It’s easy to get stuck in Center City’s food bubble, with maybe the occasional dip south to East Passyunk Ave.’s strip of restaurants, or a westerly sojourn into West Philly for Ethiopian injera. And who could blame us? The options are boundless, and the quality of cuisine has raised the proverbial bar so high that it’s sometimes difficult for city dwellers to consider the possibilities that lie just to the north. Tonight’s Street Fare: Sip, Savor, Stroll in Mt. Airy is your ticket to taste what’s really out there.
For the most part, this sampling of the neighborhood is not unlike other street food events. And that includes Night Market, which was Street Fare’s original moniker. What makes this shindig different from the others is that you haven’t been there yet. This, of course, is assuming that you’re not one of the 11,000 people that hit the streets last year.
"Nobody knows what we’ve got going on over here, and that’s a real problem,” says Kim Alvarez, co-owner of Avenida, a Latin restaurant on Germantown Avenue.
Alvarez says food festivals like this help her and fellow business owners pull the curtain back a bit and give customers a peek at the goods. “[Food fests] are a ton of fun. They’re a lot of work, prep and schlepping, but you’re out there hawking your wares and people love that," she says. "People love to get a chance to talk to the owners, to people that they normally don’t see when they come into a restaurant. You actually have some face time and people get to see the personality behind the restaurant."
Elizabeth Moselle, director of commercial revitalization and the business association of Mt. Airy, knows how to get people interested. “We’re trying to harness the power of the popular food trucks and then wow people with the neighborhood,” Moselle explains.
Many of the trucks we’ve already seen around Philly, like the Cow and the Curd, Sweet Box Cupcakes and Yumtown. But there will be Mt. Airy brick-and-mortars that will be bringing their food right to the street. This is what makes the trip to Mt. Airy worth it for those of you who hate to go anyplace where City Hall isn’t visible in the distance.
Avenida for Latin food and red or white sangria.
Earth Bread + Brewery for their own honey jasmine beer. Don’t miss your chance to taste this – Earth Bread makes each of their beers only one time, no repeats.
Jyoti for Indian cuisine, specifically the perfectly spiced kati rolls.
Little Jimmie’s Bakery for sweet potato cupcakes and a chance to meet one of the sweetest guys in the neighborhood, Little Jimmie himself.
Sip, Savor, Stroll
Thursday, Sept. 19
Germantown Avenue, between Sedgwick Street and Mt. Airy Avenue
Pay as you go