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Delco Strong: Restaurants That Opened During the Pandemic
We all know you don’t mess with Delco, especially with locals who have plans. Big plans. Plans, for example, to open a restaurant or bakery. Did you think that a pandemic was going to stop them? Nah!
Cheers to the brave ones who put their heads down, got it done and are thriving despite shutdowns, limited capacity and other mitigation efforts. And, thanks to you, fellow hungry Delco locals, who put on masks, stood in line and tried these new ventures — again and again!
Detroit-style pizza is a rectangular pizza with a thick, crispy yet chewy crust. The sides of said crust? Cheese. We basically don’t have to say anything else about Nick and Stacie Haselidis’ second venture next door to their Havertown Grille. Nick happened upon Detroit-style pizza and was hooked. Construction on the new space started before the pandemic, and then it was stalled, leaving them to wonder what would happen when they opened. The verdict? A sellout within two hours of opening! Since then, they’ve added more employees and a second pizza oven to meet the demand for a pizza with a dough that takes two days to make. It’s traditionally topped with Wisconsin brick cheese, then tomato sauce layered in “racing stripes” atop the toppings. That crusty delicious crown of crispy cheese on the sides? It comes from being baked in 14×10-inch rectangular, blue-steel pans. This is one hearty pizza — you’ll need both hands to carry it home. Order online, or call early to get yours! Open Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 8 p.m., Friday from noon to 8:30 p.m., Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Closed Monday.
Third-generation owner and grandson of Danny DiBruno, President Bill Mignucci, Jr. sums up this 8,000-square-foot old-world European market in the Strafford Shopping Center as an “eat-shop-learn experience.” That was not going to be sidelined for the pandemic! And, as more and more pandemic mitigation efforts loosen, guests will be able to stroll, sip and nibble as they shop. Inside this Italian marketplace, you’ll find meats, sides and sandwiches in The Rosticceria; caviar, smoked fish and cured meats at the Salumi & Seacuterie Counter; and breads, house-made pastries and other desserts at the The Pane & Dulce counter. It’s a true one-stop shop with a full liquor license for its Bar Alimentari and open-kitchen Cucina. Make sure to stop at the full-service coffee bar, Café Di Bruno, for expertly brewed beverages, parfaits, house-made pastries and breakfast sandwiches. Café Di Bruno is open seven days from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Marketplace is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Moving to America from the United Kingdom created a yearning for “mum’s home-cooked food” — and upped Sam and Charlie Elings’ game in their own kitchen. Realizing English food often gets a bad rep the Elings decided they wanted to share their favorite dishes with others, and they had no intention of letting the pandemic stand in the way of opening their “takeaway” shop. Everything is made from scratch daily, from fresh, never frozen, ingredients. We love the quality coming out of this modest kitchen, and we’re not alone: Pre-ordering online or by calling is highly recommended so you don’t miss out. Consider the cheese, onion and potato or beef meat pies, and you’ll never eat a pot pie again! Other must-tries: Afternoon tea for one, which must be ordered online and includes a sandwich, cake and scone; and the weekly Sunday special. Ask about vegetarian options, too! Open Friday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.; closed Monday through Thursday.
There’s a new and positively gorgeous restaurant in the Wayne Hotel, and its focus on authentic Italian comfort food will leave you wanting for more. Pandemic-caused delays slowed the opening, but that didn’t stop Fearless Restaurants from opening this spot that’s named after owner Marty Grim’s mother and boasts four dining rooms and an outdoor porch. The vibe is fun, and we love the concept that “food that has a soul and it just makes you feel good to eat.” In addition to a menu packed with seasonal ingredients, fresh pasta and other favorites make sure to explore the three-course family supper of garlic mozzarella bread, salad, rigatoni and gravy, chicken Parmesan, broccolini, roasted peppers and vanilla gelato. A sumptuous brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday, too. Open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 pm., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
In the Wayne Hotel, 139. E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 977-0600.
It takes a certain kind of moxie to open two restaurants in the same county during a pandemic — but that’s Delco strong, right? Construction was underway when the shutdown occurred, but because the demand — by customers! — to bring a White Dog to the Glen Mills area, there was never a thought of stopping. The restaurant carries the familiar whimsical, dog-themed decor throughout, including a gallery of commissioned paintings of customers’ dogs! Under Michael Selser, former executive chef at the Haverford restaurant, the menu remains seasonal and local; the Philadelphia flagship was one of the very first to source in that way. We always devour the Kennett Square mushroom soup, Sandy Ridge Farms deviled eggs and any chicken dish featuring Locust Point Farm’s poultry. House-infused cocktails are a must! Open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 3 to 9 p.m.
Shoppes at Brinton Lake, 981 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, (610) 822-2100.
From a furlough came fresh bread! Brian Sullivan heard about sourdough starter while he was unemployed and, since he likes to cook and had some time on his hands while watching his two kids, he started experimenting with bread baking — for the first time. Once he mastered it he gifted it and grateful recipients told him that he should sell it. Soon, his micro-cottage sourdough bread bakery began generating a few bucks to supplement unemployment, because it was a “better order quick or you won’t get it” sensation. His Instagram following exploded as people ordered through DM. He currently has weekly subscribers (standing orders) and the rest of the loaves go to quick DMers or emailers. Everyone on his list gets an email when orders open for the week. Bonus: He delivers! He occasionally has pick-up at the House Cup Cafe, and he is considering other pick-up options. In the meantime he sums it up this way: “I thought it was silly to start this side project — who would buy my bread!? But it grew exponentially, and so now we’re trying to determine where and how to take it.” We can’t wait to learn more.
Follow and DM on Instagramor send an email to Brooklinesourdough@gmail.com.