The Secret Menu Items to Order at Philly Restaurants
These are the dishes you can only order if you know to ask.
Rib-tip sandwich at Rex 1516
Braised rib tip, pineapple-mustard bbq, caramelized onions, crispy chicken skin. On a potato roll. Only available at the bar. 1516 South Street, Grad Hospital.
“Industry” chirashi at Royal Izakaya
Only between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., Jesse Ito takes the end pieces from all the rare seafoods he serves at his fancy sushi bar, stacks them over rice, and serves the result in a plastic pint container. 780 South 2nd Street, Queen Village.
Mac-and-cheese pancakes at Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat
Imagine blueberry pancakes, but instead of blueberries, it’s straight-up mac-and-cheese. 800 North 4th Street, Northern Liberties, and 2101 South Street, Grad Hospital.
House-made prosciutto at Royal Boucherie
Royal Boucherie has a super-duper-serious charcuterie program — veal terrines, chicken liver mousses, house-made mortadella. Order the charcuterie board, and you’ll get all of them — except the prosciutto. You have to ask nicely for that. 52 South 2nd Street, Old City.
Burnt ends at Mike’s BBQ
Burnt ends are the crusty, salty, fatty end pieces of a brisket. Chef-owner Mike Strauss only makes so many briskets a day. Meaning a finite supply of burnt ends. Meaning if you want ’em, you have to ask for ’em. And trust us, you want ’em. 1703 South 11th Street, East Passyunk.
Crudités at Saté Kampar
A stunning plate of fresh vegetables picked from local and urban farms and served with two dips: a fermented durian sambal and a fermented shrimp sambal. 1837 East Passyunk Avenue, East Passyunk.
100-day dry-aged rib eye at Kensington Quarters
KQ’s 30-day steak is always available. The ridiculously umami-packed 100-day one? Super-limited. Call ahead to put your name on one. 1310 Frankford Avenue, Fishtown.
Published as “Order Off-Menu.” in the October 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.