When the original Philly Soft Pretzel Factory location had a line out the door, its founders knew they had a hit on their hands. That was in 1998; today, over 100 franchise locations serve their special-recipe soft pretzels. Each chewy treat is hand twisted, baked fresh, and served hot from the oven into the customer's waiting hands, or mouth if they're really hungry. Pretzels can be topped with traditional salt, or spiced up with garlic or sesame seeds, while a selection of dipping sauces ranging from cheddar cheese to sweet chocolate provide layers of dunking flavor. And for those who prefer their baked goods meaty, dough-wrapped dogs and cheesesteak-filled pretzels are available.
Situated on the water, Robin's Nest Restaurant's unmistakable, bright exterior seems to always sing of spring. Inside, the interior is reminiscent of a beautiful, quaint home, setting diners at ease during brunch, lunch, dinner, or just cocktails. An eclectic dinner menu is marked by the distinct influence of French cuisine, evident in dishes such as traditional crocks of french onion soup, truffled fries with shaved parmesan, and portobello napoleon with rice pilaf.
Beginning with rolls baked fresh daily, the namesake sandwiches at 537 Subs tantalize taste buds with fixings such as chicken parmesan, oven-roasted roast beef, and housemade falafel. The latter pairs especially well with the shop's housemade hummus, which sandwich makers can add to any order. 537's menu also includes salads and wraps such as the chicken caesar, though these, too, can be converted into subs. For customers eager to create their own sandwiches by hand, 537 sells Boar's Head cold cuts and cheese by the pound.
Hearty helpings abound at Pirone's, where chefs construct a sizeable menu of steaks, seafood, pizzas, and other traditional Italian specialties. As the dinner curtain rises, feast your eyes and your lips upon an opening number of fried calamari ($11) or mussels marinara ($10) before moving on to sing the praises of a tender, boneless chicken cacciatore ($17) backed by peppers and onions, and simmering in a marinara mushroom sauce. Waiters cart plates of meat- or cheese-tortellini alfredo ($16), chosen from among more than 22 pasta picks that range from traditional spaghetti with meatballs ($22) to an eggplant-topped baked ziti ($16). Meal-goers can appease meaty appetites with a mushroom-infused veal marsala ($19) or a thick-cut steak à la Pirone ($21) topped with mushrooms, provolone, shrimp, sherry sauce, and a miniature model of the restaurant, and those who prefer sliceable sustenance can snack on a sliver of spinach-and-ricotta pizza ($8–$17) or divide a mini calzone ($7) into five mini-er calzones.