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No frills near passyunk square

Does anyone know if they've reopened yet? I've heard amazing things.

Jun 21, 2013
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

No frills near passyunk square

I just moved from center city down to the passyunk sq area. I like the highly regarded expensive restaurants just as much as the dark bars, ethnic spots, or plastic 'chair' establishments.

I would love for some recommendations on neighborhood spots whether it be a cafe, bar, cheese shop, bakery, or restaurant. Keep the recommendation to places that wouldn't necessitate a reservation. Thanks!

Jun 20, 2013
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Restaurants/Bars for foodies in Portland, Maine

Family (all over 21 so don't need any kiddie recommendations) of foodies heading to Portland, Maine for the first time next week. I'm interested in finding out not only about restaurants but also good bars too. Regardless of whether its a dark locals spot or a white table cloth establishment, if they've got good food let me know.

I've read that Duckfat and The Lobster Shack are supposed to be good. What else?

Thanks!

May 28, 2013
Cpmullie in Northern New England

A Chef friend is coming to town, need recommendations!

I have an unanswered email out to him about how many diners. I was also thinking about Zahav, I forget that Kanella is so good as I live next door and eat there a lot. My only thoughs on Kanella is that the really "cool" stuff tends to come in the form of specials and its hit or miss what they are going be running at any given time. Theres plenty of great places I can send him which I know he'll love, but I'd really like the philly food scene to blow him away and I think the really interesting food will do that. Kanella, while amazing, is generally (and I I'm trying to say this carefully) simple greek/cypriot food done incredible well.

Aug 18, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

A Chef friend is coming to town, need recommendations!

An old friend of mine is coming to town who used to be a sous chef at the Inn at Little Washington which for those of you who don't know is a VERY highly acclaimed restaurant. He now works for a food distribution company on the west coast and is in the city next week. He asked me for some ideas for him to eat at as he has never really visited Philadelphia.

He's basically going to be interested into anything new and inventive and eclectic. Right off the bat there are a number of BYO's that pop into my head like Bibou, Little Fish, Cuchon, Koo Zee Doo, ect. Unfortunently I just found out Bibou is closed until September on vacation though.

I'm wondering if anyone else has any reccomendations. The flare of some sweet Steven Starr-esque flourecent lighting wont impress him, this should be all about the food.

Aug 18, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Beer Garden in Philly

You know when I was writing that reply I was supposed to remember towrite something about the Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle). Buckethead is right, its amazing and totally worth it.

I'm not sure if anyone else has had the same experience with the red cabbage but the first couple times i went there (shortly after it opened) the red cabbage was some of the best I had in my life. My last few visits its been FAR too high on the cinnamon and nutmeg or whatever spices are in there. I'm not sure what happened, maybe the head chef took his focus off the product after the restaurant was humming.

May 27, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Beer Garden in Philly

Brauhaus Schmitz is a must if you're willing to forgo the the outdoor seating. Some of the entrees can get pricey but no need to look any further then the sausage platter which is about the cheapest meal on the menu. Make sure to try the knockwurst as one of your two sausage choices, its amazing.

Whil on the subject of great places without outdoor seating, you have to try Monks Tavern if you haven't already. The beer list is hundreds of beers long with roughly 15 or so rotating beers on draft at any given time. The staff there is about as beer knowledgeable as they come as well. Good food, once again the cheapest is the best (mussels are a must, go with the red light district mussels)

May 27, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

FAVORITE DISHES 2011

I'm going to put 3 possibly lesser known dishes that might not the the best in the city, but possibly the best you've never had.

thousand layer bread at Rangoon

whole grilled artichoke with zesty citrus aioli at Mercato

saag paneer with garlic naan at Ekta

Wow.... I swear I'm not a vegetarian.

May 27, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Seeking Proposal Dinner Recommendations (Philadelphia)

In addition to the Vetri reccomendation I'm putting a vote behind Bibou. It doesn't have the people watching or skyline but its got a homey romantic (French) feel and the food is exquisite which makes it a lot like Vetri. The head chef and his wife are wonderful people. The Chefs wife actually runs the front of house and I'm sure they would do anything they could to make the situation as perfect as possible for you.

It is a BYOB which could be better or worse for your sitation. I know that in my relationship there are a bottle of wine or two out there that have sentimental meaning.

May 26, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Going to Zahav Tomorrow... Whats good?

My first Zahav experience will be tomorrow night. I've been hearing great things for quite sometime and delayed trying it for long enough. The menu looks great and if I could I'd order about 75% of it.

So I'm looking for some help to narrow my choices down. I eat just about anything (the duck hearts are calling my name) so lay down any and all favorites. Thanks!

May 26, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Are any farmer's-market vendors selling ramps?

