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Almost exactly 10 years after they opened Jose Pistola’s at 16th and Spruce, and three-and-a-half years after they branched out with Sancho Pistola’s in Fishtown, fun-loving publicans Casey Parker and Joe Gunn are launching their third venture.
Pistola’s Del Sur, set at the tip of East Passyunk just off of Broad, also has two other partners: Chef Adan Trinidad, who co-owns Sancho’s and oversees all of the kitchens, and Adam Anderson, a longtime Jose’s bar manager who’s making the leap to restaurateur.
The vibe and food at Pistola’s Del Sur are similar to the sibling restaurants, but there are several unique features that set it apart.
Trinidad has juiced the menu with 11 new dishes, several of which take advantage of the deck pizza oven left behind by the restaurant’s previous tenant, Palladino’s. (The super-fancy wood-fired grill has been removed.) Like the other two Pistola’s, Del Sur will serve lunch, dinner and late-night every day, plus brunch on the weekends.
(View more pics and find details on the new food below.)
The 13-seat bar, which has been disabused of its garish lineup of three giant TVs in favor of just one, will offer Pistola’s signature lineup of interesting beers. There are 10 beers on tap, including custom Weyerbacher brew Dallas Sucks and sought-after Russian River Blind Pig — check out the opening draft list here. The draft system has something no other bar in the city has: A custom built-in line cleaner that will be used every time a keg is changed. “We’re gonna have the best-tasting beer in the city,” said Anderson.
A very cool revamp to the interior was informed by material from an old church in Fishtown that a friend of Parker’s is converting to a home. The 60-seat dining room is flanked by old windows from the church, and 150-year-old wooden doors hang in front of storage cabinets and the small office. Additional wood from the church makes a fascinating mosaic bar front that was sawed and nailed into place by hand, and the countertop is made from the church’s stained glass windows. Outdoor tables that provide an additional 60 seats are coming soon. Check out pics of the interior in Michael Klein’s story here.
Pistola’s Del Sur will open today, Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. Henceforth, hours for the restaurant at 1934 E. Passyunk Ave. will be 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. (kitchen till 1 a.m.) Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Here’s some of the food you can try when you visit.
One of three new Mexican flatbreads is the “salcichon coca,” with chihuahua cheese, long hots and pickled red onion ($12). Watch out, this one will set your mouth on fire.
Roasted corn soup ($10) is also a new dish. Floating in the rich, creamy liquid is huitlacoche puree and a truffle chochayete — a fried masa dumpling.
A new salsa option at Del Sur is this octopus and cactus combo ($13 with house-fried tortilla chips). The seafood and nopales are joined by red onion, serrano pepper, tomato and red onion.
The mushroom coca is topped with various roasted wild mushrooms, plus goat cheese and “truffle essence” ($11).
The open face quesadilla is another dish that takes advantage of the deck oven ($11). A crisp flour tortilla is covered in guajilo chile sauce, avocado puree, pickled jalapenos, red onion, crema and a small salad of fresh greens. Add shrimp for $2 more.
Crab enchiladas ($18) are also new. Three tortillas stuffed with crabmeat, poblanos and tomato are topped with queso fresco, salsa and pickled onion.
Trinidad is famous for his incredible tacos, and visitors to the East Passyunk locale will get an option not available at the other two: Filet mignon (two for $15). The seared beef is topped with avocado salsa, arbol chiles and crispy onions.
The third coca flatbread is made with Spanish chorizo, Manchego cheese, arugula and lemon vinaigrette ($12).
A serious classic at Pistola’s is the tuna ceviche ($15). Silky cubes of fish are tossed with coconut milk, lemongrass, red onion, cilantro and lime.
Trinidad’s churros are a wonder, with crunchy exteriors and creamy centers. Served six to a plate with a spicy chocolate dipping sauce, they run $8.
Steamed buns with pork belly are spiked with fresh jalapenos and chipotle aioli, and have guacamole for a soothing touch ($7).
Rich salmon belly is featured in a tiradito with lemon, mango, habenero and cilantro ($11).
Catfish po-boy tacos are the underdog of the menu. Served two to a plate on flour tortillas for $15, the fish is flaky and goes well with the chipotle aioli and cabbage slaw.
Pork belly nachos are a Pistola’s classic, served on a giant wide platter so there’s no chance of a naked chip ($17).