Cheu Noodle Bar started as a pop-up during Philly's short-lived ramen craze.
Now in its 10th month in its home on 10th Street south of Locust in Washington Square West, the dim, narrow hipster hang has settled into a great groove. Shawn Darragh minds the front and the bar while Ben Puchowitz tends the stove, turning out Asian-inspired riffs such as Bolognasian (noodles topped with minced pork, watercress and horseradish), buns (you can go more traditional with pork or mushroom, or avant-garde with cheeseburger) and barbecue pig tails.
The black garlic wings, though, really fly for me. Dusted in cornmeal and prepared Korean-style, they're topped with sesame seeds, shishito peppers, lime, cilantro and a sweet soy sauce. Not spicy at all. Incidentally, the boys are planning a trip to Asia.
Beer here. If you're reading this Friday the 13th, know that the Grey Lodge in Northeast Philadelphia is running its Friday the Firkinteenth event, whereupon the barkeeps tap firkins all afternoon and evening; if you get a glass that kicks the barrel, you get a T-shirt. Grey Lodge is running two sessions - one that started at noon and another that starts at 6 p.m. The list is here.
Taste of England. Chef collaborations are all the rage. Jennifer Choplin at South Philly's Tap Room on 19th wanted to add bangers and mash - that Brit pub staple - to her menu. A real live Brit came to the rescue with the bangers: Sam Jacobson of Southwark rolls his own. With mushroom-onion gravy and mashed potatoes, this is cold weather food at its wurst. I mean best. Try it with a Firestone Walker Union Jack.