When Netflix show Queer Eye filmed in Philadelphia for Season 5, the Fab Five spent time in the Italian Market helping Marcos Tlacopilco and his family design a new restaurant. Now, the restaurant is finally ready for its debut. Alma del Mar, named after Tlacopilco’s wife, Alma Romero, opens this week at 1007 S. Ninth Street.
Tlacopilco, who is originally from Puebla, Mexico, also owns Marco’s Fish & Crab House on the same block (his Queer Eye episode is titled “Father Knows Fish”). Both are family affairs, with Tlacopilco, Romero, and their children all involved in the operations. But everything else at Alma del Mar is as different as can be from the fish shop, starting with the bright mural of Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, and Karamo Brown adorning an inside wall. Outside, tables are set up under umbrellas in a lot next door and in a row stretching down the sidewalk in front of century-old butcher shop Esposito’s.
The menu at Alma del Mar mixes American breakfast and brunch standards with Mexican and seafood dishes, including the crab and corn chowder perfected on Queer Eye. On the sweet side, there’s tres leches pain perdu and bacon-banana French toast. Egg dishes include a lobster Benedict with Old Bay hollandaise. Those looking for a tofu scramble will find one with refried pinto beans, avocado, and jalapeños.
The sandwich section includes a mollete, a salmon burger, and, since this is Philly, roast pork with broccoli rabe and provolone. Or go for Marco’s Crazy Mango Salad with avocado, mango, and crab meat. To go with the food, there are coffee drinks and juices.
Starting today, the restaurant is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., with both outside seating and takeout.