Andy Dickerson is the chef and owner of Teresa’s Next Door, a popular gastropub located just outside of Philadelphia in Wayne. Despite being in the suburbs, Dickerson knows quite a bit about the Philly food scene, having lived in the area his whole life.
He got his start selling produce in local farmers markets, and then found himself delivering pizzas in college.
“I have always loved food and the pace of the industry is exciting,” he says. “We all got to eat, so let’s do it better.”
When he’s not busy working, Dickerson loves traveling.
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“Nothing compares to the experience and perspective you can gain from travel,” he says. “Travel has helped shape our restaurants and allows me to see the world through others’ experiences.”
Dickerson, who also owns Teresa’s Cafe, has quite the international selection of Philly food picks for this edition of “Eat Like an Insider.” He tells us about a Lebanese dish that resembles pizza, as well as where to go for the ultimate meatball soup.
Best late night meal?
Monk’s Cafe (264 S. 16th St.) serves their full menu until 1 a.m., so I can indulge on braised veal cheeks and fried frog legs after midnight. Sometimes for mussels and frites, other times the boudin blanc sandwich, and every so often when its been a long day drinking, I hit the chicken fingers hard. Monk’s always has an outstanding beer list to pair with your meal anytime of day. It is definitely a regular go-to late night spot to finish out a night in Philly.
Best meal under $10?
Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House (1022 Race St.). Their house special meatball soup with hand drawn noodles is always loaded with flavor and satiates my soup noodle craving every time.
Best hidden food gem?
Stock (308 E. Girard Ave.). It isn’t really hidden, but it is certainly a tiny little foodie gem. Since my first visit, I have never been let down. They’re constantly evolving their flavor and complexity by bringing innovative dishes from Southeast Asia.
Best place to dine alone?
Standard Tap (901 N. 2nd St.). Sit down at the bar and have a fresh local beer and Standard Burger to start. Unless you sit in a corner facing the wall, you won’t be alone for long very long. The Tap is always bustling with good folk that are sure to bend your ear.
Place you always take or recommend for out-of-towners?
Zahav (237 St. James Pl.), hands down — when you can get a table that is. The food at Zahav never lets you down and their service is second to none. I could eat the salatim and hummus everyday, but the grilled duck hearts in all of their iterations over the years may be my favorite — although I always have a hankering for the roasted leg of lamb, too. It’s hard to say what is best since I have only ever ordered the full tasting menu each and every visit. Yes please, we will take everything.
Go-to date spot?
Vernick Food and Drink (2031 Walnut St.). Consistently the best food in Center City — from the toasts and the raw stuff to veggies and the big plates — everything is delicious, well crafted and conceived. The uni with warm scrambled eggs combines the two lush textures and is a joy to stir up and devour. Not only is it great food, but the cocktails are first rate along side a well-curated wine list and good craft beer, too.
Best place to catch up with friends?
Jose Pistola’s (263 S. 15th St.) is by the best place to catch up with friends without ever planning it. Anyone in the food and beverage industry is sure to run into friends and colleagues there whether it be lunch time, happy hour and certainly late night with Joe Gunn. Jose’s is always good times, good people and good fun. My go to shareable grub is spicy tuna guacamole.
Most Instagrammable restaurant?
Suraya (1528 Frankford Ave.) is super instagrammable, whether it pics of the elegant decor or the artful food. The man’oushe lahm bi-ajeen is my favorite Lebanese flatbread, as I am always drawn to all things that resemble pizza.