Cost: $9.50 + tax.

What is it exactly?: Boneless fried chicken in buffalo sauce, american cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, bleu cheese, bacon on a brioche (o la la) bun. Side of fries.

Gratzfood alterations: No tomato. No bleu cheese. I don’t have many kind words to say about bleu cheese. Substitute spicy ranch.

Verdict: The sandwich was amazing. I freakin loved it and am still on a high as I write this. The chicken breast was huge and tasty. The buffalo sauce wasn’t all too spicy but yet very flavorful. You get more of the buffalo taste than the actual heat, for some that may be a good thing and for others that may be a bad thing but I really enjoyed it as I wasn’t dying while eating this bad boy. Sometimes places overdo it with the sauce, I found this to be just right. Instead of bleu cheese I opted for their spicy ranch and I’m more than happy with that decision. They put it on the sandwich and then gave me a side of it which was clutch as I was pouring it on each bite and even dipping my fries. Perhaps the real game changer with this creation was the bacon. The bacon was thick and hearty and delicious. I mean, c’mon it’s bacon…on a fried chicken sandwich. Also, I don’t think I ever met a brioche bun I didn’t like. Anytime a place decides to use brioche buns for it’s sandwiches it never hurts, only helps. The fries they serve are just ok but they give you a lot and it doesn’t take much for me to chow down on a side of fries. I wish they were a little crispier but the main priority with this meal was the sandwich which simply rocked. I would easily recommended this and would gladly go and order it again. Apparently their brisket mac and cheese is also pretty delightful…til next time!

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Warning: This might get messy.