Pennsport, More Than Just Doughnuts

When Federal Donuts sold out of fried chicken Monday we were forced to ask where else in Pennsport is there to eat. The answer is there are a lot more options than some Foobooz commenters seemed to think.They might not be the fanciest places but there is good hearty fare to be had.

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2nd Street Brew House – 12 rotating taps, 65 beers by the bottle and nightly events and deals make this new craft beer bar a neighborhood favorite.

Beer Heaven – Located in the strip mall at Columbus and Washington Ave this beer store has a good enough selection and better prices than several other neighboring beer stores. And lots of parking too.

Caffe Valentino – This Italian BYOB has been survived the test of time. Check them out on Tuesdays when 4-courses are just $35.

Gooey Looie’s – This sandwich shop has long been a popular spot for in-the-know locals and gourmands who enjoy the monstrous cheesesteaks and hoagies.

Pho Saigon -Open for just about two years now, Pho Saigon has won itself fans for its flavorful broths and reasonable prices.

Rocco’s Italian Sausage – If you’ve been to the Home Depot on Delaware Avenue you know Rocco’s smells good. But take it from us, the taste rivals the smell.

Shank’s Original at Pier 40 -Get the tradition of the original Shank’s on Delaware Avenue.

Strange Brew Coffee – Every neighborhood needs a friendly coffee shop. All the coffee comes from local roasters and sandwiches are brought in from LeBus. Stop by on a Friday evening for some live music.

Taco Loco – Mexican food truck stationed by playground at 4th and Washington. Get the carnitas tacos, they’re cheap and really good.

Ugly American – Check out the Ugly American for quizzo on Thursdays when the signature corn dog is just $1. Also be sure to admire the bar’s art work, including the license plate map of the United States.

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  • Jim

    Happy Dragon (3rd/Snyder) and Terryin (Moyamensin/Snyder) are also good eats.

    New cafe at Moyamensing and Emily looks to be coming in as well. It’s the old location of Nicholas.

  • hh

    grindcore coffee…

  • Mike

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in Caffe Valentino. I always kind of assumed it was a mob front. Or is it just one of those oldhead places that closes at 8pm?

  • ssi

    How do you run out of food? Unreal. Only in Philly could this happen and no one says anything. Philly= Mediocrity=acceptable.

  • Jim M

    Thanks for highlighting my hood.

  • Victor Fiorillo

    Lunch at the Pennsport Pub.

  • hh

    @mike – valentino is usually quite packed on the weekends.
    on week nights it tends to a little slower but still has diners…and the food is quite good…you should check it out…

    they also do really well with their banquet space on the 2nd floor. They must have been doing well to be able to renovate that whole place…

  • hh

    and yes, thank you foobooz for highlighting pennsport!

  • rory

    @Ssi. Are you serious? Running out of food and/or specialties happens all the time at openings and especially at small locations. Scarcity also can help feed demand (oooo! I got some and you didn’t! have you learned nothing from hipsters?). If anything, it shows that Philly’s a legit place–a chicken and donuts spot in a relatively out of the way neighborhood got *swamped* when it opened.

    haters gonna hate, though, I guess.

  • Willie

    Yeah, but you would think they’d start to correct their production numbers after the first day wipe-out. At least make enough to last through 11am…

    • Thomas

      That surely would never have happened at Voodoo doughnuts

  • barryg

    don’t feed the trolllllssss

  • Abby

    Some of the best places in Pennsport aren’t even on this list. No Village Belle? No Catahoula? No For Pete’s Sake (serious hidden gem)? Fail.

  • Jim G

    @Ssi and Willie:
    Do you two own restaurants? Do you do anything going on in your lives besides constant negative commentary? How about I come into your workplace (if you have one) and talk about how you do things? It’s mid-day on a Thursday, maybe you should be worrying something else other than FD running out of doughnuts.

  • hh

    well it looks like now they’re closing up shop at 1:00 pm

  • hh

    Abby, those places are in Queen Village (i know…not that big of a jump away but staunch regionalists will put you in your place right away)

  • barryg

    @Abby, they aren’t in Pennsport.

