Friday, July 30, 2010

Some days are better than others...

A super nice lady came in the cafe yesterday about 6.30 in the evening. I greeted her with a friendly "hello" and she stated that she was just looking around. First, she checked out the sandwich case for a few moments and then made her way over to the gelato. I asked her if she'd like to try anything, but held off, mentioning she "wasn't quite sure what she wanted." Next, she meandered over towards the bar and then back over to the gelato case. Then came this: "Based on the day I've had, I wonder if I should have a drink or gelato." I quickly replied she could have both. And smiled.

You know, some days are better than others. And how do you remedy that? My first thought was of pampering yourself. I got a funny image of myself in big diapers. Then I looked up a definition of "pampering" and wouldn't you know that pesky photo from college showed up. But that didn't work for me because pampering is often associated with being spoiled. And that's no good.

Then, eureka! "Treating" yourself. Treats are good. And simple. And can be accomplished in so many ways. Like a yoga class, or a good movie, or walk at midnight, or something sweet or savory. Like this young lady last night: a delicious combo of watermelon, lemon and papaya. She came into the cafe looking a little down, and left with a pep in her step.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Canada Eh!?!

Today we pay our respects to another barista who is leaving Capogiro. I speak of the impeccable Vicki Zwicker. She will be heading across our northern most border to go to grad school. It seems that the only way to escape our capo swirl is to flee the country. Otherwise the gravitational pull of the Pau a Raisin circling a cappuccino will constantly disrupt your equilibrium. You will be awoken by night sweats craving coffee and Gram Parsons.

Vicki was the first face I would see every Monday morning. I'll miss her debating what she should eat for breakfast. I always liked it when she gave in to the call of a pastry. I'll miss her asking me to smell something. The way she really hated it when that one guy talked smack about Kentucky. The look on her face when I would ask her if she thought today was tamale day. Her woo-hoo when she dumped an unusually heavy tip jar. Most of all I'll miss the genuine caring sincerity that she extended to everyone she met.

So bon voyage Vicki! I hope you study hard, but not too hard. And don't forget about us all here in Philadelphia PA. I've never seen so many regulars come in to say goodbye to a co-worker. Even the people that couldn't make it called the store to say goodbye. We will all keep a special place for our super hero barista, The Impeccable Vicki Zwicker.

Come in and meet with our new morning folks who will be rotating until we find another perfect opener. Because it matters who pours your coffee in morning.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bagel Sandwiches Now At 13th Street!

Egg and Swiss bagel sandwich, $4

Egg, Swiss and Turkey bagel sandwich, $4.75

Dear Philadelphia, but more specifically the residents and working folk of the Gayborood,

You know we love you, right? And, like your mother before us, we try our hardest to help you have a perfect day by giving you good food to energize, satisfy, and motivate you to get you through your busy day. You know we have gelato for dessert (no matter what time of day dessert is called for). You know we have panini, tramezzini, and salads for lunch. And you even know we have bagels, toast, yogurt, and oatmeal for breakfast. But we here at Capogiro 13th street want to make your most important meal of the day--your first meal--just that much more special. So guess what we've done for you? We've brought you breakfast bagel sandwiches!

We take out freshly deliveried H&H bagels that you've loved so much, and we put hard-boiled eggs, swiss cheese, and turkey (or bacon) on them! Of course, if you're vegetarian, like me, you can get this to-die-for breakfast treat with only the egg and cheese. And don't worry, we've got ketchup and hot sauce to help you season your bagel to perfection.

You already get your morning coffee here, why not get some breakfast too?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Morning warriors.

Through the history of mankind, cultures across the globe have held their warrior class in high esteem. The knights of the Middle Ages are legendary in both their deeds and valors. Vikings warriors traversed inhospitable seas, battling wily kraken and vicious Gaul alike. The Japanese samurai were brilliant tacticians and swordsmen who adhered to a strict code of honor.

Following in the footsteps of their forbearers, we find Capogiro's own morning warrior class here on Walnut Street in West Philadelphia: Miles and Ezra, our own stalwart soldiers.

