Author Archive

Mummer’s Day Meal

January 1, 2023

The Mummer’s Day Meal, and a brief history of how this Philadelphia Tradition came to be.

If you’ve ever been to Philadelphia and experienced a Mummer Strut, then you ought to know that Philadelphians take this tradition very seriously.  Mummers can be traced to Egyptian origins, according to the Mummer-based site Quaker City String Band.  The site further explains that our Mummer’s Day Parade became a tradition after Scandinavians who immigrated to the area began to celebrate the New Year. 

Years later, President George Washington took to the annual celebrations and established the tradition as a yearly event during the seven years he resided at 6th and Market Street in Philadelphia.  Then, in 1901, the Mummer’s Parade was officially adopted by the City of Philadelphia, whose residents and visitors look forward to watching every year! 

In the “If you know, you know” category, another time-honored tradition that follows the day’s festivities is the meal that Mummers & their loved ones enjoy.  We love Philadelphia traditions and cuisines just as much as we enjoy N’awlin’s style.  So,  in honor of the Mummers and their time-honored meal, we invite you to do your best Mummers strut before sitting down to enjoy a hearty meal afterward!

Mummer’s Day Meal

4 ½ Pound Pork Loin

1 (24) oz Package of Sauerkraut (drain; set aside Sauerkraut and reserve drained juices)

2 Large Honey Crisp Apples (Core and cut into slices; cut slices in half; set aside)

1 Large Yellow Onion (Peel and then cut into 1-inch pieces)

2 Tbsp Ground Mustard Seed

1&¼  Tsp Salt*

1&¼  Tsp Pepper*

1 Tsp Juniper Berries (divided into 3 bundles; wrap in cheesecloth & tie)

2 Tbsp Dry Vermouth 

1&½ Cups Vegetable Broth (use low-sodium if you have dietary restrictions)

3 Tbsp Brown Sugar 

1 Tbsp Sauerkraut Juice

2 Tbsp Salted Butter

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

*Salt & Pepper according to your taste and dietary needs


Prepare your Pork loin by mixing the Ground Mustard, Salt, & Pepper and dry-rubbing it over the entire surface of the meat. If you would like to enhance the flavor, give the dry rub a minimum of 1 hour to infuse the meat or for best results, follow these steps and let the meat sit covered in your refrigerator overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Add the butter and Olive Oil over medium heat, to a large oven-safe and stove-top safe pan.  Once melted, place the seasoned pork loin in the pan and sear all sides until golden brown (approximately 2 minutes per side).  Remove the loin from the pan and set aside.

Turn the temperature down to low to medium heat and pour the Dry Vermouth into the pan to coat and deglaze. Add the Brown Sugar, Sauerkraut Juice, and Vegetable Broth and mix until the brown sugar is dissolved.  Add the drained Sauerkraut, Onions, Apples, and Juniper Berry bundles; then stir together.

Place the seared pork loin into the middle of the Sauerkraut mixture and cover with lid and/or aluminum foil. Place the pan in a preheated 350-degree F oven for approximately 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours (cooking time can vary depending on your oven), carefully lifting the aluminum foil and basting the pork loin with the juices every 30 minutes.  As a rule of thumb, the interior meat temperature should register 145 – 160 degrees F.

Remove the pot from the oven and place it on a heat-safe surface.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes and remove the bundles of Juniper Berries before serving.

Beck’s Cajun Cafe Celebrates 10 years!

September 5, 2019

Beck’s is celebrating its Ten Year Anniversary on October 29th! Chef Beck’s classic, authentic Cajun cooking has earned both praise and a large following at two iconic Philadelphia locations: Reading Terminal Market and 30th Street Station. Both counters are continuously packed with customers chomping down on legendary Trainwreck Po’ boys, savoring Jambalaya or dipping their spoons into his famously narcotic Bread Pudding affectionately known as “better than yo’ Mama’s!” When asked if his pantry of Beck’s brand spices is what creates the mouthwatering appeal of his Cajun dishes, Chef Beck quipped, “Spices enhance flavor, hot sauce gives it a little zing but, the backbone of any dish is that it is prepared well. And, I am not going to tell you all of my cooking secrets!”

