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The Splatty Awards!

Welcome all to our 100th post! In honor of this milestone, I bring you a little something I like to call “The Splatty Awards!”: recapping the best things I have been eating, drinking & doing for the past year or so.

Best food item that comes in a jar: Tomato Conserva at In Riva 

Briefly removed from their winter menu for a few weeks in December (in which I cried into my pillow every night), the Tomato Conserva is back in action!

This sweet bruschetta will have you licking the jar clean & begging for more!

Best New York City to Philly transplant (other then myself): Shake Shack

Danny Meyer’s fast-casual burger joint quickly gained a fandom on Sansom Street in the summer of 2012, and expanded this year with outposts in University City & King of Prussia.

The Smoke Shack was initially conceived for the Philadelphia location, but has expanded to all Shacks globally.

Best food I used to be terrified of but now can’t stop eating: Oysters

Yeah, they’re slimy and salty and weird and jiggly, but they’re also delicious!

I’ve been making it my mission to hit every buck a shuck & half price oyster night in town.

Best pop-up: Lucky Old Souls’ Patty Melt Pop-up at Kennett

 When the LOS truck’s engine went kaput this fall, the team at Kennett lent them a hand – and their kitchen – for the evening to raise money for a new one.

And maybe I’m a little bit biased because it was my suggestion to turn out patty melts; a once in a blue moon burger special they were serving up on East Passyunk last spring.

Best Beer Drinking Event: Philly Beer Week Opening Tap

I’ve been partaking in Opening Tap for the past two years now, and seriously, if you’re not making this a priority during PBW, you’re missing out.

Opening Tap showcases the best and brightest of the local Philadelphia beer scene under one roof (the Independence Visitors Center, to be exact). But remember, it’s a marathon – not a sprint!

Best Beer Drinking Event Involving Animals: Summer Ale Fest at the Philadelphia Zoo

Great Beer + Local Food + Adorable Animals = One of the most awesome times you will ever have. Don’t forget to take a selfie of yourself “drinking a beer” with a tiger!

Most of the animals are actually awake compared to a day trip, and zoo docents are on hand to provide detailed information on your favorite critters.

Best Happy Hour (tie): Sampan and Alla Spina

Sampan gets the advantage as they have happy hour 7 days a week from 4-7 PM, but Alla Spina offers some great bar bites and their Victory Brewing beer collab, Novello, for only $3!

Don’t miss Sampan’s edamame dumplings or the pretzel bites with beer cheese at Alla Spina (they come in an adorable wooden piggy)!

Best Brunch: Jerry’s Bar

The Brunch crowd mourned the loss of Cafe Estelle for many months, but Marshall Green’s famous & delicious sticky buns have finally found a new home in Northern Liberties.

I hated Bloody Marys until I tried the one at Jerry’s and now I’m hooked. Seriously – best Bloody Mary ever!

Best Restaurant: Spot Burger

But isn’t Spot Burger a food truck?”, you’re probably asking yourself. Well, who says a restaurant needs to be defined by four brick walls?

 SpOt Owner/Grillmaster Josh Kim is the hardest working man in these streets right now, and he proves it on a weekly basis with his innovative specials (like a $10 Lobster Roll this summer), as well as his philanthropic efforts. He supports dozens of college organizations and local charities, frequently running specials and donating portions of his proceeds to these causes. He’s been a champion for food truck rights in Philadelphia, residing on the board of the Philly Mobile Food Association, and turned the corner of 33rd and Arch St into the “Food Truck Mecca”. So next time you see his yellow cart around, grab some grub; you won’t be disappointed! Spot serves up one of the best burgers in town.

And that concludes our awards ceremony! I hope you’ll at least check out some of the places and foods I love, in addition to the delicious burgers I recap for you guys each week. Got any great places and foods you think I should try? Post em up in the comments section and maybe they’ll wind up on my “best of” list next year!

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If this Shack’s a rockin’

If you’re unfamiliar with Shake Shack, it’s a rapidly growing chain of fast-casual burger joints with origins beginning in NYC’s Madison Square Park, where there was literally just a shack that served burgers, shakes and fries. It has since amassed 6 NY locations (Including the Mets’ own Citi Field), South Beach/Miami, 2 locations in the DC area, Westport, CT and even overseas in Dubai and Kuwait!  

Most recently, Philadelphia got it’s very first on the corner of 20th and Sansom, leading to long lines of eager Philadelphians looking to get their very first taste of a Shackburger. (The comparable option up until this point had been Squareburger in Franklin Square, which you’ll recall I was not happy with upon my visit.) Seating was limited when I went, but they are supposed to be opening up outdoor, cafe style seating soon!



I myself braved the line on a Saturday afternoon after their opening, a line which surprisingly moved pretty quickly. Of course, once you’ve ordered, you still have to actually wait for your food, and so each patron is given a little buzzer device that vibrates and flashes to let them know to come on up to the Shack! 

I saved you guys the trouble of going and ate all the things!



Normally, I wouldn’t be such a glutton, but on Saturdays, the special custard of the day “Coffee & Donuts” contains donuts from Federal Donuts – so I basically had to do it, right? 


“MMMMM – Donut.” – Homer Simpson
Another Philly exclusive for Shake Shack is the Smoke Shack Burger, the first burger at any of the Shake Shack locations to ever be topped with applewood bacon! (Also comes topped with cherry pepper relish and shack sauce.) I thought the peppers gave it a nice little kick & the bacon was delicious!
Peppers playing Peek-a-Boo!
But this wasn’t my only Shake Shack visit in recent weeks; I’d also stopped at the Westport, CT location on my way home. It’s HUGE compared to the Philly location! (But I guess that’s one of the benefits of being in the middle of Suburban CT) 
  Plus this awesome sign out front gives it the ol’ road side burger joint feel.
I just stuck with the basics. I don’t recall the shack sauce being quite as ZINGY! on my first visit to the UES location, and not even so much present on the Smoke Shack burger, but BOY OH BOY! My allergies had been stuffing me up all week and this really cleared me up! They must’ve put extra horseradish or something because it was a doozy! 

Oh yeah, you can totally see all that sauce!

Now if Philly can just get a few better pizza & bagel joints, a more extensive subway system, a baseball team with a higher payroll and a Uniqlo, I might never wanna move! 
( Just Kidding.)
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