New restaurants for African, Mexican, Filipino; a trip to Chester Co.

Monday, August 2, 2021
New restaurants for international flavors; a trip to Chester Co.
FYI Philly takes your tastebuds on a vacation with flavors from Africa, the Philippines, Italy and Mexico.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- FYI Philly airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on 6abc. Here's a look at this week's show, hosted by Alicia Vitarelli and Karen Rogers.


Enter to win here:

Reading Terminal welcomes 1st Filipino restaurant, Tambayan

Tambayan has been open for less than two weeks and already Owner Kathy Mirano is having trouble keeping up with demand.

Her restaurant at Reading Terminal is believed to be the first in the market's nearly 130-year-history to serve up Filipino fare.

Signature dishes include the pancit- a fried rice-based noodle mixed with vegetables and either shrimp, pork or chicken, fresh lumpia -an egg roll stuffed with vegetables and dipped in Kathy's homemade sauce, and her BBQ.

Mirano is a proud native of Batangas a province near the capital of Manila. She came to the United States 26 years ago and has worked in the market for 21 of those years.

During the pandemic, she started selling small cakes to doctors and nurses at Jefferson Hospital. She called her virtual business Runners Sweets and Treats because "I'm an addicted runner, ultra-marathoner."

Now, with the opening of Tambayan, you can get the desserts and a homemade meal.

And whether sweet or savory, you'll find ube everywhere.

It's one of the most beloved foods in Filipino culture, Kathy puts the purple potato in her macarons. She also makes an ube drink and ube rolls with sharp cheddar inside and halo-halo, a Filipino dessert drink with her homemade ube ice cream.

Tambayan means it's a place to hang out and Kathy says opening the restaurant is just as much about sharing her food as it is about sharing her culture.

Maraming salamat, she explains, means thank you very much, and she says it to every customer lining up at the counter to sample her authentic dishes.

Tambayan | Instagram

Runners Sweets N Treats | Instagram

Reading Terminal Market (on the east side of the market, near Arch Street)

51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Suya Suya brings West African fast-casual to Philly

Suya Suya is a new spot in Northern Liberties serving up one of West Africa's most popular street foods.

'Suya' is a grilled meat skewer that originated in Nigeria and later became popular throughout western Africa.

Owner-chef Dera Nd-Ezuma was raised in Nigeria but grew up in South Jersey - coming here as a teen to play basketball.

His profession became accounting, then opened his first restaurant to share the food of his culture.

Nd-Ezuma presents his suya as a bowl that you build with a protein, a base, and a side. All spices are imported from Nigeria, and each bowl is customized around the customer's choices.

Suya Suya | Facebook | Instagram

400 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123


11:30am-8:00pm Tues-Sat, until 6:00pm on Sundays

5 Mexican spots you must try

8As part of our cultural food tour around Philly, we hit some of Philadelphia's Mexican restaurant gems.

First up, Izzy's 33 in South Philadelphia. Chef Isrrael Romero created a menu with 33 of his favorite dishes, including the fan favorite Churro French Toast and the Mexican Breakfast Stack.

Also in South Philly, Chef Jennifer Zavala is gearing up to open her first brick and mortar shop on Passyunk Ave called Juana Tamale.

Named after her years of selling tamales from her food truck and her dad's nickname for her.

Juana Tamale is set to open in September with a limited menu of Birria tacos, Churros and her Mexican take on Ramen noodles.

Chef Aurora Hernandez of San Miguelito Mexican Cuisine is known for her hand-pressed tortillas. Aurora and boyfriend, Adolfo Florencio whip up some classics in their kitchen, such as marinated pork, beef, and fried fish tacos to the specialty San Miguelito Platter.

El Purepecha recently received a worthy upgrade. Owners Chef Alex Medina and Janneth Sinichi are happy to continue to serve their loyal customers some of their favorites like chicken fajitas and al pastor.

Medina also makes a Michelada behind the bar which starts with a beer stein rimmed with black salsa and dried chili peppers, topped off with your beer of choice.

Another new spot, Sor Ynéz has locals flocking to their bar seats. Their cocktail menu includes favorites like the Selena, with pickled watermelon, and the Frida, which is a charred corn margarita. You'll find a ton of vegan and vegetarian options like the Sikil Pak and the 'Alt' Pastor, which is marinated cauliflower in pineapple instead of pork.

Izzy's 33 | Facebook

1703 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148


Juana Tamale | Instagram

1941 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

San Miguelito Mexican Cuisine | Facebook

2654 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148


El Purepecha Mexican Kitchen| Facebook| Instagram

315 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107


Sor Ynéz| Facebook | Instagram

1800 N American St, Philadelphia, PA 19122


Cucina Maria continues legacy of originator, with protege at the helm

Chef Maria Forte grew up in Italy, where her mother had a restaurant for years.

In Philly, she was a fixture on the Italian restaurant scene, opening a few noted spots before retiring during the pandemic with Cucina Forte in Bella Vista.

