PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Emre”

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 Emre, a public financial consultant with a frighteningly endless appetite…

Name: Emre

Age: 24

Occupation: Municipal Financial Consultant

Where in Philly do you Work?: Public Financial Management at Two Logan Square (18th & Arch)

Favorite Kind of Food: Seafood is definitely the king of all things I love. Oysters and mussels take the cake, but almost all animals or plants from the sea are welcome. Other favorites include beans, all types of nuts, spinach, broccoli, peppers, squash, cheese, mushrooms and okra. In general, if it’s edible, I’ll eat it and probably love it. Beer is also one of my loves and you can easily win me over with it. Caveat: It has to be real beer, not fake schwill but in fake schwill’s defense, it makes a great cheap pre-game. Dark Chocolate is my dessert of choice; I prefer 85% and above, which includes 99%. Some general rules of thumb for impressing me in terms of flavors otherwise: 1) The spicier the better. 2) Add garlic, yogurt, olive oil, maple syrup, honey, tomatoes or BBQ sauce in whatever you are cooking and I will probably love it. 3) I love animals; both when animals are alive and when animals are in my belly. 4) The more the merrier, both in terms of people and the amount of food.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Overly fatty foods. No, I’m not a health nut and in fact I like it for the most part! I just didn’t grow up with it so its the newest thing to my palette and has to compete with all of my other food loves. In full disclosure, fatty foods are gaining ground on brussel sprouts. Mustard and mayo are also working their way in there as they are also new to the party.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly:

Chicken Pizza Steak at Tony Jr’s on 18th between Sansom & Chestnut, however I must recommend anything there is usually pretty good. It is savory and has an awesome marinara sauce. Plus the chicken and onions add a great flavor and the bread is pretty nice.

The Shrimp and Scallop in House Sauce at Square on Square on Chestnut between 19th & 20th; it has plenty of kick and has seafood hence the smile on my face right now.

The Lunch Burger Deal at Butcher & Singer at 15th & Walnut will give you a foodgasm. It is the pinnacle of execution in terms of what you can do with a patty and a professional quality grill.

The California Burrito at Hot Tamales at JFK & 18th. 2 pounds of burrito. I feel like that should be enough except that I love it so much that I have had 2 in one sitting. You can ask any of my co-workers and they will attest to it.

There are many others but I’ll stop there.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Tower Bistro across the street from where I work. While the chipotle chicken sandwich is awesome, too many of them definitely proves the concept of diminishing marginal returns.

Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch? S&H Kebab House. I was shocked that I didn’t know of that little Turkish Gem.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? If I could live in Belgium, I would be in heaven. Beer and mussels would compose 100% of my diet. Iceland or the Caribbean would be sweet as well because the seafood is unreal. New Orleans would be great as well. Anything that has a coast and fresh seafood would basically be a “win” in my food.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? Where is the best place to get the freshest seafood in Philly?

Emre, I hear Oyster House on Sansom makes a mean chowder. Also, I had a piece of sublime “live” scallop sashimi at Sakura Mandarin on Race.

If you would like to be next week’s Profiled Philly Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at



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