The ramp up to summer is a time of play over work for most. But for Michael Schulson — chef/restaurateur behind Philly’s Sampan, Grafitti Bar and Independence Beer Garden and Atlantic City’s Izakaya — there’s no playtime in sight. He’s already expanded the menu at IBG, and is now working on the upcoming Double Knot, a Japanese speakeasy next door to Sampan at 13th and Sansom, and Harp and Crown, a Southern cuisine restaurant up the street at 15th and Sansom.
Now he’s also setting up shop at The Porch at 30th Street Station, which just opened for the summer season. "Philly restaurateurs work hard," says Schulson. "We can't half-ass anything."
That's especially true at The Porch, now that he's the sole vendor at the outdoor space, newly refurbished with more greenery and porch swings courtesy of University City District. Last year it hosted a variety of food trucks, but this year it’s all Schulson.
He partnered with UCD to do "meals you'd get during a summer day on a porch," he says, and created a food truck concept, the Rotisserie, to serve juicy pork belly with spicy mayo on a baguette, lamb with mint, ranch and cucumber on pita, veggie burgers, beer burgers, and crispy fish tacos.
If you're craving a snack or something lighter, there's watermelon, tomato and feta salad, kale salad, honey-basted chicken wings, and barbecue potato chips.
Schulson is also opening a free-standing vintage trailer retro-fitted into a bar with craft beers, including everyone's summer favorite, 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon, and cocktails like the Philly Cup and the Lazy Lemonade.
The Rotisserie and the beverage trailer are slated to be open through October. The Rotisserie will serve lunch seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The drinks will be sold Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 4 to 9 p.m.; on those days, food will also be served until 9 p.m.