Friday, January 28, 2011

I WANT CANDY!

I've always been a huge sucker for delicious, sweet sweet candy. Who can forget all their favorite childhood candies? My personal favorites?



Wonka DinoSOUR Eggs. Like the real thunder lizards now extinct, they were a variation on Gobstoppers, with a less roof-of-mouth-shredding texture and featured a cascade of wonderful fruit flavors and they candy shells wore away.



Seemingly difficult to find in Philly are ROLOS, which are said to contain a whole roll of smiles. It's simply a dollop of caramel surround by crappy milk chocolate. Simple... but delicious.



These seem disgusting to me now, but I used to adore BOSTON BAKED BEANS. They're just somewhat waxy candy-coated peanuts. Why they were likened to beans is beyond me.

Thankfully for you, dear reader, and I both, CapoPenn now has a PLETHORA of amazing candies made of much better ingredients and by less corporate folks for you to enjoy. We have the Philly-produced artisanal LOVE BARS and LOVE ROCKS, as written about last week by our own Sarah B . We also have CHICKEN BONES, oddly named but delicious, they are peanut butter wrapped in a candy coating and covered with coconut flakes, kind of like a much fancier version of CHICK-O-STICKS. We also have HELLO BARS in both chocolate or hazelnut, awesome multi-flavored caramel lollipops imported from jolly France, and excellent little hazelnut chocolates. Though not quite candy, GILDA'S BISCOTTI are locally made and a lovely compliment to any coffee drink. CANDY! It's so good.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Survival Guide

According to the Philadelphia Chocolate Tour, which visits our store almost daily, ice cream was first created in China like a gazillion years ago. They say that the emperor (dunno which one) would send his servant up a mountain to gather snow and ice and then they would scurry back down and the snow would be mixed with yaks' milk and other ingredients and presto! - ice cream. I hear this speech a lot, and always feel kinda bad for the servant who had to go and fetch the ice. I wonder if any of them ever got trapped in the snow in pursuit of the emperor's tasty treat. As my brain thinks in one long run-on sentence, this led me to start thinking about avalanches.


Tips on surviving an avalanche:

Ditch yer gear. In an avalanche, it's usually blunt force trauma that will kill you, so you want to make sure that you don't get bashed in the head with your snowboard or impaled on your ski pole. Throw these things as far away from you as possible. As a bonus, any debris that may be sticking up out of the snow can help rescuers find your location and maybe save you before you die of hypothermia. Yay!

Paddle, paddle, kick.
During an avalanche, the snow is pretty loose and kinda acts much like a great big cold wave. You want to try to stay near the surface of the avalanche, because once it stops, all the snow will settle and you will be completely screwed if you aren't as close to the surface as possible.

Make room.
Before the snow settles and packs down upon you in an icy coffin of doom, you want to make sure that you give yourself plenty of breathing room (this is assuming that you are clearheaded enough to overlook the fact that you are in an AVALANCHE). Try to create an air pocket around your mouth by cupping your hands over your face. Also, be sure to take a deep breath as the snow starts packing in, so that your breathing won't be restricted by your chest being crushed.

Spit.
Being in an avalanche is, and I'm just guessing here, a very disorienting experience. It may be hard to tell which way you should start clawing at in order to get to that sweet, sweet air. If you can't tell which way is up, try drooling a bit. Whichever direction the spit goes is obviously down, and therefore NOT the direction you want to go. Thanks, gravity!

Scream and pray. Holler a lot. Go crazy. Yell your face off! Hopefully there is a search party looking for you and making a lot of noise will help them find you. It might also help hungry bears find you, but at this point that's the least of your worries. It probably wouldn't hurt to give a shout out to whatever gods you hold dear, and with any luck this guy -->
will find you and give you some nice brandy while he digs you out.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Can't Go Wrong

Or maybe not. Either way, Mexican Chocolate was pairing quite nicely for me yesterday with Basil. Call me crazy. Call the whole world crazy. But it was. In fact, we often say to customers that you can't go wrong. This is a prime example of that. You really almost can't go wrong with mixing out flavors. Each is so perfectly round in it's own right, that you never really need the flavor it's sitting beside it to complete it. BAM. Capogiro 101: Get whatever you want, mix whatever you want, at the end of the day, you're gonna LOVE it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

LoveROCKS!


