The Food Issue: 50-Plus Things You Must Eat & Drink

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.

By Cristina Perachio, Tim McGinnis, Brian Freedman, Brian McManus, Nicole Finkbiner and a few foodie friends.
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 7 | Posted Nov. 2, 2011

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Comments 1 - 7 of 7
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1. BAR said... on Nov 2, 2011 at 11:38AM

“Speaking of chicken livers.even for people who hate them:.none can even begin to touch those crisp,soft (yes, both)addictive little numbers at Cochon. Make a meal out of two or three appetizer orders. You won't regret it!”

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2. pete said... on Nov 2, 2011 at 03:01PM

“Too rich for my stomach.

I just think of the endless GI issues which
result from eating all that food.

Maybe it is just me but I can't eat anything
which I do not make myself or it will cause
me GI distress.

Is there bacteria present in restaurant kitchens
which is not present in mine?”

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3. JP said... on Nov 2, 2011 at 05:19PM

“Great article! Pete it is just you.”

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4. LadyAdmin said... on Nov 3, 2011 at 11:31AM

“One of the finest Sidecars in the city is at Southwark. Truth.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Nov 3, 2011 at 02:55PM

“The Budino at Barbuzzo is BY FAR my favorite dessert on the planet. It's perfection and I'm so happy to see it on this list.”

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6. Pat I said... on Nov 6, 2011 at 10:05AM

“Can someone explain to me why every chef and server in this city has to be a wailing wall of tattooes?”

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7. Steve said... on Nov 7, 2011 at 01:15PM

“Speaking of Cochon... the poor man's pudding. It seriously competes with Barbuzzo's budino (one of my other favories) in rich, sweet, vanilla/carameliness. It's shortbread dough (dough!) in a cup of hot maple-bacon caramel with a scoop of bacon ice cream that just melts right into the gooey awesomeness below. Highly rec'd.”


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