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.
Felicia D’Ambrosio, partner, Federal Donuts
Nam Salad at Vientiane Cafe: “Marinated rice with coconut flakes tossed with mint, scallion, lime juice, lime leaves and chili, served with lettuce wrap. That’s what the menu says. But then you put it in your mouth and it’s like the first time you’re eating something good, ever. The textures of the crispy bits of cooked rice, the clean acidity ... it’s addictive. I’d eat this every day.”
George Reilly, Owner, The Twisted Tail
Camarones Rellenos at Las Bugambilias: “The Mexican restaurant near my house on South Street serves a stuffed shrimp dish, it’s filled with Chihuahua cheese, wrapped in bacon and fried. The shrimp are plump and juicy and the sauce is fantastic!”
Chip Roman, owner/chef Blackfish, Mica and partner in the soon-to-open Ela
“Meatballs with peanut sauce and rice paper from Vietnam restaurant in china town.”
Michael Giampa, Executive Chef, Paramour at the Wayne Hotel
Chorizo Meatballs, Calamari, Green Olives at a.kitchen: “I have always been fond of European Spanish influence; this was a nice spicy dish, the calamari was tender—a contemporary spin on an old school favorite.”
Don Russell, AKA Joe Sixpack, Executive Director, Philly Beer Week
Fried smelts at Standard Tap: “One of my favorite beer-drinking moments was a cold March night on Lake Michigan in Chicago 10 years ago or so, when the smelt were spawning and the beach was lined with torch fires in oil drums. The locals quickly fry up the freshly caught critters, then wash them down with sixpacks of Old Style. The beer never tasted better. I’m right back on the beach whenever I order up a plate at Standard Tap. Fresh, crisp and a perfect pairing with Yards ESA on cask.”
Terence Feury, Executive Chef, Fork
Lamb shoulder at Zahav: “Just an incredible combination with the pomegranate and so tender. Even after five courses, I can still kill it!”
Jason Cichonski, Chef at Ela, to open later this month at 627 S. Third St.
The #62 (vermicelli and charbroiled chicken) at Pho & Café Viet Huong: “I eat #62 for breakfast at least twice a week. It’s a block from my apartment, it’s cheap and it’s the best hangover cure ever.”
Kevin Sbraga, Chef/Owner, Sbraga
The budino dessert at Barbuzzo: “The salted caramel is out of control and it’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty.”
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 Holiday Guide 2014