Chances are you’ve never been to the corner of Broad and Belfield in North Philadelphia, and that, my friend, is your loss. Because should you proceed 46 blocks north of City Hall into the uppermost reaches of this divine metropolis, you’d find the bright, glowing temple of deep-fried decapods known as Sid Booker’s Shrimp. Now, we love us some fried shrimp at Chickie’s & Pete’s, at the Clam Tavern in Clifton Heights, at Snockey’s and at DiNardo’s, but none of them can topple the Colonel of Shrimp, as the 70-year-old Booker has been known since he opened his spot in 1966. The lightly breaded, fried-just-right butterflied shrimp are best tossed with salt, pepper and a little hot sauce before being laid on a bed of grease-soaking chips, which the friendly lady behind the bulletproof-glass takeout window will be more than happy to do. Just don’t ask her for anything but shrimp, because shrimp is what they sell. Well, you can get french fries, but as the note on the wall indicates, “No fries without shrimp.” 4600 North Broad Street, 215-329-4455.
Taste: Eat This Now: Sid’s Shrimp
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, March 2009