the whole-y grail

the whole-y grail

the whole-y grail

Official blog of the warden ettinger group, a full-service, Phila., PA-based PR firm serving a diverse consumer, lifestyle + nonprofit clientele. Our culinary division, The Whole Enchilada PR, caters to restaurateurs, chefs + other food-related businesses, while "the word exchange" is aimed at clients seeking à la carte copywriting services.

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It’s V-Day, Not D-Day

February 11, 2014

→Drop the singing Mylar balloon. Step away from the fluorescent pink teddy bear. Do not even think about price checking that oversized “Ain’t I Tweet” card. Better than a bouquet of extortionately priced roses, our Valentine’s round-up will score you some major points for originality.

For the Girls’ Girl

Ladies, show off your besties—and bliss out—on Valentine’s Eve at Architeqt Salon’s Pamper Day**(we’re talking make up consultations, mini-manis, blowouts, and hot stone massages) then head across town to Fadó Irish Pub’s Women and Whiskey Tasting Event.  Starting at 6PM, this $30 four-course tasting menu features whiskey accompaniments: homemade apple cinnamon Jameson, Wisers vanilla spiced whiskey, and salted chocolate cheesecake.

For the Gentleman & Foodie 

South Philly Taproom’s Scott Schroder is moonlighting at Top Chef competitor Jason Cichonski’s Ela for a Bromance Collaboration Dinner on February 12th. This “bromantical evening” features a $50 “My Snuggle Bear” tasting menu, and a peek at the menu divulges the first course: roasted scallop with uni custard, brown butter dashi, bok choy, and smoked vanilla powder.

For the Budding Artistes

Indulge your obsession with Pinterest crafts at The Expressive Hand. The chocolate fountain will be flowing from 6-9PM on February 14th, and the shop is always BYOB. So grab your beloved bottle of Cab Sauv (or three) and get ready to stroke—some brushes, that is.

For the Extroverted Duet  

Sushi and karaoke are the new chocolate and Cupid. Yakatori Boy got it right with their sweetheart roll: spicy tuna and avocado wrapped in tuna and caviar—part of their 4-course, $75 (for two) tasting menu. Bring that chocolate raspberry kiss martini to the second floor karaoke lounge for an incomparable Valentine’s date.

For the Cuddle Bunnies

With yet another snowstorm heading our way, it’s always good to have a backup plan. If you decide to stay in, turn on the amore in the comfort of your own home by paying homage to the language of love with a night of Italian cooking. Might we recommend prosciutto crostini with goat cheese, “drunken” pappardelle noodles, and chocolate tiramisu? Oh, and be sure to pick up a bottle of Chianti and a Redbox before the first flurries fall.

@emilyKspring

**Please note, this event has been moved to Monday, 2/17 due to the impending snow storm.

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edibowl ideas + more for Sunday

January 29, 2014

→While our beloved boys in green will not be gracing MetLife Stadium with their soulful emerald eyes (looking at you, Foles), the good news is you can still show your Philly fandom during Super Bowl XLVIII by indulging in some local fare and festivities.

Since Super Bowls and sauce-soaked meat go together like Beyoncé and halftime blackouts, here’s a tip: Place an order at Northern Liberties’ Fette Sau by Friday (1/31)  and you can bet on those “what are your plans for the game” texts shooting in as word gets around that you’re the house with the drool-inducing Berkshire pulled pork, Duroc St. Louis ribs, and bacon brownies. Suburbanites, fear not; you’ve got some great takeout and catering options here. Oh, and Facebook tells us you can get any type of Super Bowl food you desire—from trays of lobster mac ‘n’ cheese to assorted sandwiches and wings—from two of Conchy locals’ favorite grub spots, Stella Blue and Gypsy Cafe. Just give one of the restaurants a call.

Can’t wait until kickoff to sate your carnivorous cravings? Black Powder Tavern, the revolutionary landmark in Wayne, will serve up scrumptious brunch fare with bonus game day treats such as ribs, hot dogs, BBQ pork sandwiches, corn fritters, popcorn shrimp and wings from 10:30AM-2PM. Wash that deliciousness down with a complimentary PBR, mimosa, or Bloody Mary, then head back into the city proper for some culture before the carnage.

The Philadelphia Art Museum has pulled out all the stops for the Arms & Armor Family Celebration, paralleling the contemporary armor worn by football players to their medieval knightly counterparts. Stick around for a fencing demonstration and face time with nature’s own armored warrior, the mighty armadillo. The best part? The museum’s generous pay-what-you-wish program means you won’t break the bank.