But, what is it about Beck’s Three Devils Hot Sauce? Tabasco Sauce is about heat and spice. Three Devil’s Hot Sauce is about flavor first, heat second. Heralding from Louisiana, Tabasco was created from a single pepper plant gifted to Edmund McIlhenny. By 1869, this hot sauce, whose name has Indian/Mexican origins that hint at a place of humid soil and oyster shells, was a Southern favorite. Created right here in Philadelphia, Chef Beck’s fruity, earthy and spicy creation–affectionately named by his lovely wife Rita’s nod to her Three Devils, Chef Beck and sons Connor and Gavin—is a tribute to ‘Nawlins flavors. Since 2010, it has been perfected and become a local favorite.

• What was your first experience with Hot Sauce?
My Mom used to make a Chinese curry dish with chicken, later I had Buffalo Hot Wings — both excellent.

• Beck’s Cajun Cafe is about to turn 10, did you open with Three Devils Hot Sauce, Devil’s Dust, Rub-a-Dub and Angel’s Kiss or did your pantry evolve?

We opened with Devils Dust. That is the seasoning that we use for Jambalaya, Cajun Fries, Red Beans and Gumbo.

• Then we created Rub-a-Dub, the Fiery Rub and Seasoning Mix. There is nothing like a good steak. Rub-a-dub is like a traditional Tuscan dry steak rub.

Angel’s Kiss, a Chicken, Seafood and Vegetable seasoning, took the longest, going through several evolutions. One of the combinations was Tarragon, Cinnamon and Curry. It was very flavor forward and tasted like an Indian Masala.

Three Devils Hot Sauce came last, it also went through a lengthy process. When we first opened I was cooking all day. I would actually make the sauce and sometimes bring it out and have a customer taste it and give me his opinion — so it evolved through tasting and customer feedback. All hot sauces are an accompaniment to enhance a finished product. It adds heat to a dish, it should not alter the flavor of the dish dramatically.

• Is there a rule of thumb to follow when adding spices to a dish?
Seasoning depends on the dish. Cooks season to taste, it is subjective, therapeutic and a creative process. When you are cooking at home you balance those expectations.

• What recipes would you recommend to try with your Pantry Seasonings?
Shrimp Creole! And, Three Devils Hot Sauce is great in a Bloody Mary mix or on Shucked Oysters — it’s fruity, tarty, spicy!

Shrimp Creole Recipe
3 tbsp. olive oil (divided into two equal portions)
16 jumbo shrimp (16-20 size)
1.25 tbsp. Beck’s Angel Dust
1.25 tbsp. Beck’s Devil Dust
1 shrimp bouillon (Swiss Knorr brand is readily available)
¾ cup white wine (Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio)
2 cups diced tomato
4 oz. celery, small dice
4 oz. green bell pepper, small dice
4 oz. onion, small dice
4 ea. garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp. butter, unsalted
½ cup water
4 scallions, sliced on a bias (to use as garnish)
4 cups white or brown rice (cooked)

Wash and dry thoroughly peeled and deveined shrimp
Toss with olive oil, Beck’s Angel Dust and Beck’s Devil Dust
Add shrimp to preheated sauté pan and sauté until halfway cooked (shrimp will appear pink-white with plenty of “give” to the flesh)
Remove the shrimp and set aside
Add celery, pepper, and onion to the same pan used to cook shrimp and sauté till lightly caramelized (about 2-3 minutes)
Add the garlic, cook until lightly browned (about 30 seconds.)
Deglaze the pan with the white wine, allow to flame up, add bouillon cube.
Add the diced tomatoes and water, simmer for 2 minutes
Add the shrimp back to the pan cook for I minute
Cut butter into 4 equal pieces and add to the sauté pan, turn off the flame. Stir in the butter until fully incorporated into the dish.
Divide Creole shrimp into 4 equal portions in wide shallow bowls, placing the shrimp at the outer edges to allow room for a nice round hot steaming scoop (ice cream scoop) of rice in the center of the bowl. Garnish with fresh scallion.

