Sunday, July 24, 2011

50 Philly Foods (Part 2)

And, we're back! Another (over-hot) Sunday, so another chance to write up a description of the next ten foods you must eat in Philly or you're missing the point of living/visiting here. Just like last time, these are in no particular order...
  1. Carrot, wasabi, and fresh coconut ice cream from Scoop de Ville (1734 Chestnut St) - Max is going to fill in details on this one. The reason its here now is that it shows the wild variety you can get from Scoop de Ville. You pick your base (ice cream, yogurt in chocolate and plain) then mix in any one of a million options. Vanilla yogurt, graham crackers, cocoa puffs and marshmallow fluff? Sure! Chocolate ice cream, pretzels, pop rocks, and peanuts? Absolutely! Basically, if you can imagine it, you can eat it here. As if "Carrot, Wasabi, and Fresh Coconut ice cream" didn't give that away already.
  2. Dahlak Tibs from Dahlak (4708 Baltimore Ave) - This is the first restaurant I ever ate at in Philly. At first, the idea of Ethiopian food sort of freaked me out. What is all that goo, and how do you eat it again? With giant crepes? But, over time, I learned to love Ethiopian food, and specifically the Tibs at Dahlak. They're made with beef, and stewed for approximately one whole century in a delicious mix of spices. I've had tibs elsewhere, but nothing holds a candle to this amazing meal. Get it with spicy lentils and collard greens, and it's almost healthy then!
  3. Combo Manakeesh from Manakeesh (4420 Walnut St) - Manakeesh was mentioned before for their pastry sampler. This restaurant deserves two mentions on the list. Why? One - it's cheap. Like, really really cheap. $6 for dinner for one person cheap. Two - their food rocks. The idea of the restaurant is that you get Lebanese pita stuffed with yummy goo (meat, cheese, spices, whatever you want). The combo mixes the spices - mostly thyme, but some other goodies too - with cheese, to make a vegetarian folded-over-pizza-like meal. I'd suggest enjoying it with their Turkish coffee or mint tea - both take about 10 minutes to come to your table, and their both perfect.
  4. Pierogies from Syrenka Luncheonette (3173 Richmond St) - Port Richmond is home to a handful of polish bakeries and restaurants, but this one cooks one mean pierogi. But mostly, it's worth venturing up to this part of Philly to experience food you can't get anywhere else in Philly - really, really good Polish food. There's a grocery store across the street that probably imports most of their goods straight from Poland. It's a great way to have an adventure to another culture, and never leave the city limits!
  5. Pan-Roasted, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken from Sonata (1030 N. American St) - Let's start at the beginning - when you come here, you get perfectly cooked chicken (even Max liked it, and he's picky) that's wrapped in bacon. So far, so good. Add in chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes of the gods, green beans and onions, and you've got thanksgiving dinner times 1,000. It's a fairly pricey restaurant, but since it's a BYOB you won't waste $20 on two glasses of wine. Instead, use that money towards an appetizer (like the arugula salad) and dessert (the chocolate trio with a chocolate chip-wich, chocolate beignet, and chocolate cake is decadent). Worth braving the ugly suburban-shopping center nature of that part of American Street for this delicious food!
  6. Broccoli Rabe Ravioli from Superior Pasta Co (905 Christian St) - The Italian Market is known for it's pasta, and I've tried tons of it. But Superior's broccoli rabe ravioli is my absolute favorite. It mixes three of my favorite things - pasta, cheese, and broccoli rabe - in perfect proportion. It's not too cheesy, not too vegetable-y. I try to keep a box in my freezer, but I'm out now. Guess I'll head down to the Italian Market for more...
  7. Ah Snap! Fudge from Betty's Fudge (various locations, including Milk and Honey - 45th and Baltimore - and Elixr - 15th between Walnut and Locust) - Betty's fudge buttons are showing up almost everywhere I go. Are they following me? Enticing me to buy them when I'm at my weakest (while getting coffee)? They probably are. My favorite is the Ah Snap! fudge, which is blended with moroccan spices and is positively delicious. They go great with the aforementioned coffee, or ice cream, or really anything except kale. Actually, scratch that. I think they're good enough that they'd taste good with kale, too!
  8. Yards Brawler (everywhere!) - So this is one of the items on Philly Weekly's list of 50 things to eat (or drink) in the city. I was skeptical at first. Yards isn't my favorite brewery in the city (I like PBC a bit better). But then I tried this beer. It's the perfect beer for, like, every possible moment. Summer? Drink a Brawler, it'll cool you off. Winter? Have a Brawler with your roasted butternut squash, and feel all warm and fuzzy. Basically, it's the most versatile, good tasting beer in the city.
  9. Blood Orange Mojito from Cantina Los Caballitos (1651 E Passyunk) - This place has good food, no doubt (my vegan friends swear by the seitan fajitas), but I really come here to drink. I've braved freezing weather and sweltering heat to get one of these drinks. They taste sweet and bitter and not-too-alcohol-y, but they'll kick you in your butt when you're not looking. I can have about 2 before I probably shouldn't drive home. Three, and I'm toast. They're worth every sip!
  10. Brown Sugar Bakery (219 S. 52nd St) - I've never eaten here, but one day Max came home from work and went on and on for an hour (joking! it was only about 20 minutes) about how good this food was. He'd had some because someone brought it to work. So, I don't know what to suggest, but it sounds good! Wanna go with me and try some of them out?
OK, that's all for this week's installment. Come back next week for black russian bread, foule, kale, and other goodies you didn't know existed in Philadelphia!

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