Arts

Sips and Eats: Dine Latino Restaurant Week, a new burger spot, and a special beer giveaway

Visit Philadelphia/Neal Santos

The Burger That Ate Philadelphia

(STARR // The Burger That Ate Philadelphia)

STARR’s latest virtual restaurant concept is an ode to classic 1950s horror movies (The Blob, THEM, etc). The Burger That Ate Philadelphia is lean, mean and ready to take and eat Philadelphia by storm. Celebrating a timeless meal that never goes out of style, The Burger That Ate Philadelphia offers seven (7!) different burgers complemented by three types of fries and a variety of signature dipping sauces – from classics like bleu cheese & ranch to homemade tangy caper mayo, jalapeno cheddar, and habanero ketchup.

(STARR // The Burger That Ate Philadelphia)

What’s so special about the burgers? Instead of your typical 8 oz. patty, The Burger That Ate Philadelphia boasts double smash patties – crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. All burgers come as a double, with the option to upgrade to a triple patty if you’re as hungry as The Burger That Ate Philly.

Hours of Operation:

Mon thru Thurs: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri & Sat: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Available via Grub Hub, Uber Eats, Caviar and Door Dash.

You can order here and check them out on Instagram: (@theburgerthatatephiladelphia).

Dine Latino Restaurant Week

(Visit Philadelphia // Photo by Stephanie Ramones)

Dine Latino Restaurant Week kicks into gear today May 5 and will be serving up some amazing dishes through Sunday, May 9. More than two dozen restaurants in neighborhoods throughout the city will be participating. The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC) proudly announces the return and celebrates the week’s ability to fueling the region’s food-lovers’ sense of adventure as they discover or rediscover Latino cuisine, the five-day culinary event will offer patrons one (1) complimentary appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two (2) dinner entrees.

“We initially launched Dine Latino Restaurant week as a one-time-only campaign in 2020 in response to the pandemic, and we saw that it was very successful in not only boosting sales but in creating additional exposure for the diverse set of Latino owned businesses in Philadelphia,” stated Jennifer Rodriquez, President of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “The 2020 initiative yielded so much success that we’ve decided to bring it back for 2021, and adopt it as a permanent initiative for the chamber.”

(Visit Philadelphia // Photo by Neal Santos)

Additionally, the GPHCC is dedicated to helping Latino restaurant owners as they navigate a new way of doing business. After the success of the inaugural Dine Latino Restaurant Week in September 2020, the GPHCC was able to deliver $15,000 in micro-grants to participating restaurants. As part of this year’s effort to provide support for Latino-owned and operated restaurants, the GPHCC is partnering with Visit Philadelphia to provide professional photography services to participants and has launched an Instagram account (@DineLatino_PHL), dedicated solely to promoting dining Latino in the Philadelphia region year-round.

Promoted by VISIT PHILADELPHIA, the tourism marketing organization will use advertising, web and social media, search engine marketing and optimization, public relations and photography to help cultivate and grow these small, diverse businesses during the dining promotion.

“Our city’s Latino-owned restaurants are lively, vital parts of our neighborhoods, and we want to encourage residents and visitors to support these restaurants as they recover from the impact of COVID-19,” said Jeff Guaracino, president & CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “We know that people want to make a positive impact. They want to be a part of our region’s economic recovery. One way we can help them do that is by making sure they know about our awesome Latino dining scene, so they can easily find and patronize these businesses.”

Menu Options 

Mexican :

  • Adelita: Taking its name from a character in a famous Mexican ballad, this family-run bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot in Philly’s diverse Italian Market focuses on dishes from Mexico City and Puebla. Can’t-miss offerings include tacos (nearly a dozen options) and mole poblano.
  • Alma del Mar: During Queer Eye’s 2019 visit to Philadelphia, the Fab Five memorably assisted Marcos Tlacopilco, owner and monger at Marcos Fish & Crab House, with work on a new restaurant. The result: Alma del Mar, named after Tlacopilco’s wife (and complete with a mural of the Queer Eye team inside). This Italian Market spot offers up a varied menu of Mexican and American dishes, including sweet breakfast options (tres leches pain perdu) and heftier entrees (branzino, pulpo al carbon).
  • Blue Corn: Along the gloriously gritty South 9th Street Italian Market, the Sandoval family serves spot-on preparations of huitlacoche quesadillas and Puerto Vallarta tacos at Blue Corn. Much of the fare is served in signature blue corn tortillas, made with cornmeal from San Mateo Ozolco, in Puebla, Mexico, the owners’ hometown.
  • Café y ChocolateDeep in South Philly, this Mexican restaurant pairs its hearty, vegetarian-friendly Mexican breakfast/brunch menu (the chilaquiles are a must) with hard-to-find coffees and hot drinks, such as a cajetuccino, a cappuccino with cajeta, Mexican goat’s milk, and caramel.
  • Casa MéxicoOne of the most prominent figures in Philadelphia’s food scene, Cristina Martínez is both an outstanding chef and an outspoken activist. She has racked up numerous national accolades over the years with South Philly Barbacoa (see below). Opened in February 2020, Casa México, also located in the Italian Market, serves more of Martinez’s star-making Mexican food, with an ever-changing menu.

