Big Gay Ice Cream

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FACTS:  Located in Washington Square West, Philadelphia

WHAT I ORDERED:

Salty Pimp – Vanilla Ice Cream Gets Injected With House-Made Dulce de Leche, Sprinkled with a Bit of Sea Salt, Then Dipped in Chocolate.

MY ANALYSIS:  

Big Gay Ice Cream recently opened in Philadelphia.  And, to my delight (and surprise), this is a soft-serve only shop.

Straying from my usual, vanilla with rainbow sprinkles, I ordered one of their most popular specialty cones, the “Salty Pimp.”  Considering that I’m not too fond of either chocolate-dipped ice cream, or dulce de leche, what was I thinking?  As a result, and not surprisingly, I ended up regretting my decision soon after.  In all fairness though, and despite the fact that the “Pimp” turned out to be way too over the top for my taste, I highly recommend it for those of you who enjoy such decadence.

That being said, I really liked the bright and cheery ambience and will happily return.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out their Manhattan locations as well: http://biggayicecream.com/

Pietro’s

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FACTS:  Located in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

WHAT I ORDERED:

Coal Oven Pizza with Bermuda Onions

MY ANALYSIS:  

After walking past this restaurant numerous times and seeing how fabulous the pizzas looked, I finally dined here for lunch.  Keeping it simple, I ordered a regular pie with Bermuda onions; it was truly fantastic, I might add.  Sweet onions and savory red sauce will forever be one of my favorite combinations.  As for the crust, it couldn’t have been any tastier: chewy and soft, yet perfectly firm.  Of course, I will always welcome the addition of fresh basil.

I highly recommend this place and look forward to returning.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out their additional locations: http://pietrospizza.com/

Green Eggs Café

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FACTS:  Located in Washington Square West, Philadelphia

WHAT I ORDERED:

The “Kitchen Sink” – Three Eggs Scrambled with Sausage Crumbles, Gruyere Cheese, Potatoes, Peppers & Onions, Topped with a Homemade Jumbo Biscuit and Country Style Pork Sausage Gravy in a Cast-Iron Skillet

Crème Brulee Latte – Vanilla Bean, Caramel Sauce, and Crystalized Sugar

MY ANALYSIS:  

On any given Sunday afternoon, the wait at Green Eggs Café can fall upwards of thirty-to-sixty minutes.  And, considering that they only take reservations for parties of seven or more, we, a party of two, had to wait it out.  But, on this rare occasion, given that our wait would only be twenty minutes, we opted to stay and were seated in just ten.

Admittedly, I’d been wanting to try The “Kitchen Sink” for over a year now.  I couldn’t wait to try this savory dish which was served in a cast-iron skillet.  Between the biscuit, sausage gravy, potatoes, and scrambled eggs, it was a melting pot of all things delicious and, yes, I would happily order it again.

Veering from my norm, I ordered a latte.  More specifically, a crème brulee latte.  Topped with vanilla, caramel, and sugar, it was really a nice departure from my usual morning tea.

In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed brunch here and think that you will too.

QUICK TIDBIT: Cash only

Dmitri’s

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FACTS:  Located in Queens Village, Philadelphia

WHAT I ORDERED:

Spinach Pie

Pan-Fried Scallops

MY ANALYSIS:  

Surprisingly, this restaurant ended up exceeding my expectations. In fact, I thought that the food was beyond superb and it turned out to be one of my favorite meals ever.

For an appetizer, I ordered the homemade spinach pie. Hands down, it’s the best spinach pie that I’ve had anywhere.   Cooked and seasoned to perfection, it’s simply unforgettable.

Pan-fried scallops! Not since Taverna Kyclades, in Astoria, has my scallop dish been this fantastic. Served with rice and escarole, it was also quite filling. And, just like the spinach pie, the scallops were cooked to perfection and couldn’t have been any tastier.

Whatever ambience this place lacks, it definitely makes up for in quality. That being said, I highly, highly recommend dining here.

QUICK TIDBIT: Cash only

Wishbone

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FACTS:  Located in University City, Philadelphia

WHAT I ORDERED:

Cold Sides:

New Potato Salad – Red Bliss Potatoes, Kale, Whole Grain Mustard, Dill, and Chives

Agrodolce Coleslaw – Red and Green Cabbage, Carrot, Scallion, Dijon Mustard, Mayo, Fresh Herbs, and Cider Vinegar

House Favorites:

Cheddar-Jalapeno Cornbread – Slightly Sweet with Buttermilk, Jalapenos, Scallions, Chives, and White Cheddar

Craft Fried Chicken:

Classic White and Dark Meat Chicken Tenders / Wishbone Wings – Buttermilk Battered Tenders with our Signature Pretzel Crust

Sauces:

Buffalo Bleu, Parmesan Pesto, Modern BBQ and Chipotle Lime Mayo

MY ANALYSIS:  

Craft fried chicken coated with pretzels?  Sign me up!  Dining with friends, we ordered two pounds of this savory goodness, along with a few sides and various dipping sauces.

