A New Hub For Philly Roadfood

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phlmaestro
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2017/07/10 17:31:42 (permalink)

A New Hub For Philly Roadfood

South Philly and the Center City-Reading Terminal area have generally been the top go-to areas for roadfood in Philadelphia for a good number of years.
 
Lately, there have been a lot of changes in town, much of them due to gentrification. I have mixed feelings on gentrification and know that it can cause problems for the people who have lived in those neighborhoods for years. Nonetheless, there is no denying that the area where the Northern Liberties and Fishtown neighborhoods come together (the blocks around Girard Ave. and Front St.; about a mile north of the historic district) has developed into a fantastic roadfood area over the past couple years.
 
My wife and I spent a few hours in the area Saturday to check out as much food as we could get down.
 
We started with one of the newest additions to the area: Love & Honey Fried Chicken (1100 N. Front St.).  It was opened by a husband and wife team who were both trained at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition to fried chicken, the other house specialty is pie. I actually skipped the pie and went with my favorite dessert: banana pudding:
 


What sets apart good fried chicken I've had in the South from what I generally get up here is the amount of seasoning in the fried coating. While this chicken was not spicy-hot, the crust was packed with flavor and the meat was extremely moist.
As for the banana pudding, you can see it comes with spiced walnuts on top. I am a banana pudding traditionalist and did not like the nuts, which were very strong in flavor and overwhelmed the banana pudding until I got down close to the middle of the cup. I'd like to go back and try some pie.
 
After leaving Love & Honey, as we made our way to our next stop, we passed by a couple other places of interest:
We would give into temptation later in the day and try this ice cream place which serves very premium ice cream and some slightly unusual flavors.

And the former Chink's, now Joe's, has a second location in this neighborhood:

 
Our next food stop was my favorite local barbecue joint, and the only place in the neighborhood I had previously been to, Fette Sau, which serves Texas-style barbecue and also has a location in Brooklyn.  They offer burnt end sandwiches until 5 p.m. and I went for it and enjoyed it, although I would have liked a stronger smoke flavor:
 



The sandwich comes on a pair of slider-sized Martin's potato rolls. That side is spicy slaw.

 
Our final planned stop was Pizzeria Beddia, which I posted about when it was named the top pizzeria in the country by a national publication ( http://forums.roadfood.com/Best-Pizza-in-Country-m810635.aspx ).

I had read about long lines and getting there very early. So we arrived two hours before opening and were first in line. But others started arriving not long after we got there and I wound up being very glad we got there when we did. The pizza guy makes one pie at a time. So if you're 20 people back in line, you've got to wait for him to make 20 pizzas before he gets to you and it can take several hours for that to happen. It's worth waiting a little extra time early to avoid a lot more later.

 
While we were waiting, my wife made a run back to that Weckerly's ice cream and picked us up a couple scoops along with optional mini-ice cream sandwiches that featured fantastic cookies. I had vanilla. My wife had blueberry with lime and rum:

 
I would say the pizza was probably the best I've ever had in the Philly region. I don't think I'd say it's better than the better pizzas I've had in Connecticut, but it's close. The crust is amazing. You hear a crunch with every bite, but it's not overly rigid.
We got one pie (they have one size) with half mushrooms and half sausage. It's hard to see the sausage and there wasn't a lot of it, but I thought it tasted great and was a nice bonus in those bites that included it while not being so overwhelming as to not allow me to taste the plain pizza.


 
If you're into fries, this place, which I've heard good things about, but didn't try, is across the street from Pizzeria Beddia:

This is by no means anywhere near a comprehensive rundown of the food in the neighborhood. There are also beer gardens and halls for people interested in that. But these were the places that most interested me for a single afternoon of exploring.
 
Love & Honey Fried Chicken:  1100 N. Front St., Philadelphia
 
Weckerly's Ice Cream:  9 W. Girdard Ave., Philadelphia
 
Fette Sau:  1208 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia
 
Pizzeria Beddia:  115 E. Girard Ave., Philadelphia
post edited by phlmaestro - 2017/07/10 21:37:44
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    leethebard
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/10 17:36:03 (permalink)
    Very nice looking pizza!
     
