Barbuzzo Highlights Revamped 13th Street Neighborhood

In the past few years, the 13th Street area between Chestnut and Locust Street has undergone a significant metamorphosis.  From shady adult establishments and failed stores, it has been completely revitalized with new restaurants, new stores, new storefronts and even a new name (Midtown Village).

Perhaps no one has been more responsible for the transformation of 13th Street than Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, two entrepeneurs who have made 13th Street their own mini-empire.  Six storefronts (Grocery, Bindi, Open House, Lolita, Verde/Marcie Blaine Chocolates and Barbuzzo), which include three full service restaurants (Bindi, Lolita and Barbuzzo), located within one block between Chestnut Street and Sansom Street, are all part of their operation.  Their affection for the neighborhood is even reflected in the name of their website, We Love 13th Street, and accompanying blog.

The newest establishment, Barbuzzo, has garnered significant praise since its opening last fall.  Just recently, Frommer’s named Barbuzzo as one of the top 10 new urban restaurants.  The Mediterranean kitchen and bar has consistently drawn packed crowds.  On a recent 80 degree Tuesday evening, the Barbuzzo sidewalk seats were packed.

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Philadelphia Pizza: An Evolving Tradition Unlike Any Other

I can’t think of too many other foods more universally enjoyed than pizza.  Whether it’s lunchtime office meetings, kids birthday parties, late night post-bar food and especially any time college students are around – pizza is a good choice and brings smiles to people’s faces.  I personally think it’s Italy’s best creation and export, slightly ahead of Tuscan wines and significantly ahead of slicked-back hair.

Pizza comes in different types and styles for everyone.  There’s thin crust and deep dish, tomato pie and white pizza, chewy crust and crispy crust, round pie and square slice, traditional Neapolitan and modern American style.  I think all you need are mint chocolate chip and pralines n’ cream styles to have 31 flavors.


Kennett Restaurant: Close to Perfect New Bar

If I was opening up a new bar/restraunt in Philadelphia, it would have most of the qualities of Kennett, the recently-opened establishment at 2nd and Christian at the old Lyon’s Den.  It’s tough to find fault with a place that hits all the current hot trends in the food and beer world.

Small plates?  In the words of Charlie Sheen, “Duh!”  Farm to table and locally sourced food?  Of course.  Pizza?  Yep, in a wood-fired oven, no less.  Burger?  Three different varieties, including lamb and veggie.  Craft beer?  16 taps and 13 bottles worth, including such top beers such as Founders Breakfast Stout and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.  Cocktails?  A full page on the menu.

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