As the cool weather settles in, cravings change. Say bye-bye to summer and hello to fall with these six must-taste local flavors of the season.
APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUTS
This sweet seasonal staple is available at many local orchards, including Linvilla in Media (137 W. Knowlton Rd.) and Highland in West Chester (1000 Marshallton Thorndale Rd.). Inside city limits, pick one up at Beiler’s Donuts at Reading Terminal Market.
Just when you thought kale couldn’t get any trendier, some crafty plant breeders crossed it with Brussels sprouts to create “kalettes.” The bunches of leaves look just like kale shrunk to Brussels-sprout size. Look for the first crop at Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s this fall.
Philadelphia Brewing Company’s beloved Joe Coffee Porter is available only during fall and winter, so start sipping some now. Brewed with locally roasted, fair-trade coffee beans, the brew’s rich flavor and just-ground-coffee aroma makes it the right pint for a cool fall day.
2440 Frankford Ave.
CHHAYA CITYWIDE SPECIAL
Perhaps you’ve had the ubiquitous booze-based citywide special (a shot of whiskey and a can of beer) at one of the dozens of bars that offer it. For a different kind of buzz, pick up Chhaya Cafe’s caffeinated version— a pour-over coffee plus a shot of espresso for $4 any time after 2pm.
1819 E. Passyunk Ave.
THE GRANNY PIZZA
Slice pizzerias give their superlative pies an autumnal twist with the addition of Granny Smith apple slices, tart cranberries and candied walnuts. Think of it as a Thanksgiving/ pizza night mashup that will tide you over until the holidays are here.
1180 S. 10 St. and 1740 Sansom St.
CARROT-GINGER SOUP AT SUPPER
Supper restaurant’s chef Mitch Prensky is especially skilled at blending local, seasonal ingredients into a bowl of savory comfort. His velvety carrot soup is spiked with fresh ginger and accented with a touch of bruléed marshmallow.
926 South St.
CHEF’S SECRET WEAPON
A couple of years ago, Southwark barman Josh Miller picked up a jar of pricey boutique pickles and thought, “I can do this better.” So he started tinkering with brine recipes and local vegetables in pursuit of pickles that were boldly spiced, balanced and—above all—crisp. When he concocted a batch of green-curry French beans that met his standards, he started to share his pickles, largely within the restaurant community. Chefs loved his work, and before long his pickles were popping up at restaurants all over town. Southwark, Serpico, Fountain Porter, Bar Ferdinand, and Petruce et al. all use his briny vegetables in various ways. His products include tart, Mexican-spiced tomatillos and spicy Szechuan carrots as well as classics like pickled pearl onions and cucumber spears. Today, Passyunk Pickles has grown to the point that Miller is pickling in Southwark’s kitchen several days a week. “Kip and Sheri [Southwark’s owners] have been so great—they even grow vegetables for me to pickle in their garden,” says Miller. For now, the pickles aren’t being sold in retail markets, but Miller is happy to take orders online. He even delivers to various locations in Philadelphia.
THE GREAT PUMPKIN FEST
For the sixth consecutive year, the blocks around South Street will be the best spot to embrace the ultimate icon of October: the pumpkin. This year’s Pumpkin Fall Festival will take place at the Headhouse Shambles and feature plenty of family- (and foodie-) friendly fun. Expect hayrides, live music, circus performances and art. Many restaurants and bars from the South Street/Headhouse neighborhood will set up under the shambles with special dishes and cocktails to keep you well fed during the event. Admission is free; food and drink are pay-as-you-go.
Pumpkin Fall Festival, Oct. 25 from noon to 5pm, South Second Street between Pine and Lombard.