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.
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.
The friendly crew at The Wild Tomato Pizzeria slings flavorful pizzas, sandwiches, and salads made with natural ingredients, including vegetables grown in-house and whole-wheat dough. Cheesy disks come in specialty neopolitan and Chicago deep-dish form, from the Roma, with provolone, romano, and oregano ($8–$13.50), to the fungal disco favorite, Mushroom-O-Rama ($10–$16.50). Discover wonders of the oven in the fryer-free kitchen with crispy baked chicken wings ($8 for 12) or provolone- and marinara-topped baked meatballs ($5), before sampling sandwiches such as the vegetable, mozzarella, homemade pesto, and carnivore-pranking Veggie Weggie (half, $5.50; whole, $7.50). Wheat-allergy allies reside in the marinated chicken over gluten-free penne ($10), and the gluten-free crusted Spicy Amber pizza, covered in italian sausage and—like the Mona Lisa—painted with spicy red-pepper oil ($13).
The culinary sovereigns at the King George Inn sate the hunger pangs of all those who enter their domain with toothsome American fare depicted on the lunch and dinner menus, served in a historic building constructed in 1756. Midday munchers can delve into the seafood layers of lobster-and-shrimp crepes interlaced with mascarpone cheese ($13.95), or brandish forks to gleefully capture the chicken dijon with fettuccini in pasta-loving prongs ($10.95). For dinner, reward valorous stomachs for their emotional and abdominal support with tender veal-picatta medallions, flash sautéed in lemon-caper butter ($21.95), or sharpen mouth bones on the Dorneyville Sizzler, a 12-ounce, premium-gold, Angus NY strip steak gilded with maître d’butter and served on a blazing-hot pewter plate to discourage entrée burglars and hungry snowmen from snatching the precious dish off of tables ($31.95). Top off tuck-ins with a treat from the dessert menu, which bursts with renderings of homemade cheesecake ($6.95) and chocolate mousse ($5.95).
Founded in 1924, the Pittsburgh Inn appeases rapacious appetites with a menu consisting of hearty, home-cooked American comfort fare. Seafood-savorers can coronate a romantic meal across from a spouse or a seventeenth-century skipper by ordering a crab-cake appetizer, where homemade crab cakes come paired with creamy dill sauce ($4.99). For entrees, diners can order up a house favorite such as the almond fried-chicken breast, where boneless chicken is drizzled in homemade maple-honey mustard ($9.99), or engorge on a meatless meal such as the eggplant parmesan, topped with provolone cheese ($9.49). The Pittsburgh Inn's walls commemorate Pittsburgh-area legends with framed pictures, including its Honor Roll for soldiers on duty in Iraq.