Marc Grika spent decades running restaurants for such folks as Jose Garces, Stephen Starr, China Grill Management, Rainforest Cafe, and Cheesecake Factory.
Earlier this year, he chucked it all, buying Chhaya Cafe at 1819 E. Passyunk Ave. in South Philadelphia and going the solo-operator route. “I don’t know a better feeling than creating and serving delicious food with love and care and then seeing people’s faces light up," he told me back then. "You take a bite, you smile, you feel warm. It’s about nourishment.” (His LinkedIn bio: “Feed people like your grandmother fed you.”)
Effective last month, he’s reconceptualized the East Passyunk storefront into Flannel, an all-day Southern-inspired BYOB bruncherie. Grand opening is Saturday, Oct. 26 from 5 to 9 p.m.
You get tasty, rib-stickin’ food (breakfast all day) in a wood-clad, Edison-bulbed dining room with chipper service.
The kitchen has pimento cheese and it’s not afraid to use it. Start up with a BACT to the Future bagel (that’s bacon, avocado mash, cream cheese and tomato) or maybe a Benny. Truffled egg toast ($8) is mushrooms sautéed with garlic, truffle oil, and chives, melted cheddar and baby arugula, topped with an over-easy egg on country white toast.
Hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. (Sunday dinner is 4-6 p.m., takeout only.) Closed Tuesday.
Speaking of East Passyunk: Get your last tasty bites of Franca DiRenzo’s homespun Italian cooking at Tre Scalini. She is retiring at the end of the year.