They were being sold at the headhouse square farmers market two weekends ago. I haven't been by since so I don't know if they are still being sold. If you haven't been by its a fantastic market anyway. Produce is about as good as it gets in the city (can be expensive at times) and there are some great taco and sausage food vendors there so come hungry. Don't forget to get some of the fresh squeezed lemonade from the juice vendor to go along with your tacos al pastor.

The market is on 2nd streen between south and pine. I believe the weekend hours are 10-2 but don't quote me on that.

May 26, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Middle Eastern Restaurant and Grocer in the city?

I've always been a big fan of good cheap authentic middle eastern food (egyptian, lebanese, iranian, ect.). But there seems to be a serious lack of that type of food in Philadelphia, I'm hoping to find a few hole in the wall spots.

I'm also wondering if there are any middle eastern grocers in the area. More specifically I'm looking for some place to find the spice mixture za'atar. If you havn't eaten it before, go buy some pizza dough or make your own ofcourse, and rub za'atar that you have mixed with olive oil and turned into a paste. Its incredible, easy, and flavorful.

I'm going to check the spice shops in the italian market this weekend for za'atar but any advice as to where I could find it would be great.

May 26, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Greek restaurants in the city

I can't think about Greek food in Philadelphia without thinking about Kanella. Like mentioned it is technically Cypriot but its also technically AMAZING. And if you are into some of the offal or outside the box type foods, the chef isn't afraid to throw specials in that fit that bill. I had the best lambs tounge I've ever had in my life there and during a recent visit they had a special of whole roasted lambs head.

Not for everyone, but awesome if you're into that type of thing. But if you aren't into a lambs head on a plate they have plenty of more 'normal' choices and constantly changing specials to choose from.

Special shout out to their bunch too.

May 26, 2011
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Delivery to Center City Philadelphia (especially Rittenhouse)

I second the Ekta suggestion. I too notice how bland the food at Tiffin is becoming. Recently I finally decided to try Ekta and if you are or have been a fan of Tiffin, switch to Ekta now, I promise you will never turn back. Prices are about the same but delivery time to center city was only about 20-25 minutes where with Tiffin its at least an hour. The food was much more flavorful and had that great spice that Tiffin used to have. As you can see if you read above, it is in fact Tiffins old chef who moved out and started his own mini Tiffin (with better food of course).

Also, try the saag paneer. I am by no means a vegetarian but an Indian friend of mine suggested that I try it about a year back and I've had a tough time ordering anything else since. Everyone I've introduced to it has had the same problem.

Aug 10, 2010
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Fresh seafood in Center City that isnt overpriced

So far I've been really frustrated with finding decent fresh seafood in center city. I had an easier time finding fresh seafood that wasn't overpriced when I lived in the midwest. I'm looking for a place where I'm not paying an arm and a leg to buy a peice of fish or shellfish that isn't half way to the compost pile yet. Most of the fish I see at reading terminal is way old, same goes with the italian market. If theres good seafood there and I just havn't looked hard enough let me know. Also, a place to buy live blue crabs would be nice.

Jul 22, 2010
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Best Italian Place in Phili?

I'm surprised to hear people talk poorly of Mercato. Yes it is cramped but thats common with BYO's, turn and burn is the only way to make money when you forego alcohol profit. Their food is as close to authentic italian (I used to live in Rome) as I've encountered in Philly. They don't take reservations but they will take your cell phone number and call you when your table is ready. So I usually go across the street to Tria and have a glass of wine or two while I wait. The BEST italian place is probably Vetri but its very expensive and you'll be lucky to get a reservation. Vetri's other restaurant Osteria and another BYOB, Radicchio, get a nod also.

Jul 22, 2010
Cpmullie in Philadelphia

Hidden gems and hole in the wall spots for Philadelphian Foodies

I wanted to create this board as a place for both serious and blossoming foodies to share their secret spots as well as find some new ones. The greatest of eateries often tend to be the least inviting places and the hardest to find. Hopefully these eateries are family run by ex-pats who are cooking for us what they cook for their family and friends.

Anyone who has a hidden gem or hole in the wall place which is off the beaten path and offering authentic eats please post! It doesn't necessarily have to be ethnically inspired cuisine or a hole in the wall. But I and many other readers of this blog are probably familiar with most center-city big named hot spots. And hopefully many readers are like me and want to find off the beaten path, authentic cuisine, offal included!

So let me start this off with Hardena. Its a little eatery in south Philadelphia, run by a husband and wife team which serves authentic homemade Indonesian. Its cramped, semi-uninviting, and perfect if you into the type of restaurants that I am. Try the chicken or lamb satay which is served only on the weekends. There is a non-self serve buffet where the kind woman behind the counter will pile a heap of rice on plate and tell you to choose 3 of the options to go with it. If you’re like me, tell her to make it up for you.

May 06, 2010
Cpmullie in Philadelphia