Yesterday I went to a wonderful party that might be of interest to Philadelphia area Chowhounds. The theme of the party was an adventurous mission into a territory rich with foods of all varieties - Bustleton Avenue in NE Philly. After meeting and strategizing, "teams" fanned out to designated sections of Bustleton Avenue with a set amount of money. After about an hour and a half, we met back at the host's home, unloaded our bags, shared our stories, and filled our stomachs!
Here are some of the highlights:
Al Amana Middle East Food Market @ 6746 Bustleton, which yielded some tasty pistachio pastries called Jaffa Sweets.
Cafe Brazil @ 6918 Bustleton - who could resist the "A Moda da Casa" sandwich, which consisted of bread, chicken, steak, mozzarella, ham, bacon, egg, corn, sausage, potato sticks, lettuce, tomato, ham, mayo, and pineapple!
El Cancun @ 6922 Bustleton - a whole red snapper (served with Mexican rice, salad, and guacomole) - exceptional flavor - $12
Mediterranean 2000 @ 8026 Bustleton, where the bar area was loud with Portugese commentary on soccer games playing on tv, while a private party was being held in the dining area (the dessert table was tremendous!). An appetizer order of "Portugese flamin sausage" was enough for at least a dozen people!
Bell's Market @ 8354 Bustleton was also very busy on a Sunday afternoon, and a great place to buy lots of Russian specialties. We came away with horseradish flavored kvass (a malt beverage) that smelled vile but tasted better, sour cherry juice, cucumber slaw, cabbage pierogies, and smoked sable, turbot, and salmon.
Saraha Turkish Restaurant @ 9859 Bustleton - eggplant puree, pita filled with pastrami, stuffed grape leaves
Zeps Pizza and Kabobs @ 9965 Bustleton - Armenian specialties such as stuffed grape leaves (very different from those at the Turkish restaurant), and an eggplant and ground beef kabob
Red Lion International Market @ 9983 Bustleton, another Russian market which apparently was very generous with free samples! A chocolate "kielbasa" was a fudgy chocolate and nut roll, there were also beef pastries and chicken blintzes and a pickled apple.
We all agreed that it was a fun opportunity to venture our to a part of Philadelphia that none of us were familiar with. And in doing so we found a lot of delicious, authentic, inexpensive food!
Maybe we'll try 5th Street next!