The Best New Places to come to Philadelphia in 2009
2009 saw the arrival of a lot of new businesses in Philadelphia that are already leaving their mark in just a short amount of time. Here’s a look at some of the places that left the biggest impressions.
Starting the list off with a place that officially opened it’s doors for the first time on New Years Day. When the owners of Memphis Taproom sought their eyes on West Philadelphia for their next establishment, it officially brought the first bar of its kind to the area. And the fact that it offers 20 beers on tap, and just 2 bottles (one is a gluten free beer selection, and the other is the amazing Orval Trappist Ale) is pretty impressive.
Before P.Y.T. opened up in the Piazza, Tommy Up had already left a serious mark on Philadelphia as the promoter of all kinds of parties through PaperStreet. But when P.Y.T. (Pick Your Toppings) opened at the Piazza, it gave him a chance to do it in a spot of his own. And what a spot it is! the front is a burger joint that features plenty of huge and tasty offerings, as well as an extensive line of alcoholic milkshakes. And the back lounge sees a lot of Tommy Up’s friends spinning music in the back for some serious dance parties.
By now you’ve already heard that Jose Garces has become the next Iron Chef. But with amazing restaurants like Tinto, Amada, Distrito, and Chifa under his belt; we in Philadelphia knew that the victory was pretty inevitable. Village Whiskey was the newest addition to his restaurants this year, and it has been pretty impressive. aside from offering a top of the line selection of whiskey, it has some impressive food options. you can order impressive burgers like the Whiskey King; 8 ounces of beef loaded with maple bourbon glazed cipollini, rogue bleu cheese, applewood bacon, and foie gras. or you might want to try the lobster roll with butter-poached lobster, lemon-old bay aioli, applewood smoked bacon. and that’s just a sample of the great offerings.
Brew/Ultimo Coffee Bar
When South Philly Taproom owner John Longacre, beer dude Joe Bedia and uberbarista Aaron Ultimo first set out to open a coffeehouse that also sold beer on 15th and Mifflin, it had promising written all over it. And while the beer part is still forthcoming, it might just be the best coffeehouse in the entire city! it as coffee supplied by North Carolina’s Counter Culture, and a siphoning system that delivers impressive results. here’s a review of some of their handcrafted varieties -
- La Golondrina (Colombia): A “sugar browning” coffee, which basically means it has darker notes akin to caramel and chocolate. Slight acidity and bitterness to it, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
- Bwayi (Burundi): An “enzymatic” coffee, carrying more fruity aromas and flavors than your average. Notes of flowers and citrus. Burundi is not yet well-known for its coffee production, but it’s an up-and-coming player in Africa.
- Idido Misty Valley (Ethiopia): This is a unique one — the pre-brew grounds burst with the scent of berries, so you might be under the impression that it’s a flavored coffee. It’s not — using the ripest fruit from the coffee plant under strict and carefully regulated drying guidelines produces the fruity characteristics.
Stella was the newest addition to Stephen Starr’s restaurant empire, but it was also his first pizza place. Starr culinary director Chris Painter and Stella chef Shane Solomon spent a good amount of time to ensure that their workers knew hoe to handle wood burning stoves, refining the pizzamaking, and learning how the dough behaves under certain conditions. these also based the main item of their menu on several traditional Neapolitan pie recipes.
Resurrection Ale House
Local 44 was already covered, but it’s only one of the incredible places that the people behind Memphis Tap Room opened this year. When Resurrection Ale House opened its doors for the first time on September 23rd, it might of just single handedly helped revitalize the Grays Ferry area. The brews include 12 taps that rotate fairly consistently, one cask-conditioned, 41 bottles, and five locals. Joe Chmiko, formerly of Union Trust, was brought on as head chef to ensure that the food of this beer bistro went ahead of the curve in taste and not price.
Resurrection Ale House
2009 Saw the opening of two frozen yogurt places, Yogorino and Sweet Ending, which significantly added onto the single presence that froyo had in Philly with Phileo Yogurt. But Yogorino stands out for what it offers in healthiness. Yogorino is the original pro-biotic in the soft ice industry. Organic, low-fat, and low calorie Yogorino is characterized by both its unique and unmistakable tart flavor, as well as, by its health beneficial 6 pro-biotic bacterial strains. So while it might only have one flavor, it offers a whole lot more and is still good with a helping of fruit.