  • barryg

    It is a big jump, the only one of those places even within a couple blocks of Pennsport is For Pete’e Sake. Philadelphians love arguing over neighborhood boundaries but this isn’t even close.

  • hamburglar

    Pennsport Pub. Fantastic place for a lunch date. Especially if you like having taint in your face while you eat a cheesesteak.

  • Willie

    Hey Jim, I’m a chef, just started my day, so yes I do have the time to comment and the expertise to make comment. Running out of product two days in a row is either intentional to create a sense of demand or just not excusable.

    And, BTW, blow me.

  • Willie

    And before you decide to run your mouth again, I can assure you that the last two businesses I’ve worked for have had a strict “no 86s” policy. You just don’t get caught with your pants down. What did they expect, no one was gonna show up with the unholy hype given to their business? They made 20 dozen fancy donuts the first day – REALLY?? Did you really think that was gonna make it past 9am?
    This was either blatant stupidity or was done blatantly to feed the hype.

  • Michael G

    What do eat for lunch at the Pennsport Pub? Tater tits…oops i mean tots

  • hh


  • Jim G

    Oh come on – you had to make it sexual and nasty. Worry about your par levels and let them at Federal Donuts take care of their business. I’m so sick of reading complete negativity from people.

  • Jim G

    McDonalds and Burger King have a no “86” policy?
    You are amazing, pat yourself on the back for me.

  • hh

    willie, pennsport hasn’t exactly been a food destination so they could have been exercising a little caution on what quantity to supply…you saw all the comments people were making “its SOOOOOOOO far away…it’s the worst possible location….OH MY GAAAWWDDD…it’s not on 19th and chestnut??!…no one would EVER travel THEEEERRREE for thaaattt” (ahem, you know who you are)
    so you can see why there may have been a little uncertainty…clearly it’s been doing alright so far…so let it be and move on…

  • Tex

    Maybe some people would say that the south side of Snyder is not in Pennsport, but it’s at least close enough to have included John’s Roast Pork on this list.

  • rory

    @willie: yeah, no small, storefront operation has ever had storage, supply, or kitchen limitations on how much it can produce in a day. that never happens for two days in a row!

    christ. if they’re still running out of things in a week, maybe a comment might be worthy. in a month, and they’re being obtuse. in six and they’ll be out of business sooner rather than later.

  • barryg

    @Tex, it’s not on the list. Anyway the south side of Snyder might be one lane of traffic away from Pennsport… not quite the same as 3-5 blocks away like in Abby’s claimed “fail.” Queen Village and Pennsport established and clearly defined neighborhoods separated by a major street. Yea I’m provincial but these aren’t neuvo-hoods like Newbold or Callowhill.

  • Foobooz

    We did this list with the neighborhood exactists in mind. So as much as we wanted to include John’s Roast Pork we didn’t.

  • Mike

    I know a lot of small Philly storefront places where their hours are “until we run out” Delis especially often sell until they run out of bread in the early afternoon.

  • Mike

    What about Shank’s?, That’s above Washington.

  • ssi

    Jim- I run one. And I don’t run out of food. Point is, you can’t get away with this kind of stuff. Simple lack of planning. And from reports of the chef cursing when he announced it, he realized the gravity of chef rule #1–don’t run out of product. It is an indication of how well a restaurant is run.

  • barryg

    @ssi, they’ve been open FOUR DAYS

  • Christian

    @Mike – Shank’s is north of Washington, on the pier at Christian, so that would be Queen Village. Although I wouldn’t call anything between the river and Front St part of a neighborhood. It’s like a Jersey strip mall.

    And honestly, would you really expect to sell 240 donuts in 2 hours on a normal day? Problem was probably too many people coming in and buying a whole dozen right when it opened. If you rationed it first day to 3-4 a customer, that should have easily lasted until 10-11.

  • Christian

    Oh, and who really cares…

  • ssi

    Wow. A restaurant isn’t an accident that suddenly pops up. The fact that some defend this occurrence and are making excuses leads me back to: only in Philly could this happen and no one lights somebody up. Philly= Mediocrity=acceptable. You can run a half-ass operation and get by here.