Well, yeah it does, but I'm not that much of a hippie...unless I'm talking about food. So not long ago, traipsing through the Headhouse Square Farmers Market, a brightly colored candy looking thing caught my eye. I'm a bit like a magpie, in that shiny or brightly colored objects snag me like a distractable child. And it was a candy thing! A fantastic, chocolate candy thing, in fact.
LoveBar was founded by Tegan Hagy and Philip Asbury, with the aim of creating top-notch products that nourish the community and those who make the chocolate bars possible. They do the best they can to source sustainable ingredients, and have traveled to the ends of the Earth searching for cocoa beans. Their bars are only made of three ingredients (cocoa nibs, cocoa butter and organic sugar) are gluten and nut free, as well as vegan. These guys do it all! From roasting the beans to wrapping the bars, everything produced from LoveBar is made with tons of time, energy, and of course, love. Oh, and one of my favorite things? All of the designs on the wrappers are from Philly artists. What! So rad.
Hit up any of our stores to try ones of these babies, but I'm telling you, if you're a dark chocolate fan, beware. They're pretty fantastic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Firthday!

I saw 'The King's Speech' this weekend and was totally blown away. Colin Firth is an incredible actor and deserves every award that he has and will receive. I want to be best friends with Colin Firth. I want to go shopping, drink beer, and tell jokes with Colin Firth. I want to skip through Rittenhouse Square with Colin Firth. I'm pretty much obsessed with all things Colin Firth.

I don't know much about Colin Firth on a personal level (yet), but I do happen to know that he is from England. So here's my plan to lure Colin Firth into coming here, by taunting him with some of our delicious offerings.

Stuff we have at 20th Street that British people seem to like:


Toast. We have amazing Big Toast from Hudson Bread Company, available in white or wheat. Our Big Toast is presented with your choice of toppings: butter, jam, Cream Nut Peanut Butter, or Nutella. I'm guessing that Colin Firth likes jam AND Nutella on his toast, so we may need to order more for his impending arrival.

Tea. We carry large selection from Two Leaves and a Bud tea company, which is based in Basalt, CO. The tea makers there have traveled all over the world to find the best organic, black, herbal, and green teas. I think that my new friend Colin Firth would really love their Earl Grey tea, which to me contains the perfect mix of tang and bergamot-y goodness with the richness of a strong black tea.

Sparkling Water. At Capogiro, we have all types of water; sparkling, flat, tap, and ice. Our British customers always seem to go for a nice San Pellegrino when they come by to visit. In addition to unflavored San Pellegrino water, we also carry their Limonata, Aranciata, and Chinotto varieties. It's fizzy love all around. I'm betting that my buddy Colin Firth likes his on the rocks with a wedge of lime. I know I do!

Meyer Lemon Sorbetto. I'm not really sure if British people love sorbetto as a whole, but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume they do. Today is the first day of the year for Meyer Lemon Sorbetto, and boy is it delicious. It's a little known fact that Meyer lemons almost became extinct a few years back due to a nasty citrus virus, but scientists were able to develop a stronger strain that fought back and won victoriously. Also, a Meyer lemon is sweeter and rounder than its regular lemon cousins. Much like Colin Firth.

Meyer Lemon Sorbetto

cookies, Cookies, COOKIES!!!


New cookies at 13th street y'all!!

Cookie Confidential are locally made yum-yum treaty treats that'll make your stomach go YO! And they come in 4 FABULOUS flavors: Chocolate Chip (obviously,) Snikerdoodle (why yes, please,) Apple Chai (souns good,) and Lemon Cashew (hold the presses!)

They're only a dollar and they're waiting for your smiling faces. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Goin' BIG in Texas

The stunning Central Market in Texas has Capogiro on its frozen shelves!!! What do I know about Texas? Well, I have visited this great state and had some mean, mean margaritas and tacos, but honestly, all I need to know has come from the great Lyle Lovette. I have been to at least 12 shows. “That’s right, you’re not from Texas, but Texas loves you anyway!” I listened and we contacted Texas! Central Market is an awesome market and they forgave my yankee lingo and loved our gelato. It is an honor to be there!
Some of you may question our reach. No worries. The same great grass-fed, Scottish Ayrshire cow’s milk, local produce, hand-crafted in small batches is in every pint. We just need some more people in our kitchen to create our stuff! 
"It's important to be successful enough to be able to keep doing what you love.” Mr. Lovette said that.
If you live in Texas, or know someone in Texas, pass this along!
“It's difficult to get started-when it comes to dealing with an unknown quantity, people are reluctant to trust their own opinion. It helps if two or three people give you a boost.” Mr. Lovette said that too!!

