In 2009, Philly Balloon Decor got its start in Puerto Rico under the name Boom Boom Events. In 2013, the outfit moved to Philadelphia to craft inflatable decorations for birthday parties, weddings, and other events. The company's balloon artists tailor their creations to clients' preferences, inflating works that range from centerpieces for tables to masses of balloons that spell out messages.
Tastebuds' upscale menu serves homemade takeout and prepared foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start a long day of spelunking off right with a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel ($4.50) or stop in during a break from serving jury duty on the Q Continuum's trial of humanity for a filet-mignon and caramelized-onion panini ($7.99). The deli rotates its take-home entree specials daily alongside healthy regular favorites such as the eggplant parmesan ($8.99/lb) and vegetable quesadillas ($3.99 each). You can also accent any repast with fresh bread from local bakeries, fair-trade coffee, imported and domestic cheeses, specialty teas, Boar’s Head deli meat, and other specialties. Delectable desserts such as the triple-fudge brownie ($1.99), Oreo cookie cake ($4.99), or hand-dipped ice cream treats (prices vary) provide enticing endings to any meals that don't naturally end with the real murderer being unmasked. This Groupon can also be used toward Tastebuds' catering service.
After transitioning out of a career in the entertainment and record industries, owner Jan Marc Dorfman jokes that he began looking for a new way to “sell round things with holes in the middle.” He fully embraced this new opportunity when he founded Delancey Street Bagels in November of 1989, originally stocking his shelves with 18 bagel varieties and a coffee machine that could only brew two pots at a time. Since then, he has expanded the selection to feature 22 different bagels—including cinnamon raisin, sourdough, and asiago cheese—as well as a full espresso bar with roasted arabica beans from organic and international producers as far away as Guatemala and Kenya. The staff fills the rest of the menu with hot deli sandwiches and an array of baked goods that can include muffins, cinnamon rolls, and scones alongside seasonal items.
Based on Delancey Street in New York City’s lower east side, a bustling corridor for local sidewalk vendors and pushcarts, the shop emanates nostalgia for an old-school marketplace with exposed brickwork and sepia-tone exit signs above the doors.
The Coopermarket whips up homemade, internationally influenced fare from seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, and is equipped with an array of menus designed to meet the demands of all culinary contexts. Furnish the tables of any home or adults-only treehouse with the market's on-the-go take-out or catering fare (pricing and menu items for catered orders varies case-by-case). The grilled and marinated flank steak quells protein cravings ($17.50/lb.), and the quiche with roasted tomato-basil-leek makes for a colorful, piquant fork decoration ($19.75). Meanwhile, incumbent fan-club presidents can regale the town's most well-to-do hobbyists with sumptuous hors d’oeuvres such as the spinach-and-artichoke dip ($7.95/pt.) and grilled tuna ($18.75/lb.), sprinkled with soy ginger and slathered in a lime marinade.
Philadelphia calls Madame Saito the Queen of Sushi, and it's easy to see why. Armed with formal culinary training from Le Cordon Bleu and the Ritz Escoffier in Paris and experience from apprenticeships under premier Tokyo sushi chefs, she has committed the last 26 years to spreading her love for Japanese culture and contemporary fusion cuisine. Although she leaves time in her schedule to manage Tokio Sushi Bar—her sushi restaurant with French culinary influences—, The HeadHouse Cafe, and to conduct an annual sushi-making competition, Madame Saito counts education as one of her highest priorities. She regularly commits her quadrilingual tongue to demystifying the art of sushi during classes for aspiring chefs and casual students alike, teaching them how to hand roll maki and slice fish into perfectly uniform dodecahedrons.
Scenically besieged by water on three sides, Cavanaugh's River Deck culls meals from land and sea to serve in picturesque surroundings. The maritime menu is known for its famous crab dip ($10.99), which emcees mealtimes with a piping mix of seasonings, cream cheese, and crab alongside sidekicks of grilled pita. Customers hold lunch in the palm of their hands with Cavanaugh's spread of sandwiches, such as the seasoned lobster roll ($14.99) and ciabatta-encased panko-crusted chicken ($10.99). The prime rib and crab leg surf 'n' turf ($19.99, served Sunday–Tuesday only) satisfies cravings for both meaty fare as well as rhyming, unlike a dough trough.
Ludovico's proprietor Don Sozio and his two children and granddaughters whip up a menu of Italian sandwiches, pizzas, and homemade entrees using ingredients imported directed from Italy. Hot sandwiches, including the chicken parmigiana sandwich ($7.45) and grilled veggie panini ($7.35), crammed with fresh eggplant, roasted pepper, and broccoli rabe, are best bets for diners looking for a bite of home-cooked goodness or bait for a mozzarella monster trap. Original recipes revive classic comestibles, such as the stuffed portobello mushrooms ($8.99/lb.), grilled with crabmeat and spinach stuffing and capped with a hip new shredded-cheese wig. Snack-sized twice-baked potatoes ($6.99/lb.) compete for diners' affections with mouthfuls of gelato, desserts, and freshly brewed lattes and cappuccino.