Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Wok Street

1518 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 693-3010

I was invited to visit Wok Street recently to see what they have to offer. It is the same folks as Hai Street (which makes the sushi burritos I love), so I figured it would be a good meal and well worth my time. Tucked behind the tree here on Chestnut, next to the venerable Popeye's, you find Wok Street.

They specialize in Southeast Asian-style street food.

The interior had the industrial loft thing going on – nice and roomy with that city living feel.

It looked like a hip Chipotle (I can't help but use my old fave as the bar for comparison with all fancy-ish fast-ish food joints). But there was tons of counter space and for being so deep, the dining area was well lit.

As fast/fresh casual restaurant frequenters will recognize, you pick your option, soup, bowl, or sandwich, and work your way down the line customizing your order. If you prefer, you can go with the established favorites as an alternative.

I went with the staff favorites, chicken banh mi and the pickled peanut pork bowl. On the side, I was told to try the tofu cheesecake and the ginger lemonade, so I didn't deny those extras.

The pork bowl had white rice, brussel sprouts, braised pork, peanut sauce, pickled red onion, scallion, cilantro, and roasted peanuts.

The tart and tender pork was perfectly braised, and melted when picked up with chop sticks, or pushed around to scoop up some of its compatriots. It was a filling and quite delicious bowl, with a variety of flavors and textures to keep you interested. I would eat a lot of lunches here.

The chicken banh was small but well done, with teriyaki chicken (a total guilty pleasure of mine), hoisin mayo, cucumber, jalapeƱo, pickled red onion, and cilantro. Ask for extra mayo on the side, and add some chili sauce if you want to spice things up. At less than $7, this was a great quick meal, and the portion size will keep you honest. Enough to be full, but they certainly won't be rolling you out of there.

All of the veggies were fresh and crunchy, and I loved the pickled red onions.

A surprise was the tofu cheesecake. Thankfully it was served in a small container, not because it wasn't delicious, but because I was so full. I was pretty shocked with this tofu-based dessert being so delicious, it had a sour and sweet play going on that was addicting. I would definitely recommend checking out this local "Chiptole of Asian" for a quick and cheap lunch or dinner, especially if you are craving something fresh and healthy-ish.

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