Cheu Noodle Bar started as a pop-up during Philly's short-lived ramen craze.
Now in its 10th month in its home on 10th Street south of Locust in Washington Square West, the dim, narrow hipster hang has settled into a great groove. Shawn Darragh minds the front and the bar while Ben Puchowitz tends the stove, turning out Asian-inspired riffs such as Bolognasian (noodles topped with minced pork, watercress and horseradish), buns (you can go more traditional with pork or mushroom, or avant-garde with cheeseburger) and barbecue pig tails.
The black garlic wings, though, really fly for me. Dusted in cornmeal and prepared Korean-style, they're topped with sesame seeds, shishito peppers, lime, cilantro and a sweet soy sauce. Not spicy at all. Incidentally, the boys are planning a trip to Asia.
Taste of England. Chef collaborations are all the rage. Jennifer Choplin at South Philly's Tap Room on 19th wanted to add bangers and mash - that Brit pub staple - to her menu. A real live Brit came to the rescue with the bangers: Sam Jacobson of Southwark rolls his own. With mushroom-onion gravy and mashed potatoes, this is cold weather food at its wurst. I mean best. Try it with a Firestone Walker Union Jack.