Green Aisle Grocery
It might be the newest place that’s listed, but it’s also one of the most significant! You could say brothers Adam and Andrew Erace have some experience with food. Adam is the restaurant critic for Philadelphia Weekly, the Courier-Post and New Jersey Monthly magazine, author of the blog Blogalicious and a contributor to Philadelphia Style and Afar magazines. Andrew has lived in London and eaten his way through Asia. As native South Philadelphians, they’ve seen the evolution of East Passyunk and are amped to be a small part of its continuing renaissance. this grocery store on East Passyunk is your pot for life’s essentials like milk, bread and eggs, as well as the foods that make life worth living: artisan chocolates from former Le Bec-Fin chocolatier Antoine Amrani, clear-as-a-bell Q tonic, slow-cured Indian vanilla beans, Zahav’s heavenly hummus and more. it’s milk and cheeses comes from happy cows that feed on grass, and our eggs are laid by pastured chickens that live just up the Turnpike. Our cornucopia of produce is procured directly from small local farmers that are as passionate (read: obsessed) as the owners are about celebrating the fertility of the Delaware Valley. We have raw milk from Paradise and tofu from Allentown. But it also stocks real cinnamon from Madagascar and single-estate olive oil from Abruzzo. Eating conscientiously doesn’t have to be scary, elitist or an all-or-nothing game mired by panic and guilt, so we focus on small, offbeat producers, growers and artisans who they think are doing cool things with food. Stop by. Eat well.
Green Aisle Grocery
Smokin’ Betty’s was the newest restaurant of Susan Schlisman, who also own’s Devil’s Alley and Sam’s Grill in Wynnewood, and it brought a good eating spot to an area of Market East that was kind of lacking. It specializes in BBQ and American comfort food, and also offers 16 American Craft beers and terrific original cocktails. The menu is also fairly inexpensive, especially considering the fact that it touts things like turducken burgers.
From City Paper’s Meal Ticket -
The smokin’ in the name invokes the barbecue gods, and it’s true that slow-and-low meats are well-represented here: We’re talking flame-grilled chicken, hickory-smoked St. Louis-style ribs, smoked brisket and sides like mac ‘n’ cheese, Carolina slaw, baked beans and buttermilk biscuits. But in an ode to Schlisman’s long-running Sam’s diners, there are also quite a few sandwiches, from fresh-roasted turkey and chicken with broccoli rabe to a buffalo chicken sandwich. Burger options include classic ground sirloin, turkey, housemade veggie, lamb and (yes!) a turk-duck-en burger, featuring a duck rillette with ground chicken and turkey, topped with orange-cranberry relish.
2424 Studios is Philadelphia’s newest work studio community. Located in Fishtown at the corner of York and Gaul streets, right off of I-95, and convenient to public transportation, 2424 Studios consists of over 100 work studios and/or office suites that range from 350 to over 6,000 square feet. The Skybox inside it s unequivocally Philadelphia’s newest and most unique event space for art exhibitions, parties, receptions, fundraisers, social and corporate events … and more! It has already hosted things like Making Time’s Halloween party with Simian Mobile Disco, and the huge holiday Philadelphia Independent Craft Market that was also a fundraiser for 941 Theater. And it should have a lot more huge events to come.
There were a lot of other incredible places that opened up in 2009. Pure Nightclub revamped itself into Voyeur, while the old Sansom Street Oyster House became a whole different Oyster House entirely. The success of the the impressive BYOB Little Fish saw them opening up a bigger restaurant called Fish. West Philadelphia saw the opening of a market place called Milk and Honey that supports the buy fresh buy local movement. And Northern Liberties exploded with places like Koo Zee Doo, Swift Half Pub, and of course the entire Piazza. Varga Bar poured good beer and showcased pin up art, while Leila Cafe dished out Middle Eastern food and hookahs, and Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co. made impressive cocktails. And all of these businesses are partly why 2009 was such a good year for Philly, that will only get better as the years come.
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