FYI goes to Jose Garces' Volver, Saigon Quy-Bau; what's new at the Philadelphia Art Museum

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Monday, November 1, 2021
FYI Philly Oct. 31 show: New eats, Volver reopens, Art Museum exhibits
Jose Garces reopens Volver. Plus, new restaurants in Kensington, Newbold and South Street. Plus, a look at new exhibits at the Art Museum.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Volver reopens with new menu, new opportunity for young chefs

Chef Jose Garces has reopened Volver Restaurant inside the Kimmel Center, with a new menu, some added culinary flare and a huge opportunity for up-and-coming chefs.

His chef-in-residence program will highlight a new chef every 6-8 weeks.

The guest chef will create dishes on the menu to be prepared by the culinary team at Volver. Diners will have the choice of experiencing the Iron Chef's dishes or supporting the chef-in-residence.

The chefs were chosen by the Garces Foundation. The hope is to support these young chefs who have been impacted by the pandemic.

Guests who eat at Volver can donate to the chefs-in-residence and the Garces Foundation will match every donation. The goal is to provide a financial platform for these young culinary creators to move forward in their careers.

Volver | Facebook | Instagram

300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Guardhouse Cafe opens new gourmet gates in old Bridesburg building

Past the gates of the old Frankford Arsenal in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia, Guardhouse Cafe has set up shop on the grounds of the former wartime ammunitions factory.

Classically-trained chefs Khoran Horn and Matthew Gansert are combining their firmly established reputations to extend chef-driven eats to this industrial part of town.

Brand new, and focusing on coffee and pastries to start, the plan is to be a community gathering place where people can hang out all day, eventually bringing in top chefs from around town and around the country for evening culinary events.

Guardhouse Cafe | Instagram | Facebook

The Arsenal

2275 Bridge Street, Building 101, Philadelphia, PA 19137


Pasha's Philly halal food truck finds a home in East Kensington

Pasha's Philly food truck has lived on Temple's campus since 1985. But a few months ago, the family opened a brick-and-mortar takeout shop in East Kensington.

While the location has changed, Pasha's continues to serve up halal specialties like chicken over rice, falafel, lamb, and fish platters.

The shop also has an assortment of gyros, wraps, cheesesteaks, salads, and breakfast favorites.

Serhat Yuksel and Adem Aydin, whose fathers both work in Pasha's kitchen, describe their food as American halal street food.

In order words, it's the perfect comfort food.

At Pasha's, everything is homemade and freshly prepared. Aydin says their long-time experience in the business gives them better knowledge when it comes to properly preparing halal food.

Pasha's Halal Food| Instagram

1652 N 2nd Street, Philadelphia 19122


Saigon Quy-Bau BYO serves up Vietnamese food with international flair

New to the South street dining scene is Saigon Quy-Bau, a French-inspired BYO with a flair of Thai.

Saigon is one of the largest cities in Vietnam and is a nod to the restaurant's South Vietnamese food. The words quy-bau put together means prestigious in Vietnamese.

Think dim sum, pad Thai and French specialties such as the herb-crusted rack of lamb and the grilled veal chop.

Owner Alan Nguyen learned how to make different cuisines from his family and had dreams of opening a place of his own.

His son, Josh, also works at the restaurant and says he enjoys the neighborhood and meeting new people.

Saigon Quy-Bau| Instagram| Facebook

1318 South Street, Philadelphia PA 19147


Jaya Kava is Philadelphia's first kava kava lounge

At Lightbox Cafe, you can get all kinds of vegan fare, from cold-pressed juices, smoothies (called smoodies), avocado toasts and something called a warm bowl, filled with veggies and grains.

But what really sets this place apart? It is the region's first kava kava lounge.

Co-owner, Jennifer Hombach is a yoga teacher who started hosting backyard kava speakeasies in 2019 and describes kava kava as an herbal alternative to drinking alcohol

Last January she met Gabriel Vazquez, who originally intended to open the cafe as a solo venture but invited Hombach to join him.

They say opening the region's first kava cafe is as much about introducing something new as educating people on what exactly Kava is, "plant medicine for stress, anxiety and insomnia."

