Archive for 'dumplings'

Miso Cod Bento Box on CoZara’s Updated Menu

Last summer I tried and enjoyed the first go at lunch service from CoZara, University City’s izakaya. Since then, the menu has been streamlined and the biggest change, sushi was added.

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A Georgian Calzone from Uncle’s Backyard

Did you know you can find Georgian food in Philly? And not Georgia as in: peaches, biscuits, pecans, Bubba Sparxxx, where my beautiful younger sister goes to grad school – Georgia as in: borders Russia, a much longer plane ride. Dyadin Dvor, aka “Uncle’s Backyard,” in Northeast Philly fits in multiple categories of reasons I’d check out a restaurant based on appearance alone: an unpronounceable name, another name that makes you slightly uncomfortable, and a bizarre exterior that makes no sense in context (context being a strip mall that includes a furrier).
This confused, magical feeling that we were entering a special place endured as we took in the interior, complete with faux windows, plastic vines, and Lincoln log like tables and chairs.  My mouth’s anticipation continued to climb when I saw khachapuri on the first page of the menu, realizing I had stumbled in to a Georgian restaurant.

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Shanghai and Taiwanese Style Food From Shanghai 1

An adorable dumpling on your signage is the easiest way to attract me to a restaurant. That is how Shanghai 1 got me, a newcomer to Chinatown. Offering both Shanghai and Taiwanese food, the latter is more exciting since it is less available in the area. The Shanghai menu was obviously not going to be overlooked however, because: soup dumplings always.

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Meat Mooncakes and Blushing Dumplings from the Newish Dim Sum Garden

I have loved the original Dim Sum Garden ever since I moved to Philly in 2009. Its grunginess was part of the appeal. That’s probably why it took me so long to get around to the newer, cleaned up location on Race Street. Everything is bright and shiny without the added flavor of Philly’s homeless right outside the window. I just hoped the food stayed the same. For more on the ownership controversy behind the old and new spots, see here.

Sidenote: The new logo features a blushing/overheated soup dumpling with inquisitive eyes. Can someone please buy me a shirt with the logo? I must own it.

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Piles of Peppers at Szechaun Dim Sum Restaurant’s Grand Opening

Last week, Szechuan Dim Sum Restaurant opened at 9th and Arch,  taking over the Happy Restaurant space. Another newcomer attempts to make it in Chinatown. So new, that take out menus aren’t available yet. Don’t expect an Americanized menu over here, this crew is not afraid to dump a pile of peppers on you.

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Lunches We Need from China

Last week I was traveling in China; seeing the sites and eating the eats. Snacking all day long at little local spots was the main reason, despite MANY stressful moments, that we were glad we did not go with a tour group.  Here are some highlights:


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Top Lunches of 2013

I am a big pig and have eaten hundreds of exciting lunches this past year. I am both grossed out and proud of myself when looking back at all the damage. I wrangled up my favorites of 2013 to share.

January started the year off strong, with peirogi’s from Donna’s smokey bar, Caribbean platters from Little Delicious, tom yom beef jerky from Ratchada, and the gooey mac and cheese brisket sandwich from MeltKraft.

In February, the Uzbeki meal from Samarkand was pretty legendary.

Taco truck, Taco El Rodeo was a pleasant surprise in April.

Pennsylvania 6 did the fancy business lunch right for me in May. Less fancy, but still satisfying: Poi Dog cart’s fried chicken and Campo’s monster of a meat sandwich called “The Stockyard”. Plus, this month brought the opening of Sizzling Woks (called Xi’an Famous Foods then), which meant slippery, spicy liang pi noodles in my mouth.

In June, I was obsessing over the lamb tacos at Border Springs Farm.

The meatball sandwich at Corner Foodery and the beef sandwich at Pura Vida were stand outs. Slightly more upscale, I loved the grilled pastrami and mac and cheese at Twisted Tail.

The meaty torta from American Sardine Bar and meaty burrito bowl from Animo  provided tasty protein in August.

September is beautiful in Philly. Perfect for a picnic provided by Talula’s Daily. I was also overjoyed to find pupusas at Tamalex. I also ate a large amount of pork from Freddy and Tony’s.

The sandwiches at El Soto and cheesy tacos from Quetzally satiated Mexican cravings for October. I was also in love with the bread from High Street and much of the Cambodian snacks at Kavei Express.

Rounding out the year; in the past 2 months I was impressed by the dim sum at Wokano, the Godfather sandwich from Cosmis, and the soup dumplings from I-Green.

I think its time for a salad. Please keep your fingers crossed that I fit in to my New Year’s Eve dress tonight. So- What were your favorite lunches this year?