West Side Gravy/Alex Capasso in Collingswood
Alex Capasso, chef//owner of Blackbird Dining Establishment in West Collingswood, has oopened a new casual BYOB on Haddon Ave. No website yet, but I saw the menu, which is small but looked good. Home style cooking at a lower price point than BB. A friend went and said it's very good. Anyone else been?
After reading this gushfest I tried WSG on a Thursday night.
I got their fried chicken. Bleah. Remember the last time you had a fried chicken frozen dinner? Take it down a notch from Swanson. Banquet maybe. No, what's below that? THAT would have been better.
The chicken was indeed frozen - you can tell by the color of the bones. The order is not a half chicken (breast,wing,thigh,drumstick) as the diner vibe would have you believe but two drumsticks and two thighs. You know - the 39 cent a pound parts. I should have asked.
The flavor was "reheated chicken" flavor. You know that taste. You make a pile of fried chicken and can't eat those last few pieces. So the next day you heat them in the oven. The unmistakable reheated chicken flavor. That's what you get here. Yes it was hot (straight from the oven!) and crispy. It was also dried out and it had that gross flavor. Hardly "This was some of the best homemade fried chicken you will anywhere [sic]"
The cole slaw was good and the potato salad OK.
I hate to say it but Country Buffet makes fried chicken a googolplex times better than what I was served.
What do you get when you mix a talent like Chef Capasso and the very best comfort food dishes you can think of. You guessed correctly, delicious food that will make you smile.
If you have been to Blackbird, you know the chef puts his own take on the food and his creations at West Side Gravy also reflect that same creativity.
On our way to the Phillies game we stopped here mid afternoon. We had the place to ourselves, its a converted Woolworth store and has a great retro feel to it.
The menu is broken out into Small Plate, Salads, Sandwiches and Big Plates. Prices are very reasonable, especially considering the quality of the food.
Here are a couple of examples from the menu:
From the small plates: Trio of Sliders, Beef slider with cheddar, bacon and fried onions, balsamic roasted pork with provolone and long hots, seared ahi tuna with cucumber salad and wasabi mayo. Not your average trio of sliders :)
From the sandwich menu: PB and J, toasted butter bread, housemade peanut and cashew butter, mixed berry jam. petite salad of figs, gorgonzola and walnuts. Thats my kind of PB and J.
Since we were going to munch at the game, we ordered from the small plates and sandwich portion of the menu.
We shared a special salad of mixed greens, avocado, mozzarella, carrots with a red pepper vinaigrette. Fresh and tasty, perfectly dressed.
DW had the special trio of sliders which consisted of three beef sliders with cheddar and fried onions. Came with a side of chips. Those sliders were delicious.
I had the Meatloaf sandwich, bacon wrapped pork and beef, sharp provolone, pinot noir sauce on a fresh baked baguette. Came with hand cut frites. The meatloaf was really good and the frites were perfect, crisp and seasoned with some herbs.
I wish Chef Capasso well with this venture. I suspect most chefs, even those operating high end restaurants would like to do this. Who doesn't like comfort food.
Prices are mostly in the $6.00 - $10.00 range except for large plates which range from $12.00 - $19.00.
Give West Side Gravy a try if your in this neighborhood, well worth the visit.
Best of all, the Phillies won :)
Blackbird is also a favorite of our's. Just wish it was closer to where we live. Think of West Side Gravy as a diner on steroids :). Been following Chef Capasso since his days at Max's and Misto.
Collingswood has become quite the dining town. Blackbird, Tortilla Press, Nunzio's, West Side Gravy, El Sitio, Casona.