Between crafting the finest espresso drinks in the neighborhood, slicing (and to a lesser extent, dicing) scrumptious H&H bagels with a quickness, scooping piccolos with unmatched scoop accuracy, and cheerfully greeting our regulars with a smile and slightly uncomfortable wink, one would be hard-pressed to cite a historically more valiant pair of troopers. While you'd think that their exploits in the cafe would leave them too spent to do anything with their free time, they are both know to be powerful spellcasters who moonlight as creators of hot new television pilots (check CBS for the this fall's Meow Town- "Where one paw can make all the difference".) Miles is also in training at the Dry-Erase Marker Academy, and his early works have been hailed as "the Rembrandts of the flying ghosts punching angry horses genre".

As a retired general of the morning warrior class, I salute these two as worthy inheritors of the pride-inspiring Capogiro standard. May she ever fly high, whipping all of West Philadelphia to a gelato-consuming frenzy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Welcome to the Avenue...

I've only lived in Philadelphia for four years, yet in that time I've gotten a pretty good feel for the place. Probably helps that I spent my life coming here on a regular basis, my parents lived here for a time...generally Philly was always my home away from home, slightly up 95. I spent my first few years here living in Queens Village - so beautiful! So close to everything! Two and a half years ago I moved much farther South - in my mind, farther than anyone had ever lived, ever. This, turns out, isn't the case.
Since then, quite a bit has changed in South Philly. First of all, a portion of it now goes simply by its street name - "East Passyunk", or "East Pass", affectionately...I've heard a number of people refer to it as "the New Brooklyn" and P'yunk. Important note! See that street name above, the one I'm writing about? Starts with a P? OK...say it out loud. Are you a "Pass-eey-unk" person? Or are you a "Pash-unk" person? You know there's a difference, right? New guard versus the old lies. Ask around.
When I first moved there (around Synder Ave), standing at the infamous singing fountain in Passyunk Square gave a very different view than the one you get today...the Pope had just opened its doors and is now arguably one of the most popular spots in Philadelphia. The Cantina had not yet opened, though wasn't far behind...nor any of the many tiny, homespun boutiques popping up every time I turn around.
So, I know...I really do. I live there, I hear what people say - hipster neighborhood, nothing happening, all talk...but you know. There's enough food people down there to pack most of the restaurants in the city. Food lovers, music lovers, coffee lovers...East Passyunk is the oldest commercial strip in the city, and the oldest Italian-American commercial enclave in the country. At its best, it was one of the swankiest shopping strips in town. And maybe it'll never quite reach the glory of old, (really, how many things do?) but maybe, we can get it close.

And Capo's there too! Where we belong, really. The Reitano's modeled the shop after a classic Italian scoop shop - hence, the pictures of the family, and the old-timey feel.
Props to the neighborhood, props to the past. Funny how things circle around.

Most importantly? How do YOU say Passyunk?

See you guys there soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Getting to know you...

Hey Capo customers! We love you, yes indeedy! We know that you love our gelato flavors too, and we will happily let you taste, taste away to your heart's content. As a special treat, I would also like to take the opportunity to let you get to know some of them on a deeper level. Here are a few little know facts about some of these delicious little guys. Ah hem...

Pineapple Mint
and Mojito have been in love with each other for years, but neither one of them can muster up the courage to take the first step. When they pass each other in the hallway, one always turns to look back over their shoulder to see if the other one is looking but then looks away a split second before the other one turns around to see if they were looking too. Tragic.

Pistacchio and Nocciola are badasses. They served in Vietnam together and would kill you as soon as look at you.

Peach with Southern Comfort
is a the Mississippi State Noodling Champion (in case none of you Yankees know what that is, it's when fully grown people plunge their arms deep into underwater mud holes, hoping that catfish will clamp down upon them - Yay! It's the most ridiculous sport in the world. Except for maybe curling.)

Everyone loves Chocolate Malt, but we think that his Buddy Holly glasses are so 5 minutes ago.

Cucumber Vodka
and Blackberry are completely convinced that the world will end in 2012. This being the case, they have racked up thousands of dollars in credit card debt that they think they will never have to pay off. This weekend they are flying to Vegas in a private jet so that they can eat caviar off of naked people. Good times!

