Philadelphia Zoo and the New Gorilla Tree House

When you think about the zoo of course animals come to mind. There is no zoo without them. Providing the animals a place that is safe, clean, and gives them a better space to thrive is important to their well being. The Philadelphia Zoo is doing all they can to ensure the needs of the animals are their top priority. With that being said, the new Gorilla Tree House aids in the Gorillas having enough space to roam and play.

This 20 foot structure is everything that the gorillas need to play, eat, and have the time of their lives! I was there as I watched the gorillas interact with each other. They jumped from the new treehouse as well as played! It was amazing to see. I even spoke to one of the gorillas handlers about how contrary to popular belief they eat vegetables and not fruit. They enjoy eating mostly in the morning hours and they spend about 1/3 of their day resting. I also learned that in the gorilla groupings it’s usually in the case of the Philadelphia Zoo one male to two females and their babies.

Pictured are my three kids, Marques, Naila, and Noelle along with one of the gorilla handlers; Kelsey Wise. Not pictured is Kristen Farley-Rambo another gorilla handler

To start the festivities of the opening of the Gorilla Tree House was Michael Stern. Michael is the Curator of Primates. You can tell he loves what he does. It has to be interesting to be designated as the one to ensure that the Primates have all that they need! He was so energetic and funny. You can catch his speech on my Instagram! I enjoyed the fact that he was so knowledgeable about the primates and has a heart for them.

Pictured are my children again and Michael Stern as he shows the kids how to beat their chest like gorillas do

The Gorillas that are at the Philadelphia Zoo are grouped into a family: Motuba, Honi, Kira, Amani, and Ajabu. There are also 2 bachelor males; Louis and Kuchimba!

Pictured is Louis

Pictured is Ajabu hanging out

Between the fun of watching these animals swing, play, run, and jump in their habitats it appears that they will he loving this new structure for quite some time. The Philadelphia Zoo is committed to the change and as the habitats around us changes so will the Philadelphia Zoo in keeping align with change.

So in addition to the Gorilla Tree House you can see and learn a lot about the Philadelphia Zoo and the rest of the animals. Remember they also have amazing new food trucks at the Urban Green that offer top of the line food options to help keep you stay healthy and full! The Zoo Key is back and that is vital in helping you not just take pictures of animals but an interactive way to learn. If you want to be interactive yourself don’t forget to stop at the KidZoo U, Wildworks Rope Course, the Swan Boats, and it’s the home of the Zoo 360 Animal Trails. There is something for everyone. Your patronage at the Zoo helps the animals and a way to keep the Western Lowland Gorillas who are considered dangerously critically endangered a place to thrive!

Thank you to the Philadelphia Zoo and Aversa PR for the invite. Thank you to the generous donors; the Korman Family, Tom Hartman, and AnnMarie Byrnes, Lisa Gemmill and the Ruth Solomon Foundation!

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Philly Beer Week

So I had the opportunity to go to 2300 Arena for the Philly Beer Week kick off. There were hundreds of vendors on tap as we literally went from booth to booth trying out the newest and latest in tastings. Let’s just say it was an unforgettable night!

Philly Beer Week is 10 days that ends on June 9, 2019. During this week vendors will have special events, brews and fun. To get a list of events go to Philly Loves Beer

This way you don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with other amazing beer lovers or grab a few friends and have an amazing start to your Summer plans! Even if you’re not a real beer drinker I found that most to have flavors that will make you reconsider. It’s an all around fun time for everyone!

Shout out to 2300 Arena as it was my first time here. It spacious and has plenty of amazing areas to hang out and drink. I definitely will be back with some of my friends as they travel into the city! Even with all of the vendors, people, mummers band, and DJ not one time did I feel cramped! Space to have fun while I drink is love!

I want to shout out a few of my favorite spots so you too can visit them and try out their beer too!

Hokkaido Brewing

So I loved loved their offerings! One they had fruit flavors that were amazing. The two I personally tried twice were the peach and lemon! I can’t find the words to describe the beautiful flavors. It gave me enough beer with that fruity taste that had my husband and I coming back! They are high on my list for a double back! You can visit them on their page;Hokkaido Brewing

Also Hokkaido will be having a Japanese night in Uptown on June 6, 2019!

