Enjoy More of Delco’s Melting Pot of Ethnic Cuisine — Round 2
As promised, here are the not-as-typical ethnic cuisine options to try when you’re out and about and looking for made-in-Delco eats. We already covered fare you’ve probably eaten a number of times in your dining-out life; now, we invite you to give these unique gems a try with an open mind and hungry tummy.
Need more incentives? These restaurants serve up generous portions at very reasonable prices. You’ll get your money’s worth and go home with leftovers. Eat up!
The menu is simple, inspired by Africa’s comfort foods. The price is right — $15 or less! — so you can bring the entire family. When you want to try something you’ve likely not tried before, stop here for fufu and goat meat soup. Fufu is dough-like, made by pounding cassava and plantains, rolled into balls and then served in soup or stew — in this case, tender goat meat in a savory, veggie-rich broth. You also can’t go wrong with a (whole!) fried fish and plantains. Open seven days from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 57 Garrett Rd., Upper Darby, (610) 734-0746.
Owners Don and Kate Applebaum have an impressive history of working for some of the best (think Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA and Susan Spicer’s Bayona in New Orleans). Their travels brought them back home and what luck: We have access to all the “N’awlins specialties” we could want. Try the jambalaya with chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage and tasso ham, but absolutely leave room for authentic, tender, warm and mouth-watering beignets kissed with powdered sugar. Open Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed the rest of the week. Note: Cash and checks only; no credit cards accepted. Booth’s Corner Farmer’s Market, 1362 Naamans Creek Rd., Boothwyn, (484) 947-8914.
Central American Cuisine — Honduran, Mexican, Salvadoran
You’ll absolutely find Mexican food on the menu, but take a moment to peruse the other Central America specialities. Sink your fork into chaulafan, which is fried rice with pork, chicken, shrimp, beef, red and green peppers plus plantains, avocado, salsa and beans on the side. We also can’t resist sipping on horchata, a tempting milk, cinnamon, sesame seed and rice combo. Expect large portions and a caring staff to answer any questions at this friendly place. Open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. 29 Garrett Rd., Upper Darby, (484) 461-3156.
It’s a family affair here, thanks to brothers Fitzpatrick and Steve Coleman and father, Fitzroy, who take pride not only in their heritage, but in the family foods passed down to them — right down to the spice blends. Those are expertly demonstrated in slow-cooked oxtails with butter beans, which comes with two sides plus rice if you please. Like the rest of the menu, it’s hearty and affordable, with most everything under $18. Want a steal? Try the patties — beef or chicken — enticingly stuffed hand pies for two bucks each! Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. 708 Church Lane, Yeadon, (610) 622-1121.
There’s great pride in serving Shanghai specialties at this restaurant. And although there’s much more than dim sum, you’ll want to start with that when you visit (especially on your first visit!). Dim sum are smaller snack-sized bites (reminiscent of tapas) enabling you to sample a few different delights in one sitting. We recommend filling the table — and your belly — with dumplings (soft and pillowy dough that’s stuffed), shumai (a twist on a dumpling that’s “open” like sushi) and buns (just like they sound, but stuffed). Mix vegetarian, beef, pork and fish for a delicious, authentic experience. Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday noon to 9:30 p.m. 13 E. State St., Media, (610) 566-6688.
This is a small, tucked-away refuge for those looking for real Vietnamese fare — and it has the rave reviews to prove it’s the real deal! Experience it yourself with the deluxe Vietnamese-style soup: an abundance of shrimp, chicken, pork and squid in a veggie-rich broth served in a hot pot. Or dig into a house special like the squid, simply but expertly sauteed with vegetables and garlic. Open Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Monday. 113 Fairfield Ave., Upper Darby, (610) 352-1002.
Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for where to stay, what to do and more in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re the Visit Delco, PA Tourism Bureau, and we’ve got you covered from Philly to the Brandywine. Find us at 1501 N. Providence Rd., Media, PA, 19063; (610) 565-3679 or online.
Feature photo courtesy of Coconut Breeze Cuisine