First, restaurant group Defined Hospitality got Philly’s attention with Suraya, the acclaimed Lebanese restaurant in Fishtown. Next Defined Hospitality’s Nick Kennedy, Greg Root, and Al Lucas teamed up with pizza whiz Joe Beddia for Pizzeria Beddia, also in Fishtown. And then it was time to tackle Center City. They landed at the new Pod Philly hotel on 19th and Ludlow with coffee shop El Cafe, followed by stylish Mexican restaurant Condesa, and then El Techo, the year-round rooftop bar with a retractable glass roof. And now, the last piece of the puzzle is in place: El Techo starts serving a full food menu tonight, Wednesday, January 22.
In keeping with the Mexican theme of their other two eateries in the hotel, El Techo’s compact menu is made up of shareable snacks like airy chicarrones with salsa verde, queso fundido, and, of course, guacamole and chips, along with a list of tacos (they’re on the small side; you’ll want more than one). Choose from beef, squid, pork, chicken, or the vegetarian option, cactus, all from co-owner/executive chef Kennedy.
For dessert, pastry chef James Matty is making paletas (popsicles), including one that’s half creamy coconut and half spicy mango.
The drinks list highlights tequilas and mezcals, alongside beer, a few wines, and a frozen concoction that starts with tequila and adds in rum, smoked chile, pineapple, grapefruit, and mole bitters.
El Techo is open Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m., with a 5 to 9 p.m. happy hour, and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m., with a 4 to 7 p.m. happy hour. Look for brunch to be added soon.