It is said the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. This is definitely true for Marlo and Jason Dilks, a Philly couple who fell in love over food and have since opened four restaurants together: SLiCE, a pizza shop with three locations, and fast-casual spot P’unk Burger.
As if Marlo and Jason weren't busy enough, they’ve just announced the opening of an organic SLiCE concept in Fishtown in August, which will be located at 431 E. Girard Ave. On top of that, they are expecting twins, too! Talk about work-life balance. To say we are impressed would be an understatement.
The dynamic foodie duo are driven by family and plan to leave a restaurant to each of their daughters — Nadia, Capri, Avana and Chiara. With so much love for family and food, we had to get the scoop from Marlo on the Dilks’ favorite places to eat in Philly when they’re not busy building their edible empire.
Best late night meal?
Our go-to late night meal is Chinese food. When I get late cravings, I head to Chinatown for David’s Mai Lai Wah (1001 Race St. #1, 215-627-2610). I usually start off with the bean curd soup and salt and pepper chicken wings followed by the vegetable mai fun noodles. So good.
Best meal under $10?
Good food doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. That’s why I love Revolution Taco’s Fried Curried Cauliflower Taco (2015 Walnut St., 267-639-5681). It has hot sauce, potato sticks, guac and cilantro, all for under $10. Plus it’s a good example of inexpensive, casual but top-quality and chef-made [food].
Best hidden foodie gem?
Modo Mio (161 W. Girard Ave., 215-203-8707). It’s a cozy BYOB on Girard Avenue. It flies below the radar but the food is amazing. When you go, you have to get the Menu Turista. It’s their three-course chef’s tastings menu.
Best place to dine alone?
I’m a mom so I don’t often get a chance to eat alone, but if I had a day to myself I’d sit at the bar at Vernick (2031 Walnut St., 267-639-6644). I’d order a Tom Collins and the whole roasted fish with fennel and orange all for myself.
Place you always take or recommend for out-of-towners?
When people ask for recommendations or when we have out of town guests, I always suggest two of my Italian Market faves. For breakfast you have to go to Sabrina’s (910 Christian St., 215-574-1599). The Barking Chihuahua is my favorite — it’s their version of a breakfast burrito but with marinara and, of course, I have to get the Parmesan fries with that. Then for dinner head to Villa di Roma (936 S. Ninth St., 215-592-1295), which is a family-owned Italian Market staple. Growing up in the Italian Market, I’ve been going there since I was a kid and now I can share some of my favorite dishes like Villa salad, fried asparagus and chicken Sicilian with my kids.
Go-to date spot?
For date night, my husband and I love Dmitri’s. It’s a cute and cozy BYOB. Start with the grilled octopus and then get the Greek-style bluefish. (795 S. Third St., 215-625-0556, or 944 N. Second St., 215-592 4550)
Best place to catch up with friends?
The Royal Tavern (937 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-389-6694). It’s a cool local bar, and when I say local I mean that the best thing about this place is that I can walk there from my house. It’s just around the corner.
Most Instagrammable restaurant
Wm. Mulherin’s Sons (1355 N. Front St., 267-753-9478) is pretty new — it’s only been open for about a month. They have a great drink selection, small plates and great atmosphere, but it’s the building that makes it Instagram gold. The restaurant is a restored 1890s whiskey blending and bottling facility, so it makes for some really cool photos.