clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Critics Weigh In on Fried Chicken and Dim Sum

Jason Sheehan supports chicken obsessives

Love & Honey Fried Chicken

Todd Lyons cracked the magic fried chicken formula over at Love & Honey according to Jason Sheehan. The Philadelphia magazine critic wholeheartedly supports chicken obsessives like Lyons: “I stand squarely on the side of the freaks and fetishists, the compulsive deep-fryers and long-haul searchers after shattering skin and brothy dark meat.”

The chicken at the mostly take-out spot in Northern Liberties, which Lyons opened with his wife, Laura, is “fantastic,” Sheehan writes, with its “crisp crust touched with just a tiny bit of honey as it comes out of the warming oven, and meat that’s juicy and salty and as good cold the next morning as it is hot from the fryer.” Go for the chicken and cornbread; the sides are “unremarkable.” [Philly Mag]

— Sheehan got in trouble for reviewing Palizzi Social Club, the members-only Italian restaurant in South Philly, but Craig LaBan seems to have gotten a pass. In the “checkerboard-floored wonderland of Italian American history that is the Palizzi Social Club,” LaBan finds “perfect Caesar salad,” a crab gravy “profoundly steeped with that briny deep-sea sweetness,” “tender pink calamari with silky peas cradled in tiny shell pastas,” and spumoni that’s “so vivid, so real, so sublime.” The drinks inspire equal praise, with LaBan calling Palizzi one of the best new cocktail bars in Philly. But what really appealed was the sense of history:

[F]ew new eating experiences in Philly have struck such a meaningful chord in me lately, in part because it’s so deftly rooted in a disappearing local heritage. In a city that has let far too many of its old food ways wither, there’s immeasurable value in such a talented young chef taking tradition under his wing.

In a nod to Palizzi’s house rules, which include no reviewing, the Inquirer critic didn’t rate the restaurant. []

Dim Sum House

— The headline atop Emily Teel’s review of Dim Sum House for the Courier-Post calls the Chinese restaurant a hit, though “good, but not great” seems to be her main take on the University City restaurant’s mix of Cantonese and Shanghai-style dim sum and bigger plates. Three different chefs handle the three types of cuisine, each “operating with ruthless efficiency” in the large restaurant, which seats 200-plus. So efficient, in fact, that Teel couldn’t keep up with the amount of food coming out of the kitchen: “So many dishes hit the table at once that we can’t keep up and some grow cold while we work through the array of plates and steamer baskets to them.”

The Shanghai-style dumplings filled with crab and pork soup were not the “most superlative version” of soup dumplings Teel has eaten and the spicy shrimp dumplings had too much heat from chili in the tapioca wrapper. But the fried eggplant stuffed with shrimp mousse was “rich and succulent.” Another favorite was the beef scallion pancake. “Tables bigger than two should order more than one,” she suggests. [Courier-Post]