What to Eat This Weekend: Anything But Cheese Tea

Cheese tea is the newest trend hitting Philly. But here are some other options that aren't tea with cheese in it.

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I get it. I really do. Some people like this stuff. Alex Jones really liked it when she went to check it out at A Cup of Tea in Chinatown. And maybe I’m just being too squeamish. I have eaten many strange things in my life (guinea pig, deer penis, snake wine, the brains of more than one animal, I could go on…) and have liked or hated them completely on their own merits. But even just the words “cheese tea” make me gag a little, and a man has to draw a line somewhere, so this is mine. No cheese tea. Not ever.

So if you’re like me, here are a few other suggestions of things to try this weekend.

First, Some Actual Drinking
The Alchemist Society is having their grand opening in NoLibs this weekend and it looks like a fascinating experiment. The place is basically going to be a co-working space for people operating in the food and beverage scene, and will host various events focused on educating folks about everything from brewing and cocktail mixing to combining gin botanicals. But this Saturday, they’re throwing a grand opening party with free drinks and snacks as a way to say hello to the neighborhood.

Then, If You Happen to be in Chinatown Anyway…
…but don’t want to drink cheese tea, you should go for a little heat and comfort courtesy of Nan Zhou Hand-Drawn Noodle House. The mapo tofu noodles will serve particularly well in this capacity. Plus, they offer a like a dozen different kinds of smoothies, and lots of tea without cheese. So there you go.

Street Food
The ful mudammas at Suraya is basically a bowl of soft, stewed fava beans served with pita, and it is absolutely a destination dish. I love ful in all its incarnations, and Suraya’s Lebanese version (spiked with a little chile) is fantastic.

And Finally, Because Trendy Doesn’t Always Mean Good
This week, we started looking back at some of the restaurants in Philly that don’t get enough love–places that were once hot but have cooled, were once our go-to’s but now get forgotten. Some of them are restaurants that remain our secret neighborhood favorites even though we rarely get the opportunity to write about them. There’s always this temptation to focus exclusively on the new and the trendy when writing about the restaurant scene, and to see only what’s right in front of us. But that’s a trap, and we’re doing our best to escape it. First neighborhood up: University City. So if you’re looking for a blast from the past or a reminder about a place you once loved, come check it out.