I feel a little late to the game here, since most of the attendees at this weekend's blogger meet-up have already written about their experience, but I'm going to add my two cents anyways! We are one of dozens of local Philly food and drink centric blogs, and while I spend time every day reading some of the others, I've never met any of the faces behind the posts. About a month ago, the face behind La Phemme Phoodie invited me via Twitter to a gathering of fellow bloggers. Unfortunately, J had out-of-town plans for the weekend of the event, but I rolled solo to an afternoon of brunch food, blogtalk, and fun at Supper.
We've actually blogged previously about brunch at Supper, but I have to say this was a completely different experience. On a side note, Supper is one of my all-time favorite restaurant spaces- a perfect balance between comfortable and upscale, very open and bright, a place I want to spend a lot of time. The blogger crowd remained standing and mingling throughout the event, requiring some fancy footwork of waiters delivering small samples of a number of dishes, along with forks and napkins when necessary. Each passed portion was very generous, giving plenty of bites to savor the great flavors and stuff my stomach.
The owner/chef, Mitch Prensky, graciously produced full-sized versions of each dish we tasted for photographic purposes (and apparently the last lingering bloggers scarfed up these plates as well!). First up for me was the Dock Street Porter Pancakes, or rather, pancake, as the passed version contained one small cake. Thick and doughy, the perfect amount of chew with a nutty flavor (most likely due to the addition of the local brewery's dark porter), the pancake itself fulfilled my weekly requirement of this hearty food. However, the chosen toppings kind of threw me for a loop-- "candied" apples, seemingly just apple slices soaked in an almost dreadfully bright red, sweet sauce, caramel popcorn, and vanilla-flavored foam.
A cool idea? Absolutely. In reality? A little odd. I would have loved this even if the pancake was plain, but couldn't really get down with the mouthstaining sauce. Also, the picture doesn't do this justice- the full-sized version of this dish was enormous. If you are starving and randomly looking for a carnival experience, order these.
The second dish to arrive was one of my favorites, and far out shined the first one. Perhaps rightfully so, as this is one of Supper's most famous brunch choices- the Red Velvet Waffles. A single quarter of rich, faintly chocolaty waffle was topped with a sweet cream cheese mousse, a few slivers of pecans, and the real winner in my book- dried cherries tossed in a deliciously bitter molasses sauce. This sauce served as the "syrup" for the waffles, and was absolutely perfect as a compliment to the sweet bread-y base. The cherries were softened but still retained the flavor and chew of dried cherries that I am admittedly obsessed with. Think I liked this dish? Yeah, I did.
The third plate hit a more savory spot. Named the Dixie Biscuit, the mini-version consisted of a small biscuit stuffed with a bit of scrambled egg, ham, and pimento cheese. I don't have a lot of experience with pimento cheese, but from this taste of it, I can't say I'm a fan. It has a strange texture (and color- nothing edible should be that neon orange) and is on the spicy side; I could have gotten over it and enjoyed the rest of the components, but its overwhelming quantity paired with its overpowering flavor prevented that. Sad, because one of my favorite Southern foods is a flaky, buttery biscuit.
The last two dishes stepped away from breakfast and headed towards lunch- a perfect transition for an afternoon of brunch "snacks." First up- the Supper Burger. Offered at both brunch and dinner, this burger competes for one of the best-in-city spots. Made of an 80/20 ground brisket, the full fat content makes a major splash- both figuratively and literally. The flavor it offers is remarkable, but it's definitely messy to eat. Each bite of my burger left a larger quantity of oozing grease onto the provided napkin. Topped with melted gruyere, caramelized onions, and smoked bacon, this burger is the real deal. At brunchtime, Supper takes it one notch higher by offering it with a fried egg. Our sample was eggless, but I can only imagine the extra touch of richness a runny yolk would add. A solid brioche bun thankfully holds everything together well.
Finally, when I didn't think we could get any more decadent, flavorful, and creative, out came the Supper Dog. This dish is almost indescribable, and I can only say that I'm glad we were eating mini portions because there is no way I could eat more than a few bites of this absolutely over-the-top creation. This is not your average hot dog. This is a huge, fat, housemade, 100% pork shoulder (think delicious piggy flavor) sausage, wrapped in bacon and then deep-fried. Yep, I said it. A thick wedge of toasted, buttery housemade brioche is top-sliced, filled with onions sauteed in barbecue sauce and mustard, and then that deep-fried mound of meat is wedged inside. And THEN topped with sauerkraut. I still can't believe I ate that. However, "ate" should probably be replaced with "deconstructed," as the dog is literally impossible to eat as is- unless you have a mouth the size of a garbage truck, you're going to have to eat this in parts. The dog itself was sinfully delicious, and topped with the crunchy kraut was great breadless. Faced with the remaining bun, I'm glad I didn't give up then- this bread deserves its own spotlight. So basically, go eat this immediately. Just bring a few friends to split it with.
Oh yeah, and it is typically served with fried pickle chips- can you get any better?
Obviously, we all ate very well, many thanks to the owners, Mitch and Jen Prensky- a fantastic duo who together cover both the eats and the service, leaving very little to be desired. It was fun to meet other bloggers, find new blogs to catch up on, and unveil my blogger "identity." But really, for most of us, it's all about the food.
926 South Street