Bring those extra bucks over to the Bella Vista Beer Distributor for the biggest decision you’ll make on game day: Will you plant yourself in coffee-mecca Seattle’s camp, shouldering a case of Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock? Or will you get your hippie on with Colorado’s own Boulder Breweries’ Hazed and Infused Dry Hopped Ale?

Regardless of where you are at 6:30PM this Sunday, we advise that you plant yourself next to the buffalo chicken dip and enjoy some prime commercial genius – I’m praying for a sequel to Budweiser’s Clydesdale heart warmer. And I guess I’ll watch some football, too.

@emkatspring

“intern”al ponderings

January 17, 2014 1 Comment

→We are so thrilled to introduce Emily Spring, a senior at Temple University—and our extra set of hands (and eyes) from now until about mid-May. Her distinct writing styles is just one of the many skills we are excited to share with our clients and circles. She’ll be posting here each week, giving her perspective as an intern learning the how-tos of (and how to survive in) the big bad world of media relations, communications and social media. She’ll also be helping us gain consistency throughout the whole-y grail blog, and give us a little more room to breathe during the workday. 

“Having it all is easy, if you’re willing to work for it.” – This dazzling one-liner from Bravo’s Real Housewives dynasty was the brilliant battle cry of Adrienne Maloof (Beverly Hills, season two, duh).

As a Bravo aficionada, I totally get where she was coming from – she runs one of the biggest hotel chains while taking care of her kids and prancing around in six-inch Louboutins. However, as an educated (Go Owls!) and socially aware young woman, the flippancy of her assertion that her lifestyle was a breeze to secure irks me.

Contrary to Maloof’s decisiveness, I believe that a filigree-delicate design of imagination, circumstance, hunger, and of course hard work lead to success. And there is no certainty that my success will be “easy” as a soon-to-be college graduate entering a daunting job market.

For example, it was situational providence – and some excruciatingly polite emails – that introduced me to my internship here at the warden ettinger group. I am beyond delighted to have a chance at siphoning some of the dynamic energy of TWE into my personal internship experience. Come May, when both my internship and college career will culminate, I hope to have achieved a higher level of finesse in writing, to have been exposed to the cogs and grease of client service, and to elevate my creativity beyond opening an introduction blog with a reality television reference.

If I can morph my sociology major into an apt conduit for market research and client service, I will have succeeded. If I can rattle some fresh writing out of my English minor, I will have succeeded. If I can surprise TWE with some brilliant and unprovoked PR magic – well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If I can prove that I am not the stereotypically bumbling millennial, that I can contribute meaningfully to the inventive work done at TWE, and that my appetite for accomplishment trumps my admittedly concise resume, I will have succeeded. Take that, Maloof!

@emkatspring

pop-up shopping in Manayunk + brewskies (& Ron Burgandy) in S. Philly

December 5, 2013

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→On Wednesday, December 11th, East Passyunk Ave. is getting boozy with the Santa Craft Beer Crawl. Fourteen award-winning bars, including Stateside, Lucky 13, Bottle Shop, Birra and Stogie Joes, will open their doors ready to sling pints of seasonal craft beers and mix up holiday cocktails for one and all. Tickets, which get you $3 beers, $4 cocktails and $5 plates, are just $5, and can be purchased here. Bonus: you’ll receive a Santa or elf hat at registration. Even better bonus: proceeds from the event will benefit local families in need through East Passyunk Crossing’s holiday giving program. The fun starts at 5:30PM and wraps up at 9:30.

→The City of Brotherly Love’s first open air artisan and antiques market, The Philly Mart, will present it’s inaugural event, a Pop-up Holiday Extravaganza, on Saturday, December 14th from 11AM-6PM, and Sunday, December 15th from 11AM-5PM at 4120 Main Street in Manayunk.

Attendees will be invited to browse (indoors, don’t worry) a variety of original art, photography, housewares, collectibles, jewelry, up-cycled glassware, ceramics, knot wear, art prints and more—all made by 30+ artisans from Reading to South Jersey.

Make sure to check out The Philly Mart’s social media promotions which benefit Toys for Tots. And, if you’re able to attend the event, remember to bring an unwrapped toy to donate (it just might score you some Philly Mart cash).

