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.
Amis, 412 S. 13th St. 215.732.2647. amisphilly.com
The Many Bourbons (and Other Whiskies) at Cooperage
Load up on carbs and blow through as many unfamiliar bourbons as you can here: It’s one of the best places in the city to bone up on your knowledge of Kentucky’s finest. Start with Johnny Drum, throw back a Black Maple Hill, and end with a Blanton’s Single Barrel before starting in with the scotch and the Advil.
Cooperage, 123 Seventh St. 215.226.2667. cooperagephilly.com
Country Style Beef Cubes at Nam Phuong
As a diner near us feasted on this dish of sautéed flank steak and watercress tossed in a vinegar and black pepper sauce, we heard one prospective patron ask, “What do those beef cubes taste like?” The response? “Like a cow and Jesus in your mouth.” Fair assessment.
Nam Phuong, 1100 Washington Ave. 215.468.0410. namphuongphilly.com
Charcuterie and Scripelle at Le Virtu
Chef Joe Cicala and sous chef Massimo Conocchioli, the culinary core of Le Virtu, will take you in the basement of this East Passyunk ode to Abruzze and show you their box. It’s tricked out to serve as the incubator for their amazing cured meats. Salt-rubbed guanciales, capocollos air-dried bresaola, a spreadable spicy Calabrian sausage and the piece de resistance Prosciutto di Philly. They make magic in there. On top of that, they make very thin, delicate crepes that’ll remind you of the kind Grandmom used to make, minus the cursing. Best ordered on a cold night, their airy, pecorino-filled scripelles (or crepes) float in savory chicken broth and are the perfect pick-me-up.
Le Virtu, 1927 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.271.5626. levirtu.com
Stuffed Challah French Toast at Sabrina’s Cafe
Packed with farmer’s cream cheese and bananas, doused in vanilla syrup and topped with a few more banana slices, this massively delicious breakfast has become one of Sabrina’s most beloved. Though your stomach might beg you to stop after a few bites, it’s just too fucking heavenly not to indulge.
Sabrina’s Café, 910 Christian St., 1804 Callowhill St., 3400 Powelton Ave. 215.574.1599. sabrinascafe.com
Tacos al Pastor at Taqueria la Veracruzana
This Washington Avenue stalwart is proof that, sometimes, the best dishes are served in the most unpretentious atmosphere. Savory sliced pork is paired with pineapple and whatever combo of salsas you add. Chased with a Jarritos Tamarindo soda, it’s as satisfying as anything you might eat at restaurants that cost a lot more.
Taqueria la Veracruzana, 908 Washington Ave. 215.465.1440.
Torta al Pastor at Los Gallos
So we love Pastor and couldn’t decide on a favorite. So what, wanna fight about it? Nicknamed “El Monstruo” because of its “monstrous Mexican-style roll,” the al Pastor at tiny, humble Los Gallos is an authentic recipe from San Mateo, Puebla. Gyro-style spiced pork is piled high on bread and spread with refried beans, mayo and topped with pineapple, Oaxaca cheese, avocado, pickled jalapeños, tomatoes, sautéed onions and romaine. Unhinge your jaw and enjoy.
Los Gallos, 951 Wolf St. 215.551.1245.
Stock Market Crunch Sundae at Franklin Fountain
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.
PW's Music Issue 2014