"I Dunno, Where Do You Wanna Eat?"

By Emily Guendelsberger
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 14 | Posted Nov. 9, 2010

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Quesadilla los Gallos, Los Gallos
$8. 951 Wolf St.
“It’s like al pastor on LSD.” -Felicia D’Ambrosio, Philly community manager for Yelp.com

Salt-baked squid, Lee How Fook
$10.95. 219 N. 11th St.

Smoked coconut club, Memphis Taproom
$8. 2331 E. Cumberland St.
Grilled lemon-garlic tofu and smoked coconut sandwich.

Whiskey doughnuts, Johnny Brenda’s
$2. 1201 N. Frankford Ave.
House-made brunch special.

The Gustaio, Paesano’s
$9. 152 W. Girard Ave.
The Gustaio is a perfect and unexpected match of lamb sausage with dried cherry mustarda, gorgonzola spread, roasted fennel and arugula, I can’t explain it; it’s so good it makes me confused. -Daniel McLaughlin, thethirteenthdiet.com

Godzilla roll, Umai Umai
$16. 533 N. 22nd St.
“The Godzilla roll is crab tempura wrapped in sticky rice and topped with sliced strawberries, avocado, macadamia nuts, and honey drizzle. This monstrous roll is distinguished by visual stimulation—It’s pretty sexy, but also the textural contrasts at play. Umai is a cozy BYO—so bring a bottle of champers or a spritzy white ale like Hitachino to pair. -Suzanne Woods, beerlass.com

Tea leaf salad, Rangoon
$8.50. 112 N. Ninth St.
“This is the only spot I know of to get traditional Burmese green tea leaf salad in Philly. When done right, the bitter, uber-funky tea leaves plus the nuttiness and crunch of the peanuts and the freshness of the cilantro and lime creates an intense contrast of flavor and texture that is like nothing else in the world." -Jamie, midtownlunch.com/philadelphia

Flounder Hoagie, 16th Street Seafood
$5. 1542 Tasker St.

Authentic

Pierogies, Czerw’s Kielbasy (Polish)
$7 per dozen. 3370 Tilton St.
“As your prototypical Philadelphia lapsed-Catholic mutt, I can lay claim to three distinct ethnic foodways: Italian, Irish and Polish. Since tubular meats are not really my thing, pierogies became my fallback favorite for Eastern European eating. A package of the stuffed dumplings from Czerw’s is my yardstick for pierogie perfection. Pan-fried in plenty of butter with onions, the farmers cheese-and-potato combination is the most authentic Polish bite in town. The cheesesteak or buffalo chicken versions are less timeless but just as tasty.” -Felicia D’Ambrosio, Philly community manager for Yelp.com

Phnom Penh noodles, New Phnom Penh (Cambodian)
$5.75. 2301 S. Seventh St.

Beef randang, Hardena (Indonesian)
$7-$9. 1754 S. Hicks St.

Kebabs, Divan’s Turkish Kitchen
$10-$12. 918 S. 22nd St.
“My experiences at Divan’s have always been consistently fresh and delicious on account of their authenticity delivered through simplicity. Ilker, the owner, explained once that he was motivated to open a restaurant after discovering Philly’s deficiency in authentic Turkish cuisine. I’m always pleased with all the grilled meat there for that simplicity.” -Mike Geno, foodie-group.blogspot.com

Jja jang myun, Tae Hwa Kwan (Korean)
$5. 5201 N. Fifth St.

Tomato pie, Tacconelli’s Pizzeria (Philadelphian)
$15-$30. 2604 E. Somerset St.

 Canelés, Market Day Canelé (French)
$1. various locations.
America's demands for "bigger, faster, cheaper" usually negate authenticity, requiring cut corners that fit factory-sized orders. Market Day's caneles follow the rules of original recipes from Bordeaux. They are small, laborious and expensive to bake, making it worth the splurge to leave them in the hands of an expert. -Tara Desmond, crumbsonmykeyboard.com

Dan dan noodles, Han Dynasty (Szechuan)
$7.95. 108 Chestnut St.

Seitan Cheesesteak, Blackbird Pizzeria
$8. 507 S. Sixth St.
“What makes this faux version of Philly’s precious sandwich the best? The peppers, onions and mushrooms coated in Daiya vegan cheese help, but it’s the thinly sliced seitan that nails it—seitan became popular when local producer Ray’s introduced it to the East Coast.” -Kelly Phillips, livingonthevedge.net

Stuffed cabbage, Jovan’s Place (Yugoslavian/Serbian)
$7. 2327 E. York St.
Marinated cabbage, hand-rolled and stuffed with deliciousness.

