Archive for February 2010

Lunch Links (The “Bone Marrow Burger? What will they think of next?” Edition)

Photo Courtesy of Collin Flatt at Phoodie

  • Xochitl reopened with a more wallet friendly menu, including pork rind tacos for $9 and chorizo cazuela for $8 [GrubstreetPhilly]
  • Lost falafel cart, can anyone help? [Chowhound]
  • Some locals respond to the question: where can I find North Carolina style pulled pork?[City Paper]
  • The Italian Market Paesano’s is super busy []
  • Chef Ansil’s Bone marrow burger; terrifying or awesome? [Phoodie]

A Lesson in Amish Pot Pie and Corn Nuggets at Dutch Eating Place

Hailing from Lancaster County, the good Amish folk at Dutch Eating Place bring country cooking to Reading Terminal. Half of the staff looks too young to be allowed to work, the other half looks too old to be allowed to work, but the place is constantly busy and the apron-ed workers, both young and old, keep up with the pace.

Looking around the counter, I ordered based on what looked popular, survey says: the hot oven roasted turkey sandwich.

While waiting, I noticed that the gentleman next to be had some delightful looking fried, golden balls in front of him. When I inquired, he informed me that they were corn nuggets and was nice enough to offer me one. I happily accepted, and fell so in love that I ordered my own.

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Sampan’s New Lunch Menu Revealed! Plus Free Banh Mi Alert

Photo Courtesy of Felicia D’Ambrosio at Meal Ticket

I have been meaning to check out the small plates at Chef Michael Schulson’s Sampan since its opening in December, so imagine how so so so pumped I was to read on Citypaper that they’ll be introducing a new lunch menu on March 5th. And even better than that… everything is under $10.  And even better than that… they’re giving away free banh mi during the first lunch service! I might be holding my breath from now until next Friday.

I took a quick look at the menu and I have to say I am left particularly breathless by the bbq pork ramen and steak banh mi with sunny side egg; those two will most assuredly be the first things I dig into. We are lacking ramen options in Center City (Phoodie recently started a Philly ramen hunt with Morimoto’s $14 version), so this will be a much welcomed addition to our lunch repertoire. At dinnertime the ramen is $12, but Sampan shrewdly lowered the price of their lunch ramen to $8. (And by shrewdly I mean thankfully!) Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), the lobster roll shown above didn’t not make its way onto the under $10 lunch menu, but if the sandwiches that did taste half as good as that lobster roll looks, I will be a very happy luncher. And kaffir lime aid to wash it all down? There is no way I could pass that up.

As for the lunch menu debut, everyone will be treated to a FREE pork banh mi, with chips and a drink on March 5th from 11:30am to 5pm. (Although I would advise getting there at 11:30 to avoid the unbearable sadness of sandwiches running out!)

The full lunch menu, in all its glory, is after the jump…

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PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Matt”

As is customary at Philly Lunch, every Tuesday we turn over the site to a different lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Philadelphia. This week it’s Matt, a consultant with a passion for burgers.

Name: Matt

Age: 24

Occupation: Consultant

Where in Philly do you Work?: Center City, 18th & Arch

Favorite Kind of Food: This is like asking a father to choose which of his children he loves the most. Sure, he’s got a favorite, but he can’t bring himself to admit it publically. Besides, it’s close enough that on any given day Chicken Tikka Masala could overtake Spicy Tuna Roll with an A+ on a math test.

My stomach is perpetually jealous of Noah’s Ark, as I’ve never met an animal that wasn’t delicious. I love culture-specific cuisine, especially Asian and European, and the more authentic the better. I’m blissful at Tony Luke’s and Le Bec Fin alike. But my true passion has to be burgers, which I love to irrational extremes. I’m on a mission to eat, rank and review every burger in the city. I lay awake at night, wondering if there’s a better burger out there and defying the notion that I should be content with a personal favorite without testing every candidate (I’m tracking my results at

Least Favorite Kind of Food: In general, I can’t stand food that tries too hard and restaurants that over-reach. I don’t care what I’m eating, as long as it’s done well. I’d rather eat a Shank’s chicken cutlet sandwich or a Hershel’s pastrami on pumpernickel than the filet mignon at a kitschy tourist trap or foie gras from a Denny’s. I’ll take the best of any category over mediocre execution in an allegedly “better” category any day of the week.

Specifically, my least favorite food in town is the last burger I had at the Applebee’s on 15th Street—its mere existence is an open declaration of war against food itself.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly:
Chung King Garden (915 Arch St): Water Boiled Fish; Green Pepper Chicken. This place has the best and most authentic Szechuan cuisine I’ve ever had.
Varga Bar (10th and Spruce): Kobe Beef Burger; Truffle Mac and Cheese. Best new gastropub in Philly, and they do a good brunch too (which is half-lunch, right?).
Shank’s Original (120 S. 15th St): Any of the chicken cutlet sandwiches, which are rightfully considered among the best in the country.
4th Street Deli (38 S. 19th St): Pastrami Cheesesteak; Challah French Toast; any sandwich. Forget the possibility of leaving hungry; come close to finishing a zaftig-sized sandwich here and you’ll be lucky to retain the ability to walk erect.
Reading Terminal Market (12th and Filbert): Follow your nose. This place is inspirational, and no, I’m not using that word too liberally.
Mama’s Vegetarian (18 S. 20th St): Falafel. Best lunch for a kosher/vegan; freshest fries in town.
DiBruno Brothers (Various locations): They make my favorite sandwiches to eat while working, but try not to go at around 11:50AM (that’s when I like to sneak in early to beat the line).

I could go on for quite a while, but I would consider any of these places at the top of their particular categories.

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South Street Souvlaki Serves a Sassy Sauce

I didn’t think much of South Street Souvlaki anytime I passed it while strolling down South Street, but after a few friends praised the food, I figured it was about time to go and get over my silly preconceived notions based solely on the generic facade. They must be doing something right, as they are currently celebrating their 33rd anniversary.

By the time I stopped to look at the menu in the window, I was already intrigued. You gotta appreciate any restaurant that acknowledges that crappy economic times calls for cheaper lamb.

About a year ago, South St Souvlaki adjusted their menu by making most of their entrees $9. I guess they decided to add some more options with this “new stimulus menu”.  The figs and sausage were hard to pass up, but I had to go with the waitresses whole-hearted recommendations instead.

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Lunch Links (The “With the View from the Top of the Comcast Building, even a PB&J Belongs on a Silver Plate” Edition)

Photo Courtesy of Tasty Eating

  • Sushi joint Zama has a new lunch menu [Phoodie]
  • Lets be jealous of those who eat their lunches at the top of the Comcast building [NBC]
  • Duck salad at Monk’s looks like a much better than average pub lunch [UWISHUNU]
  • Healthy Bites opened this week with to-go options for lunch, like a curry chicken salad sandwich [Grubstreet]
  • An out of town-er checks out Reading Terminal [Tasty Eating]

Loving the Salad Bar, but Over the Falafel at Maoz

Somehow I had made it though life without ever trying Maoz. Yes, they are a chain, but any chain with such an extensive selection of as much pickled items as I can fit in my pita is really ok by me. I got the “meal deal”, the falafel in pita which comes with fries and a soft drink and went with $1 upgrade to get a fresh carrot juice instead.  You are free to stuff that pita with whatever is out on their salad bar.

The pickled carrots won my heart over. I also liked the slaw and beets. I made sure to pack the veggies in there.

Check out how big it is…

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