(Visit Philadelphia // Photo by Stephanie Ramones)

  • Jose Pistola’sPistolas del SurSancho Pistola’s: Adan Trinidad’s trio of Mexican restaurants serve patrons in three of Philadelphia’s busiest neighborhoods. After working at restaurants around the city, Trinidad helped launch spots in Rittenhouse Square, Fishtown and East Passyunk. While the menu varies across each property, patrons at Sancho Pistola’s, Jose Pistola’s and Pistola’s del Sur will find staples like shareable guacamole appetizers, a long list of tacos, and extensive tequila and mezcal offerings from the bar.
  • La Canasta: Authentic Mexican food awaits in South Philly’s Whitman neighborhood at La Canasta Restaurant Grill. The spot’s titular tacos de canasta are a solid choice, as are platillos (stews), quesadillas, sopes and more.
  • La llorana CantinaPatrons can settle in for a modern cantina experience at West Passyunk Avenue spot from Arturo Lorenzo (Café y Chocolate, La Mula Terca) and Tim Lidiak and Adrienne Salvatore-Markey (Thirsty Soul). Pair tacos, quesadillas and more with drinks from a varied bar program that makes use of rare tequilas.
  • La Mula TercaThis South Philly BYO sets itself apart with a modern, higher-end take on Mexican and Latin American street food. The lamb birria tacos have rightfully earned patrons’ praise, but diners would do well to save space for the grilled steak, ceviche and other delicious options.
  • Laz Cazuelas: Those hungry for authentic Mexican fare can satisfy a craving for mole, sopes and more at this BYOB. Tip: Go all-out la vida Mexico by bringing a bottle of tequila.
  • Los Cuatro Soles: Owned by Karina and Angel Jimenez, Newbold’s Los Cuatro Soles (which translates to “the four suns”) has been dishing out authentic Mexican food to customers since 2016. Burritos, huaraches and quesadillas all get high marks here.

(Visit Philadelphia // Photo by Neal Santos)

  • Mole PoblanoMasa lovingly wrapped in cornhusks or banana leaves, tamales are a year-round favorite throughout Mexico, Central America and South America. In the 9th Street Italian Market, bright Mole Poblano does an incredible variation on tamales soaked in their titular sauce.
  • Nemi: Nemi’s menu follows the traditional flavors of Mexico complete with house-made tortillas, salsas, guacamole and ceviche. As far as tacos go, there are confit pork shoulder, marinated flank steak, fried cauliflower and other options for the choosing. A full tequila and mezcal bar add to the authenticity of this Port Richmond spot.
  • South Philly Barbacoa: South Philly Barbacoa’s lamb barbacoa, pork quesadillas and tamales from chef Cristina Martínez and husband/cooking partner Benjamin Miller (who also own Casa México, see above) have earned the pair features in Chef’s Table and Bon Appétit, as well as multiple James Beard Award honors. The team also advocates for immigrants’ rights.
  • Taqueria El JarochoEveryone has a favorite neighborhood taco joint, and for many, Restaurant Taqueria El Jarocho is it. A humble corner storefront slings memorably flavorful al pastor and nopales-tangled carne asada. Diners eat in to enjoy their signature sour cream chipotle dipping sauce, which goes especially well with fresh salsas and tortilla chips.

Central American:

  • El Merkury: Pop-up shop turned brick-and-mortar eatery El Merkury specializes in Central American street food. Corn, chocolate, chili and beans go into popular dishes such as maize-based flatbread pupusas, available con carne or vegetarian, but the show-stoppers are the elaborate churros served in multiple flavors of ice cream and cake.
  • Tamalex: For stellar Honduran-style tamales, fatter and heartier than their Mexican counterparts, Tamalex is way worth the trip. Sweetening the deal: the enchiladas and huaraches, which also rate highly here.

