Monster Cookies, brought to you by the letter E

I grew up not far from East Passyunk Avenue, the crooked South Philly corridor currently in the throes of renaissance. When I was young, Passyunk's big draws (besides Marra's pizza and Mancuso's mozzarella and waterice, which are still awesome) were the clubby compilations of '90s Egypt house at Record Bar and King of Jeans's unparalleled selection of shiny Guess denim. Now Passyunk is a hot neighborhood where old-school cats and NOFSOP (Not Originally From South Philly) hipsters hang together in unity. It's a beautiful thing, especially when the yuppie influx begets new investment. Hipster HQs Cantina Los Caballitos and Pub on East Passyunk, for example. Rumors place a Sweat gym in the fiery shell of Alphabet Academy and an architecture firm upon the collapsed corner across from El Zarape. Coffee bar-cum-bistro Black & Brew is moving into the former Julianna's. Passyunk has pub-crawls and a farmer's market May through October, and now--thanks to just opened E's Passyunk--La Colombe. E's light menu of panini and salads isn't up till February, but for now the cute baby-blue cafe is fine for enjoying their buttermilk-blueberry and pear-ginger muffins, cream cheese-stuffed chocolate cupcakes, coconut-brown sugar Ugly Bars, and four-layer chocolate ganache cake, all baked on premises. Today's treasure was the choco-cherry oatmeal cookies, soft and chewy as a Charleston Chew and big as a dinner plate. Look for the wonderful Italian standby Tre Scalini to relocate south this month in the space that formerly housed Trattoria Lucca. What will fill Scalini's former digs by the singing fountain? (I'm lobbying for a gastropub or sushi spot.) Now if only someone would turn the old Nifty Fifties into loft apartments and replace Acme with Whole Foods, we'd be all set.

E's Passyunk
1500 East Passunk Avenue


caroline said...

there are still some really vintage shops around there, like Guy's Upholstery.

And I love the unpretentiousness of Mr. Martino's. So good. And their meals aren't monstrously huge, either.

adam said...

I've heard excellent things about Mr. Martino's; I have to get there one day, though I think they're only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is what I love so much about Passyunk. The old haunts like Marra's and--as you point out--Mr. Martino's and the new placs like E's and the Cantina feed off one another and make this neighborhood a dynamic, delicious place to live and hang out.

Caroline said...

Mr. Martino's takes reservations, which a lot of BYOB's don't. It's like being in a living room.

I've been to Cantina and POPE but I will need to try out E's... thanks for the tip.

Joy said...

Ah, East Passyunk ... neighborhood of my heart. As you note it does get better every week. You've got to get to Mr. Martino's! It's so homey. Can we start a petition to get the Acme to morph into Whole Foods? You're right we would be all set then.