“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” by Kate Tarker; Directed by Dominique Serrand

This is a story about family dysfunction and personal trauma. With that being said let me go ahead and give a small disclaimer that some may find some of the scenes to be off base and hurtful. The play although it discusses serious topics does it in a way using humor as a way to help with self- reflection. The “same muscle used to cry is the same to help you laugh.”  It’s about a family of shepherds who live in the suburbs of Corinth learns that their adopted son Oedipus has become the King of Thebes.  The winds and turns that the story takes the audience  is definitely one for all to see.

Taking one part Greek mythology and snatching stories from current events, this production is definite at the top of must see. I laughed so hard. I know there were parts that were serious and I caught it but I laughed. It wasn’t about making light of personal trauma but seeing the audience get uncomfortable was a good thing. Sometimes we need to get uncomfortable about the events in our past that we shove under a rug, disregard, or even dismiss. From the did it happen to was it my fault are all real emotions that are explored in this play. I loved that instead of being direct it was overt in a way that you couldn’t miss the theme but you had to ask questions and pay attention.  It is also about dealing with your personal demons. The ones we want to blame others (gods). The things that we take part in, allow, are OUR fault. Self-reflection is a personal job. You can damage those around you by reckless behavior.  Be willing not only to accept but change it.

play bill

One of the best part of the night was listening to others talk about what they were seeing during intermission. I love to hear other people’s perception. Most people got it. I also loved how towards the end they had a chat with the actual actors. It was refreshing to hear their take on what they performed. I think a lot of plays should include these types of talks. This production was heavy at points but light enough not to feel burdened when you leave. The actors answered all the questions that we had. I also loved how they didn’t sugar coat the difficult parts even when one patron was so moved to leave. It’s okay to disagree. Everyone’s take isn’t going to mesh with another all the time. However the vibe was completely respectful and we can take a cue in our lives especially on social media in that regard.

bar

So my overall take is please go and see this. It will make for a wonderful evening. Be ready to think, reflect, and laugh. This was my first time at Wilma Theatre and its visually stunning. It has all that you need. A full café, bar, and ample seating on the inside as well as seating on the outside. No need to stand around you can come get comfortable and enjoy the show. Staff was amazing from will call to the ushers. I had a pleasant time and I can’t wait to go back.

“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” will be showing until May 12. Kudos to the Director, Dominique Serrand as well as the Writer, Kate Tarker. All of the actors outdid themselves. They definitely brought the vision to light. Thank you for the chat at the end as well as the pics. I wish not only this production but your future projects continued blessings!!!

play cast.jpg

To see the show for yourself, please use this link to do so.

For more information on future shows or any other information for Wilma Theatre

 

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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!

Come into Blume…


I’ve been into a lot of bars.  They all have unique aspects that draw in certain crowds. From ambiance to drink specials, they all have a niche that appeal to the masses. Blume stands out from a lot of local bars in that it hits the nail on the head in being the bar that doesn’t just serve great tasting drinks, but it gives a total experience.

From the butterfly pose on the outside of the building I should have known what was ahead.  Blume is a visually  aesthic which in itself is a conversation starter.  I was in awe from the start.  Once inside it was a social media dream. Let’s be clear if you think that when you’re out and about with friends and family that ambiance doesn’t matter; you must be living under a rock. The vibe matters from the drinks to the dj and definitely how photogenic the location is. Blume surpasses those expectations.

Teddy Sourias and Craft Concepts Group paired a unique venue with an amazing drink menu that draws your attention. The food selections mixes street food with comfort foods to provide a casual light fare for every palette. This also means vegetarian and vegans options alike. If you remember my blog from Tinsel you know the pure excitement I had from attending. Unique cocktails mixed with an amazing selection of beers and natural wines made for an incredible night.

I highly recommend this for a few reasons. This will be your go to spot for drinks after work. Nothing says unwind like Blume. Courtesy staff will make sure your time is in prospective as you are served amazing eats. This is a great spot for a casual outing with friends as well as a low key night with upscale expectations. The interior from its fresh greenery looking down on you to the eclectic wallpaper, Blume has the perfect mesh of elegance and comfort that you will not find in most bars.

