The Short Rib Pizza boasts short ribs, fig pesto, three cheeses, and micro greens
Isn’t it a happy day when you go to a restaurant and the food you thought was going to be good tastes so much better than you anticipated? It happened to me at The Tomato Bistro in Manayunk, a hip Philadelphia neighborhood where there’s no shortage of food options any time of day or night.
I met a friend for lunch last week at this cute, two-story spot just off Main Street. The menu is creative and casual, with soups, sliders, salads, pizzas, and a buffet during the week and adding omelettes and a brunch buffet on weekends. While we were trying to pick just the right thing to eat, our server brought us each a complementary starter – an herby, little-bit-chunky tomato soup in an espresso cup and house-made mini almond biscotti, to dunk in the soup of course. A tasty way to begin lunch, indeed.
This little gem of a restaurant opened almost 2 years ago and the word-of-mouth keeps the tables filled and patrons waiting at the bar and outside. Our first visit to Urban Kitchen, highly recommended by friends, lived up to the expectation.
Slow-cooked beef brisket taco at Bad Bean Taqueria
For me, there’s no better place to relax than the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Not only do the barrier islands boast stunning beaches, lighthouses that dot the shores from Corolla to Okracoke, skimmers that fly close to the water, and spectacular sunsets over Currituck Sound, they’re also home to eateries that satisfy many a food craving (and most of mine).
The appeal of eating out in the towns up and down the Outer Banks is that you can go shorts-and-sandals casual to fine dining, on the beach road, in a shopping center, or a freestanding restaurant. We lean toward the casual, and during our recent trip, we got back to a favorite lunch spot: Bad Bean Taqueria (http://badbeanobx.com) in Corolla, on the northern tip of the islands.
Lunch special: Spicy tuna and shrimp tempura rolls at Kumo
I’m of the opinion that people who love food love to tell other people who love food all about the great food they just ate. I enjoy hearing all the details about a zippy tuna tartare or tart key lime pie or rich braised short ribs. And, frankly, I like sharing my stories, too. So here’s the not-overly-long story about the amazing spicy tuna rolls at my favorite sushi place.
I finished up a freelance editing job earlier this week, and was hungry, of course, since it was almost 2 p.m. and I hadn’t brought anything for lunch. I’d been craving sushi for a couple of weeks, and realized it was a short drive to Kumo (www.kumopa.com) in Collegeville. I hoped I hadn’t missed the lunch service. My luck prevailed, and I got a table near the sushi bar.