Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with dinner and brunch at these Philly spots

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Monday, September 21, 2020
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Karen Rogers takes you inside FYI Philly's Hispanic Heritage Month special, with stops at Distrito, El Merkury and Chelsea.

We are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a list of delicious restaurants for you to try and a look at some of the faces making an impact around the city.

AC is home to this new Latinx dining destination

Over a .75 square-mile section of Atlantic City, Hispanic restaurants are offering authentic dishes featuring a diverse selection of South and Central American food.

You can find Peruvian favorite ceviche at the Gran Chalan, Salvadorian popusas at El Sabor Salvadoreno or try Honduran baleadas at Rincon Catracho.

This year marked the first-ever empanada challenge which included 10 of the local restaurants competing.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic the restaurants have remained open and serving their community.

Chelsea Nieghborhood| Facebook | Instagram

El Sabor Salvadoreno | Facebook

3213 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Rincon Catracho | Facebook

2801 Arctic Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

El Gran Chalan | Facebook

2641 Arctic Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

El Merkury cooks up Central American street food classics

Just before COVID-19 hit, owner Sofia Deleon was planning an expansion of her restaurant, El Merkury.

The restaurant prides itself on serving Central American street food. Using staples of the ancient Mayans - corn, beans, chiles, and chocolate - she created fast, casual, approachable dishes like pupusas, tostadas, and churros from countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

Even though the expansion was put on hold, the move to more of a 'family style' menu turned out to be just what Philly ordered, with meals that can be put together at home. They are open daily, and have outdoor seating.

El Merkury | Facebook | Instagram

2104 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

267-457-5952

Distrito takes Mexican fare outdoors

For the first time ever, Distrito Taqueria is taking its celebration of Mexico City's culture and cuisine outdoors with a colorful courtyard tucked between buildings off Chestnut Street.

Iron Chef Jose Garces is also offering take-home kits for tacos and margaritas and other cocktails to-go. Garces arrived in Philadelphia 20 years ago to run Alma de Cuba and now has a dozen restaurants to call his own.

He's introducing La Bodega, an online shop with his curated Mexican specialties and grocery items that will include meal kits with his personal recipes.

And he's launching a new 26-part web series called Cooking Space. His latest moves are part of the Iron Chef's reinvention that started long before COVID-19.

Distrito Taqueria | Facebook | Instagram

3945 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

215-222-1657

El Bocado marries the flavors of El Salvador and Mexico

El Bocado is the vision of married couple Jackie Martinez and Aldo Perez.

Jackie brings her Salvadorian influence while Aldo's roots provide Mexican flavors to the menu.

Both worked in the restaurant industry for years before opening their South Philadelphia spot that became popular for family-style dining.

The family feel has taken a backseat during the pandemic as they have changed their focus to delivery and takeout. They recently reopened their doors for in-person dining at 25%, per city rules.

El Bocado | Facebook | Instagram

1005 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Last Abuela - Beth

Clementine's Stable Café, trendy American brasserie on N. Broad St.

Clementine's Stable Café is an American brasserie on North Broad Street. The all-day café offers indoor and outdoor dining with a beautiful view of City Hall.

The building used to be a 19th-century horse stable, a theme carried on throughout the decor. Owners Dan and Alex Greenberg, who also own Tela's Market on Fairmont Ave, salvaged as much of the original stable wood as they could and used that reclaimed wood to construct the bar and table-tops.

Helming the menu is Chef Leonardo Gabriel, who adds a touch of his Latino roots to the ingredients. He's cooking up double-fried chicken wings that come with a kick, tossed in spices and served with lime. Chef Leonardo also experiments with house-made chorizo flavors and grills up a whole branzino butterfly in plancha to make the skin really crispy.

The cocktail menu is inventive and features seasonal ingredients. The Las Arboledas is a tequila-based cocktail with freshly juiced mango, topped with Hellfire shrub, which is like a habanero pepper. The drink is inspired by the Luis Barragan house, a famous Mexican architect.

Brunch is every weekend from 10:30 am to 3 pm; Includes all the staples, pancakes and eggs and fun items such as chicken and waffles.

Clementine Stable Café | Instagram

631 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Get back to brunch at these great breakfast spot

September is National Breakfast Month and we're celebrating with a roundup of eggs-cellent spots for brunch.

At Cafe Y Chocolate, you can enjoy Mexican Brunch all day.

The Barnes Foundation serves a casual brunch with a full bar in its covered outdoor garden.

Talula's Garden also provides a lush setting with your meal with farm-to-table favorites such as the brunch bowl with short ribs, grits and mushrooms, chicken and waffles and homemade pastries and breads.

As a bonus, Love in Center City has tasty offerings up and down the menu.

Cafe Y Chocolate | Facebook

1532 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, Pa. 19145

267-639-4506

The Garden Restaurant Cafe at the Barnes Foundation

Brunch Saturdays & Sundays, 11am-4pm

2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pa. 19130

Talula's Garden | Instagram

Brunch Saturday-Sunday, 10am-2pm

210 West Washington Square, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106

215-592-7787

The Love | Brunch Menu | Instagram

130 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

215-433-1555

Talula's Table

102 W State St, Kennett Square, PA 19348

610-444-8255

Show Extras

DECO, Wilmington's popular food court inside the Hotel DuPont, has reopened after a six-month closure with all orders now being done through an app to avoid any face-to-face contact.

DECO now also offers delivery within a 10-mile radius. You can order from all seven restaurants and put it on a single bill through a new service called DECO on the go.

DECO Wilmington

Hotel DU Pont 111 W.. 10th Street, Wilmington, Pa. 19801

302-300-4955

The sound of music is rising from the Avenue of the Arts.

Students and professors from the University of the Arts are putting on a series of construction site concerts, serenading workers and passersby from a 7th-floor pop-up stage at the condo building going up across from the Kimmel Center.

The next concert is Sept. 30 featuring Broadway hits.

Serenade on the Avenue (Concerts run 6-63:0 p.m.)

September 30th: Broadway hits | October 14th: Jazz

7th floor of Arthaus Construction Site, Broad & Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is welcoming back visitors after nearly six months.

The museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays with masks required, temperature checks at the door and limited capacity in the galleries.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pa. 19130