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Brunch Specials At Kanella

J loved our last visit to Kanella so much that he made his mom come down especially so he could take her there. Plus, she’s a whole lots Greek so it was a bit of a tribute to her ancestors. There was a nice mix of diners there, but it wasn’t too crowded. We were smart and made reservations since this was graduation weekend.
J had wanted a frappe before but didn’t get one the last time, so he definitely got it this time. It was suprisingly light and airy. How do they make this thing? And why does it form the layers? Scientists, please tell me. Something with density? Polarity?
C got the kanella platter, especially because she loves grape leaves. It’s a smorgasbord of stuffed grape leaves, tabuleh, falafel, zucchini fritter, spicy tomato salad, tzantziki, olives, and pita. She had requested to have hummus instead of the spicy tomato salad, but they just gave her hummus along with everything else. Can you see why we love Kanella so? Every last thing on this plate was delicious.
J got one of the specials which was a half cornish hen cooked in foil and served with roasted potatoes. While the dish was delicious with an amazing sauce, J would have been happier with a whole cornish hen. He didn’t realize how small and bony of a bird this would be. And he always has a hearty appetite. Despite the smallness, he still loved the dish and the flavoring. Seriously, the sauce was yum.

I also got a special, which was a penne pasta with pulled pork and peas and an assortment of other spices and accoutrements. And again, amazing dish. I totally ate all of this up. I have no idea what was in it, but it was delicious. I left pretty much nothing on this plate.

Service was good. And once again, the chef/owner came by several times to check up on us. And just like last time, his wife and the kids were there as well, along with lots of happy eaters. They are starting up monthly cooking lessons in June. Sounds fun!
Kanella on Urbanspoon

Kanella Brunch

Walking around center city east in blisteringly hot heat, we got hungry. The smoothies were awesome, but we needed more substantive food. After not being able to find a seat at the last drop, we tried to eat at mixto. But they told us there would be a long wait, even though there were several empty tables. This after they apparently eyed us up and down and sneered. Boo on them. So suck it mixto. So we walked a few blocks over to Kanella, which I’d remembered was close by and had been voted best breakfast in the US by Esquire mag.
You know how when you see pictures of greece you see all white buildings with the blue everywhere? That’s what Kanella looks like too. You’re totally transported, and it definitely has a greek feel. It was surprisingly not packed here, which was a welcome surprise. We didn’t have to wait, yay! The servers all have beards… perhaps it’s a requirement? There were a bunch of people who had ordered a greek frappe, some type of cold whipped coffee drink. J was saving his caffeine fix for the last drop, so he skipped this. Maybe next time.

There were so many things on the brunch menu that looked amazing. Most of it, we had no idea what it all was. All these words and names were complete mysteries to us, despite J’s partially greek heritage. We were both clueless. We watched various dishes coming out and it all looked great and exotic and enticing. One strange thing is that they have english breakfast on the menu. Yes, this greek restaurant has an englisih breakfast! This is a total find. BTW, the brunch menu is fairly new, as it was just added. Before, it was just lunch or dinner menus only, even though breakfast items were on the lunch menu. Now they have a specific brunch menu, which is not yet on their website.
Anyhoo, J went with the cypress breakfast. This was what had been voted the best breakfast. This plate had 2 eggs fried in olive oil, grilled halloumi, grilled lounza, bread, and veggie salad. Before seeing this dish, we had no idea what halloumi or lounza was. So here’s the 411. Halloumi is a cypriot cheese, with a consistency similar to mozzarella, made from goat or sheep’s milk. It is a hearty and dense cheese. And it is quite delicious. Lounza is sliced smoked fillet of pork, grilled . It’s basically like canadian bacon, but thicker, and even better. J felt his eggs were cooked to perfection. And he loved the salad as well. In fact, he agreed with Esquire. It is the best breakfast he’s ever had.
I wanted to try everything, but alas, I could only pick one dish. So after wavering, I went with the calimari. Can you see the calamari? They’re whole squid, they’re just little tiny ones or little baby ones. Like little round white puffballs of squidy godness. They’re delicately grilled and whole, so for those of you that are squeamish, you may want to pass on this one. Mmm… chewy and smoky and delicious. This was served with a mixed couscous full of veggies. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up from the both of us.