Blueberries & Cream
is totally Team Edward.

Melon and Absenthe is easily distracted by shiny things. That nonsense about cutting off his ear and sending it to a girl was just a rumor though. He lost it in a bar fight.

Everybody thinks that Cioccolato Scuro is a ladies man but in all actuality he just wants to be held.

cannot fathom why no one pronounces her name right.

Kiwi and Mango used to be BFF, until Kiwi hooked up with Mango's boyfriend (who was not even that cute). Now Mango just sits at home eating bonbons and watching Law & Order marathons. Mango really needs to get back out there.

Nobody likes Ouzo. He's a mean drunk.

Dulce de Leche is not the girl who likes yellow.

is a bully. Every night he pummels his neighbor Thai Coconut Milk with a sock full of nickels. In all reality though, Thai Coconut Milk is kind of a wuss. We recommend kickboxing lessons.

Mexican Coffee is quickly climbing her way up in the Arizona State Legislature.

Sea Salt is a pirate - Yar.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flavor Combo Du Jour



Today (Tuesday, July 21, 2010,) at Capogiro 13th street, we have two of the most magnificent flavors. Alone, they both land easily on my "Top Ten Flavors. Period." list, but together they make an even more sensual experience. Truly. Sensual. It's like a massage from a strong armed Sicilian man, while you lay under the sun on the beaches of the Mediterranean... You know, if you're into that sotra thing.

Whatever you're into, you'll love this combo. So swing on by, we're open till 11:30pm!

Monday, July 19, 2010

FOOD, Real Food....Healthy Gelato

NO, No, no. Please don't make me eat processed food. It makes me fart. There. I have said it. Just one bite of Kraft mac and cheese and I am done and so are the poor slobs that happen to be in my presence. So sorry. I find it bizarre that my body rebels like this, but it can only help me, really. I have more energy, I feel good, and I am healthy.

Lately I have heard mumblings that gelato is not healthy for you. WHaT?!? Pu-lease people. Do you know what you are eating? Let me enlighten;


What could be unhealthy in that? No high fructose corn syrup, no red dye number whatever, no diglycerideblahblah, polymobilde..., nothing like that!

We need to get our priorities straight, people. With the exception of fruit that is simply not grown around here (ie, lemons, oranges, pineapples, mangoes, lychee, etc.) all of our fruit is grown locally, within a one hours drive. It is grown without chemicals, without pesticides and it is allowed to VINE RIPEN!! Imagine that. All those natural sugars are allowed to develop and the fruit is picked when it is ready (not prematurely so it can travel 1000s of miles).

Our milk is from a single herd of Scottish Ayreshire Cows that ONLY EAT GRASS and are named Cleopatra and Moxie!!! They are never treated with growth hormones and no antibiotics! These cows live 40 minutes outside of Philly. That's them. Look at em!

Yes, there is sugar in our gelato. All "sweets" have them. One large gelato contains as much sugar as an "all natural smoothie" or a cup of yogurt with fruit. Yes, it is equal to ice cream and froyo as far as sugar is concerned. But where did the fruit and milk used for those items come from? Was the milk from a local Menonnite farmer, the cream from the Amish, and the mint from some high school kids in West Philly? Or did it just come from a box or a truck from...I don't know, do you?

The big difference is that the ingredients that we use are local and delicious and ALL NATURAL, in the truest sense. We hand craft our gelato every day. Nothing is just poured into the top of a machine and pooped out. It is crafted. We are not just blending in fruit out of plastic container or scooping it out of an "imported" can. Real fruit grown by real farmers here in our backyard. Our carbon footprint is small. We care about who we purchase from. Just this second, Dan came in with the first of Glenn's blackberries. Big, luscious, almost ready to burst! I placed the first one in my mouth. They are from Green Meadow Farm.

Me: Holy cow.

Dan: I know.

Me: This is crazy.

Dan: I know.

Me: They cannot taste this perfect.

Dan: I know.

Me: Oh my Gawd..

Dan: Blackberries are my favorites.

