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Rex 1516

The West of Broad side of South Street is recently replete with tons of restaurants. Sit-down, takeout, PIE, it’s all quite the transformation. One of these newer spots is adorable Rex 1516. It’s so cute and moody, and rather romantic looking. It’s southern-inspired cuisine, and there are plenty of homecooked style dishes on the menu.
I’m a sucker for mac n cheese, so of course I had to get it! Rex’s version contains gruyere, fontina, swiss, roasted tomatoes, and is topped with crispy ham. It’s not an ooey gooey type of mac n cheese, which isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes I find those types too rich. It’s just cheesy enough, and the ham was a nice surprise.
We continued with a couple of more small plates, including the Crawfish Pot-Pie and the soup of the day. The pot-pie contained a 3 cheese spicy crawfish etouffee in a golden pie crust. The soup was a potato-based mushroom soup, which had a little kick. We were afraid that it would have too much of a mushroom taste, but it was actually pretty potato-heavy and yummy.
Lastly we shared the Moules Frites – a big plate of PEI mussels, sweet potato fries, bacon, roasted tomatoes, and thyme, in a Dijon-porter broth. This was a great way to end the meal, as the small plates had certainly got us started, but we didn’t need our own entrees. As a fan of sweet potato fries, in general, I’m happy to report that these are some of the best in the city! The mussels and the broth worked really well together, and we both enjoyed these immensely. We had a great time here, and the service was attentive and friendly. The atmosphere is low-lit and romantic and they play excellent music!
Rex 1516 on Urbanspoon

The Twisted Tail

On one of our many recent rainy weekend days, we stopped by the Twisted Tail for a late brunch. They just opened in Headhouse Square and in addition to food and drink, offer live blues music and open blues jams, for those of you inclined. They’re also a bourbon house so they’ve got quite the array of liquors! They also feature a charcoal grill in their kitchen and cook most of their food over open heat, whenever possible.
Of course, they also have beer. The restaurant is really quite big, especially the downstairs. I did not get to check out the upstairs, where the music happens. It’s decorately quite tastefully, even with all of the curly tail motif everywhere. It’s warm and masculine, with a slightly rustic touch.
Here’s some complimentary bread, one which was a corn bread, and one which was a bourbon based bread, I think. See the curly q of butter? Yes, very cute. The corn bread wasn’t particularly corn tasting at all. I like the bourbon bread, it had a little sweetness.
This is the watermelon gazpacho. Delicious and refreshing! It’s made with watermalon, pear tomatoes, jicama, and opal basil. It was a lovely mix of sweet and savory, with nice hunks of the fruit and veggies. It was so surprising and great.
This is the grilled Jersey Blue Fish, with confetti rice, and grilled loco corn. The fish was cooked on the grill, skin on, and was moist and delicious. It had a great flavor, all on its own. The corn had some kind of bbq type of sauce on it, and while already super sweet already, had the added sweetness from the sauce. It was amazing!
I had my eye on the bison meatloaf, and after our server told us it was one of his favorites, I had to go with it. It’s made out of bison! And it comes with a portobello mushroom gravy and green pea whipped mash potatoes. It was all delicious! The meatloaf has a bit of a kick from the glaze that’s on the outside. I’m in love with this green pea whipped mash potato stuff. It’s chunky and has tons of potato skin in it and pea bits. I just loved it.
For dessert, our server recommended the Chocolate Symphony. Why the hell not? It’s a layer of white chocolate pound cake, layers of chocolate mascarpone, a layer of German chocolate cake, and topped with Godiva sauce. They put the sauce on at the table, so you can get as much as you want. So go all out people, go crazy! This thing is nuts! It’s incredibly dense, sweet, chocolatey, and way too much for a weakling like me. I was done after a few bites. But it’s everything you’d think it would be. This was a great meal. Neither of us had any kind of idea what this place would be like. It’s brand spankin’ new and in a location that seems to be fraught with closings. Well, we hope this place stays around for a long time. The food was great and so was the service. Especially the service!

The Twisted Tail on Urbanspoon

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!

Down Home Diner on Urbanspoon

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