Fried oysters with chicken salad, Oyster House (Philadelphian)
$13. 1516 Sansom St.
“Philadelphia’s gastronomical odd couple of chicken salad and fried oysters, according to Craig LaBan, dates back to a time when chicken was expensive and the Delaware River overflowed with oysters. Some thrifty restaurateur added fried oysters to the plate so he didn’t have to use as much chicken salad. A bit more history—it was a Philadelphia chef, L. F. Mazzetti, who perfected oyster frying.” -Holly Moore, HollyEats.com

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 14 of 14
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1. patty said... on Nov 10, 2010 at 10:32AM

“why not try the midtown 2 at 11th and samson, open 24 hours, 365 a year.
homemade soups daily, also homemade bakery items. Also, have a full bar
opened 11am to 2am, daily.”

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2. val said... on Nov 10, 2010 at 04:48PM

“i personally take 'slightly bonkers' to be the highest of compliments, so i will definitely be seeking out the creperie truck.....”

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3. Emily G said... on Nov 10, 2010 at 05:47PM

“Somehow this part got cut out in the "make it fit" part of the editing process, but a huge THANK YOU to all the delightful people who responded and especially to the ones who took the time to give me quotes.”

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4. SullySpeaks said... on Nov 11, 2010 at 05:33PM

“Cannot wait to stuff a FUCKING FLOUNDER HOAGIE down my gullet...ace job PW!”

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5. MAP said... on Nov 13, 2010 at 07:45AM

“Matt Levin stole the foie gras poutine dish form Martin Picard at Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal! Give credit where credit is due!”

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6. GetKilledEh said... on Nov 14, 2010 at 03:16PM

“Give credit to some fucking french fry depot 500 miles away in motherfucking Canada?? Please end your life.”

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7. MAP said... on Nov 14, 2010 at 06:55PM

“You obviously have no idea who Martin Picard is and most likely are a line cook at Adsum and think you are working for a genius when in fact you are putting fucking tater tots on a plate. Your life has already ended.”

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8. Phillyfoodie said... on Nov 15, 2010 at 10:47PM

“wow, someone suggested midtown 2? Are you kidding me? This cookie cutter Middle Eastern type slop house? It offers nothing but ordinary, at best, Sysco Systems food with no flare. VERY rude managers and average to poor quality food. They even charge extra for onions in your home fries. Its a joke. But hey, at 2 am its an option.”

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9. Guzzijason said... on Nov 18, 2010 at 07:00PM

“New rule: chefs can no longer steal from each other! BWAHAHAHAHA! Good luck with that one! Our restaurant would scene would be very boring if that were the case... (and yes, I've been to Montreal; I know who Martin Picard is; I don't caaaaaaarrrrreeee, because when I get a craving for foie, I don't book a plane ticket to satisfy it!)”

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10. MAP said... on Nov 19, 2010 at 06:30PM

“So you admit that it's blatant thievery without even a slight tip of the cap to the originator. Well done.”

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11. Guzzijason said... on Nov 19, 2010 at 10:18PM

“Ummm... how can I admit something that I had absolutely no part in? In case you haven't noticed, foie gras poutine has been popping up on menus all across the country. Do they all require genuflecting to Montreal every time someone wants to order it. No, no they don't. Have you ever been to a joint around here that points out that the Buffalo Wings they serve were invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo? No, no you haven't. Do restaurants that put pasta primavera on their menu give credit to Le Cirque? No.

If you ask me, it just sounds like you have an axe to grind with Levin.”

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12. MAP said... on Nov 23, 2010 at 12:07PM

“I didn't ask you. I have an axe to grind with being unoriginal.
Le Cirque is a dinosaur and Buffalo wings do properly respect the town in which they were created by being called fucking Buffalo wings.
And if you ask me, contemporaries should genuflect if they recreate a dish especially if it is a straight up copy rather than inspired by the original.”

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13. Guzzijason said... on Nov 24, 2010 at 05:56PM

“It's food... get over it. It's not like Picard invented a cure for cancer and Levin is stealing his royalties.”

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14. MAP said... on Nov 26, 2010 at 04:49PM

“I win.”

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