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Saturday, September 22, 2012


Price: $$
Forks: 8.1

918 S. 22nd St
Philadelphia, PA

My brother, our friend Ionso and I have officially started a supper club. Our goal is to try a new Philly restaurant once a week. Ambitious? Yes. Doable? Yes.
Our first adventure led us to a spot that I had written down on a sticky on my computer and randomly found. Nestled in a corner off of South Street, SoWe is a cool vibing bar/restaurant that recently opened this past April. When you walk in and take in the decor and smells, you immediately categorize it as a place you want to be. A dark wooden bar, a few TVs strung above it, and warm wooden tables tucked cozily around the restaurant made for a welcoming atmosphere. Once seated, we poured over the menu, struggling to choose what to order as each dish sounded more enticing then the next.  The menu featured upscale American bar food, with an appetizer, salads, sandwiches, and plates categories. To start we ordered the trio of local vegetables, the chopped salad, and the ginger coconut mussels. 
Today's vegetable trio consisted of pickled okra and onions, cumin spiced jalapeños and carrots, and pearl onions and cherry tomatoes. They were kicking, each vegetable mixture possessing a unique flavor that while potent, allowed the vegetable's natural flavor to shine. My favorite was the cherry tomato pearl onion one, as the pickling transformed the tomatoes into mauve colored gems that bursted with sweet juiciness. UGH so good. 
 The chopped salad was packed. Loaded with kalamata olives, hard-cooked eggs, haricot vert, cucumber, radish, red onion, tomato, crispy chickpeas, and a creamy honey-lime dressing, while it wasn't amazing, it was fun to eat as each bite offered a multitude of different tastes.

The mussels were steamed and served in a ginger coconut broth and crispy grilled bread. It was a bowl of soul-warming deliciousness, and while the broth was a little too much on the sweet side, our completely empty bowl proved to show we didn't mind.
Then came our entrees. First we tackled the Seared Ahi Tuna, with an olive tapenade, a warm quinoa salad, and drizzles of aged balsamic. The tuna was cooked expertly, with a nice outside sear and a lovely pink inside. It was a beautiful piece of fish, and was a nicely executed dish, but it wasn't anything special.
The next two entrées were actually out of control. Each component of the dishes were unbelievably thought out and were harmonious to a tee. The first of these dishes was the Berkshire Pork Belly Pastrami Sandwich. It was absolutely out of control in the best way possible. Served on marble rye, huge pieces of slow roasted and crisped pork belly got topped with chipotle Russian dressing, and coleslaw. This sandwich is in my top 5 sandwiches of all time hands down. The pork is smokey and salty, just fatty enough, and melts on your tongue. The coleslaw on the sandwich adds the perfect touch of needed crunch and it's juices soak into the sandwich, adding a welcome sweet note that contrast with the saltiness of the pork. It came with a side of fries that were also bomb, and had the necessary fry balance of crispy to tenderness. Typing this makes me want this sandwich NOW. 
 nom city
Dun dun dun dunnnn. Last but certainly not least came the Wednesday night special, the Fried Chicken. A half chicken was fried and came served with collard greens and potato salad. The chicken was crazy good. An intensely thick and crispy crunchy skin literally crackled in your mouth. And while a crispy outside and juicy inside is hard to achieve, SoWe did it, and OH they did it so lovely. The greens were lovingly cooked, rendered down perfectly, and had great flavor. And then came the potato salad. Creamy yet textured, sweet yet salty and tangy, it was a picnic's dream partner. Divinity.
Then there was dessert. How does one choose among a seasonal bread pudding, a cupcake of the day, a special shortcake, beignets, and more? It's not easy, let me tell you. We went with the beignets and the triple berry shortcake. The beignets were light, fluffy, and when dunked in their accompanying rich caramel sauce, will have you reaching for more as fast as you can so you can get them before the rest of the table does. 
Classic shortcakes were filled with whipped cream and loads of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. It was clean, elegant, and held on to the leftover bits of summer in the utmost respectful way. 
We loved this place. LOVED. Discovering this spot was like winning a treasure hunt. This is a place I want to casually drink a brew and watch "the" game. *The means any important game and when you say it it's obvious which one you are talking about because people just know*. Come, now, specifically on a Wednesday if you want any of that fried chicken goodness. ALSO, they do brunch. jus saying.


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