We love Philadelphia’s current fast-casual wave: chefs from the city’s top restaurants are opening concepts based on crowd-pleasing foods like pizza, hummus, and falafel, filtering these cheap eats through a hip, sophisticated lens.
And the latest addition to this high-low trend is a welcome one: Baology, Judy Ni and Andy Tessier’s thoughtfully sourced homage to Taiwanese street food, fills a significant gap in the city’s fast-casual roster.
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Courtesy of DanDan
The Rittenhouse DanDan was an instant success. In just two years, owners Kevin and Catherina “Cat” Huang grew their first restaurant into the neighborhood’s premier spot for solid noodles and dumplings, giving 9-to-5ers and the happy hour hordes something to sweat about without having to leave the comfy confines of Center City.
Come April, Devon’s heat-seekers will receive the same treatment. Read more »
Photo courtesy of DanDan
DanDan on a Friday night is a mess in the best possible way—a riot of people and bags and plates, with servers squeezing through the spaces between while the bartenders do their best to keep up with the crush that keeps backing up to the door.
The place is small, but not small-small. Downstairs, the bar takes up an inordinate amount of room, and everything else is just squeezed in. Two-tops press up against the big windows looking out onto the hustle of 16th Street, and more are tucked under the overhang of the lofted second-floor seating area. The hostess stand half-clogs the only passage between the main floor and the stairs leading up. It would be a terrible place to eat if it weren’t also such a fun place to throw yourself into. There’s a mosh-pit sensibility to it: You can get where you’re going, but not without bouncing off a few bodies first.
I sit in the corner at the bar with a sweating Tsing Tao, slurping cold sesame noodles that have a nutty, sweet kick and working through a plate of cumin pork that leaves my tongue slick with a mix of dusty-hot cumin and peppers. Even the fizz of the beer won’t wash it off.
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Free Dan Dan noodles with the purchase of any meal through Friday.
DanDan opened over the weekend at 126 S 16th Street. The restaurant serves Sichuan and Taiwanese cuisine in Center City for lunch and dinner.
For now the restaurant is operating as a BYOB, but soon enough the restaurant will have a full liquor license. The restaurant is run by Kevin and Catherina Huang, former operators and managers of Han Dynasty’s University City location. As such, the dan dan noodles are a must order (even better, they’re free with any purchase through Friday). Even after bringing leftovers back to the office, several staff members put the noodles slightly ahead Han Chiang’s renditions.
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The space, currently in renovation, at 126 S 16th.
From the former operators and managers of Han Dynasty University City comes DanDan, a fresh combination of Sichuan and Taiwanese cuisine in Rittenhouse. Kevin and Catherina Huang plan to open (tentatively) on July 1st at 126 S 16th Street.
In this upscale environment (think full, operating bar), the duo hope to offer healthy, authentic, and quality Chinese food that will be customizable for gluten-free and vegetarian diets (which isn’t exactly authentic, but we’ll let that slide) and will also, like Han Dynasty, be customizable for spiciness.
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The former chef and owner of Four Rivers in Chinatown has brought his skills to New Jersey. CHUlicious, a restaurant serving up Taiwanese cuisine with Szechuan influences, may be the new kid on the block, but it’s already garnering up some positive buzz (5 stars on Yelp).
Some of the restaurant’s dishes include Dan Dan Noodles, Hunan Crispy Fish and Cold Cucumbers in a Chili Oil. The restaurant is located at 1200 S. Church Street, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054.