Click HERE to order!


La Regina-

El Ultimo Dia


gratuitous cat picture

Hola
y adiós. Me voy, con mi bella esposa, de viajar por algunos lugares. Lloro, con el corazón pesado,paradejar mis buenos amigos detrás a languidecer en la miseria del invierno. Gracias a todos por hacer midíaCapogiro tan húmedo y delicioso. Voy aacariciar los recuerdos que han creado para con su desdentada sonrisa y las manos sucias.

Duzun dut uste guztiak Euskal landarenahuntzak ederra dudan bezala joateko.Berenlarruzko zakarra, pungent usain eta ludikoakitzulerako direnak maiteatzeanutziberreskuratu konstante bat izan da. Mesedez esan niriotoitza, eta beharbada zureetxeanzutik aldare bat, non gozo eskaintzakuzten baduzu, delikatua jainkokontrola nirepatu mesedez.

Ben Truva antik sitesini ziyaret olarak ve ören bakar, ben geride güzel bir şehir ele alacağız. , antik bir zamanlar görkemli şehirlerinden gibi Philidelphia (bir kez şanlı)kalıntıları da olduğuiçin. Öğrenme ve kültür merkezi olarak gelişmeyeyine yeniden ve bir kezyeniden inşa etsin. ekmek Mayıs etleryumuşak ve lezzetli olması.Oynak köpükbardak ağzınaMayıs fermente tahıl ve arazizevk getirmek. Güney PhillyMayıs sürücülerinasıl düzgün onların araçlarınıçalıştırmak için öğrenirler.



THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES IT FEELS WEIRD TO LEAVE I AM TINGLING WITH NERVOUS EXCITEMENT WHOOP WHOOP I WISH EVERYONE ALL OF THE BEST FOR EVER AND EVER WE DO NOT HAVE A WHOLE LOT OF DAYS ALLOTTED TO US ON EARTH SO LIVE LIFE, DAMMIT, CUZ THERE ARE MORE AMAZING ADVENTURES AVAILABLE TO US THAN THERE IS TIME IN LIFE TO EXPERIENCE THEM ALL, AMEN, AND IT ONLY TOOK ME FORTY YEARS TO FIGURE THAT OUT.

(special thanks to Google Translate)


Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Beat the Winter Doldrums: Pt. 1

