Let's talk about Kensington for a minute. I remember when I associated the word Kensington with visions of my mom driving me and my brother under the El, door knobs pressed down in the lock position and windows rolled up tight, because you never know who was carrying a deadly butcher knife in Kensington. This was our fear-filled mantra as we headed to the City of Hope to drop off old toys and clothes. We were wealthy by no means, but Kensington kids were way less privileged than I was. Heck, I lived in Mayfair! I remember donating to the Kensington food bank. We gave cans of soup that I swear the first ingredient was MSG and and Tang aka "Astronaut Juice", a combination of sugar and orange flavor and artificial color. Because if you ever tasted Tang, it tastes nothing like any orange I've ever eaten.
Today the word Kensington has a whole other connotation to me. And not just me but all of the cool people out there who know what's going on in Philly. Rittenhouse, Art Museum, Society Hill… they're ok. They just need to be dusted off a bit. But Kensington is where it's at when it comes to cutting-edge urban lifestyle, art, and cultural revival in Philadelphia, especially when it comes to food!
If I haven't convinced you yet, take a quick overhaul of what's happening in the Fishtown area along Frankford Avenue. It's an amazing sight. And though it is not officially Kensington, it's really close by and the name Kensington is being used by residents and entrepreneurs proudly. A perfect example of this is the butcher shop, restaurant, and school cultivated by Michael Pasquarello and Bryan Mayer called Kensington Quarters located at 1310 Frankford Avenue (267-314-5086). Their concept of unmodified, grass-fed, organic local food business is the extreme opposite of my old days of MSG, Tang contributions, and fear of the knife-wielding Kenzo.
Head to their website to watch a beautifully filmed and inspiring short video.