In Europe, gelato is considered a health food. Italians go every day for a WALK to their local gelateria where the gelato is made fresh each morning. Europeans are far healthier than us exercise obsessed Americans. Why is that? They eat gelato EVERYDAY!!

Think about it.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Here at CapoPenn, we have developed a whole bunch of wonderful, granita-based cocktails, and have named this type of drink a "dad". Why have we named them so? We are not entirely sure. It could be because we are Tim & Eric fans, and they have produced many hilarious and informative sketches based on the wonders of Dads.

It could be a vamp on the slang, "daddy-o", beatnik style. For example: "Hey, Daddy, you're sweatin' like a real gone Frenchy in the Congo, like. Cool off with one a these, Dad. It'll knock all the corners off."

Whatever. WHO CARES. The important thing is that they are refreshing and delightful and will cool you off right on time. Let me run down a few past Dads, to give you an idea of what I'm talking about here:

Kentucky Dad: peach granita with bourbon and a dash of Peychaud bitters
Vacation Dad: tamarind granita with dark rum, vodka, fresh lime and a spash of Coke
Blue Dad: blueberry granita with gin
Owen's Dad: lemon granita with vodka and Campari*

The possibilities are endless.

People, it is hot as blazes outside. Do yourself a service and come by to cool off with a Dad. You'll be glad you did.

*Note: Our naming these wonderful, refreshing cocktails "Dads" is not meant in any way to imply that all dads are: slushy, imbibers of alcoholic beverages, fruity, cold or sweet. We also realize that not all dads in Kentucky enjoy bourbon, nor are we positive that Owen's Dad likes Campari.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Capoyunk's Reeling!

Beautiful visuals aren't hard to come by at Capogiro. From the dense hues of our berry sorbetti, to the almost unearthly glisten cioccolato scuro seems to take on when it's drenched in espresso. It tastes so good because it looks so good because it tastes. so. good.

That essential complement of the senses has inspired this summer's theme for MOVIE NIGHTS at Capogiro on Passyunk Ave!
Every Monday night at 7PM we'll be showing nominated films from the Academy Awards' "Best Cinematography" category. We'll span a number or years and genres, but you know it's gonna be good. Did I mention it's BYO?

You could stake out a seat right at 7, pop a bottle of wine and call it a date night, or just stop in for a few minutes as usual, glancing up from your little blue cup every now and then to appreciate some fine cinematography. Really, everyone wins.

Check our Twitter or our Facebook for movie night updates and a schedule of upcoming films.

See you guys soon,
Maggie & the Capoyunk Crew

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

who is this old man and why is he snoring?

Hey, Philly. It's gross and wet out there. Folks keep coming in and grabbing napkins to wipe off their soggy faces (re: last week's post). We are all sick of the rain, but we must stay proactive. In that spirit, I have compiled a brief list of things to do on a rainy day. Here goes:

Come to Capogiro. In addition to our incredible gelato, we also have wireless internet and a well-stocked supply of espresso and coffee. You can hang for hours, getting amped up on caffeine and chowing down some panini while you wait for that Justin Bieber album to finish downloading. Hooray!

Learn about latte art. Seriously, some of the baristi here are freakin' Picassos with some steamed milk. I saw Caitlin make a latte that looked like an alien was attacking a dachshund with a pitchfork. Wicked.

Hang out with vampires. They hate sunlight, so rainy days are the only times they can make it to the bank without bursting into a ball of fire. Or for some vampires, uh, sparkle.

Fake your own death. Go to McDonalds Playland and pretend like you're drowning in the ball pit. Make a ruckus! (This works even better if you are already wearing water wings.)

Heads Up 7 Up.

Get free room service. Go to a fancy hotel and go directly to the elevator. Walk the lavish hallways and see if anyone who ordered room service decided not to finish their expensive bottle of wine. (This actually happens all the time, folks).

Act British. Make yourself a cup of Earl Grey Tea, dust off that old copy of Wuthering Heights, sit by the window and pretend that you're from Jolly Old. (Spit spot, alert the corgies!)

Watch the Goonies. Seriously, the Goonies is the best movie ever to watch in the rain. The characters in this movie are wet almost 99% of the time, whether its getting rained on, slipping through water slidey tunnels, or falling into a lagoon that houses One Eyed Willy's pirate ship filled with rich stuff. (Ok, I'll admit, I REALLY like the Goonies.)

