A Food Lover’s Father’s Day Guide

Where to make reservations whether your Dad prefers hoagies or haute cuisine

Father’s Day is one of the more pressure-free holidays — dads, unlike moms, are not typically known for demanding specific gifts or special meals. Easy-to-please, “I-don’t-need-anything” fathers, though, pose a new challenge: you have to come up with Dad’s day dinner plans with no hints from the celebrant. We’ve rounded up some suggestions on where to take your dad on his day, whether he has a weak spot for Whiz, whiskey, or wine.

Breakfast in Bed — Sort of
If your dad is loathe to change out of his pajamas on Father’s Day, head to the Pop Shop’s annual Pop’s Pajama Party on Sunday, June 20th from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Dads wearing matching top and bottom pajama sets (sweats don’t count) will receive a free entrée (sans drinks and side dishes). The Pop Shop serves up American comfort food—think milkshakes, hand-cut fries, and 31 variations on grilled cheese.
The Pop Shop, 729 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ, 856-869-0111

Philly Food Fan
On Saturday, June 19 at 10:00 a.m., Reading Terminal Market will dedicate its Taste of Philly Food Tour to Philly dads and their favorite food—cheesesteaks. Carolyn Wyman, the author of The Great Philly Cheesesteak Book, will lead a 75-minute walking cheesesteak tour of the Market, offering up her know-how about the greasy, gooey comfort food. The tour will include small tastings of the Market’s cheesesteaks and will answer all your queries about Whiz. To make reservations for this $15.95 tour, call 215-545-8007 or visit tasteofphillyfoodtour.com.
Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch Streets, 215-922-2317

If your father is patient and likes dressed-up bar snacks with his bourbon, wait for one of the seven tables at Village Whiskey. Dad will be delighted by the list of 130 whiskeys and classic cocktails; you can munch on duck fat French fries and deviled eggs. For the whiskey-lover with a Southern palate, head to Cooperage. This whiskey and wine bar has a menu filled with favorites from below the Mason-Dixon line, like shrimp po-boys and barbeque pulled pork. For a hyper-masculine classic, try Valanni. They’re serving a special 16-ounce grilled, bone-in cowboy steak with a baked potato, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and Johnny Walker Gold ($30 for the meal) or Johnny Walker Blue ($35). Looking for a more refined menu? Time — a combined restaurant, whiskey bar, tap room, and absinthe lounge — is the way to go. Menu items include a bone marrow appetizer and lamb sirloin entrée. Plus, they’ve got all the bourbon, irish whiskey, and scotch dad could possibly want.
Village Whiskey, 114 South 20th Street, 215-665-1088
Cooperage, 601 Walnut Street, L75, 215-226-COOP
, 1229 Spruce Street, 215-790-9494
Time Restaurant and Bar, 1315 Sansom Street, 215-985-4800

Beer Buff
Pub & Kitchen has a Father’s Day special that will appeal to your dad’s ‘cue and brew loving stomach. They’re serving a $23 barbeque plate: a rack of ribs and chicken leg dripping in homemade sauce, grilled corn on the cob, southern biscuits, and coleslaw. The plate is paired with a beer and will be offered all day. For a different kind of brew-centric meal, go to Iron Hill Brewery. The ‘burbs eatery features an extensive line of house made ales, lagers, porters, and wheats, as well as a family-friendly menu of Angus burgers, hearth-baked pizzas, and classic pub food.
Pub & Kitchen, 1946 Lombard Street, 215-545-0350
Iron Hill Brewery, 30 East State Street, Media, 610-627-9000

Wine Connoisseur
Tria offers Sunday School at its Rittenhouse and Washington Square West locations — the perfect place to take your elegant, wino dad on Father’s Day. The syllabus changes each week to highlight a different, unusual wine, cheese, and beer; each one is offered wine, cheese, and beer at about half price.
Tria, 1137 Spruce Street and 1601 Walnut Street, 215-629-9200 and 215-972-7076

If your father consistently orders the filet, nominate him for Morton’s Dad’s Day Off.  The classic steakhouse will treat one dad to a dinner for up to 10 people, served at home (so he can watch the game and eat his steak, too). Write to Steve McGrath at Steve_McGrath@mortons.com or Morton’s The Steakhouse, 1411 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19102 by Monday, June 14th to nominate your dad for this home-cooked meat fest.
Morton’s The Steakhouse, 1411 Walnut Street, 215-557-0724

For Dessert
If your father’s nightstand is littered with candy bar wrappers, head to Max Brenner to pick up his gift. They’re currently offering a gift set dubbed “The Brown Cross: Max Brenner’s First Aid Chocolate Box for Anonymous Chocoholics” ($29.90). Corny, yes, but dad might actually like the syringe filled with pure chocolate ganache.
Think dad is more likely to reach for a liqueur-injected bonbon than to inject himself with a chocolate syringe? Antoine Amrani, former pastry chef for Le Bec-Fin, offers some special boozy chocolates for Father’s Day at his East Norriton shop. The $19.00 gift set includes five smooth dark chocolate bon bons spiked with vodka, Baileys, crème de menthe, Kalhua, and black sambuca. You can also celebrate a belated Father’s Day on Saturday, June 26 at 7:00 p.m. with a Wine and Chocolate tasting—call 877-267-2644 ext 2 or email classes@AAchocolates.com to reserve a spot at this $95.00 per person pairing.
Max Brenner, 1500 Walnut Street, 215-344-8150
Antoine Amrani Chocolates, 550 Foundry Road, East Norriton, 877-267-2644