Classic Bloody Mary:
Yields: 1 serving
Prep Time: 10 mins

1/4 c. tomato juice
1/4” piece horseradish, chopped
1 tsp. Worcestershire
4 dashes Three Devil’s Hot Sauce
1/2 lime, fresh squeezed
1/2 lemon, fresh squeezed
1 tbsp. vodka
dash of black pepper
dash of sea salt
dash of celery seeds

2 oz. vodka
8 oz. Bloody Mary mix

Blend horseradish, Worcestershire, celery seeds, and tomato juice until smooth.
Add lemon, lime, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.
Adjust the mix to taste depending on how spicy, salty, or citrusy you like it.
Add a tablespoon of vodka to stabilize the mix and keep the juices fresh.
Combine 6-8 ounces of the mix with 2 ounces of vodka into a glass. Pour back and forth into another glass filled with ice (3 or 4 times to mix.)
Garnish with a celery stalk and lime wedge, or whatever else you feel like adding.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Imagining the Positive

August 10, 2019

WorkReady Philadelphia is a vital program that has piloted students to the threshold of their careers. It is h osted and funded through the Philadelphia Youth Network, who “funds and brokers action with the right partners to collectively address barriers.” Participating local businesses give students a chance to gain valuable work experience through paid internships, while simultaneously attending WorkReady workshops.
This is the third year that Beck’s is participating in the WorkReady program; each year the students have been bright and eager to work. And, one of our current interns, Jaiden Wiggins, is a finalist in the WorkReady Social Consciousness Project. Go Jaiden! Nathalie Cerin, is the Employment Specialist for Episcopal Community Services, which is one of the providers of WorkReady. She has ushered students in and monitored their progress throughout the six week program. We thought it would be great to interview Nathalie and learn more about her and WorkReady.

I read that your grew up in Haiti, what was life like in Haiti?
Yes. I have been in Philadelphia since 2005. I moved here my Senior Year of High School, and moved in with my older sister. Senior year, no parents. I had to be an adult. I guess, I was a boring kid, all I did was study. I attended the Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School in Drexel Hill and then went onto acquire my undergraduate degree from Immaculata University.

How does life in Philadelphia compare to life in Haiti?
Haiti is a country that is still being developed. When I arrived in Philadelphia, I wasn’t accustom to living in a city where there were trains. There was a little cultural shock, but I had been here before, we made family trips to Philly when I was younger.In Haiti, there were 250 kids in my school total. My graduating class from High School at Prendergast was as big as my entire school in Haiti.

• What inspired you to work with Philadelphia youth?
I am an educator and I am also a musician. I taught music in the Bronx — commuted four days a week. And, I am accustomed to working with youth and curriculum, so coming to Episcopal Community Services was a natural move.

• Describe a good day / week at WorkReady.
The WorkReady team is here in the Hub. The kids are gathered around this large table working on a project. I oversee the activities. This year we had a special project: Students identified a social issue that they care about and made a plan to effectively make change for the better. We have been rehearsing the presentation of the projects all week.
The projects will be submitted on August 9th to judges. The best group will win money — gift cards. We are project oriented all day long. The kids are super fun. This past week we had an impromptu talent show and one of the kids got up and just started
really singing — he was from the High School of Performing Arts and had traveled with The Stylistics.

• What is WorkReady?
SYS, Seeing Youth Succeed, work-ready. We prepare them for the right Mind Set — career development. This is well attended and has a high performance level. We teach and stress that students learn to advocate for themselves. This past week an intern had personal issues and realized that a work place can be supportive if one is experiencing personal issues. The participating work-site gave him another chance.

• Can you share your favorite WorkReady success story?
Very cool to see these kids land their first jobs. Some of the kids really rise to the occasion. Some interns are kept on as part-time employees following their internships and then became full-time employees. Some kids come back the following year and request to work at the same place where they had interned the previous summer. They form “adult” relationships.
During the work ready program the kids have met celebrities and big personalities.
One of our youth had the opportunity to read her poem to the Poet Laureate from Birmingham, England in 2018, Roy McFarlane. McFarlane listened to the students work and offered feed back.
On another occasion, a film was screened at the Art Sanctuary and one of the students really connected with the film maker. The film maker was open and they engaged in dialogue — they had a lot in common. Seeing the kids really nail it is so inspiring!

• Your title is Employment Specialist, but do you often find you
are a counselor?

Yes, I am everything. We support the youth in this program for six weeks. What could happen in those six weeks? Are they eating? Can they get to work? We split the kids up and each of us is assigned to monitor. What is going on? I have to be present.

• I read that you are also a musician. Does working with
youth inspire your art?

Yes. The fact that I am an artist allows me to be a better imaginer. The ability to imagine a more just and safe world. Being an Artist, I keep the positive imagination alive. I visualize a hopeful future for anyone
I work with.

• Do you cook?                                                                                                              Yes, I do like to cook. It’s a Haitian and American mix. This past Friday, I slow cooked Pork shoulder. I purchased the pork at Reading Terminal Market, brought it home, rubbed it down with dry mustard; sautéed on all sides and then slow cooked it for 10 hours in Yuengling beer. I invited my friends over for Nathalie’s creation.