So I can't imagine I'm alone here - dreaming wistfully of balmy summer nights with friends, maybe a beach, and some really awesome food, preferably cooked over charcoal. So many times over the last two months have I looked out my back door at my fire pit and grill and thought "maybe it won't be sooo cold..." and quickly huddled back inside without a second thought.
Last week, however, I resigned myself to a night of cooking with one of my best friends, Mike. For Christmas, my brother got for me a copy of David Thompson's Thai Street Food, a book I love for the pictures just as much as the recipes. I've been trying to recreate the food I had in Bangkok pretty much since the day I got back, and I'd always heard this book to be the be all end all of street food.
We shlepped to the Asian market at 11th and Washington (one of my favorite places in the world) and started compiling the 25 or 30 ingredients necessary for what we'd planned to make - beef in coconut milk and green curry, roti and pork skewers. Now, these pork skewers are things of legend. I'm so conditioned to the smell that I perk up like Pavlov would have wanted at nascent whiffs of charcoal. I knew going into this venture it wouldn't be quite the same, because we couldn't grill anything and I'd have to settle for a stovetop grill pan...which is ok. Definitely not the same. However when we were scanning the butcher's case for the perfect cut of pork, I spied it...the EZ-Grill (except the Asian supermarket version)! "HOLY CRAP!!!!" and dove for it - "MIKE LOOK!" He laughed at me, but we bought two. Pork skewers proper! And we could just move away all the excess snow from my back patio! Perfect.
We got back to my place and I went to work on the green chili paste, NOT something I'd recommend for those of you with especially powerful senses of smell, or low tolerance to spice. The recipe had me put TWENTY FIVE bird's eye chillies (holy crap...) into a mortar and pound them into oblivion, along with a long hot green pepper, galangal, cilantro root, kaffir lime zest and a host of various Thai spices. I had quite the head cold at the time, and was relatively unphased, until I realized that my eyes were weeping all over the place. As soon as I realized I was crying did Mike burst into a coughing fit and fled from the room. I transferred the whole mess to a food processor and started blending the mixture into a paste in small bursts, choking and laughing and crying the whole time from the sudden overwhelming blooms of abject heat. Now, I've made curry paste before, and it was really quite hot, but nothing like this. This was insane.
Meanwhile, I had pork butt and fatback marinating in palm sugar, fish sauce, shrimp paste and spices which I transferred to skewers. Mike had fired up the "grill", which involved igniting a piece of wax paper that had been doused in what seemed like kerosine. Not bad for five bucks, right? But the pork skewers! Oh dear. Amazing things happened. For the first time, the sweet salty spicy crust that I'd encountered in Thailand was present, but they were moist and so freakin flavorful with the perfect amount of blackened char. Perfect. The green curry and the roti were amazing as well, the curry being the spiciest, most brutal and complex thing I've ever made, and rest assured I will continue making it until I no longer cry like a little girl in the process. Go out now and concoct something that will make you think of happy, sweltering hot evenings bent over your stove/grill/wok! Winter in Philadelphia may be long, it may be bleak and occasionally abjectly depressing, but it can also be the perfect time to get into the projects you put off when it's beautiful out and you're running around like a nut. If you're up to it, go seek out Thai Street Food, I promise you won't be let down. David Thompson, I salute you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Misfits take Manhattan

So, Capo's awesome district manager and all around swell person, Sarah, and I share the same day off. Recently, we have also been sharing a kind of Philly cabin fever, one that makes me want to pick this city up like a whiny child and give it a good shake. Since that is both impossible and crazy, I needed a quick fix. Solution = Day trip to New York City! Here are some highlights:

Epic Gyros. After we arrived in the Flatiron district we trekked over to the East Village and found a cheese shop. Cheese was not enough, I was getting pretty hungry and therefore cranky. We wandered around a bit more, then got a little lost when things started looking really fancy and we realized we had drifted into SoHo. There was a lone gyro cart parked in front of Sotheby's so we decided to give it a go. Best. Gyro. Ever. (This is not a picture of it but my hands were too covered in awesome to take a picture so imagine that this is it only it is lamb and smothered with tzatziki and spicy sauce and when you bite it it feels like little fat Greek gods are dancing around inside your mouth).


Old Men's Bar. Sarah knows of a bunch of little secret gems in the Village, the best of which had to be McSorley's Old Ale House. Apparently it's the oldest continuously operating Irish bar in the country (opened in 1854). Her dad spent a bunch of time here when he was in college, so the bar is really sentimental to Sarah. This place was awesome. It was the most bare bones, 'we don't ever change because we were perfect to begin with' old school pub ever. No music playing, no frills, sawdust on the floor, history covering the walls. They only serve two types of beer, light and dark. They refused to allow women here until the 1970's. Above the bar there is an ancient lamp, covered in at least a century of dust. Hanging from the lamp are a dozen or so wishbones. Story goes that local lads stuck them up there when they were shipping off for WWI, to be removed once they returned. The bones that are still hanging are presumably from those who did not make it home. Heavy.

Lobstah Rolls. Sarah had a craving for these babies, and I had never had one. She did some research, and found a place on 7th St. called Luke's Lobster that serves lobster that was caught in Maine the day before by Luke's own father. So fresh! We both went for the a la carte lobster rolls. These beauties consist of a toasty split-top bun with a bit of mayo, a hefty serving of fresh claw meat, a dab of lemon butter, and a pinch of their secret spices. Delicious. Go there. Get some. Now.