At every stop along the way, Mexican immigrant Juana Franco was with her, for more than 20 years - starting as a dishwasher, then becoming a cook, and eventually running the kitchen.

When Maria left Cucina Forte, Franco bought the restaurant from her and changed the name to Cucina Maria.

Today, Franco continues to cook the classic Italian dishes she learned under the tutelage of Maria, and says she is excited to be moving into the next phase as owner-chef.

Cucina Maria owner-chef Juana Franco with her culinary creations, and husband Angel Ayala.

Cucina Maria | Facebook | Instagram

768 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148


Chester County's charm includes Longwood Gardens, beer gardens, ice cream

A trip to Chester County is packed with fun outdoor activities.

Longwood Gardens is the crown jewel of America's Garden Capital, which includes more than 35 gardens within 30 miles of Philadelphia. You can take in the epic illuminated fountain shows Thursday through Saturday nights. They also have a beer garden that features locally made beers featuring fruit grown on site.

The Creamery in Kennett Square offers local brews as well in an industrial setting. The site dates back to 1902 but has been reclaimed as a 4,600-square-foot hangout space. Indoor glamping sites provide unique spaces for private parties and live music brings the place to life on weekends.

Chester County has an ice cream trail that includes La Michoacana. The name is rooted in the recipes the owners brought to Kennett Square from Michoacan, Mexico. You can find favorites like corn and avocado and a special mushroom ice pop created for the annual Mushroom Festival.

Country Music fans rejoice, the Citadel Country Spirit USA tour returns on August 27-29. The three-day festival features 20 acts on two stages, including headliners Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert and Chris Young.

Longwood Gardens | Facebook | Instagram

1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348

The Creamery Kennett Square | Facebook | Instagram

401 Birch Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348

La Michoacana Homemade Ice Cream | Facebook | Instagram

231 State Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348

Citadel Country Spirit USA | Facebook | Instagram

Friday, August 27, 2021 - Sunday, August 29, 2021

Ludwig's Corner Horse Show, Dickies Arena

5 Nantmeal Road, Glenmoore, PA 19343

Can a competitive eater and his two friends conquer the biggest bagel they've ever seen? Watch a trio of tasters attack a bagel the size of two footballs!

Watch 3 eaters attempt to eat massive 14-pound bagel in 30 mins

Early in Spread Bagelry's history, some employees created a behemoth of a bagel, just to see if any of them could actually finish it off in 30 minutes.

Just before the pandemic, three brave friends attempted the same "Whale Challenge": to devour a 14-pound bagel, complete with three pounds of cream cheese, two pounds of whitefish, two pounds of Nova salmon, a pound of tomatoes, a pound of cucumbers, and more.

See if a competitive eater and his two best friends can conquer the biggest bagel they've ever seen.

Spread Bagelry | Facebook | Instagram

Multiple locations, check the website above for the one nearest to you.

Deep River Tours tells the story of 19th-century Black Victorians

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is Philadelphia's only authentically restored Victorian House Museum and it's now hosting tours that tell the stories of 19th-century Black entrepreneurs, artisans and intellectuals.

Karen Rogers has the story in this week's 6abc Loves the Arts.

"You are walking back in time to the Victorian era," says Diane Richardson the Executive Director of Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion.

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion Museum is located in Germantown's Tulpehocken Station Historic District.

"The mansion was built in 1859 by Ebenezer Maxwell for his wife and their six children," says Diane.

The Museum is now running Deep River Tours: How African Americans Waded Through the Waters of Oppression to Achieve Greatness in the 19th Century.

Explains Diane, "The entire tour is sort of based on a Negro spiritual entitled Deep Rivers, about wading through those waters to get free.

"And it's so important because now we can walk in the footsteps of these great people," enlightens Regina Robinson.

Regina and her husband John Lewis are docents on the tour.

"I'm learning as I'm teaching other people," reveals John.

Sharing stories like that of Dr. Eliza Grier.

"She came to the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania. To pay for her tuition, she had to work in the cotton fields every other year," Regina describes on the tour.

You'll also learn about Elizabeth Keckley, seamstress for Mary Todd Lincoln.

"...And a lot of the Confederate wives as well," discloses Regina.

And Dr Rebecca Cole.

"She was the second African American woman to become a physician in the United States," says Regina.

And John Trower an influential businessman and caterer.

"He catered to the wealthy, but he gave his money to the poor," Diane states.

The tour ends with a literal taste of the 19th century, cookies and pickles from the second cookbook ever published by an African American.

"That was Mrs. Abby Fisher. She could not read nor write, but she was a fabulous cook," enlightens Regina.

"Deep River Tours" runs on select Sundays. The next one is August 15th.

Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion's Deep Rivers: How African Americans Waded through the Waters of Oppression to Achieve Greatness | Facebook | Instagram

200 West Tulpehocken Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19144

Tour available indefinitely on select Sundays year-round. Next tour date Sunday, August 15th, 1pm.

Karen Rogers takes you inside the episode with an exclusive look at 3 restaurants serving flavors of the world.