Author: Jill Weber

How we do Hamilton

Hamilton: an American Musical has hit Philly. But you probably knew that!

What you may not have known is that Sojourn Philly offers two ways to keep the fun going – or join in if you haven’t seen the show!

Rex 1516

Rex is your home for southern food and hospitality, just off the Avenue of the Arts, and just a 15 minute walk from the Forrest Theatre.

Dine with us for favorites like Crawfish Potpie, Fried Chicken, or our award-winning Pimento Burger, and be sure to have the Divine Rebuke to Human Pomposity. This cocktail is inspired directly by an essay (of the same name) that Hamilton wrote regarding the harmonious balance alcohol provided to the whims of nature (namely, hurricanes).

Jet Wine Bar

Jet is your global vineyard! We are located across the street from Rex 1516, also a 15 minute walk from the Forrest Theatre.

At Jet, we are celebrating Hamilton AND our love of Pennsylvania wines! All October long, we’ll highlight the Commonwealth’s vinous bounty, while connecting our local wines to a statesman with local connections, Alexander Hamilton.  Enjoy wines and fun facts associated with Hamilton: his role preventing the secession of “Westsylvania” (no, really!) whilst the first Secretary of the Treasury, his job as aid to General Washington when the Brits took Philly, and his special connection to the Liberty Bell. This “tour” is available as a flight of 4 wines for $20, all month long. Featured wineries  include Fero Vineyards, Stony Run Winery, and Penns Woods Winery.

Vegan Restaurant Week and Sojourn Philly

Join us for Vegan Restaurant Week at ALL of our restaurants!

Philly’s first-ever Vegan Restaurant Week is happening September 16th-22nd, and we are happy to participate with an individual, vegan dish at Cafe Ynez, Rex 1516, and Jet Wine Bar. Proceeds benefit the Peace Advocacy Network.

So, what will you find?

 Vegan Burrito: sauteed shallots, corn, whole black beans, baby spinach, pico de gallo, avocado, & quinoa in a wheat flour tortilla w/side ensalada verde $9
Our Vegan Burrito is available everyday, but during VRW, $1.50 from each burrito will go to Peace Advocacy Network.

 

 

Vegan Mediterranean Dip Trio: muhammara & two types of hummus, toasted pita, fresh veggies, & olives $15
This is a special take on this tasty trio. We’ll give $3 from each Trio sold to the Peace Advocacy Network.

 

Red Beans and Rice: Carolina Gold rice, tomato-braised Sea Island red peas, and scallions $10
Chef Swain knows Rice & Beans, and during VRW we’ll donate $2 from each dish sold of this special recipe to the Peace Advocacy Network.

Will you be our Valentine?

Tacos, caviar, cured meats and cheese… where can you get this and more on Valentine’s Day? At Cafe Ynez, Rex 1516, and Jet Wine Bar, of course.


BYO tequila or wine (or anything you want!) to Cafe Ynez for flavors of Mexico City and try our Valentine’s Day specials:

  • Chicken al Pastor Tacos……$8
    Marinated Chicken, Queso Fresco, Cilantro, Radish, lime, & jalapeno salsa on 2 soft corn tortillas.
  • Salmon……$17
    Pan-seared Salmon on Cannelloni Bean Ragout & Fennel Salad
  • Cordero……$18
    Pan-Roasted Rack of Lamb, Pimiento Romesco, parsely & micro greens

Feeling fancy and want a bit of Southern Comfort? Then Rex 1516 is for you.

  • Crawfish Arancini $8
  • Celery Root Soup $10
    Smoked maitakes, crispy celery root, Three Springs farm apples
  • Pan-seared Salmon $23
    Hopping John, collard pesto
  • Fried Chicken & Caviar $50
    Fried half-chicken, paddlefish & tobiko caviars, chive biscuits, Alabama white bbq sauce, cucumbers
  • Triple-Chocolate Cake $9
    Dark chocolate cake, milk chocolate frosting, Chocolate cookie crumble

Yes, of course there will be Specialty Cocktails

  • Jack Rose $9
    apple brandy, rye, lemon, house-made grenadine
  • Velvet Slipper $11
    Raspberry brandy, crème de cacao, cream, shaved chocolate
  • Seelbach $10
    Bourbon, angostura & Peychaud’s bitters, sparkling wine

Thinking Pink? Jet Wine Bar is the place to be.