1470682_10200337299913511_1335379828_n→For those of you who want the best of both worlds (arts and booze), on Thursday, December 19th, a ($20) ticket to South Philly Goes To The Movies will buy you a ticket to a private midnight premiere of Anchorman 2, a brew at both The P.O.P.E and The Industry, and entry into a raffle. What’s better than watching a man with a voice that could make a wolverine purr and suits so fine they make Sinatra look like a hobo in a theater full of people with a slight Thirsty Thursday buzz? Not much.

@kimettinger

unbeleafable foliage

November 13, 2013

LEAVES→If you spend a good amount of time scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, chances are you’ve seen a lot more deep red, golden-orange and rich yellow images in your feeds lately. Ah yes, the opportunities for breathtaking foliage shots abound this time of year—the kind that need #nofilter.

Lucky for us, between the river paths, museums, wineries, and parks in the Greater Philadelphia region, whether you look up, down, or all around, you’re likely to be surrounded by a kaleidoscope of warm fall hues.

Various sources tell us that this coming weekend will be the peak time to see the colors of the season in all of their glory. With that in mind, you may want to check out one or two of these Uwishunu picks for prime foliage-viewing before the vibrancy is drained from the leaves and they turn, well, brown and crunchy:

Philadelphia: Franklin Square, Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon Gorge, Morris Arboretum, University City

Bucks County: Bowman’s Hill, Delaware Canal State Park, Tyler State Park

Chester County: Brandywine River Museum, Chaddsford Winery, Ridley Creek State Park

Montgomery County: Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary at Mill Grove, Evansburg State Park

If you’re looking for a different type of fall foliage experience, this coming Saturday (November 16th) is LOVE Your Park Fall Service Day. Thanks to this citywide park cleanup, you can see the leaves and rake them too ;). Click the link above for details about how you can take part in special projects to prep the Philadelphia parks for winter. And, for a map of the 78 parks where the cleanup is going down this year, click here.

Did you capture any great fall images recently? We’d love you to share them with us on our Facebook page.

@kimettinger

another helping please: chipotle’s animated short

September 20, 2013

chipotle-scarecrow

→In the “a picture is worth a thousand words” department, Chipotle’s recently  released three-minute-plus animated ad and its counterpart parody have gotten a  lot of attention this week. The short certainly delivered on attaining audible buzz,  and had I not casually mentioned to my sons the other day, that I’d snuck out to  our local Chipotle for a carnitas salad bowl and a side of sunshine, I might still be  embarrassingly behind in the conversation.

It took me about 25 seconds to fully fall under the film’s spell, right about when the  main character, Mr. Scarecrow, steps into the food processing and packaging  factory. The eerily beautiful music and transporting animation makes having a visceral reaction nearly impossible, as does the keen portrayal of Mr. Scarecrow’s discouraged state. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I wanted to reach through the computer screen and give Mr. Scarecrow a hug.

The recent parody (also admirably clever) insinuates an underlying evil behind the messaging, but isn’t all advertising manipulative? And, it’s not like offensive marketing (calling out the competition) is a new trend. In my humble opinion, I think Chipotle’s creative team did exactly what content marketers and brand managers have been advising: They found a way to make an emotional connection to consumers. And, they did it in a medium that speaks to a range of age groups. Advertising aside, the creators also deserve acknowledgment for a well-crafted story. I have a similar view of Fast Food Nation, which takes on the fast food industry in a far more hard-edged manner than Chipotle has.

But back to the emotional ploy… We all know that food is a feel-good commodity. It’s not a stretch to play up ingredients that feel good going down, and that are also good for you. (You nutritionists can take this one on; accepted thinking is that organically grown, minimally processed foods are healthier, but I am certainly curious to learn more.) Chipotle is capitalizing on a popular, health-minded sentiment. Add into that, the love-hate reality of a technology-driven universe, and the message resonates even more.

Looking back over the years, the cotton industry’s “Fabric of our Lives,” Coca-Cola’s “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” and “Give. Live. Love.” commercials are among my favorites, as are some of the Apple ads created over the past couple of years. Their allure, in my humble opinion, stemmed from an ability to convey an understanding of core human values, as well as a sense of being essential in consumers’ everyday lives. Even McDonald’s worked this into their advertising campaign a couple of years ago, in a commercial that showed a family gathering around a formal dining room table, coming together for conversation and quality time—with their fast-food plated on pretty dishes.