Everyone was super nice here. The owner/chef was out on the floor a bunch of the time (with his piercing blue eyes and all), and let us ask him a bunch of questions about the menu and kept checking in on us. His kids were there too, and so was his wife. The whole place felt very comfortable and warm and family oriented. I love it when the owner’s family just kind of hangs out. It’s just a nice and happy place. You can’t help but enjoy it, it feels like you’re hanging out in greece, not that I know what that’s really like. Can I just repeat again how nice everyone was and how much we liked the food? We’re definitely going to come back here. Dinner is calling us! I really wanted to try dessert too, but my damn belly was too full. I need to start stretching my belly now in preparation for next time.
Kanella on Urbanspoon

Seafood At Dmitri’s

When I asked P a few weeks ago for recommendations on where to eat in the city, he threw out Dmitri’s and Effie’s, two greek restaurants. On the drive over to Franklin Fountain the other night, we passed Dmitri’s, and I said to myself, oh, that’s where Dmitri’s is. The next night when I was forced to pick a place for dinner (oh, the bane of being a food blogger), I thought why not. There are two Dmitri’s, and this one on 3rd is a BYOB.

The place is pretty teeny tiny, and when we got there at about 8:30, it was packed. We had to wait about a half hour, so we walked around a bit. Whenever we got back from the walk, we were seated immediately. Table space is very limited, it’s pretty much packed to the gills. The waitresses are all surly and tattooed and clad in black tank tops. A bit like the cheerleaders from the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video. Like they would cut you if you wronged them.
One of the specials of the nigiht was the tomato basil and mozzarella salad. I was expecting one giant tomato and a big slice of cheese on top. Instead, we got this sizeable plate packed with some of the tastiest tomatoes ever. Man, was this good. Everything about it was good. Oh, and you get free bread and pita too. Good and good. The pita bread was a little bit charred, but lucky for me, I like burnt stuff.
P said the octopus was good so I had to try it. Again, a sizeable dished packed with grilled octopus. These are pretty no frills, just simply grilled served with some oily dressing on the bottom of the plate. I thought it was good, but I wasn’t crazy about it. J wasn’t crazy about it either, but that didn’t keep him from stuffing himself with it. It was even garnished with some olives and pepperoncinis. J liked the olives (I hate olives) and I liked the pepperoncinis too.
One of the fish specials of the night was the tilapia. That’s a whole lotta fish if you ask me. That plate is not small. Those pieces of fish are not small. This was a hearty portion of fish. It was simply prepared, grilled, and came with some kind of white wine based sauce. Simple, yet good. J was practically drinking this sauce, or at least sopping it up with bread. I went with the scallop platter. You can get this grilled or fried and I went with the grilled. Again, very simply prepared, just grilled. I thought I would get like 3-4 big scallops. Whoa, was I wrong. There were at least a good dozen scallops there, way too much food for me. These were delicious. Grilled perfectly, so that it wasn’t overly done at all. Both the entrees came with rice and escarole. The rice was just fine, but this escarole crap was really unappetizing. I expected any kind of taste but what I got. Bland and bitter. Blech. I left the giant lump of this escarole pretty much untouched. In fact, when we had the leftovers boxed up, J insisted that I did not want the greens wrapped.

There was tons of food left… tilapia, scallops, and octopus. We should have just gotten a couple more appetizers, nixed the entrees, and called it a day, but we didn’t know we would get so stuffed. Really, I need to stop this gorging. We ended up using the scallops and octopus the next day as ingredients for improvised lobster ravioli from trader joe’s. You know what? It actually tasted even better the next day. Thanks for the recommendation P. I can see why this place is packed.

795 S 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 625-0556
Dmitri's on Urbanspoon

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