At PBandU, founder Mercury Amodio reboots the classic school-lunch combination of creamy peanut butter on Wonder bread. Chefs smash and jar honey-roasted peanuts, and pair them with 20 toppings such as honey, bacon, and cheddar cheese for a menu lauded by Haute Living for its “simple, youthful appeal.” Alternatively, dining companions can forsake bread altogether with inventive dishes such as peanut-butter fondue and peanut-butter smoothies, all served by a horrified Mr. Peanut.:m]]
No matter what the time of day, the dining room at Fayette Street Grille glows. During lunch hours, sun streams in through the brick corner building's big windows; at dinner, candlelight flickers off adobe-orange walls. For the past decade and a half, guests have been toting their own bottles of wine to accompany fresh New American cuisine such as apple-braised pork belly, lemon-and-rosemary chicken, and lots and lots of seafood. Lunch is, for the most part, lighter, although there's also an elevated burger made from dry-aged Angus chuck and short rib, served on a kaiser roll from Conshohocken Bakery.
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.
Situated at the Conshohocken Train Station, Outbound Station’s menu conducts a freight-train-size medley of La Colombe coffees, fresh juices, and portable nibbles for hungry commuters. For an early dose of Old World energy, jump start your senses with a cappuccino ($2.75+), café au lait ($2+), or a chai-tea latte ($2.75). Stomachs adjust better to the waking world when comforted with a breakfast sandwich of two fresh eggs under a cheese blanket on a toast or bagel bed ($3.45). Spicy up commutes with a chorizo panini, a pressed repast of smoked chorizo sausage augmented by avocado, lettuce, tomato, onions, and provolone ($6.95). Daily specialty bars feature guest appearances from pasta, wraps, tacos, and retired cabooses sighing wistfully for the days of steam trains and coal-powered espresso machines. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices quell commuter blues with vibrant blends such as the Vampire juice, a hearty mixture of carrot, beet, lime, and fawning teenage girls.
At 401 Nirvana, owner Nabin Chhantyal and chef Jagmeet Singh viewing dining differently, depending on the time of day. For breakfast and lunch, the pair turns out distinctive diner fare ranging from fluffy omelets to flavorful wraps and deli sandwiches. When the sun sets, they trade in their spatulas and slicers to take a distinctly modern approach to Indian cuisine. It's here where Chef Singh has transformed once-simple recipes into artistic, minimalist compositions, and set dishes on fire for a truly dramatic presentation. He's even created edible terrariums filled with fresh produce and air harvested from a local garden. Though the menu sometimes features these whimsical creations, it's always anchored by contemporary interpretations of dishes such as tandoori chicken, lamb kebabs, and vegetarian masala, many of which are grilled in an authentic clay oven. A handful of American diner-style plates, such as hotcakes, turkey burgers, and sandwiches stuffed with spiced mahi mahi or herb-marinated chicken, round out the menu at breakfast and lunchtime. The dining room at 401 Nirvana also complements the distinctly modern cuisine: a warm color scheme surrounds rough wooden tables and benches with stained-glass partitions.