Belly & Burritos

When I think of snacks, Federal Street pretzels, Tastykakes, and Reduced Fat Wheat Thins spring to mind, not pork belly, slow egg, and dashi. But at snackbar, the snuggly red lobby that formerly housed Salt and Out of the Blue, chef Jonathan MacDonald is transforming upmarket ingredients into posh pickies. The flames in the floating fireplace smack their lips as my midday snack arrives. In a small ivory bowl are four blocks of pork belly, alternating stripes of pink meat and white fat running across the cubes, and hiding shyly to the side, a poached egg. The bartender pours on the dashi--a Japanese stock made from dried bontio flakes--from a cruet, and the pork and egg float to the surface like four inflatable rafts and one mini beachball. Pierce the egg, and the yolk runs out, turning the beige broth into a wonderfully silky sunny yellow soup. The pork belly is crisp at the edges and surprisingly mellow from a white ale brine that paired well with Dogfish Head's spicy mohagany ale, Raison D'Etre. And you thought Delaware was only good for buying big electronics tax-free.

253 South 20th

For something more traditionally snacky, I stopped at 36th & Spruce's MexiCali food truck at my old alma mater. Hell must have frozen over, because there was no line for the outrageously good (and criminally cheap) Pennster favorite. The sweet potato version is the best, but it was after 3 and the sweet potato had gotten the unfortunate 86. Friggin' vegans. Moist shredded chicken is a close second, oozing forth sour cream, cheese, kidney beans, rice, and smoky tomato chipotle sauce from a griddle-blistered tortilla envelope. I couldn't help myself and inhaled it on the drive home, looking like the guy eating Chinese in the Allstate commercial with the president from 24. I got burrito all over myself and my car, but hey, that's what Accident Forgiveness is for.

36th & Spruce Streets

1 comment:

Joy said...

You watch 24? We should talk.