The Philadelphia Flower Show opens this weekend, and while you can eat on-site, we guide you to other nearby options. Also this week: Oyster shells help the environment, Stephen Starr is creating a restaurant at the Wells Fargo Center, a lawyer marks her retirement by bartending at Dirty Frank’s, and Nourish restaurant suffers a fire (again).
But first, a quiz: We also share the news that Insomnia Cookies is moving its HQ to the heart of Center City. What company bought a major stake in Insomnia a few years ago?
A. Weight Watchers
B. Krispy Kreme
C. Little Debbie’s
D. Famous Amos
Think you know? Click here for the answer.
Hey, bud. Here are 15 great food options near the Flower Show.
The Philadelphia Flower Show starts this weekend with its second year in FDR Park in the deep south of South Philly. Where to eat around there? We’ve rounded up our 15 favorite eateries along and south of Snyder Avenue and close to the Broad Street Line. (This octopus dish with almond romesco, black garlic, and olive tapenade at Stina is worthy of a blue ribbon, no?) Among the recommendations are a Mexican cafe, a landmark diner (the Melrose — how floral!), and one of the finest hoagie shops in the city.
Craving hoagies now? Here are our favorites.
Headed to the show? Check out our complete guide.
Insomnia Cookies is coming to Broad Street
Don’t sleep on Insomnia Cookies. The Philly-born late-night cookie retailer is relocating its corporate headquarters from a suburban office park to the heart of Center City — the former three-story Walgreens at Broad and Chestnut. Colleague Jenn Ladd bakes the details into her report: There will be a second-floor test kitchen and the ground level will be a storefront.
Need a cookie right about now? Accept our list of our 21 favorite cookie places.
Touring Thailand with Kalaya’s Nok Suntaranon
Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, chef/owner of the South Philly Thai gem Kalaya, has plenty on her plate. She’s a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s award for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic and has a book deal in the wings. She’s also amping up her vision of what Thai food can be, as she moves her 37-seat BYOB to a much larger space in Fishtown later this year. This called for a road trip, and Inquirer critic Craig LaBan and photographer Monica Herndon tagged along with her to Bangkok, through Southern Thailand, and to the islands near Phuket. Catch the stories, photos, and videos when they go live Thursday.
Recycling oyster shells is a win-win
Why trash your empty oyster shells? They can help clean up waterways. They’re good for growing baby oysters (or mussels) and preventing erosion. A Wilmington-based nonprofit’s shell-recycling program has saved more than 140 tons — roughly 3.5 million shells — from the trash, and last month it started partnering with the Philadelphia Water Department to bring the program to Philly. As Jenn writes, this is a pearl of an idea, saving restaurants fees on trash disposal and keeping a precious resource out of landfills.
Center City District Sips is back
Center City District Sips is back after two years. Dozens of downtown bars and restaurants have joined the seasonal after-work happy hour promo that offers $6 cocktails, $5 wines, $4 beers, and half-priced appetizers every Wednesday from 4:30-7 p.m. through Aug. 31. Here’s the list of participants and their specials.
Sips: Love it or hate it? We asked two Philly scenesters to debate it.
One newer Sips destination is Uptown Beer Garden on JFK Boulevard near 16th Street, which just debuted cabanas with tables, lighting, and cushioned seats.
Starr turning up at the Comcast Center with Café Click
Stephen Starr is indeed taking over the outdoor cafe space on the plaza in front of the Comcast Center, as I reported earlier this spring. The seasonal restaurant, whose menu will have a Frenchy feel, will be called Café Click. (I was hoping for Le BeXfinity.) Opening date is TBD, as workers are scurrying to lavishly landscape. It will be open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays only. Starr, meanwhile, will create a restaurant at the Wells Fargo Center in time for the Flyers/Sixers season this fall as part of his culinary and branding partnership with Aramark.
✔️ Her bucket list: Bartending at Dirty Frank’s
How’s this for a retirement party? Lawyer Sharon Suleta took a bartending shift at Dirty Frank’s in Center City to mark her transition, and as my colleague Ximena Conde writes, all her friends showed up.
The final piece of a restaurant swap is in place as The Dutchess has opened in the original spot of The Dutch in Pennsport. (Previously: The Dutch moved to Passyunk Square earlier this year, replacing the more ambitious Fond.) It’s the same crew (chefs Lee Styer and his wife, Jessie Prawlucki-Styer, and Kevin Watters), and this falafel flatbread is part of the sandwich-based menu.
Nourish, the vegan restaurant that was routed from its South Street location in fall 2020, has again been shut by fire at its subsequent location in the Italian Market. Owner Sarah Scandone seems pessimistic about its future.
The Great Chefs Event, for which Marc Vetri gathers dozens of chefs and food pros to the Urban Outfitters HQ at the Navy Yard, is 1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 11. Benefits Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Cherry Hill Mall is hosting a food truck festival from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, June 11 in the parking lot by Church Road across from Macy’s and JC Penney. Benefits Kamp for Kids.
Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co. will mark its 10th anniversary with bands, food trucks, and vendors from noon-7 p.m. Saturday, June 11 at 909 Ray Ave. in Croydon. Free, all ages.
Randolph’s Bakery in Marlton has announced its closing after 40 years. Last cupcake = June 19.
What you’ve been eating this week
One egg isn’t un oeuf when we’re talking about the egg and Cooper sharp sandwich on buttered sourdough from Maria’s Bread Sandwiches in Collingswood, a favorite of reader @tk_travels. In Fishtown, meanwhile, all kinds of trendy deliciousness came together for @ameliathorn513: It’s the beef birria asada fries from LMNO.