Scene & Heard in Philly – Mary J Blige in Town, AI’s Weekend, Sixers Nerlens Noel Birthday Party, Carlo’s Bakery

 Hope you had a terrific weekend with that amazing weather. I had to run out yesterday to cover the BenFM Women of the Week Luncheon, so I didn’t have time for my Scene and Heard in Philly.

What an amazing weekend it was, Saturday I attended the WDAS Women of Excellence luncheon, it was great to see so many beautiful, empowering women, hear inspiring messages and enjoy thoughtful performances.

One of the “Shereos” Sheinelle Jones, with her dad Federal Judge Darnell Jones in 3rd Circuit located in Philadelphia.   

Mary J. Blige was at the WDAS’ First Annual Women of Excellence Luncheon
on Saturday, April 11, 2015 held at First District Plaza in
Philadelphia, where she was given the WDAS Trailblazing Woman of
Excellence Award, which will be renamed as the WDAS Mary J Blige Women
of Excellence Award beginning next year. The event was held to recognize
9 extraordinary women in the Philadelphia area including former Fox 29
Good Day Morning Anchor Sheinelle Jones, now at the Today Show, Faatimah Gamble and
Commissioner Susan Slawson, doing extraordinary things in their
community that improved peoples lives.  

 At the luncheon Mary J Blige was really humbled and the
emotion really comes through in this photo. She’s being honored by

Allen Iverson was in town this weekend. First he was spotted Saturday night watching the Garcia fight at Dave and Buster’s then yesterday he was at Sugarhouse trying out his luck there. Has anyone ever seen him in anything but sweats? (Thanks to my tipster who sent this photo)

Congrats to Sixers Nerlens Noel who celebrated his 21st Birthday at 1925 lounge (ie the former G Lounge) last Thursday. I hear it was a jam packed good time at the new don’t call night club.

Recently Philly Mag reported that “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro was opening a Location of Carlo’s Bakery in Rittenhouse, I took this shot the other day seems like it’s coming along nicely. It’s been reported that the opening will be late Spring, early summer which I would agree with. 
Speaking about anticipated eateries, I hear Mercadito, at 2116 Chestnut Street is shooting for a September opening. When I walked by the other day they were not working on it yet.
So sad the Food Bazaar has closed. I peeked through the little space in the door and the relics of the Food Bazaar were strewned about.
Remember Oh So Good, the delicious food buffet at 19th and Market, they closed up shop quickly last summer. (They have since opened at 1700 Market St.,) I was walking by their old spot and it’s starting to be gutted. I’ll keep a lookout to see what might pops up there. So much fun and development in Center City.
2015 Walnut Street has one of those “orange” L&I signs. It says that this spot is going to be a restaurant and for take out. I am crossing my fingers cause I really need a Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood. I’ve been jonsing for one since Wok closed. 

UPDATE: just informed me it’s going to be a BYOB taco place run. Oh well, maybe Chinese will follow somewhere Walnut St soon.


 This spring has brought a lot of engagements, congrats to my good friends Amanda Giddings and Michael Dana
And then there’s baby news!! Congrats.
Saturday night after shooting Blingo, I headed to Zama for a late night bite. I ran into my old friend Angelo Soldevila, who I used to work with when I was a paralegal. He was out celebrating his wife Lea for her birthday!! Great to see them.

A video posted by Philly ChitChat (@phillychitchat) on Apr 13, 2015 at 6:19am PDT
So glad I met this girl Alex Holley. I have so much fun with her. Sunday, Mike, Alex and I went to the Manayunk Street Fair. It was packed.


