PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Jimmy”

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 Jimmy, a handsome Texas native who likes his tacos in the morning.

Name: Jimmy Pickles

Age: 24

Occupation: Student / Resident Caretaker of 4 grown ass men

Where in Philly do you Work?: 15th and Chestnut

Favorite Kind of Food: Mexican is my favorite kind of food, not only because it’s simple and delicious, and the focus is on fresh ingredients, but also because no matter what you get, it goes well with alcohol. It also reminds me of home (Austin, TX). There may be nothing in the world more perfect than fajitas and ritas in the sun. Oh, and breakfast tacos. I realize that no one reading this knows what I’m talking about, so ask a friend from the South- breakfast tacos change lives.

Beyond that, anything cooked by my mom, anything with too much fat, anything that costs nothing, and anything involving the elements of “pork” and “bun”.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Ooo. Soup (yes I’m serious, and no, I won’t explain myself). Also, Indian food- I can’t stand overwhelmingly vegetarian fare and I’ve never met a curry chicken that wasn’t at least 80% dried out. Also, pears. Because they taste like sand.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: This is Philly, so I feel the need to say that you can find the best cheesesteaks in this beautiful city at Dalessandro’s in Roxborough. Go try one and end the debate for yourself.

Jake’s Sandwich Board (12th and Sansom) is one of my favorites, basically anything you order is amazing. And the staff is knowledgeable and competent and there’s usually an owner around, which are big plusses for me. You can never go wrong at Reading Terminal, and if you go between Tuesday and Saturday, there’s a Dutch Amish diner place (I think it’s called Hatville Farms) that has a completley ridiculous turkey and gravy sandwich. And it kills me to say this, but I really do like the pizza at Zavino (13th and Sansom) even though it’s overpriced and the staff all graduated early because they were too cool for school.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? On campus at Temple I really like Plaza Pizza (Broad and Oxford) because they have a serious buffalo chicken wrap. And the Jamaican Jerk Chicken truck on Broad and Montgomery because they always hook you up with a ton of food, their mac-n-cheese is habit forming, and the chicken patty is too cheap and easy ($1.50) to pass up. In center city, it’s Chris’ Jazz Café (Sansom b/t Broad and 15th) because it’s right around the block and almost every day’s lunch special is amazing and cheap (about $6)- try the pastrami wrap or the quartered patty melt.

Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch (if any) Empress Garden. I could eat those fried pork chops every single day and die a happy man in 2-3 weeks.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Hands down, no question, anywhere in Costa Rica. Standard Latin American staples (red meat, pork, rice, beans, etc), carne asada, heavy reliance on fruit (I love mangoes. A lot), fresh veggies, plantains, and most importantly, a siesta, which I’m going to argue counts as part of lunch and is correctly included in this list. A daily midday nap!? No-brainer.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? Can I get a good Mexican food rec?? Please? Like a taqueria? Or a cart? Or a place you have to order in Spanish?

What I wouldn’t give for siestas to be mandatory. Bring it up with Mayor Nutter and I’ll be the first to join you, cowboy.

As for Mexican, my favorite so far is Mexico on the Square on 15th and Pine. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the owner is Asian, the boys in the back are from Mexico.

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



  • For Mexican, it’s Don Memo’s. They are a cart located on Penn’s campus in University City. Just the best. Fresh ingredients. Every single one cooked up fresh. And if you’ve really got the time, go to Don Memo’s restaurant in Upper Darby at 69th. Even better than what they serve at their cart…. plus it’s a BYO. If you go there, be sure to order the guacamole (which is ground in a stone mortar bowl table-side) and do margherita’s (they even throw triple sec in them!).

  • El Jarocho in South Philly was really awesome too, now that I think about it.

  • Sazon @ 9th and Spring Garden. BYOB, ridiculously cheap, delicious and if you order in English your likely to get something completely different than what you actually ordered.

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    Los Gallos at 10th and Wolfe. Best tacos everrrrr.

  • Thanks for the recs guys, i’ll definitely hit them up. And Jamie, I’m starting the campaign today, so hopefully we’ll have siestas by tomorrow. See you then?

  • I’m suprised nobody mentioned the south philly classics. I have been subscribing to this blog with my google reader, but registered today simply to suggest La Veracruzana (btw 9th and 10th on Washington) and La Lupe(9th and Federal). Hands down best Mexican in the city says me and almost everyone else.

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