“Can I getcha a wing? How ‘bout a beer?” Robbie from South Philly Bar and Grill asked me as he invited me over to his table with both items already in hand ready for me to take and devour-- good stuff!
With little fanfare and plenty of food to share, South Philly Bar and Grill—along with twenty other South Philadelphia restaurants, bakeries, and bars—served hundreds of its neighbors under a big top tent on East Passyunk Avenue for the sixth annual Flavors of the Avenue. I arrived at noon for the hour long VIP opening and quickly watched the festival grounds swell with folks who had skipped lunch hoping to fill up on a sampling of items like Mamma Maria’s meatballs, El Zarape’s tacos al pastor, or Birra’s roasted porchetta panini and more. Additionally, depending on the ticket and corresponding wristband, attendees could enjoy nonstop pours of premium cocktails, wine, and beer from participating sponsors Courvoisier, Philadelphia Brewing Company, and Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. At the height of the event, there was a full house of people packed in the tent to get a taste of everything East Passyunk restaurateurs had to offer.
Among the twenty-one participating restaurants, here are a three notable ones that you may want to check out and then run home to tell your friends about:
FOND— This contemporary American BYOB boasts a “unique dining experience” for the bon vivants of South Philadelphia. For an exclusive culinary experience, call on this establishment to host you and someone special for a nine-course tasting menu in the restaurant’s private garden. Chef Lee Styer promises bold and beautiful bites that can be creatively prepared or customized to personal tastes. The small garden is limited to hosting private parties of 2-8 people on Tuesday through Thursday evenings when the weather permits. Please book at least one week in advance and be sure to bring your own bottles and high expectations!
Garage—Foodie thrill-seekers, get ready! In July, Jason, Terry, Josh and Sal—the guys who brought you Bar, Time, and Vintage—will once again wow you with a simple, yet innovative place for food, drink, and good times in the city. Garage is slated to be a…well…garage with foosball and pool tables available as well as large-screen, hi-def televisions for game nights. Garage also plans to have 150+ beers in the building (some craft, all cans). But more than that, this new venture packs a bonus: not only will the bad boys of bars bring their great ideas to the southern part of town, but they are booking some of the city’s hottest food truck vendors and putting them on heavy rotation in a stationary, hard-wired meal machine—after all, what is a garage anyway without a hot set of wheels inside?
Ms. Goody Cupcake— There were indeed quite a few treats at Flavors, but this little sweet place was one of my faves. After a quick rundown of the tantalizing options, I was introduced to “The Elvis,” a miniature banana bread cupcake with whipped peanut butter icing and garnished with a piece of chocolate covered bacon—simply delightful! Gigi, who is both owner and head baker, serves a variety of twelve cupcakes daily and could make any event of yours a little sweeter with only a couple days notice (two weeks notice for designer cakes)—so go ahead, let them eat cake!
For more information about the restaurants featured at the Flavors of the Avenue, visit the East Passyunk site at www.visiteastpassyunk.com