Salt & Pepper: Cultural Cuisine

Salt & Pepper is situated in Philadelphia's popular Passyunk Square neighborhood. Over the years, this eatery has established quite a name for itself with elegantly simple dishes that are full of flavor, and always prepared with the freshest ingredients. The food offerings are deliciously eclectic, and draw inspiration from the world over.

For starters, try the outrageous fried plantains served alongside a chilled sardine and onion salad with habanero peppers, or go for the roasted beet and pineapple salad, or the potato gnocchi with porcini mushrooms, crisp prosciutto, and truffle oil — all get rave reviews from diners. If you need a recommendation for your entree, opt for the pan-seared salmon with horseradish mash, or if you're craving a mouth-watering burger, order the 10 ounce beef topped with cave-aged Gruyere cheese — it's phenomenal. To round out the menu, there are also excellent daily specials, all of which are as creative and delicious as the mainstays.

Come early, and enjoy a drink at the cozy bar — the well-mixed, innovative cocktails on offer here are such to please! The drink standouts are the Cucumber Pear Saketini as well as the Sparkling Ginger cocktail, among others. With attentive, friendly service, and reasonable prices, Salt & Pepper is well-worth a visit on your next night out!

Salt & Pepper
1623 E. Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 238-1920
http://www.yelp.com/biz/salt-and-pepper-philadelphia

Awesome 80s Movies at Liberty Lands in Northern Liberties

One of the best things about living in Philadelphia in the summertime's the large number of free outdoor events taking place all over the city. Philly renters on a budget are sure to appreciate the price point, as each day brings a new outdoor event to one of the city's neighborhoods. One of several outdoor movie series taking place across Philly, The Awesome Fest's "Awesome 80's Movies on The Awesome Screen!" might be, well, the most awesome.

Since July, the festival's been beaming classic movies onto an outdoor screen in the Liberty Lands park in Northern Liberties. Each Thursday through August 30th, the fest returns to this cute NoLibs park with another 1980s classic. Screenings begin at 9 p.m., which means ths sun's set and the breeze of the Delaware River helps push away Philly's sometimes sweltering heat. Even if you rent an apartment in a Philly neighborhood that's not Northern Liberties, SEPTA makes it easy to get to the park with the Girard and Spring Garden MFL stops just a few blocks away.

"Awesome 80's Movies" has a few more showings left this summer: August 9th is Top Gun; August 16th, Predator; August 23rd, Beetlejuice; and August 30th, The Wizard. Whether you live in Northern Liberties or elsewhere in Philly, it's a fun (and free!) event. Click here to learn more about the "Awesome 80's Movies" outdoor movie series.

“The Merry Wives of Windsor” in Clark Park, July 25 through July 29

We hear you, University City renters: you love West Philly, but sometimes it seems like many of Philadelphia's most interesting cultural events take place across the river in Center City neighborhoods. Fairmount now has the Barnes and many other museums; Rittenhouse Square has hidden treasures like the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater; the Avenue of the Arts has the Kimmel Center.

But renters in University City do get to experience some great cultural spaces and events, right outside their front doors: place like the ICA, the International House, the Annenberg Center, and the World Cafe. A little further out in West Philly, Clark Park also hosts some interesting performances throughout the year.

And one local favorite is the annual "Shakespeare in Clark Park," a nearly week-long set of performances of some of the Bard's most important plays. This year, Shakespeare in Clark Park returns with a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. The Merry Wives is a comedy featuring one of Shakespeare's best-loved characters, Falstaff.

Best of all? The shows are free! Performances begin in the bowl at Clark Park at 7 p.m. each night on July 25th through July 29th. Click here for more info on Shakespeare in Clark Park.

If My Roommate Leaves, Am I Responsible For The Rent?

So, your roommate has decided to move out before your lease is up — are you now responsible for paying the total rent? You may not like to hear it, but the answer is yes. Since you’re still occupying the space, and your lease has not yet run its course, you are liable to pay the entire rent until your lease expires.

Leases generally hold tenants jointly and independently responsible for the rent. What does that mean? Basically, a landlord can pursue either roommate for the full amount of rent due under the lease, so even if your roommate moves out, it doesn't have any bearing on your obligations under the lease.

If you’re stuck in this situation — or perhaps just fear it — here are a few tips that can help you if you find yourself in a tight spot.

  • Be honest and upfront with your landlord. Your landlord may work with you and let you out of your lease early so that they can continue to receive reliable rent checks from tenants that can afford the space.
     
  • Look online for another roommate. There are so many great sites out there that allow you to find responsible, reliable housemates.  Popular sites include www.Roommates.com and www.CraigsList.org.
     
  • Let friends and family know that you’re looking for a roommate – you never know who might know of someone who is looking for a place in your area!
     