It's a root that grows in the volcanic soil of the Pacific Islands and drinking it is said to make you feel euphoria.

It is bitter to drink though so Lightbox serves it mixed in a variety of drinks or straight up with a side of pineapple.

Every Thursday, the cafe stays open late to serve Sri Lankan food, a chef partnership with Melissa Fernandez of Sri's Company.

They also sell Amy's Pastelillo's, a stuffed dough popular in Puerto Rico

Their goal is to create an alcohol-free alternative to the neighborhood bar with more chef pop up partnerships.

Jaya Kava | Facebook | Instagram

Lightbox Cafe | Facebook | Instagram

704 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19147


Pennsylvania Culinary Trails feature Philly's food scene and beyond

Explore Pennsylvania's unique culinary charm by consuming a little culture.

Take a trip on the Pennsylvania Culinary Trail where you will find makers that have been providing family recipes that have become part of the state's heritage.

There are four trails; Baked: A Bread Trail, Chopped: A Charcuterie Trail, Pickled: A Fermented Trail and Picked: An Apple Trail.

We visited a few Philadelphia spots along the trail, but that's just part of the journey. The trip packs a full repertoire of food and drink that features the Keystone State's culture and culinary charm.

PA Culinary Trails | Facebook | Instagram

V Marks the Shop | Facebook | Instagram

1515 McKean Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Royal Boucherie | Facebook | Instagram

52 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Isgro Pasticceria | Facebook | Instagram

1009 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Lost Bread Company | Instagram| Facebook

1313 North Howard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Newbold Exchange transforms old movie house to workspace for new normal

Newbold Exchange is a new space for the new normal.

They offer an affordable way to rent a bright, modern workspace in the expanding Newbold neighborhood of South Philadelphia.

Co-working spaces go from as simple as a seat at a shared desk with a hotspot, to conference rooms, and everything in between.

The lounges and kitchen offer areas to take a break from working, and membership allows access 24/7.

As a former silent movie house in the 1920s, the image of silent movie star Theda Barra was chosen as the company logo, also seen on the outside of the building.

Newbold Exchange | Facebook | Instagram

1727 Snyder Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19145


Philadelphia Museum of Art welcomes Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror

On display in the Dorrance Galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror.

The retrospective spans Jasper Johns' 60-plus-year career. Sarah Vogelman, the Exhibition Assistant, says Johns is one of the most important American artists of all time.

His style, distinct from abstract expressionism at the time, altered the course of art history and inspired the pathway to pop-art.

Take a pause from viewing all the art and head to Stir, the museum's on-site seasonal farm-to-table restaurant.

For the fall season, Executive Chef Mark Tropea has created inspired dishes. There's homemade ricotta cavatelli, honey herb-roasted salmon, plus a side of earthy beets prepared with burrata cheese.

Round out your stay with the other exhibitions happening in the museum's new gallery spaces. There's American artist Emma Amos: Color Odyssey and printmaker and teacher Richard Benson: The World is Smarter Than You Are.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art | Facebook | Instagram

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror

Through February 13, 2022

Emma Amos: Color Odyssey

Through January 17, 2022

Richard Benson: The World is Smarter Than You Are

Through January 23, 2022


The Philly Pops Rocks series features Abba: Mamma Mia and More November 17-21, 2021.

The concert at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall will feature music conductor David Charles Abell and guest artists Rajaton. The music of Abba inspires the setlist with hits like Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, Chiquitita and Dancing Queen.

Pops Rocks Abba: Mamma Mia & More | Facebook | Instagram

The concert runs November 17-21, 2021

At Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

Crafters mark your calendars for Saturday, November 6. The seventh annual CraftNOW Create is coming to the Smith Memorial Playground in East Fairmount Park.

The free experience features demonstrations and step-by-step instructions on how to create nine crafts for kids and kids at heart. Projects include upcycled structures, wooden bead creatures and mosaic collages.

Craft Now Create | Facebook | Instagram

At Smith Memorial Playground

3500 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121

On November 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m