Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Be Back Soon.........

 Well because of some real life stuff going on, i decided to take a break from blogging. I want to thank the many people that have visited my blog, and enjoyed the places i spoke about here at Philly's Best Food... I will be back and blogging (hopefully) befor Summer. Hope you remember to bookmark me, and come back from time to time, to see when i am up and running again....

See you!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Percy Street Barbecue

Percy Street Barbecue
900 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

I've dined at Percy Street on two separate occasions and have been so excited to sit down and write a review ever since. While I consider myself a pretty tough, but very fair critic, I have to say that Percy Street ranks among one of my top dining experiences in Philadelphia.

Ambiance: 5 out of 5
Situated on Philadelphia's historic South Street, Percy Street has a relaxed, neighborhood vibe. Patrons are typically mid-20-30 somethings who are dressed fashionably and casually, and the din of convivial conversation is pleasant and constant as Percy Street usually has a full house. The dining room is an intersection of hip, modern, and upscale barbecue meets down home comfort in an unpretentious setting. The roll of paper towels at each table epitomizes the experience: casual, messy at times, but overall delicious to the point where you will want to dig in with your hands and napkins alone would be insufficient.

Barbecue Chicken: 5 out of 5
Wow and wow. This tremendously-conceived chicken is perfectly cooked; it was warm, moist, seasoned and teeming with flavor. The skin on the outside was crispy and flavorful and the meat on the inside fell off the bone in all of the right places. One of the things that I appreciated about chef Erin's O'Shea's execution is that the chicken was not dripping in sauce. What you get is a piece of cooked and seasoned meat wrapped in parchment paper. O'Shea clearly appreciates meat cooked correctly. Sauce, while extremely important, is secondary. When you order your meat of choice, your server will bring three types of sauce that you can try and use to your taste. This allows you to sauce your dish as much, or as little, as you would like. Genius! The sauces are: Sweet Thang (sweeter barbecue sauce), Old Faithful (standard barbecue sauce), and Hot Mess (hot sauce).

Ribs: No rating
While I did not try these, my friend said, "I would like to die eating these [ribs]," which attests to his delectation.

Cole Slaw: 4 out of 5
PS's cole slaw is a winner;  it was crisp, creamy, slightly sweet, and refreshing. I gave it a 4 out of 5 because it was classic done right without any element of outstanding.

Macaroni and Cheese: 4 out of 5
The macaroni and cheese arrived piping hot in a small terrine. A toasted shell of breadcrumbs sat atop the creamy macaroni magma. The white cheese tasted like a slightly sharp, salty, yet very creamy cheddar. It was delicious by itself and also with a little barbecue sauce.

Sweet Potato Casserole: 5 out of 5
For those looking for the ultimate comfort food, your search ends here. The sweet potato casserole is Percy Street's magnum opus. Whipped creamy sweet potatoes are baked inside a terrine with toasted marshmallows on top. The dish is creamy, sweet, rich like dessert, and sends a shot of seratonin through your brain when it hits your taste buds.

Alcoholic Beverages: No rating
There are many offerings for beer and whiskey.

Overall: 5 out of 5
I cannot wait to go back. Head over for some of the best Texas-style barbecue in a refined setting. Percy Street is a great place for a casual dinner or for a date. It is also suitable for large groups and parties (they appear to have a room off of the main dining room specifically for private events).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

El Vez

 El Vez
121 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

The atmosphere: dim lit, younger crowd, air filled with bustling conversation - not like that was a bad thing. I immediately noticed the illuminated motorcycle that was rotating near the bar area... so bright and shiny...

Service was great. Our server was definitely upbeat, knowledgeable, and helpful. We were always checked up on, so that's a plus.

Food was delish - whoever recommended the blood orange margarita and the guacamole appetizer - thank you!! They were awesome!

There are different types of guacamole to choose from, but I bet they're all tasty. Mister and I shared the Cesar Chavez guac, which also comes with a small side of salsa. Let me tell you, that appetizer was definitely meant to be shared! The portion was very generous... so generous, we could barely finish it.

We also had the red snapper ceviche. There were some bold flavors going on there, definitely unique. I personally wasn't too crazy about this appetizer, though.

