"I Dunno, Where Do You Wanna Eat?"

By Emily Guendelsberger
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 14 | Posted Nov. 9, 2010

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Adsum's poutine

Photo by Michael Persico

We asked Philly's food writers, bloggers and lovers— save these pages and you’ll never shrug again.

No more excuses for doing the culinary Macarena—cycling through the same motions, never going anywhere—while Philly's loaded with food writers, bloggers, Yelpers, photographers and eating groups for whom culinary curiosity and sharing their finds is a way of life.

We asked as many of them as we could for their favorite dishes in four categories on opposing ends of the safety/adventure and real/fake spectrums— Comfort food vs. Unfamiliar food, and Authentic vs. Culture mash-up—and they came through in spades with hundreds and hundreds of suggestions.

Tack these 60-odd suggestions to your fridge, keep them in your desk drawer or fold ’em up in your wallet—whatever you do, you’re not allowed to answer “What do you wanna eat?” with a helpless shrug for at least a year.

Comfort Food

Apple dumplings, Dutch Eating Place
$2.75. Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch sts.

Poutine, Adsum
$15. 700 S. Fifth St.
“What isn’t comforting about duck fat fries, gravy, cheese curds and foie gras? It is the rich leading the rich—pure decadence.” -Anthony Sica, Meal Ticket

Fried chicken + mac and cheese, Butter’s Soul Food
$7-$9. 2821 W. Girard Ave.

Veggie hoagie, Chickie’s Italian Deli
$6.25-$7.25. 1014 Federal St.
“This magical amalgamation of red-sauced baked eggplant, coarse-ground provolone, roasted peppers and broccoli rabe with garlic in a seeded Sarcone’s roll epitomizes South Philly comfort food for me. Owner Henry maintains the same old-school methods originated by his mom, Chickie—thus, this hoagie is the same calorie torpedo I ate as a kid. This is the essential element of comfort—not just the taste, but the feeling while eating that the world isn’t a bad place after all if such a legendary sammich can be reproduced faithfully over decades.” -Felicia D’Ambrosio, Philly community manager for Yelp.com

Duck-fat cheddar fries, Village Whiskey
$5-$7. 118 S. 20th St.

Roast pork sandwich, DiNic’s
$8.50. Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Filbert sts.
“After a 15-minute walk from my office and another 15 waiting on line, the first bite of a DiNic’s roast pork sandwich is the food version of Calgon. It just takes you away.” -Marcos Espinoza, fidelgastro.com

Lima bean soup, New Wave Cafe
$6. 2620 E. Allegheny Ave.

Pho, Pretty much everywhere

We got a ton of pho votes, but they were split about equally between a bunch of different joints (though Pho 75 and Pho Cali had a slight edge). Everyone seems to agree that if you were to trip and fall around 13th and Washington, you’d have a reasonable chance of landing face-first in a huge, cheap, delicious bowl of noodles.

Laugenbrezel, Brauhaus Schmitz
$3. 718 South St.
“I loved soft pretzels growing up, because the ‘pretzel bag’ would go around from homeroom to homeroom at recess. Once I got into high school, the soft pretzel was my lunch (and two Otis Spunkmeyer cookies). Now I find myself craving this version, with house-made mustard." -Suzanne Woods, beerlass.com

Stuffed grape leaves, Vietnam
$10.95. 221 N. 11th St.

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Comments 1 - 14 of 14
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1. patty said... on Nov 10, 2010 at 10:32AM

“why not try the midtown 2 at 11th and samson, open 24 hours, 365 a year.
homemade soups daily, also homemade bakery items. Also, have a full bar
opened 11am to 2am, daily.”

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2. val said... on Nov 10, 2010 at 04:48PM

“i personally take 'slightly bonkers' to be the highest of compliments, so i will definitely be seeking out the creperie truck.....”

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3. Emily G said... on Nov 10, 2010 at 05:47PM

“Somehow this part got cut out in the "make it fit" part of the editing process, but a huge THANK YOU to all the delightful people who responded and especially to the ones who took the time to give me quotes.”

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4. SullySpeaks said... on Nov 11, 2010 at 05:33PM

“Cannot wait to stuff a FUCKING FLOUNDER HOAGIE down my gullet...ace job PW!”

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5. MAP said... on Nov 13, 2010 at 07:45AM

“Matt Levin stole the foie gras poutine dish form Martin Picard at Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal! Give credit where credit is due!”

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6. GetKilledEh said... on Nov 14, 2010 at 03:16PM

“Give credit to some fucking french fry depot 500 miles away in motherfucking Canada?? Please end your life.”

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7. MAP said... on Nov 14, 2010 at 06:55PM

“You obviously have no idea who Martin Picard is and most likely are a line cook at Adsum and think you are working for a genius when in fact you are putting fucking tater tots on a plate. Your life has already ended.”

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8. Phillyfoodie said... on Nov 15, 2010 at 10:47PM

“wow, someone suggested midtown 2? Are you kidding me? This cookie cutter Middle Eastern type slop house? It offers nothing but ordinary, at best, Sysco Systems food with no flare. VERY rude managers and average to poor quality food. They even charge extra for onions in your home fries. Its a joke. But hey, at 2 am its an option.”

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9. Guzzijason said... on Nov 18, 2010 at 07:00PM

“New rule: chefs can no longer steal from each other! BWAHAHAHAHA! Good luck with that one! Our restaurant would scene would be very boring if that were the case... (and yes, I've been to Montreal; I know who Martin Picard is; I don't caaaaaaarrrrreeee, because when I get a craving for foie, I don't book a plane ticket to satisfy it!)”

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10. MAP said... on Nov 19, 2010 at 06:30PM

“So you admit that it's blatant thievery without even a slight tip of the cap to the originator. Well done.”

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11. Guzzijason said... on Nov 19, 2010 at 10:18PM

“Ummm... how can I admit something that I had absolutely no part in? In case you haven't noticed, foie gras poutine has been popping up on menus all across the country. Do they all require genuflecting to Montreal every time someone wants to order it. No, no they don't. Have you ever been to a joint around here that points out that the Buffalo Wings they serve were invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo? No, no you haven't. Do restaurants that put pasta primavera on their menu give credit to Le Cirque? No.

If you ask me, it just sounds like you have an axe to grind with Levin.”

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12. MAP said... on Nov 23, 2010 at 12:07PM

“I didn't ask you. I have an axe to grind with being unoriginal.
Le Cirque is a dinosaur and Buffalo wings do properly respect the town in which they were created by being called fucking Buffalo wings.
And if you ask me, contemporaries should genuflect if they recreate a dish especially if it is a straight up copy rather than inspired by the original.”

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13. Guzzijason said... on Nov 24, 2010 at 05:56PM

“It's food... get over it. It's not like Picard invented a cure for cancer and Levin is stealing his royalties.”

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14. MAP said... on Nov 26, 2010 at 04:49PM

“I win.”


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