Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Front Street Fountain

1 W Front Street
Media, PA 19063
(610) 565-4130

Everybody's Hometown has a lot of great little Mom and Pop shops. Front Street Fountain is the perfect place to stop in for a hot dog or burger and some ice cream.

If you have kids, this is the place to go. It is always packed with young ones who are equally excited for a grilled dog as they are for a milkshake. Myself, I was most excited for chili cheese fries.

The fries were perfectly crispy, the cheese perfectly processed, and the chili was salty and chock full of meat. I was a happy camper.

They also layered the toppings quite nicely, making sure they were distributed throughout.

I wanted to give the burgers a try. The bleu onion boasted BBQ sauce, bleu cheese, and an onion ring. When I ordered, I had thought there might be a little more to it than that. I was wrong. I was wishing for some lettuce, tomato, onion, or something. I guess I should have known that the was quite literal. Anyway, from the below picture, I believe you can assess the situation as dry.

This was not a $7.25 burger. Especially when I could go to Freddy's and get a meal for that amount. The patty itself was under-seasoned and overcooked. The bread was overwhelming. The onion ring was nicely fried, but that was certainly not going to save this one. It was reminiscent of something that would be at a church cookout.

I had better luck with the crispy chicken club. The roll was fresh and spongy. The vegetables were crispy, as were the chicken and bacon. It ate more like a meal than the burger, and was a much better value.

The chicken breading was deliciously crunchy, and well fried. I needed extra mayo, but that usually is the case anyway. It wasn't mind blowing, but it was solid enough. Next time, I would recommend sticking to the chicken, dogs, and ice cream.

Clearly it's a family place and the kids all seemed more than happy with their plates so if you find yourself babysitting or on a road trip through Media with your niƱos, stop on in.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spatola's Pizza

20 West Lancaster Avenue
Paoli, PA 19301
(610) 644-1544

Pizza in the burbs is typically better than pizza in the city. Before you raise the pitchforks, hear me out. The average pizza place in the city (not high end), has some medium thickness crust that tastes like cardboard, and bland rubbery cheese that tastes like nothing. Often called "Greek style" it's garbage. The average suburban pizza place at LEAST makes a thin slice and uses real cheese. Now obviously there are exceptions, but this is often the case. You hit about any spot in South Jersey and the pizza is at least decent. I have ordered and not eaten pizza a number of times in Philly because I would rather go somewhere and eat something better. Spatola's is one of the suburban places that is hard to top.

They offer a larger number of slice pies, strombolis, and breadsticks.

Oh, and these insane little mushroom rolls.

Did I mention the pepperoni sticks? Holy hell. Look at that delightful little cheese topper, complete with parsley sprinkle.

Obviously those two items had to be mine. The pepperoni sticks were amazing. They were also something like $2 so they made for a hell of a cheap snack. The bread was nicely browned, the cheese made for a nice stringy pull-apart, and the pepperoni left just enough grease to keep it salty and tasty. These are like an adult version of a hot pocket. I am in love.

The mushroom roll was a bit more refined. Sauteed funghi with carmelized onions, and mozzarella. Another great little snack. I was carbo-loading before my pizza course was ready.

One of my favorite parts about the whole place is that they offer Trenton-style slices as well as the regs. Simple sauce of crushed tomatoes, a bit of salt and herbs. The thin, square crust was perfectly cooked, and had an addictive crunch.

Not to be outdone, I threw a slice of sausage on the order as well. Thinly sliced meatcurls adorned the top of this one, and it was cheap pizza perfection once again. A slightly sweet sauce, quality cheese, and thin crunchy crust were augmented by the meaty, fennel laced ribbons on top. Once again, they hit this one out of the park.

This is not something you should run out of your house to seek, because it's a just a local pizza place. But it is the type of place that you should hope your neighborhood has, a perfect by-the-slice pie place where you don't have to eat shitty pizza from a greasy cook that doesn't care, nor dress like an idiot and choose from the latest fad toppings while waiting in line with a bunch of hipsters. It's a perfect pizza joint.

