About 30 restaurants on the way in the region over the next 90 days, and I’ll run 'em down. Also this week, while watching my food budget as I mull my income taxes, I found a Greek newcomer in Conshohocken and dropped into a storefront offering healthful options in Center City.
The city’s restaurant growth continues, to the tune of about 30 restaurants expected to debut in the next 90 days or so.
Most intriguing is the Stephen Starr Mexican eatery coming to Fishtown, next to Evil Genius. He’s partnering with NYC nightlife impresario Serge Becker (La Esquina, The Box). And Starr won’t talk about it yet.
The themes run the gamut and dot the region. You got a hot dog stand opening Monday at 15th and Arch. Then you have Steak 48, a fancy-pants steakhouse, coming to South Broad Street. The Main Line will get an outpost of a successful Northeast Philadelphia Chinese restaurant, as Jin Ding opens where Yangming was in Bryn Mawr. West Chester’s Kooma will open a branch in the King of Prussia Town Center. The city will see two barbecue joints, one of which will also cater to vegans. Jim Marino of Bistro di Marino has a third South Jersey location teed up.
And what can be bad? Nifty Fifty’s is coming back.
Hot Dog Factory | Logan Square
Syndicated hot dog shop opens March 16 at 125 N. 15th St.
Mei Mei | Old City
Stylish Chinese restaurant and lounge at 33 S. Second St.
Pizza Plus | South Philadelphia
Daniel Gutt of Circles + Squares opens March 11 at 12th and Mifflin Streets; it’s takeout only.
ReAnimator Coffee | South Philadelphia
New coffee shop at 13th and Wharton Streets; debut is listed as Saturday, March 14.
Solstice | Newtown
Smart-looking bistro in the Village at Newtown (2948 S. Eagle Rd.) features a bar and menus that will change on equinoxes and solstices.
A Tutti | Wissahickon
Ridge Avenue pizzeria has closed as owner said he gave up selling it.
The Palm | Center City
Onetime power room at the Bellevue closes after 30 years.
Thirsty Soul | West Passyunk/Newbold
Church-themed bar at 16th and Passyunk does last call on Sunday, March 15. It will be reconfigured.
Iron Abbey, 680 Easton Rd., Horsham, 215-956-9600, 4;30-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
Beer heads flock to this medieval-themer in Horsham for the 40 taps plus dozens more in bottles and cans. The food, though, is just as killer. And it’s family friendly.
Happy hour specials include select $4 drafts, $5 cocktails, $5 wines, a $6 draft old-fashioned, and a load of $5 menu items including the Abbey Fries (topped with smoked pork shoulder, cheese sauce, and frizzled onions), spinach artichoke dip, pulled pork sliders, crispy Brussels sprouts and chorizo, roasted garlic hummus, a cheesesteak, mini burgers and fries, and wings with assorted sauces.
Real Food Eatery, 207 S. 16th St., 215-608-8941 (plus 1700 Market St. and 4040 City Ave.
How about wallet-friendly, healthful, home cooking? And in Center City, yet.
Mike Mangold and John Colasante have the right idea at their fast-casual Real Food Eatery locations, which started on 16th Street near Walnut in Center City and joined the Comcast-fueled lunchtime fray on JFK after setting up shop on the Wynnefield side of City Avenue. (The original serves lunch and dinner, while the two others run from breakfast through dinner.)
It’s done lineup/fast-casual style. For about the price of a sandwich somewhere else, you can feast on lemon herb chicken ($9.95), or tofu scramble ($8.95), or spicy chicken ($9.95) over rice, salad, or quinoa, with two sides such as Asian cabbage slaw, or roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary and garlic, or cauliflower, or organic mashed potatoes, parmesan-roasted broccoli. Braised beef ($12.45) and salmon ($13.45) won’t break the bank, either. You also get a sauce, such as a sriracha, soy ginger, or vegan garlic cashew. It’s all gluten-free, including the brownie, berry oat bar, and oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert.
See stores for hours.
Eat Greek, 4 E. First Ave. Conshohocken, 610-941-1200
James Sioutis decided to act on his dream of opening a fast-casual Greek restaurant. With a buy-in from sister-in-law Maria Courpas and the proceeds of his pizzerias in Wayne and Boothwyn, he did just that in downtown Conshohocken at Fayette Street and First Avenue.
Eat Greek hits the basics: avgolemono soup ($4.50, served in a paper cup with a bit wedge of lemon); Greek fries ($4.50), and spanakopita ($5) for starters, plus souvlaki wraps, overstuffed gyros, rice bowls, and dips such as tzatziki, spicy tzatziki, hummus, and tirokafteri). That chicken skewer platter (salad, rice, side of tzatziki, and a hot pita) is $12.
Right now, you order at the counter and sit in the dining room (casual all the way, with strings of lights and ersatz lemon trees on the tables), where your food is run out to your table. Full service is supposed to start soon at dinner.
Hours: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Sushi Hatsu in Ambler is a sleek BYOB with only a six-day wait for omakase. It’s also fresh start for chef Harrison Kim.
Top Chef Jennifer Carroll created a series of whimsical pop-up dinners that will give you a taste of Restaurant Wars.
Meet Joanie Verratti, South Philly’s wizard of limoncello. Her Passyunk Avenue shop sells 10 varieties of it.