DDD:Philadelphia:Silk City Diner

It was stormy night, long ago in Philadelphia.  On the last night of a week long conference, after smiling in front of customers and running up the Rocky stairs, I was ready for Silk City Diner. Other than the fact it’s a  DDD and it’s foundation is a old school diner, I knew little about this Philadelphia icon.

Since I was already an expert in the Philly landscape (based on my previous walk to Honey’s Sit n’ Eat), I lead my band of fearless eaters down Spring Garden St to our destination.  The diner was a little more than I expected, housing a lounge on one side and a beer garden on the other.  Despite the promise of a late June storm, we weathered it out and sat in the latter.  Adorned with metal trellises, Christmas lights and coloured stools and picnic tables, it looked like it could have been decorated by Don Ho or a creative grade 7 class inspired by Claude Monet.

Silk City Diner Beer Garden
Silk City Diner Beer Garden

The Thai Style BBQ ribs were delicious…meaty and flavourful and likely the best thing I ate that night.   The pickles, peanuts and hoisin sauce was an odd combination but it worked so well.

Thai Style RIbs
Thai Style Ribs

Other than a little joint in Toronto (see grand electric in this blog), this is the best fried calamari I have had. It was an abundant pile of hot, tender and spicy all rolled into one.

Spicy Fried Calamari
Spicy Fried Calamari

Philadelphia may not be the haven for comfort soul food, but Silk’s buttermilk chicken reminds me of the deep south (well not really…I’ve never been to the deep south but it did have collard greens and a corn muffin!); a delicious, big ass home cooked meal.  Crunchy skin, juicy chicken and all the fixin’s.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Buttermilk Fried Chicken

In a world filled with burgers approaching  $20, a $10 burger (well..$12 with the guacamole and long hots) is an endangered species.  Silk’s offering was simple and solid.

Silk Burger
Silk Burger

The pork belly empanadas were decent but not the highlight of the meal.  The slaw and the mango attempted to add some different flavour and texture to the dumplings, but they were a bit doughy.  The cilantro cream did little to enhance the dish.

Pork Belly Empanadas
Pork Belly Empanadas

I can’t turn down bread pudding, so I was happy to see Chocolate Banana Brioche Bread Pudding on the menu. It was a little more bread than it was pudding so I let out a little sigh or two.

Chocolate Banana Brioche Bread Pudding
Chocolate Banana Brioche Bread Pudding

This is another let the pictures do the talking place.  The food is diverse and tasty and there’s a bit of something for everybody. There’s plenty of cocktails and a great beer selection, ranging from $2.50 Tecates to a $4 Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils.  The portions are huge and the prices are cheapish.  The environment is fun and lively, even in the midst of a pending summertime storm.

Verdict: 5 Guyz!

Silk City Diner on Urbanspoon

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DDD:Philadelphia:Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat

Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back, a random walk solo from downtown Philadelphia to North Liberties without research was not a good idea.  Sometimes in my search for culinary excellence I pull a Scooby-Doo.   I ignore zombies, monsters and ogres to pursue a wafting scent in a effort to fulfill my internal hunger.

This is not to say that the neighbourhood of North Liberties is bad. It’s just the fact I didn’t do my homework. After all, it was Will Smith who warned me of the perils of West Philadelphia, so I felt that North Liberties was safe. I was quite relieved to reach my destination.  More so, I was happy to see that a couple was skipping the same conference I was to order to indulge in Philly’s local cuisine.

The 20-minute wait seemed palatable, especially when sitting among locals and tourists alike.  When I finally had my name called, I  maneuvered between kids, the elderly and the locals alike to get to my seat at the bar.  I was promptly served a great coffee, given a menu and had the specials explained to me in great detail by a friendly dude behind the counter.

In the end, I stared at the blackboard and opted for their version of  Toad in the Hole.  There was no yorkie and no sausage. It was grilled bread with a fried egg as a centrepiece and mildly seasoned with truffle oil.  Despite the deceit, it was prepared perfectly. It came with a potato latke and applesauce to create a bit of a carbohydrate overload. The latke was a bit chewy but the applesauce was terrific.  At the suggestion of a regular patron, I also ordered a side of blueberry jam which was delicious even from the perspective of a Northern Ontarian who grew up sucking on frozen blueberries instead of a  teething ring.

Honey's Toad in the Hole
Honey’s Toad in the Hole

Highlighted by great food, this place just works. Just shy of pretentious but with enough muscle flexing, you can order  everything from Jewish-inspired dishes to reasonably priced kid’s meals.  You feel cool (ie. Will Smith as opposed Carlton) and like you belong, even when you are in line.  There are few places that give you that feeling so easily and for that reason…

The Verdict: 5 Guyz

Honey's Sit 'n Eat on Urbanspoon