Make mini-cones! Once in a while our delicious cones break, leaving baristi with the opportunity to have tons o' fun with the pieces.

Ah! A giant, RUN!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Capo Stardate 3021: A Lesson In Surprises

Granola And Yogurt gelato

Golden Fig sorbetto

So this is my 4th summer at Capogiro gelato, and what have I learned, you ask? (Aside from the fact that the "c" in Dulce De Leche is pronounced as an "s" sound, not a "ch" sound, because the phrase is Spanish, not Itailian?) Well, as I learned today, one of the best reasons to work at Capogiro is that everyday is a surprise, and I don't mean that in a Hallmark card kind of way. (Nothing against Hallmark. Ok, maybe a little against Hallmark.) But to be honest with you, there's rarely a day that goes by that I don't rediscover my love for our gelato. Take today for example, we had Granola And Yogurt gelato. Simple, you may think. Not though, not at all. The flavors of this gelato were so complex: sweet, then tangy, then sweet again, followed by that whole mouth feel that you get when you eat Chinese food, but sans MSG, of course. Damn, my silly words can't describe the flavors, but just trust me, it was amazing. I had a little cup of it with the Fig sorbetto and let me tell you, I was flying.

If I can work here five days a week and still be surprised, just imagine what you'll discover! Until then...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Philadelphia Distilling! Urban gardens! Oh my!

I'm lucky enough to have spent the last few days meeting with some really amazing people.
On Wednesday, I met Kenny Owens - a student at University City High School who's an intern for the Urban Nutrition Initiative, a program designed to educate and empower teen interns to explore and identify solutions to the problem of urban American health disparities. Kenny approached our baristi at our Penn stores, offering their mint and basil for us to use in our gelato. "YES!" we cried. Fresh herbs supplied by local students? Please, are you kidding? Absolutely. Kenny practically beamed as he talked about his involvement in UNI, how he runs their stand at the Clark Park Farmers Market and has decided he wants to dedicate his life to being an entrepreneur supporting local agriculture. Not only does the Urban Nutrition Initiative get kids off the streets, into the gardens and involved in community outreach, it teaches cooking lessons at Sayre and University City High Schools as well as homeless shelters and recreation centers. As of this weekend, you'll be seeing Kenny's mint and basil in our gelati and sorbetti. I couldn't be prouder, or more excited.

If that's not cool enough, yesterday I met with Meredith, a representative from Philadelphia Distilling. We're going to start making sorbetti with their liquors! More specifically, we'll be making Blueberry & Bluecoat Gin, Cucumber & Penn 1681 Vodka and Cantaloupe with Vieux Carre Absinthe. Not only that, but Philadelphia Distilling will be at our Penn location doing an event with us on September 24. With Meredith behind our bar showcasing their amazing product, concocting gelato should probably put it on your calendar.
I hope your summer's almost as awesome as ours! If not...come hang out with us!

See y'all soon...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Napkins: A Study in Human Behavior

Folks hate being sticky. Nowadays, with advances in personal hygiene, there are a myriad of ways to avoid getting messy. The most common of all is the napkin. At Capogiro, we go through a lot of 'em. Our deliciously cold gelato has a tendency to begin to melt in room temperature, so patrons who do not wolf theirs down in a frenzied gulp may require a few napkins.

This being said, there is an interesting trend one can observe as a Capogiro barista; napkins and the people who love them. There are a few clear distinct types of napkin users that we see on the daily...

THE DEMOCRATIC NAPKINEERS: These are the folks who like to make sure that everyone else has a chance to get a napkin or two. They take a couple of napkins for themselves then kindly offer a couple to their friend. They care about the sticky-factor of others, and don't want to ever appear greedy. If need be, the Democratic Napkineers might get up mid-gelato-eating session and grab a couple more. Let them, they're lovely people.