For our sides, we ordered the coleslaw and potato salad.  But, despite the fact that both contained fresh ingredients and were extremely tasty, I must note the small serving sizes.  Just a word of caution, if ordering either online or over the phone.

Knowing that cornbread is one of Lloyd’s favorites, I was excited to surprise him with it.  However, I quickly learned that he doesn’t care for a cheddar-jalapeno blend.  Thankfully though, the rest of us enjoyed it, and not one crumb was spared.

As for the chicken itself, they do not serve any large chicken pieces.  So, aside from the wings, the tenders can be eaten as finger foods, which is just perfect for children.  Overall, we really liked the batter, since it was crunchy, delicious, and non-greasy.  Of course, all of the dipping sauces were a wonderful complement as well.

I found Wishbone to  be not only charming but also delectable.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out their menu: http://wishbonephilly.com/

Talula’s Garden

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Beginning:  Raw East Coast Yellowfin Tuna Crudo, Juicy Watermelon, Pickled Rind, Fried Peppers, Basil and Sesame-Shiso Dressing

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Pasta:  Smoked Corn Ravioli, Smoked Sweet Corn, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Herb Blanquette and Doe Run Farm Feta

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Little Vegetable Dishes:  Buttery Georgia Grits, Nora Mills White Corn Grits, ‘Caramel Sea Salt’ Compound Butter

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Main:  Brined Berkshire Pork Chop, Black Garlic and Burnt Onion Soubise, Charred Stone Fruit, Savoy Cabbage and Mustard Seed Drippings

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FACTS:  Located in Washington Square West, Philadelphia

MY ANALYSIS:  

This restaurant has been on my bucket list for quite some time, and we couldn’t have chosen a more lovely evening to dine here.  Not only did the surroundings surpass my expectations, but the food itself was equally as fantastic.  Of course, I was also impressed at how stunning the dining room was, hence, the photo.  But, wanting to take advantage of the amazing weather, it was a no brainer to sit outside in the gardens.

We started out with the yellowfin tuna crudo and smoked corn ravioli.  They were beautifully plated, and I really loved the bright summer colors of both dishes.  The tuna was fresh and the sweet corn ravioli couldn’t have been anymore delightful.  That being said, it was a fabulous way to begin our meal.

Grits!  I absolutely adore this simple little grain.  And, mixed with “caramel sea salt” compound butter, what’s not to adore?  In fact, I could easily include this side dish morning, noon, or night.  Yum!

For my main course, I selected the Berkshire pork chop.  From the various seasonings to the chopped cabbage, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every bite.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough room for dessert.  But, as would be expected, the menu looked terrific, and I was sorry to have missed out on the baked blueberry crisp.

So, if it wasn’t obvious enough, I highly recommend this restaurant.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out Talula’s Daily: http://talulasdaily.com/

Fitler Dining Room

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FACTS:  Located in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

WHAT I ORDERED:

Starters: 

Crab Louie Salad – Iceberg, Maryland Crab, Lardons, Cucumber, Red Onion, Russian Dressing

Mains:

Braised Short Rib – Parisian Gnocchi, Cauliflower, Gremolata

Sweets:

Lemon Verbena Panna Cotta – Strawberries, Walnut Crumble

MY ANALYSIS:  

Fitler Dining Room is the quintessential neighborhood restaurant.  Having enjoyed its lovely décor, warm ambience, and gourmet food, I highly recommend it.

I started out with the crab Louie salad as an appetizer.  Mixed with Russian dressing, it was as refreshing as it was tasty, especially on a hot summer’s night.  Crisp, fresh, and proportionally generous, this salad is one I will be sure to order again.

For my main entrée, I selected the braised short rib. I really enjoyed this tender and flavorful dish very much.  Furthermore, I could’ve easily devoured an entire bowl of their gnocchi alone.  Not only was it a great addition, but it was also cooked to perfection.

As usual, I topped off my meal with a dessert: lemon verbena panna cotta.  Unfortunately though, since it lacked both flavor and zest, I found it to be somewhat disappointing overall.

In summation, Fitler Dining Room was a wonderful place to spend a Friday evening dining with friends.

QUICK TIDBIT:  Be sure to take a stroll around the neighborhood afterwards.