For some reason, I recently found myself in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Whenever I visit somewhere new, I research all the potential spots for good food, especially food the area is known for. For this itinerary, the first stop was the Allentown Farmer’s Market.
Archive for 'bbq'
A few years ago, Luncher Zoe wrote about the char broiled meat sandwiches at Nick’s Charcoal Pit in South Philly by the Snyder Station. While in the area looking for a restaurant that I found out had closed, I saw the Nick’s sign, remembered her report, and came up with my plan B.
It’s completely normal to travel over an hour in the South for good BBQ. But in the North East, we don’t really do that. I would guess it is mostly we are spoiled with a lot of great food options within a mile radius. I stumbled upon Jesse’s Barbecue and Local Market while looking for a substantial meal the day after a friends wedding in Landsdale.
Jesse’s seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere (sorry, Soudertonians), but it was love at first sight, with the wooden shack to order from and smokers just beyond the seating area.
At the end of February, Philly’s South Street saw the arrival of Texas BBQ chain Dicky’s. When I walked in the staff was really friendly and attentive to all customers, some real southern hospitality to set the mood. The small space clearly has a fast food vibe to it, so it was hard to be super optimistic about what sort of bbq they were packaging up for our to-go order. On the other hand, Dickey’s has its Texas roots and some smokers in the back. There are 9 types of meat on Dicky’s menu. We sampled 4 and found a clear winner.
While I sometimes drink questionable amounts of beer at Drinker’s, I have yet to venture in to Devil’s Alley next door. Today, Luncher John lets us know we should be trying their wings.
It’s a fact: Center City does not have a plethora of places west of Broad Street serving good barbecue. Perhaps the best such option is Devil’s Alley. Located just a couple blocks north of Rittenhouse Square at 19th and Chestnut, Devil’s Alley may seem like a typical bar and grill with a varied menu and beer selection. What separates Devil’s Alley from the rest is how well it executes its barbecue dishes.
Even though its building is somewhat narrow, Devil’s Alley certainly maximizes its space. It has two floors with outdoor seating during good weather. Glass doors on both floors can also open up on warmer days (they will be here, though its hard to remember that this week), making it appear more spacious. The limited space is evident in the bar area, where there’s not really much room for people to stand between the bar and staircase.
Today, Luncher John is eating giant portable BBQ.
I was very excited when the Guerrilla Ultima Truck appeared on the LOVE Park and City Hall Courtyard schedules this summer. Earlier this year, I spotted this truck in Pennsport, where it had been making occasional appearances. Recently, it expanded its schedule to now include weekly stops in Center City. It was worth the wait.
In its most basic description, Guerrilla is a barbecue truck, but that’s too simplistic to describe what it does. Guerrilla takes basic America barbecue, like pork or chicken, and integrates different cooking styles, such as Asian and Latin flavors.
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I visited Blue Belly Bbq a little while back and enjoyed the food I was served. Immediately after, the whole twitter/yelp incident went down and I was hesitant to write about it until the air cleared. But it seems apologies were made and I am ok talking just about what I ate there.
Platters are around $15 dollars each and come with 3 sides. Sandwiches are a few dollars less. For my first visit, I went all out, sticking with the platters.