Jet will have appetizers perfectly paired with pink wines:

  • Sea Scallops with a grapefruit gastrique & bacon $12pairs perfectly with Via de la Plata Sparkling Brut Rose Cava, Spain $10
  • Lamb Sliders, pomegranate glaze, spicy slaw $13pairs perfectly with Vina Real Rose Rioja Alavesa Rioja $9
  • Charcuterie and Artisnal cheese plate, chef’s choice $15pairs perfectly with Escudo Real Rose Minho Vinho Verde $9

Like your wine in flights? Flight of all 3 for $14


All Valentine specials are available a la carte, full menus also available. We can’t wait to see you!

New Year’s Eve with Sojourn!

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Join us! Whatever your plans, we have something for you.

How does eggnog and crawfish deviled eggs, or a French 75 and chicken and caviar(!) sound? Then Rex 1516 is for you! Check the full menu here

Want ALL the bubbles and cheese (plus Chef Yasi’s cheese ball!)? How about Serbian Riesling and Italian Sausage Rolls? Then come out to Jet Wine Bar!

Perhaps you have your own bubbles? Then bring them to BYO Cafe Ynez to have with lobster brisket, filet of beef with cherry gastrique, or good old-fashioned tacos!

 

How we do Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving!
Who likes a parade? Philly held the first (of course) Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1920*. Of course the parade is often followed by… food! Thanksgiving is definitely one of our favorite food holidays. So, how do we celebrate after the parade? In lots of different ways, it seems. We asked our restaurant family how *they* celebrate Thanksgiving. This is what we learned:

Jill and Evan often celebrate with friends and reserve the Christmas holidays for family. What is on the menu? Anything and everything. Evan has made house-ground chestnut-flour ravioli (pro tip: just buy the damn chestnut flour!), paella, roast turkey, agnolotti – you name it. Jill finds wine to pour, which always changes, but which inevitably includes that Piedmontese gem, Arneis. Why? It is crisp enough for aperitivo, and its full flavor and creamy texture stand up to most foods you can throw at it, Her favorite is the Ceretto Langhe Arneis Blange. Find it if you can.

But, when it comes to traditional food, it is Jill’s mom’s turkey gravy that stands out. How does she make it? Well, sort of by feel.

 

Chef Yasi celebrates the holiday with her family and, as befits the chef, makes the stuffing! Do you want to make her all-full-of-goodness-and-love apple and onion dressing? Well you can because she gave us the recipe.

 

 


So, let’s see, there is “dressing”, “stuffing”, and… “filling”? Yep! That isn’t the most commonly-made Thanksgiving distinction, but Heather’s Mom’s “filling” (for filling *your* stomach, of course, and not the birds’!) does the trick. DO NOT ask her to eat the stuffing, she is not a fan of the offal (yum! giblets!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you happen to be with Qamara and her family, chances are you’ll be playing a lot of games – but Qamara won’t be competing, or anything. Nope. Not Qamara. Never.

You will also be eating. What will you be eating? Probably her Mom’s hand-made rolls. How does she make them? Looks like we’ll have to get that out of her next time… maybe we’ll challenge her to a game?

Not everyone goes “home” to eat, even if they go see the folks. If Heather isn’t having her share of “filling”, find her and her family out at Penang. Justin, too, spends the night on the town – er, Stadt. You’ll find them at the Cannstatter Club (Cannstatter Volksfest Verein), eating this club’s German influenced, but also traditional, feast. I see schnitzel, and pickled beets with onions, yes, but also roast turkey (with giblet gravy!) and Virginia ham. But wait, there’s more! Karaoke and Bingo are also on the agenda! Watch out, Family Swain, when Qamara finds out about the bingo she may crash the party 😉

 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

 

 

*Photo from Special Collections Research Center. Temple University Libraries. Philadelphia, PA, information sourced here

All About the Adult Science Fair

Sojourn Philly’s first annual Adult Science Fair was a rousing success! The event – in partnership with NextFab and the University City Science Center – was held on October 22nd at the PHS Pop Up Garden at UCity Square. This year’s theme was “Urban Sustainability” and we had six entrants with projects ranging from backyard vermiculture to global-impact ectomycorrhizal fungus innoculants.

