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PhillyMag Trashes Square Peg; Phyllis Hates Shake Shack

Square Peg gets ripped by Trey Popp
Square Peg gets ripped by Trey Popp
Photo: Eater Philly

Trey Popp spent a few dinners at Matt Levin's newest project, Square Peg, and came away unimpressed. While there were dots of inspired bites along the way, Popp felt that Levin, who has a flair for recreating old school junk food, needed to stop using the real-deal Jolly Ranchers and Fritos when designing dishes for the restaurant.

"Levin pickles watermelon chunks in Kool-Aid®, cuts his bacon marmalade with Heinz 57®, and dumps carnitas into a two-ounce FRITOS® bag. The registered trademark icons are the menu’s, not mine, but their unnecessary inclusion typifies the deliberate cognitive dissonance that defines this place."

Not everything was bad though, as Popp believes Levin's fried chicken is still the best in town, and Square Peg's spiked milkshakes are worth the price of admission alone. But, when the reviewer ordered one to share with a dining companion, the waitress asked if they wanted it with "two straws? Or do you want it no-homo?" Ouch.

Phyllis is usually good for a few unintentional laughs, and she just took down Shake Shack without even trying the shakes.

She hated the burger, and loved the french fries (which she doesn't mention are frozen). Sandy compares the fries to Boardwalk fries, which are fresh cut and usually doused with malt vinegar, which most certainly doesn't happen at Shake Shack. The two women say the burgers are too small, and that Edward could "probably eat three of them." He must be quite a load.

David Snyder makes a trimphant return to the Citypaper while Erace is on vacation, and swoons for Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran's Jamonera. Turney is throwing out classic renditions and creative twists on Spanish cuisine, and apparently the best pig tails in Philly.

"The crispy pig-tail tosta was hands down the best rendition of pig tails in the city. Fatty pig tails are braised for two hours, deboned, crisped on the plancha, topped with bright pickled cabbage and a tangy piparade barbecue sauce and served on top of toasted bread for that necessary crunch. "

It looks like Turney and Safran have yet another hit on their hands, and is anyone really surprised? Keep it up, ladies.

THE BLOGS: Bridges, Burgers, and Beer visits The Industry Bar and loves the burger, of course; Philly Phoodie continues on the hoagie hunt in DelCo at Trio's and comes away impressed; Row Home Eats heads to In Riva for the much-ballyhooed pizza.

· All Week In Reviews Coverage [~EPHI~]

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