A Full Plate, 1009 N. Bodine St. 215.627.4068. afullplate.com
Best Organic Restaurant Without Douche Vibes
All the old bells of organic eating have rung so loudly and for so long that they’ve become tiresome, for sure. But sometimes cliches are true, and many of the head-up-their-own, sacrosanct, holier-than-thou snobbishness that come from the better-than-you types who eat pesticide-free foods raised ethically certainly are. Enter Fare. This little Fairmount spot gets it right by eschewing all the ‘tude that’ll put you off your open faced, humanely-slaughtered bison burger. Hosts greet you with a smile and don’t give you attitude. The atmosphere is relaxed and doesn’t give off that stuffy vibe that some organic restaurants have. It’s not gaudy or over the top, just simple and understated. It’s a great spot to grab lunch or go to brunch on a nice Saturday afternoon.
Fare, 2028 Fairmount Ave. 267.639.3036. farerestaurant.com
Best Place to Listen to Slayer and Eat a Pierogi
Green Rock Tavern has an Internet jukebox. Inevitably some knucklehead is gonna shove in a few dollars and crank that insipid type of screaming, metal-influenced, misdirected testoterone-fueled music that appeals to sorta rebellious teenagers and older folks who are impressed by tattoos and motorcycles. With any luck, the offending selector will stumble onto a transcendent song like “Skeletons of Society.” That’s a tuneful track from Seasons in the Abyss. Melodic and defiant, it’ll provide a pleasant toe-tapping soundtrack while you shovel homemade pierogies down your throat and guzzle ice-cold Kenzinger.
Green Rock Tavern, 2546 E. Lehigh Ave. 215.203.0840.
Best Damn Organ Meat
Carla Gonçalves is the front-of-the-house maestro and pastry extraordinaire at Koo Zee Doo, the stellar Portuguese spot she and her husband David Gilberg (he mans the grill) have run for three years now. While newbies must explore entrees, it’s the apps that keep hungry carnivores coming back for seconds and thirds. Namely, the chicken gizzards. The skill and care injected into David and Carla’s braised, sauteed and tender little globules of magic is a true wonder.
Koo Zee Doo, 614 N. Second St. 215.923.8080. koozeedoo.com
Best Ice Cream Flavors That Sound Off-Putting At First Blush
Fuck vanilla. Fuck chocolate. And, while we’re at it, fuck strawberry and fuck Ben and FUCK Jerry. Philly’s Little Baby’s Ice Cream has rendered them all useless. Their flavors are unique, bizarre and intellectually stimulating. Wanna get your mind blown way out? Try the Earl Gray Sriracha . Wanna have a juicy mouth orgasm? Get a double scoop of Balsamic Banana . Wanna be like Kellz and double-up? Then put a scoop of Cardamon Caramel on top of a scoop of Birch Beer Vanilla Bean , and lick it. Lick it real good.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream, littlebabysicecream.com
Best of the Northeast
On a Saturday night, while city folks are flocking to a hot new Center City restaurant or bar, half of Northeast Philly can be found at the new Buffalo Wild Wings location on Roosevelt Boulevard doing what people from Northeast Philly do best: gorging themselves on cheap beer and chicken wings and screaming expletives at TVs. In fact, the casual dining restaurant and sports bar franchise is such a hit with NEasters, it’s even been dubbed by some as “the new Chickie’s and Pete’s.” Ultimately, it comes down to the flat screen TVs covering literally every inch of the massive establishment. Because watching a Phillies game and UFC fight while simultaneously competing with fellow patrons in a digital game of poker or trivia is pretty much as good as it gets in the Northeast.
Buffalo Wild Wings, 9701 E. Roosevelt Blvd. 215. 552.0025. buffalowildwings.com
Best Stephen Starr Establishment for Drinking That Doesn’t Feel Like Your Soul’s Being Sucked Dry
Fishtowners grumbled, suspcious Philadelphians worried about Stephen Starr’s hegemonic sprawl in the dining industry, and haters thought “More overpriced shitty product that fools with money will run to.” But Frankford Hall turned out to be a humble gem in the crown on top of Starr’s large dome. Turns out most of those 400 seats go 75 percent unfilled on most weeknights, they have ping pong and gigantic, Munich-style beerhall glassware. You don’t get swindled paying for weak cocktails, and the sausages, cabbage and kraut are totally decent.
Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave. 215.634.3338. frankfordhall.com
Best Place for Mexican Food That Won’t Burn on the Way Out
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.
Ever think to yourself: Hey, I wonder where I can have a threesome and then promptly forget about it? Well, one of our writers thinks he's found that place. Want Mexican food that doesn't burn on the way out? Of course you do. More of these questions and answers have found their way into this year's Better Than Best issue. And what's better than best, you ask? We have no idea. We just knew we couldn't use Best Of, because another publication in this town has it on lockdown. But that doesn't mean we didn't put an enormous amount of effort into bringing you the most random hidden gems Philly has to offer. Because we did. And we think we've got a pretty good list going on here.
PW's 2015 Gift Guide
Dinner with Luke Palladino