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.
It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship: Head on out to the Depot to satiate your manly need to DIY, and, on the way to your car, stop into Rocco’s for a sausage and pepper sandwich. The symbolism can’t be beat, and the sheer density of the meat will give you all the energy you need for whatever projects you have lined up the rest of the afternoon.
Rocco’s, 1601 S. Columbus Blvd.
Aloo Papri Chaat at Ekta
We have no idea how they do it, but time and again, Ekta finds a way to deliver this sweet, salty, beautifully layered snack still crunchy, despite the chutneys and yogurt. Best not to question their method, and just tuck into it with all the gusto it deserves. A word of warning, though: Eat it quick because this chaat doesn’t do so well in the fridge overnight.
Ekta, 250 E. Girard Ave. 215.426.2277. ektaindianrestaurant.com
Polenta and Broccoli Rabe at Tre Scalini
Behold, a miracle: comfort food that doesn’t make you feel like a greasy pile of crap. The crisp-on-the-outside, soft-and-starchy-on-the-inside cornmeal polenta paired with the bitter-in-a-good-way rabe at Tre Scalini will have you singing hymns.
Tre Scalini, 1915 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.551.3870. trescaliniphiladelphia.com
Bluecoat American Dry Gin at Philadelphia Distilling
We asked the man behind Philadelphia Distilling why—with all the red tape our great commonwealth has wrapped around liquor laws—he would choose Philly to set up his distillery. His response: “Because this is my home, damn it!” It’s that attitude that’s made him a success. Our favorite of his potent potables is his gin, a blend of botanicals like juniper berries, citrus peels, coriander and angelica root. The mixture makes Bluecoat a serious sipper. Keep the tonic and lime away. It’s best enjoyed unadulterated.
Philadelphia Distilling, 12285 McNulty Rd. 215.671.0346. philadelphiadistilling.com
Wine With a Name You Can’t Pronounce at Estia
We all should be drinking more Greek wines. From a flavor and food-pairing standpoint, they seem to be custom-fitted to our collective palate. But the names of the grapes tend to scare people off. Next time you’re at Estia, go wild and try a Moschofilero, a Xinomavro, or an Assyrtiko. They’re as great to drink as they are difficult to pronounce.
Estia, 1405-07 Locust St. estiarestaurant.com
Banana Frullati al Cioccolato
These chocolate shakes are frothy, rich and make the perfect base for an adult milkshake. Made with milk chocolate, banana and your choice of liquor—we recommend dark rum for the banana shake but tequila, vodka or bourbon are also recommended by owner, Fabio Scarpelli— this decadent dessert is a stay-cation in a glass. (Wipes slobber from keyboard.)
Golosa, 806 S. Sixth St. 215.925.1003. golosacafe.com
Doe Run Dairy, the 700-acre grass-based dairy in Chester County, has helped put PA on the cheese-making map with products like the Hummingbird, a funky camembert-ish cheese with strong herbal notes and a zing that will make you sing.
Doe Run Dairy, 324 Hicks Rd., Coatesville. 610.383.4593. chestercountycheese.org/doe-run-dairy
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