Showing posts with label center city lunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label center city lunch. Show all posts

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Corner Foodery

1710 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 567-1500

It's about time the well known bottle shop broke into the real Center City market. I mean, what have the business men and women been doing for their lunchtime six packs to-go all these years?

This place is a collaboration between The Foodery (we all know what that is, right?) and The Corner restaurant (one of the few establishments not owned by Val and Marcie) on 13th. In case the name didn't already make that part obvious.

They have a long wall lined with the usual range of high-end, expensive bottle shop selections, as well as a rotating selection of draught beers on tap.

Their website is terrible.

The interior has got a really great vibe, it's dark but open, modern and classic, and really quite comfortable. There are a few seats at the 'deli' counter, in case you want to do a quick in-and-out. Their interior was the highlight of my experience.

They use Carangi rolls.

The to-go boxes look nice, but they're not at all suited for hoagies of any type. They should be wrapped tightly, swaddled and protected, like a baby. I do like a good bag of UTZ though.

I ordered the "Godfather," which boasted coppa, prosciutto, pepperoni and prov with LTO. A basic twist on an Italian, fine. I'll take it. Did I want oil or vinegar? Both, plus a little mayo, of course. I was not asked if I preferred seeded or unseeded, I mean, obviously a sesame-seed roll is mandatory here. Right?

Wrong. And sometimes red onions just don't cut it on an Italian. Especially this one. There was little-to-no meat for a $10 sandwich and the roll was so thick in comparison to the fillings. It was a jaw strainer for sure. It was some sort of heavy-handed sourdough roll.

Not to mention the mealy canal of dough where they overdid the vinegar. Meh. But hey, let's look at the bright side, I ate the whole thing anyway and the pickle was delicious!

Considering I'm never getting take out beer during the work day, I don't think The Corner Foodery will ever see my beautiful, hoagie inhaling face again.

Friday, May 3, 2013


17 S 21st St.
Philadelphia 19103
(215) 972-8203

With a minor hangover on Thursday, I felt the need for the comfort of a cheesesteak.

I took my lunch break and headed to Tony's.

I've always heard pretty good things about their cheesesteaks and breakfast sandwiches, but I'm not often in this section of the city, and when I am, you can either find me at Shake Shack, Dolce Carini or Primo for lunch.

The advertised special sounded perfect – at under $7 for a mini cheesesteak, fries and a can of soda, there wasn't really any other option. Unless, of course, you want the Italian + chips for $4.99!

The inside is narrow and a bit dingy. It just looks like they care so much about the food that the other parts don't really matter, which is fine with me. I wasn't eating in, and never will, so it's just a minor observation.

The "mini" cheesesteak is about 6 inches of greatness. He asked if I wanted salt & pepper on it or on the side, so I said on. I also ordered a side of Whiz for fry dipping ($.95 well spent).

The meat was finely chopped, of great quality and peppery - this addition of the S&P was definitely notable and a good decision. The roll was perfectly chewy. American and fried onions added just the right amount of moisture, no ketchup needed here.

The fries could have used some of that S&P too, but the Whiz made up for that lack of seasoning.

This is probably the best cheesesteak in Center City. I'd actually send people here. I wonder if the cheesesteak hoagie has finely shredded lettuce pieces. If anyone knows, let me know - I want that to be my next order at Tony's.

Monday, April 8, 2013

MeltKraft | Valley Shepherd Creamery

(Reading Terminal Market)
12th & Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 639-3309

The Reading Terminal Market has just about every kind of food you might want. So it was no surprise that a cheesemaker has somewhat recently taken residence, and is cranking out some amazing fromage.

They also have a specialty grilled cheese bar.

The most popular sandwiches are prepped, assembly-line style, before a trip to the hot press.

I decided to try one that was toasted, and one that featured their fresh-made mozzarella without toasting.

The "classic mozz" was simple and delicious. Fresh mozzarella, soppresetta, and roasted tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.

There was a significant amount of soft, buttery, salty cheese inside, and the crunchy baguette was a great vessel for delivery.

If I were to make one change, I would probably look for just a bit more acidity, as the rich flavors were definitely there in force. I really liked this simple sandwich, and their house made fresh mozzarella was incredibly good.

The other choice was the "Melter Skelter." This was a non-traditional style grilled cheese with raclette cheese, pickled green tomatoes, crushed BBQ chips, jalapeno, and watercress.

