Tongue tacos, Italian milkshakes, candy-coated flapjacks and 47 other delicious foods and drinks you should be tasting right now.
Goat’s Milk Ice Cream
In the spectrum of sweet scoops—sorbet, soft serve, gelato, fro yo, custard—what Patches of Star spins defies definition. Based on milk from pastured goats, then sweetened naturally with honey and Turbinado sugar and flavored with peak-of-season produce, this ice cream is fresher, tangier and lighter than other ice cream. It tastes pure. Pick up a pint of black raspberry on Sundays at the Headhouse Square farmers’ market. Patches of Star Dairy, 401 W. High St., Nazareth. 610.759.2901. facebook.com/pages/Patches-of-Star-Diary
Root Beer Float
Root beer and vanilla ice cream is a classic collabo, but the one served at Franklin Fountain is the best. Shortcuts at this vintage scoop shop (located a block away from the original Hires bottling plant) are like light bulbs before Edison: nonexistent. The peppery, vanilla-tipped pop—its top-secret botanicals include cinnamon bark, sassafras root and star anis—and the ice cream are hand-crafted on the premises. Franklin Fountain, 116 Market St. 215.627.1899. franklinfountain.com
The Chesapeake fries loaded with sweet lump crab meat, white Vermont cheddar cheese sauce and scallion confetti get the most press, but this handsome, new-school South Philly saloon is no one-trick pony. Kissed with ass-kickingly spicy chipotle mayonesa and loaded with red cabbage and salsa fresca, the Baja fish tacos cradle strips of succulent mahi-mahi enrobed in golden-fried batter in grill-warmed tortillas. Three to an order, the tacos are so spot-on, you’ll hardly believe you’re way down in red-gravy country. Taproom on 19th, 2400 S. 19th St. 267.687.7817. taproomon19th.com
Before East Passyunk was P’unk Ave., it was just “the Avenue.” Stinky cheese shop Mancuso’s— shelves stacked to the high heavens with jarred olives, boxes of Arborio rice and all the other edible essentials an Old Country émigré might need—is one of the original businesses on the strip. You haven’t had ricotta till you’ve had some hand-crafted by owner Phil Mancuso. It’s moist but not wet, firm but not dry, and has a sweetness so subtle it’s nearly innuendo. J. Lucio Mancuso & Son, 1902 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.389.1817
The lamb at Zahav is so good, it’s on this list twice. The raw ground meat of the lamb tartare (aka kibbe naya) glistens red as a field of September tomatoes and comes with sleeves of crisp romaine, a genuinely hip lettuce wrap, if you will. But the allspice, echoing like a low, throaty baah through each bite, is the real spellbinder in this $8 meze. Take a bite. Don’t be sheepish. Zahav, 237 Saint James Place. 215.625.8800. zahavrestaurant.com
Here’s what we love about food in Philadelphia: everything. No, seriously. From the street vendor’s commonest cheesesteak to the most subtly spiced French-Asian hybrid delicacy, it’s all good. But some of it? Some of it is awesome. So here are 50 suggestions for dishes, ranging from sophisticated to speedy, that you’ve just got to try—whether you’re in town for the day or here for keeps.
People, you may have noticed, are fat. Real fat. And getting bigger every day. But lost in the endless conversations about the no-longer-new obesity epidemic that threatens to sink our country into a pit of health-care debt we can never pay is a very real and glaringly obvious fact: We’re all a hell of a lot skinnier than we could be.
The first PW reader to document they've had all 50 items on our list wins $100 in gift certificates to fabulous Philly restaurants. It's that easy, and that delicious.
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PW's Summer Guide 2015