Exploring Philly // Wm. Mulherin’s Sons

Brunch food is overrated. I love the idea of brunch – it is nice to spend time with friends on a lazy weekend morning, but to pay for scrambled eggs and pancakes… that’s painful.

When going to brunch with friends, I try to be more selective about where we go. I feel like you should either go to a greasy diner with appropriately-priced eggs and bottomless coffee, or somewhere with food you would never be able to cook yourself.

I had been wanting to try Wm. Mulherin’s Sons for a while now. A hotel restaurant in the up-and-coming Fishtown, Wm. Mulherin’s is most famous for their brunch wood-fired pizza (something I can not make myself).

This pizza was beautiful and 100% worth it. Oozing egg yolks, sausage, caramelized onion, potatoes, and gooey fontina cheese, on an airy, charcoal-speckled crust.

The restaurant itself has a relaxed-but-still-classy, wood-sy vibe that I love. Mismatched, velvet sofas, leather seats, appropriately worn oriental rugs. According to their website, the restaurant was “painstakingly preserved” from how it was when it first opened as a whiskey private club in 1902. It was completely shut down in 1924 by the Prohibition, and remained closed until renovations began in 2014.

 

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Exploring Philly // The Kettle Black

“Mad alchemy meets traditional French baking” in The Kettle Black, the latest bakery to open in Philadelphia. The Kettle Black offers a range of bagels and delicious crusty breads, many of which include activated black charcoal.

Although the charcoal doesn’t give the baked goods a special taste, it creates a striking appearance.

They offer a weekly sandwich and bagel special, which are all delicious. The day my friend and I went, they had a special vegan lox (made with pickled carrot – so good!) and a bean hummus with caramelized onion.

Some believe that activated black charcoal is a natural antidote, because of its filtering properties. However, co-founders and husband and wife, Marc Basile and Claire Ogilvie, don’t claim any of the health benefits are true; their bread just tastes amazing.

Below is one of their most popular loaves, “The Crackler,” named after the distinct loud noise it makes when it comes out of the oven. As a perfectly crusty bread cools, the thick crust contracts, making a crackling noise.

My friend and I arrived just after the bakery opened at 7, right in time to catch Ogilvie taking photos of The Crackler for Instagram. She keeps their Insta quite active, always posting videos of her husband (and head baker) dancing as he laminates croissants or slashes breads before baking.

The Kettle Black
631 N 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19123 

Exploring Philly // Goldie

Michael Solomonov Beyoncé’d the restaurant world by opening Goldie, a vegan falafel + milkshake fast casual restaurant, without telling the press or, well, anyone. Solomonov, who won “Outstanding Chef” at the James Beard Awards this year, owns a wide variety of the most famous eateries in Philadelphia, including Zahav, Dizengoff, Federal Donuts, and Rooster Soup Co.

Goldie’s menu is short but so good. They offer falafel in pita or on salad, fries, (most excitingly) vegan tahini milkshakes, and that’s it.

I was most excited to try the tahini milkshakes. I tried the decadent chocolate tahini milkshake, which is topped with honeycomb and drizzled with chocolate sauce. While I couldn’t pinpoint the taste as tahini, the milkshake was nutty and rich. How this thick, delicious “milkshake” could be made vegan is beyond me.

Full disclaimer: I don’t love falafel. I’ve been to Israel, and I didn’t even really love the falafel there either. It’s fine, but it always seems dry, crumbly, and bland to me. Goldie didn’t make falafel my new favorite food, but trust me – as a non-falafel person, this falafel is pretty good. It is moist and flavorful, and is paired perfectly with the creamy sauces in the pita.

Overall, I have to hand it to Solomonov. He deserves all his awards and more. I’ll be back to try other tahini milkshake flavors, and for my new favorite falafel.