 

Our participants (in alphabetical order):

  • Jonathon Cheng and Kimberly Goins – Project: Reclamation of City Greywater to Relieve Burden on Urban Water Demand
  • Mark Goldstein, Jordan Strauss, Zach Dahm, Chris Yerger – Project: Orchard, a self-contained home hydroponic garden that will allow anyone to grow vegetables quickly, easily, and organically
  • Kevin Huang – Project: Zero Waste using Vermiculture to Process
  • Dr. Carol Janerette and Dozie Mbonu – Project: Dr. Janerette’s Eco-Friendly Fungi, to sustainably solve agriculture, forestry, and environmental challenges.
  • Luciano Murta – Project: WaveBlock, a modular construction system to easily deploy temporary shelters for disaster relief and other structures.
  • Ryan Simms, Mahesh Patel, and Stephen Malkowicz – Project:  Vert Turbine, a patented wind turbine that takes advantage of existing infrastructure and composite materials to reduce costs by 70%.

Entrants displayed their projects to the public and to the judges. The public was asked to vote for a “People’s Choice Winner”, with the winner optionally receiving a bottle of either Blue Coat Gin or Penn 1681 Vodka, both made by local, Philadelphia Distilling. With over 60 votes cast for both 1st and 2nd place, we had a tie! Congratulations to WaveBlock and Orchard!

Our judges winner – and the $1000 cash prize – went to Dr. Janerette and her Eco-Friendly Fungi. Congratulations!

 

The fair was inspiring to the public and to participants, alike – and not just to our $1000 winner!  Overall, participants and the public enjoyed several hours of viewing, socializing, and chatting about Urban Sustainability.

Participant Ryan Simms wowed audiences at the Fair, itself, but got even wider exposure for his project from the on-site visit by Justin Odu of Philly’s KYW station. Justin’s interview was heard on KYW 1060, and was also featured on CBS3. Find both – and more photos – here.

Luciano Murta, one of our “People’s Choice” winners, explained that he was happy to get feedback for his work, and summed up his fulfillment in participating on the Fair with a picture of a little girl playing with his Waveblock construction.

For Kevin Huang, talking with so many other people interested in science and urban sustainability proved inspiring for moving forward with his own future projects combining science and art.

Drexel University students Kimberly Goins and Jonathon Cheng presented their project on cost-effective (plans) to by funneling grey-water into non-potable uses at the household level. While they did not win a prize, Goins noted that, regardless, she was there to share her passion for urban sustainability. And that was a success!

 

Dia de Muertos at Cafe Ynez

Dia de Muertos is a trio of days honoring ancestors and remembering the souls of the dead. It is celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd. The Mexican holiday has evolved from its original, Aztec origin, but still involves feasting and dancing, as well as visits to graves and cemeteries, costumes and decorations.

We’ll be celebrating the Day of the Dead on November 2nd, with foods that speak to Puebla and Mexico City – the traditional home of the holiday and its Aztec roots.

Join us on the 2nd and try one (or all!) of these special dishes:

Classic Pumpkin Soup   $10
with crispy onions and parsley
Savor this Sopa de Calabaza, knowing that pumpkin comes from Mexico.

Lomo de Cerdo    $15
Pork loin served with a sweet potato puree and swiss chard
Spaniards brought pork to Mexico, but defeños make it all their own

 

Romeritos de Branzino    $14
With mole, red bliss potatoes, watercress
Enjoy romeritos – a needle-shaped green with flavor similar to spinach – with its classic counterpart, mole.

 

Want to know more about our chef? Read here!