Secret Spy Bar. I might get killed for this but I'll tell you anyway. Around the corner from the lobster joint is a hot dog shack called Crif Dogs. It's an unassuming place, just your typical dog stand. There's an old phone booth in the corner. Sarah entered it and dialed right on the rotary phone and waited. After a few minutes the back wall opened up and a well dressed woman escorted us in. We were suddenly inside PDT, a hidden lounge in the style of a prohibition-era speakeasy. Pretty swank. The ambiance was something out of the Maltese Falcon, small and dark and classy with amber lighting and well-placed taxidermy spaced around the room. They had an amazing craft cocktail menu, and you can still order some of the fancier dogs off the Crif's menu if you're in need of bar food. PDT was definitely pretentious, but that's kind of the point.


Thanks again, Sarah, for showing me around and getting me out of this city! I had a blast. Whatchoo up to next weekend? How's about Montreal?!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beignets for Everyone!


Well hello Philly!

I've just returned from a highly enjoyable week of vacation in the south. I loved it, (obviously) but I'm glad to be back, despite the chilly air and the snow that's about to be added to what we've already got.

We set off at 4:30am on New Year's Day, after an hour of rest, post-NYE activities. Sleep deprivation seems to have little effect when you're headed towards vacation. We traveled by plane, automobile, foot, street car, space shuttle, and iguanodon. Accounts of a few choice tid bits, memories, and encounters can be found below :)

First destination: New Orleans!

New Orleans. Is. Wonderful. The south is known for hospitality, but I quickly learned that the people of New Orleans transcend that. Save a very few unpleasant characters, the people we spoke with throughout our trip were truly genuine, friendly, and good-spirited right off the bat. Up north you tend to get a look-over and a bit of judgment before someone helps you out. Why waste our energy on that?! I say just be friendly and awesome until you see fit to act differently.
We spent 4 days in New Orleans and split the time between a friend's family's 'camp' (a sweet trailer in the middle of no where) on the Bayou and with a friend in Uptown (beautiful!). Both places won my heart within hours.

When we were flying to New Orleans, Colleen (best travel buddy of all time) thumbed through one of the magazines on the plane and came across an article on the 'Skunk Ape'. It essentially detailed one man's work on tracking a large - huge, actually - ape-like creature that had been sighted numerous times throughout forest/swamp areas in Louisiana or Florida or somewhere like that. It could easily be a tall tale but the article was written well enough that I'm glad I didn't read it until we were leaving the Bayou. Colleen wouldn't go outside the trailer without someone with her for fear of the skunk-ape crashing towards her out of the brush in search of something to eat or someone to just toss around in the air. It may sound silly, but it was pretty dang quiet out there, so any unfamiliar noise tended to be fairly startling.

Uptown was an entirely different world, but one that I loved nonetheless. The neighborhood we stayed in had both live oaks and palms lining the streets, multi-colored houses ranging from teeny tiny to mansion-sized within the same block, rumbling street cars, and asphalt in terrible condition. We decided to walk as much of the city as possible to 1. reduce the guilt from overeating (we couldn't help it) and 2. maximize sight-seeing. We walked Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, LSU, Cafe Du Monde, the French Market, the Mississippi, and a delightful array of hole-in-the-wall places with food that I'd eat for three meals a day if I could.
We also took some time to drive through the areas where Colleen helped to restore houses that were damaged during Katrina. We were happy to see many neighborhoods coming back to life, but it was sad and at times disconcerting to see one completely restored home flanked by two which remained abandoned, showing water marks and spray-painted X's saying they'd been searched... over 5 years ago. A Six Flags park also remained deserted, an eerie sight at best.

Anyway, too much to say. Recap NoLa! I confirmed my desire to live in a shotgun style house for at least 2 years and I've re-confirmed my love of Jambalaya. New Orleans gifted us with absolutely delicious food, Abita beer, and an increased appreciation for street musicians and the Bayou.


Second Destination: Orlando! And more specifically... Disney World!
I'm rarely fan of tourists or highly touristy areas but once I was able to separate Disney World from the obscene amount of spending and the ridiculous number of dumb snobby tourists, it turned out to be a pretty awesome place. I can't say I have a favorite park, since our time was limited, but I appreciated how the parks and rides are laid out, how there are exhibits to view as you're waiting in line, and how you could easily spend days in each park alone if you had and took the time to see and ride everything. Magic Kingdom is actually kind of magical, I LOVED all things dinosaur in Animal Kingdom, Epcot has some pretty forward-thinking rides, and Hollywood Studios had a lot more history and education packed into it than I ever expected.

