Sunday, February 9, 2020

Crunchik'n

For those in the know, Korean Fried Chicken wings are all the rage these days. Typically twice fried, these wings don't seep out grease at first touch, the meat stays incredibly juicy, and there are often a variety of glazes. Relative newcomer to the Jefferson East area is Crunchik'n and I'm here to tell you that they've got the bomb "KFCs."

What's the story behind co-owners Jon & Jen? Jon was a retiring theology professor and Jen had recently finished grad school. Jon convinced Jen to open up Crunchik'n and now they're providing that homemade touch, while executing to high-quality perfection on all fronts. I recently had the chance to meet up with Jen and try some of their menu offerings.

Clockwise from Top Right: Korean Fried Chicken Wings | Crunch Ball! | Oven Baked Galbi or Spicy Wings | Crunchik'n Spread

Do start with their wings and the whole or half chicken. The batter is light & crunchy and the meat is marinated for 24 hours. The glazes range from mild to spicy and are all tasty. They've even got an oven-baked version for those that are attempting to be health-conscious and thankfully, they're just as tasty. The galbi version of the oven-baked ring was sticky, sweet, and delicious - all thanks to Jen's dad's homemade marinade. Looking for a fried ball of goodness? Check out the Crunch Balls which have bits of veggie or beef. Top that jawn with some spicy mayo and you're set.

Co-Owner Jen of Crunchikn | Spicy Tuna Rice Bowl | Homemade Dumplings | Kimchi Cheese Fries

The ricebowls are beautifully presented with everything you could ever want. We loved the spicy tuna version, which came with a bed of rice, Korean japchae noodles (sweet potato glass noodles), a fried veggie dumpling, salsa, crisp veggie, and guac. Definitely filling and you'll probably have leftovers. Be sure to try some of the homemade veggie, meat, or kale & spinach dumplings, made by a family friend! Looking for that next level comfort food? The kimchi cheese fries provide that fusion-level goodness with the spicy funk of the kimchi and the cheese sauce all over the batter-fried fries.

Be sure to stop by and say hi! The staff is so warm, welcoming, and you can clearly get a sense of the pride and homemade touch to what they do. Most important, the food is delicious and clearly Crunchik'n has plans to be a mainstay in Philly.

Crunchik'n
212 S. 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 886-9373

Friday, January 17, 2020

Pat's Pizza & Pasta South Street

If you've been as invested in the pizza landscape as I've been over the years (trust: many Friday & Saturday's spent ordering delivery), you've naturally seen some iteration of Pat's on the East Coast. And interestingly enough, the majority of these shops are family enterprises! The history extends back to the 1970s in Jersey, when three enterprising cousins began Pat's Pizza. As the family itself expanded, siblings and cousins became owners of separate branches, with each individual making it their own. 

South Street was graced with a Pat's a little over a year ago and it's already becoming popular with folks popping in to grab a few slices or ordering in. I recently had the opportunity to check out their menu, and it definitely features more than just pizza. 

Boneless Wings | Buffalo Chicken Calzone | Tortelloni Alfredo | Mozzarella Sticks

A standard order for me includes boneless wings (boneless to cater to the wife!). Pat's did not disappoint. I appreciated the crispness of the batter, encasing juicy morsels of fresh chicken. Loved the vinegar emanating from the mild buffalo sauce - perfect to dunk in sauce studded with chunks of blue cheese. A guilty pleasure of mine? Buffalo chicken calzones. The medium-sized calzone at Pat's will easily service 3 or more, oozing plenty of cheese and chunks of buffalo chicken. The sleeper hit at Pat's and an absolute must? The pastas. Do check out the tortelloni or the fettucine alfredo. That sauce is pure decadence, redolent with plenty of cheese and begging for you to mop it all up with bread. And yes, mozzarella sticks are solid here at Pat's ... gooey, crispy, and served with the requisite marinara. 

Pat's Special Burger

Pat's special burger is housed in a Le Bus bun, airy and light. The burger itself is char-grilled and juicy, topped with onion rings, crisp bacon, and plenty of American cheese. Tasty! 

Large Pepperoni Pizza

Circular and square slices are both available at Pat's. A crisp crust offers a vessel to house sweet marinara and cheese. Studded with plenty of pepperoni, this hit the spot. 

So if you get a chance, be sure to check out Pat's on South Street. The appetizers are on point (no freezer burn here) and in addition to wings & pizza, you'd be remiss if you didn't check out some of the pastas on the menu! 

FTC Disclaimer: Thanks to Pat's South Street for inviting us in. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased.

Pat's Pizza & Pasta
1410 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 790-7287
https://www.patspizzapasta.com/

Friday, December 6, 2019

Amada Brunch

If you haven't been to Amada by now, you're missing out on a classic Jose Garces destination restaurant. Beyond being the long-standing bastions of tapas cuisine in the city, the kitchen's ability to execute on classic dishes, with a creative twist, keeps me coming back for more. 

Clockwise from Top Right: Ensalada Verde, Pan con Tomate, Law of Desire Cocktail, Pastry Basket

For brunch, the $27pp prix fixe is the way to go. Coffee or tea, along with a killer pastry basket is included. Think warm, flaky, buttery croissants and olive oil cake, paired with fig jam and whipped butter. I also enjoyed the Law of Desire, featuring Jim Beam Honey Whiskey, Iced Coffee, and Cinnamon - easy drinking. From there, the prix fixe allows you to order 3 items per person off their sectioned brunch menu. My sister was in town for the holidays and to start, she had the ensalada verde and I went with the classic - pan con tomate. First off, I need to order more salads at restaurants, especially if they're at Amada. Here, diced green beans, favas, asparagus, and avocado are perfectly seasoned and dressed, with plenty of shaved manchego on top. And what can I say about the pan con tomate - it's a must. Juicy diced tomato, olive oil, and garlic is atop crusty bread ... if you come to Amada for just Happy Hour, do get this. 

Clockwise from Top Right: Sangria Pancakes, Revuelto, Panceta, Patatas Rosti

For our mains, we went with the Reveulto and sangria pancakes for a savory and sweet combo. Soft-scrambled eggs, shrimp, and truffle-butter toast was on point. And the sangria pancakes? Plenty of texture from apple, pear, figs, and the pancakes themselves, to be drizzled with that sangria syrup. For sides, we paired the Patatas Rosti which were essentially hockey-puck sized fluffy potatoes, crisped on the exterior. And obviously the smoked bacon really hit the spot for me. 

Not that anyone needs a reason to go to brunch, but Amada clearly has plenty to reach those #BrunchGoals for your squad. 

Amada
217-219 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 398-6968