Archive for the ‘Region – Philadelphia’ Category


Steak 38 has been on my list to check out since it reopened under its original ownership back in 2011.  The restaurant is noted for classic table side service and a vintage steakhouse menu.  I was particularly excited because one of my favorite dishes, Steak Diane, was a welcome find on the menu.

Finding the restaurant, attached to a motel advertising weekly rates, in Cherry Hill on Route 38 highway was a challenge – mostly because if you don’t know the entrance is coming up you zoom past it with 60 mph vehicles zooming around you.


Once we parked I was greeted first, in the lobby, with a photo of two of my favorite people ever – Former Philadelphia Mayor Frank L. Rizzo and the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra – at Steak 38 or a former incarnation of its owner some time in the 1970’s.  This is a good sign for me.


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The Franklin Fountain opened in late summer 2004 .  I made my first trip there in the waning days of 2009 and was quite fascinated by this attempt to recreate a turn-of-the-century soda fountain.  I can see myself sitting next to Mark Twain sipping a hand mixed soda when I’m inside the Franklin Fountain.  The space is very narrow but the attention to detail is impressive. (more…)

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Butcher & Singer is the latest in a crop of high end steakhouses to open in Philadelphia.  Stephen Starr took the old location of Striped Bass and reworked it as a modern day steak and chop temple.  The concept and the meal work in this corner location, once the home of Butcher & Singer brokerage.

I was looking forward to this meal and I had a few minutes to kill at the bar before my dinner companion arrived.  The bloody mary I got was disappointing without much flavor (but a healthy amount of horseradish bits which I appreciated for texture).

After we were seated I took in the dining room.  Nothing too impressive here (though I did enjoy the oversized classic looking chandeliers.  I actually thought the theming, meant to capture the art deco styles of the 20’s and 30’s was not done very well.

Enough about the surrounding.  How about the food?  The food was superb.


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I first visited Phillips Seafood at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore back in 1991.  I recall the meal being very good and when Phillips replaced Shula’s Steak House in the Philadelphia Sheraton I was anxious to make the trip in town to try it out.  I am pleased to report the Philadelphia location is on par with it’s Baltimore counterpart in quality and service.


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Penang Menu







Penang is a place that was recommended to me in Chinatown by a friend who is easily wigged out sometimes by the unkempt appearance of restaurants in Philly’s Chinatown.  I finally got around to trying it last weekend and I was not disappointed.  He was right, it is very clean inside.

It is a chain, which is odd for Chinatown, with locations in Philadelphia, Boston and New York that features “Malaysian Cuisine”.  

We were seated quickly, without a reservation of any kind, at 8 pm on Saturday night.  Parking garages are plentiful in Chinatown, if a little expensive ($16-$20 for the evening).

I started off with a plate of fried appetizers consisting of shrimp, pork and tofu.  All of it was very good, though the tails were left on the shrimp and it was baked into some kind of bread so I had to pick at it before I would eat it (I don’t eat shells, sorry).  Unfortunately, the menu is not online and I didn’t bother to note the name of the dish.  It came with two sauces, one sweet and one a little spicy.  I enjoyed it. (more…)

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Ted’s Montana Grill is Ted Turner’s chain restaurant celebrating the great American West.  How does he celebrate it?  By opening up restaurants that include bison burgers.  It’s a good thing, because I had a hankering for a good burger and two people recommended Ted’s. (more…)

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I had a rare occasion to be in the city on a weeknight for a casual dinner.  My entire ride to South Philadelphia was consumed with one thought:  I hope my friend wants to go to Villa di Roma.

I am a reverse snob about italian food.  I am of the firm belief that it should be made by a little old lady in a kitchen that has old school appliances and be slathered in the best red sauce you’ve ever had.  If the joint has red and white checked tablecloths, all the better.

Villa di Roma in the Italian Market has white linen tablecloths, but that’s about as classy as it gets.  The wait on a weekend can be an hour or more (but the bar is a plenty friendly place to hang out), parking is frustrating and they don’t take credit cards; cash only here folks.  Despite all this, it is worth the pilgrimage. (more…)

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Jake reviewed our most recent trip to Snockey’s Crab & Oyster House just the other day.

I’ll briefly mention what I ate.

Only oysters…. washed down with a Clam Mary and a coke.

A typical visit of late starts with the oyster sampler… a dozen oysters with three or four varieties picked by the oyster shucker… washed down with a bloody mary with a few raw clams in it…. what Snockey’s calls a Clam Mary.

My sampler on friday with Jake & the Fat Family included three Wianno’s (from Cape Cod), three Long Island Salts, three Delaware Bay Bennies and three Cape May Salts.

Round two was a half dozen Bennies and a half dozen of the Cape May Salts.

Round three was six more Cape Mays.

Time constraints kept the volume down, as Little Miss Fatman had enough of sitting there watching me eat. She did however have her first oyster, a Cape May Salt. Not bad for a five year old.

All were excellent as usual, with mild salty flavors… not overpowering like the Pacific oysters tend to be.

Pictured below is the last round of Cape May Salts.

Side Note: There are reports of bacteria affecting Delaware River shellfish, which would include the bennies. No ill effects were felt.

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If your idea of a seafood restaurant is Bookbinders – white tablecloths, tuxedoed staff – in other words, if you’re going for the atmosphere of “Melvilles” on Cheers – then Snockey’s Oyster and Crab House is not your cup of tea.

If you’re in search of fresh seafood served much the same way it’s been served to Philadelphians since 1912, well Snockey’s is your place.

They opened their doors when William Howard Taft was President and the biggest thing on the planet (next to Taft who weighed 310 lbs.) was the Titanic, on its maiden voyage.


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Posting abut the Plymouth Meeting Mall a few weeks ago made me remember Clover, the discount store chain by Strawbridge & Clothier.

There were two Clovers who were the mistresses in my life.  The first one, in Andorra (the Philadelphia region, not the country you only hear about during the Olympics) was in the Andorra Shopping Center.

The snack bar in the front of the store was a standard feature at Clover stores.  They sold about a dozen flavors of ice cream (bing cherry rocked the hizzy), Icee Slush’s (cherry was always best), soft pretzels, hot dogs and soda.  Maybe it was the experience of getting that treat when we were 5 or 6 or 8 or 9 years old, but those pretzels were so good – always warm and toasted and the Icee mixed so well with it. (more…)

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As a certified lover of all things food-related, you might think that over the years I’d have tried Tony Luke’s.  You’d be wrong.  Sure, I heard about the famed Roast Pork w/ Sharp Provolone and Broccoli Rabe, but I’d never tried it.

I finally broke down after reading review after review in the past decade waxing poetic about this sandwich.  So, following a big Flyers playoff win, The Fatman and I made our way to Tony Luke’s.


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 Madonna makes older people feel hip when they cop to liking her music.  Granted the product she puts out is still quality stuff.  Her albums sell, her music is good, but she’s for the older generation.

For the over 50 set of foodies and Philadelphia Society, Georges Perrier is their Madonna.  His restaurants are still a great quality, but the man made his mark on Philadelphia when Jimmy Carter was in the White House and Frank Rizzo ran Philadelphia.  That’s a long time ago.

Today, the limousine liberals who installed Michael Nutter as Mayor and the suburban McMansion owners who embrace culture by dining in the city have embraced their food star of today:  Marc Vetri.

Hmm…a few years ago I would have called him their Britney Spears.  But I can hardly see his parents staging an intervention with Doctor Phil.

Lacking a witty comparison with a hip starlet (feel free to comment on your own) I’ll tell you about my meal(s) at Vetri’s Osteria.


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