The Food Issue: 50-Plus Things You Must Eat & Drink

Belgian fries, pig popcorn, sausage from a home-improvement store, bacon brownies (pictured!) and more stunning dishes and divine drinks you should be tasting right now.

By Cristina Perachio, Tim McGinnis, Brian Freedman, Brian McManus, Nicole Finkbiner and a few foodie friends.
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 7 | Posted Nov. 2, 2011

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For more than a decade now, Aimee Olexy has introduced more Philadelphians to great cheese than almost any other individual in the region. Now, at Talula’s Garden, she and her amazing cheese mongers are continuing that tradition with plates composed with her unerring eye for originality, creativity and toe-curling deliciousness. Get your hands on one, and some of the cheese from Doe Run Dairy while you’re at it.

Talula’s Garden, 210 W. Washington Sq. 215.592.7787.

Hand-Poured Stumptown Coffee

Part coffee preparation, part lab-work in appearance, part alchemy, this slightly more expensive way to get your Stumptown caffeine rush takes a bit longer, but results in a cup that’s somehow both more complex and more subtle. It’s definitely worth the effort, the wait and the few extra coins.

Bodhi, 410 S. Second St. 267.239.2928.

More Cheese

Is anything really as good as melty cheese? Before you answer, try the buffalo mozz at Radicchio Café. Real talk: It’s just mozzarella sticks for adults, but the warm, high-quality mozz here is rich and complex. And, for you health nuts looking for a well-rounded meal, it’s served with grilled zucchini, chopped tomato and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Radicchio Café, Fourth and Vine sts. 215.627.6850.

Bacon Brownie at Watkins Drinkery

Salt and chocolate, it’s a thing. There’s a sea salt and caramel chocolate bar they sell at Trader Joe’s that’s pretty damn incredible. They’ve started selling salted caramel Fraps at Starbucks. But the salty sweet treat that takes the cake is the bacon brownie at Watkins Drinkery. It’s so good, we stuck it on the cover of this week’s issue. It’s a brownie. With bacon in it. We don’t have to explain it to you. You get it.

Watkins Drinkery, 1712 S. 10th St. 215.339.0175.

The Gibson and the Southwark Cocktails

It’s almost become so cliché in Philly to write about Southwark’s cocktails we were worried about being predictable, but realized we’d be remiss if we missed the Southwark Cocktail (above). Orange peel, the bitter Meletti Amaro, sweet Ben Franklin Madeira and the 110 proof Willett single barrel rye whiskey served chilled straight up, is a powerful and tasty way to drink your worries away. So too is Southwark's Gibson. It'll change the way you drink, and will single-handedly turn you into a gin fiend. Ask for yours with Cadenhead’s Old Raj Gin, Noilly Prat vermouth, and whatever sort of magic juju they stir into it behind the bar.

Southwark, 701 S. Fourth St. 215.238.1888.

More Must Eats

So you’ve gotten to the end of the list and, inevitably, you’re thinking, “That’s it? What about the ________ at ________??? Or how about the ____________ at _________??!?!? This is a Goddamn OUTRAGE!!!” So we asked a few of our very well-respected and talented industry foodie friends around the city about their favorite Must Eat dishes. Many were on our list already. (Seriously, we don’t see how Han Dynasty doesn’t sell out of their prized Dan Dan Noodles by 6 p.m. every night.) Others, we missed. We print them here in an attempt to deflect some of your seething contempt.

Josh Lawler, Chef/Owner, The Farm and Fisherman

Osteria’s Chicken Liver Rigatoni: "Rigatoni is my favorite pasta because of its hearty texture and Osteria’s liver is livery, but not too livery—to me it’s a great balance of flavors”

Andy Kitko, Executive Chef, Oyster House

Churchill Burger at Pub & Kitchen: “They are using a dry aged meat blend from LaFreida Meats out of N.Y.C. and the blend is exclusive to them. It is just so meaty and the dry age flavor really comes through. It costs $18 but I am happy to pay for it. Also it served on a bun and comes with caramelized onions only and that’s how I get it. I would never add cheese or any other frills other than just a little ketchup and a glass of red wine.”

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Comments 1 - 7 of 7
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1. BAR said... on Nov 2, 2011 at 11:38AM

“Speaking of chicken livers.even for people who hate them:.none can even begin to touch those crisp,soft (yes, both)addictive little numbers at Cochon. Make a meal out of two or three appetizer orders. You won't regret it!”

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2. pete said... on Nov 2, 2011 at 03:01PM

“Too rich for my stomach.

I just think of the endless GI issues which
result from eating all that food.

Maybe it is just me but I can't eat anything
which I do not make myself or it will cause
me GI distress.

Is there bacteria present in restaurant kitchens
which is not present in mine?”

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3. JP said... on Nov 2, 2011 at 05:19PM

“Great article! Pete it is just you.”

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4. LadyAdmin said... on Nov 3, 2011 at 11:31AM

“One of the finest Sidecars in the city is at Southwark. Truth.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Nov 3, 2011 at 02:55PM

“The Budino at Barbuzzo is BY FAR my favorite dessert on the planet. It's perfection and I'm so happy to see it on this list.”

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6. Pat I said... on Nov 6, 2011 at 10:05AM

“Can someone explain to me why every chef and server in this city has to be a wailing wall of tattooes?”

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7. Steve said... on Nov 7, 2011 at 01:15PM

“Speaking of Cochon... the poor man's pudding. It seriously competes with Barbuzzo's budino (one of my other favories) in rich, sweet, vanilla/carameliness. It's shortbread dough (dough!) in a cup of hot maple-bacon caramel with a scoop of bacon ice cream that just melts right into the gooey awesomeness below. Highly rec'd.”


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