High on High Street

IMG_0793The first stop on my latest wine road trip was to the home of the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Soon after I arrived and checked in to the Kimpton Monaco, I made my way past the vendors hawking championship gear on Market Street, towards High Street on Market.

High Street on Market is part of the High Street Hospitality Group, which also owns a.kitchen+bar and Fork in Philadelphia, and High Street on Hudson in New York. I have eaten at Fork, which was excellent, and High Street on Market is Fork’s more casual cousin.  High Street is open all day, from coffee and pastries to cocktails and pasta. My memory of Fork was that everything was exceptionally flavorful, so I was ready to have my taste buds roused once again.

I ordered a glass of Folk Machine Chenin Blanc, a Loire-inspired white from Mendocino, California, from the all-American wine list while I looked over the menu. Mineral-driven, citrusy dry white wines are my jam, so this was the perfect choice to fire up my appetite. A lot of things on the menu sounded to me as if they wouldn’t go well together, so I solicited the help of my server. Once he convinced me that it was okay to eat chow-chow alongside wild boar ragu, I was ready to order.  I started with the sunchokes, a dish from the section of the menu called “snacks”.  Sunchokes are one of those things that call to me from any restaurant menu. A root vegetable from the sunflower family, they have an umami flavor and a crunchy bite. These came roasted, with a texture that reminded me of eggplant, with slices of crisp, raw sunchoke mingled in.  Delicious.

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Clockwise: Crispy Broccoli, Pasta with Wild Boar Ragu, Sunchokes

My selection from the “plates” part of the menu arrived with my sunchokes. I chose the Crispy Broccoli with Chow-Chow and Scallion. The dish arrived looking like a giant tempura chia tree but the combination of flavors was so addicting that it was difficult to put my fork down. Chow-chow is a sort of fermented relish and it balanced out the lightly fried crunchiness of the broccoli very well. I took a break from my broccoli to order a glass of red wine in anticipation of my pasta course. This time I chose a spicy Cabernet Franc, in keeping with the Loire-inspired theme, from Ravines winery in the Finger Lakes, NY.

My pasta dish was Burnt Grains Campanelle, which is a bell-shaped pasta made from burnt wheat. The nutty-flavored pasta was dressed in wild boar ragu and parmesan. The dish was really rich, perfectly seasoned, and ridiculously flavorful. I overheard the ladies next to me talking about how their pastas had more flavor than most pastas. If I had heard that at any other time, I may have rolled my eyes, but as I dug in to my Campanelle, I knew exactly what they meant.

You may have noticed that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I didn’t even deign to look at the dessert menu. Instead I finished my glass of wine and took the long way back to the hotel, to walk off my very filling but heavenly tasting meal.

High Street On Market

308 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215)625-0988

Hungry Girl, Hungryroot

I am by no means a vegetarian. But most meal services I have tried (especially the ones that don’t require 40 minutes of prep work) offered up flavorful proteins with bland side dishes and lifeless vegetables. I can cook a piece of chicken or roast some pork pretty easily — I’m not THAT lazy — but I am at a loss for quick, satisfying sides with the exception of roasting a few vegetables. That’s why I decided to try Hungryroot, a plant based meal service that delivers a variety of products with recipe ideas for quick and easy breakfasts, lunches, sides, mains, and even desserts.

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My first box included things like banana bread overnight oats, lemon artichoke quinoa bowl, sweet potato ribbons, kalebeet blend, chickpea alfredo, and black bean brownie batter. All this and more, with enough for two portions of each, for $65. This may seem pricey, but I know myself and I recognize the fact that if I stop in to Whole Foods to pick up a few avocados, I’ll emerge with $80 worth of groceries. Every. Time.

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Just a few of the items in my delivery.

The box arrived well packed with ice and included a recipe book with simple steps to make seven different dishes.  The packaging itself is bright, whimsical, and just plain adorable. All the products are gluten free and dairy free with no trans fats, no preservatives, limited added sugar, and low sodium. I don’t have a thing against gluten, or dairy for that matter, but I am happy to indulge in a healthful way — and nothing will stop me from putting an egg on it.

Upon opening the box, the first thing I did was prepare my Banana Bread Overnight Oats for the following morning.  All I had to do was stir in some almond milk and yogurt, shake in a little cinnamon, and put it in the fridge to be ready in time for breakfast. It’s not that difficult to make overnight oats in general, I’ll admit, but this was effortless and the end result was delightful.

The first dinner “recipe” I tried was the Sweet Potato Pad Thai. The instructions had me heating olive oil in a skillet, adding the provided sweet potato ribbons and pea snaps, mixing in some prepared Thai peanut sauce, and finishing up with a pinch of salt and pepper. Voila, dinner is served.  In the interest of full discloser, I cooked up a chicken sausage and served it alongside the Sweet Potato Pad Thai. The meal was enjoyable and satisfying.

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Hungryroot Recipe Book

The second “recipe” I tried was for lunch — the Lemon Kale Caesar Salad. Again I had to break a big sweat in the kitchen mixing the kalebeet blend with the lemon artichoke quinoa bowl, and mixing in some chickpea alfredo sauce.  The salad was creamy and bright and I devoured half of it and was surprisingly full.  Today, I am going to add a hardboiled egg to the leftovers. Because I am crazy like that.

So far, I am very pleased with the products, the flavor, and the ease and flexibility of the meals. I even tried a spoonful of the Black Bean Brownie Batter (you can bake it, but why bother?) and it was dangerously delicious. I don’t have a sweet tooth per se, but sometimes you need a little treat, and this was not overly sugary because the sweetness comes from almond butter.

Hungryroot is a subscription service, but it is easy to manage your deliveries. This is important for me because I travel so much. It’s also very easy to customize what’s in your box so you can always be trying new things, or stick to some of the products you loved in past deliveries. I will keep it up when I’m in town, and probably continue adding in a little protein as well. Tonight, it’s Deconstructed Carrot Shephard’s Pie… Bon Appétit!