Shopping For Foodies: Trey Popp’s Holiday Gift Guide, Part 3

Dizengoff | Photos by Jason Varney

Dizengoff | Photos by Jason Varney

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.

Lunch in Philly has gotten expensive lately. That was on my mind toward the end of the year when I reviewed Dizengoff, where part of me wrestled with paying $11 for a bowl of hummus, no matter how lovingly souped-up it was. Why would I do that, I asked myself, when I could walk across the street to Philadelphia Chutney Company and grab a masala dosa for $6?

But when I actually did walk across the street, I discovered that PCC is charging $8 for a plain masala dosa these days—a 33 percent increase from two years ago.

I don’t mean it as a complaint. Philadelphia restaurateurs are facing higher prices for all sorts of ingredients—partly because so many other Philly restaurateurs are competing to buy them, which is a healthy sign for our city. I got a dosa anyway—in fact, the $9 Mysore variation—and I loved every bite. And a few weeks later, after experiencing my usual knee-jerk dismay at the sight of sandwiches selling for $9-$11 at the new West Philly location of Jake’s Sandwich Board, I walked away practically spellbound by how delicious my brisket and horseradish job had been.

In other words, the only thing that’s gone up faster than the price of lunch is its quality. So get some bang for your buck and give your honey a midday date or a gift certificate at one of these spots: Dizengoff, High Street on Market, Jake’s Sandwich Board, Philadelphia Chutney Company, Koreana, Xi’an Sizzling Woks, Cheu Noodle Bar, or any number of great places I’m no doubt leaving out.

Shopping For Foodies Part 1 [f8b8z]

Shopping For Foodies Part 2 [f8b8z]