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The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Philly Edition

Ok, so I'm doing some restaurant research of New Orleans since my husband and I are going early June for a trip (hooray!). And there was this thread: Best Thing I Ever Ate: New Orleans. It was such a cool way to read about the restaurants worth visiting, as well as the specific dishes they ate as kids or adults.

So....what are the best dishes you ever ate in Philly?

I have to start it off thusly...

Best Burger: Village Whiskey. Get the duck fat fries with the Sly Fox sauce and DUNK YOUR BURGER IN IT.

Best cheesesteak: John's Roast Pork

Best dessert: Creme Brulee, Valanni, New Years Eve menu

Best Salad: Belgian Endive Salad, Blue In Green (sadly closed now)

Best Pasta: Tagliatelle (or is it Papardelle?) with Mushrooms and Pecorino, Melograno

Best Iced Tea: El Rey Sol (little mexi place on South Street years ago)

Best Ice Cream: Bassett's Cinnamon

Ok, I could go on...

Your turn!

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  1. Best Pork: The roasted suckling pig at Amada (With all the sides, maybe even the best meal I have ever eaten in Philadelphia)

    Best Pork (mini version): Pernil Asado at Amada

    Best Pasta: A tie between the Almond Tortellini at Vetri or the Pappardelle with mushrooms at Paradiso

    1. Best sandwich: Gustaio at Paesano's

      1. Best fish: skate with spinach spaetzle at Little Fish, tied with skate with truffle spaetzle and parmesan broth at Fish

        Best cheese plate: the generous, from the Italian market, cheese plate at (dear departed) Pif, where they let you choose which cheeses you want (eg. two of the same and another...)

        Best dessert: red velvet cake at Golosa

        Best bread: the bread they used to serve at Pif from boulangerie artisanal, with the small ramekins of unsalted butter topped with Hawaiian sea salt

        Best whole fish: branzino at Meme

        Best dessert: blood orange sorbet at Pumpkin

        1 Reply
        1. re: JanR

          Just realized I posted two best desserts. A tie.

        2. Best bread: Modo Mio

          Best cholesterol: breaded bone marrow, seared foie gras and sweatbreads at Bibou

          Best BBQ: Carolina-cut pork ribs at Smoke Daddy's

          Best crab cake: Smith Island crab cake at Capt'n Chucky's

          Best dessert: goat cheese cake at Le Bec Fin

          Best offal (my definition): deep-fried shrimp heads at Bluefin

          Best pasta: Elysian Fields lamb papardelle at Blackfish

          Best pork: Berkshire Pork Belly with Okinawan sweet potatoes at Fond

          Best steak: Grilled 31 oz bone-on prime rib at The Prime Rib

          Best tasting menu bargain: Monday-Thursday prix fixe Matyson

          Best sandwich: burnt ends sandwich at Smoke Daddy's

          6 Replies
          1. re: Tir_na_nOg

            Best dessert: Osteria's Polenta Budino with gianduia mousse and candied hazelnuts
            Best pasta: Osteria's Candele with boar ragu
            tied with Melagrano's Papperdelle Tartufate (wild mushroom with truffle oil)
            Best Asian apps: Vietnam's Cha Gio
            Best bread: Parc Bistro
            Best ice cream: Bassett's Vanilla
            Best pad thai: Chaaba Thai
            Best croissant: Baker Street
            Best wonton soup: Cin Cin
            Best steak: Blackfish

            1. re: asmith

              Even though I already listed two best desserts, I am going to have to revise that. You are correct, asmith, the best dessert IS Osteria's polenta budino. Are they still serving that?

                1. re: asmith

                  I have to give an emphatic third vote for the Polenta Budino at Osteria's.

              1. re: asmith

                PS Best pizza: Lombardi at Osteria

            2. Best pasta: Osteria, chicken liver rigatoni
              Best fried chicken: South Phila Tap Room
              Best dessert: Barbuzzo, salted caramel budino
              Best fancy pizza: Kennett, porchetta pizza
              Best calamari: Bomb Bomb BBQ, calamari & peas
              Best octopus: Estia, grilled octopus
              Best soup: Hardena, Indonesian chicken soup
              Best bar snack (tie): South Phila Tap Room, wild boar tacos
              Best bar snack (tie): Royal Tavern, bacon wrapped tater tots
              Best slow cooked meat: Zahav, lamb shoulder
              Best coffee drink: Ultimo Coffee, cappuccino
              Best cocktail: Ranstead room, Penicillin

              6 Replies
              1. re: barryg

                Best pasta -- ANY pasta at Vetri, Osteria or Amis
                Best pizza -- lombardi pizza at Osteria
                Best appetizer -- foie gras at Bibou
                Best dessert selection -- pastry cart at Le Bec Fin

                1. re: barryg

                  Seconding the salted caramel budino at Barbuzzo -- I'd heard so many superlatives about it before going that I was almost tired of hearing about it, but oh, man... It really is all that.

                  1. re: barryg

                    One more vote for the lamb shoulder at Zahav. Aside from the weekly pancake inhalation, it's probably the most memorable thing I have eaten in Philly for a while. It brought back memories of the opening of the Flintstones when the large portion of meat was placed on Fred's car causing it to tip over...

                    1. re: bluehensfan

                      Michael Solomonov NEVER fails to impress me when I go to Zahav. The difference between the great Philly chefs and a lot of other places? They're in the kitchen.

                      1. re: ladybugthepug

                        During my last dinner at Zahav, Solo was definitely not in the kitchen--but it was still stellar. I don't know how much he cooks these days, he seems pretty focused on Federal Donuts.

                        1. re: barryg

                          Admittedly, I haven't been there in three months (I live in Cleveland). The three times I've been there he's been in the kitchen twice and was in Israel the other time. Don't even talk to me about Federal Donuts. I'm wondering if that spice master guy at Zahav was coming up with the fried chicken breading FD. If my travel schedule wasn't so full for the next few months, I'd definitely be getting in on a long weekend in Philly.