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Feb 20, 2010 06:26 PM

Northeast Philly

Any hidden culinary treasures to discover in NE Philly? Please share.

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  1. While it's largely a culinary wasteland, there are a few good ethnic places in the NE. El Balconcito for Peruvian/Portugese, Manila Bay, Picanha, Taste of Portugal, Kao Tip for Thai. There's the Grey Lodge for great beer & pretty good food. Wasabi has good sushi. Three monkeys Cafe is supposed to be good (haven't been there).

    3 Replies
    1. re: rsgdmd

      I second El Balconcito, Picanha, Taste of Portugal, and Grey Lodge. Makiman Sushi is also good. There are also the Vietnamese places along Adam's Avenue--Pho 75, Pho Hoa, and Cafe Saigon. They aren't necessarily better than the Chinatown/South Philly places, but very good if you are in the area. There's also Sweet Lucy's for great barbecue.

      Where are Manila Bay and Kao Tip?

      1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

        Manila Bay is a great authentic Filipino restaurant on Castor Ave.

        I highly recommend Grey Lodge. Their Thai Mussels are to die for, great tomato pies and very good cheese steaks, paired with one of the best beer selections in Philadelphia. You also have the original Chickie and Petes on Frankford for very good mussels in red or white sauce.

        I would also throw in Tony's Place on Frankford Ave for Tomato Pies. It is as close to Trenton style tomato pies you are going to find without going to Hudson Street.

        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          Kao Tip is on Cottman Ave just west of Frankford. It's where the Gourmet restaurant used to be.

      2. I can't say enough great things about Manila Bay, from the family that ownes it, to the cuisine that is like eating in my mothers kitchen. We try to frequent Manila Bay a few times a year, and I love everything from their lumpia to their adobo to their halo halo. It's a great little place with great food and service. Definitely the best Filipino restaurant I have found on the East Coast, and best I have found closer than Chicago and my mother's kitchen! Check it out if you get a chance. Also find their fan page on Facebook as they post specials on there from time to time that are only available to their Facebook fans. Some great deals to say the least! Cheers! -mJ

        1. I left the 'hood (Somerton) 20 years ago. La Paella Tio Pepe on Bustleton, Kawabata on Grant and the Jade Palace on Cottman were about it for authentic foreign fare. Glad to see more choices in yonder Great Northeast.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chefpaulo

            my god - does Jade Palace still exist? We were so cool and adventurous to be eating there!

            1. re: Bigley9

              Noooooo, long gone. But I had the honored good fortune of taking my first Chinese cooking lessons from Jade Palace owner and chef, Ben Lin, in 1978 - 79. He taught classes in the kitchen of the YWCA on Chestnut Street and we had a thorough course in Chinese preparation, including mixing and hand rolling dough for our steamed moo shu pancakes. His shrimp and lobster sauce is still a regular offering at my table, as are many others from his now browned, faded and stapled recipe book of mimeographed sheets.


          2. I would second the Manila Bay suggestion, and throw one in for Uzbekistan, a great BYOB serving a wonderful assortment of meats.

            1. Great to see so many great things being said about Manila Bay. We found this place on a whim when I was looking for a Filipino restaurant for a field trip for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Club here on McGuire Air Force Base, NJ. I did a Google search for Filipino Restaurants in the area, and up came Manila Bay.

              Needless to say, we had about 20 who went to Manila Bay for the first time, and it was great. We've been back many times since, and the food is always good and authentic, and the service is always top notch.

              During this time, the owners have gotten to the point where they recognize us. Cherri usually runs the front of the house, and she is super sweet, and yes, she is Filipino. Her husband Bob tries to spend some time in the restaurant as well, and they are just good people.

              The food is always good, and always fresh. We've had anything from their fried fish, to the chicken or pork adobo, to the chicken tongkatsu (not a Filipino dish but my wife loves it). Their lumpia (shanghai) are awesome, and I always find myself getting an order to go that I'll eat in the car on the way home.

              They do have a bar there as well, with about 8-10 seats, and it's not a bad place to stop in for a beer and watch a game over dinner. I've stopped in by myself before and done this. On the weekends, they also fire up the karaoke machine in true Filipino fashion, and it's a great time! Definitely check it out as I think you'll be very happy with the authentic cuisine! Cheers! -mJ

              1 Reply
              1. re: njfoodies

                Went to Manilla Bay, had lumpia, panict, and adobo, it was average at best. I used to live in Hawaii and all my friends were filipinos. Heck I learned how to make adobo and pancit which are my favorite dishes. There are so many ways and style on how to make these dishes. I have had my filipinos that live in the area go to this restaurant and they weren't impressed. I guess I can say I went there one time. I also had the pork inihow which was grilled pork with vinegar, shoyu, and raw onions. It is what it is.