The Summer Guide: More Lists Than You Can Handle

What's hot, not and what you should be doing in Philly this summer.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 25 | Posted Jun. 15, 2010

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Right now on PW’s website, the most read story is “Top 50 Bars.” Following it closely is “Top 10 Drug Corners.” Those stories were the covers of our March 5, 2008, and May 2, 2007, issues, respectively. But, yes, they are still among the most read. In fact, both have hovered in the top 10 most read stories on our website since they ran, and both continue to garner comments.

We began to wonder why that is. The obvious answer: People fucking love lists. They’re easy to read. They’re helpful. They are the fun-size candy bar of print. What’s not to love?

Truth is, editorial staffs love lists too, much for the same reasons. Hell, Philadelphia magazine has made lists a part of its permanent business model, putting a new one—Top Docs, Top Vets, Top Places Down Da Shore, Top Neighborhoods—on its cover every month.

So we’re going list crazy, crazy, CRAZY. We’ve got hoards of lists here, spanning various topics of questionable importance and divided into easily digested sections (Food and Drink; People, Places and Things; Politics). You’ll find more lists in our A&C sections as well—the best plays of the summer; the best art; the most anticipated concerts. Enjoy them. We thought long and hard about these lists, which is in no way code for “tossed it to our interns and let them run with it while we drank at Oscar’s next door.” This is the Summer Guide of Lists, people. After it, no publication in Philly will dare attempt to rank anything ever.

You’re welcome.

Food & Drink


Top 3 Bars Not to be White In

1. Here It Is, 15th and Stiles. Periodically, the staff at this quaint establishment have to ask wandering college students to curb their patronage for the simple reason that “You bring dem white girls in here and all the regulars start acc’in crazy.”

2. The Purple Orchid, 61st and Passyunk. This strip club boasts the world’s narrowest aisle between the bar and the wall, making it extra unpleasant for white people attempting to squeeze by disgruntled locals as they are simultaneously harassed by heinously made-up girls who will never look you in the eye unless there’s evidence of at least a couple of dollars on the bar that aren’t being spent on a drink.

3. Shorty’s, 52nd and Woodland.

It’s sad white people don’t get to enjoy one of the most talent-encrusted karaoke nights in the city. The soulful sounds of a live band and the surprising mic skill of the contestants still don’t drown out yells of ‘Yo old head!,’ which remains the only way to get the bartender’s attention and is a phrase impossible for white people to say correctly. Go ahead. Test it out.

Top 3 Bars Not to be Black In

1. Bonk’s Bar, Tioga and Richmond. Bikers are known for many things, two of which are not racial tolerance and being nonwhite. As a result, a place where they gather to blow off steam might well be the most dangerous place for anyone even remotely of color.

2. Triangle Bar, 10th and Reed. It was in this very paper that a 2008 article described how an employee of this Bella Vista bar went on a violent, racist tirade against an interracial couple. Don’t feel comforted that there’s a police station right down the way. They didn’t respond then and they probably won’t now.

3. Raw Dog Saloon, Second and Morris. We’re pretty sure this isn’t the only bar in Philly where a large number of Flyers fans yelled the N-word at the screen every time Montreal Canadiens defender PK Subban came on screen during this year’s playoffs, but we definitely know it’s one of them.

5 Honey’s (800 N. Fourth St.) Dishes That’ll Make You Shit Like They’re Laced with Laxatives.

1. Breakfast Bomb.

2. Jeb’s Open Faced Biscuit Sandwich.

3. Huevos Rancheros.

4. Chicken Fried Steak Platter.

5. Fried Shrimp Po-boy Sandwich.

7 Iced Teas for the Designated Driver in Your Group

1. Moriarty’s, 1116 Walnut St.

2. Bubble Tea, Bubble House, 3404 Sansom St.

3. Fruits of the Forest Tea, Beauty Shop Cafe, 20th and Fitzwater.

4. Thai iced tea, Vientiane Cafe, 4728 Baltimore Ave.

5. Wawa-brand Raspberry Iced Tea, Wawa (various locations).

6. Plate, Suburban Square, Ardmore.

7. Southern-Style Sweet Tea, Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse, 7500 State Rd.

Top 5 Bars with the Best Tasting Citywide Special

1. Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South St.

2. Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, 1200 E. Passyunk Ave.

3. Medusa Lounge, 27 S. 21st St.

4. Dirty Frank’s, 347 S. 13th St.

5. Tritone, 1508 South St.


5 Random Quotes from 5 Random Bartenders

1. “Check your expiration date.” Carl, 12 Steps Down.

2. “Pull your pants up.” Shawn, Tattooed Mom’s.

3. “You missed a spot.” Robin, El Bar.

4. “Enjoy your second home.” Noelle, Dahlak.

5. “I’m gonna bank the eight.” Christine, Green Room.

5 Places to Get Blasted Outdoors!

1. Jamaican Jerk Hut, 1436 South St. Huge, semi-enclosed backyard with picnic tables + jerk chicken + freshly made juice mixers for your vodka/tequila/rum = best way ever to spend a Saturday. Or Tuesday?

2. Apothecary, 102 S. 13th St.

If you really, really like mixed drinks. Example: The Booty Collins has nine ingredients. The roofdeck looks out onto 13th Street. Prime people-watching.

3. Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge, 1225 Sansom St. Be outside and inside—at the same time! Private courtyard reminds us of the late and much-loved Washington Square. Fresh and innovative sushi. Hope it’s not coming from the Gulf.

4. Silk City Diner, 435 Spring Garden St. Around these parts, we call the outdoor patio the Beer Garden. Tecate in a can, anyone? Go for brunch and never look back.

5. Cavanaugh’s River Deck, 417 N. Columbus Blvd. Look, it ain’t Seacrets, but Cav’s is probably the best way to “enjoy” our waterfront. Not that there’s a whole lot of competition in that category to start with. Damn good food and drink specials.

5 Places to Get Legit Philly Soft Pretzels

1. Center City Pretzel Company, 816 Washington Ave.

2. From the pretzel man on the Roosevelt Blvd.

3. From the shopping carts between the Stadiums.

4. Tasty Twisters, 4901 Umbria St.

5. Federal Pretzel Baking Company, 638 Federal St.

Top 4 After-Hours Places to REALLY Blackout

1. RUBA Hall, 414 Green St.

2. Pen & Pencil, 1522 Latimer St.

3. Voyeur, 1221 St. James St.

4. The Republican, 1734 Snyder Ave.

Top 5 Cuisines You Should Add to Your Palate

1. Indian. Because man cannot live by all-you-can-eat buffet alone. Well, he can, but he’ll get fat(ter), and relative newcomers like Bindi (105 S. 13th St.) and Karma (114 Chestnut St.) prove there’s a higher plane we can aspire to.

2. Mexican. In the beginning, there was Taqueria Veracruzana (908 Washington Ave.). And it was good. Then Mexican food took over the whole of the Italian Market, making “Italian Market” the most antiquated misnomer in the city. And it was even better.

3. Cambodian. South Philly’s growing Cambodian population is mostly too fresh off the boat to have opened too many restaurants just yet. But a few places cropping up, like New Phnom Penh (2301 S. Seventh St.) and Kavei (320 W. Oregon Ave.), make us excited for the delicious blend of Thai, French and Vietnamese cuisine to come.

4. Vietnamese. Did we say the Italian Market was all Mexican now? Whoops. While Mexican food has cropped up, roots-style, in small pockets, Vietnamese cuisine has descended on South Philadelphia in the biggest concentration this side of the 38th parallel. And they’re spreading: from West Philly (Vietnam Cafe, 814 S. 47th St.) to the Northeast (Cafe Saigon, 827 Adams Ave., and Pho’75, 823 Adams Ave.) to the old Chinatown standbys.

5. Korean. Philadelphia’s Korean population is finally firmly entrenched enough to enjoy a wide range of spots, from the quick lunch (Giwa, 1608 Sansom St.; Koreana, 3801 Chestnut St.) to the fancy sit-down fusion spots (Sampan, 124 S. 13th St.)

People, Places & Things


Top 5 Public Places to Ogle People With Their Top Off

1. Schuylkill River Trail.

2. Washington Square.

3. Rittenhouse Square.

3. Liberty Lands.

5. Woody’s.

Top 5 Discount Websites for Philly






Top 5 Rallies

Philadelphia is the home of free speech, and it definitely shows in the number of rallies held here.

