Tongue tacos, Italian milkshakes, candy-coated flapjacks and 47 other delicious foods and drinks you should be tasting right now.
The smoked marlin at Alma de Cuba is like Jesus and Buddha got together to make the world’s best tuna salad using mayo from the fridge of Odin. The driving creative culinary force and originator of “Nuevo Latino” cuisine, chef Douglas Rodriguez, worked Godlike miracles when he conceptualized this dish. The smoky essence of the marlin balanced with the sweetness of the rum and the salty vinegar of the pickled jalapeños all stuffed into cute little crispy-nutty malanga taco shells puts our entire universe in harmony. Alma de Cuba, 1623 Walnut St. 215.988.1799. almadecubarestaurant.com
Blackened Green Beans
We kneel at the altar of the genius who invented blackening spices. And while we’re down there, let us bow our heads in honor of whoever decided to put it on green beans at Grace. Perfectly cooked, crunchy and hot, these tangy beans served with a spiced caper mayo are better than any French fry we’ve ever had. Grace Tavern, 2229 Grays Ferry Ave. 215.893.9580. gracetavern.com
Across the street from 30th Street Station is Denise’s Soul Food Restaurant. The ladies in the pink food truck turn what many butchers demote to the dog bowl into a falling-off-the-bone mouthwatering masterpiece. The oxtail is braised for hours in a gelatinous, beefy liquid that turns the former bovine flyswatter into the savory soul of Caribbean cooking. Denise’s Soul Food Restaurant, 30th and Market sts.
Pat’s, Geno’s, Rick’s, Jim’s, Tony Luke’s: They’ll all do. But when we’re really in the mood for a seriously gourmet steak, we’re heading over to Paolo’s and ordering the Portobello steak. The plump, rosemary-spiked mushrooms soak the fat from the chopped steak, which lends them a bit of its flavor, while gooey provolone provides the backbeat to a song your taste buds will love to sing. Paolo’s Pizzeria, 1336 Pine St. 215.545.2482. paolo-pizza.com
There are very few ways to improve upon mozzarella but at Claudio’s they’ve done it with smoked mozzarella. The masters of the cheese-counter up-sell have outdone themselves with this otherworldly smoke-soaked cheese. It’s the best thing to happen to cheese since Wallace & Gromit . Claudio Specialty Foods, 924-926 S. Ninth St. 215.627.1873. claudiofood.com
Here’s what we love about food in Philadelphia: everything. No, seriously. From the street vendor’s commonest cheesesteak to the most subtly spiced French-Asian hybrid delicacy, it’s all good. But some of it? Some of it is awesome. So here are 50 suggestions for dishes, ranging from sophisticated to speedy, that you’ve just got to try—whether you’re in town for the day or here for keeps.
People, you may have noticed, are fat. Real fat. And getting bigger every day. But lost in the endless conversations about the no-longer-new obesity epidemic that threatens to sink our country into a pit of health-care debt we can never pay is a very real and glaringly obvious fact: We’re all a hell of a lot skinnier than we could be.
The first PW reader to document they've had all 50 items on our list wins $100 in gift certificates to fabulous Philly restaurants. It's that easy, and that delicious.
PW's Taste of Philly 2014