River Horse Brewing

I loved their watermelon flavoring that wasn’t as fruity as Hokkaido but it was still super refreshing and they use fresh watermelon which makes it a great Summer drink. You may also catch them at the Philadelphia Zoo Watering Hole which is the zoo’s wine and beer garden. You may see them distributed throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey or elect to come take a 30 minute beer tour by going to their website for all of your questions, River Horse

Roy Pitz

I loved the names of these next beers; step your game up and and honey sucker. When you attend events the ones who catch my attention are the ones who you can see their passion in what they are offering. Roy Pitz is that spot! Step your game up as aromas of peach, strawberry, and mango and it wasn’t over powering or strong. Check out Roy Pitz as they also have happy hours in the city!

Imprint Brewing Company

Impressive, energetic and fun is how I would describe my time at their tasting. My husband had their bourbon vanilla was amazing. It was strong and it didn’t hold back on the bourbon. It was the mix of two worlds and I loved it. They got me all the way together with Schmoojee Raspberry Mango Lime. It was one of the most invigorating flavors I’ve had. I will be looking for them while I’m out and about! Go to their site so you don’t miss their events; Imprint Brewing

Fat Heads Brewery

Hail to the Fat Head! Among their flavor choices was the Bean Me Up! It was like a coffee Lovers Dream! Amazing robust coffee flavor with beer and the whole time I’m drinking I’m thinking why didn’t someone start this sooner. Beer and coffee is a great idea. To get yours or to find where you can get some go to their site, Fat Heads Brewery

Evil Genius Beer

Although there was nothing evil about their beer the taste was amazing. During the event they were located outside which was great having them right in the middle! I enjoyed their flavors. I had their raspberry shandy; You’re Killing me Smalls which was light and smooth!

They also had Lab Exclusive! I would highly suggest you trying them! They also have several events in Philly that you’re not going to want to miss! Catch them on their site; Evil Genius Beers

Shout out to VJ Fava Le Chic who was amazing and played an incredible mix!

Curio Theatre Company Presents: The Winter’s Tale

Where do I start? I had the most magical time at this production. I love everything about a Bohemian garden and what’s better than a Bohemian garden?  A Bohemian beer garden and taking my love of all things Shakespeare to another level.  That’s right it was like getting a two for one in fun and theatre at the same time.

I am so grateful for being exposed to Shakespeare in High School. It really changed my outlook in plays and poetry. When you combine it and have an outstanding production like Curio Theatre has, it was amazing. Every last actor, played their part. They really played them well. I was in the front row where I love to be and the action captured me. I left the theatre unable to go to sleep.

actors

I laughed so hard even though a Winter’s Tale is about Leontes, King of Sicillia gets into a jealous rage thinking that his friend, Polixenes had an affair with his pregnant wife, Queen Hermione. If you never read this Shakespeare classic I won’t spoil it but it includes a lot of turns of events that feature violence, death, betrayal, and forgiveness. It’s true what they say about jealousy, it is a killer. What we think when we don’t control our thoughts turns into negativity and can hurt the ones we love! Nonetheless the pure emotion that each actor gave was amazing. Each actor captured their roles and even if you cant get past the Middle English of the time, if you listen with intent, they played their part enough for you to modernize it and understand it beautifully.

sign

Taking the production from inside and then outside to the Bohemian Beer Garden was the best surprise I didn’t even know I needed. The air was crisp, the wine was sweet and the actors continued to stay in their parts while we enjoyed the best acting intermission I had ever been too. Curio Theatre, this had to be the best part of my night. I had the most magical time. Everyone who attended smiled from ear to ear the entire time. It was a pleasant experience and if they ever have another production, I want to be in the seat.

garden

You only have 2 days to catch this treat. That’s right make your Friday night magical by getting tickets for the 8pm show or tomorrow’s final night at 8 as well. You can get your tickets here. One thing that Curio Theatre does is that when you get your tickets they encourage their new ticket initiative and that’s with Curiositix.  This is a new initiative that allows those who would have not been able to see amazing theatre and make it affordable. When you order your ticket at the time of ordering you can select how much you want to give toward the ticket. You can also even pay for your another ticket so that someone who can’t afford it can.  This is making sure that everyone has the opportunity to get that amazing exposure to theatre.  Also if you want to just donate, you can do that here as well.  No donate is too small.

I would recommend this production for over 15 years of age due to scenes of violence against women and adult themes.

Follow Curio Theatre on their social media channels so you don’t ever miss another production.  Who knows you may see me in the audience real soon:

Twitter

Facebook

Thank you to all of the actors for a job well done. Thank you Curio Theatre for having me and thank you Carrie Gorn for the invite!

Flavors on the Avenue: East Passyunk Food Festival

I love to eat. Don’t we all?! Since going vegan people assume that I eat lettuce and grass and that’s far from the truth. Not only have I tried new dishes, I’ve been grateful for some super amazing dishes. With that in mind I was invited to attend the East Passyunk Food Festival and was blown away.