For entrees, Mister ordered the carne asada with an extra side of asparagus. The steak had a spicy kick to it, which was interesting. The side of rice and cheese was different... it was like... mac and cheese... but instead of mac, there's rice!

I had the Enchalada Mixtas. When I ordered this, my eyes were bigger than my tummy.. so I struggled with it. The enchaladas were good... comes with one bean, one shrimp, and one chicken. I'm not a fan of beans (I know, shame on me), so I substituted the bean enchalada for another shrimp enchalada and was only able to finish 2 out of the 3. After awhile, though, the second shrimp enchalada was too overpowering - the sauce it came with was too sour/salty for me to finish it.

All in all, service was great and the food was tasty. I wouldn't mind stopping by to try out the rest of the menu!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Barclay Prime

Barclay Prime
237 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

This lovely treat in the heart of Rittenhouse Square really may be my new favorite steak house in Philly. Stephen Starr's luxury meat and seafood "boutique" really blew me away.

Everything is so chic and sexy. From the small, intimate bar to the couch seating with marble tables, just gorgeous. My family has a yearly steak meal on Christmas eve and this was the best I can remember. You must try the Barclay Bellini if you are a fan of Bellini's; best I ever had. It has some vanilla in it and it's so refreshing. 

Glen was a fabulous server. He was extremely friendly, informative and warming. He gave us great suggestions and told us fun stories, he was a treat. 

The popovers everyone is talking about literally melt in your mouth. Warm and crispy outside and velvety inside. The fresh sea salt butter was just the diamonds on top. 

We started with the Scallops, Ceviche and fresh Crab... all of them were mouth watering. The scallops were pan seared perfectly, the ceviche was crispy and flavorful and the crab was perfection. Just great. 

The Filet was perfect and the sides, creamed spinach, baby carrots with honey glaze and truffle oil mashed potatoes did not disappoint. I could have bathed in the truffle oil mashed potatoes. They accidentally brought out the regular whipped potatoes and those were velvety perfection as well.

For dessert we went with the Creme brûlée cake and coconut ice cream, it was the perfect end. The ice cream was clearly house made and I want to know if they can ship it to my house.... DELICIOUS!

I can NOT wait to return!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


                                                                      138 Market St
                                                             Philadelphia, PA 19106

Had dinner here with some friends recently.  We were put in the back room/bar -- which I didn't even know existed.  The decor was comfortably modern, though the predominance of stark white at the bar might overwhelm some.

Although we were the only group in the back room, the staff did not forget us (maybe because they had to pass through to get to/from some other sections of the restaurant) and service was good.

For food we got a smorgasbord of dishes, which allowed us to taste many different items.  My favorite item was the chicken and broad noodles dish, which was just spicy enough and was lightened with a mix of lettuce (a lettuce better than standard-issue iceberg would certainly make it an even better dish).  I was looking forward to the scallops, but like most of the rest of the dishes tried, they were good enough to have and enjoy, but not good enough to recommend as a must-try.  Beer selection was adequate, but servings were smallish. 

Overall, a totally fine spot for a bite and/or drink if you happen to be on the corner of 2nd and Market, but only worth the effort of getting there if you want some private space for a sizable group.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Texas Weiners

Texas Weiners
1426 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145

I ate three wieners...2 Works w/ Cheese (hot dog, special sauce, chopped onion and whiz) and one Works w/o the cheese.  I only ordered the one w/o the cheese as my first go b/c I was lacking the courage, but then I stepped it up a little.  I was eyeing my dad's Texas Tommy (dog w/ bacon and cheese) but decided not to completely clog my arteries.  Of course I still tasted the dogs for the remainder of the afternoon!  Not surprised.

The dogs are sliced lengthwise and grilled, then placed in a soft, wide bun.  The grill in out in the open which I like b/c I want to see the action.

Fountain and bottled soda.  Fountain soda comes in a paper cup (I hate styrofoam) with shaved ice.  You never see that anymore!