PA Wine Month at Jet

Celebrate PA Wine Month at Jet Wine Bar

October is PA (as in Pennsylvania) Wine Month and we are joining the fun by featuring 3 of our very favorite wineries: Galen Glen, Stargazers, and Va La. Never tried PA wines? You are in for treat!

All month long we’ll have a wine from each winery, available by-the-glass or – at Happy Hour (5-7 daily) – in a flight of 3 for $15.

We’ll start the month with three,exceptional rosés, move to cool-weather whites, and finish with 3, outstanding reds.

THE WINERIES

Stargazers Winery

We’ve been big fans of Stargazers for a while now. Jet’s very first menu – in November of 2010 – featured their magical, 2008 Cabernet Franc. It was a customer favorite then, and our appreciation for John’s wines has only grown since.

IMG_20170930_144421931_HDR (694x1024)Stargazers is found in the rolling hills of Chester County, an hours drive out of Philly to Coatesville. John Weygandt – with his late-wife Alice – planted the first vines in 1979 before creating wines under the Stargazers’ label in 1996. John and Alice were pioneers in many ways, by championing solar energy and sustainable agriculture, coordinating the efforts of the growing, PA wine-community and, above all, visualizing the potential for high-quality wines from grapes grown in the local soils.

The name, Stargazers, is a nod to the Mason-Dixon line, and the observation tower that was used to survey the land and create the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania.  The location of the tower – the Star Gazers tower – is today marked by a stone.

This month at Jet you can look forward to:

  • Rose Gold – an approachable rosé of Pinot Noir, with minty/nutty start and a soft cherry and white-pepper finish
  • Arneis – The piemontese grape does very well here, and this Arneis is creamy (it spends ample time sur lies) fruity, and well-balanced with acid. 
  • Warp Drive – Petit Verdot is one of our favorite grapes, and this PV blend has all of its dusty, lavender, white-flower charms.

Galen Glen

photo: Lenn Thompson, thecorkreport.us
photo: Sarah and Clemens, the wine Lab

Sarah and Galen Troxell own and operate Galen Glen. The vineyards are ideally situated on glacially deposited, fosilliferous shale at cooler, higher altitude amidst mountains.  This land used to be underwater, as evidenced by the Crinoid (sea creatures) fossils that litter the ground. According to Sarah, “no one noticed (them) until I started pointing them out. It’s overwhelming to touch something 360 million years old and think about the vastness of time.” The couple took over Galen’s family estate in 1995, and started planting vines. Sarah’s wine-making skills have been well-recognized, and are especially apparent in her structured, mineral driven, German-influenced offerings. Experimentation with german grapes has paid off for the couple. Sarah famously planted Grüner Veltliner in the vineyards not after tasting the grape, but after reading about it and the food with which it pairs well; Galen Glen’s Grüner now garners numerous awards.

  • Vinology Rosé – this easy drinker is off-dry, fruity, and zippy, with a looong finish.
  • Stone Cellar Gewurztraminer – a beautiful, minerally wine with tropical fruit undertones and good citrus-y zest.
  • Stone Cellar Zweigelt – a little spice, earth, and bright berries.

Va La Vineyards

IMG_20170930_163513401_HDR (742x1024)Va La is the youngest of our featured wineries; the first vines were planted in 1999 and the winery doors opened in 2002. Anthony and Karen Vietri own the small – but storied – Avondale vineyard on land that has been in Anthony’s family since 1928. Growing up, his family bought wine grapes from Rancho Cucamonga, CA, not realizing the land’s grape potential. Coincidentally, while on a trip to California, Anthony and Karen stumbled upon the very-same vineyard that supplied grapes to Anthony’s parents and grandparents; the couple subsequently used grapes from that vineyard to make wine for their wedding.

Today, the Vietris no longer need to purchase grapes. They grow numerous – mainly Italian – grapes on their small property (under 10 acres), which they craft into field blends. For their efforts, Va La has been named among the 101 Best Wineries in America for 4 years running.