South American:

  • El Bochinche: Colombian and Latin American food make up the absolutely massive menu at this North Philly restaurant. The spot is well-known for its crave-worthy Colombian empanadas and authentic Columbian breakfasts of refried beans with rice, pork skin, sausage and eggs, while Mexican fare like tacos, tortas and more rounds out the offerings.
  • Jezabel’s Argentine Bakery & BYO: Jezabel Careaga is known for her Argentine empanadas, but she also has a way with tortilla de patatas (potato quiches), ham-and-cheese croissants and desserts, all served at her charming West Philly cafe.
  • La Calenita: Breakfast, lunch, fresh breads and pastries and a full-service deli — La Caleñita does it all. This Colombian spot in North Philadelphia serves heaping plates of arepas, chicharrónes and various sandwiches, but the bakery treats are the real stars. Try almojában (cheese bread) or treza (braided bread stuffed with fruit) alongside a fresh juice or Colombian coffee.
  • PuyeroSmall but mighty, this colorful Society Hill BYOB has customers head to the counter to order Venezuelan street food: arepas, patacónes and house-made lemonades.
  • Sazon Restaurant & Cafe: At this Spring Garden cafe, Venezuelan chef Judith Suzarra-Campbell grinds the cornflour for her arepas, which she fills with shredded beef, chicken, pulled pork and scrambled eggs. Guests can wash it all down with fresh fruit juices or chicha, a creamy Venezuelan rice drink.

(Visit Philadelphia // Photo by Stephanie Ramos)


Puerto Rican:

  • Bar BombonThe aesthetic may be inspired by Old San Juan, but the all-vegan menu at Nicole Marquis’ Bar Bombon is thoroughly modern. Patrons enjoy Latin American food with a twist, along with potent margaritas available by the glass or pitcher.
  • IzlasPuerto Rican dishes satisfy customers in the diner-like atmosphere at Izlas in Kensington. Fried pork chops, pan-seared steak, fajitas and seafood dishes top the list of signature dishes, and the restaurant also offers family packs — six servings ready to share — and appetizers like chicken wings and cheesesteak spring rolls.

Dominican:

  • Parada Maimon: The kitchen at this Callowhill eatery dishes out soul-stirring Dominican food — and plenty of it. The beef patty, yellow rice with black beans, tostones and pasteles earn high marks among ex-pats.

Latinx-owned & -helmed Restaurants That Are All Over The Map:

  • Amigos: Two locations mean twice as many opportunities to enjoy the expansive menu at Amigo’s, which includes Hispanic cuisine, as well as American offerings and, of course, more than a dozen different pizzas.
  • Charlie was a sinner.: Hip, candlelit and craft-cocktail-laden are all perfect ways to describe Nicole Marquis’ vegan restaurant in the heart of the Gayborhood. Small plates like potato croquettes and artichoke frites feel indulgent without requiring a single animal-based ingredient, and the ambitious cocktail menu is impressive enough to keep even committed carnivores content.
  • Garces GroupNearly a dozen restaurants comprise Chef Jose Garces’ holdings in Philadelphia and nearby Atlantic City, New Jersey, and many specialize in Latin-American flavors. Garces, a James Beard Award winner and Iron Chef star, runs spots like tapas-heavy Amada in Old City, Distrito Taqueria in University City and Rittenhouse Square’s beloved burger joint Village Whiskey.
  • HipCityVeg: Organic, plant-based ingredients dominate the menu at HipCityVeg, the fast-casual favorite with locations throughout Greater Philadelphia and in Washington, DC. Founder Nicole Marquis embraces fresh ingredients and sustainable packaging for all-day eats that include sandwiches, salads, smoothies and delicious banana whips.

(Amada)

  • Lou & Choo Lounge: The food at this North Philadelphia restaurant and lounge is as varied as the entertainment. Dungeness crabs, curry rice, catfish nuggets and chicken alfredo are on the menu indoors and out, where live music pumps through the indoor bar and around the spacious outdoor area patrons call The Yard.
  • Queen & RookThis Queen Village board game café — the creation of Edward Garcia and Jeannie Wong — is aimed at families by day and adults by night. Patrons choose from more than 1,200 games and puzzles and pair their game-playing adventures with mozzarella sticks, meatless burgers and more, plus a lengthy beer list and on-brand cocktails with names like Wolfsbane Potion, Amidala and Phoenix Feather.
  • Scarpetta: This elegant Italian restaurant inside The Rittenhouse Hotel (as well as in many other cities across the country) serves the food Chef Jorge Espinoza is most passionate about. Instead of dishes from Espinoza’s native Mexico, patrons at Scarpetta will find basil gnocchi, tagliatelle, foie gras ravioli and Mediterranean dishes.

