Palizzi Social Club Just Might Be the Hardest Table to Score in America

Photo by Jason Varney

Palizzi Social Club hasn’t added any new members since landing on Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants list. The reason why — presumably — was to keep it honest. Palizzi, since its inception a century ago, was a club strictly for Philadelphians (sure, Italian-expats-only at first, but, over the years, its grown to accept members from all backgrounds), and club president, owner, and chef Joey Baldino wants to keep it that way. Bon App readers visiting Philly for a weekend, buying memberships for one night, and leaving the next just doesn’t fit the Palizzi model.

It’s been nearly two months of no-new-memberships, but the club still manages to draw national appeal. Today, Esquire included it as an honorable mention on its list of the 18 Best New Restaurants in America — even though you might have to know somebody who knows somebody to get in.  Read more »

Cheu Noodle Bar, Wiz Kid Pull Out of Whole Foods

There’s no doubt that the Cheu brand is a winning concept. Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz struck gold when they opened their inauthentic-by-design ramen bar in Washington Square West. In fact, it was the restaurant’s sheer popularity that attracted Whole Foods in the first place when it was still in the planning stages of its now-year-old Rodin Square location.

But Cheu isn’t exactly an easy operation to run, especially when the space wasn’t designed around the concept like it was in WashWest and, as of July, in Fishtown. Everything’s scratch-made on premises, which is a tough thing for a burn-and-turn quick-serve food stall.

So, today, the guys announced via Cheu’s Instagram that they’ll be closing their Whole Foods outpost for good on Sunday, October 22nd, because “operationally, it wasn’t a food fit.”

Here’s what that means:  Read more »

Tacos and Pizza Had a Baby in South Philly — and It’s Delicious


You can order Mexican pizza pretty late at night in South Philly, which is useful since it’s greasy and salty and has a real gift for soaking up a Saturday night.

It’s a South Philly delicacy, one that passes up culinary convention for something that hits its neighbors — all of its neighbors — closer to home. Because it’s not a tlayuda, those XL tortillas piled with refried beans and whatnot (find them on the menu at La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount); it’s not a coca, either (though Adan Trinidad does a nifty Mexican take on the classic Spanish flatbread over at Pistola’s Del Sur).

It’s an Italian-American and Mexican hybrid, repping its neighborhood like some kind of delicious mascot.
Read more »

Let’s Stop Rat-Shaming Philly Restaurants, Shall We?


Philly’s an old city. Some of its buildings were built centuries ago. Philly also has a real winter, so it gets cold. Plus, the city is obviously teeming with restaurants these days.

Know what mice, rats, roaches — any pests, really — like? They like our old buildings, because our old buildings are easy to navigate (thanks to the generations of pests before them paving the way). They like not freezing to death, too. And they like to eat. In fact, they live to eat.  Read more »

Eat This Now: Lahori Chargha (Whole Fried Chicken) at Wah-Gi-Wah

Photo by Sean Urquhart

We are so lucky to have Wah-Gi-Wah, the Pakistani restaurant in West Philly at the corner of 45th and Chestnut Streets.

Sure, it’s not the most welcoming place in the world: The service isn’t exactly warm, and the space itself feels a bit too large for a restaurant that does so much take-out business. But that’s not the point. Those things don’t matter, and if you’re going there expecting any sort of mood lighting or glassware, then you’re going to have a weird night.

We’re lucky to have it because the naan is baked fresh and so coated in ghee you can practically see your reflection in it. Because, sometimes, if you want it, that same naan gets sprinkled with sesame seeds and stuffed with peppery beef (keema naan). Because it’s messy and fun and cheap.

And, above all else, because of that chicken.  Read more »

50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia: Fall 2017

Oyster House – Photo by Jason Varney

Back in the beginning of the summer, we updated our 50 Best Restaurants list. And in doing so, we flipped the script on the way we do things around here. Instead of a biennial update (like we used to do), instead of an annual update (like we did between 2014 and 2016), and instead of a biannual update (our most recent method), we promised a seasonal update, because in 2017, in our food scene, everything is seasonal — even our lists.

Which brings us to today, our first fall update. Read more »

One of Philly’s All-Time Hot Dog Greats Is Resurfacing at Stockyard Sandwich Co.

The Cincinnati Skyline Dog

We all loved Hot Diggity. It was one of those shops that seemed to effortlessly fit right in on South Street, in the neighborhood, in the city. And when owner Keith Garabedian closed it in 2015, it was a heartbreaking loss to our scene. Not because it’s hard to find a hot dog in Philly (there are plenty of spots in Philly that are talented with tubular meat), but because it’s a rare thing when a restaurant can so fully and completely embrace a community like the way Hot Diggity did — friendly, creative, collaborative, accessible to everyone.

And after two years of laying low, Garabedian will bring back some of his favorite dogs with a pop-up at Stockyard Sandwich Co.

Read more »

Two Big-Deal Chefs Will Open Restaurants at the New Comcast Tower

Greg Vernick (left) and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (right)

Three years ago.

That was the last time anybody was really talking about anything restaurant-related at the new Comcast Technology Center, the sky-scraping giant currently getting built out at 18th and Arch Streets. The last we heard, two restaurants were planned for the building — one at the top, attached to the new Four Seasons Hotel, and the other at the base.

Today, a Comcast representative confirmed the two chefs getting involved.  Read more »

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