    #2
    joerogo
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/10 19:30:32 (permalink)
    Nice trip around the hood!
    #3
    Wintahaba
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/10 19:47:11 (permalink)
    All looks GOOD! Thanks for the jaunt.
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    Root-Beer Man
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/10 21:18:19 (permalink)
    Nice food trip! That chicken looked great. I'm with you on the nuts on banana pudding. That  would not be to my liking. Looked a bit on the smallish side, too. How did it taste otherwise? That was also some good looking pizza! I'll have to keep the place in mind if I ever make it to Philly!
    #5
    phlmaestro
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/10 21:33:40 (permalink)
    Root-Beer Man
    I'm with you on the nuts on banana pudding. That  would not be to my liking. Looked a bit on the smallish side, too. How did it taste otherwise?



    It was pretty good once I got beyond the point where I was still tasting the spices from the nuts; could have used a couple more 'nilla wafers.  I didn't mind the portion size because we were eating relatively small amounts everywhere so we could fit in more places.  I also think the photo may be a little deceiving. The sides of the container holding the chicken are higher than they may look from that angle.
    post edited by phlmaestro - 2017/07/10 21:35:03
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    IndianaPete
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/11 17:47:40 (permalink)
    Wow.  Nice trip and great pics.  Thx.
    Good list for my next trip to Philly.
    Ya know it ain't real unless it says on the menu --  Nanner Puddin'
     
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    ann peeples
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/13 12:26:27 (permalink)
    Thanks for reporting in!
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/13 14:14:38 (permalink)
    phlmaestro
    The pizza guy makes one pie at a time.

    Does pizza #2 get started after pizza #1 goes into the oven or after it comes out?  Is the oven some sort of extremely small artisan-style model?
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    leethebard
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/13 15:19:57 (permalink)
    Must be slow service. Hope that pizza is among the best!!
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    phlmaestro
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/13 16:00:40 (permalink)
    Thanks for the comments.
     
    I didn't get a good look at the oven. He's somewhat far back from the counter. The only other person working there takes the orders and money and gives out the finished pizzas. But it really does pay to get there 90 minutes to two hours early to ensure being one of the first few people in line. If you're far back, you may get your order in at 5:45 and be told to come back for your pizza at 9:30 or 10 p.m. that night.  That wasn't an option for us as we don't live in the neighborhood and had no desire to hang out that long. So I played it extra safe and wound up being first in line.
     
    Another reason I didn't get a look at the pizza-maker's operation is that there was a major commotion just as I finished giving my order. Someone a few people behind me in line had a bottle of wine fall out of a bag. It made an unbelievably loud noise when it hit the floor and resulted in wine and broken glass all over the place. A couple people were cut and needed bandages. My wife and I were just out of reach of the flying glass and avoided any problems. But the two guys behind the counter were clearly not happy. The place is tiny (there are two tables; we took out and ate next to where our car was parked) and it was packed with people. They have a very carefully-timed operation and this screwed up their timing.  It took a little while for the counter-guy to clean all the glass and wine up, but when he did, he confirmed my order and told me to be back there in 15 minutes to pick up our pizza.
    post edited by phlmaestro - 2017/07/13 16:02:12
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    buffetbuster
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/14 08:12:32 (permalink)
    What a fantastic report! That fried chicken and ice cream look wonderful. 
     
    I love your choices.  Well, other than the banana pudding instead of the pie.  If you do go back and try the pie, please report on what you find. 
    #12
    phlmaestro
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    Re: A New Hub For Philly Roadfood 2017/07/14 21:11:42 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
    What a fantastic report! That fried chicken and ice cream look wonderful. 
     
    I love your choices.  Well, other than the banana pudding instead of the pie.  If you do go back and try the pie, please report on what you find. 



    Thanks. They just started serving lunch Fridays and delivery is available. A colleague and I will probably try that soon and I definitely intend to try a slice or two of pie. They don't have much of a selection. The only two pies on the menu were coconut cream, I believe with a whipped cream topping and sweet potato pie with home made fluff. There was also a special pie of the day and I can't remember what that was. I would think they rotate the pies rather than having the same ones all the time. I think I remember them having a chocolate cream pie too when they first opened.
    #13
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