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Found Food & Film in Fairmount Park

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I've been looking for a new Mansion since leaving The Racquet Club of Philadelphia. My spirit calls out a yearning to spend time in a stately, historic setting. I'm most at home descending a grand staircase; dining under chandeliers; relaxing in a dark wood paneled library, sipping 18 year old scotch over clinking ice in an Italian crystal lead rocks glass, which I place on the fireplace mantle for a moment while a gentlemen lights my 28 ring gauge cigar.

True, as the events person, I did more coordinating of this kind of scenario than actually living it, but even Julie McCoy got to enjoy the amenities of the "Love Boat" from time to time.

Centennial Café on Urbanspoon

So my continuing search for a mansion in which to dwell for even a brief amount of time, lead me into the historic Centennial House Cafe (4700 States Drive) and discovered a good spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch, coffee hour, tea time and free WiFi. Opulent? No, but I was taken by the quaint, modest, revolutionary period decor, and friendly staff.

It's historic name is the Ohio House. It served as a clubhouse and exhibition hall during the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. We all know what happened in 1776 and I remember the Freedom Train of 1976, but I never really thought about what happened to celebrate the 100 Anniversary in 1876.
Turns out it was the first major World's Fair to be held in the United States. It opened on May 10, 1876 on a 285-acre tract of Fairmount Park overlooking the Schuylkill River, playing host to 37 nations and countless industrial exhibits occupying over 250 individual pavilions.

The Ohio House, although still under the historic preservation of Fairmount Park, became the Centennial Cafe and catering event location under the ownership of David Grovesman, who appears to be un-G

Their specialty is meats slow cooked in a smoker grill, located on the grounds; so I decided try the
Groovy's Smoked Brisket $9.95 Lean Top Round Beef Brisket (1/4 lb) topped with The Dave's Special Sauce on a Kaiser Roll
I'll hand it to Dave, his sauce was very savory with plenty of sweet onions; the brisket itself, good, but not "slap ya Momma good", and for $9.95 it needed to be larger, on a tastier roll and come with french fries.

Centennial House also prides itself on their
Homemade Cakes. Those close to me know that I'm serious when it comes to cake. I might be convinced to commit a crime if the reward involved really good cake. I ordered the red velvet, but made the mistake of not ordering it served with my meal, so that it would have time to defrost. Cake MUST be served room temperature! I decided to sit for a while and read my book and listened in on a conversation.

This woman was saying she would bring her daughter back to have the chocolate cake; evidently, her daughter is as serious about chocolate as I am about cake. When her daughter was 5 years old she lost her in the mall, panic ensued, search party, the whole thing. Eventually, she found her in the car, face full of chocolate. Apparently, this mother had told her daughter she could eat her chocolate in the car. Meaning, when they were done shopping and back in the car she could open her chocolate. The little girl heard what she wanted to hear and headed for the car at the first availability of escape! Funny, but I wonder why the car wasn't locked?

Anyway, all this is leading up to the fact that my red velvet cake even after defrosting was extremely disappointing. I would love to say it was scrumptious, but I can't.

However, I was very pleased to find a food and film tie-in. The business manager, one cute, personable, Harwood Dunkin, is also a local filmmaker, his film Computer Love will have it's premiere at IHouse (37th & Chestnut)
on April 8, 2010. Click the film link, to view a trailer. Unfortunately, I can relate all too well to this storyline of the many hell's that make up the world of online dating.

As for Centennial House, I will return for the atmosphere, and I'll give the soup and chocolate cake a try.

2 Tines (* Excellent - 4 Tines * Great - 3 Tines * Good - 2 Tines * Fair - 1 Tine * Poor - Tarnished)

Philly Events Calendar

tinseltine@gmail.com  Click AGENDA VIEW to see complete list of happenings.

Food n Film: CHEF

Food n Film: CHEF
Much of the movie centers around the father/son relationship, and how much they learn from each other. But the real star of the film is all the food preparation, every other scene made me groan with want of everything up on that screen! Particularly the perfectly roasted and rubbed brisket, the crispy fat of the pork belly, sizzling bacon and the much ballyhooed Chocolate Lava Cake. READ POST

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE

Eater Philly - All


...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.READ POST

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE
Six months into my 38th year of this life, I had my first panic attack. I didn't know that's what it was until months later. Symptom after symptom starting piling up on me until there were days I could no longer move my arms or neck. The doctors told me I was suffering from an auto-immune condition that they felt was most likely Lupus. And so began my much deeper journey and exploration into the world of spirit, alternative medicine, yoga, meditation and Eat, Pray, Love. READ POST

Philadelphia Magazine » Blog » Foobooz


With a film like this, food plays a main character in the story and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the film's Food Stylist, Janine Kalesis.READ POST

Food n Film: WAITRESS

Food n Film: WAITRESS
In this 2007 film, Keri Russell stars as Jenna - a desolate diner waitress seeking solace in the art of pie-making. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she’s eager to escape her husband and her small-town hell and sets about to make a run for it by entering an out of town pie baking contest. READ POST


Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu! READ POST

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

Tinsel & Tine on Paper.li

Tinsel & Tine on Paper.li
Really love this platform, you feature your stuff and other people's stuff you follow, and it all configures like the front page of a newspaper. Click to see what I mean

Visit Our YouTube Channel

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View Q & A's with visiting Filmmakers to Philly

Philly Food and Film

Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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