My original plan was to attend the festival with my whole family. We got ready and was about to head out until we discovered the rain. Now to avoid the pitfall that I used to fall into where if plans changed I would just stay home; I attended the festival alone. Now this may sound crazy but great moms would understand, it made for an amazing me time adventure. No sharing, open walking, food, wine and peace!

So a food festival is all about great food, local music, great drinks as well as local artist who sell amazing finds. I was concerned initially about if I would find some good foods to match my palette and let me answer how of course there were some non vegan and vegan options.

I walked the whole length of the festival which by the way spanned several blocks to be clear on what I wanted. I was like a kid who kept getting all giddy with every food option. Walking it would help to fine tune my options and develop a plan of attack. My first stop was at The Bottle Shop. They had me a boozy pops. Starting my Sunday funday with a strawberry rosé boozy pop let me further know how the day would end. How if you like adult drinks, couldn’t find happiness in reliving a childhood favorite with a twist?!

I purchase flowers weekly for myself. To my excitement Creations by Coppola had amazing bouquets on display. It caught my attention so I had to venture over! Beautiful colors and amazing options!

Definitely check them out if you’re in the area!

I knew off the bat I had to stop at Punk Burger. They are known for amazing burgers and that includes the Impossible burger as well as other vegan options. If you follow me you remember me talking about their Girl Scouts inspired milkshakes they offered as a fund raiser for Eastern PA Girl Scouts. They had several sliders available and I had the portobello mushroom barbecue slider. If they wouldn’t have told me it wasn’t pulled pork I might not have known. It was delicious.

My next stop was none other than Barcelona Wine Bar. The title alone should let you know why. It’s no secret that although I don’t drink daily, I love wine. I love an ambiance while drinking wine as well. Barcelona Wine Bar gave me both. Shout out to Joe and Claire who made my dining experience wonderful. The second I identified that I was vegan they took the time to circle the menu and what would be appropriate. They also directed me according to my wine preferences were and made me feel super welcomed.

They not only had some amazing treats for those at at the Flavors of the Avenues, they also have amazing brunch menu. I decided to go in and have a sit down meal. When I walked in I saw a make your own mimosa bar. A full mimosa bar couldn’t be turned down and I’m always about respecting house rules so I had to indulge. Super chic and super good, make your way to Barcelona Wine Bar on that alone.

As far as wines they have a great selection of wines that you can get from 3oz selections and up. I elected to keep the Rosé theme going and I wasn’t disappointed. Also at the suggestion of my servers Joe and Claire I tried the Spinach and Chickpea Cazuela. It was filling and amazing! Oh and because I am a woman with many roles to fill in my life I was able to scout out a few things while there. It’s kid friendly although I would be the type to leave my kids home and elect to go out with my husband or girlfriends. I am seriously considering making my birthday dinner here in a few days. It was that nice of an option. Oh they also have outdoor seating. It’s important to me to have locations that are versatile in those respect!

Last but certainly not least I made my final stop to Lokal Artisan Foods. This is the must stop for French toast bites. I visited them during the Christmas Village and have been hooked ever since. Oh and they have vegan options too! I’ve always had issues eating French toast growing up. If it was the only option I would just elect out. They are the ONLY place where I not only enjoy but get sheer excitement when it comes to anything French toast inspired. I remember telling my mom would I had some during the Christmas holiday how it would make a believer out of her.

I’m super grateful that I didn’t allow the onset of rain to deter me. It turned out to be more than I could expect. I left full like the top of food where the event ended up being my breakfast and I didn’t eat again until dinner type full.

This was a family friendly event and even an event that several people brought their four legged friends! Not one time was the crowd so overwhelming that me anxiety kicked in. It was the perfect blend of socialization, food, and fun!

I’m hoping next time I give a suggestion on getting out in Philly you will take my word for it. Sunday funday was full of amazing food. Passyunk has some amazing finds from goods to foods. You might surprise yourself. Get out and get to eating!

SomoSoPhi

I had a wonderful time yesterday at SOMO South Philly. It’s a beautiful restaurant right in of course, South Philly that is within a short distance of all of the sports complexes. SOMO is a great place to grab some quick bites if you’re about to tailgate, have some amazing drinks with your friends, happy hour with co-workers, or you just want to get out with your family.

SOMO is the perfect spot to sit in a traditional restaurant style seating or sit on the second floor and eat patio style on a nice day and enjoy the scenery.

