Michael Klein is taking a well-deserved vacation this week. As we head into the Labor Day weekend, we’ve been thinking about other kinds of getaways.

We’ve got a road trip to a Lititz farm raising Mangalista pigs, cookbooks that will take you on international trips through recipes, and tips for wine lovers to host a virtual tasting.

Read on about plans for New Jersey restaurants and casinos to reopen for indoor dining on Sept. 4. And be sure to visit inquirer.com for everything you should expect when Philadelphia restaurants head indoors Sept. 8.

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Miss traveling? New cookbooks take you around the world

International cookbooks on sale and coming this fall
Handout
International cookbooks on sale and coming this fall

I really miss hopping on a plane, landing in a new country, then getting a restaurant recommendation from a taxi driver, or stumbling into a farmers market. But only a few countries are accepting United States passports. Even our North American neighbors Mexico and Canada remain closed to nonessential travelers.

As a small consolation, I’ve written about a new slate of cookbooks that are on sale — or coming this fall — that are filled with personal stories and cultural interactions. We’ve included four recipes from the books that will take you to places you’ll want to visit when it’s safe.

Lititz tree farm branches out with Mangalista pigs

Mangalitsas at Elizabeth Farms
Elizabeth Farms
Mangalitsas at Elizabeth Farms

A bit closer to home, our contributor Sarah Maiellano took a trip to Elizabeth Farms, where rare Mangalitsas, a Hungarian pig breed with curly hair and succulent meat, are being raised for Philly restaurant and retail sale, and for The Barns at Elizabeth Farms, a 200-seat farm-to-table eatery that is opening this Labor Day weekend.

The Barns is a casual outdoor setting where you can try Mangalitsa pork. Visitors to the farm will be able to tour the pens where the piglets live.

Host a virtual wine tasting

from left to right: these are the wines we used in the wine tasting: White: Louis Jadot 2019 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France. Rose: 2019 Marqués de Caceres Rosé Rioja, Spain. Red: Chateau Lassègue 2016 Les Cadrans de Lassègue
Amy Mironov
from left to right: these are the wines we used in the wine tasting: White: Louis Jadot 2019 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France. Rose: 2019 Marqués de Caceres Rosé Rioja, Spain. Red: Chateau Lassègue 2016 Les Cadrans de Lassègue

Since the pandemic began, some wineries have been hosting virtual tastings to drive business, according to Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Staff writer Elizabeth Wellington has been missing sitting at a bar with her friends, and taking trips to Pennsylvania wineries to try new bottles. She called up wine expert and Bucks County native Mary Ewing-Mulligan, and put together some advice for hosting a virtual wine tasting right from your home.

NJ restaurants and casinos do the math on reopening

Tables are spread apart at the Borgata Beer Garden at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.
MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer
Tables are spread apart at the Borgata Beer Garden at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s gave the go-ahead for restaurants to reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Sept. 4. With only a few days to staff up, stock up, and enact all the proper sanitation measures, reporter Jenn Ladd found that some larger restaurants and casinos were in a better position to reopen.

When chef-owner Joey Baldino factored the effect of 25% indoor capacity at his Collingswood BYOB, Zeppoli, it amounted to eight more seats. Meanwhile, the Borgata in Atlantic City will wind down outdoor dining operations and instead go all-in with its four fine-dining establishments — Angeline, Izakaya, Old Homestead Steak House, and Bobby Flay Steak.

Standard Tap’s smoked hoagie takes on the Philly classic

The smoked hoagie at Standard Tap is new chef Patrick Limanni's hand-crafted ode to the classic, with three kinds of house-cured and smoked meats layered with olive and pepper spreads over the house sourdough baguettes.
claban@inquirer.com
The smoked hoagie at Standard Tap is new chef Patrick Limanni's hand-crafted ode to the classic, with three kinds of house-cured and smoked meats layered with olive and pepper spreads over the house sourdough baguettes.

Food critic Craig LaBan has found a new contender in the updated hoagie sweepstakes. Standard Tap’s new chef Patrick Limanni has a next level ode to the classic Philly sandwich that has house-smoked meats on a house-baked sourdough roll.

There’s been a citywide resurgence of serious hoagie updates lately, with places upgrading the stuffings or baking their own rolls (Pizzeria Beddia, Angelo’s Pizzeria South Philly, Stina, Martha, Liberty Kitchen, among others).