PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Erik”

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 Erik, a tamale seeking Italian with a thing for sushi.

Name: Erik

Age: 32

Occupation: Sales

Where in Philly do you Work?: Landmark Legal Solutions @ One Penn

Favorite Kind of Food: I’m Italian so I grew up eating a lot of pasta but I swear I was Asian in a former life. I love anything with rice, especially sushi. I also love spicy food, the hotter the better!

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Anything from a chain restaurant. I think that there are so many great places to eat in the city that you don’t need to hit up a chain. Stop being lazy and support your local businesses!! And that’s my rant for the day.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: When I want some good tacos, I skip Taco Bell and go right to Hot Tamales (1805 JFK). They make everything fresh daily for the same prices at TB. Any chicken cutlet sandwich from Shanks Original (150 S. 15th) is great, I recommend the Italiano. Sharp provolone and garlicky greens, what a combination! When I’m in the mood for a good deli sandwich I go to Pastrami & Things (24 S. 18th). They have big portions and good sides. I keep it simple with a half a pastrami sandwich (how original at a place called Pastrami) on rye with spicy mustard and swiss. Misora (1511 Chestnut) has good lunch box specials. They give a variety of food and most are priced under $8. I prefer the chicken yakitori and beef negimaki. When I have the time, and the space in my stomach, I head to Aki Japanese Fusion and Saki Bar @ 1210 Walnut. They have all-you-can-eat sushi! I’ll say it again, all-you-can-eat sushi! This isn’t premade sushi in a case, it’s made to order and it’s good. It’s a little pricy for lunch at $24 but if you have a sushi fix it’s well worth it. The best burger I have had in a long time, maybe ever, is at Union Trust (717 Chestnut). Leave it to a steakhouse to give you a Kobe beef burger and fries for $7.17. I’m not sure how long the special will be running so I’m going to take advantage of it at least once a week. I already feel my cholesterol starting to climb. I have yet to read anyone recommend a dessert and I know there are people reading this right now that have a sweet tooth. The absolute best cupcake that has ever hit my taste buds is located at Philadelphia Cupcake on the corner of 12th and Chestnut.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? There is a cart on the west side of 16th between Market and JFK that serves the best halal dishes. Everything is great here and very reasonably priced. My usual is a lamb and chicken gyro, which comes with a drink, for $5.00! Make sure you get the “special white sauce” and of course hot sauce. I just ate there today!

Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch? Where to begin…Falafel Factory, Paesanos, Argan, Tasty Place, and the list keeps growing…

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? This would be toss-up between Greece and Tokyo. On one hand, the Mediterranean is beautiful and the food is very healthy. I love olive oil, fresh fish and herbs. On the other hand, there are so many choices in Tokyo that I wouldn’t need to eat at the same place twice. Also, I could quite possibly be the tallest person in the restaurant which is awesome! I pick Tokyo.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? I just moved back from Houston and am having a hard time finding tamales, I need my fix! Also, does anyone know where I can find a good Thai place?

Unfortunately, the one place I knew of for tamales (Savoy in Rittenhouse) just closed. As for Thai, I have had a good meal at Thai Chef & Noodle Fusion on 20th and Chestnut and have heard good things about Erawan on 23rd and Walnut.

If you would like to be next week’s Profiled Philly Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at Don’t be shy!



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