PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Morgan”

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 Morgan, a biologist who is seeking out raw meat. If a biologist says its ok to eat, it must be, right?

Name: Morgan

Age: 26

Occupation: Biologist

Where in Philly do you Work?: 11th and Walnut (TJU)

Favorite Kind of Food: I love shwarma, cheeseburgers, sashimi or chirashizushi, tacos in flour tortillas, tortas, comfort food Americana, and anything chargrilled or fried.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I’m on the anti-cilantro side of the gene pool (it actually is genetic). I’m also not a fan of green bell peppers. Oh, and I HATE the idea of fruit with meat. Mango salsa is the bane of my existence.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: When I worked at Penn I would hike all the way to Saad’s Middle Eastern (4500 Walnut)  for a lamb shwarma sandwich with extra garlic sauce. It’s dreamy! These days I am a big fan of the Philly Wasabi at Jake’s Sandwich Board. I keep wanting to explore their menu a little more, but that sandwich is irresistible to me. I also really like Mumbai Bistro for quick and reliable Indian take-out. I used to really like the Tampopo on 8th street for the Fresh Bibimbap before they shut down. Rice and veggies covered in cubes of raw tuna and drizzled with sweet and spicy sauce, it is a dish I still crave on a regular basis. I walk over to Five Guys for my burger fix. Luckily a new location is opening less than a block from my job! Also, the burger at El Vez is amazing! It is only on the lunch menu and saves me from the sub-par (in my opinion) Mexican fusion when my coworkers insist on eating here.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? El Vez, for sure, whenever the coworkers want to go out as a group. Personally, I frequent Milano Pizza for their Cheesesteak Pizza topped with steak meat, onions, provolone and American cheese. It is a guilty pleasure for sure, but so delicious. I should probably be ashamed, but I eat a Big Mac value meal about once a week too. I like Cosi for the Take Two special, but that gets expensive quickly. Pandora’s lunchbox makes a pretty good Gyro but I only go there if the cart at 12th and Chestnut’s line is too long. Ting Wong (138 N 10th)  or Wong Wong (941 Race)  in Chinatown for rice with duck or rice with roast pork for less than $5. The place I grab lunch from the most, though, is probably Sam’s Fresh Spot over on 10th street. The sandwiches are substantial, tasty, cheap, and made to order. The soup is also good, especially on a chilly fall day. The owners run the place and are super friendly, they remember everyone’s preferences.

Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch (if any) Nan Zhou’s hand drawn noodles have become a weekly ritual for me and several of my coworkers at this point. You can’t go wrong with the beef brisket soup and lots of chili oil. QT Vietnamese Sandwich is the only place I’ll willfully pay more than $4 for bahn mi. It’s totally worth it. The Midtown Lunch post on Sakura Mandarin convinced me to try soup dumplings for the first time. I’m eternally grateful. Also, I usually don’t go for fancy-pants sushi rolls, but I had the Sakura Roll there and it was absolutely delicious.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? New York or Singapore or LA. I would love to live somewhere with more Japanese options, but that still has a lot of variety. Also, I’d love to work anywhere warmer so I could dine al fresco for lunch all year round! Or just back at Penn in West Philly. The lunch trucks are amazing!

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? Do you know of a place in the city that serves raw Kibbe? Also, why arent there more food trucks downtown? Their absence makes me so sad

I did some research for you, Morgan, check out Zahav’s mezze menu for lamb kibbe.

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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