  • Use social media. Send a message to your Facebook friends, or connect with people via Twitter. Get the word out that you’re looking for a roommate, and let others pass along your message.
     
  • Talk to your roommate. Ask their reasons for leaving, and if they’d be able to work something out with you until the lease ends.

 

 

 

Love Soccer? Check Out the 2012 MLS All Star Game on July 25th

Philly sports fanatics know the city's actually got a fifth major professional sports team. Sure, the Eagles, Philles, Flyers, and Sixers get most of the press, but we've also got a great Major League Soccer team, the Philadelphia Union. The Union actually play their games in Chester, Pennsylvania — just a short trek from Philly, accessible by SEPTA regional rail for car-free Philly renters — in PPL Park. This relatively new stadium is soccer specific, which means it offers fans of the sport incredible sightlines and an all-around world class experience watching the beautiful game.

Major League Soccer's season is ongoing, and the Philadelphia Union have quite a few remaining home games. And the Union are also lucky enough to host the 2012 MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park. This year's iteration of the MLS All-Star game will feature a side of MLS superstars competing against Chelsea, one of the English Premier League's best clubs. The match promises to be a wonderful spectacle, one Philly sports fans shouldn't miss.

Interested in making a trip from Center City Philadelphia out to PPL Park? The Philadelphia Union's website offers directions by car and via mass transit. To get to PPL Park by mass transit, Philly renters can take SEPTA's Wilmington/Newark Regional Rail line to the Chester Transportation Center, then catch a free stadium shuttle on Front Street. The shuttle runs for four hours prior to kickoff, and runs return trips until the last fans have left PPL Park.

Click here for a schedule of upcoming Philadelphia Union matches!

Fitler Square: A Destination All Year Round

Philadelphia's Fitler Square neighborhood is located just south and west of Rittenhouse Square, in the southwest region of Center City. The area is framed by Locust and South Streets, and reaches from 21st Street all the way to the Schuylkill River. At its center is a lovely half-acre park that was built and dedicated over 100 years ago. This neighborhood, despite being a quick and easy walk from Philly’s commercial sector, remains refreshingly residential.

The community here is thriving. The square plays host to several annual events and activities all year long such as the Spring Fair, the Easter Egg Hunt, the Halloween Party, and the Christmas Tree Lighting. Besides that, there is also a fabulous year-round Farmers Market that’s open every Saturday from 10am-2pm. The Farmers Market began back in 2003, and is just one of a handful of year-round outdoor markets in the city.

The edifices that flank Fitler Square are all relatively diminutive in size – most are no more than four stories tall, and the tree-lined streets create an urban haven of welcome shade, and neighborhood charm. Besides the natural beauty, you can also find an impressive collection of animal sculptures throughout the square, all of which were commissioned by the Fitler Square Improvement Association, whose objective is to preserve and improve the beauty of the square. And, at the heart of the square stands a picturesque Victorian fountain that spouts water most months of the year.

But, above all it’s the sense of community that attracts people to Fitler Square. A perfect mix of neighborliness and sophistication, not far from Center City Philly, this section of the city has much to offer!

Fitler Square
Pine Street and 23rd Street
Philadelphia, PA
http://www.fitlersquare.org/

Celebrate Bastille Day at the Eastern State Penitentiary on July 14th

Renters love living in Philadelphia in part because the city's got so much unique character, with historic landmarks from the Colonial Era sitting adjacent to hot new Jose Garces restaurants. From Old City to Rittenhouse Square and Northern Liberties, Philly offers renters an eclectic mix of old and new. Of course, no list of unique Philly events would be complete without the annual Bastille Day celebration at Eastern State Penitentiary in Fairmount.

Never visited Eastern State? It's one of Philly's most notable landmarks, a prison opened in 1829 that now functions as a museum in Fairmount. On July 14th, Eastern State will host a re-enactment of Bastille Day, a moment that helped precipitate the French Revolution. As part of the 2012 Bastille Day festivities, Eastern State will partner with The Bearded Ladies, a cabaret troupe, to offer what its website — possibly, maybe, just a little facetiously! — promises will be a "'completely historically accurate' re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille."

The whole thing culminates, of course, in a faux Marie Antoinette exclaiming "let them eat Tastykake!" as thousands of those Philadelphia favorites fly from Eastern State's towers. The sight of airborne Tastykakes is one of Philadelphia's most unique spectacles and if you're a renter living in Fairmount or, really, in any Philly neighborhood, it's an event you won't want to miss. Click here for Eastern State Penitentiary's 2012 Bastille Day Preview!