1. When Nutter decided to combat the city’s deficit by implementing a soda tax in March, the soda lobby (see: Coca-Cola) staged a boisterous and public-service-like announcement at City Hall. It worked.

2. Ballsy Frank Gilanelli, the small-business owner who escalated an immigration rally in Old City last month, berated supporters of immigration reform, shouting such gems as: “What part of ‘illegal’ do you not understand?”

3. Librarians tired of being singled out grabbed their books—again—along with their balls and protested. Not just outside City Hall, either. Outside Nutter’s office door. Too bad the hizzoner wasn’t in.

4. Temple University Hospital made national headlines when its 5,000 nurses rallied during a month-long strike. Their picketing and protesting eventually gained them the support of Michael Moore, America’s most extreme filmmaker.

5. Fewer than five people rallied outside a Roxborough BP on Monday. The effort was led by a 17-year-old. Who probably still wants a car.

Top 5 Phillie Phanatic Alter-Egos

1. Rocky Balboa (debuted in 1986).

2. Lady Pha Pha (aka Lady Gaga).

3. Batman (to taunt Jack Nicholson, of course).

4. Any outfit used to taunt the other team (Senorita to taunt Mariano Duncan, Cowboy to taunt Diamondbacks, etc.)

5. Luke Skywalker.


Top 10 Places to Take Awesome Pictures of the Philadelphia Skyline

1. Belmont Plateau (off Belmont Mansion Road).

2. The upper levels at the Linc and Citizens Bank Park.

3. Gazebo off Kelly Drive (in Fairmount Park off Lemon Hill Drive).

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Comments 1 - 25 of 25
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1. KDay said... on Jun 16, 2010 at 09:40AM

“Great list!
-FYI Federal Pretzel has been closed since 2007”

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2. Jeff from Bella Vista said... on Jun 16, 2010 at 01:20PM

“This must of been written by a gay man! I love it!! :D

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3. Anonymous said... on Jun 16, 2010 at 01:44PM

“This is the lame type of list that would make Swells roll over in his grave. Do they even sell pretzels on the Boulevard anymore? I thought Herb Denenberg put a stop to that with his special report about piss hands back in 1993.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Jun 16, 2010 at 04:03PM

“I like Iriquois. Although I liked it better when I thought it was a jumble of the letters "Philly".”

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5. Anonymous said... on Jun 16, 2010 at 05:38PM

“Federal Pretzel is still around - just not in there old location.”

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6. Andrew said... on Jun 17, 2010 at 07:31AM

“Larry Mendte is a National Treasure!

Awesome lists. Thank you!”

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7. Anonymous said... on Jun 17, 2010 at 08:23AM

“What a piss poor article”

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8. Anon said... on Jun 17, 2010 at 03:26PM

“This is the dumbest shit ever printed in this paper.”

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9. I can't stop laughing said... on Jun 17, 2010 at 09:25PM

“What a horrible article about the 5 potential candidates. ESPECIALLY about Sanchez-does the paper do any fact checking? The first latino member of City Council???? Didn't Angel Ortiz claim that title close to thirty years ago? Smart and Sanchez just doesn't seem right together. Same with Sanchez and Ethics-"including ethics bills" Obviously PW did not see that the city's ethics board fined her for playing with the PAC laws in the city. The best is her ties to the community "She’s got the smarts and the ambition, and extensive ties to community activists that would help her campaign efforts"-more like look at money money can buy you in politics.
Let's be honest she is nothing more than a wolf in progressive's clothing.”

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10. J. Washington said... on Jun 18, 2010 at 12:45PM

“Your self-professed list craziness was amusing, but I’m unsure why you want to avoid conversation with your fellow Temple alumni so much that you’d make it one of your themes. Get over yourself, because it’s not that deep. Engaging in a coincidental chat on the train or in a checkout line doesn’t necessitate us becoming each other’s bridesmaids, kidney donors, investors, dog sitters or happy hour play dates. Also, given the recent spike in unemployment claims, there are still many people who would appreciate a serendipitous job lead, regardless of the connection.

