Collingswood’s West Side Gravy

Trey Popp visits West Side Gravy, the straight-ahead Americana inspired restaurant of Blackbird’s Alex Capasso.

There’s no postmodern deconstruction here, no lobster-corndog irony. The tattoo-style paintings, like a fried drumstick sprouting angel wings, have fun with the concept, but the kitchen serves this homey fare straight up.

At its best, West Side Gravy makes you wonder why we’ve exiled some of these dishes to -microwave-ready freezer trays. Shepherd’s pie is actually delightful when you use fresh peas and whip the potatoes into a downy, crisp-edged pillow. Meatloaf is voluptuous when drenched in a concentrated veal stock. Dainty sliders — pulled pork with long hots, tuna with a wasabi-spiked cucumber slaw — conceal big flavors. And one bite of the BLT, a seamless union of pancetta and marinated tomatoes, could ruin a vegetarian.

Two Stars out of Four

West Side Gravy [Philadelphia Magazine]