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.
Shrimp Pil Pil at Dmitris
Once you’ve OD’d on their sauteed mussels, you’ll need these little shrimps to round out your Dmitris experience. They’re fresh, lemony and seasoned with a healthy dose of red pepper and secret spices, giving each morsel a satisfying outer-crunchiness. Outer-crunchiness? Yes. Think of this dish as a much tastier, tender version of fried shrimp with a kick-in-the-mouth.
Dmitris, 795 S. Third St. dmitrisrestaurant.com/3rd
Sushi at Vic Sushi
This little hole-in-the-wall BYO sushi spot is quietly banging out some of the best sushi in the city at affordable prices. Their three-roll special for $10.95 is a real steal. Just like the sushi bar itself, the Naruto roll with tuna, crab stick and fish eggs wrapped in a wafer-thin shaving of cucumber is an understated pleasure.
Vic Sushi, 2035 Sansom St. 215.564.4339. vic-sushi.com
The Bull Dog Platter at Bull’s BBQ, Citizens Bank Park
This piggy plateful has no business being as perfect as it is. And while there are better kielbasas around, more balanced beans and slaw, the combination here, in full view of the field and enshrouded with the smoke of charring flesh, makes this ballpark food par excellence. Even tastes good as you watch Ryan Howard (Choose one: strike out looking/injure himself hitting a soft grounder to first/strike out swinging weakly/pop one up to the catcher and wet himself/strike out on a not-quite checked swing) to end another season.
Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way. 215.218.5100. citizensbank.com/ballpark
Belgian Fries (and 21+ Dips) at European Republic
These fries have single-handedly elevated Third Street in Old City to somewhere you’d actually go for lunch. Thick and flavorful with the perfect amount of crunch and salt, you’ll never touch those soggy Micky D’s fries again. And you can’t go wrong with their 21-plus sauce options: avocado, cajun, lemon dill, Jamaican curry, jalapeno cheddar, roasted eggplant. All awesome combinations!
European Republic, 213 Chestnut St. 215.627.5500. europeanrepublic.biz
Green Meadow Farm Double-Smoked Bacon at the Fair Food Farmstand, Reading Terminal Market
Even animal-rights activists, if you could force-feed them these glorious strips of swine love, would agree that these pigs didn’t die in vain. Thick-cut and heady with smoke, the bacon not only amps up any dish it touches, but the rendered fat is a perfect secret weapon in your arsenal for all sorts of other dishes, too.
Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal, 51 N. 12th St. 215.386.5211. fairfoodphilly.org
Wild Mushrooms on Toasted Sourdough at Sycamore
This is one of those satisfying dishes you’ll want to recreate at home for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Take whatever wild and usually imported shrooms are in season—chantrelle, lobster, royal trumpet and beech mushrooms for fall- sauté ’em along with the sourdough in buttery, chivey goodness and top with a sunny-side-up egg. Or just skip the hassle and have the good folks at Sycamore do it for you. Theirs is better than yours anyway.
Sycamore, 14 S. Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne. 484.461.2867. sycamorebyo.com
Aztec Burrito at Taqueria El Jarocho
Stop. Eating. Fake. Mexican. El Jarocho is the real deal and the Aztec proves just that: tender pork, cactus, pico de gallo, rice, beans, cheese and sour cream rolled into a flour tortilla like a fat little burrito baby. It’s hefty enough to feed two but you won’t want to share.
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.
The 2014 Philadelphia Spring Guide