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Fall Festivities

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Customer appreciation: The Plymouth Meeting Mall has been making a lot of effort to reach out to consumers, and I give them credit. This Saturday is the kick-off for its version of Restaurant Week. Saturday’s festivities are designed to entertain the whole family (we know it’s really for moms and kids) with interactive food demos and tastings, a Kid’s Make-&-Take Chef Hat Workshop and more, taking place from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the mall’s Center Court. Then starting Sunday through Saturday, Oct. 2, the mall will be offering deals on eats for the whole family. Originally, I’d thought the event included the larger, more upscale chain restaurants that border the mall, but unless I am missing something, this initial foray into special dining events centers on eateries IN the mall. I’ve posted the snazzy looking list of participating restaurants and specials here, and you can find out more at shopplymouthmeetingmall.com.

Let them eat pie: Around the corner in Conshy, the ever-popular happy hour/after dinner/big game/live music stop, Gypsy Saloon, is working its own late summer deal. On the menu: PizzaGria Night every Wednesday. This latest deal combines good old-fashioned pizza—individually sized—with refreshing sangria for a spartan five bucks each. Pie choices are traditional, margherita, pepperoni, mushroom or spinach. Sounds like a good reason to head down the hill to me!

Gypsy Saloon: 128 Ford St., Conshohocken; (610) 828-8494, gypsysaloon.com.

  

Opa!: Fans of Lourdas, the small BYOB that’s been dishing upscale Macedonian fare for what feels like a couple of decades at least, will be thrilled to learn that chef/owner Mariana Kamilatos has published a cookbook, Lourdas: A Greek Family Cookbook. The recipes are a combination of her mother’s Macedonian heritage and her father’s favorite dishes from Kefalonia—all created with Kamilatos. I just got my hands on a copy and am planning a Greek-themed party (plate smashing, no; ouzo, yes) just so I can have an excuse to make a handful of dishes at the same time. Over the years, this straightforward restaurant has been in and out of favor with trend followers, but it remains a consistently worthy dining option that has survived many more economic downturns than its neighbors. I had a very good meal there recently of grilled sardines. It grossed my friends out, but they were meaty and tasty, marinated and basted in a simple preparation of lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. The eggplant was also delicious, with a pudding-like consistency and rich in flavor. You’d think I would have checked immediately to see if there’s a recipe for this, but I haven’t yet. Hopefully Kamilatos didn’t make her recipes too easy for us to replicate, otherwise we’d have a hard time getting out of our own kitchens!

Lourdas Greek Taverna: 50 N. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 520-0288, lourdasgreektaverna.com.

Oldie but goody: Gullifty’s is turning 35 (well, maybe it already IS 35) and to mark the big birthday, this Rosemont icon is having a party this Saturday. The only deets I have are the hours—5:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. For updated info about the event and the great $35 gift certificate giveaway, management is encouraging people to find them (and duh, “like” them) on Facebook. The most important thing to know, of course, is that there will be beer. Lots of beer. Lots of good beer. Which, if you’ve been paying attention to Main Line Today over the past decade, you already know. And, the food is very consistent. I tend to go more with the bar crowd-oriented menu, but if you like your dinner more upscale, the entrees are worth checking out. I took in some Phillies action there this week and enjoyed great drafts and their signature spinach and clam dip. Would love to say it’s low-cal and fat free, but those cheesy, gooey bites dripping off my toasted pita chips say otherwise. Also had the chicken fajitas and they were also flavorful, well cooked and a nice portion. It’s definitely at the top of my list when looking to catch some of the game out of the house. And the kids love it too. I’m thinking of bringing them by on Saturday. No matter how old they get, they still love thinking, “Maybe John the Balloon Guy will be there.”

Gullifty’s: 1149 Lancaster Ave., Rosemont; (610) 525-1851, gulliftys.com.