Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.”

Meet the Staff: Chef Jake

January 17, 2018

jake

Do you have any nicknames: The Hermanator, Sugar Beaver

How long have you been working at Beck’s? Since November, but I’ve always enjoyed Beck’s food and have been eating here a long time.

What’s your favorite Beck’s food? The Oyster Po Boy. I love Bill’s recipe.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do? I practice jiu jitsu. Jiu jitsu is a grappling art used for self defense. Everybody should have some basic training in self defense. A lot of chefs do jiu jitsu. That’s how I got into it—when I was working in fine dining.

Are you dangerous? No. And nobody who says they’re dangerous is dangerous and everybody’s dangerous in the right circumstances.

What belt are you? White belt. Red belt is the highest belt. It takes 30 to 40 years to get a red belt. I met a red belt once.

What’s your super hero power and why? That’s easy. Control metal like Magneto because then you can control the magnetic pull of the earth.

Ode to The Train Wreck, as written by a fan

January 4, 2018

So great, we had to post it again. Thanks, Jimbo, Beck’s Official Poet Laureate!

Beck's Train WreckCropped

By Jim B.

Oh, great mash up of bovine and swine

Tossed greasily on a crusty roll with more satisfaction than 1,000 feasts

But unbeknownst to the tongues of those Muslim, & Hindu, & Vegan, & Jew…

As your name may suggest, you are the very depiction of carnage (in the flesh)

Just as wearily eyes are incapable of looking away, so are the mouths of men of turning away

As they yearn hungrily for your sloppy, beefy, cheesy goodness

Your creamy mayonnaise runs deep, deep within your warm center of salami and fried onions

And it is an obtainable spoil for even Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe to enjoy with messy dignity

For it is not without great condiments that any man should be laid to rest

Deliciousness is often fleeting

But yours is not, and it sends quivers down the spines of all with hearty appetites

Be it Adam Richmond, or Kobayashi, or Scooby Doo

The best description of its flavor: DIVINE

The best description of your affliction: INTOXICATING

And alas, the best description of your status post sandwich: COMATOSE

P.S. The Gator Gumbo rocks as well.  It’s a spicy, smoky bowl of reptilian joy.

The Philly Ice Cream Scoop Event @RTM on 7/29 –Beck’s Bananas Foster Flambé

July 26, 2017

 

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream! Do the memories come flooding back when you hear those words? Now you can make long lasting memories for your family by attending the biggest event of the summer! We’re so excited to be part of the Reading Terminal Market‘s event, The Philly Ice Cream Scoop on 7/29! Don’t miss this event from 10am-4pm in Center Court!

We’ll be serving up our famous Beck’s Cajun Café’s mouthwatering Banana’s Foster Flambé.  We’re teaming up with Bassetts Ice Cream , along with Franklin Fountain, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Lil’ Pop Shop, Zsa’s Ice Cream, and more than 20 other merchants to dish up delicious frozen treats. Come visit Beck’s on July 29th and order some great tasting Bananas Foster Flambé! – follow Chef Bill’s video steps and you’ll make the best tasting Bananas Foster Flambé! (more…)

Get to Know Beck’s – Johan

July 24, 2017

Server Johan brings enthusiasm to the Beck’s table with his passion for people and interesting pursuits and hobbies. Johan found Beck’s through a Craigslist ad and immediately applied to the open position. He landed an interview the next day and was hired shortly after. Prior to working at Beck’s, Johan worked as a counselor at an addiction treatment facility. His professional experience in a service-oriented field helps him immensely at Beck’s as he interacts with customers hailing from vastly different backgrounds.

Johan brings a down-to-earth, positive attitude to Beck’s. He is at home with his Beck’s family, saying that “everyone is dope and I love them.” Johan’s favorite menu item is the infamous Gator Gumbo. In his spare time, Johan enjoys video games and working on various art projects. He hopes to travel more in the near future and eventually settle down with the right woman.

Celebrate International Bacon Day With Beck’s Cajun Cafe’s Bacon Mac and Cheese Balls!

September 2, 2016

International Bacon Day ARTICLE - Saturday before Labor Day - bacon mac & cheese balls #1

‘Taste The Best of The Best at Beck’s Cajun Cafe!’

In celebration of International Bacon Day, which is always the Saturday before Labor Day, we creating Beck’s homemade Bacon Fried Mac and Cheese Balls!

We’ll even go one step further and share with you not only our ingredients, but how to create these tasty morsels in which your stomach will love you for life!

Ingredients

International Bacon Day - Saturday before Labor Day - bacon mac & cheese balls Ingredients

How To Create Beck’s Bacon Mac & Cheese Balls

Bacon Mac  Cheese Balls recipe

FYI – You’ll be able to purchase this weekend special from September 2 to 5 at our Reading Terminal Market and 30th St Station locations.

If you end up trying to make Beck’s Cajun Cafe’s Bacon Fried Mac and Cheese Balls, please let us know how you did and maybe share a photo.

