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.
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. talulasgarden.com
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. bodhicoffeephila.com
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. radicchio-cafe.com
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. watkinsdrinkery.com
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. southwarkrestaurant.com
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.”
We’ve been stuffing ourselves to the gills around here with soul food from every corner of this fair city. And in the Food & Drink Issue you can see where, exactly, we’ve been doing it. Dig in.
PW has compiled a list of the 50 best things to eat and drink in Philly rightthisverymoment. We’ve included—in no particular order—some entrenched favorites (Osteria pizza, Cape May Salts) but mostly illuminated the new and newly discovered: everything from offbeat beers (Alehoof Grut) to cheeses with stories to tell (Mancuso ricotta). They might just become your next favorites. They’re already ours.
35 Things You Must Eat at the Shore