Here Are 9 Popular Junk Foods Philly Does Better



There was a time — long before food blogs existed, long before the rise of cheflebrities — when the world assumed kitchen workers ate like royalty at home — because of course they did. Because chefs are around great ingredients every waking hour of the day, there’s no chance that they go home to peanut butter and jelly.

But when the world got obsessed with food, secrets were spilled. And now we know: the guy who built that 18-course menu with caviar and gold leaf? He probably wen’t home to a lovely spread of instant ramen and Arby’s. And there’s no shame in that. The kitchen is exhausting and junk food is easy. It makes sense.

But that’s where the love affair between chef and junk food begins, and it doesn’t stop there. Here, now, nine junk foods reimagined by some of our city’s best chefs.

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Here’s What You’ll Be Eating at Butcher Bar’s New Sunday Brunch

Butcher Bar opens Friday, September 2nd.

If you’re interested in a Saturday brunch, you’re out of luck. Sure, you can drop by Butcher Bar after 11:30 and order off the lunch menu, but that isn’t quite the same, is it?

No, if you’re interested in an actual brunch, Butcher Bar is offering theirs on Sundays only, from 10:30am until 2:30pm, and it started on New Year’s Day.

The offerings are very much in keeping with the style of Butcher Bar’s other menus: Comfort foods, lots of meat, a large-format meal for 6-8 people served family-style. There are beef-jerky-topped bloody marys, huckleberry skillet pancakes, an Italian meatball sandwich, a double cheeseburger called a “Royale With Cheese”. You wanna see the whole menu?

Of course you do.

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Where To Eat This Weekend: Carnitas Bao And Colombian Fusion

Scarpetta offers half-priced cocktails, wine and beer for happy hour.

So you’ve made it through Thanksgiving. Odds are pretty good that you’re home now and free of relatives and relations. So you know what you should do to celebrate? Go out to eat. Or drink. Or both.

And we’re here for you with a list of things to do this weekend that covers the spectrum from Mexican-Asian fusion to happy hour in Rittenhouse Square to more fusion–this time from Colombia, and happening at a bagel shop.

And it begins with…

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Butcher Bar Launches Lunch Service

butcher bar celing 940

The upstairs at Butcher Bar

Center City’s Butcher Bar, from the team behind Varga Bar, Mercato and Valanni is now open for lunch. Though there are some vegetarian dishes, as the name suggests, Butcher Bar is about the meat. Highlights include Sloppy Joe Poutine; a Butcher Bar grinder with sobrasada, rigani salami and provolone; and a $29 plate of steak frites.

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Five Family-Style Meals to Try in Philly Restaurants Now

Photograph by Jillian Guyette

The Trough at Butcher Bar | Photograph by Jillian Guyette

The way we eat today — mixing and matching and plate-sharing — can make ordering when you’re out with a large group a challenge. Which is why restaurants are now creating over-the-top family-style meals where the only thing you have to say is, “We’ll take that.”  Read more »

It’s The Foobooz Fall Restaurant Round-Up


Octopus at Mica

This summer (like all summers) was a pretty slow time for restaurant openings. We had a few big names come through on their promises to switch on the lights, but for the most part, we were eating at the same places in August that we were in June.

The autumn, though? That’s when the opening-and-closing cycle really gets going again, with some of the biggest restaurateurs in the city (Michael Schulson, Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Daragh, Jose Garces and more…) all working to get their new places open before the holidays hit.

So this, then, is the list of the restaurants (either recently opened or upcoming) that have us most excited–the dining rooms we can’t wait to sit in, and the menus we can’t wait to see. It’s going to be a big season in Philly. So here’s where you’ll all be eating in the upcoming months, starting with…

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Opening Menu for Butcher Bar

Butcher Bar opens Friday, September 2nd.

Butcher Bar opens Friday, September 2nd.

Butcher Bar is the latest from the Anni Family, the team behind Varga Bar, Mercato and Valanni. Co-executive chefs Evan Turney and John Strain are turning out a meat-centric affair with sections of its menus titled Butcher Board, Meatballs, Sausages and From the Fire (a selection of dishes that come from the wood-fired grill).

And if you’ve got a crew of carnivores, $250 and 24-hours notice can get you “The Trough” – a feast of rotisserie chicken, house-made sausages, grilled skirt steak, rack of ribs, kabobs, house-smoked bacon, bone-in short ribs, fries and grilled pita.

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Butcher Bar Is Coming To Chestnut Street


If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan living around Rittenhouse Square, times are pretty good. You’ve got V Street and HipCityVeg, Bar BomBon, Govinda’s and Agno Grill. Options abound, and just about every restaurant that isn’t a straight-up temple to vegetables and the creative use of soy offers brilliant, well-considered vegetarian dishes all over their menus.

So you know what this neighborhood needs? A butcher shop.

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Valanni/Varga Owner Applies for Chestnut Street Liquor License


A liquor license application has popped up online for 2034 Chestnut Street. The name on the application is Butcher Bar Inc. and lists George Anni as one of the principals on the license. Anni is the owner of Varga Bar, Valanni and Mercato.

We’ve reached out to several people in the organization and have only received confirmation that the license is coming to Chestnut Street but no word on the concept.

The location was the former home of Wajoe Korean restaurant.