This was no diet sandwich. Between the butter, cheese, and chips, this was a heavy-duty lunch. I could have used some more jalapeno, BBQ chips, and watercress to cut some of the heaviness, but it was definitely a good grilled cheese. As should be expected, the focus is on the cheeses themselves, and they are damn good. Not to mention, they are very generous, with the cheese.

You also get a chance to see them at work, right next to the olive bar (not to be missed).

As we all know, RTM has many offerings and the new Valley Shepherd cheese & grilled sandwich shop is a welcome addition.

Monday, November 26, 2012


32 S 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 324-3936

Grillicious is another venture in the same location as the short lived falafel place “CRISP”. After my meal at Crisp a while ago, I was hoping that something better was in store for this great spot. Grillicious did not disappoint, and even improved on some of its predecessor's missteps.

They stuck with the same build-your-own setup, but added meat to the menu of protein options. Big fan of that decision.

The evolution of the ordering process is laid out below.

I went with a flatbread sandwich, and a salad bowl.

The salad bowl is HANDS DOWN the way to go. You get more food, AND it's served with a flatbread anyway.

The salad comes with your choice of ingredients, I chose tomato cucumber salad, onion, parsley, and feta. My protein was the beef kefta kabob, and it also came with falafel - a generous foursome. There is a number of sauces/dressings to choose from and the Amba Wamba sounded like a good one - their take is a pickled mango-chipotle cream that added a nice tang.

Because just one dressing is never enough, I opted for two; although the spicy tahini was a bit under spiced, the amba wamba held strong. I will also say, in contrast to Crisp's execution, the falafel was very good this time around. The crispy exterior gave way to a moist, light, well seasoned interior. A major improvement on the previous version.

The kafta was delicious. A light and crunchy, tender and juicy, slightly smoky (so many descriptors, I know) meat puck added a rich contrast to the healthiness of the salad, and when taken with the falafel and flatbread, made for a hearty meal. At $1 more than the flatbread, it is definitely worth the investment.

It's not that the flatbread was bad, it just didn’t have the substance of the salad. The bread itself was tender and nicely spongy with a smack of char-grilled flavor. The marinated boneless chicken was meat pulled from the thighs, and made for a delicious (and, yes, grillicious) filling.

The ingredients are mostly the same across the board, and I did still enjoy the flatbread. But for the value, I have to recommend the salad. Filling and delicious, go for extra sauce(s) on the side as their tiny to-go containers don’t thoroughly take care of the salad unless used en-mass.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pagano's Market

2001 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 523-6200

Pagano's is a DiBruno Brother's type place that caters to white collar workers in Center City. I wrote about the outpost of it here last year, but felt a trip was deserved to the main location.

They get awfully busy during lunch, and the office workers swarm the "gourmet" foods offered.

There is a large salad bar, one at which (unfortunately) I will never be able to eat. Every time I have ever tried to take the healthy route, my food eyes have ended up costing me AT LEAST $15. For a damn salad. I guess I like heavy vegetables.

They also have a pizza station, that includes stromboli's. It looked good, but I was here for sandwiches.

You get into the appropriate line, and try to decipher what you want on this particular occasion. It didn't take me too long. Although I changed my choices a couple of times on the way to the front.

Most of the sandwiches are pre-made, but they will dress them to order.

Always a sucker for chicken cutlets, I had to try the sharp prov and spinach with a side of sauce.

This one did, however, look like a salad even I could get behind.

They dress hot sandwiches according to your requests.

Also, don't forget to grab a side of pickles. They are delicious.

I started with the Italian classico. It had the traditional assortment of cured Italian meats on it, but they were definitely of higher quality than usual.

The crusty roll was really, well, crusty. It was good though. Different than I am used to. The proscuitto was also quite good. Deep crimson in color, it was tender and packed with rich pork flavor.

The other meats and sharp provolone were also quite tasty. I think the roll might have been a bit overkill, but luckily I had oil, vinegar, AND mayo to lube it up. A solid Italian, though it was a bit steep at $10.

The chicken cutlet/parm, didn't fare quite as hot. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't the best I have had. The sauce was incredibly bland, and nothing about this sandwich "popped". It was very one note.

The cutlet itself was pretty good, but again, without any spice or enough salt, no contrasting flavors, it just didn't "cut" it. It could have also taken a bit of a pounding - more surface area and less (dry) breast to cut through with every bite.

I would go back to Pagano's, but probably only if the Kennedy Food Garden was closed. I think the couple of dollars less per item make the difference, but that's just me. Pagano's is certainly good enough, and if I worked in one of these buildings I would probably be here quite often. Has anyone had the pizza?