Better Than Best: Food

Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 10 | Posted Feb. 23, 2010

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The Piazza Farmers' Market

Best Gallery Grub on First Friday

People trolling First Friday know grazing in the galleries is like a Woody Allen joke: It’s terrible, and there’s never enough. It’s the Jews who turn Allen’s philosophy around. The food at the Old City Jewish Arts Center is consistently great, and it keeps coming—sometimes it even trumps the art. Once they had Japanese sushi chefs making fresh sashimi and California rolls while we looked at … well, we can’t remember what we were looking at because we were eating. Another time it was a simple, fresh guacamole while we were awed by a photo documentary of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn from the 1970s. If you stay long enough they’ll invite you to stay for Shabbat, or you can just keep on trolling with one of their decadent chocolate rice-cereal squares to hold you over until the next gallery.

Old City Jewish Arts Center, 119 N. Third St. 215.923.1222. jewishartcenter.com

Best Busy Chinese Restaurant That’s Worth the Wait

There are several pros and cons at Sang Kee Peking Duck House . Cons first: Cash only, surly wait-staff, obnoxious lighting, charmless decor, generally crowded and loud, studenty, weird dishes with cheese in them. Now the pros: Cheap, clean, generous (not gluttonous) portions, the occasional special, and everything involving the sublime roast duck, be it rolled in those adorable pancakes, gussied up with hoisin sauce, luxuriated in noodle soups or most exquisitely: naked on a plate.

Sang Kee Peking Duck House, 238 N. Ninth St. 215.925.7532

Twitter That Makes Us Hungriest

Pimping the Erace brothers’ cute-as-can-be Passyunk Avenue specialty grocery Green Aisle could be considered a conflict of interest, since Adam Erace reviews restaurants for PW . However, when something is this good, you want to shout it from the rooftops. (Or just put it on your best-of list.) Find out about specials, drink nights and what’s in stock by following the Eraces at twitter.com/greenaisle. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have to physically restrain yourself from jumping on the Broad Street Line when you read “only two tubs of Zahav hummus left” or “Ekta re-up is here.”

twitter.com/greenaisle

Best-Looking Waitstaff

Seriously. It’s as if the every single person who works at Parc was hired specifically for their perfectly chiseled cheekbones, impeccably styled hair and unblemished skin. The food’s okay, too.

Parc, 227 S. 18th St. 215.545.2262. parc-restaurant.com

Best Place to Get Trashed at Brunch

After a night of hard drinkin’, sometimes the only cure is a little hair o’ the dog. McCrossen’s Tavern makes that easy. For less than what it probably cost you to get the initial hangover, you can score one of three brunch items (we recommend the French Toast Bananas Foster) plus endless bloody Marys or mimosas to start on a whole new one.

McCrossen’s Tavern, 529 N. 20th St. 215.854.0923. mccrossens.com

Best Place to Spend $10, Get Lectured About Food Quality And Hard Work and Eat Mediterranean Food

Amazing food takes time and money: In this case, $10 and 20 minutes. At this truck—recognizable for its smoke stack—you have a choice of regular or vegetarian, platter or wrap when ordering falafel, various salads, charcoal-roasted chicken, couscous and more. (Get the platter, because the two meals’ worth of heavenly food overwhelm the pita.) A word to the wise: Don’t ask for anything extra. While you wait, the proprietor, sometimes compared to Seinfeld ’s famed Soup Nazi, doesn’t tolerate special requests. He does, however, expound on the secrets to a virtuous life and sometimes sings a little. If you’re lucky, he will, like a mother bird offering sustenance to its child, give you a piece of falafel or chicken to sample while you wait. But don’t wait too long: This lunch truck is open as long as supplies last.

NE corner of 20th and Market sts.

 Best Place to Get Smacked Down for Using a Cell Phone

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 10 of 10
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1. Ryan MYK said... on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:56AM

“I wasn't aware that the neighborhood was about to make a key acquisition to the struggling restaurant scene. Pretty disappointed things fell apart. But what's with bashing the neighborhood?! I grew up in Manayunk and yet I don't disagree with your perception that it has changed into a "brahville" their are still some very decent spots up our way and some certainly worthy of a little love!! The" best cockblock of Manayunk award" just kills the chance of people that never visited MYK to even consider it.”

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2. Jay C said... on Feb 24, 2010 at 05:01PM

“I take offense to the reference of Collingswood, NJ as a cultural wasteland. For most Center City folk who are afraid to cross the bridge, you should check us out. We even have parking.”

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3. Nick said... on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:33PM

“Parc does by far have the best looking staff! I go every weekend to see this hot bartender serve Sunday brunch”

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4. great divide said... on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:01AM

“no wheat beer can ever be the best. what a joke.”

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5. The SS said... on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:33AM

“@ Great divide... have you tried the Exit 11? I wouldn't throw out that opinion till you've had it... this ain't no blue moon”

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6. Laurie M said... on Feb 25, 2010 at 11:39AM

“Wow I can't say I'm surprised by the lack of professionalism by the writers, it seems to be routine. Grow up. You are offending your readers and probably ruining your chances for ever having a real journalism career. Shame on you and shame on your editors.”

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7. michs said... on Feb 26, 2010 at 10:38AM

“I also take offense to the Collingswood reference. I was born and raised in Philly and will always call it home but moved to Collingswood recently and love the small town feel and closeness to center city. It may not be Rittenhouse Square, but it's a great place to live.

P.S. - we even got ourselves a library here.”

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8. Jake P said... on Feb 26, 2010 at 02:49PM

“Due to the crippling* blizzard, the office is slow today. So, we attempted to grab lunch at Savoy. The store was "bare-bones" alright. The front door was locked and no one was home. Seemingly, for good.

Great rec.

* I don't think so Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz”

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9. Lissa said... on Mar 1, 2010 at 04:21PM

“thats why this is called the opinion section...get it, an opinion...i found this article to be informative and ill be visiting some of the places with my husband. thank u vry much. and i completely overlooked they nj comment despite the fact that ive heard my whole life thats where they dumped all the garbage....in jersey. so new to philly 2 yrs. i love food. and was raised on some of the best. im a louisianian. :)”

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10. Lissa said... on Mar 1, 2010 at 04:21PM

“thats why this is called the opinion section...get it, an opinion...i found this article to be informative and ill be visiting some of the places with my husband. thank u vry much. and i completely overlooked they nj comment despite the fact that ive heard my whole life thats where they dumped all the garbage....in jersey. so new to philly 2 yrs. i love food. and was raised on some of the best. im a louisianian. :)”

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