I realized a few weeks ago that, since at least before Fiona was born, I have not looked at any Memphis blogs.
While sad that I no longer feel a deep “I need to know what is happening” connection to my old home, I have truly, honestly begun to feel right at home here in Philly – at least I was until we moved 3 miles away from that home.
*** In fact, Tricia and I were out walking on Saturday and I saw countless people on the street – and now I’m a stranger again (sigh) ***
One of my favorite blogs in Memphis was Dining With Monkeys – written by local writer Stacey Greenberg
(also of Memphis Rock-N-Romp – my NUMERO UNO, would fly back for, need to start here in Philly, favorite Memphis activity!!!!)
So, unable to find anything of comparison here in Philly – I’m going to start my own little Philadelphia food review, for families, here on GastroMami.
To start, I’m going to “cheat” and use a meal prepared, somewhat, by my husband (but it’s not his restaurant!)
There is this thing about my husband:
He must cook a pig 3-4 a year
Or else he gets all grumpy, and twitchy & wants to take off and head to Austria
Despite the fact that he did this recently:
(that would be the lamb that kept humping the pigs)
There is something about The Swine that feeds his Cuban soul
And, although he makes a killer Lechon Asado at Alma de Cuba,
when Frankford Hall asked him to do a pig roast for their Oktoberfest, he said yes without hesitation
(and without asking me if he could disappear for 48 hours to smoke said pig,
but, with that said, I married him with full knowledge that he would drop everything for pork)
Little did we know that we would be doing a super-duper quick move during this period. Good thing my wonderful, beautiful, spirited sister Tricia was able to head our way to help wrangle my children while I packed & Reny roasted some pork.
Reny picked up the smoker on Friday and began his own spiritual ceremony.
Tricia rolled into town on Saturday (with a piece of Ren’s new bed – wait until you see it!!!!) and we got to work
drinking wine packing.
Sunday morning came and I was desperately feeling the need to GET OUT and away from toddler who won’t get dressed, a baby who keeps finding bubble wrap to eat, and boxes piled up in my tiny apartment.
So I went for a run and decided to make a water stop at Frankford Hall where my husband spent the night in his car, tending to some pork.
I was running down Girard Ave. and, immediately after emerging from the SEPTA bridge I smelled it – heaven.
The smell of this pig did something to my soul that made my little legs pump faster and faster … was I becoming part Cuban or was it the fact that I knew I would be eating multiple pork sandwiches in just a few hours and, therefore, must burn the calories now?
Whatever my motivation, I headed back home, showered, piled the kids into the stroller and set off with Tricia for lunch – ’cause nothing says “let’s get motivated to pack” like hitting up a Oktoberfest celebration (complete with beer) at noon.
We met a few friends at the restaurant and I was immediately impressed. Besides during my early morning run I had not seen the space before. The restaurant is a converted warehouse space, complete with exposed ceilings and brick walls. While half of the space is inside, large garage doors open completely to reveal an open-air, gravel patio with numerous picnic tables.
We spotted our friends who were drinking beer on a beautiful fall day while their kids played in the gravel with shovels & dump trucks!
There is no server at Frankford Hall – you order your drinks from the bar & your food from a separate food window. They give you a number to take back to the table and a runner brings your food when it is ready.
The menu is small – but perfect for a beer hall:
Sausages & sauerkraut, pretzels, spaetzle & fries dominate the menu
Homemade applesauce, fries, mushroom spaetzle (by far the winner – cream, thyme, mushrooms, dumplings!!) & the special of the day: Reny’s pulled pork sandwich: Bavarian marinated pulled pork served on a pumpkin seed roll with a pumpkin vinaigrette slaw.
The winner of the day was the soft pretzels!
Warm, soft, baked – they were perfectly cooked, salted and paired nicely with either spicy mustard, sweet mustard or a provolone cheese sauce.
(napkins, silverware & mustards are all self-serve)
Pros of Frankford Hall
Great space for hanging out with kids (during the day) – we were there for 3 hours!
Menu appeals to both adventurous & timid eaters
This Sunday featured: Kids eat free!, face-painting, a magician & balloon clown
Great beer selection
Games for kids & adults alike! A giant scale, ping-pong & arcade games.
Cons of Frankford Hall
Clean bathrooms but no changing table
Plastic silverware, paper serving containers – come on, it is 2011 … at least use biodegradable and/or recycled items
We will definitely be stopping by Frankford Hall again when the weather is nice!
Lederhosen: direct from Germany, hand me down from Uncle Nate
Dress: Mini Rotation via The Mini Social
Espadrilles: Mexico, gifted from Abuela
Linking up at Small Style on Mama Loves Papa