Worth telling about. I'm out of practice writing these things, so bear with.
We were in Philly last week, and stopped in Manayunk first, around lunchtime. We were standing in front of three food places, and sort of picked this one at random... GOOD CHOICE.
A&J is a tiny gourmet deli in what used to be a private home. They serve mostly cold cuts and home made soups and salads and antipast' items like marinated peppers and such. The cold cuts are Boar's Head. When I say "tiny" I really mean it; there are two small tables. And four chairs... two per table.
Service is slow. No, wait. Service is s-l-o-w. You'll see why in a moment.
Sandwiches are not of the "overloaded" type, but are still way too large for a lunch. We each ate only half. Breads are bakery breads, and fresh, but not baked on premises I don't think (it didn't smell that way). What A&J is long on, and I mean really long, is character. We spent about 15 minutes talking to this woman:
See the photo on the wall? Those are her parents. The deli is in what was the living room of the home she grew up in. We got a nice family history! The other people we spoke with were her daughter, who appeared to be about 70, and her granddaughter, who seemed to be mid 40s. Granddaughter handled the money, mom and grandma made the sandwiches.
My sandwich was prosciutto, sharp provolone, lettuce/tomato/roasted red pepper, with Italian seasonings, on a panini. It was a nice balance of flavors and textures, and the seasonings were spot on; each bite was a little different, with basil, fennel, oregano, and garlic. $7.95:
The girls each had roast turkey & pepperjack, with the same condiments. $7.95:
We split potato salad, which was better than any I've had in recent memory. I make a killer potato salad; this was better.
This is Roadfood, capital "R". I think that this is what we do here. There were quite a few big money bars and restaurants along the 4200-4500 stretch of N Main St; this wasn't one of them. But the food was great, the people were super, and the prices were right. Go there, because it was really good and fun.
post edited by Mosca - 2013/01/13 17:36:37