Saturday morning brought our original reason for heading to Orlando. The Walt Disney World half Marathon! Many friends have asked if Disney just ropes off the race course as we run through the park. Noooooooooooo, who wants to see Disney world in the daylight?!? The first corral was set off - with fireworks - at 5:35am. Our corral set off - again with fireworks - at 5:53am. I certainly understand the need for the majority of the race-related stuff to be out of the way by the time the parks open, but I've never run a race in which any portion was in the dark. The race course was lit for the most part, but it got tricky at times, and given the narrow course we were on, it was tough to go around slower runners. Race-course entertainment was fun :) Every mile was marked with a big, colorful, encouraging sign, and at least every half-mile held entertainment ranging from Disney characters, pieces and cast members from park attractions/productions, Brass bands, cheerleaders, and plenty of photo-ops. My favorites were one of the ships used in filming Pirates of the Caribbean, and a green army man (like the little plastic figures... only man-sized) shouting at us to grit our teeth and knock out that hill heading up towards mile 11.

We finished the race in Epcot, tired and sore, but muuuuch more pleased with our run this time compared to the ING Half Marathon earlier this year. Troopers that we are, we decided to forgo showers to make the most of our last day in the parks, so we changed into clean clothes in the parking lot and headed towards Animal Kingdom.

Leaving Orlando was sad but welcome, since saving money is really damn difficult on vacation. If I head back to New Orleans I'll be moving there, and that will require a job, so there's less worry about feeding myself. If I ever head back to Disney, I'll try to give each park a day of it's own, and I'll bring about 86 granola bars to hold me over so that I only have to buy one meal a day. Final reflections? Nah, I'm just happy to be back! I missed y'all! :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pumas make for more perilous subway stations.


Weeee'rrrreeeee baaaaaaaaccccccccckkkkkk! Well, almost. CapoPenn re-opens Sunday morning! WHEW. Ted and I have chatted more than once about how we're absolutely ready to return to something like normalcy. Not that we haven't loved guest-starring at our sister stores! I've said out loud to several people that I'm not going to complain about how hard it is to keep the office at Penn organized now that I've seen what qualifies as an "office" at 20th. And I've sorely missed our Adonis espresso machine. Lovely, lovely Adonis...(awkward?).

There has been travel! Arduous, exhilarating travel! All the way to to...NEW JERSEY. And Columbia, Maryland! And...South Dakota? Don't you need a passport to get there? I've heard their visa requirements are OUT of control. So the Penn crew has maybe been luckier than the rest when it comes to quality holiday time with family and friends. But there's been wholly enough of all that. I mean, c'mon! Have you met your family? Those people are NUTS. Too much time with them is likely hazardous to your long term sanity.

The best part is that by being closed, now we get to sort of parachute into the heart of the awesome winter citrus season. Sure we've been hanging out with the pomegranate crowd for a little while already (have you tried Jo's Pomegranate+Prosecco cocktail? Stellar.) but now...NOW THERE WILL BE BLOOD...oranges. The blood orange sorbetto might be the single most-requested flavor all year! Okay...third most-requested. We get a lot of requests, and the Honey, Rosemary, and Goats Milk gelato and the Sea Salt gelato...they're probably the most requested. But don't be sad, upsettingly-colored little citrus friends! You can call yourselves the most-requested SORBETTO flavor! Plus you only visit for a brief span every year! You can be all haughty and cliquish!

What about you, dear readers? What flavors would YOU like to see at CapoPenn? You can definitely anticipate the Green Tea and Chai gelati, and it's high time we had some Mexican Chocolate up in this jawn. Are there any requests out there? Let us know!

SO. CapoPenn. Sunday morning. Be there or be...sad because you're not getting your cappuccinos from Adonis. Lovely, lovely Adonis...

Snowdown Time



It's snowing in Philly y'all! Know what that means? Parking throwdown! Parking in certain neighborhoods is insane! Almost 3rd world. I live in the Art Museum Area and parking is ridiculous. After 5:30 at night? Good luck my friend. Dinner parties at Casa Reitano always contain some conversation of how sorry they were late, but they drove around for 30 minutes and managed to find a space 7 blocks away. Good times.