    • Thomas

      PLEASE let us all know where you and “Willie” work. I’d love to see the expert operations you are involved in that never run out of anything, everything is perfect….ugh

  • Jim G

    Ssi – your tunnel vision is remarkable. The place has been open for 4 GD days. Give them a chance to work out the kinks. Think of a new slogan.

  • Mark

    Actually at Doughnut Plant in NYC they run out of doughnuts every day. I can’t say so much for chicken places, but i know in the doughnut world its common place to sell them until they’re gone. I don’t see anybody in new york lighting up their most enjoyed doughnut spot for running out time after time.

  • bad jack

    You bitter that Solomonov is selling out of food while you’re still sitting on inventory from last weekend, or what, Ssi?

    Joking aside, I’ve been at plenty of well-run, top tier restaurants in other (arguably non-mediocre) cities where things have been 86ed – Momofuko, Soho House, The Slanted Door are a couple examples off the top of my head where I’ve eaten when items were 86ed.

  • Ssi

    The time for a place to ‘work out kinks’ is not on the customer’s time or dime. One commenter said ‘…this stuff happens all the time…’ which engenders complacency and settling for failure. It is not a cut on Solomonov personally. If I made it a point to go to a place on its first day, and they ran out of food so early, I’d be super-pissed, as my time was wasted and now I am still hungry and my lunch hour is over. But since this is not uncommon, it just becomes accepted behavior and breeds low standards of how to treat the people who pay my salary.

  • bhiladelphia

    @ssi – What place do you run?

  • Ssi

    God, if Foobooz could actually come up with more than 1.5 stories a day and not take the weekend off, there wouldn’t be 50 comments on this. Another example of a half-ass job.

  • Jim G

    Ssi – don’t give a “half ass” answer.
    What place do you run?

  • Walter

    If they can sell out of all product that can possibly be produced and they have determined that plan will make money, then they are operating at 100% efficiency. Sounds like a good plan to me

  • John E.

    @ssi – I agree. As paying subscribers to Foobooz, we demand more than 1.5 food blog posts about the “mediocre” food scene here in Philly. Just a horrible half-ass job. . .

    For those who haven’t been to Federal Donuts, it’s a small space, with limited workers. It’s not a big factory. It doesn’t get an unlimited supply of donuts or chicken delivered to it every morning. Even if it wanted to, it could not possibly decide that it wanted to double the first day’s supply of donuts and chicken (which would all still be gone). There just isn’t the time/supplies/poultry to get it done in that space. Perhaps some day, if the demand is still insane, they’ll move to a bigger space or open up another outpost. But for people to criticize it for running out of food in its first few days is asinine. It’s a corner donut and chicken shop! In Pennsport! Who knows what the demand was going to be? Would it have been better to overestimate potential demand, order too much, have wasted a lot of product and go out of business because of expenses? I can assure you from speaking with the folks at FedNuts, they’re working as hard as they possibly can given space/employee limitations.

  • Tex

    But can’t robots work 24/7?

  • Mike

    it’s absurd, so many people clearly expected them to fail based on concept and location, and now they’re being criticised for underestimating demand?

  • DK10

    As a resident of Pennsport, it’s great to see so much buzz over this tiny chicken and donut shop. The fact that it can get so many people from all over the city passionately buzzing about the rate at which they produce and sell out of delicious, top-rate food (and this can’t be denied based about its sold out inventories) is a kick start that Pennsport is in desperate need of. Thanks Federal Donuts, Foobooz, and all the colorful people who helped to highlight the goodness in a charming yet financially struggling area of this awesome city.

  • Jim G

    I was there yesterday and the place was packed with a line going halfway around the block. DK10 – you are right – Pennsport needs some good buzz!

  • Goodluck

    I like the owners of this place. Best wishes for success

  • Audrey James

    Caffe Valentino is my favorite place on the list! I always go on the weekends, and its normally packed. Great food and service always! Definitely check it out!