Try these wines during October at Jet:

  • Silk – a juicy, fruit forward, lightly-spiced dry rosato. Pleasing to the palate.
  • La Prima Donna – a field-blend “orange” wine (extended skin-contact) that is mead-y, fruity, nutty, complex, and wholly delicious.
  • Castana – Only made occasionally, the name is an homage to the “chestnut” treasure of Vietri family-lore. Dark, rich, and complex.

While we are featuring wine from these three wineries, there are many more to try among Pennsylvania’s xx. Over the years, Jet has featured wines – in one form or other – from these additional wineries:  Allegro WineryBlack Walnut WineryBlair VineyardsBriar Valley WineryCrossings VineyardFero VineyardsGaler EstateGrace WineryKaramoor EstatePenns WoodsPinnacle RidgePresque IsleWaltzWycombe Vineyards. Try one or try them all!

Adult Science Fair

Have a great idea about Urban Sustainability? $1000 Cash Prize for the Winning project!

UPDATE: We are still accepting entries!

We are pleased to announce..The Adult Science Fair!

The Adult Science Fair is a juried, one-day competition of innovative concepts pertinent to the theme “Urban Sustainability”, with sound scientific or technical basis, positive social-impact, and viability. Sojourn Philly is partnering with NextFab and University City Science Center.

Suitable themes include – but are not limited to:

  • Urban farming (hydro-, aero-, aqua-ponics)
  • Urban gardening
  • Renewable energy
  • Urban planning
  • Urban manufacturing
  • Urban distribution
  • Urban transportation

The Fair is open to both teams and individuals who have concepts or projects in various stages of development, though already-commercialized concepts are not eligible. Students, hobbyists, researchers, early-stage entrepreneurs, and otherwise-interested adults are all welcome! Concepts may involve all types of media, including software, hardware, and art, and may apply to objects, services, public policy, and more.

Entries will be vetted for inclusion based on the above criteria for soundness, feasibility and thematic aptness, as well as engaging and informative display for public consumption. Display may be of an actual item/prototype, digital representation, art work, poster, or combination thereof.

The competition will culminate on October 22nd  with a single-day of public display, presentations, and judging, to take place at the PHS Pop Up Garden at UCitySquare, at 36th and Filbert Streets.

Winners will be announced in two categories: juried and public. Juried winner will receive $1000 cash. Winner of the public vote will receive merchandise.

Entries

The competition is limited to 20 entries, which will be vetted and selected on a rolling basis, and will be closed once all spaces are filled.

Application materials should include:

  • Abstract
    • Short format for social media – 140 characters
    • Long format for selection – ca. 450 words
  • 75 word Bios of key people
  • 1 minute video explanation / “pitch” (standard video formats, only, e.g. Windows Media formats, Quicktime) – OPTIONAL
  • Signed waiver (Adult Science Fair ParticipantWaiver) allowing use of application materials of selected participants for event promotion

Please send Abstracts, Bios, and Waiver as a single pdf to: entries@sojournphilly.com

Interested in being a sponsor? Please contact jill@sojournphilly.com

Display

All selected entries will be set up for display and judging on October 22nd. Participants must bring all relevant materials for display to the garden on October 22nd, beginning at 11am, and must remove all materials the same day, by 7pm.

Each entry will have ca 2′ x 4′ of space – table or “open”. Tables will be provided. Specialized display-equipment will not be provided. Posters and display boards should be 36″ x 48″.  The venue is outdoors, and participants should plan accordingly for wind and sun. Both electricity and wi fi are limited, and participants should plan on supplying their own. Larger spaces are possible with prior approval, where deemed necessary by event organizers.

Hazardous materials will not be allowed

 

Founded by Dr. Evan Malone in 2009, with three locations in the mid-Atlantic region, NextFab is the premiere destination for makers, artisans, and hardware entrepreneurs. NextFab provides the tools, training, consulting, and capital required for innovators to turn ideas into products, and products into businesses. This is the future of making, and it’s yours to create.

 

 

Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 50+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center’s incubator support one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond. For more information about the Science Center, go to www.sciencecenter.org.