Ample seating and classic diner waitress service, despite the small space.  This is a real South Philly joint you must check out.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fogo de Chao

Fogo de Chao
1337 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Lets start with when you walk into the door. Immediately you are greeted by very friendly hosts. I have always made reservations when I come here to eat (usually a week or 2 in advance because it fills up quick). If you are not seated immediately, there is a nice bar right at the entrance that will make any drink you can come up with.

Upon being seated, a very informative server will come to your table and give a nice little talk on how the restaurant works. There are so many different wines to select from that cover just about every wall in the restaurant. If you don't know what to choose and need some help, the server is very knowledgeable and helpful. If you want a soft-drink, beware, they are $3 a soda, and NOT free refills. This is the only negative I give the place.

Once your drink orders are taken, you will be invited up to the salad bar in which another server will hand you an enormous plate for salad. If you read most of the reviews below, they tell you to beware of the salad. This is true, but to some extent. There are so many fresh vegetables, cold cut meats and fish, and fresh cheeses. This is not an ordinary salad bar. You must at least try some of the delicious options they present you. Some people will say other "high-end" restaurants" have a better salad bar. All I can say is that this is the by far the best one I have seen and been to. By the way, you can come and just have the salad bar for half the cost of the full-course dinner.

When you get back to the table, there will be 4 deliciously-looking/tasting sides brought out to you. Cheese bread- its so light and fluffy and tasty. Try not to go overboard with eating them (although you easily could). Crispy polenta-I didn't try this until my last visit and I am upset it took so long for me to. Mashed potatoes- Pretty standard but yummy. Caramelized bananas- These are addicting and so sweet. They are a must try. I thought the idea of them sounded gross at first, but was so happy when I tried it.

Once you are ready to move on the meat portion, the real feast will begin. Once you do so, make sure you are ready because you will get bombarded by gaucho chefs, but in a good way. You may feel overwhelmed the first time you are there, but you will get used it and love it. Once that card goes green, you will fall into a meat heaven and never want to return. I am going to break down each meat and give my personal opinion of it so take it with a grain of salt. Most meats are rare-medium temp when served. :)

House Sirloin (PIcanha)- One of the best meats here, although I could probably
say this about all of the meats. So tender and juicy.

Top Sirloin- This meat is just a step behind the house sirloin, but not by much.

Bottom Sirloin- It is more of a charred steak and very salty and juicy. It is one of the only meats I don't care for that much (although I would eat it and enjoy it at any other restaurant)

Garlic Steak- It is the same cut as the house special with a garlic marinade. I do love garlic but for some reason found this too be a little too much for me. I know other people who absolutely loved it.

Fillet Mignon- This is hands down the best cut of meat. It is so tender and flavorful and perfect.

Fillet Wrapped in Bacon- Wow is this delicious. Just as tender and the regular but with added flavor. I am not a huge bacon eater, but absolutely adore this selection. If you really don't like bacon, still get it and remove the bacon. it still absorbs so much flavor in the meat but you get rid of the overwhelming taste of bacon and salt.

Rib Eye- I can't decide if I like this or the House sirloin better. The flavor is so rich and perfect. Its a beautiful looking piece of meat.

Leg of Lamb- I am not a big lamb fan.  But other family members who do like Lamb say this is the best.

Lamb Chops- Same as above.

Chicken Legs- The flavor is very different on these but so amazing. People say to not eat chicken at a place like this, but it is too delicious to pass up.

Chicken Wrapped in Bacon- So flavorful. Better than the chicken legs.
Sausage- I never tried this! I am not a fan of sausage which is why I never did.

Parmesan Pork- Only tried this for the first time my last visit there. It was surprisingly delicious. The Parmesan is not overwhelming and adds a nice texture to the meat

Pork/Beef Ribs- Both ribs are very good but nothing out of this world.

That being said, i suggest you still try all the cuts at first, and if you have room ( I always do), you can start being selective by saying yes to only the ones that stuck out to you.

Dessert is a must no matter how full you are. The Papaya Cream is breathtaking. I would never think to try it, but am so glad I did. The molten chocolate cake is so delicious. This ice cream is very creamy and thick.

Overall, this is hands down my favorite restaurant. You will feel like royalty in the way the staff treats and serves you. Its a must-try dinner.