Monday, January 12, 2015


1122 Baltimore Pike
Glen Mills, PA 19342
(610) 459-9494

Thanks to the generosity of Realtor extraordinaire Jeanne Whipple [insert shameless plug for her amazing abilities to find and sell Philadelphia real estate here], I was given the opportunity to eat more wings than I should have ever wanted. Jeanne won an auction that included a 100 wing VIP party at Hooters in DelCo, and for some reason she was not especially interested. Luckily my gluttony knows no bounds, so it was quickly snatched up and an impromptu wing night commenced.

While I waited for the other members of my wing committe to arrive, I sat at the bar and had a very large, very cheap domestic draft poured by the lovely young lady seen here.

When the team arrived, we decided it wasn't enough to have more wings than a group of five (including two young ladies that were not known for their fat kid prowess), so we got some fried appetizers. We are gross. Curly fries were first up, with molten cheese dip, and salty seasoning. These were damn good. Like a well cooked version of Arby's famous fries.

The fried pickle chips were really, really good. Among some of the better versions I have tried. Crinkle cut pickles sliced relatively thin, were breaded and fried crispy. Not much to complain about here.

Next thing you know, the wings started coming out. Now unbeknownst to the eaters, a group member had previously "dated" a server at this very location. This was years in the past, but it led to a couple of insider tips (including the fried pickles recommendation). However this gentleman forgot to mention that the wings could (and should) be ordered "naked" or without breading. We therefore started with 40 breaded wings, which severely reduced our capacity for later consumption. Below are the hot and honey Thai (front and rear respectively).

The breading was not bad, and I am not usually a breaded wing fan (fried chicken is not the same as wings). They were actually kind of crunchy still, but man did that breading fill you up.

The hot were fine, but the honey Thai were definitely the winner of the two. Spicy, sweet, it was vaguely reminiscent of Korean wings.

No blue cheese was needed, but that didn't stop us.

After a couple of pitchers, we worked up the nerve to order five more flavors. Spicy garlic, Daytona (sweet/spicy/smokey), chipotle honey, BBQ, and lemon pepper. Notice, these were ordered naked, and crispy, and they were a VAST improvement. The way wings should be. I can't tell you much more than these wings were pretty damn good. Daytona style was a sleeper. Some of these packed serious heat. Some not so much. I was in a delirious state of chicken skin and salt, so they kind of blended.

To their credit, they were all cooked extremely well - at our request of 'extra crispy' – and packed a necessary crunch.

Overall, I would not be against coming back for a wing night. At all. The beer is pretty cheap, the food was very well done for what it is supposed to be, and the company was perfect. Not a bad night at all. Now the next morning was a different story. Meat sweats all the way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Luigi and Giovanni's

Catering & Specialty Foods
3601 Chapel Road
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 353-2080

Newtown Square has Cut Above as their hoagie mecca. I love that place. But I was recently tipped off to a little joint I never even knew existed, a couple hundred yards from Cut Above Deli. It's part DiBruno, part Whole Foods, and part Cut Above.

They offer packaged meats (for cooking or eating) as well as three meat counters- one for the fancy stuff, one for the raw stuff (butcher), and one for hoagies and lunch meat. Amazing.

They have a wide selection of awesome rolls.

And here is the deli counter. Notice the fresh strombolis sitting on top? I certainly did.

I decided to start with the Italian, as that is a great barometer of how good a deli is.

If you look at the insides of this seeded roll, you will see a variation on the DelCo meat wrap, ham and salami wrapped with sharp provolone, tucked on top of hot and sweet peppers, onions, tomato, and lettuce. This is a damn good hoagie. Everything is in balance, just enough meat, multiple threads of cheese woven throughout, and plenty of veggies so you can pretend it's somewhat healthy (it's not). The roll was crispy and chewy, and the meat was freshly sliced. It was also about $6.50. So that's tough to beat.

The stromboli was impossible to resist, so I ordered one as well.

The paper thin bread was tightly wound around the spicy pepperoni and provolone. This was ridiculously good. I am always a sucker for a boli though, as it's the easy take and eat in the car option when you can't wait to get home. Basically a high-end hot pocket. And I am totally okay with that. If you are in the area, it's worth checking out Luigi and Giovanni's for certain. Not to mention the various square pies, pre-made Italian foods, and the incredible meat and cheese selection.

If you're having a get together and don't feel like cooking a damn thing, hit them up and you won't be disappointed.