Had you crossed paths with me or another Temple J-school alum last week, it’s probable we would’ve warned you that your copy desk missed an (unaddressed) internal note in another list before you went to press.

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11. onk's customer said... on Jun 18, 2010 at 12:56PM

“Are you out of your mind? Bonk's has been a neighborhood bar for many years. The new owners do everything that they can for the community. They hold fundraisers for the Philadelphia Police Survivor's fund, as well as donate to anyone that that asks. As far as a biker bar where do you get that, most of the bike's on the sidewalk are off duty cop's. stop stereotyping any one with a bike as A BIG BAD OUTLAW, GROW UP.”

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12. FROM YOUR FRIENDS AT THE TRIANGLE said... on Jun 20, 2010 at 07:00PM

“No matter how many times you guys dust off that ol' chestnut we all call racism, it still doesn't get old, does it? Bravo, PW, Bravo! Your natural predilection towards unnecessarily embracing and expanding upon the lowest common denominator has inspired me. Here at the Triangle, as I enjoy a cocktail and the multifarious crowd, I too shall embrace the puerile! Here's a special list for all of PW's self-important, pseudo-journalistic poseurs to ejoy!


How does a 'newspaper' like PW, which makes a big chunk of money selling ad space to every working hooker, escort and happy ending masseuse qualify passing moral judgment on anyone? Your feigned moralism along with your feeble attempts at recycling non-news has earned PW a top-spot on OUR list of BIGGEST HYPOCRITES. A rhesus monkey poking dirt with a stick has more journalistic integrity.”

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13. Hickey said... on Jun 21, 2010 at 02:26PM

“Good to hear from you, FYFATT. By way of update, however: I haven't been a staff writer at Philadelphia Weekly since 2003. Since you seem so mentally adept, I'll do the math for you: That's seven years.

Keep up the cocktails. They've clearly sharpened your keen intellect.


P.S. Feel free to use your real name if you want to insult my family. I'd gladly discuss it in person.”

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14. from your friends at the triangle said... on Jun 21, 2010 at 06:08PM

“Not only are you inept at getting all the facts together for a piece, you can't really 'do the math' can you? Unless of course you exist within your own time space continuum?

Read the name and date on the byline: "Nightcap Turns Ugly"

Whether you're a staff writer or your title is head janitor, you've been 'writing' for that rag for quite a while. For you to suggest otherwise is not all that intellectually honest, is it?

And since there's a string of guys down here chomping at the bit to' discuss things' with you in person you're more than welcome to come by and learn their names one by one. But truth be told, its obvious there's nothing we could write or say to insult or shame your poor family as badly as you do yourself with your Josef Gobbels brand of journalistic integrity.

Your family must be very proud, Brian. You take care, friend.”

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15. Hickey said... on Jun 21, 2010 at 09:03PM

“You're right: in my "own time space continuum," the last line of "Nightcap Turns Ugly" was, and is, "Brian Hickey is a freelance writer from Philadelphia." (Is that intellectually honest enough for you?)

But truth be told, I believe the proper spelling is Goebbels.

You take care.”

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16. staff member, c and d triangle said... on Jun 21, 2010 at 11:57PM

“Dear Mr. Hickey: Reading this comment vs. comment section, a freelance writer still writes and submits his work. So basically you are still are a journalist who writes articles and is published in the paper. The general opinion here is you have an especially biased slant on this particular article (Nightcap Turns Ugly). You really never interviewed any staff or other patrons in the tavern at the time of the incident, ....yet you still had your writing submitted and published as being factual and accurate. How can you honestly consider this as being NOTunbiased??? Maybe you should get all sides of a situation before you attempt to report anything else in the future. Best wishes.”

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17. friends of the triangle tavern said... on Jun 22, 2010 at 12:39AM

“Mr Hickey,
Sorry for the incorrect spelling of a man who obviously is one of your biggest idols in life. I daresay you must have a large tattoo of the man somewhere!
As far as being intellectually honest, you would rather engage in picayune, grammatical one-upsmanship than address the real issue which is you are a sub-standard writer and PW is a hypocritical rag.

