Bon Chon Korean Fried Chicken is Coming to Philly

bonchonKorean. Fried. Chicken. I’ll give you a minute.

Bonchon, which means “my hometown” in Korean, already has multiple locations around the world – California, Massachusetts, Korea and Thailand to name a few - but the restaurant is finally bringing its specialities to Philadelphia. Chinatown, to be specific. And the most popular dish? Korean Fried Chicken. Customers choose what type of chicken they want – wings, drumsticks or strips – and what sauce they want it to be slathered in – soy garlic or hot. Then they are free to devour the dish in either a small, medium, large or extra-large size. Bonchon also serves appetizers, salad and platters, like Chicken Katsu.

Look for Bonchon to be turning out its Korean fried chicken this fall. The restaurant will be located at 1020 Cherry Street.

Bonchon [Foobooz]

“Asian Fondue” in Chinatown

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Craig LaBan reviews Simply Shabu in Chinatown and finds that the Asian version of fondue is a hit.

The Chinese woman beside us said the meat portions seemed skimpy compared to her nearby favorites. And no doubt the heap of shaved meat at Happy Noodle Bar dwarfed the eight perfectly rolled curls of sliced beef at Simply Shabu. But there’s a major quality difference: the beef at Happy Noodle was so shabby that it instantly shriveled into wads of yellow fat, while Shabu’s nicely marbled USDA choice rib eye (Pennsylvania-raised like all of Shabu’s meats, and not unlike what goes into a good cheesesteak) remained beefy and superbly tender.

Two Bells – Very Good

Authentic hot pots heat up Chinatown [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Simply Shabu [Official]

Where We’re Eating: Vietnam

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On a recent visit to one of the many hole-in-the-wall pho joints on Washington Avenue, I saw a table of large white construction workers slurping up noodles. And while there might not be anything strange about that today, things weren’t always that way. Twenty-five years ago, when Benny Lai took over Vietnam on 11th Street from his family, no one in this town who didn’t grow up on home-cooked Asian food knew a pho from a bun. Lai opened the door, making the food more accessible while getting lots of us drunk on Flaming Volcanos and other tiki concoctions. These days, there are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants in town. But Lai’s Vietnam (and the mirror-image Vietnam Cafe in West Philadelphia) remains the place for Vietnamese dinner with out-of-towners, the in-laws, etc. Order the barbecue platter (Lai’s version of the pu pu platter), salt-and-pepper fried shrimp and some of those flaming drinks, and you’re good to go. 

Vietnam [Official]

First appeared in the April, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Morning Headlines: Building Artwork Collapses in Chinatown

Screenshot of the artwork at 9th and Race via Google Street View

Screenshot of the artwork at 9th and Race via Google Street View

Tenants living on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of a building on the corner of 9th and Race must have had a rude awakening this morning. At about 4:30am, a piece of artwork attached to the side of the building collapsed and shattered on the sidewalk.

Although there were no injuries, occupants were evacuated as a precaution. L&I was also on the scene, assessing damage to the structure and making sure it was safe.

Read more »

Great New Designs at the Foobooz Store

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We’ve got the coolest t-shirts in Philadelphia:

When we did round one of our Starving Artist Series, artist Justin Rentzel came up with some awesome stuff. We liked it so much we asked him to design our very own Foobooz Starving Artist t-shirt. And that, he did. It’s a Philadelphia Food Pyramid, complete with Schmidts beer, whiskey and lots and lots of pork. It will only be available for a limited time, so order yours now

And while we’re on the subject of t-shirts »

Craig LaBan’s Ultimate Guide to Chinatown

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Photo by Jeff Fusco

Everytime you walk through Fujianese soup dumplings  you can find a new culinary discovery. Such was the case as Craig LaBan discovered Chinese Restaurant, a nondescript storefront where LaBan finds Fujianese soup dumplings and delicate wontons. That is just one of the discoveries the Inquirer’s food critic reveals in this guide that takes you from Chinese waffles to the best duck in Chinatown.

Chinatown: The Ultimate (but never, ever complete) Eating Guide
How to speak like a ‘neighbor’ in Chinatown
The best duck in town (Gallery)
Chinatown’s flying fish

Report: Chinatowns Still Disappearing

A report released two weeks ago confirms what people have been worrying about for a few years: That Chinatowns are a dying breed and that their death will lead to our beloved neighborhoods turning into only nominally distinct zones that all have the same pastel designs on their storefronts.
Read more »

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