Barbara Devan of Tasties is a Philadelphia native who got her start cooking really young.
“I learned how to cook from my mother and grandmother, and have spent time in the kitchen for as long as I can remember,” she says. “Experience, trial and error led me to start my first food truck five years ago. Friends and family always enjoyed my cooking and my development grew from there.”
In 2012, she launched her Tasties empire in the kitchen of Jollie’s West, a University City Bar. From there, she launched two food trucks, which soon led to two storefront locations for Tasties — one in West Philadelphia and one in Germantown.
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Managing her business certainly keeps her busy, but Devan wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I enjoy the hustle and fast paced environment of the restaurant business,” she says. “I love my staff, and we love what we do. We have fun in the kitchen. It’s work, but we are doing something we love.”
When it comes to the Philly food scene, Devan shares with us one of Philly’s best kept secrets as well as the best place to go on a date.
Best late-night meal?
Buddakan (325 Chestnut St.). Dungeness crab sticky rice is addictive, tasty and sweet, paired with the grilled lamb chops that are usually tender and grilled to perfection.
Best meal under $10?
Honeygrow (110 S. 16th St.). I usually create my own salad, or I’ll have a green juice
Best hidden foodie gem?
Sampan (124 S. 13th St.) is still one of Philly’s best kept secrets. I love their chili crab and crispy brussel sprouts.
Best place to dine alone?
If I can get a day off, I usually enjoy a nice quiet lunch at Redstone (512 W. Germantown Pike). My favorite dish is the buffalo jumbo shrimp.
Place you always take or recommend for out-of-towners?
Any of the Tasties soul food restaurants for our signature fried chicken or seafood pasta.
Go-to date spot, hands down?
Barclay Prime (237 S. 18th St.) is elegant and intimate with amazing food – perfect for a romantic date. My favorite dish is Ora King salmon.
Best place to catch up with friends?
Can I say my sister’s house? That’s my favorite place to eat good, relax and hang out with friends.
Most Instagrammable restaurant?
Del Frisco’s (1426-1428 Chestnut St.). They have a great happy hour.
For more information on Tasties, visit: tastiessoulfood.com.