Friday, February 27, 2015

POSTED: Saturday, February 14, 2015, 3:23 PM

Three entrepreneurs were talking about food and the conversation veered into the topic of Korean fried chicken, that twice-fried-but-not-greasy street food.

This sent them on a bird-hunting trip to New York, which has a respectable contingent of chicken shops. (Philly has a few - Cafe Soho in West Oak Lane and Blue Bell, Chick-a-licious in Washington Square West, and Federal Donuts.)

The winner, said David Taing, was Bonchon, a South Korea-rooted franchise that planted its American flag in New York City a few years ago. "We said, 'Philly needs this.' "

POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 4:59 PM
Philadelphia bartenders fare better than waiters, according to PayScale Inc. (Colin Kerrigan /

It should be little surprise that restaurant work is stressful and demanding, with relatively low pay.

Especially if you're a cook.

PayScale Inc., which analyzes compensation in assorted industries, has just released results of a two-year study on restaurant workers' earnings in more than a dozen cities including Philadelphia.

POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 5:00 AM
Polenta Famigliare, ready for your forks, at Le Virtu. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

The waiter sidles up to your party and chirrups, "Would you like to order something for the table?"

That's when the wise guy in me wants to bend down and ask, sotto voce: "Table? Are you hungry?"

Yes, it's an inanely posed question, a too-subtle solicitation for you to buy an additional appetizer.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 4:32 PM

You scout a location, sign a lease, rustle up the contractors, secure the financing, build out the place and open.

The process can take anywhere north of 90 days.

How about more than 2½ years.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 2:47 PM
Tony Luke Jr. (Photo by Curt Hudson)

Sandwich specialist Tony Luke's has been stamping out the locations lately -  two Atlantic City casinos, Harrah's in Chester, three Acme markets, Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia International Airport, Temple University, and a few freestanding stores.

Next up: Manayunk.

Dan Histon, who has brokered real estate in Manayunk since you were in knee pants, reports a deal for 4307 Main St., the brick-facade former Main Street Munchies,  two doors from Flat Rock Saloon and near Cotton Street.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 11:15 PM
Donut cheesesteak burger from PYT. (via PYT)

It's been .. what? ... five months since the Northern Liberties burger bar PYT has been in the news over some horrible transgression.

Last time, it was diming out Eagles RB LeSean McCoy for his 20-cent tip on a $60 check.

Now, it's a Groupon deal.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 3:37 PM

The sounds of hammers and saws from Suburban Square in Ardmore must be deafening these days.

Not Your Average Joe's, an American grill out of New England, has Feb. 23 down as the launch date. It will go where the movie theater and American Eagle were. (This build-out is about a year late.)

Parlor, a family friendly brick-oven pizzeria from Rouge's Rob Wasserman, is in its final stages of construction where The Saint James was. Target: March 1.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 10:25 AM

Burgers are overdone?

Apparently not yet, as P'unk Burger has set its opening for Friday, Feb. 13 at 1823 E. Passyunk Ave. This follows last week's opening of Hunger Burger at Reading Terminal Market. And if you're following the chains, know that the Mark Wahlberg-fronted Wahlburgers is quite seriously nosing around Center City for a location after a short break.

P’unk Burger's owners, Marlo and Jason Dilks, operate the SLiCE pizzerias in South Philly, Rittenhouse and Washington Township. It's taken Chhaya's former spot, right next door to Marlo's mom's kiddie boutique, A Star Is Born.

About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at

Michael Klein
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