You can also follow us on these social media channels:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Mardi Gras’ Catholic Roots

February 4, 2016

Mardi GrasMardi Gras, literally “Fat Tuesday,” has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, sometimes hedonistic event. Its roots lie in the Christian calendar, as the “last hurrah” before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

What is less known about Mardi Gras is its relation to the Christmas season, through the ordinary-time interlude known in many Catholic cultures as Carnival. Ordinary time, in the Christian calendar, refers to the normal “ordering” of time outside of the Advent/Christmas or Lent/Easter seasons.

Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning “farewell to the flesh.” Like many Catholic holidays and seasonal celebrations, it has its roots in pre-Christian traditions based on the seasons. As early as the middle of the second century, the Romans observed a Fast of 40 Days, which was preceded by a brief season of feasting, costumes and merrymaking.

The Carnival season kicks off with the Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, Three Kings’ Day and, in the Eastern churches, Theophany. Epiphany, which falls on January 6, 12 days after Christmas, celebrates the visit of the Wise Men bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. In cultures that celebrate Carnival, Epiphany kicks off a series of parties leading up to Mardi Gras.

Epiphany is also traditionally when celebrants serve King’s Cake, a custom that began in France in the 12th century. Legend has it that the cakes were made in a circle to represent the circular routes that the Wise Men took to find Jesus, in order to confuse King Herod and foil his plans of killing the Christ Child. In the early days, a coin or bean was hidden inside the cake, and whoever found the item was said to have good luck in the coming year. In Louisiana, bakers now put a small baby, representing the Christ Child, in the cake; the recipient is then expected to host the next King Cake party.

Mardi Gras came to the New World in 1699, when a French explorer arrived at the Mississippi River, about 60 miles south of present day New Orleans. He named the spot Point du Mardi Gras because he knew the holiday was being celebrated in his native country that day.

Eventually the French in New Orleans celebrated Mardi Gras with masked balls and parties, until the Spanish government took over in the mid-1700s and banned the celebrations. The ban continued even after the U.S. government acquired the land but the celebrations resumed in 1827. The official colors of Mardi Gras, with their roots in Catholicism, were chosen 10 years later: purple, a symbol of justice; green, representing faith; and gold, to signify power.

Why is there a baby in my cake?

February 2, 2016

 

King Cake2Mardi Gras wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without a sweet supply of king cakes. The popular dessert is a cross between a Danish and a cinnamon roll with a sweet filling. It’s topped with gaudy colors of purple, green and gold, representing justice, faith and power.

The cake contains a small trinket, usually a small plastic baby, said to represent the Baby Jesus. In the past, the baby was made of porcelain or even gold.  Tradition holds that the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket is traditionally awarded various privileges and obligations including hosting the next king cake party.

Beck’s is still taking orders for King Cakes, which may be had at $34.95 for a whole cake or $3.25 for individual portion. Get yours by calling 215-592-0505 or 215-382-2800. The cakes are available for pick up at either the Reading Terminal Market or at 30th Street Station through Mardi Gras on Tues., Feb. 9.

Get yours today, baby!

 

Bill Beck’s Shrimp-Andouille Scrapple

January 20, 2016

Crawfish ScrappleIf you’re a lover of delicious and decadent foods, then you have to come to Scrapplefest at the Reading Terminal Market on Sat. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oh, but I don’t want all that fat you say? Then try this satisfying, surprisingly subtle, lower-fat version made Cajun style with shrimp and Andouille! It’s not too spicy and great with a fried eggs and cheese on French bread as a specialty breakfast po-boy. Take it from Chef Bill Beck, it brings a little “who dat” to one of Pennsylvania’s favorite foods!

Ingredients:

1.25 Lbs. Andouille Sausage
1 Lbs Shrimp, peeled, deveined,and raw
3 Cups Yellow Cornmeal
2 Cups Buckwheat Flour
2 Quarts Pork Stock (use low salt bouillon cubes or make your own from scrapes)
1.5 Cups Onion
2 Tbl Fresh Garlic
0.25 Tsp Mace
1 Tsp Oregano
2 Tsp Beck’s Devil Dust
2 ea Tbl Vegetable oil
To Taste: Salt and Pepper

Preparation:
1. Slice Andouille sausage links into four pieces per link, top to bottom
2. Medium dice onion and garlic, keep separate
3. Heat skillet, add half the veg. oil and lay Andouille sausage out like bacon and lightly caramelize in pan, do all and set sausage a side
4. In same pan while still hot, add rest of oil followed by the onion, cook till lightly caramelized. Then add the garlic, cook two minutes while stirring.
5. Add shrimp to the onion- garlic mixture and let simmer until the shrimp have released their liquid and the pan is dry.
6. Cool mixture for a couple of minutes, then combine with Andouillie and liquefy the mixture in a blender.
7. Put pureed mixture into sauce pan; add the seasonings followed by the cornmeal, buckwheat flour and the stock, add stock slowly stirring all the while.
8. Bring all to a simmer, and reduce for 10 to 15 minutes stirring all the while until the mixture is very thick and paste-like.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
10. Butter loaf pans 3-4, pour in mixture, and refrigerate 4-6 hours till firm. Freeze well.
11. When ready to cook, cut and dredge in flour on all sides, cook in grease or oil until crispy and brown.