You will want to grab your friends and come to Blume. I can’t put into words how much joy I had walking around. There is ample seating unlike most bars that have one main dance area, bar seating and standing room only. It’s almost like fusing a restaurant into a bar and it not being so over crowded that you want make an exit. As much as tonight’s VIP was a who’s who in the industry, Blume made it big enough to have room to network and have fun but small enough to not feel so impersonal. Oh and there is a paid parking (not affiliated with Blume) lot next door. That matters for someone like myself that as soon as I discover a potential for parking issues stray away from venturing into the city.

Now of course we are talking about a great bar experience and no bar on the planet can only provide great social media photo ops it has to also have amazing drinks. Tonight’s menu was more tailored to the VIP media night but my favorites were Purple Rain, Femme Fatale, and Cotton Candy. If I had to put those into a category of my most favorite, I would go with Femme Fatale. Femme Fatale is made up of Alois tequila, Salerno blood orange, hibiscus tea and lime.

Femme Fatale

Whether you are interested in attending Blume for the amazing photos or having a truly upscale but elegant feel with great drinks this is a must add for all things drinks and fun.

So to any of my friends reading this stay ready so you won’t have to get ready. I don’t want to be the only one with butterfly wings this Spring and Summer.

Blume opens on April 25th! Get in there and fly!

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

 

 

 

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!!

Makhani Modern India: First Indian Food Experience

So I have a list of things that I want to experience.  Indian food has not been conquered.  I had the honor of being invited to the preview for the media night for Makhani Modern Indian.  Makhani is a BYO modern Indian restaurant and it opens today, Friday January 25, 2019. Located in Old City, it definitely sets the bar high for freshly made Indian food with modern flare. 

Shafi Gaffar, owner, has definitely got a winner on his hands.  He’s personable, hard-working, and along with Executive chef, Sanjoy Banik, their made from scratch and made to order entrees sets them apart from other Indian Restaurants.

Executive Chef Sanjoy Banik

Owner Shafi Gaffar

From the time I walked in and until the time I left, the staff at Makhani made me feel like family.  FYI for the grand opening this weekend, all guest will receive complimentary wine and mimosa as well as give aways. We started with drinks and appetizers. It was so hard not to get full on the appetizers without even trying.  Everything was off to an amazing start. Once the entrees came, I really had been calling my friends asking them what to expect.  I got such variety of advice but nothing prepared me for dinner until dinner actually came. I was impressed from plating all the way to the last bite. The food was fresh and from the first to last bite there’s no denying.  Each bite had me wanting more. The serving was generous yet I still kept wanting to eat.  I left nothing on my plate.  I knew that I was happy because I wanted more to take home and I definitely can’t see myself going anywhere else for Indian food but here. Also they included a belly dancer. My night was made! We ended with the mango cheesecake which is a must have! So how can you get in and experience the same?

Chicken Makhani and Chicken Vindaloo not pictured olive oil naan bread

Mango cheesecake

Visit

Come to Makhani located at 7 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia PA 19106.  They are open 7 days a week.  For the opening launch they will be open 11:30am to 10:00pm daily through Sundays. It opens daily Thursdays through Saturday from 11:3am to 11:00pm. Lunch runs from 11:30am to 3:00pm and dinner from 4 to close. Orders will stop 15 minutes before close daily.  Reservations can be made by calling 267-534-5097.  So what if you can’t stop in but you want to enjoy Makhani?

Delivery

You can have it delivered by logging onto to Eat Makhani

Delivery is available throughout Center City, Old City, Northern Liberties, South Philadelphia and beyond. You can also order at all major delivery hubs such as Uber Eats, Grub Hub, Caviar, and Door Dash.

 Follow Makhani on their social media pages:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Thank you Makhani and Aversa PR for an amazing night!!! I look forward to coming back very soon!!