Chef Michael Millon of Fairmount’s A Mano knows the importance of working your way up. He got his start in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher at the age of 14 and kept pushing forward.
“One thing led to another and one job led to the next. I asked a ton of questions along the way a worked my way up to where I am today,” he says.
While he doesn’t consider himself a people person, he admits that what he loves most about his work is the people.
“When you work so closely for so many hours with a group of people, you are really able to develop amazing life long relationships,” he says.
Having spent most of his adult life in Philadelphia, Millon also knows a great deal about the food scene here and tells us where to get the best tacos in town as well as the sexiest place for a date.
Best late night meal?
Pistola’s Del Sur (1934 E. Passyunk Ave.). They’re open until 1:00 a.m. every night and everything I’ve had there (pretty much the entire menu at this point) is consistently delicious.
Best meal under $10?
Hands down the burger and fries at The Fountain Porter (1601 S. 10th St.). They also have the best draft list in town too. http://fountainporter.com
Best hidden foodie gem?
Umai Umai (533 N. 22nd St.) in Fairmount. Chef and owner Alex McCoy been serving some of the best sushi in the city, very quietly, for about 10 or so years now.
Best place to dine alone?
Los Gallos (951 Wolf St.) in South Philly. The tacos here make me close my eyes when I eat them, they are that good! And they’re open all day.
Recommendations for out-of-towners?
Townsend (1623 E. Passyunk Ave.) or Oloroso (1121 Walnut St.). Some of the most highly trained professionals in the city are putting out some of the best food and drink available in Philly.
Best date spot?
Friday Saturday Sunday (261 S. 21st St.). That place is just hands down sexy. Food, drinks, lighting, decor. They fire on all cylinders.
Best place to catch up with friends?
Pub and Kitchen (1946 Lombard St.). Centrally located, this place is the perfect spot to meet for great food and drinks. Everyone is super friendly here, and at their other spots, Trattoria Carina and The Diving Horse. Ed Hackett’s brand of hospitality is by far the best I’ve experienced.
Laurel (1617 E. Passyunk Ave.). Course by course, the best tasting, smartest, and most unpredictable meal I’ve had in Philadelphia. Nick, Eddie and their team are operating at such a high level it’s truly inspiring.