So back to the snow. You throw snow in and parking is extra special. A Snowdown! The most special part of Philly for parking is South Philly. South Philly is home of some incredible things. It has the Italian Market, the sports arenas, great restaurants, a high concentration of hipsters, young families and families that have lived there for generations. Has anyone seen the show Parking Wars? It is based in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Parking Authority is probably the most hated group in Philadelphia. The meter maids are horrific. In fact, the state pays more disability to PPA employees in Philadelphia than it does for all the police officers and fire fighters in the entire STATE! If that does not illustrate what we deal with here, nothing does. If you own a business and try to get a delivery when you are located on a small colonial street, your vendors hate you. They struggle to park, run in your order and BAM! Surprise! A ticket waiting for them. Most drivers have to pay their own tickets. We try to stand outside and guard their truck for them. You can park legally somewhere and as you are running back to your car with, according to your watch or phone, one minute to spare on the meter, and there is the monster, writing your ticket and placing it on your windshield. I could go on and on and tell story after story.

Curious enough, the PPA does not apply their talents to South Philly. In South Philly, they double park, park down the center of Broad Street, park on the sidewalks and reserve their parking spot with pieces of garbage, pails, chairs, laundry baskets, you name it. I am always tempted to move them as I walk past. It is infuriating. Why are they PPAfree? No tickets on any windshields. Why? NOT FAIR! What is their secret and will they please share? Do they sprinkle some sort of repellent, similar to tiger urine or copper flashing?

Sarah sent this first thing this morning. She is brilliant and funny enough, lives in South Philadelphia, so this hits home.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bloody Gelato

You've been waiting all year for this, and the hour of your destiny is at hand. No longer must you hide in the shadows, fiending for your next fix. There is no need to wait for some futuristic mega-corporation to develop a synthetic prototype, because we have the real deal for you - BLOOD GELATO is back.
So come one, come all, gelato vampires! You should probably wait until sunset so that you don't burn up into a fiery ball of death. The staff here at 20th street couldn't contain our hunger anymore, so we had to dig in early. Dee-licious!
"..need orange blood... "

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dear Dulce de Leche,

Don't get down when people over look you for the more seasonal flavors. I think you're sweet. In fact, you're probably the sweetest gelato I've ever met. And while you'll never arouse the fever that, oh, Blood Orange, or Rosemary Honey Goat's Milk, or Pumpkin often do, you're always there for us. Winter, spring, summer, and fall. Like a good friend, you're predictably delightful, and I'll take that over a passionate seasonal fling any day.

Buen Viaje, Cristofo!



Chris' last day is approaching and I am sad. Chris is our manager at CapoPenn. He started with us years ago. I think it has been at least 3 years. There are so many things that I will miss about him. He moved here from the west coast and brought with him a way of looking at life that was truly unique. I loved his take.

We started this blog and I had a few rules and a few requirements. I wanted it to be about our company, our employees and I wanted it to show our personality. Everyone could write about what excited them. Even if it did not apply to gelato or coffee. Chris, well.. Chris wrote about cats and their vacations, beer, coffee, unicorns and he predicted the future. I read his posts with my mouth hanging open in shock. I would wonder if he was high when writing. Chris does not roll that way. His mind is unfettered by drugs and alcohol, although he does love a good beer. He is naturally brilliant and twisted. Unfortunately, Chris chose to only blog once a month at most, no matter what flattery I threw his way. Dan thought that my constant requests for a blog post resulted in the content. He pondered whether Chris was trying to punish me with his antics. It actually made me an addict of his writing, always jonesing for more. Thank you for letting me peek into that brilliant mind. I am so appreciative. My only request is that you write something proper. Proper as in, get yourself published! Just start with some short stories. I promise you will be rewarded.


Chris is a master of coffee and a true artisan. At one point (prior to the Wall Street crash), Capo had plans to roast our own coffee. Chris signed up! He was a scholar and passionate about all things coffee. The reason you can have a perfect espresso or cappuccino is all Chris' doing. He trains, he fusses, he takes temperatures, he measures, he cares about the coffee we serve. Our baristi care so much because his passion is contagious. Chris and I would occasionally bump heads, being two passionate people. I want to thank him for the process. It was worth it.

I will miss his humor and his brilliance. He and his incredibly talented wife are off to another country to hopefully find a new edge in their reality. I want nothing more than a Kate Samworth painting on my wall to look at while I sit on a comfy couch reading a work of Chris Weybright. Truly I do.

