While scanning the pages of Nooddi Thai Chef's eclectic and lengthy menu amid the eatery's oceanic murals, eyes are forced to stop at words that stand out against the traditional "dumpling," "curry," and "satay." The kitchen staff's specialties cause these double takes on a daily basis, as they introduce eccentric proteins such as wild boar in a garlic red curry sauce or sautéed alligator in an aromatic herb sauce. In addition to their Thai classics, the cooks assemble flavors from across Asia, including those in Vietnamese pho, Japanese yakisoba, and Indonesian mee goreng.
After Jennifer VanHeeswyk Richmond and Joel Odhner created the nutrient-rich juices of their Catalyst Cleanse juice program, they were inspired to open Jar Bar in 2012 to celebrate raw foods of all kinds. None of Jar Bar's ingredients are cooked above 115 degrees, which helps protect the naturally occurring enzymes in entrees such as sweet potato pasta or vegetable-almond burgers with jicama fries. Naturally, you also can order one of their popular juices, fortified with wheatgrass shots and aloe, alongside other drinks such as an Elixir, a special, healthy smoothie. The Coconut Dream Elixir, for example, has a blend of Thai coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and agave, and you can dress it up by adding almond butter, cocoa, hemp seeds, or a unitard. Jar Bar also periodically hosts special events, such as workshops and cooking demonstrations.
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 fiancée 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 sautés. 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.
Taking to heart the idea that three is a magic number, the owners of Mugshots CoffeeHouse dedicate themselves to a triple bottom-line business model that supports people, profit, and the planet. Organic direct trade beans constitute the whole of the steamy coffee and espresso drinks served by the baristas, and locally raised, earth-friendly foodstuffs comprise each hot sandwich found on the menu. Much of the money generated by the brisk bean trade goes toward charities of both local and international origin. When not welcoming community organizations for meetings or fundraisers, the venue shows off its artsy side with film nights, open mics, and staged readings of VCR instructions.
The rhythmic sound of a chopping knife behind the counter at Saladworks means that someone has just ordered one of its entree-size signature dishes. Under the customer's watchful eye, the staff preps each bowl of greens to order, slicing veggies and grating fresh cheese every day. These greens get tossed with protein options such as chicken or roasted turkey, and housemade croutons and bacon add a crunchy texture. A white or wheat tortilla can embrace these ingredients for a handheld meal, making for easier eating while driving to work or directing runners to steal third.
Since 2008, the Mistry family has served up nutrition in liquid form at Fuel Juice Bar. They blend pure fruit purées into smoothies and mix Oreos, peanut butter, and other satisfying ingredients into protein-packed performance shakes. Patrons can also customize shakes with boosters such as Burn Fat Burn or sip locally grown, organic wheatgrass juice. In the warmer months, the spot also serves frozen yogurt rich with live, active cultures.