Philadelphia has developed into quite a foodie destination.  Although we love to try new places, Tobey and I are definitely not “fine diners” – our criteria are less about service and ambience and more along the lines of:

*tasty

*inexpensive

*different

*local/individually owned

There are many, many restaurants that fit this criteria (which is why we can’t keep up with our “to try” list), but some of our favorites are owned by Philadelphia’s Cook ‘n Solo team.  We’ve written about some of these individually, but there’s lot’s more to say…

 

Federal Donuts: Super crispy fried chicken and delicious donuts.  What more could you want from a restaurant? Philly Restaurant Review: Federal Donuts (Donuts & Fried Chicken).

Goldie: This is Tobey’s favorite.  Delicious, bright green falafel (either on a pita or Tobey’s favorite salad), fries, and vegan tehini-based milkshakes (way better then it sounds). Our go-to spot pre- or post-yoga at the Phialdelphia Museum of Art. Philly Restaurant Review: Goldie (Falafel)

 

Dizengoff: In addition to the designer hummus (Philly Restaurant Review: Dizengoff (Designer Hummus)), you can also get a take-out meal of a roast chicken, salad, pita, and hummus ($39.99/feeds 4).  The meal must be ordered in advance, and makes a great picnic.  We’ve yet to try the shakshuka, but it’s on the “to try” list.

…and the flagship Zahav: Modern Israeli cuisine. This is the one that makes the “best of” lists and is definitely not in the inexpensive category (our visit came courtesy of a generous grandma).  This was before our blogging days, so no photos, but we still remember how tasty everything was and will return one day for a splurge meal.  You definitely want to get lots of small plates and share everything around the table. Most memorable moment? Tobey (who was about 4 at the time) loved the pickled pumpkin and insisted on eating the whole dish by herself. Dinner only.

Cookbooks: The team has published 2 cookbooks.  The first, “Zahav,” is beautiful and fun to read, but the recipes are a little too complicated and time consuming for my cooking style. However, the second, “Israeli Soul,” has become a favorite.  Besides being an interesting read (there is also a Netflix documentary filmed in Israel while researching the book – “In Search of Israeli Cuisine”), it is full of recipes that are unique and outside of my typical Mexican/Indian/Italian range of flavors. There are some complicated recipes (like the Goldie’s falafel and milkshakes) that I know I’ll never make, I’ve already made about a dozen of the salads and hummus toppings – all of which were delicious and I will definitely make again. I’m really looking forward to the summer when I can try the fresh veggie options.Israeli Soul Cookbook

 

 

Note: The team also owns Abe Fisher, which serves food of the Israeli diaspora (think gafilti fish, pickled beets – an updated version of the kind of food my Jewish grandmother made).  Also open only for dinner, this one is on the pricey side.

Tobey says: Some of my favorite restaurants in the city – especially Goldie’s

Location: Various places around the city.  There is a concentration on the 15/16 block of Sansom in Center City (Dizengoff, Federal Donuts, Goldie and Abe Fisher) and at the Whole Foods near the art museum (Goldie, Dizengoff, Federal Donuts) Our Love Affair With Center City Whole Foods (and it’s secret city-view dining room)