I'd like to share two unexpected delights that I have had. On the one hand, the pizza at 69th street terminal. The shop is unassuming, dingy, and altogether unattractive, yet the pizza is delicious and cheap. There is a constant flow of new pies fresh out of the oven, and a reliant arsenal of flavor combos--meatball, sausage, chicken and veggies, and pepperoni. I haven't had pizza in center city that tops it. A bold assertion I know, but I would even take it over Pizza Rustica (maybe not) or insert favorite pizza place.
Second, Hamifgash at 811 Sansom St. Great Israeli food. I found this place out of dire hunger and without any expectations; nonetheless, great food. I had a stunning lentil soup with plenty of citrus and homemade pita. The entree consisted of a perfectly spiced tender little lamb with fresh tomato and lettuce. Anyone else eat here?
I'd like to know if anyone else has these unexpected finds? I ask since it seems that the same places are often recycled on this board. OK. Ok. So I need to go to Zahav or Melagrano or Chloe or Matyson or Dmitiri or Little Fish or RTM or whatever--I got it. These are great established places. But where can I find great food (especially local and sustainable) where I would least expect it?
I'm going to revive this post for selfish reasons...after 9 long years I'm leaving philly soon and I'm looking to pack in the unexpected, unknown and inexpensive gastro pleasures while I'm still here. Anyone have surprises for me?
South, West & NE Philly preferred but all surprises welcome. Speaking of West, has anyone been to Big George's Diner (by 52nd street). I've been meaning to go for years, and have heard conflicted reports of them being open or having closed.
Already on my list:
Big George's Diner
Saad's in West Philly - 45 & Walnut. Hands down the best falafel in town (beats that cart guy off market everyone raves over for starters) since you like this sort of food. Excellent lamb maroosh and roast chicken too. Pleasant service from the namesake man himself doesnt hurt either. Zero ambiance , but hey who needs it when the food is under 10$, very tasty, and quickly prepared. And if you make the west philly trek, you might as well stop by the very local and sustainable Four World bakery by chestnut & 45th. The bakers sources many of his ingredients locally and much of the flour/grains he uses are freshly milled! The croissant I had underneath the bakery at koffa cafe a couple weeks ago was an real experience (surpassing Miel or Metropolitan), a masterful testimony to the simple power of quality butter and four. In all seriousness, a fine surprise that really made my morning.
I think the pita sandwiches (especially the lamb) at Argan (a block from the Sofitel) are pretty decent. Admittedly not very local or sustainable.
You may want to try Slice! at 10th and Federal for a decent piece of pizza, although the secret's getting out with the Inky article.