THE TALE OF TWO BRUNCHES – Sampan & Tweed – DJ’s, Dancing & Food

Two new brunches started within a week of each other, and although they are both marketed as “DJ Brunch/New Menu’s” Each is very different.
I headed over to Tweed yesterday for launch the Tweed’s Bagatelle inspired brunch with an ear splitting DJ, dancing and delicious brunch food like pancakes, waffles with fruit, omlette’s and eggs Benedict. Oh and bottles, bottles and bloody Mary’s.
Heather Baumgardner, GN Kang and Michelle Miller enjoy some of the tasty treats from the menu including Eggs Benedict, Belgium Waffles and bagels & lox.
DJ Lili Lamar and DJ Guiliano Presta spun during the afternoon brunch.
Tweed can be reserved for larger parties like the one that Zach Seidman (r) did in honor of Ryan Dorsey’s (l) birthday celebration Saturday afternoon. (Later this week you’ll see what his party was like for him at his club Recess.)I hear U of Penn students already have a larger reservation for next Saturday. No doubt that will be a blast.
Did I mention dancing was going on.
Originally owner Edward Bianchini was only planning to do the brunch on Saturday’s, but after Saturday’s success he told me he’d be doing the same thing on Sundays. Saturday & Sunday’s party 12 -4 PM.
Then I headed over to Sampan (124 South 13th Street, 215-732-3501) for Aly Green’s birthday party at the new Dim Sum Sampan brunch. Above Red Richards spins at Sampan, but you can take out the ear plugs now. It’s still loud, but you can hear your brunch companions chatter much better.Here the focus is on the menu, which is Asian inspired Dim Sum and they even have two tricked out carts that they bring to your table. Sampan will serve satays, crispy rolls and noodles as well as more traditional American brunch fare, including: Spanish Octopus Satay with lemon, arugula, and soy-balsamic vinaigrette; crispy Crab Rangoon with cream cheese, scallion and wonton; Steak and Eggs, a filet, sunny-side up and fries; “Eggs Benedict” with Berkshire pork belly, spinach, and sriracha hollandaise; and Beef Chow Fun with short ribs, green chives and chili. Plates will range in price from $12 to $21.
Steve Ward stops by to wish Aly Green a happy happy birthday. In the other room I saw a family of 4 with a baby carriage, and 4 tables of 5 people each. So there was a nice crowd enjoying lunch around 3PM on this rainy day. Last week I heard the place was packed as well as the Graffiti Bar. Although there was no dancing going on, and that is what Michael Schulson told me he wanted, there was toe tapping and a vibe.
Dana Spain, and Andi Pesacov with Aly. Chef Michael Schulson is proud of his newly assembled management team which includes Chef de Cuisine Khamla Vongsakoun who worked as Sous Chef at Philadelphia’s Buddakan and under Chef Michael Mina at SeaBlue in Atlantic City. Together, the chefs created the new Dim Sum Brunch which includes: Corned Beef Char Sui Bun with sauerkraut and smoked mustard; General Tso Soup Dumplings with soy, ginger and scallions; Pork Bao Bun with spicy shallots, mint and sweet chili; Shrimp and Scallop Shu Mai with cilantro, citrus and soy; Chicken Feet with black bean, soy and ginger; and Steamed Ribs with chili, black beans, and five spice. All dim sum are just $6. I had the steamed ribs and Corned Beef Char Sui Bun. Both were delicious. Dim Sum Brunch is Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. until closeI’m gonna go completely dumb on the girls on the end, but here’s Aly, Kaci Metz and Lindsay Kravitz. Tony Rufo, who was also in attendance tells me that he and Lindsay are almost done all their planning for the wedding next May, so no need for a wedding consultant. The reason for the wait, they are building their dream house in Center City and want that to be finished before they take the plunge. I don’t expect an invite as the wedding is going to be a small intimate one with about 200. Now they are just looking for a Wedding Invitation Calligrapher.
Hopefully though I can catch some pixs socially for PhillyChitChat.com at the cocktail party.
Conclusion: Both fun, and delicious food, but both different in atmosphere which is good. One week you might feel like a traditional brunch with dancing at Tweed, the next week maybe chillin at Sampan with Dim Sum and a few new twists on the traditional fare. Either place is a win win.