Somo is located at 3101 South 13th Street, Philadelphia PA 19148

Especially loved the see through kitchen so you can see your food being prepared

SOMO has two locations. The one in South Philly as well as Manayunk. SOMO is an upscale casual that combines elegance in their design with the casuality of their space and great and amazing food selections from their bar food to their sit down menu.  We were there yesterday which was Tuesday and it was “Taco Tuesdays.” Let me tell you that the tacos are something to talk about. I had the vegetarian and they were amazing. One of the things I look for even with being vegan is flavor. These tacos were simply wonderful from the first bite to the last.  I was impressed.

From left to right, vegetarian, mahi-mahi, and brisket tacos

My favorite the vegetarian taco with radishes, spinach, asparagus, and mushroom

Now when I go and preview a restaurant I look for a few things that I know my readers want to know:

  • Price
  • Hospitality
  • Convenience of location
  • Taste of Food

Price

Let’s face it we all want great food without sacrificing all of the coins to achieve it. SOMO prices are not going to break the bank. For instance I had my kids with me and I rarely do when doing these outings. The kids menu was $5.  Let me repeat that $5! So you’re getting premium food for your kids for less than you would spend at a fast food restaurant. As a mom that is right up my alley. Drinks were priced right around what you would expect and they didn’t skip on the alcohol or water it down in any way. The drinks were good and worth the price so don’t skip on it. Plus the happy hour has great prices on their drinks. Keep in mind if you are coming for happy hour make sure you enjoy them in the downstairs bar area for the pricing. Oh and ask for the pretzels!!

Bar Menu

Try the Sling Blade

Hospitality

I like to see how restaurants treat you before you identify who you are and why you are there. SOMO from the waitress/waiter to the manager were more than pleasant.  Everyone had smiles and everyone was welcoming. Since I had my children with me which let me say they were stellar in their behavior, staff was attentive to their needs as well. Devon is hands down an amazing manager who understands people and how they want to be treated. Kudos for SOMO for snagging him! I liked as I watched how they serviced others that they don’t do that weird hover over you as you try to eat. Not one time was my water-glass empty. They weren’t intrusive while I ate. They allowed other patrons to eat and yet they were there to assist in any way.

Convenience of Location

Again its right in the pathways of all of the sports complexes. So for me it’s like seeing Philly for real while you eat. You can’t beat that. If you know anything about Philadelphia you know we care and love our sports team. I was observing the people walking to the game and the Justin Timberlake concert and that energy alone is something that SOMO tapped into with the location. South Philly is the heart of Philadelphia and you feel that here. Do you like open air? I enjoyed the fact that it was nice enough for them to have all of the patio doors open. It was refreshing to see. I am an outdoor type eatery girl and my husband isn’t. Going back I can get the best of both worlds.

Few specials to think about: come and get drink specials, djs, etc.

Taco Tuesdays

Thirsty Thursdays

Daily Happy Hour 5-7pm

Taste of Food

I asked my children especially my son who loves his food how he thought the food was. He gave the immediate thumbs up. He isn’t a picky eater but he is particular about how he likes his food. When I didn’t hear him talking I knew SOMO did his food right. There was nothing but smiles from the entire table. Every dish was amazing.  I know you will find something for everyone. I am vegan I didn’t leave hungry by any means. They do not have a vegan menu but they allowed me to tweak my order to fit and it was still great. Thank you for the great experience.

Charred Brussel sprouts, with parmesan cheese. I removed the cheese but it was extremely good cooked with apple cider vinegar

Kid menu mac and cheese; the picture doesn’t even show the depth of how big the bowl is

Kid menu hamburger and fries, $5

Colton Court Podcasts

Did you know that Colton Court Podcasts is taped right in the sit down sports lounge of SOMO SoPhi? I had no clue. I was impressed with the lounge area as it sits downstairs when you walk in. The big television, the seating, it was definitely is a well thought out space.  I was even more impressed once it was transformed into the podcasts recording space. It was the perfect space. Take a listen for yourself; Colton Court Podcasts.

Owners, James M. Morrissey son of a fashion designer along with Jahri Evans and wife, Takia definitely got it right. Mix in Morrissey’s eye for creating a beautiful space and Jahri sports affiliation and love for the city, how could you go wrong? I absolutely loved the collaboration of SOMO. It’s inviting, well-managed, and the food and drinks will keep me and my family coming back. This is the go to spot for any dinner or luncheon you need. It has food for the whole family from kids to adults. The drinks had me smiling too! Check it out as well as my other pictures on my Instagram

Keep in mind they also offer space for private parties, birthdays, and they have an amazing brunch! You already know how I feel about a great brunch spot!

