Tickets Are Now On Sale For the Best Of Philly Soiree

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Yes, it is almost that time again, folks. With August will come our big, yearly Best Of Philly issue, and with our Best Of Philly issue will come our big, yearly Best Of Philly party–a soiree being held under the stars at Dilworth Plaza on Thursday, August 4.

There will be food. There will be booze. There will be entertainment (both of the customary, music-based variety and the always amusing drunken-people-watching variety) and opportunities to sample some of the other best things in Philly. The best restaurants in the city will be there to feed you and the best bars and bartenders will be on hand to keep you well lubricated while you wander around a beautiful outdoor space. And all it will cost you is $99 to get in the door.

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In Between Night Markets: Three Food Truck Events From The Food Trust

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July is already going to be busy in Philly. And if food trucks are your thing, then we’ve got some good news for you. The Food Trust (the folks behind all the Night Markets) have laid on three food truck events to fill the gap between the Callowhill Night Market (which happened back on June 23) and the next event, which will be in a new location in West Philly on September 1.

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Buying Cool: Wm. Mulherin’s Sons Reviewed

Woodfired oven at Wm. Mulherin's Sons | Photo by Michael Persico

Woodfired oven at Wm. Mulherin’s Sons | Photo by Michael Persico

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons is the best-smelling restaurant I’ve been to all year.

It’s pretty, sure. Big, new, shiny, polished, fitted out with rich woods, artisan tile and carefully preserved architectural flourishes. But when you’re playing at this level, who isn’t pretty? Packaging matters. Every crack in the walls, every scuff on the floor or scab of tarnish on metal is as deliberate as the gleam on the walnut tables (as though the trees were grown to no other purpose than to be made into them, arranged in this order). There’s a big new skylight that lets brilliance spill in like water. The bar is long, brick-backed and achingly well stocked. The tall windows don’t rattle when the El snaps past, but you can feel it—roaring like a memory of dinosaurs and catching you right below the heart. This place has the design culture of second-gen hipsterism in its bones.

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The All-New List! 50 Best Restaurants

Double Knot | Photo by Jason Varney

Double Knot | Photo by Jason Varney

This is it.

There was a time when we waited two years to update our list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Philly. But no more. Our restaurant scene moves too fast these days: It’s an ever-changing riot of famous names, top-shelf liquor, and weird things being done with vegetables. So from now on, we’re revising our big list every six months and noting who’s hot, who’s cooling, and who the new serious players are.

In other words, this is where you should be eating right this minute. So what are you waiting for?

The 50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia »

The Mathematics of Sandwiches: Stove & Tap Reviewed

Brisket sandwich at Stove & Tap | Photo by Craig Slotkin

Stove & Tap | Photo by Craig Slotkin

On a Sunday night, Stove & Tap is busy. Not full, but I’m not really sure there would ever be enough people dining out in Lansdale on any given night to fill the place completely, what with two floors, outdoor tables, multiple bars and an upstairs patio. It’s big, loud, hot, polished, beautiful, and there’s a bear—a taxidermied brown bear in the front window, standing on its hind legs with a sign asking people not to feed it.

I wanted to buy a stuffed bear once. I found it at a pawnshop in Royersford, standing amid the hocked stereos and stationary bikes. It was a nice bear—huge and fierce—and my wife, seeing the wild look in my eyes, offered what was not exactly a rare connubial ultimatum and said I had a choice to make: her or the bear. Piece of advice? Don’t ever hesitate when offered those options. I did. For perhaps half a second too long. Now, years later, she still won’t let me forget it—the day I considered, however briefly, trading my wife for a pawnshop bear.

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Farmers Road Drive Thru Is Closing In Chadds Ford

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For three years, Farmers Road Drive Thru has been a dependable, healthy drive-thru spot in Chadds Ford. But now, they’re closing down. This is what the press release says:

“After a successful 3 years, Farmer’s Road will be CLOSING its doors in Chadds Ford to bring Farmer’s to new territories (actively scouting drive thru locations).”

And that’s weird, right? I’m not the only one who thinks that sounds weird?

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The Revisit: Opa

Fig Dakos at Opa | Photo via Opa

Fig Dakos at Opa | Photo via Opa

When Opa first opened, it was loud, brash, crowded and dull. The kitchen seemed incapable of dependably executing the most basic dishes. The cooks were occasionally flummoxed by the simple interaction of meat and fire and would season things like toddlers given a spice rack to play with. I’d seen dudes in the park fresh off the spike who moved with more purpose than the floor staff on a weeknight, and the crowds that mobbed the place were a weird collection of neighborhood regulars and knots of sports-coated business bros who’d cluster like wolves at the corners of the bar, laugh too loud, and order rounds of Heineken and Amstel Light like they were on the last night of their package tour to Ibiza.

Back in the day (August 2011, to be exact), Trey Popp, Philly Mag’s restaurant critic at the time, gave the joint one-and-a-half stars, which I thought was too many by three. I hated the place pretty much unreservedly, and in the augmented-reality Terminator vision I have while clocking restaurants in this city, I always saw Opa with a big red X through it and the words AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

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Old City Eats Starts This Thursday

fried cheese curds at La Peg

fried cheese curds at La Peg

Old City REALLY wants you to visit. They want this so much, that they’ve now got their own version of Center City Sips that they’re calling Old City Eats. Clever, right?

So here’s the deal. While the Center City District is all about getting bargain priced drinks into your hands every Wednesday evening, the Old City District are counter-programming with their own deal, with 32 restaurants offering half-price small plates, off-menu specials, chef collaborations plus $5 drinks every Thursday from 5pm-8pm through August 25.

We’ve also got the list of everyone who’s playing along (and what they’re serving)

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