The historic Mt. Airy neighborhood of Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, is holding their Street Fare: Sip, Savor, Stroll tomorrow (September 19, 6PM – 10:30). Over the last week I have been offering sneak peeks into the cuisine that will be offered on your foodie adventure and tonight is no exception. Tonight I am sharing TWO ethnic restaurants that were truly amazing, delivering on authentic flavors that thrilled this foodie’s diverse palate.
Among it’s historic boasts, Avenida Resaurant is one of OR the oldest house in town. Built in 1700 this narrow stone home turned restaurant holds claim to fame that “Washington slept there” once upon a time. Before I go all foodie on you let me tell you I adore history and historical buildings. Touching the very walls that people touched several hundred years ago pull some back to another time, another place. A time where food was different, culture was different and makes me wonder….what would they think of what it is today. Avenida Restaurant, located at 7402 Germantown Ave., makes me think happy thoughts and hands down my husband is taking me back for date night sometime. End of that story!
When you walk up to Avenida you see history written all over it and that continues as you step inside. Old wood floors, small narrow rooms, keep that feel from years gone by. However, Avenida added their own flare and touch to make their Latin American cuisine shine through in the decor. I was struck by the old fashioned bar that was totally amazing and the back patio space that offers a relaxing place to sit with a drink and just relax. That’s not what sold me though. Their food is authentically delicious. Chefs Kim and Edgar Alavarez don’t offer up pre-made “wanna-be” or Americanized flavors. They make their sauces from scratch and it shows in every mouth watering divine bite.
The margaritas are freshly made and are noticeably lacking that mediocre “mix” flavor. The red and white sangria deliver with crisp flavors and colors, with chunks if luscious fruit in each glass. Displayed on the end of the bar in gorgeous glass servers, they add a special touch. We sampled the green and red mole over nachos and it’s over for me. I could have eaten the whole plate and know that anything they offer me will be simply amazing. The red mole with chiles, chocolate and honey pack a pungent and potent burst of flavor. The green mole, with vegetables and pumpkin seeds offers a milder yet just as flavorful bite, making it a tough choice. I’ll take both. I recommend you do the same.
Jyoti Indian Bistro
Next we traveled
half way around the globe down a few blocks to Jyoti Indian Bistro. Oh my! The rich authentic flavors of India are delivered, street side of historic Mt. Airy. The previous era of Mt. Airy probably never dreamed these flavors would be delivered anywhere closer than the other side of the world. At this point I am officially jealous of the Mt. Airy neighborhood and all the food they have to choose from every single day. Jyoti wok fried their Poori for the Kati Rolls right there for us.
Passers by stopped to see what was going on and I noticed quite a few eye-ing that amazing wok fryer. We were also treated to vegetarian and chicken Eastern Style paninis. I may never eat a plain old panini again. The flavors….the blend of spices mixed with a vegetarian or chicken cutlet and finished off with a rich chutney hit the spot that was craving Indian food. Not the “fast food” version you get anywhere but the authentic AND quickly made dishes that Jyoti offers every day in Mt. Airy, Germantown Ave. They finished the tasting off with Gulab Juman, a dessert with nuts, cardamom, and rosewater.
Looking for authentic Indian food? Look no further. The new Jyoti Restaurant, located at 7220 Germantown Ave., offers fresh quality Indian cuisine. The Kati rolls were definitely my favorite with all the defined spices of India rolled up with vegetables, lettuce, and tomato, and roti or parantha. They pack a little heat that lingers, just the way I like it.
Have you checked out the Trolley Car Diner or Little Jimmie’s Bakery? Don’t miss what they have to offer and come back tomorrow for our final preview of the series – Wine Thief and Earth Bread and Brewery.