My grandmother repeatedly advised me that the fastest way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. In Chipotle’s case, it’s aiming at women and men, and at our stomachs—by hitting us in the heart first. Love it or loathe it, I think it’s a damn solid piece of marketing.   —@eatDEWwrite

eat, twEAT + read: Philly events this week

September 15, 2013

heritage-flyer →If you’re heading to the Vampire Weekend concert this Thursday (9/19), you should have time to pop over  to Belmont Mansion for pre-show sustenance—locavore style. The happening: Heritage Farm Fare, a  collaborative fundraiser between Heritage Farm (tucked away on the campus of former orphanage,  Methodist Home for Children) and a number of farmer-friendly chefs, restaurants, and food and libations  purveyors. The tasty event benefits the community in enabling Heritage to cover costs of operating this  year-round, organic farm. More details here

twEatOut_v4_1

Sept. 16 is twEAT out for No Kid Hungry, a 24-hour push to promote hunger advocacy among diners, chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and anyone else who is willing and able to tweet and eat. The big picture campaign is Share our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry, a month-long, national fundraising event. On top of its already active messaging, No Kid Hungry has been educating the public about SNAP cuts, the need to improve the quality and accessibility of school lunches, and the importance of starting each day with a hearty, healthy breakfast—which unfortunately, too many young students do not. Participating in the twEAT out is easy, and presents a great excuse to try out that new restaurant on your list. Want some suggestions on tweets, follow @eatDEWwrite and @TWEgroup all day long.

→Writers in all genres should consider blocking time out for the Chestnut Hill Book FestivalSept. 22. The event is being hosted at a few different locations, and gives those outside the ink well, a chance to support Philadelphia’s talented pool of writers and authors. We were especially excited to hear that one of TWE’s most respected media allies and food writers, Michael Klein (Editor/producer of philly.com/Food; Philadelphia editor, Zagat Survey), is moderating “Stories from the Kitchen”, a chef-driven conversation about life behind the line. (We’re working on getting the names of the participating chefs, so stay tuned.)

Old-school and new media journalists might appreciate joining Daily News columnist John Baer and former music industry reporter, also for the Daily News, Al Hunter, Jr. as they discuss the transition from news writing to book writing and other elements of the writing world. Pete Mazzaccaro, editor of the Chestnut Hill Local, moderates.

With the holidays in sight, this is also a good opportunity to load up on new books for the winter. One for them, two for you… Being food obsessed, we’re certainly intrigued by this title: Kinky Gazpacho (Lori Tharps). Attendees will also be privy to a little locally-flavored live mic time with Philadelphia Stories (they’ll hold kids’ writing workshops too) and a performance by Chestnut Hill Improv.

Among the local authors you’ll have the opportunity to chat up (and hopefully score autographed books from), are those pictured in the event’s promotional brochure, shared on the Festival’s Facebook page here and here. Information is a little light otherwise, so for more in-depth questions, contact organizers at info@chestnuthillbookfestival.com.

tweeting for a good cause

August 8, 2013

The power of social media puts United Way Bucks County in the spotlight—and thousands of meals on the table for many families struggling to sustain their nutrition and energy. WE support causes like this and hope that you will too. As cliché as it may sound, it really does take a village. —@eatDEWwrite

read.eat.DEW.write.

BKOHunger

Tomorrow is the final leg of United Way Bucks County’s “Buck’s Knocks Out Hunger” campaign. Between 10AM – 1:30PM, volunteers will be packing meals at Ann’s Choice Community Room. The goal is to pack at least 64,000 meals (a meal for every person in Bucks County who is currently “food insecure”) during those hours.

Last Friday, this post went up on the organization’s blog. At this point, I do not have a current tally of funds raised, but based on the nation’s hunger statistics and recent SNAP cuts, this is surely going to be an ongoing effort.

You can help tomorrow in one very simple way: tomorrow, between 10AM – 1:30PM, retweet the #BKOHunger tag when you see it pop up in your feed. Certainly, if you support any local pantry or hunger advocacy group, you’re encouraged to tag them as well. Fighting hunger is a global effort, and every voice…

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relaxing river activities + 2 charity events

July 31, 2013

→Now that hump day is pretty much behind us, we’re thinking ahead to the weekend. Since the forecast is full of sunshine, we’ve got some great ideas about how to spend your downtime outside, and we’re also putting the spotlight on a couple charity events worth knowing about.

