The tantalizing smells of chicken simmering in a savory sauce or buttery lobster hit the nose before guests can fully discern where the aromas originate. They might be coming from a plate of chicken slathered with black-bean or garlic sauce or lobster buried in lo mein or fried rice. These are just some of the dishes New China Restaurant’s chefs whip up alongside classic favorites such as general tso’s chicken and mongolian beef, as well as shrimp prepared eight different ways.
Situated in the Sheraton Suites hotel near the Philadelphia Airport, Relish Burger Bistro offers wary travelers and local epicureans a casual spot to grab a burger and a drink. Featuring seven kinds of gourmet burgers, the menu includes classics such as a flame-grilled patty topped with lettuce and tomato, as well as fresh innovations, such as a blue-crab burger drizzled with a chipotle-infused remoulade. Vegetarians can enjoy a portabella burger or specifically request a veggie patty in place of the usual all-beef burger. Grilled NY strip steaks and flakey battered cod fillets round out the menu. For dessert, Kentucky bourbon pecan pie and warm lava cakes offer a sweet end, like the diploma dipped in frosting that is presented to every college graduate.
At the recently opened Falafel House, chefs use fresh ingredients and original recipes to handcraft a menu of Lebanese-style cuisine. They transform chickpeas into daily batches of hummus and employ halal meats in signature dishes such as charbroiled-lamb shish kebab or the kafta kabob sandwich with minced sirloin, onions, and parsley. In addition to welcoming diners at their cheerful yellow-and-green storefront, the crew adds Middle Eastern flavor to family gatherings with catering services and Village People routines sung in Arabic.
The chefs at Desi Village Indian assert dominance over hunger by mixing powerful spices into creamy curries and colorful veggie stews. They pair housemade cheese with spinach to create palak paneer, a filling and nutritious dish that both vegetarians and meat eaters can dip into with garlic naan or roti bread. Similarly, yellow lentils serve as the main protein in dal chana’s mix of tomatoes, ginger, cumin, onions, and fresh garlic. Meatier meals include tandoori shrimp, marinated in yogurt and spices, and chicken kebabs. The dining room is just as colorful as the food-prep station, with marigold and cream fabrics sweeping across the ceiling and green chairs tucking up to tables.
Executive chef Robert Halpern oversees Marigold’s menu, which bends minds and tempts taste buds with creative preparations of American classics. Menu items change regularly based on the availability of seasonal ingredients; recent offerings include an appetizer of tomatoes “in various forms and textures” ($11) and dippable and delectable corn fritters ($12). A Painted Hills rib eye comes partnered with a savory symphony of feijoada beans, braised kale, chimichurri, farofa, and a plantain chip ($31), and pork, beans & beer puts a new spin on the traditional repast of the UN’s bingo luncheons by combining pork tenderloin with white-bean puree, apple and butterscotch gels, and Guinness foam ($26). Ginger-crusted scallops ($29), monkfish Romesco ($27), and wild king salmon ($28) disprove the theory that saltwater taffy is the only seafood safe for human consumption.