The warm staff at Ruby's Diner draws from more than 25 years comfort cooking to dish up mouthwatering menus of all-American grilled goodies in an old-fashioned setting with lightning-fast service. Tasty appetizers cross-train forks and phalanges in preparation for main course by dead lifting hearty cheese fry barbells or mastering gymnastic routines with battered onion rings. Fix fangs into a third of a pound of all-natural USDA Choice beef from grass-fed, hormone-free cows on the signature Super burger, ensnared in a net of melted double swiss cheese and fresh avocado on a grilled parmesan sourdough bun. Thick-cut slices of hickory-smoked bacon emblazon an X atop the hickory burger's hearty treasure trove of steak-cut onion rings, melted cheddar, and tangy barbecue sauce. A refillable bounty of Ruby's famous fries accompanies all burgers and sandwiches and boasts zero trans-fats, and those looking to dodge starches can wrap up platters of chicken or fish. Like the lipstick imprint at the end of every Shakespearean sonnet, old-fashioned milk shakes seal meals with a sweet kiss in a choice of 20 handmade flavors, including double-dark-chocolate chip, oreo, and banana cream dream.
Since its humble south Philadelphia beginnings in the 1990s, PrimoHoagies has quickly expanded throughout the region and garnered several awards on the strength of its cold-cut sandwiches, made with Thumann's brand of gourmet meats and cheeses. The shop's robust menu features dozens of specialty hoagies, many of which were created in-house rather than underwater, as is the industry norm. Sharp Italian hoagies teem with prosciutto and genoa salami, and pork Diablo hoagies marry Thumann's homestyle roasted pork with a blend of piquant spices.
On a typical evening in the kitchen of Bombay Grill, chefs can be found marinating lamb in coconut vinegar for vindaloo, simmering filets of seasonal fish in curry sauce, and stuffing potatoes with house-made cheese for vegetarian dum aloo. Fresh shrimp and tender spring chicken bake in a tandoor oven, and green tea leaves, raisins, pistachios, and other ingredients brew together for flavorful chai tea.
Executive chef and owner Bharat Luthra named his restaurant Khajuraho after a town in Madhya Pradesh, India—a town famous for a series of Hindu and Jain temples filled with erotic monuments. Like those iconic statues, the sights, smells, and tastes of Luthra’s Indian cuisine create a vivid statement in support of sensuality and the enjoyment of life. His restaurant's elegant white-clothed tables, great enough in number to seat up to 120, stage feasts fit for mild to spicy palates and carnivorous to vegetarian appetites. Luthra bakes succulent marinated chicken inside a tandoori clay oven, spikes fresh seafood with garlic and ginger, and keeps vegetable balls from rolling off the plate with a smooth cream sauce and repurposed bowling-alley bumpers.
Santa Fe Burrito's cooks assemble fresh ingredients daily to fill made-to-order burritos with generous portions of chicken, turkey, shrimp, vegetables, beans, and tofu. Menu options range from traditional burritos with black beans and cheese to ultimate burritos stuffed with Adobo shrimp, chicken chili, or turkey burger.
Every morning at Jazmin Restaurant, chefs load morsels of freshly kneaded naan dough into the tandoor oven. The aroma of baking bread soon fills the dining room, mingling with the heady scents of curry and cumin that waft from grills sizzling with halal chicken and lamb. Chefs also flaunt seven vegetarian entrees that swap meat for lighter ingredients such as homemade cheese and lentils. To contrast the savory dishes, dining companions can share traditional Indian desserts of mango ice cream and mango custard, which stand as evidence of the mango’s worth beyond its inclusion in fruit hats.
There are only 16 tables inside Sola, but the intimate dining room is an echo chamber for camaraderie. Guests ferry their own libations to dinner under a BYOB policy, which encourages relaxed, familial meals lined with conversation. The menu refrains from overwhelming guests with too many choices or tablecloth-size pages—instead, it details a concise array of meat and seafood entrees. From the brown-butter skate wing to the roasted duck, these French-influenced dishes arrive stylishly poised on white tableware, framed against a backdrop of drizzled sauces and artfully arranged sides. Frozen white-chocolate hazelnut mousse and pumpkin cheesecake, flanked by a pear-cinnamon sorbet, draw evenings to a close.
Executive Chef Stephan Stryjewski composes these seasonally shifting spreads with help from local farms. He also receives organic ingredients, such as goat cheese and honey, from neighborhood producers, and orders his resulting creations into special prix fixe courses. Sola invests in the community through charities as well; every Sunday, it contributes 5% of its earnings to an organization of the month. Examples of past beneficiaries include The Wounded Warrior Fund and Melmark.