Dive Into Devon Seafood

For a romantic evening out, a dinner at Devon Seafood on Rittenhouse Square will not disappoint. Known for top-notch seafood offerings as well as the luxurious interior, Devon Seafood is a feast for both the belly and the eyes. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by an impressive bar, dark wood booths, and soaring tiled ceilings. Exuding an upscale 1940s vibe, you’ll feel right at home sipping your well-mixed $6.50 happy hour martini here.

For your meal, diners recommend the shrimp enchiladas, ahi tuna sushi rolls, as well as the crab cakes. For starters, the calamari is a favorite, and patrons just adore the fluffy, homemade buttermilk biscuits. If you’re a fan of fish, you’ll find some of the very best here. Their market fresh daily offerings include items such as swordfish, mahi-mahi, whole bronzini, seared halibut, and much, much more. If seafood isn’t your thing, you’ll also find extensive “land” offerings, such as center cut filet mignon and blackened chicken penne pasta. Covering all bases, Devon has several vegetarian and gluten-free offerings, and there is a robust wine list that pairs well with all the food on offer.

Devon serves both lunch and dinner daily, and is open Sunday-Tuesday 11am-10pm, Wednesday-Thursday 11am-11pm, and Friday-Saturday 11am-12am. Brunch is served from 11am-2pm on Sundays only. And, if you’re looking for a deal, stop by during happy hour. Devon offers drink specials Monday-Friday from 5-7pm, and appetizer specials Sunday-Friday 5-7pm and again from 9-11pm. Happy hour is offered at the bar only.

 

Devon Seafood

www.DevonSeafood.com

Rittenhouse Square

225 South 18th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

215-546-5940

Shake Shack Opens on 20th and Sansom!

If you walked by 20th and Sansom Street in Center City anytime in the past few months, you probably noticed a striking vertical garden on the corner opposite Capo Giro. Philadelphians in the know remembered that Shake Shack — restaurateur Danny Meyer's burger joint — was slated to open in the spring of 2012.

Well, it's spring and it's here: Philly's very own Shake Shack officially opened at 20th and Sansom yesterday, June 6th. The lines at this hotly anticipated new addition to Philly's dining scene were predictably long yet surprisingly efficient, helping Shake Shack fans quickly get a taste of the restaurant's burgers, floats, shakes, fries, and frozen custards.

Don't know Shake Shack? Originally opened in New York City in 2004, the 14-restaurant chain now spans as far as Dubai, bringing its special brand of burgers and shakes to appreciative diners. The new Philadelphia Shake Shake brings delicious comfort food within walking distance of apartments in Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, and Fairmount. It's just one more great reason for renters to call Philadelphia home!

Drinks with a View at XIX

For one of the best city views in town, head to XIX Restaurant & Bar at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. Tucked away on the 19th floor, both the bar and restaurant offer spectacular panoramic vistas of Philadelphia – and you’ll feel like you’re “in the know” just for finding the space! For a well-mixed cocktail, head to the bar – decorated with chic leather banquettes, sleek dark wood tables, comfortable chairs, and dimly lit to create an oh-so-perfect cocktail-sipping ambiance. If you enjoy eats with your sips, the bar also offers tasty small plates – such as gourmet flatbreads, lump crab cakes, and artisan cheese plates – all of which perfectly compliment your cocktail or glass of wine. For a real treat, indulge in one of their luscious signature cocktails. Would you care for a Sorrento Lemon Martini or a Basil Pomegranate Margarita? The specialty cocktails change seasonally to highlight the freshest ingredients, so if you find one you like, enjoy it while you can! Mondays through Fridays, stop by between 5 and 7pm to enjoy XIX’s happy hour where you can order up a $6 cocktail or $4 draft beer – truly reasonable prices for a chic center city watering hole!

Besides mixing up delicious drinks at the bar, the Café at XIX serves up a fabulous weekend brunch as well as a great (and reasonably priced) lunch. And, for a truly stunning dining experience, XIX Restaurant knows how to impress. The much sought after window tables offer unparalleled city views, and if you can peel your eyes away from the city, you’ll find yourself in one of the most breathtaking spaces in the city – vaulted ceilings arch upward, and oversized pearls hang from the center of the ceiling, descending over the raw bar. Known for serving up some of the best oysters, clams, mussels, and shrimp from the East Coast, the raw bar itself is a stunning art piece of ivory mosaic tiles.

Whether you’re in need of a happy hour drink to fight off the Tuesday night blues, or are looking for the quintessential romantic locale for a special date night, an evening at XIX will be a truly memorable one.

Visit their website or Facebook page for more information about events and specials.

 

XIX Restaurant

Website: www.NineteenRestaurant.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/XIX-NINETEEN/82322002055

Hyatt at the Bellevue, 19th floor

Broad and Walnut Streets

Philadelphia, PA 19102

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