When he’s not busy managing the kitchen at popular American restaurant Sbraga or whipping up new recipes, Chef de Cuisine Michael Rouleau can be found cheering on the Eagles during football season or trying out new restaurants in Philly’s ever-blossoming food scene.
Inspired by his mother and her Italian home cooking, Rouleau’s passion for food began at a young age. While his culinary adventures have taken him across the country, the opportunity to work at Sbraga brought him back to the East Coast. Now Rouleau dishes his top places to chow down when he’s off the clock — covering everything from food trucks to meat pies to pho.
Best late night meal?
The food trucks on Girard. The only name I remember is The Pie Stand because it’s simple enough to remember after a long night of fun. They’ve got these delicious Peanut Butter & Fluff pies. The taco trucks are also great.
Best meal under $10?
I’ve gotta say Pho 75 (1122 Washington Ave.). I always crave pho on my day off.
Best hidden foodie gem?
Standard Tap (901 N. Second St.). I don’t know if it’s that hidden — but their food is always really great, epecially their mussels.
Best place to dine alone?
Bardot in Northern Liberties (447 Poplar St.), which is steps from my house. I usually eat the wings or grab a sandwich and a beer.
Place you always take or recommend for out-of-towners?
Zahav (237 St. James Place). The restaurant is so unique and everyone goes there. It’s spot-on.
Go-to date spot?
Abe Fisher (1623 Sansom St.). It has an intimate vibe and it’s close to a lot of really great places in Center City to grab a drink before or after dinner.
Best place to catch up with friends?
The Fat Ham (3131 Walnut St.). The $30 Sunday Supper is truly the best dining experience in the city to stir conversation, share food and catch up with friends.
Most Instagrammable restaurant?
Stargazy (1838 E. Passyunk Ave.). Their Instagram is hilarious and their pies are delicious.
For all the latest on Chef Michael Rouleau and Sbraga, visit: sbragadining.com