THE HORDERS: These folks are worried that there will be an inevitable napkin shortage, and they tend to grab napkins by the handful. When in line, they send nervous glances to other patrons, silently warning them that things will get messy if they get at all sticky. Some even put some extra napkins in their bags, rationing for the End-of-All-Napkins Armageddon. It's OK, Horders, there will be enough napkins for everyone. This is America, a land bountiful with paper products.

THE REBELS: The Rebels don't need no stinkin' napkin. They're tough-as-nails types who, if messiness attacks, laugh it off with a bawdy guffaw. The Rebels leave a trail of tears and gelato in their wake, and they don't give a damn. They air-dry after their annual showers. They survived Thunderdome. They hate puppies. They're non-conformists. They live for danger. They're really sticky.

So good people, wherever you fall on the napkin spectrum, we don't judge you. There is a place for you here with us at Capogiro Gelato. Come get some napkins. We're just giving 'em away.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What Heaven Tastes Like

Today we have the XOXO Philly Cream Cheesecake flavor at 13th street, and while it alone is pretty tasty, some of my fellow baristi and I were trying to figure out what to pair it with to give it that extra umph. (This, of course, requires much sampling--strictly for educational purposes, of course.) When it hit us. Blueberry sorbetto!! But not just Blueberry sorbetto, Blueberry sorbetto with the XOXO Philly Cream Cheesecake ON A CONE!!

This. Is what. I've been dreaming. About... AMAZING!!

That's all, come try this y'all. It will not disappoint.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Mann Center + Gelato!!

I love a good outdoor show. My brother Greg will see anything and I mean, ANYTHING. He once watched G.Love at Sassafrass on 3rd Street play an entire show will only two guitar strings. He said it was awful in an awesome way, but it was G.Love and he would not have missed it even if he knew that he only had two strings. When my brother pronounced that a show at the Mann is Zen and that going to every show possible was what you should do in the summer, I was like, "Okay. You must know." He was always asking me to take him to this show or that show at the Mann (I'm the older sister with a job when he was a student). "Come on, Steph. So what, Julio Inglesias could be awesome. All those older couples? It could be a scream. Let's go. You cannot turn me down!" It is a perfect summer concert setting, but Julio, please Greg. See? He enjoys all live shows. I have seen everything with him from Ice T to Courtney Love to Sonia Dada. All outdoors, all fantastic.

The Mann is one of those outdoor arenas that is perfectly covered, not a bad seat there, with the perfect breeze blowing over at just the right moments. It is a frenetic place with mellow music. It is usually not very hot and crowded and people are always moving. Somehow, it does not seem to bother me. I have seen Ray Charles there and David Byrne. I have seen Lyle Lovette at the Mann more than 3 times. John and I have been to at least 10 Lyle concerts. I think I saw the Cowboy Junkies there, but that may have been the Keswick. Not sure.

We now have our cute little cart at the Mann selling gelato to the mellow music lovers. Imagine, excellent music in a perfect setting now comes with gelato!! My brother is happy even though he lives in New York. "That's awesome. Does that mean you can get great seats to any show?" Always, the big sister.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Fourth, Philly

As far as 4th of July is concerned, Philadelphia's pretty much the only place to be. No one else can really compete with our history - we've got a lock on that, no problem (sorry, Nation). I've been running around to all the stores over the last few days and I can honestly say that it's been a while since I felt such a buzz on the streets. While I feel like most of the locals have bugged out, or battened down, everyone else has flocked to our fair city to celebrate their independence as only Philly can.
I'm sayin, fireworks, guys, definitely. If it were me, I'd head to the Camden Aquarium - they're hosting an after hours event where you can wander around the aquarium then hang out on the waterfront to watch the sparks fly at Penn's Landing - how awesome is that?! I'm such a sucker for aquariums, I can't lie. I make it a point that whenever I travel I hit up any and every one that I can find...
If you're in the mood for the historic, but still food oriented (and feeling a little brave), check out the City Tavern Restaurant in Olde City. I'm from Northern Delaware, but have spent all my years coming to Philadelphia - have walked by this place many a time, but have to admit that until now I had no concept how deep their history runs. As in, it was the site of the very first Independence Day celebration! As in, THE celebration! Crazy! (Ok, it's possible I'm more interested in the "Seafood Melange" and Chicken Pot Pie than anything else, but still, when in Rome, right?)
And most importantly, Capo's gotten into the spirit! 20th street has a few "Red, White & Blue" gelato cakes for the occasion - raspberry, Thai Coconut Milk & blueberry! I just watched someone rush out, armed with his cake and on the way to his barbecue. Jealooouus! AND they have Chocolate Peanut Butter today, what more can you want?
If you happened to come see us last night, you may have noticed that all of our stores are outfitted with City Bandz! Yes guys, we've jumped on the bandwagon. Why, you may ask? Because they're silly and quirky and awesome, and so are we! So why not. I have to admit, I was a little behind the times with these things, but as I watch people's reactions to them I just get more and more of a kick out of it. Apparently kids (we have a sign reading 'ages 3-30') have gone crazy for these things, much like Oilies and Pogs were for those of us who grew up in the 80s, or later, Beanie Babies!
Craziness. But a lof of fun. The ones we've got are Philly themed - the LOVE statue, Independence Hall, Ben's kite...though I hear the rarest, most desired of them all is the unicorn, which sadly, we don't have...

