On Monday, the Philadelphia branch of food website Eater made a post called “The 38 Essential Restaurants In Philly.” If you look at the map, the furthest spot West is on 22nd Street. Thus, all restaurants in West Philadelphia are inessential.
Eater is a bourgeois website, so it’s not surprising that they cater to a crowd that’s able to spend on a single meal what some of us earn in one week. They’re not normally interested in what lesser-humans eat. But, believe it or not, many of us who live in West Philadelphia have spots in our neighborhoods that are also essential. Here are a few things near my 46th Street fortress that I couldn’t live without, and almost all of them will cost you less than $10.
1. Felafel & hummus sandwiches at Saad’s Halal. I’m also deep into the Chicken Felafel Sandwich.
2. 85 cent samosas at International Food & Spices.
3. Tofu Hoagies at Fu Wah Market.
4. Sausage, egg and cheese manakeesh and pistachio baklava at Manakeesh Cafe Bakery.
5. Tofu burritos at Mexicali.
6. Chicken burritos at Honest Tom’s Taco Shop.
7. Proletariat pizza at Colonial and Pasqually’s.
8. Bourgeoise pizza at Dock Street.
9. The vegetarian platter at Abyssinia.
10. 50 cent bricks of tofu and $1 ramen at P&P Grocery.
11. Fried chicken, fried fish, fried okra, fried everything at Elena’s Soul Showcase Lounge.
12. The Indian buffets at New Delhi and Sitar.
13. Curry dishes at Thai Singha House.
14. Chaat at Mood Cafe and Desi Chaat House.
15. Dope vegetarian sandwiches at Satellite Cafe.
16. Once-a-year meat overdoses at Koch’s Deli.
17. General Tso’s tofu at China Inn.
18. Late night felafel sandwiches at Makkah Market.
19. Vietnamese noodles at Saigon Pho & Cafe.
20. And, while it’s a bit East of my normal terrain, for the 2 days each week I work at Penn near 34th and Walnut, I eat felafel salad at the Magic Carpet food truck.
In conclusion: Fuck you, Eater.