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fried chicken

Alla Spina

Alla Spina is a casual beer and food spot brought to you by Mark Vetri on N. Broad st. They really like their pigs here, judging by all the pig art in the place! Oh, and there’s also lots of pig parts on the menu. It’s also right around the corner from Route 6, Stephen Starr’s seafood joint. They’re trying to create a bit of a restaurant scene up on that section of Broad, so here’s wishing them some luck. There’s outdoor dining, weather permitting, and it’s nice and open and not at all stuffy. It really is a nice and casual place. 
Can you get more casual than pretzels? These are housemade pretzel bites with spicy beer cheese. See the cute little pig they get served in? I liked these quite a bit… warm and doughy!

You’re not in canada, but they serve their own version of poutine here. It’s served with a guinea hen leg bolognese and mozzarella curd. I wasn’t too crazy about the bolognese part. But the fries were good. 
Maple glazed fried chicken and fries! There was so much, E took plenty of it home as leftovers. There are those tasty fries again.
I had the fancy grilled cheese, with taleggio and roasted red peppers, served with green tomato conserva and homemade potato chips. Yum! That green tomato conserva stuff is amazing! I want to put it on everything now. And the roasted red peppers inside the grilled cheese was a nice touch.
While we were eating, we saw all the tables getting soft serve vanilla ice cream. It confused us a little bit. Then we found out that it was actually fiordelatte soft serve, not just plain vanilla ice cream, not like the thing you would get at McDonald’s. The flavor itself is more of a sweet cream. We got a bowl of it along with the famed donut bread pudding. The bread pudding was delicious, but I could have certainly gone without the raisins in it. The fiordelatte was also creamy and dreamy. This was a fun spot. Service was good and the food came out quickly. Although it’s a bit further away from the action of the city, but it’s kind of like a retreat from all the hustle and bustle.
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Down Home Diner – Reading Terminal Market

The lovely ladies at Philly Food Lovers invited me to Down Home Diner at Reading Terminal Market to have lunch. I made it a point to not go during the peak lunch hours, but it was still really crazy busy in there! We got a seat in one of their booths, but everything else was full! Jack McDavid servers up home style cooking with a southern twist here. He famously wears denim overalls and a red and white “Save the Farm” trucker’s cap and is super nice. I got a chance to meet him and he certainly serves up some great food. K got the fried catfish with mashed potatoes, broccoli, and philadelphia style pepper hash. This hash is amazing! It’s a sweet and sour slaw of cabbage and bell peper with just enough spice. It would go well with anything!
Here’s C’s Poached On A Biscuit… homemade buttermilk biscuit topped with salt-cured virginia ham, sliced tomato, and two poached eggs. There’s some stewed apples to go with those too. And she also got an order of cheesy grits. After she let the grits sit for awhile, they were just the way she liked them, not too mushy.
And here’s my Cast Iron Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and collared greens. This is a whole lotta chicken that is super hot, super moist, and perfectly fried up. You know what goes really well with it? The philadelphia style pepper hash! And it was even better the next day as leftovers! The sweet potato fries were also amazing, and I think they are twice fried. But the real star of this plate was the collard greens. They are braised and are sweet and savory and not bitter at all. These are some of the best greens I’ve ever had! This was a fun and delicious lunch with some amazing women and tons of delicious food. I need to eat in the city more often!

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The Country Cat – PDX

For my last meal in Portland, we headed to The Country Cat in the southeast. I really wanted to go to this food truck called Kim Jong Grillin’ because, honestly, I couldn’t think of a food truck with a better name. But alas, it was closed that night. The Country Cat is a neighborhood restaurant specializing in Farm-to-Table food, where everything in prepared in-house. It’s got a good sized dining and a bar. There’s also a chef’s table at the open kitchen, which is where we dined. It got really hot there!
The mixed salad of local greens with a really zesty house dressing. This was a big plate of greens, just greens. Would it have killed you to throw in a tomato? A piece of carrot? It was just too… green for me. And the dressing, while good, was a bit too much. They need to lighten up on the amount of dressing. The greens were nice and fresh.
The soup of the day, which was some kind of sweet potato or butternut squash type of creamy concoction (sorry I forget!), topped with a whole lotta bacon, croutons, and fresh cream. I love creamy and thick soup like this. When it’s cold out, there’s really nothing I love more. And this was a nice sizable bowl! Plus, bacon! Any soup with bacon is a winner in my book.
Here’s the cast iron skillet fried chicken with bacon braised collard greens, served with a honey drizzled sweet cream biscuit. It’s delicious! It’s extra delicious because I got to watch them make everything. I think they cook this chicken twice in the skillet. It’s hot and juicy. I’m not the biggest fan of greens, but I definitely liked these, as they weren’t bitter at all. And I absolutely love biscuits, especially when they pour gobs of honey over it… I can see why this dish is so popular. Service was good and I enjoyed the free show!

The Country Cat on Urbanspoon

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