Also follow SOMO SoPhi on Instagram

Thanks to the #Travelwithchefcherryl and the brunch bunch, Philly Dine Out for an amazing time.

Need reservations, book your time at SOMO SoPhi with Open Table

 

 

 

On the Move: Crunchik’n Style

Shout out to #travelwithchefcherryl and the brunch buddies as we take you behind the scenes to local eateries. Again as a lifestyle blogger you are going to want to know the places to either get out, have new places to grab food with bae, your girls or even the fam bam. I enjoy getting around Philadelphia and yesterday’s spot was brought to us to by Crunchik’n.

Tuna bowl served with rice, lettuce, salsa, Japchae noodles and a dumpling

Crunchik’n is a Korean flare restaurant. It’s amazing food at great prices that is made fresh to order and it tastes amazing. From their homemade dumplings to their marinated sauces each bite is special. We caught up with Jen who is part owner with her father, John Choi. She stressed that the goal was to make quality food that was made on the premises and that the sauces made was fermented and marinated to give the meat their fresh, unique taste. I think they hit a slam dunk. The selections are so good that even if you didn’t want to sit and eat you could order their half or whole chicken cut up and make dinner at home special too. Oh and if you’re wondering they are on Caviar for delivery as well.

Kimchi cheese fries

Since I’m vegan let me tell you that they had amazing vegetarian dishes that I was able to veganize. I didn’t leave hungry in the least bit. My suggestion is that this is a causal dining experience, good for all types since although they don’t have a specific kids menu, kids of all ages would love the chicken and other offerings. We even had some kids along and I heard a few to all ask for seconds. This is a great spot to gather friends as well or makes a causal date night or date day location.

Beef and vegetarian taco I personally had the vegetarian and it was amazing to keep it vegan I had mine without the sour cream and it was still full of flavor

Crunchik’n has been open for a little over a month. This means you need to get in and show them a little love. For new guests who go you will also receive a gift! Who doesn’t love gifts?

Beef dumplings on the right and the veggie dumplings on the left was made with kale and spinach. The veggie dumplings were super good!

So if you love Korean style food that is fresh, high quality, and served by awesome accommodating staff, make sure you add Crunchik’n to the top of your lists of go tos. You will not be disappointed!!!

Korean fried chicken can come in 8 house-made marinated sauces

They serve tacos, rice bowls, sandwiches, dumplings, Korean fried chicken and even small bites! What’s not to love?!

Spicy pork melt sandwich

The drinks are good too!! They have arrangements from Bubble Teas to fresh Sparkling Ade…

Strawberry lemonade and grapefruit

Mango and Matcha Green Bubble Tea

One last thing:

Crunch Balls which comes with either rice or potato and either beef or vegetarian

The hours are as follows:

Rim Cafe: Make it Happen

I love when you leave a place or in someone’s presence and you have the biggest smile because of how someone has treated you. I experienced an experience that is Rim Cafe.

From the time I walked into Rim Cafe I was taken away. It’s an eclectic atmosphere filled with nostalgia. So from first glance you should already know you’re in for a treat.

We were greeted with smiles and I knew it was going to be a in a welcome atmosphere. Rene the owner has so much light and love that it’s hard to not smile. I’m talking about that show all of your teeth smile. He knows how to “make it happen!” That’s his signature phrase. He sat down with us and talked about making coffee and drinks and about life. I wasn’t sure expecting to get life jewels but I did!

He talked about not limiting our power. He discussed about being the best in what you do and how creativity can’t be copied. I have often spoken about when you’re open to the right things wisdom will fine it’s way to deliver what you need when you need it.

If you follow Rim Cafe you already know that Rene is going to spin you into a heavenly rich concoction of love. Literally he made us 3 dishes. The first was a St. Patrick White hot chocolate that was amazing.

The next was a baked cannoli with melted chocolate in the middle. My goodness I was just floored by the flavor.

Next came the blow torch and I knew I was in trouble. He made banana flambé with caramel sauce and topped with peanut butter. Somebody call and check on me. I had to pretty much drink water for the rest of the day!

Oh by the way the peanut butter is homemade with his own signature way of making it. I’m not a peanut butter fan but this makes any of your name brand peanut butter blush!

I almost forgot about the salted caramel espresso shot! Heaven in a glass!!

Don’t wait, run to Rim Cafe. It’s located 1172 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia PA! You will never see a cafe like this in your life. Thank you Rene for making me smile. The memories will last! Make it Happen!!

Also they have all kinds of treats to take home too!!