What is your favorite memory about food?                                                Haiti—on the way to the beach, there were street vendors who sold fried pork, grilled conch and plantains — there was so much. We would stop and buy a lot of food. While we were sitting on the beach, men would stroll up and down the beach selling buckets of ice cold oysters and cups of conch that were in a hot sauce made with lime, and very hot peppers. We would EAT!

• What is your favorite restaurant in Philadelphia?                                        I would love to try the Fried Shrimp Po’ boy from Beck’s Cajun Cafe!            But, I do love El Rey for Nachos and I am always a fan of a good burger        and a beer!

Unbridled Spirit

July 16, 2019

Dave Marrs
Beck’s New Chef

New to Philly and just off the Turnpike from Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby, Dave Marrs made his debut as Beck’s Cajun Cafe’s new Chef this past spring. And yes, Chef Marrs has been the Chef of large —1100 guests— glamorous, celebrity filled Kentucky Derby parties. While sipping their Mint Juleps, guests at his favorite Derby party, savored Salmon Corn Pudding and Chicken Wellington — southern culinary delights. “It was a total hoot!” he said. So if you are wondering why your Shrimp Po’ boys and Gator Gumbo taste so awesome its because Chef Marrs understands southern comfort food.

Chef Marrs confessed that he started cooking as a young man because he was less than thrilled about what Mom was serving for dinner. Decades later, he still enjoys being the maestro of a party for your taste buds. When asked what his favorite Beck’s menu item is he quipped, “Blackened Chicken Po’ boy.” Delish!

Chef Marrs shares his favorite recipe for Sweet-Potato Pecan Pie
from Paul Prudhomme’s, Louisiana Kitchen

• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp table salt
• 6 tbsp unsalted butter very cold, cut into small cubes
• 1 cup blueberries• 3 tbsp lemon zest
• 3/4 cup heavy cream very cold
• 1 egg large
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp heavy cream very cold
• 2 tbsp sanding sugar optional

• Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and
set aside.
• In a large bowl, whisk together flour sugar, baking powder and salt.
Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until only a handful of small, pea-sized pieces of butter remain.
• Add blueberries and lemon zest and stir to combine, just until blueberries are coated with flour mixture.
• In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, and vanilla extract.
• Pour cream mixture into flour mixture and stir with a fork until just combined.
• Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a disc about 6 inches across.
• Use a large knife or bench scraper to cut into 6 wedges. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
• Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream. Sprinkle with sanding sugar if desired.
• Bake for 16 to 19 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, rotating baking sheet halfway through.
• Serve warm or room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container. Best enjoyed the day they are baked.

Pinch and Pull!

July 1, 2019

Chef Bill Beck’s Recipe for a Crawboil!

It is time for a lip smackin’ tasty 4th of July celebration! And what better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to share a Crawfish boil and ice cold brewskis with friends?

Crawfish, are also called crayfish, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, mudbugs, or yabbies. This step by step recipe takes a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes to prep to serv. When this vibrant boil is spread before you remember to dine like a proper Cajun: Grab the head firmly with one hand, the tail with the other hand; twist and pull the tail from the head. If you are looking for a burst of extra flavor (excuse me) suck the head.

Include Walt Wit! This ice Cold American Pale Wheat Ale is a Belgian Witbier style beer brewed by Philadelphia Brewing Company. It is dense, cloudy, lots of wheat sediment floating in the brew. And/or, ABITA Cirrusly Wheat—a hazy wheat ale brewed with Centennial hops and pale, wheat & oat malts to produce a refreshing, full-bodied ale with notes of citrus and tropical fruits.

Have a fun, safe and happy 4th of July! •  Happy Birthday to the USA.

