Each fortnight I’m planning on sharing with you five of my favourite things in and around Philadelphia: places, shops, experiences – anything goes. Since food is one of my favourite things, I thought I would kick it off with five of our favourite restaurants we have discovered so far.
This fancy little place is easily my favourite restaurant we have wined and dined in so far. Google describes Buddakan as a ‘Hot spot for upscale Asian fusion dishes in a swanky setting with a giant Buddha & techno tunes’, I love this description nearly as much as I love their food. Ian reserved us a table here one Friday night during Restaurant week in the summer, restaurant week is where various restaurants provide a set menu at a discounted price for lunch and dinner, Buddakan were offering three courses for $35 which is amazing when compared to their main menu, although in my opinion the full price cost is still worth it and we will definitely be going back soon. From the outside the restaurant feels very mysterious, there is minimal signage and you can’t see through any of the windows, so you don’t know what to expect on opening the solid door, inside the atmosphere and décor contribute to your experience as much as the food. Ian compared Buddakan to the type of restaurants you would find in Vegas, with the lighting lowered to set the mood, your food highlighted by cleverly placed spot lights in the ceiling, the glass wall of water separating the tables from the main entrance and of course the giant Buddha overlooking everyone as they eat. I’m not going to say too much about the food, I’ll leave you to drool over the photos, it was just so good, so DARN good. Oh, I do have to mention though the chocolate mousse was the best thing ever. And so were the chicken dumplings. And the BBQ pork tenderloin. Just go, treat yourself, you work hard, you deserve it…
I booked Sbraga as a belated 30th birthday celebration for Ian after we returned from a short trip back to England in June, this place had really good reviews and I was further intrigued because it was owned by Kevin Sbraga, the winner of the TV show ‘Top Chef’ in October 2011. Maybe I was the one that wanted to go to this restaurant and disguised it as a birthday surprise for Ian, or I’m just an awesome girlfriend, you can decide. The menu is made up of four courses which we enjoyed along with the optional wine pairing to celebrate the special occasion, I can’t remember exactly what we had but it was all really, really, really good, I do remember my dessert though, cherry cheesecake, come to mumma. You’ve probably figured out I have a sweet tooth, and I like cheesecake very much. The wine here was also superb (I needed a new word for good – thesaurus.com gave me superb, I’m not sure I can pull it off), the wines that I really liked and would recommend are a red wine called ‘E. Pira & Figli, Dolcetto d’Alba 2013’ and a dessert wine ‘Moscato D’Asta Bricco Quaglia 2014′ (recommending wine…I sound like such a flippin’ grown up). The chef also left a little handwritten card on the table wishing Ian a happy birthday along with a voucher for a free dessert at their sister restaurant The Fat Ham, the manager also waited by the door as we were leaving to personally wish Ian a happy birthday which was a nice touch.
I have already mentioned this place in my blog a few times which can only mean good things. Bareburger is my favourite burger place so far, they have a big selection of burgers to choose from or you can create your own, mixing and matching from the list of meats and toppings on the menu. There is lots of different meats you can try too, as well as beef there is bison, elk, wild boar, and duck as well as some vegetarian options. They also do sandwiches and lots of different sides but I’m all about the burger, they all just taste so blummin’ delicious. The restaurant itself is really nice and neat inside, its super clean, very relaxed and there are sculptures of bear heads hung on the walls wearing moustaches, so…
I think Sabrina’s Cafe is the best place we have found for brunch so far, the food is delicious and the portion sizes can be pretty huge depending on what you order. Sabrina’s is unbelievably popular and there is always a queue outside (there was once a waiting list for three hours!), but we have discovered they operate a queuing app where you can add yourself to the current queue using your phone and you will then receive a text when the table becomes available, technology eh? Don’t be put off by the queue though, the place is much bigger than it looks. The favourites we have tried here so far are the Eggs Benedict and the steak salad, which comes topped with a deep fried tomato, because why the hell not?
Pizza is always good right? Well Nomads Pizza is just better, I don’t know how but it is. Especially the crust, what do they do to the crust?? The Ricotta ball appetizer is also a winner. We’ve been here quite a lot, the atmosphere is really laid back and relaxed, its a good casual Saturday night kind of place or a Sunday morning, one pizza each, kind of hangover cure. They also have some nice drinks too so you could either posh it up a bit and have some wine with your meal, or just sit at the bar and try all their beers, it caters to pretty much everyone.
Tell me your favourite restaurants in Philly, where should we try next??