Sun’s out, buns out. This week, dig into our roundup of our favorite burgers, take a look at a summertime beer based on Wawa’s strawberry lemonade, help a restaurant’s free-lunch program, and — to top it all off — explore new pizza options.
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We think these burgers are sizzling
The Philadelphia area has many great burgers, but we have some clear favorite burgers, ranging from an off-menu, secret burger to patties from an old-school spot that has been serving burgers for nearly 100 years. I realize that some will have a beef with our picks. Email me your favorite (and tell me why it rocks your world), and we’ll revisit.
Hoagie vs. cheesesteaks as the iconic Philly sandwich? Watch a debate
Our forum “Inquirer LIVE: Agree to Disagree” brings issues to life in a fast-paced debate show in which we tackle new ideas and challenge long-standing conventions held by Philadelphians. Yes, even food. You can watch Hawk Krall and Reuben Harley going bite-for-bite over a meaty issue: Should cheesesteaks be the sandwich that defines this city? Or is it the hoagie? Roll video.
A ‘summer crusher’ from Wawa and 2SP Brewing
Wawa and 2SP Brewing Co., two Delco institutions, have gotten together on a beer-verage called Sunfest Strawberry Lemonade Shandy. It screams summer crusher, they contend. Staff writer Stephanie Farr also wonders if it will give Twisted Tea Light a run for its money.
I cannoli think of dessert now
Cannoli, that classic Italian dessert served as tube-shaped shells with a variety of fillings including ricotta, vanilla cream, and chocolate cream, are a Philadelphia favorite. Here are our favorites.
How you can help
Chef Kurt Evans and Muhammad Abdul-Hadi, business partners in Down North Pizza (2804 W Lehigh Ave.), have just started offering lunches to their North Philly neighbors on Tuesdays — a slice of a No Betta Love pizza, “naked” fries, three chicken tenders, and a beverage. They’re aiming to give away 200 to 300 at a clip as part of their mission to do good in the community. Abdul-Hadi told me that each box costs about $6, and I thought that “Let’s Eat” readers might want to step up. They plan to set up a donation link, but you can Venmo funds to Abdul-Hadi via @dwnnrthpizza.
Daniel Gutter and crew mark the debut of Pizza Plus’ West Philly location (4814 Spruce St.), effective Wednesday, June 23. Menu includes sandwiches and fries, along with 9-inch pan pizzas and 16-inch hand-tossed. Hours: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. daily. Gutter’s empire includes Pizza Plus in South Philly, Circles + Squares in Kensington, The Commodore in Mount Airy (a real surprise), and Bourbon & Branch in Northern Liberties.
» READ MORE: Our picks for the best pizza in Philadelphia
Pizza Jawn (4330 Main St.) will host tasty walk-up eats at the Manayunk Arts Festival (June 26-27), starting at 11 a.m. David Lee will host Dan Peskin, whose Lobster Rolls & More pop-up fare will include lobster rolls as well as a collab on white clam pizza slices. Jenn Zavala (aka @foxyladychef) will collab with mini-birria calzones with consomme for dipping. Lee will offer cheese and pepperoni slices (in regular and vegan versions), garlic knots, and mini-meatball sliders.
Eeva, the pizzeria/bottle shop/bakery from ReAnimator Coffee, finally opens for dinner service Wednesday, June 23 at 310 W. Master St. in Kensington. The smartly appointed, elegant surroundings include a wood-fired Mugnaini oven. Mark Capriotti and Mark Corpus are keeping eeva-rything tight: the wine list (six by the glass, five more by the bottle), six pizzas, and the small plates. Initial hours are 4-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. The bakery side of eeva, featuring country sourdough, naturally leavened baguettes, bagels, cookies, and focaccia, has been expanded to 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reserve through the website.
Amanda Shulman, a Vetri Cucina alumna and the opening executive sous chef at Vetri Cucina in Las Vegas, is testing the restaurant biz with Her Place Supper Club, an utterly charming BYOB pop-up with a bustling dinner-party-in-the-kitchen vibe, in the Rittenhouse storefront at 1740 Sansom St. that previously housed Slice Pizza and a short-lived version of Swiss Haus Pastry. She’s committed through July, and August is TBD. Her Place’s set menu ($65 a head), which can change on the fly, goes online at 6 p.m. Sundays. The 18 seats turn over twice a night Wednesday to Saturday.
The Coventry Deli at 2000 Market St., which shut down in September 2020 as the Center City office-lunch crowd vanished, has reopened. Owner David Rovner says he and staff served 301 people on Tuesday — a fraction of the 1,500 they fed pre-pandemic but still encouraging. Hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays.
Healthful frozen desserts have a home in South Philly. Kevin Kramer and Courtney Harding opened a storefront for The Chilly Banana, their banana-whip cart. It’s at 932 E. Passyunk Ave., across from Royal Tavern. Hours: 1-9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, noon-9 p.m. Saturday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
The Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, together with Garces Foundation, Jefferson Health, Penn Medicine, Puentes de Salud, and Temple Health, has launched a COVID-19 vaccine initiative for hospitality employees, their families, and community members. First pop-up clinic is Saturday, June 26, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at 167 W. Laurel St. in Northern Liberties. Each participant will receive a $20 gift card. A second clinic will be July 10 at Cottman and Frankford Avenues in Mayfair.
General Tsao’s House is days old at 1720 Sansom St., a few doors from Her Place. It’s the former SuGa, lightly redecorated from Ed Eimer’s original design. (The mural of a Mongolian woman near the bar and the gorgeous mirrors in the rear dining room remain.) Liquor license is on the way, while chef Dou — who uses one name — is turning out a menu of Sichuan/Jiangnan dishes. This is a second restaurant for Dan Tsao, who owns Chinatown’s Emei (a fave of Philly’s native-Chinese population), publishes the Metro Chinese Weekly newspaper, and last year founded the RiceVan delivery service. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.