PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Felicia”
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 Felicia, the former co-editor of Meal Ticket (which I love) and the brand new Community Manager for Yelp in Philadelphia (which I also love). She certainly knows a thing or two about Philly lunches.
Occupation: Community Manager of Yelp.com here in Philly
Where in Philly do you Work?: Primarily out of my home office at 6th and Reed in South Philly, but I’m always out and about on my bike.
Favorite Kind of Food: Grandma food. My mom-mom, your Nana, that guy’s Tete — if a matriarch made it, that’s what I want.
Least Favorite Kind of Food: Any sort of fermented fish-flake thing that people are always going to Penang to seek out, and this chick does not abide raw onions. They are kryptonite.
Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: The only time my inner carnivore quits whispering “bacon-wrapped cheeseburgers” in my ear is when I manage to get to Chickie’s Italian Deli (1014 Federal St.) before 3 p.m. or they run out of bread (whichever comes first) to score a Chickie’s Veggie Hoagie. Broccoli rabe sauteed with garlic, eggplant baked with tomato gravy, coarsely-ground provolone and roasted red and yellow peppers is just one of those alchemical admixtures that transcends its ingredients to achieve legendary levels of sandwich greatness.
If it’s more of a leisurely day, Mr. Joe’s Cafe (1514 S. Eighth St.) serves lovely, tender gnocchi with glorious Bolognese, as well as other pasta dishes that are all handmade at Termini Bros. bakery across the street (same family). For $12 you are treated to a fresh salad, a pasta dish and dessert-y bite also made at Termini, plus a glass of complimentary jug wine in the bargain. Keep in mind this place is pure Italy jetted over and plunked down at 8th and Tasker — don’t go unless you have plenty of time to chill and really enjoy your meal. It’s the Anti-Express Lunch.
Now that my South Philly cred is indubitably established, I will say the Chick-Fil-A in the Ikea shopping center (2204 S. Columbus Blvd.) turns out some quality chicken boob strips, PLUS they have fountain Diet Dr. Pepper and the staff are probably the friendliest people in the 215. Sometimes they bring your order to your table! While smiling!
“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? The Thursday-only fried-chicken lunch at Mémé (2201 Spruce St.) brings out the fatso in me and pretty much every other obsessive food dork I know. You get a crisp, juicy, room-temperature leg and thigh (chef David Katz doesn’t believe in frying breasts or serving straight from the fryer — the skin slides off), special sauce, a biscuit and a Miller High Life for $11. If that doesn’t improve your day, you may as well just commit hari-kari on your steak knife; you’re dead inside already.
Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch (if any) $6 eggplant parm at Gusto! The joy!
If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Morocco. I’m really into the confluence of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines — the whole flavor vocabulary is so exciting, and the sort of geo-political-trade route-emigration swirl that made this food happen is fascinating as well as freaking delicious.
Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? Do you think Yelp provides valuable insights and/or is a primary resource to the highly knowledgeable, food-interested community that we have here in Philly?
Felicia, I absolutely love your favorite food answer. Grandmas make is best! As for Yelp, I do think it is a helpful resource- good luck in your new position!
If you would like to be next week’s Profiled Philly Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org