Restaurants & Bars Philadelphia Neighborhood Favorite Restaurant Intel

Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill Area Board

kateearle | | Sep 20, 2012 05:07 AM

Hi! I wanted to start a thread that helps us zero in on the best restaurants (regardless of price, fare, atmosphere) up, down,east and west of Germantown. I'm relatively new to the area, so I'm hoping that by polling all my fellow hounders, I can dig up some less obvious recommendations, while also starting an alternative to the broad zip code search on yelp. I love yelp, y'all, but I want a higher class of commentary.

SO to begin, a few places I have been with a review to start the discussion:

Mi Puebla on Germantown in Mt. Airy-

First of all, I loved the atmosphere when I walked in. Totally unpretentious. Half the restaurant is a dining room for eat-in customers and the other half is a takeout counter and bakery. Total Mom n Pop type shop that's here to serve good food, not fleece you. And true, their prices were not steep, but they also weren't dirt cheap. I got the avocado salad for 7.50 and what I thought was the Taeko Enchilada for 10.95. The salad was phenomenal. Tomatoes, roasted red pepper, something that looked like sweet potato but wasn't mentioned on the menu, and a delicious almond cranberry vinaigrette. It was quite large too. I would recommend it for lunch. Now the taeko enchilada. This was described as having a chipotle tomatillo sauce, yum, but what I got tasted a lot more like a mole sauce, which happened to be the menu item below what I picked. I would like to say that it was still delicious, but honestly, I hate mole. It all tastes like dirt to me. Maybe I just haven't had a good mole yet, but this mole didn't change that fact. The chicken inside was dry and the cheese melted on top had the consistency of rubber. I didn't finish. In the end, I'm not writing this place off at all, I'm just writing off their mole enchilada.

Tiffin in West Mt. Airy-

I ordered delivery, so I didn't see the inside of the restaurant, but WOW. BAM. First of all, they have one of those nifty online ordering systems set up, and it is super convenient, BUT here's the catch:
The earliest delivery option offered is 7-7:30, so I took that into account when I placed my order at 5. Turns out, they fudge that rule a little bit and will show up earlier if you place your order earlier. The guy came around 6. This is something you could work to your advantage, but just be aware when you're working a tight schedule. I almost wasn't home to accept the delivery.
Now to the food. I ordered the aloo papri chaat, the lasooni naan (garlic naan) and the malai kofta. The chaat was good, but not the best I've had. The lentil wafers were not crispy (maybe from steaming in a closed container) and that really ruins the texture, which I think is the best part of the dish. The flavors were good though, so I would recommend trying this while eating in. For the record, first and best chaat I had was the samosa chaat at Ekta in Bryn Mawr. Wowie. It was takeout AND good the next day. Now the naan and the malai kofta. Both were out of this world. Naan from an indian restaurant is almost always pillowy and amazing, and this one was no exception. But the malai kofta was unlike any I've ever had (I've tried making it myself, and this just pushed my dreams of perfection into the realm of implausability). The sauce was lightly spicy (I requested the medium spice level), very aromatic, creamy and nutty, with scattered golden raisins, nuts and what I think were pieces of onion. The koftas themselves were larger than what I'm used to, but equally delicious broken up and dunked in the sauce before eating. They weren't light and fluffy like some other koftas, but I think that their density was important for their structural integrity in the thick sauce. I would recommend ordering more than one serving so that you'll have leftovers, because when it's sat for a while it tastes even better. Three days (and kofta-dream-nights) later, I'm researching recipes so I can try my hand at the stuff for the millionth time.

I'll stop here because I'm tired, but please, please add on your favorites or even just your most recent tries WITH a blurb (or a novel) on why you liked it. Markets and whatnot are welcome, too.

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