In a video for the blog Philly in Focus, Leziz Turkish Cuisine owner Sal Kucuk greets his son at the appetizer-prep station. He stops by the grill line to thank the head chef, who brings his own experience from owning a restaurant in Istanbul for 14 years. In the dining room, Sal stops for a moment to pay respect to his mother's framed image??a beloved photograph blown up by his fianc?e as a gift. Formerly S & H Kebab House, Leziz Turkish Cuisine is still the same family-owned restaurant that was bestowed with Talk of the Town's Excellence in Customer Satisfaction award for 2010 and 2011 and the U.S. Commerce Association's Best of Philadelphia award from 2011?2013.
Specializing in authentic Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisine, the eatery employs organic lamb, top Choice Black Angus steaks, and fresh seafood for kebabs and saut?s. Amid hanging lights and butter-yellow walls, warm pita sops up creamy hummus and whipped caviar to pair with patrons? BYOB beverages. Live bands on Fridays and monthly belly-dancing events fill the air with music, unlike the falafel-juggling mimes hired by most restaurants.
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.
At Simba Tropical Grill, cooks make it their mission to bring the cuisine of East Africa to the East Coast, serving up platefuls of aromatic, traditional cuisine. Surrounded by the deep canary yellows and reds of the dining room, diners can browse the menu before digging in to Kenyan-style flatbread quesadillas or grilled chicken thighs glazed with a sweet coconut sauce. The full bar also pours imported Tusker Lager from Africa, wines, and house cocktails.
With a menu of scratch-made meat and veggie dishes accented by colorful sauces and collar-heating Cajun spices, the culinary artists at Nora Lee’s French Quarter Bistro transport taste buds to the lively streets of New Orleans. Hunks of daily-baked bread soak up creamy crayfish bisque or chicken-sausage gumbo, and bacon-wrapped meatloaf made with ground fillet and andouille sausage tempts forks and knives.
Since the first Friendly's opened in 1935, staff members have been serving up hand-crafted ice cream in scoops, cones, and sundaes alongside juicy beef burgers crowned with crisp lettuce and tomatoes. Now with locations spanning the United States, Friendly's has come a long way from its first modest shop in Massachusetts, which sold double-dip cones for 5 cents. Today, servers scoop ice cream in classic flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry and dish out new twists on the favorites, including Fribble soft-serve shakes and Friend-z ice-cream desserts whipped with toppings such as Oreos, Butterfingers, and Reese's peanut-butter cups. They also top crisp belgian waffles with scoops of ice cream and hot caramel and fill dishes with new ice-cream flavors such as Vienna Mocha Chunk and Rockin' Poppin' Cotton Candy.
Behind the grills, cooks build big beef burgers such as the Vermonter with melted vermont white cheddar and maple-pepper bacon on a toasted ciabatta roll. Healthier options include meals under 555 calories, such as the sweet and spicy grilled shrimp over rice pilaf and the chicken-caprese sandwich.
When it comes to putting his own twist on bar food, Chef Justin Vignola prefers subtle tweaks to massive reinventions. At Philly Tap & Tavern, located inside Caesars Casino, he stuffs potato skins with bacon and fries his wings twice before tossing them in sauces such as garlic parmesan. Amongst classic burger options, there are choices such as bison patties topped with horseradish or Wagyu beef patties crowned with watercress and roasted pepper sauce.
Justin's dishes complement what Philadelphia Style calls an "impressive selection of brews." More than 20 beers fill the taps here, and the fridges are stocked with lagers, stouts, and fruity brews such as Wells Banana Bread. As patrons grab a drink or a bite to eat, they can catch the big game playing on any of the 12 big-screen televisions, including an 82-inch plasma. Live entertainment attention every Thursday–Sunday, and during the day you can keep occupied by playing arcade games or staring longingly at the Delaware outside, just like our forefathers.