Most Philly-cheesesteak connoisseurs know that it?s next to impossible to find an authentic version of the magically mammoth sandwich below the Mason-Dixon line. That said, South-A-Philly Steaks & Hoagies works pretty darn hard to be the exception to the rule. Discerning in its curation, the eatery imports par-baked bread directly from South Jersey. Once the rolls rise to perfection, the crew piles on hearty amounts of meat coupled with a generous coating of Cheez Whiz?the only condiment known to have been used in both sandwich creation and the signings of numerous constitutional amendments.
Balancing out the meaty menu, South-A-Philly Steaks & Hoagies not so surprisingly serves another Pennsylvanian staple?the hoagie. Each heroically sized creation is adorned with both italian Dietz and Watson meats and cheeses including genoa salami, coteghino, capocolla, and provolone. Truly adventurous offerings also fly out of the kitchen with toppings that range from onions, peppers, pickle slices, and the hands of friends who fight over said pickle slices.
Framed black-and-white pictures fill the lemon-yellow and terra-cotta-red walls in Fratelli's Restaurant, evoking the casual ambiance of a family dining room beside the Mediterranean. The chefs demonstrate a similar commitment to homestyle comfort by faithfully re-creating familiar Italian-American staples. Ricotta-stuffed shells bake beneath a layer of mozzarella and marinara, and marsala sauce adds an extra dose of flavor to sautéed veal loin, chicken breast, or sliced rib-eye steak. Occasional maritime influences also work their way into the menu, as in the case of the housemade crab cakes and the shrimp or scallops in a spicy red sauce made with magma-marinated peppers.
Thirty years ago, a mother, a son, and his wife joined forces to create their own barbecue restaurant, starting with family-inspired, made-from-scratch recipes. The formula proved to be a success, and although Woody’s Bar-B-Q is now under new ownership and management, they still dish up the same quality eats from locations in six states. The newly remodeled restaurant’s defining secret sauce decorates baby back ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and roasted half-chickens.
Dick’s quickly silences grumbling bellies with a menu of tasty grilled edibles and a tongue-tingling variety of spicy twists. Fried pickles ($4.29), buffalo shrimp ($7.49), or wings in 365 available flavors ($8.99/10) engage mouths as guests wait for the main attraction—half-pound burgers, whose meatslabs are hand-pressed and grilled to order over the heat of omnipresent flame decals. Bacon, swiss, and lettuce enrobe the Squealin' Cheeser burger ($7.59), whereas sautéed mushrooms sit proudly atop the Shroomer burger ($7.59) and a trio of cheddar, american, and jack adorn the Three Cheeser ($7.59). All burgers come with a choice of steak fries or waffle fries and can be sharpened with any of Dick’s 365 sauce blends ($0.59 additional). Before strolling over to the nearby beach to squash sandcastles, diners can clog their molars with chunks of deep-fried Oreos ($3.99), a chocolate tribute to the hamburger and a smooth ending to a spicy ride.
The pastry makers at Everything Bagel bake New York–style bagels daily and pair them with eight flavors of cream cheese. Customers can unite 12 of the café's rotating selection of bagels with a pound of plain cream cheese—or the low-fat variety—to feed coworkers at a morning meeting, satiate a hungry group of students, or enjoy on the first day of each month. Scallion spread spices up sesame rounds, and cucumber-dill cream cheese adds zest to plain bagels. Patrons can slather a raisin bagel with a honey-almond cream cheese or apply it to their facial skin for an appetizing moisturizer.
Cortesse's presents an Italian menu sculpted out of fresh vegetables, pasta, hearty meat, and succulent seafood. Like the 45-year-old John D. Rockefeller, the bistro is winsomely nestled in a picturesque 1880s home. Halt hunger with an appetizer of calamari, handbreaded and fried under a layer of parmesan cheese and accompanied by remoulade sauce ($7.95). Voraciously pursue an entree with the primavera, accoutered in asparagus, portobello mushrooms, roasted peppers, and a light garlic cream sauce ($10.95). A seasoned 8-ounce certified-Angus-beef filet inundates tummies with heaps of scrumptious protein ($21.95), while the char-grilled pork tenderloin harnesses the yumminess of herbed polenta, marinara, and a duo of jumbo shrimp to sing sweet tunes of tastiness to palates, albeit in a politely hushed, metaphorical tone ($19.95). Parched guests can relieve arid gullets with a glass of wine or one of 20 specialty martinis.