If you think snowdays disrupt your regular schedule, consider the havoc they wreak on eating places.
People who run coffee shops, breakfast joints or all-day cafes have to first worry about whether employees make it in on time, and then worry about whether regulars who aren’t commuting or at their office will even come in. Do you open late or just stay closed?
For nighttime spots, the question’s even tougher. Suburban diners will likely cancel reservations in droves — thanks, overhyped weather forecasts — but those who are in the city are more likely to go out if they have the day off work. Shut down and cut your losses? Or open early to try and cash in?
Happily — especially for those of us who didn’t brave the grocery madness last night — several Philly restaurants, coffee shops and bars have made the decision to be #OpeninPHL during Stella. After you shovel, reward them for their tenacity and stop by to refuel with one of these soul-warming dishes.
Chicken Pot Pie at Rooster Soup Co.
Make your snowy meal count for those who don’t have a warm bed of their own by eating it at this CookNSolo spot where all profits go to help Broad Street Ministry. Plus, there’s an undersung dish from chef Erin O’Shea that’s perfect for snowday and Pi Day in one: the chicken pot pie ($11). This is a standalone pie filled with rich chicken stew, and the flaky crust goes all the way around — i.e. it’s not just some soup in a bowl with a piece of dough floating on top.
1526 Sansom St., 215-454-6939
Chicken Soup Sandwich at Matt & Marie’s
There’s a whole new “hot sandwich” section of the menu at this startup hoagie shop from a pair of Wharton grads, which now has three locations around Center City. You can get anything from a roast pork to a hearty meatball parm, but the one to beat the cold is obviously the chicken soup sandwich. A seeded bun filled with roasted chicken, sauteed rabe, spinach and melted provolone gets a splash of chicken broth to bring it all together. ($10.25; all locations are closing at 4 p.m.)
2 Logan Sq., 267-273-1940
1107 Walnut St., 267-886-9955
118 S. 18th St., 215-563-2000
Sloppy Joe at Molly Malloy’s
Not all Reading Terminal Market stands are open today, but this one — the one that serves booze — definitely is. Slide into what’s likely to be a much easier seat to get and order up the sloppy joe, which is overflowing with sauce-slicked meat. A few housemade pickles tucked into the bun add crunch and zip, and the coleslaw on the side is a great palate cleanser between hefty, messy bites ($10).
1136 Arch St., 267-525-1001
Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup at Prohibition Taproom
Chef Val Stryjewski is a comfort food king, and from 11 a.m. onward at this Spring Garden tavern he’s running a special of tomato soup and grilled cheese — the classic combo goes for just $10 all day. Starting at 5 p.m. there’s also the regular Tuesday fried chicken and cider deal, $16 for a half bird or $30 for a whole (bring your friends).
501 N. 13th St., 215-238-1818
Savory Scallion Waffle at The Dutch
This Pennsport brunch specialist buries the lede on the dish it calls “savory scallion waffle” — it’s really the best creamed chipped beef (aka shit on a shingle) in the city. Hot creamy meat on a crisp light Belgian waffle is basically what snow days were made for. There’s hot chocolate on offer too. ($14; closes at 3 p.m.)
1527 S. 4th St., 215-755-5600
Coconut Curry Noodles at Cheu Noodle Bar
The orange-walled interior of this Wash West hot spot is always warm and cozy, plus there are plenty of broth-filled bowls to choose from. A top choice to combat the freeze is the coconut curry option, which also happen to be vegetarian so you’re less likely to need a nap afterward. Housemade noodles tangle in a butternut squash broth with spicy pickles and peanut chile sauce ($12).
225 S. 10th St., 267-639-4136
Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese at Second District
If chef Doreen DeMarco has a specialty, it might be turning snack food into full-blown meals. Her grilled cheese at this Point Breeze newcomer makes it ok to eat poppers as your lunch or dinner. A trio of cheeses melt over roasted jalapenos inside the griddled bread, and there’s even a few tortilla strips in there to add the appropriate crunch. If you’re into beer, definitely pair the sandwich with a pint of Entwife, the house-brewed mild rye.
1939 S. Bancroft St.
Foie Gras Pierogies at London Grill
Fairmounters know they can count on this neighborhood standby for snowday fun — it’s open all day starting at 12 noon. Use the chill as an excuse to get fancy with pierogies. Instead of the regular potatoes or sauerkraut, chef Michael McNally stuffs his dumplings with rich, filling foie gras and tops them with crisped up vidalia onions ($13). Bloody Marys are also on offer, just in case you feel like partaking.
2301 Fairmount Ave., 215-978-4545
Short Rib Mac ‘n’ Cheese at Taproom on 19th
If you’re in or near the South Philly neighborhood of Girard Estates, this bar is your go-to refuge from the sleet. Almost everything on the unabashedly stoner-friendly menu will suit, but the mac ‘n’ cheese made with Vermont cheddar and American is a standout, especially since it’s topped with with rich braised short rib and crunchy breadcrumbs ($10).
2400 S. 19th St., 267-687-7817
Smoked Chicken Wings at Pub & Kitchen
This tavern on the edge of Rittenhouse is opening early at noon for snowday fun, which is definitely a bonus for daytime eats and drinks. Chef Eli Collins continues to quietly shine, as evidenced by his take on wings. Instead of being slathered with sauce, these are smoked to just before fall-off-the-bone doneness, then tossed with smoky urfa pepper and flavored with burnt lemon. Smoking hot, in all ways ($13).
1946 Lombard St., 215-545-0350