John and I will miss you terribly and wish you Kate success and adventure. You are two people who deserve it more than most. Please please please don't disappear from all our lives. You have made it richer. Write us, take pictures, and maybe guest post?...mayhaps....

I invite anyone who has a great Chris story or would like to wish him well, to share. Come in and say your goodbyes. We only have him for a little more time.

Chris' response to the video below that was making it's way around all our email boxes.
"This is shockingly similar to how Kate and I spend our evenings together."


video

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Orleans Report #1


New Orleans was spectacular! I am not one to brag (I only boast), but I really do love it there. The townies are so proud of their city. I do wish Philly would stand a little taller. It is not as if we have anything to hang our heads about. New Orleans has similar problems; John's Dad calls Philly and New Orleans "Sister Cities". I have to agree. Yet, everywhere you look a sign of city pride is there; a fleur de lis, a string of beads, "WHO DAT!" painted on the side of a school, and a gallon of milk has a little Saints mascot on the the cap. It is inspiring.

The holiday went as planned. Our usual Christmas Eve with linguine alle vongole, scallops and sauteed spinach. My nephews were alter boys at St. Francis of Assisi. It was beautiful. They have a full choir complete with brass organ and a full brass section. I loved hearing the trumpets and trombones during mass. The priest ended the service by asking everyone to call on the Saints for Monday night. The saints being Peter, Paul, John, etc. How funny is that?

We had our usual visits to Cafe Du Monde, Casamento's and R and O's, but we walked over to Domalise's for lunch on Christmas Eve to find them closed. What a disappointment. This year we tried Parkway Bakery and Tavern. Spectacular! Big shrimp with a light fry. It was glorious. At Casamento's we met the 2009 World Shucking Campion. He was fantastic and funny. He told us of how he was robbed this year of the title. While he talked, he would drop extra oysters into our metal cup of sauce. We had a few dozen while chatting and waiting for a table. The oyster loaf was as good as ever and the fried crab claws have no equal. We were quite lucky this year. We were the very last people in line for a table. We arrived at 1:30, closing time is at 2. The line was moving slowly and snaked out the door and down the street. We are a party of 10. At exactly 2 o'clock, John, Tiger, Christine and I managed to get in the front door. The six kids were outside monkeying around. Directly on cue, the waitress looked up from the back of the restaurant and started moving forward. "Excuse me, please move, excuse me, exCUUUUUSE me please!" It was a big line. At least 15 - 20 people ahead of us. She pointed at Tiger, asked if we were together and announced that we were the last in line. She agreed to let our kids stay outside while we waited. Honestly, I was tempted to ditch them if she said that they could not join us. I kid! ...Not really. She informed us, as she was drawing the shades and placing a huge CLOSED sign on the door, that if we let someone else in and get in line, we lose our table and they get ours. About 18 minutes later (2:18 people!), a woman smashes through the door and pushes in between Tiger and John (no exaggeration). We all made eye contact with each other but she would not look up. She was busy manically pushing her sleeve up trying to look at her watch while avoiding our eyes. She clearly knew the deal. I looked through the blinds and saw a group of about 5 standing outside the door and our kids looking at them confused. We had told our kids to let anyone know who came that they stopped taking people in line. After gently trying to get her attention, which she ignored, Tiger, who is 6'4" and not easy to ignore, leaned down and told her that we were the last people in line and if we let her in we sacrificed our table. She looked at him blankly. Tiger smiled and told her that that was not going to happen. Without a word she turned and left. What people will do for an oyster loaf! Honestly, I don't blame them.

It was unusually cold for New Orleans. We actually saw some flurries one morning. I know, I know, I left behind that obnoxious blizzard. I have no room for complaints. We bundled up and visited some of the old cemeteries in the city and searched for the cript of Marie Laveau. Our search was fruitless. Of course we left for the airport planning a trip during Mardi Gras or perhaps Jazzfest. I would love some sausage bread and fried green tomatoes! Who knows what will bring. It will surely bring another dinner at Patois and hopefully some more music. More? you ask? Yes, more. Although John prefers Tipatina's (he still has this ratty old Tipatina's tshirt that makes an appearance periodically), the House of Blues is an incredible venue. Trombone Shorty, y'all!!