Eateries that bit into Philly’s food scene this year

Philly has become known for its incredible food scene, and despite 2020 being a rough year for this particular industry, some eateries have opened their doors or pivoted to shine even without indoor dining. 

Juno

This bright and colorful dining destination had been a work in progress for nearly a year. The property features 3,000 square feet of space that is nestled between two multi-level building-length murals as a backdrop while also boasting heaters for outdoor seating, colorful tables and floor rugs, lush green plants, bright seasonal flowers, trees in the center of the dining area, unique artwork and decor elements, a brand new wooden floor built around the trees, and eclectic and colorful barware and tableware.

Juno features 80 seats both inside and out on the sidewalk, plus a 20-seat bartop as well. On the food and drink side of things, Philadelphians who head to this outside oasis can expect Mexican-American fare, plus a very spirited bar menu to go alongside it as well. A few menu highlights include the Hamburguesa (made with jalapeno relish, avocado, lettuce and queso chihuahua), Coctel de Camarone (otherwise known as a “Mexican Shrimp Cocktail” made with tomato, onion, valentina and avocado), ceviche (or Fluke Crudo made with fluke, aguachile and pickled red onion), Verdura Taco Mexicanos (made with roasted veggies, queso chihuahua and avocado salsa) and much more. the bar program will feature an extensive selection for all tastes — including draft cocktails, beers, ciders, wines and sparkling ciders.

1033 Spring Garden St., junophilly.com

Society Hill Films

Community

Community, a new gastropub and artisan hotspot, took over the building where Burg’s Hideaway Lounge once stood just a few months ago. Husband and wife team Chef Michael Sultan and his wife, Angela Sultan—who also started the popular catering company 33rd Street Hospitality—are behind the new Point Breeze eatery.

The opening menu featured an array of evening-time options including a dry-aged bacon double cheeseburger, tacos, po’ boys, pot pie, chicken fried rabbit legs, wings, and a variety of sandwiches, salads and different entrees as well. On the artisanal side, Point Breezers and Philadelphians who wish to head south can pick up Michael’s smoked salmon, house-cured bacon, dry-aged burgers, hand-cut steaks, soups, dressings and hot sauce, as well as Rival Bros. Coffee, farm fresh eggs and a variety of items from Nello’s Specialty Meats and more.

Guests can also expect West Coast IPAs, stouts, sours, and ciders along with draft wines and prosecco, which will be available by the glass or carafe. There is also be a slushie machine for different frozen cocktails, as well as a focus on locally-produced craft spirits. 

1200 S. 21st St, communitybarphl.com

Community

Germantown Garden Grill 

Vesper Dayclub was transformed into the new Germantown Garden Grill, an upscale poolside steakhouse that now has a unique incentive for winter diners to visit. According to a release, igloos started to pop-up now poolside at GG Grill along with heat lamps to make the steak-house experience next level — with igloos with plants, heat and decor for two, four and up to ten people. They started with some small sizes at 10 x 10 and 12 x 12, and have now opened their second deck that oversees the entire neighborhood, and they offer large group sizes all in accordance with attendance set by the city and the state.

Inside the igloos, you can get fare from the steak-house menu, but also from two ghost kitchens they have launched: Hunnies Crispy Chicken and Tiny’s Burger Joint. Hunnies opened soon after the pandemic started and offers an assortment of crispy chicken offerings, while Tiny’s offers guests a variety of slider options. Both ghost kitchens are in full swing with active delivery on platforms like GrubHub.

1031 Germantown Ave., gggrill.com

Germantown Garden Grill

Blue Pearl Cafe 

In downtown Ardmore, Philadelphians can to head to a cafe that serves up a menu full of juices, smoothies, foods and an assortment of treats that are all plant-based. Those who head to the new establishment, the Blue Pearl Cafe, might also recognize some of the liquid offerings from the Juice Dr. as well. The popular organic cold press juices come from founder FJ Leto who decided to bring his liquid offerings over to his new cafe in hopes to help kickstart the next addition to his health-conscious empire on the Main Line.

At The Blue Pearl Cafe, Leto will be selling his juiced treasures for all to enjoy. Juice flavors range from the ‘Genesis’ (apple, kale, lemon and ginger), to the ‘Magician’ (cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, lemon, dandelion and ginger), to the ‘Terra’ (pineapple, carrot, tumeric and lime) and many more. Customers will also be able to try plant-based organic bowls (think blueberry chia pudding, dragon fruit bowl and more), organic salads, organic noodles (think spaghetti and beetballs, pad thai and more), gluten-free grain bowls (think burrito, poke and more), a wide variety of organic smoothies and a selection of wellness shots, specialty coffees and teas— and of course, Blue Pearl will be the only place customers can purchase Juice Dr. organic old pressed juices on demand.

44 Rittenhouse Pl., juicedr.org

 

French Toast Bites

Charisse McGill launched French Toast Bites just a few short years ago. Provided

This brand in particular might not exactly be a brick and mortar eatery, but one woman was able to take over the city with her food. When Philly’s own Charisse McGill launched her French Toast Bites by Lokal Artisan Foods, the entrepreneur’s sweet offerings were a hit—but now the flavors of these creations are going to be offered to Philadelphians like never before.

McGill partnered up with Doylestown Brewing Company to produce the French Toast Bites Ale, making McGill the first black female in the state of Pennsylvania to have her own beer. This new libation is 5.5% ABV and is a “sweet, smooth and toasted dessert brew that pairs great with breakfast, brunch, dinner or dessert.” The Ale will be available in 16-ounce cans in four-packs, as well as in a limited run of kegs through distributor Muller, Inc.

McGill’s maiden voyage was at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market at Dilworth Park, and after just a short time there, the french toast maven became one of the most sought after booths in the venue. With those profits, McGill was able to expand and even craft her own French Toast spice blend, with the tagline, “The Only French Toast Seasoning You Will Need.” The beer will be available in the Local Favorites, as well as the beer tabs within the app. The beer will retail on goPuff for $13.49 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans. goPuff will have French Toast Bites Ale available for home-delivery through the app in the Philadelphia market to start, and in addition to goPuff, French Toast Bites Ale will be distributed through Muller, Inc. distribution to local restaurants, bars and bottle shops in cans, kegs and sixtelles. 

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