During the sweltering summer of 1984, former Philadelphia firefighter Bob Tumolo decided to open the first Rita's Water Ice, naming it after his wife. The specially formulated treat fueled Rita's growth, expanding the family-run business to more than 500 franchised locations nationwide. Despite the incredible expansion, each Rita's stays true to the company's origins by mixing their Italian ice according to Bob's original recipe. Their most famous dessert, the Gelati, features layers of his signature Italian ice between two giant dollops of custard, combining flavors such as mango with vanilla or introducing recently emigrated Swedish fish to vanilla or chocolate. Rita's also promotes community awareness with regular fundraisers for organizations such as Relay for Life.
Featuring 30 flavors of ice cream, The Dairy Bar halts hunger and slakes sweet-tooth suspirations with menus full of grilled goods and an array of ice-cream treats. Snack on a timeless tradition, such as a large chocolate milkshake ($4) mouth-delivered by a side of fries, regular or sweet potato ($2.50); or create an innovative new practice, such as a medium-fat Elvis, your choice of soft-serve blanketed in hot fudge, peanut butter, banana, and sprinkles ($2), eaten by hand. For those baffled by the bevy of mouth-watering treats, friendly menu decoders stand by to guide unsure patrons through stressful sweetmeat decisions. Patrons are invited to relish their scoops of iced savory-ness in The Dairy Bar's new indoor seating area, or on the patio during the warmer months.
Since 1964, Blimpie has stacked and shuffled Jersey-style subs for on-the-go grabbers. The variety of items on its highly legible menu spans the savory spectrum, with hot, cold, and panini-grilled sandwich selections. Like the slangy biz terminology rappers give to their newest tracks, every made-to-order sandwich is sliced fresh. Wallet watchers can binge on a budget with a variety of $5 footlong subs, and pound pinchers can indulge sans guilt with The Lighter Stuff, the newest menu line from Blimpie, featuring six sandwiches with fewer than 400 calories and 6 grams of fat. Nostalgic noshers can opt for the classic Blimpie Best, piled high with ham, salami, capicola, prosciuttini, folded provolone, veggies, vinegar, oil, and oregano (6", $4.69). To give meal mittens a rest, guests raise their forks high for fresh picks such as the garden salad ($4.49) or the ultimate club salad, a complex arrangement of lettuce, slow-cured ham, oven-roasted turkey, swiss, smoked cheddar, bacon, and rogue tomatoes ($4.99). Other delectable edibles include cups of the day's finest soup ($2.49+) and complete kids’ meals for diners younger than 12 years old ($3.99).
Dom's Broad Street Eatery manages to embrace tradition while still finding room for creativity and imagination. Here, guests can peruse a breakfast and lunch menu that features familiar diner staples, including everything from buttermilk pancakes to half-pound burgers. For more than 10 years though, the cooks have expanded upon this classic selection by incorporating dishes with a bit more flair. These cooks treat apple fritters like french toast, battering and grilling them to-order. They also combine the best aspects of breakfast and dinner into a single dish by stuffing a three-egg omelet with homemade meatloaf, caramelized onions, and sauteed mushrooms, then spoon gravy over the entire creation. They even whip up 10 different versions of everyone's favorite brunch staple: eggs benedict, swapping out Canadian bacon for beef tenderloin, kielbasa sausage, or corned beef hash, or whipping up vegetarian- and Popeye-friendly versions made with sauteed spinach or asparagus.
For seven years, The Red Cabin has served up both traditional and inventive takes on breakfast and lunch classics. In a family-style dining room, patrons devour grilled corned beef reubens stacked with sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing on rye. Cooks also prepare Irish omelets with fresh baby spinach, crispy corned beef hash, and hollandaise sauce. The eatery also offers a kids' menu with junior omelets, hot dogs, and other pint-size plates.