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