While debates still rage about whether a Philadelphia-made bagel can ever truly compete with New York standard bearers, it’s undeniable that our city has experienced something of a bagel renaissance in the past few years: newcomers like Knead, Spread, and the Bon Appétit-blessed Philly Style Bagels are doing new and exciting things, some of Philly’s longest-running bakeries that dominated the market for years are still turning out great bagels every morning, and even artisan bakeries are getting in on the action with limited-edition runs one or two days per week.
The next time you’re looking for a lox sandwich, an egg and cheese, or just a classic schmear, turn to one of these solid options.
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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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Essen Bakery (Outstanding Baker semifinalist) – Facebook
This story has been updated.
The almighty James Beard Awards Committee rarely ever left its comfort-zone when it came down to Philadelphia restaurants. Year after year, it was always Philly’s ultra-notable restaurants and chef names that made the cut — Zahav, Vedge, Vernick, Fork; Vetri, Starr, Solomonov — with the occasional nod to any Philly talent considered under-the-radar on the national scale, e.g. Joe Cicala, Konstantinos Pitsillides, Andre Chin and Amanda Eap (Artisan Boulanger Patissier). That’s not to say those big-name nominations weren’t deserved — they absolutely were — it’s just that there’s so much more to this city than Zahav and Marc Vetri. The rest of the country just isn’t aware.
But for whatever reason, this year, Philly-area chefs and restaurants, both big and small, caught the committee’s attention. Check out who’s repping Philly in 2017:
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