Food & Drink

Mood Cafe expanding to 45th and Sansom

Posted on 19 October 2016


Mood Cafe’s second location will open this fall at 126 S. 45th Street. (Photo by West Philly Local)

The popular Indian/Pakistani chaat restaurant on Baltimore Ave, Mood Cafe, is expanding to a second location in the area – 45th and Sansom – with plans to open in two to three weeks. Owner Hasan Bukhari wanted to make sure customers knew he wasn’t shutting down the old location. “It’s not a new location, it’s an expansion,” he said.

The new location will have more menu offerings with hot food favorites such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Biryani and Lamb Rogan Gosh. “I’d like to introduce the people to really good food. The cooking style will be closer to homestyle cooking, we’re going to have a very selective menu… Over there, I’m thinking we’ll start delivery at some point. But for now, we’ll only offer takeout and a place for people to sit,” Bukhari explained.  Continue Reading

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Zoning proposals: Another restaurant adjacent to Clarkville; bakery on 4300 block of Spruce

Posted on 14 October 2016


The first floor of the residential building connected to the left side of Clarkville at 43rd and Baltimore would be converted into a restaurant under a proposal considered last night by the Spruce Hill Zoning Association (Photo from Google Street View).

The Spruce Hill Community Association considered a proposal last night to convert the first floor of the row home adjacent to Clarkville at 43rd and Baltimore into a small restaurant amid concerns from some neighbors of commercial encroachment in residential areas.

Brought by the owners of the Clarkville building (not the business itself), the proposal for 4303 Baltimore includes an 1,100-square-foot restaurant on the first floor and renovated, high-end apartments on the second and third floors. In the past, the building housed three apartments, but is in rough shape, said Tom Lussenhop of Best House Partners, the building owners since May.

The proposal requires a variance for the first-floor restaurant, which has yet to be decided on (they’re open to suggestions). It will not have a liquor license.  Continue Reading

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Tour EAT Café and meet its staff at Community Open House this Friday

Posted on 13 October 2016

eatcafeflierEAT Café, Philly’s first nonprofit, pay-what-you-want restaurant, is opening this month at 3820 Lancaster Avenue, and neighbors are invited to check it out this Friday (Oct. 14) from 4:30-6:30 p.m. during a Community Open House.

This is an opportunity for the community to become introduced to EAT Café, its staff, and its unique payment model before the restaurant officially opens for business. All are welcome, and refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public, and coincides with Lancaster Avenue’s Second Friday.

EAT Café’s Grand Opening date is Wednesday, Oct. 26. Check out this page for updates.

In case you missed it check out our earlier story on EAT Café and the people and organizations behind it here.

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Eat, drink and dance at The Porch’s 5-Year Anniversary Party this Wednesday

Posted on 27 September 2016


Photo by Ryan Collerd, courtesy University City District.

It’s hard to believe it but The Porch at 30th Street Station is celebrating its 5th anniversary this week. It opened in the fall of 2011 and transformed a parking lot and a dangerous walkway outside of the nation’s second busiest train stations into a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly public space complete with tables and chairs, umbrellas, swings and greenery.

The Porch’s 5th Anniversary Party will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 28 (weather permitting) and will feature food, drinks, giveaways, and music. University City District (UCD), who operates and programs The Porch, is partnering with 33rd Street Hospitality and Jet Wine Bar to bring $5 food and drink specials in honor of the five years since The Porch debuted.

theporchpartySince its introduction in 2011, The Porch at 30th Street Station has been offering seasonal horticulture, special events, and lunch service from local food trucks. The Porch was Philadelphia’s first “lighter quicker cheaper” public space, and originally involved simple, cost-effective, and fully removable elements.

Five years later, The Porch has evolved into a more permanent mainstay, with elements contributed by Groundswell Design Group, Gehl Studio, and Visit Philly. The Porch has also cemented itself as a popular gathering space for commuters, local workers, and visitors to Philadelphia looking for a space to lounge and linger.  Continue Reading

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Ice Cave brings its cool desserts to Baltimore Ave

Posted on 08 September 2016


Ice Cave owner Po Chang and dessert chef Jessica Wang (Photo by Rana Fayez/West Philly Local)

People of West Philadelphia, you no longer have to travel to Chinatown for Taiwanese shaved ice treats. Ice Cave has opened at 4507 Baltimore Ave next to Atiya Ola’s and The Nesting House.

This is only one of a number of new businesses opening up on Baltimore Ave this year. Flavors such as strawberry, matcha, coffee, peanut and mango are on the menu with toppings like mango, kiwi and berries. If shaved ice is not your thing the shop also sells some of its flavors in a popsicle format.

Owner Po Chang graduated from Drexel in 2012 but decided to stay in West Philadelphia after earning his degree in Public Health. His dessert chef, Jessica Wang, was trained in Taiwan for five years in the craft of shaved ice.

If you like cold treats for breakfast, you may be out of luck. The shop is open 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday. On Fridays it closes at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.

Not sure if you’re into it? Come out to the Dollar Stroll tonight to try it, the shop will be selling sample sizes for $1.

Rana Fayez

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2016’s only Dollar Stroll is this Thursday

Posted on 06 September 2016

VIXThe Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is returning this week. The popular West Philly event, which is now held only once a year, will take place on Thursday (Sept. 8), 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. As always, this is a great chance for local businesses to showcase their signature products and for locals to enjoy $1 samples and deals. Well-known businesses, as well as newcomers will participate in the event (about 40 businesses overall).

Here’s what you should look for: $1 samples of everything from samosas to slices of pizza, cheesesteaks, ice cream and small pours of beer, but also highlights businesses offering pet supplies, children’s clothes and toys, handmade items, plants, and more. Vendors line the sidewalks and people are encouraged to walk up and down the avenue between 43rd and 52nd Streets sampling all sorts of food and drinks.

Baltimore Avenue Dollar StrollThe Dollar Stroll will also feature street performers and live music.

The goal of the Dollar Stroll is to celebrate established businesses on Baltimore Avenue while introducing visitors to new stores and restaurants, such as Black Hound Clay Studio, Amari’s restaurant, Vital Step Physical Therapy & Fitness, and more.

For the list of participating businesses and their $1 bargains, visit the event’s Facebook page.

The event is organized by the University City District (UCD) and Baltimore Avenue Business Association (BABA).

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