Better Than Best: Food

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 8 | Posted Oct. 19, 2011

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Drinkers is filled to the brim on Wednesday nights, packed with people watching their Phils, ordering local beer, and chowing down on their $1.50 beef franks. Specialty dogs come in at $2.75, but the filling, steamy goodness is worth more than the extra $1.25. The Chili Dog is a classic, and the BBQ dog—with heart-stopping helpings of bacon, cheddar, and tangy bbq sauce—will make your mouth drool a river. Don’t bother leaving room for dessert.

Drinkers Center City, 1903 Chestnut St. 215568.0914.

Best Public Head

It’s hot, perfectly sticky on the outside, and filled with wildly moist, supremely tender meat. And while it may not be for all the ladies out there, every red-blooded guy, I’d imagine, pretty much loves it. Who, after all, doesn’t revel in a great head once in a while? And man, does Osteria deliver: First Chef Jeff Michaud and his team braise the fully intact dome, roast it with a beer-kissed agrodolce, then bring it out to the dining room in a piggy procession worthy of Salome. Whole roasted baby pig head. With its accompanying bread and quince paste, it’s likely to be some of the best head you’ll ever have.

Osteria, 640 N. Broad St. 215.763.0920.

Best Cheap Noodle Shop

This place is Spartan—polished wooden tables in a narrow room—with a minimal menu featuring pig’s ears and beef tendon for appetizers that are inexplicably more expensive than the main fare: Handmade, hearty noodles in fragrant beef broth, piqued with a light-handed sprinkling of pickled cabbage and scallion. The vegetarian option, with egg, will get you what may be the last delicious meal in Philly for under $5, while the fatty, golden-flavored duck, brisket, or seafood is only a little more expensive. They got dry noodles too, but come this winter, it’ll be all about the broth.

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House, 927 Race St. 215.923.1550.

Best Cure for Anemia

Forget Fogo de Chao. And for the love of all that’s holy in this world, forget Chima. Hell, while we’re at it, clean your mind of Capital Grille and Morton’s and the rest. You’ll want plenty of room in there for Picanha Grill, the less-than-beautiful, utterly addictive Brazilian steak house in the great Northeast. One deep-enough inhale will banish all thoughts of other ways to consume dead land animals: This is the real deal. Skirt steak with its lovely crust, top sirloin with its fat as sweet as Gov. Chris Christie, linguica as snappy and precise as a Don Rickles punchline. Bring a bottle and an appetite, and a loose-fitting pair of pants. You’ll fill them out by meal’s end.

Picanha Brazilian Grill, 6501 Castor Ave. 215.743.4647.

Best Southern Food in This Yankee Shithole

Humans need water, air, music, love, fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, gravy, mashed potatoes, collard greens, mac ’n’ cheese, coleslaw and various other Southern foods to live. That’s a fact. Here’s another one: On the second day, God fried a slab of chicken, slammed it down on a biscuit, poured some gravy over it, and called it heaven. West Philly’s Roost abides by these simple truths. Also, strangely, the fried chicken they sling tastes healthy and crisp, surprisingly sweet, but still rich and greasy as hell. They also deliver. Oh yeah, and they have vegan options, so Satanists are welcome, too.

Roost, 4529 Springfield Ave. 215.921.6691.

Best Cure for Low Blood Pressure

Some people, when they’re single, make it a point to snoop around their date’s medicine chest: Any rogue herpes ointments or clap creams and they’re out of there faster than you can scratch an itch. Others of us root through refrigerators. If we spot low-salt soy sauce, fuck it, we out. There are, after all, two distinct schools of thought when it comes to Chinese food, and the one that condemns it as too salty is flat-out wrong. Case in point: The dry shrimp and salted fish fried rice at Tai Lake, a fingertip-pruning, blood-pressure raising plateful of pure savory love.

Tai Lake Restaurant, 134 N. 10th St. 215.922.0698.

Best Diner in West Philly

“Where have all the cowboys gone?” asked singer Paula Cole in her one hit song. Hollywood. Next question: Where are all the fucking diners? You know, the joints with eggs, bacon, grits, toast and endless coffee for $5? Don’t let your civics teacher trick you into thinking it’s the Constitution or Law or whatever, because diners are the foundation of all harmonious communities. Upon entry, everyone is equal. You’re either “darling” or “honey.” Well, West Philly has a newish one called Cedar Park Cafe, and it’s amazing. Lovely staff, no frills décor, no long lines (yet), and spectacular, very affordable classic diner grub.

Cedar Park Café, 4914 Baltimore Ave. 215.727.1144.

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Comments 1 - 8 of 8
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1. Phillydave said... on Oct 19, 2011 at 01:32PM

“Is this the Staph Meal on meds site for the bomb throwing anarchist crowd that has a perverse interest in food? You bet it is!”

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2. joshua said... on Oct 19, 2011 at 05:17PM

“@phillydave This is Joshua from staphmeal, what does that even mean?”

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3. Thom said... on Oct 20, 2011 at 08:44AM

“Oh, Joshua. Go away already. Your 15 minutes is up”

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4. Anonymous said... on Oct 20, 2011 at 09:01PM

“Those adjective descriptions are facinating. I had to read each entry to see what comes next. : )”

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5. barryg said... on Oct 21, 2011 at 04:52AM

“Where is the Japanese restaurant on Washington Ave?

What's the ayce eat deal at Nam Phuong?”

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6. lil said... on Oct 22, 2011 at 02:24AM

“Best brunch, lunch, dinner place u can ever go to!!”

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7. Anonymous said... on Oct 22, 2011 at 07:42PM

“Most people think they can just starve themselves to lose weight but you can't do that because your body will go into something called starvation mode. What happens is your body will slowly eat itself. If you want to know why you can't starve yourself to lose weight, this article gives a great explanation on it.”

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8. Anonymous said... on Jan 5, 2012 at 01:51PM

“1 for mentioning Slayer.

-1000 for saying Buffalo Wild Wings is the best of the Northeast. Granted, there's not much to choose from in the Northeast, but BWW is garbage.



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