And once again, I'll say it yet again,....
I don't give a rip if you were staff writer in 2003, freelance writer in 2008, head janitor in 2010 or the editor in chief over there. You wrote about us like a sloppy, smug, biased bully with a word processor. Since that's the case, what makes us think you're able to grasp and report the facts of ANY story in ANY accurate way?

If you're going to be in this profession maybe you should stick with stories about sports or maybe those little blurbs they put out in the Metro and pretend they're real news. Yes, you should go do those because real reporting escapes you.”

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18. friends of the triangle said... on Jun 22, 2010 at 12:50AM

Oh and by the way. You have spell check,how wonderful!
You would be a much better reporter if you spent your time checking facts.”

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19. Hickey said... on Jun 22, 2010 at 06:10AM

“staff member, c and d triangle:

I spoke to, and quoted in the story, the owner of the bar at the time (not sure if he still owns it today after the Dec. 08 licensing issue), the accusers and the state liquor board. The police department also had the charges on record. By all means correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the results of the subsequent investigation find the accusations had merit?

Sorry if you don't perceive that as being enough reporting, but all sides were represented and afforded the opportunity to say their piece. (If Dachino wanted to say more, he had the chance to.) To me, that's unbiased. You apparently disagree, which you have every right to. I'm thankful you did so in an intelligent fashion, though.

-- Brian”

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20. Anonymous said... on Jun 22, 2010 at 08:19AM

“Bars not to be Black in....Bars not to be White in....are you serious? Why in gods name would you write such racially motivated crap? Shouldn't we be working together to end racial segregation and not highlighting it? YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED! I will never read your free rag again, and I encourage your advertisers to pull any and all ads. I look forward to the day the Philadelphia Weekly folds!”

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21. dumbfounded philly tourist said... on Jun 22, 2010 at 09:07AM

“I travel to Philly for business on a regular occasion and one of my favorite places to catch a game when I'm in town is at the Triangle Tavern on 10th and Reed. I was quite taken a back reading this article to find the Triangle Tavern was on such a list. In all of my years stopping in, during the hottest days of summer, or with 2 feet of snow on the ground, I have NEVER seen any undue malice towards ANYONE patronizing this establishment!!! The clientèle is made up of all races, creeds, sexual orientations, trans-gender, etc. I have always found it to be a friendly welcoming place which is why this article dumbfounds me. I have visited other establishments along Passyunk Ave and found them to be too pretentious, especially if I have left the skinny jeans at home. Why no lists PW about bars not to visit if you are not a hipster? I would have found that MUCH more helpful and much more evolved then a list based on race. Shame on you PW.”

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22. from your friends at the triangle said... on Jun 22, 2010 at 05:09PM

“The charges against Mr D'Achino were found to be unsubstantiated by the Pennsylvania State Civil Rights Commission. Similar charges did have some merit in court in Philly. So depending on who you prefer to listen to you can draw your own conclusions.

In our opinion input from patrons, other staff, neighboring business owners as well as neighbors from tenth street all would have added a more accurate, more honest dimension to what went on that night.

"Dont go south of Washington Avenue if you're black"....really?
That statement alone would've been reason enough to expand your interview to include the aforementioned people.

And as a point of pride,for more than a few years now, most people have viewed this part of the city as a safer, cheaper alternative to Northern Libs.

Cheap alternatives to Northern Liberties,....
PW should be doing lists like that! instead of alleged racist bars.”

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23. Libel said... on Jun 27, 2010 at 12:56PM

“Makes me want to go to all of the "racist" establishments and start pushing them to potentially pursue taking this to court for libel.”

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24. Anonymous said... on Jul 1, 2010 at 10:28AM

“Well, in June 2009 D'Achino was found guilty on 2 counts of racial intimidation and assualt. You guys can go back and forth as much as you want about Mr. Hickey's writing and the previous article 'Nightcap Turns Ugly', but the court's decision stands. Anyone that's still trying to defend the Triangle Tavern and stand next to D'Achino is a fool.

How's your 18 months of porbation treating you, James? Six months to go... :)”

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25. tull said... on Jul 6, 2010 at 12:58PM

“they dissed the whole neighborhood in that sloppy article.... "dont go south of washington are if you're black". Its not really about the triangle or jimmy d.”


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