But I might trade you a gelato for one!

Hope to see you around this weekend guys, it's gonna be a great one.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Glorious corn.

While some may have recently decried Western corn consumption (Michael Pollan, I'm looking at you), it's safe for me to say that corn has long been, and always shall be, a crucial part of my gastric existence. Growing up on the fertile plains of Wisconsin, each and every child knew that farmers wanted their crop "knee-high by the 4th of July" (how timely!), and the month of August was always a corn-ucopia of salt-buttery crunch feasts. During our high school years, my brother and some friends spawned a band, 1824 Techno, dedicated to eradicating an invading race of corn-based aliens via giant robots (this was during the height of the Aquabats' popularity, so cut 'em a break). Many a hot summer night during my teenage years were spent in the world-reknowned dollar movie theatres of the suburbs of Milwaukee, where not only were the tickets $2, but so were the oddly svelte bags of natural-butter-flavor-sauce soaked popped kernels at the concession stand.

I'll be honest, dear readers: through all the years, my adoration of the golden cob has yet to wane. Every late summer fills me with a hot anticipation for roasted corn salsa, delicious corn chowder, and, of course, the crown jewel of corn culinary delight: grilled ears with just a tingle of char beneath the flaxen stalks. Fortunately for all of you fans of a fermented libation, yours truly has taken up the reigns here at Capo Penn and rebirthed, like a mighty starch phoenix, the scrumptious rosemary garlic popcorn that our bartenders will gladly furnish you with your drink. The light herbal notes punch through the rich buttery backbone, and the salt dances lithely on your tongue. Right now, we are featuring a tart, fruity Dogfish Head Festina Peche and a smooth and dry Sixpoint Righteous Rye, both of which make a lovely happy hour accompaniment to our glorious corn.

The author (lower right) and family at the world's only corn palace.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A short, sweet Yunk Love note:

Dear Blogoria,
So, Cory & I (Dave the Rave) opened up the gelateria and were quickly joined by Mario - a fellow who's lived in the neighborhood for decades. We chatted about opera & big bands over coffee.

Important note: the Mexican Chocolate has a strong kick today, so all you spicy people out there... Carpe Diem!
Important combination: lemon & espresso sorbetti. Why? At first you taste the espresso followed buy a rush of refreshing lemon zip that mostly cleanse the pallate with the exception of the lingering coffee on your tongue. Quite the event in your mouth. Well worth the ride.

Lavender stracciatella (chocolate chip, baby!) has been a huge hit as well. Come get it while it's still available.

Closing note: A gentleman tried to pay for his gelato today with invisible money. Before things got out of hand, the woman next in line offered to pay since the gentleman apparently had no real money to exchange, as he was only 2 1/2 years old. Later, we were informed she was in fact his mother, and all was well. Crisis averted. Phew.

Its a fantastically ridiculously fantastic day. All doors & windows are open for the fresh air & breeze. Hope to see you all soon.

Dave & Corey (the story)

PS - a big way to go to Greg Bezanis for the awesome shot of the Avenue!