Food SUMMIT: Zento

So I realized I never posted up my Zento Restaurant review I did a while back. This is a 4 part series where I interview the chef and tasted all the foods! Sorry for the background noise in the video, the AC unit was on and very loud.

Zento is a Japanese Contemporary Cuisine Restaurant and Sake Bar located on 2nd and Chestnut in Olde City, Philadelphia. This is a fairly new restaurant but it has beautiful decor, great food and friendly staff. If people ask me about good sushi place or a nice place for dinner, I always bring them here. Its a great place to come if you are trying Japanese food for the first time or if you are just looking for Japanese-American type cuisine.  The prices are reasonable but the interior of the building and the presentation of the food make it seem much more high-end! You will often see couples on first dates or a business meeting.

Since I eat here a lot, I thought I recommend some dishes:
Appetizer: Get the flaming dragon roll sushi. With its crunch texture and hint of spiciness, it is my all time favorite dish at Zento. (Spicy Tuna Inside. topped with cooked eel, avocado, and tobiko)

Entree: During lunch they have great bento boxes ranging from $12 – $15. Dinner entrees usually run in the low $20’s. I always get the giant Sushi & Sashimi platter (21 pieces for $35) because I LOVE it that much. (I heard it’s also good for sharing). The Udon noodles are always a crowd favorite and very filling ($8 – $12)

Dessert: Mochi! Mochi! Mochi! The mochi ice cream is a putter layer made up of sticky rice with flavored ice cream in the center and it is delicious. Vanilla is great for those with a sweet tooth but the red bean mochi is also good and not as sweet. On hot summer days, I’ve come here JUST for the mocha.

Drinks: Saki! seriously, just try them all. Fuji apple saki the the most popular because it is very sweet




Food SUMMIT: Miller’s Twist

Seriously, it doesn’t get any more “Philly” then a soft pretzel. Well that’s not true; you could have the Philly cheese steak pretzel freshly made at Miller’s Twist in Reading Terminal Market. This is so quintessential Philadelphia you may just start punching strangers at sporting events while drinking some “wuuder”

I enjoyed every sweet, buttery pound I gained while filming this episode. Miller’s Twist makes the BEST pretzel you will ever find ANYWHERE! Fast food has nothing on simple techniques, fresh ingredients and passionate staff. The dough is made fresh every morning, it is hand rolled and dipped in a mixture of water and baking soda, sprinkle on some salt and baked to golden perfection. Each pretzel takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. The pretzel itself is soft, has a golden brown color and smells very buttery and sweet. The sweetness mixes in with the salt, the crisp outer crust combines with the soft, spongy inner dough. Who knew perfection only cost $2?

Reading Terminal Market is Philadelphia’s oldest and most famous Farmers market. It first opened its doors in 1892 and is the 2nd most popular destination in Philly (#1 is the Liberty Bell). The market consists of over 80 merchants selling fresh produce, meats, fish, groceries, baked goods and specialty ethnic foods. Reading Terminal also offers more than just food; there are crafts, books, clothing and flower arrangements. Reading Terminal Market is open Mon – Sat 8am – 6pm. (Note that Millers Twist is only open Mon – Thurs, hours vary). Parking sucks in this area but public transportation is plentiful.

Miller’s Twist:
Reading Terminal Market:

Food Summit: Artisserie Chocolate Cafe

Hey guys, here is the latest installment of Food Summit. I visited the Artisserie Chocolate Cafe located at 3421 Walnut st. in University City. It’s a cute little shop that serves all sorts of candy, cupcakes, coffee, teas and much more. If you’re looking for a sugar rush, this is definitely the place for you. They even have events like Mondays are dipper days (they say bring in anything you want and they will dip it in chocolate!).

I’d like to give a special thanks to Kyle Hiller who not only shot this video but did an AMAZING job editing it. If you are interested in hiring Kyle to shoot or edit any videos for you, just let us know!

Food SUMMIT: Night Market

I don’t know if anyone else has ever heard of the Philly Night Market before but I just recently discovered it and thought I would share a clip of it with you guys!

The Night Market is located in the Italian Market (9th and Washington Ave.) and is made up of over 60 different street food vendors and shops. It’s held on various dates and people just gather to try all of the amazing, fresh foods. It’s a great representation of the vibrant culture and community of this Philly district. Many of the shops have been here for generations; their recipes are old family secrets and the ingredients used are some of the freshest in the city.

If you are thinking of heading to one of these events here are some tips:
Bring along some friends, an empty stomach and an open mind!
Don’t be squeamish about trying anything new (that’s half the fun).
Also try taking public transportation (or carpooling) here, parking is kinda hard.

Check out the Night Market website for information on upcoming events:

Food SUMMIT: Cups and Chairs

I sat down with Kyle, owner of this adorable tea cafe on south street. Not only is she one of the nicest people you will meet, you can tell by her voice just how passionate she is about her cafe and her customers.
Whether you are new to the tea world or have been drinking it for decades, you will find the perfect brew for your taste! If you are feeling under the weather or stressed, ask what blend of tea would work best for you. (And if you prefer coffee, they have that here to!)

Cups and Chairs website:
Located: located on 701-03 S. 5th Street

Part 2 of Ali’s Middle Eastern Food

Enjoy part 2 of Ali’s eatery review.
Here I interview a few of Ali’s regular customers and fans. Then I stuff my face with the greatest kofta in the city.

This taste not only brought me back to my years at college, but also reminded me of the great food I ate growing up in Egypt as a child. That’s the power of good food!

Food Summit: Ali’s Middle Eastern Food

Another Temple university eatery, Ali’s has been serving delicious middle eastern food for over a quarter of a century!
If you get the chance, stop by, grab a meal and have a chat with the great staff. Trust me, they got me through many years at Temple!

Check out part 1 of a 2 part review on Food Summit
(part 2 is coming up soon)

P.S. Ali is hilarious