5 heads garlic, unpeeled
5 bay leaves
2 (3 ounce) packages dry crab boil
1 tablespoon Zatarain’s liquid shrimp
and crab boil seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
3 large oranges, halved
3 large lemons, halved
2 large whole artichokes
15 red potatoes, washed
5 ears of corn cut into 3” lengths
2 large onions, sliced
White Onion, Large
2 (16 ounce) packages mushrooms, cleaned

2 (16 ounce) packages Andouille Sausage, cut into
1/2 inch slices
80 live large crawfish, rinsed
Add all ingredients to list
Prep 30 m • Cook 1 h 15 m •
Ready In 1 h 45 m
• Fill a large 12 qt pot about 1/3 full with water. Add the garlic, bay leaves, dry and liquid crab boil(?) seasonings, salt, pepper, oranges, lemons, artichokes, and potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.
• Stir in the corn, onions, cook 15 minutes more. Stir in the Andouille sausage; cook 5 minutes more.
• Add the crawfish, return mixture to boil, then simmer until the crawfish shells turn bright red and the tails pull out easily, about 5 minutes.
• Test for doneness by peeling a crawfish. Be sure not to overcook, or crawfish will become tough.
• Drain well. Serve crawfish hot, Louisiana-style, spread over a picnic table covered with newspapers.
• Taste for Salt and Pepper — add as needed!

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 12, 2019

It is time to spoil your Mom! She, who stirred the love into your comfort food, will be treated to breakfast in bed, brunch, surprise bling, a picnic in the park and maybe a few moments of peace, a thoughtful card or a phone call today. Many of us associate comfort food with “Mom’s cooking”. Some great Chefs say they were inspired to cook by their Mother’s cooking because she was either a great cook or not a cook at all — either way, love was in the pot.

Paul Prudomme said, “… Food was probably our greatest entertainment—the most fun thing that we could do was food.” Chef Bill Beck shared, “My Mom was influenced by Julia Child and Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet. She would make Coq au Vin, Quiche, Potatoes au Gratin. And, usually, but not always, on Mother’s Day we would go out to dinner, which was a real treat. The first time I had Lobster Newburg at the Milltown Inn on Long Island — it was like a bowl of heaven!”

But, how did Mother’s Day start? Mother’s Day started as an anti-war movement in 1870 by Mother’s who had lost their sons in the Civil War. Julia Ward Howe, author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, organized the Boston gathering and wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. (

From 1870 onward Mother’s Day evolved:

In 1907, Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, fought to have the day recognized as a National Holiday.

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the 2nd Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, in 1914.

Anna Jarvis fought for the integrity of the Mother’s Day Celebration to honor our Mother’s and not to be the Holiday for fund raising or commercial profit.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved a stamp commemorating the holiday in 1934.

• The white Carnation was recognized as the official flower
of Mother’s Day in honor of Anna Jarvis’ mother. It was noted
that when the Carnation fades, its petals do not drop, they fold
into the center.

Light the Fire!

April 10, 2019

Meet Laura, Assistant Manager Beck’s Cajun Cafe

Laura, known as Lur when she is working at Beck’s, moved to Philadelphia in 2012 and started working at Beck’s Cajun Cafe in 2016. She is the Assistant Manager and is clearly one of the reasons why people love coming to Beck’s for their Cajun comfort food!

Originally from Barto, Pennsylvania, Laura enjoys living in the city of Philadelphia because, “It’s not overwhelming. It’s manageable and it’s pedestrian friendly. When my friend and I were in Las Vegas, we had to drive to get to the other side of the freeway! No sidewalks!” On that same trip, Laura and her friend visited Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, the California Redwoods and the Crater Lakes in Oregon. They camped or stayed in hotels for two and a half weeks. When sleeping under the Milky Way, Laura was the one who built the fire and heated up the Dinty Moore’s Beef Stew for her fellow trekker in the wild. But, after two and a half weeks of canned soup and stew she was glad to return home to her Beck’s favorites, saying “the Shrimp Po’boy and the Mac-n-Cheese balls with Bacon. That’s the stuff!”

She manages to find time for Yoga, biking and concerts, all while studying for a second degree in psychology at Philadelphia Community College — her first degree is in Photography. Laura’s interest in criminal psychology began while she was still in High School; Jack the Ripper was the subject of her Senior Thesis project. Clearly still pondering the mysteries of the infamous psychopath she said, “It is fascinating, how a predator can appear as a perfectly balanced person to their peers and then go out at night and commit unthinkable atrocities.”

In the Palm of Your Hand: Meet Jonathan Zell, Sou Chef

March 22, 2019

Jon joined the staff of Beck’s Cajun Cafe, 30th Street Station, as the Sou Chef in October of 2018. Born and raised in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, Jon calls Philly home, “I left and went to college in Vermont and came back, I left and went to work at a restaurant in Bar Harbor, Maine and came back, It’s home; I always return,”
he said.