Outdoor Fun (river style)

On the Schuylkill:

  • Get the weekend started early tomorrow evening with Movie Night on the banks (how can you say no to Rocky?)
  • Take a riverboat tour to Bartram’s Gardens (home of America’s first great botanist, John Bartram) on Saturday

On the Delaware:

  • Tomorrow evening at Penn’s Landing, watch The Avengers under the stars
  • On Friday, grab lunch from Reuben on Rye, Cupcakes 2 Go and two other food trucks during Food Truck Friday at the Adventure Aquarium parking lot (Camden Waterfront)

On the Brandywine:

  • Enjoy beautiful views of Chester County (and dinner, if you’d like) during a hot air balloon flight
  • Take a trot, er walk on the wild side with a horseback ride and picnic along the water

Charity Events

This Saturday evening, Bebashi—Transition to Hope and Urban Angel Foundation (UAF) will host Halos for Hope from 8PM-12AM at PAFA. (You may have seen/heard us buzzing about this event because we volunteered PR services.) The black-tie fundraiser will feature entertainment from Urban Guerilla Orchestra, fabulous silent auction items, a VIP lounge, open bar, food by Jimmy Duffy and more. For more information and tickets, please click here. Monies raised will help Bebashi continue to provide culturally sensitive health information and services, as well as education, direct services, research and technical assistance aimed at reducing HIV/AIDS transmissions and other health disparities in the urban community. Urban Angel Foundation will use funds to maintain and grow the pro-bono services that the organization offers to urban communities in Philadelphia.

If you’re into cars, this Sunday is the (free to the public) 4th annual 4UDREW Car Show & Festival in Doyelstown. Browse cool vehicles (all years, makes and model cars, trucks and motorcycles) and enjoy music, vendors, food, games and raffles while you’re at it. 4uDREW was established in the memory Richard Andrew Panettieri, who died tragically in a motor cross accident in March of 2006. His passion was drifting, and he was actively involved with Tony Angelo, a professional driver and President of Drift Alliance. Proceeds from the event (and all 4UDREW events) will directly impact several of the charities where Drew used to volunteer, including the Mother of Sorrows and Saint Vincent’s soup kitchens in Philadelphia.

@kimettinger

join the heat

July 17, 2013

→If you’re hoping the second half of this week won’t be as steamy as the first, you’re not in luck. But thanks to an ongoing sprinkling of fun, local outdoor activities, ditching the AC can still be enjoyable.

For starters, today marks the opening of The Oval, an eight-acre park at the base of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Open through 8/17 (9a.m.-9p.m.), The Oval will feature free daytime and evening programming, interactive games and fitness activities, educational and environmental programs, live entertainment, movie nights and new food trucks daily.

impact_ovalBeach

Each day, The Oval will have a different theme:

  • Tuesdays: Wellness
  • Wednesdays: Arts & Culture
  • Thursdays: Environment
  • Fridays: Food & Flicks
  • Saturdays: Live Music Series
  • Sundays: Family Fun Day

Planning a trip from the ‘burbs to the Art Museum or The Franklin Institute with the kiddos? Might want to pencil in a bit of extra time. Once they see The Oval, saying “no” won’t be an option.

If you’d rather wait until the sun goes down, tomorrow night American Idol winner Fantasia, R&B star Joe and Comedian Dominique, will be taking the stage at the Dell Music Center, East Fairmount’s open-air concert venue which features 600 lawn seats and 5,284 reserved seats. The concert series, which just started last Thursday, will continue weekly through August. And lucky for you, tickets are quite affordable ($25-$60).

For those of  you don’t mind the heat, but want to wait for temps to drop just a bit, consider heading to Tiny Terra Ferma in Manayunk tomorrow for “Pies for POP”. There, staff from the Philadelphia Orchard Project will share tips on how to grow produce in an urban garden (and you can save your newfound skills for a cooler day; it is supposed to be 97 degrees tomorrow).

The event will benefit the Philadelphia Orchard Project, an initiative that’s brought 34 orchards to Philadelphia and plans to brogan even more orchards to the city. Tickets, which are only $10 in advance and $12 at the door, score you endless pie (sweet and savory) from Sweet Elizabeth’s Cakes and thirst-quenching beer from Yards.

And these events are just a taste of what’s going on outside this week alone. To learn about outdoor activities to keep you busy for the rest of the summer, check out this awesome roundup by Philly Fun Guide.

Do you have any fun outdoor plans coming up? We’d love to hear about them…

@kimettinger

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