Jet Wine Garden Returns to In-Person Tastings In Style

(Jet Wine Garden)

Jet Wine Bar, Philadelphia’s ‘global vineyard’, is making their long-awaited return to in-person wine tastings on Tuesday, May 11 from 6 – 8 p.m., with Booker Vineyard Wine Tasting, an in-depth tasting of four California wines guided by special guest, Owner and Winemaker Eric Jensen, at Jet Wine Garden, the wine bar’s adjacent outdoor oasis.

To kick off the return of in-person tastings in style, Owner and Winemaker of Booker Vineyard, Eric Jensen will guide guests through a selection of four Booker Vineyard premium red wines, as well as discuss tasting notes and delve into the background for each wine. For the first time in over a year, imbibers can enjoy a curated tasting at the lush, vibrant Jet Wine Garden while snacking on light hors d’ouevres. Attendees can expect a 3 oz. tasting of the following:

  • Fracture Syrah 2018
  • Oublie Red Blend 2018
  • Harvey & Harriet Red Blend 2018 (rated 95 points)
  • My Favorite Neighbor Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (rated 95 points)

Tickets for the Booker Vineyard Wine Tasting are priced at $50 per person, or $40 for Jet Wine Club members, and are available for purchase here. The wines included will be available for purchase at Jet Wine Bar’s bottle shop following the event.

Hours of operation at Jet Wine Bar are Tuesday through Thursday from 4 – 9 p.m., Friday from 4 – 10 p.m., Saturday from 12 – 11 p.m., Sunday from 12 – 8 p.m., and closed on Monday.

Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day at PHS Pop UP Garden

(Pennsylvania Horticultural Society)

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) invites people to visit the newly-opened PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street this May to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and the arrival of warm weather. Guests can enjoy a gorgeous, floral setting with delicious food and drinks that serve as the perfect backdrop for a festive celebration of family and culture.

Starting on May 5, new Cinco de Mayo offerings will be available for the month of May. New dishes will include Elote — Mexican street corn made with chipotle mayo, queso fresco, and chili powder, Mexican Hot Dogs (vegan and regular) served with bacon, crumbled queso fresco or vegan mozzarella, pico, pickled jalapeño, and mayo, and Chicken Achiote Tacos made with slow-roasted pulled chicken, cilantro, and onion. Even after the holiday is over, guests can enjoy new meals like Al Pastor Tacos, which will be available later in the month.

(Pennsylvania Horticultural Society)

For Mother’s Day, $8 glasses of rosé will also be available to purchase alongside of new offerings such as Mexican Shrimp CocktailLemony Artichoke and Herb Hummus, and the Nashville Hot Chicken Wrap, making a tasty meal for the whole family.

New to the garden this year, guests can book private group spaces for friends and family. These spaces are a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries in floral beauty with tailored food and beverage options. Interested groups of 20 or more can visit PHSOnline.org to learn more about booking a private space.

Once inside the garden, visitors will be met with a sea of vibrant purple, pink, and orange plants and bulbs that will be a feast for the eyes and add to the warm atmosphere of spring. Plants to look out for include Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, Digitalis ‘Excelsior Hybrid’ Tiarella ‘Sugar and Spice’ and Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ among others. “The garden always has something blooming with successional layered plantings and was designed to always offer something new for guests to visually explore throughout the season,” says Leah Blanton, Project Manager of Public Landscapes at PHS. No matter when guests come to visit, the South Street Pop Up Garden will be an experience unlike any other in Philadelphia.

(Pennsylvania Horticultural Society)

Safety is of the utmost importance to PHS, and the Pop Up Garden follows CDC-recommended guidelines. PHS has set guidelines within the space in accordance with city and CDC recommendations for safe social distancing at restaurants. These guidelines can be found here. PHS’s health and safety requirements will continue to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of our guests, staff, and community. With that, processes may change and will be posted on the PHS website and social media accounts.

Hours and Location

The Pop Up Garden at South Street

1438 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday through Sunday from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

 Beer Giveaway for Frontline and Hospitality Workers

(My Local Brew Works Beer Giveaway)

On the heels of the successful first beer giveaway, My Local Brew Works is gearing up for their next round of free beer giveaways for frontline workers, hospitality workers, and those in industries hit hardest by the pandemic, on Wednesday, May 5 at The German Society of Pennsylvania at 6th and Spring Garden Street.

Additionally, in celebration of Mother’s Day, My Local Brew Works is giving away free four-packs to Moms at their upcoming beer giveaway on May 5! Moms can register for the free four-pack on My Local Brew Works’ website.

(My Local Brew Works Beer Giveaway)

Upcoming Giveaway Dates:

Wednesday, May 5
Wednesday, May 19


You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at candis.mclean@gmail.com.

Subscribe, rate, and review all Philly Influencer podcasts here. Follow Philly Influencer on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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