Friends and family have always been central to Jon’s life. While growing up, Wednesday Spaghetti Night was a family tradition — the whole family came to dinner. And, it was during this time that his Grandfather taught him how to make homemade meatballs. “The meatball should be the size of the palm of your hand,” his grandfather said. “Grandpa, your hand is bigger than mine, the meatballs will not be the same size,” he responded. “The palm of your hand,” his Grandfather said.

Now a professional cook, who trained at Philadelphia Culinary Arts Institute, the family leaves the holiday cooking to him. When asked if his mother was okay with him taking over the kitchen for family events, he nodded, smiled and said, “Yes, she got used to it. She was never a really big cook, she did other things.”

“My Mom was a surfer, she is from Hawaii, ” he said. “One of my first memories is sitting under this exotic, ornamental tree, that my sister had climbed, and I was watching my Mom hang ten on the waves of Waikiki,” he shared with a smile. He has not returned for many years and although Hawaii will always be a desirable place to go, other adventures beckon him. “Europe is on the agenda and of course, New Orleans. I love cajun food. I have to go.” he said. When asked what his favorite Beck’s food is he responded unequivocally, “Gumbo.”

Welcome Jon!

Flower Power and the State Flower of Louisiana

March 4, 2019

Magnolia on Gold Cloth; Oil on canvas, Martin Heade

The annual Philadelphia Flower Show is here! And, Flower Power prompted us to share a little about Louisiana horticulture. The State Flower of Louisiana is the Magnolia and the State Wild Flower is the Louisiana Iris. Louisiana is a magical place all of the time, but especially in the spring and summer when the air is filled with the intoxicatingly sweet smell of Magnolias. The landscape is lyrical — unless you are in the bayou and there the tempo changes a bit as vampires and alligators abound.

Magnolias symbolize dignity and nobility. In ancient China, magnolias were thought to be the perfect symbols of beauty and gentleness. And, then there is Sugar Magnolia, the Grateful Dead’s ode to a woman who “…could make happy any man alive” and Dolly Parton’s song, Beneath the Sweet Magnolia Tree — both songs celebrate a passionate roll in the grass under the Magnolia tree. Clearly, those composers had their own mythology about the Magnolia tree in mind when they wrote their lyrics.

The Irises mythology dates back to Ancient Greece, when the Goddess Iris, who personified the rainbow, acted as the link between heaven and earth. Legend has it that purple Irises were planted over the graves of women to summon the goddess Iris to guide them in their journey to heaven. Iris became linked to the French monarchy during the Middle Ages, eventually being recognized as their national symbol, the fleur-de-lis.

Thousands of Magnolia trees bloom throughout Louisiana during the summer. The Magnolia can grow up to 80 – 90 feet tall and span 30 – 50 feet wide. Its rich, sweet fragrance is seductive. The Magnolia was named as the State Flower of Louisiana in 1900. It is named after the French botanist, Pierre Magnol (1638-1715). The Louisiana Iris was named the State Wild Flower in 1990; the first attempt to make the wild Iris the state flower occurred under great debate in 1950.

Don’t Bore Me With a Burger!

March 1, 2019


Meet Deborah!

As a foodie, a globe trotter, and one who possesses a guilt free cravefactor barometer for culinary delights in the City of Brotherly Love, Deborah has become a charmer and leader during her seven years at Beck’s Cajun Cafe. She started at Beck’s in 2012 and has worked at both the Reading Terminal Market location and the 30th Street Station, where she is now the manager.

“Don’t bore me with a Burger,” she quipped. “I love blackened food — seafood and chicken. And, here at Beck’s, I enjoy the Blackened Catfish with Cole Slaw, Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo and Beet Salad — all incredibly delicious. I run over to Earth, Bread and Brewery, in Mount Airy — for their Vietnam Veggie — when I have off. It is so incredible!” Deborah’s travels through India and Nepal served to deepen her love of food and culture. “I love dining out, I love atmosphere. When you sit down and have a great meal the day melts away.”

Self motivated, her first job was raising money for the Arthritis Foundation. The entrepreneurial bug bit Deborah when she was just 16 years old, and she launched with her own housekeeping business. She went onto study Marketing and Communications at Temple University — with her secret love being Economics and International Politics. “Micro, macro — I loved figuring out the average,” she said. “I love learning about different cultures. It all goes together. And here at 30th Street Station there are many people from all over the world, on their way to work, or on their way to vacation, or returning home — It is all coming and going here. And, a lot of Amtrak travelers that come to Beck’s are fun, they have been to New Orleans, they already love the food and they love Beck’s.”