Okay, your beloved gourmet is now fitted out to whip up paella with a precision-weighed quantity of saffron and clean up afterward with minimal fuss. Now what she needs is a chance to get out of the house. And here’s where you should send her—because it’s where I wish people would take me: out to lunch.
A few days ago, we posted a list of some of the best soups in Center City–a perfect little thing for a gray, cold day. But almost as soon as it went up, readers started commenting with places that we’d forgotten. And since the first post was never meant to be anything like a canonical list, we’ve decided to expand it here with reader suggestions–plus a couple of extra places that we just love.
So first, I finally got the chance to stop by the new(ish) Hippot Shabu Shabu, which opened a couple months back in Chinatown. I have two things to say about it right off the bat…
It’s not every day that you come across a condiment that makes you do a double take. Heck, it’s not every year. But think about how it felt the first time you smeared wasabi on a sushi roll, or dolloped pepper jelly on a country ham biscuit—and then head to the corner of 9th and Arch immediately to get a jolt of that same rare giddiness at Xi’an Sizzling Woks, which opened as softly as a whisper in May.
Over at Midtown Lunch, they’re all twitterpated (and with good reason) over the recent opening of Xi’an Famous Food at 902 Arch Street in Chinatown, in the former home of Szechuan Tasty House–which was a pretty good restaurant, but with an awesome name.
Before you Manhattan day-trippers get too excited, this Xi’an Famous apparently has nothing to do with the beloved mini-chain of the same name out of New York. But for those of you aching for a taste of Xi’an (one of the ancient cities of China, and one with its own unique cuisine), that probably won’t matter at all.
Philly, We Are Finally Getting Our Own Xi’an Famous Food [Midtown Lunch]