Food & DrinkMarch 31, 2011 at 1:38 am

I’m Going on a Picnic…

MILK AND HONEY: IF YOU’RE HEADED TO WEST PHILLY

Milk and Honey Market has so much more than its name implies. This little bakery and grocery store on the corner of 44th and Baltimore specializes in an assortment of cheeses and meats perfect for your next picnic.

The store carries everything from your basic Brie to 2–, 5– or 10–year aged Gouda as well as several local cheeses. Most cheeses are sold in wedges (1/4 lb minimum), which range from $2 to $10 depending on the size. Milk and Honey also sells fresh mozzarella, which is sold in bowls ($2.50/bowl).

For picnics, the staff recommends trying some cured meats, like the Genoa salami ($14.99/lb) or the smoky prosciutto ($19.99/lb) and pairing them with some Crostini crackers ($3.49) or bread. All their breads are baked fresh daily, and you can buy a plain baguette for only $2.50. The deli also has a variety of olives ($9.99/lb) —  from the really strong kalamata olives to the light green cerigonola olives, which have a fruity flavor. Throughout the store you can find other bargains, including wild pea hummus, toasted pecan and garlic pesto and wildflower honey.

Frida Garza

DI BRUNO BROS:

IF YOU’RE HEADED TO CENTER CITY

At Di Bruno Brothers you can assemble a glorious metaphorical “basket” of goodies. Pick up some spiced nuts and a jar of Dalmatia Fig Spread ($7.99) or lavendar honey with mixed nuts ($5.99) by the front, and then head back to the cheese section. You will want to stay here for a while; the cheese guys are chatty and give free samples. Added perk: they are cute too!

For soft cheeses, we recommend Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog ($24.99/lb), an oozy goat cheese with a creamy center and a line of ash running through the middle. Alternatively, try Delice de Bourgogne, whose buttery richness will make you forget all about boring old brie ($19.99 for a mini wheel).

For hard cheeses, Di Bruno has lots of interesting types of aged cheddar, as well as delicious and piquant manchego ($19.99/lb). Don’t take our word for it — this is free sample heaven. If you can tear yourself away from the chevre–dispensing men behind the counter, pick up a bag or three of the sea salt–topped Crostini artisanal crackers, which come in flavors like Olive Oil and Rosemary (prices vary). Continuing your loop around the room, make your way to the cured meat counter.

By this time you may already be full, but spring for some meat to bring along. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for Speck ($24.99/lb) or Bresaola. Or, ask to try the really expensive prosciutto and see if you can taste the difference between that and the slightly less expensive prosciutto ($24.99/lb). Bon appetit!

— Emily Gerard

 

PICNIC:

if you’re on campus

The Walnut Street Bridge may not be the best place to unfold a gingham blanket, but it is the spot for a Picnic — the restaurant, we mean.

Tucked inconspicuously under a navy awning, Picnic is stocked with all the fixings for a smooch in a pasture, a parking lot or really anywhere. The restaurant’s got a great daily selection of soups, salads and sandwiches, but the ready–made spread is what keeps the place true to its name. Grilled chicken breasts ($10) and marinated flank steaks ($13), tarragon chicken salad ($7.50), saffron vegetable couscous ($6), chili-spiced slaw — the list goes on and on.

Picnic has an impressive variety of in–house made dips including hummus, cucumber yogurt, artichoke spinach, tomato salsa and roasted vegetable ($4–$5 per half pint) — a staff and Street favorite. Picnic also boasts a refrigerator full of retro–style drinks (Boylan’s Sodas, old–fasioned lemonade and apple cider).

The eatery boasts a variety of cheeses from local farms and bread from Metropolitan Bakery to pack for your outing. For dessert try the ice cream sandwiches (they’re rock solid at first, so they might even survive the outing), or choose from a selection of pastries, like oatmeal raisin cookies or raspberry brown butter tarts. Wanna know where you can fit it all? Picnic sells vintage wicker baskets (between $20 and $50) and reusable totes ($2.50) for all your carry–out needs. P.S. You get a discount on food for buying the latter!

Nina Wolpow



 

 

 
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