1. Cafe La Maude – Green Shakshuka
Cafe La Maude is a popular restaurant for brunch that features french and middle eastern cuisine. We’d like to feature their Green Shakshuka, which is a rare traditional find, that is a recent addition to the menu and is gaining popularity. It’s a colorful and healthy dish, packed with lots of protein. Veggies like spinach, green fava beans, sweet potato, and cauliflower are drizzled with a carrot tahini sauce and paired with toasted almonds and breaded feta cheese. The tahini sauce is fresh and house made, with roasted carrots, garlic, and lemon that becomes like an aioli on top. Owner Nathalie Richan attests that her food has “good colors to feast the eye, and the stomach.” Find them on Instagram, @cafelamaude.
2. Giorgio on Pine – Beef Ragu Fettucini
Giorgio on pine offers daily specials depending on what’s fresh that day, from meat to fish, or what handmade pasta they’re crafting in the kitchen. What we’d like to highlight is Giorgio’s Beef Ragout, which is made in a limited batch (serves about 25) that is slow-cooked for 12 hours. Beef Ragu is a traditional Italian marinara flavored with beef or other meat, not to be confused for Ragout, which is a French-style stew dish.The overall flavor comes from how long the meat on the bone is cooked within the sauce, and Giorgio remarks how everything cooked with the bone tastes better. Alongside the daily special, this restaurant is also known for an alternative menu that offers entirely gluten-free options.
3. Bleu Sushi – Temple Roll
Bleu Sushi is a standout for Japanese cuisine in Philly, and we’d like to highlight their most popular roll, the Temple Roll. It has explosive flavors; the peppered tuna is smokey, as it is
torched before topping the spicy yellowtail roll, finished with a tart yuzu sauce. The tempura flakes also give it an added crunch. The popularity of Temple roll also inspired new specialty rolls to be named after universities in the area, as student customers wanted to see their school on the Bleu menu. In addition to their fresh, and affordable sushi, Bleu also offers hot Japanese dishes, which isn’t common in the area. Owner Hendra Yong highlights the Filet Mignon Saikono, for someone who is looking for a quality hot dish. Its served in a hot stone bowl, which has Korean influence, but this dish offers that concept in Japanese style. Their three-part motto for their dishes is quality, price, and portion, which makes a trip to Bleu absolutely worthwhile.
4. Weckerly’s Ice Cream – Scoop and Half Sandwich
Weckerly’s Ice Cream has engineered their own solution to choosing your flavor with their recent “Scoop and Half Sandwich” special. Co-owner Andy Satinsky says that this new special a “stalwart of luncheonettes and diners,” but they’ve adapted the concept to ice cream. You can pick from one of the sandwich flavors, and one of the scoop flavors, and get both in a simple paper basket. You can’t do this one at home though, Weckerley’s small batches rely on local ingredients and seasonal flavors to create these memorable scoops and sandwiches, all made in their kitchen a couple miles north of their scoop shop. From cookies to cones, everything that they’re serving, they’ve made from scratch. Follow them on instagram to keep updated on seasonal specials such as limited batches of Eggnog sandwiches and Persimmon sorbet. Find them on Instagram, @weckerlys.
5. KuriiMii – Charcoal Vanilla Soft Serve
Kurii Mii is not a spot to overlook in Philly’s restaurant-heavy chinatown district. It is the only soft serve spot in the city, that boasts is unique approach to asian-inspired flavors such as matcha, black sesame, taro, and our favorite, charcoal vanilla. All of the flavors do amazing, but we’d like to feature the all-black Charcoal vanilla, which is a twist on the traditional vanilla cone. Its often paired with another bold flavor, crushed hot cheetos, which creates a great texture and gives some salty heat to the cold cream. Coconut flakes are also another favorite to pair with the charcoal vanilla, and customers are encouraged to find their favorite combinations as they offer unlimited toppings. Their high quality cream makes them stand out from your favorite childhood ice-cream truck. Find them on Instagram, @kuriimiisoftserve.