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Delectable takeout and delivery options for every appetite.

Winter can be a real drag. So to help you expand your horizons and ease your culinary burden, we’ve pulled together a sizable list of eateries ready to satisfy your craving du jour. Now all you need for a fuss-free cozy meal or elegant feast is a telephone, your wallet and some chic disposable plates and plastic cutlery.

Green Stuff
You’ll be more than satisfied with the salad offerings at Fresco (228 S. Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, 610-356-4171, frescopizzagrill.com). Artistically arranged and served with a flavorful bread stick in big bowls, these are some of the prettiest you can get to-go. The chicken kabob (pictured above) has skewered chicken marinated with Greek seasonings, green pepper and onion over a bed of crisp romaine hearts, cucumbers, red onion, more green peppers and kalamata olives. The grilled Ahi tuna is also noteworthy, with ruby-red slices of rare tuna and a tangy “kusabi” dressing. Other favorites: the Caprese with fresh buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, and the vegetarian, with crumbled Gorgonzola and a raspberry vinaigrette. Don’t exclude this popular lunch stop from your list of takeout dinner options.

Saladworks (Wynnewood Square Shopping Center, 280 E. Lancaster Ave., 610-642-9250; Gateway Shopping Center, 159 E. Swedesford Road, Wayne, 610-688-5755), the reasonably priced menu has more than 14 signature salads to choose from (plus nearly 20 toppings for creating your own) and 15 homemade dressings—hearty combinations that make preparing salad-in-a-bag seem like a chore. All salads are made to order with your choice of a freshly baked white or multi-grain roll. Or assemble your own with plenty of fresh lettuce, radiatorre pasta or fresh spinach, along with up to five toppings.

The awesome salads at Ruby’s Diner (5 Coulter Ave., Ardmore, 610-896-RUBY; 160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, 610-337-RUBY) are packed with an abundance of goodies that’ll make you forget all about the burger you were craving. The Garden Fresh collection includes BBQ Ranch, with chunks of grilled chicken, black beans, avocado slices and more; an apple, pecan and bleu cheese combo with dried cranberries and a pomegranate vinaigrette; a hearty Cobb with fresh roasted turkey, smoked bacon and bleu cheese crumbles; sweet ’n’ spicy Thai salad with shrimp; and Carnitas, with slow-roasted pork, salsa, corn, black beans, cheese in a creamy barbecue ranch dressing.

There are nine varieties of salads to choose from at Main Line Grill (1011 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610-525-5070) including Caesar and Julienne (like a Chef salad). But the Greek, the Spinach (with goat cheese and portobello mushrooms) and the baked goat cheese embellished with grilled salmon or chicken are our favorites. Homemade balsamic and ginger-soy vinaigrettes (served on the side) add just the right tang, and the savory croutons make for a crunchy and satisfying mouthful.

Just because pizza is part of its name doesn’t mean they can’t toss up a great salad at Sun Valley Pizza (838 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, 610-660-0583.) There are 15-plus different combinations to choose from, plus any custom combo you can think of—all made with spring mix and large enough to share or combine with a slice for two meals. How about a heaping bowl of oriental pasta salad—fresh linguine tossed with teriyaki chicken, broccoli, zucchini and carrots in a light soy and ginger dressing? Or try the Sorrento—baby spinach with fresh buffalo mozzarella and roasted red peppers topped with Cajun chicken.

Further west? Check out the Salad Stop (13 W. Gay St., West Chester, 610-692-0699, thesaladstop.com), which offers 24 fresh and delicious options made with a combination of green leaf, iceberg and romaine lettuce—and spinach upon request. The 23-plus dressing choices include mango vinaigrette, ginger pepper, tomato-basil vinaigrette, roasted red pepper, creamy peppercorn and honey jalapeño. All are flavorful accompaniments to salads such as Hawaiian grilled chicken with mandarin oranges, pineapple and cukes; blackened salmon Caesar Niçoise; and more.

 


 

Taste of Italy
Late afternoons and early evenings are prime time for shopping at Fratelli Ragu (920 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, 610-668-2470) and Carlino’s (2612 E. County Line Road, Ardmore, 610-649-4046, carlinosmarket.com), specialty Italian markets that excel at impromptu feasts. Each day the cases are filled with high-end versions of traditional and not-so-traditional pastas, entrées and sides. Carlino’s mozzarella sticks (too good for your kids), legendary lasagnas, stuffed seafood, roast chicken and meatballs are complemented with an ever-changing roster of better-than-Grandma-made chicken veal scallopini, Parmigiana and Marsala; marinated seafood salad; roasted artichokes; and much more.

Although smaller, Fratelli’s delivers an impressive punch with its prepared dishes (pictured above). Daily market specials include an extensive list of seafood entrées—Chilean sea bass, coconut tilapia, Yukon-crusted cod, scallops Marsala, seafood pescatore and more. There’s also stuffed filet with roasted peppers, spinach and Asiago cheese (pictured above); veal osso bucco; chicken Sorrento; Italian wedding soup; antipasto, chicken, shrimp or salmon Caesar salad; and so much more—including, of course, out-of-this-world spaghetti and meatballs.

For more straightforward Italian takeout, Antonella’s Italian Kitchen (842 Conestoga Road, Rosemont, 610-526-1966, antonellaskitchen.com) is great for chicken and eggplant Parmigiana; meatballs; chicken scallopini, Marsala, Picante and Antonella (sautéed chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and Madeira wine); and sides such as broccoli de rabe, grilled vegetables and roasted potatoes, priced by the pound. Grab a half-dozen hearty Italian rolls and sharp Provolone for meatball sandwiches on the fly.

Traditional Italian fare also reigns at La Locanda II Go (5003 West Chester Pike, Edgemont, 610-325-5200). For $14 or less, take home stuffed shells; spaghetti Bolognese; fettuccine Alfredo; chicken, eggplant and veal Parmigiana; shrimp fra diavolo or scampi—all with a side of garlic bread and salad. Round out your meal with mussels marinara or bruschetta for just a few dollars more.

At Anthony’s Italian Restaurant (1127 W. King St., Malvern, 610-647-7400, anthonysitalianrestaurant.com), choose from a variety of pastas and sauces (meat, mushroom and more) made daily, along with meatballs, sausage, pasta de mare, and fettuccine with mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops and crab meat. Carb watchers can opt for a New York strip steak with tomatoes, onions and garlic. Or opt for the veal pizziola sautéed in garlic, wine, oregano, artichoke and marinara sauce.

 


 

The “S” Word
Anyone with friends or coworkers as picky as Meg Ryan’s character in When Harry Met Sally might want to exercise patience when ordering from Soprano’s (3072 West Chester Pike, Broomall, 610-359-9355). Sandwiches are numbered from 0 to 10 for panini, and 11 to 40 for steaks, hoagies and grinders. Chewy South Philly rolls, Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, and house-made roast pork and roast beef combine in delectable mouthfuls. Longstanding house favorites include the Soprano Special Hoagie; Italian; roasted turkey with Swiss cheese, roasted peppers and honey mustard; and hot pork with sharp provolone and roasted hot or sweet peppers. The numbers make it easier, but don’t worry—they’ll let you think outside the box and create your own.

It’s hard to know where to start when perusing the menu at A Cut Above (3523 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, 610-353-3247, acutabovedeli.com). But if you’ve never been, here’s a few to consider: the Antipasto with imported tuna, prosciutto, sharp provolone, sweet roasted peppers, black olives and lettuce; the Buffalo chicken, pan-fried with bleu cheese and hot sauce; the Veggie Deluxe with sautéed eggplant, broccoli rabe, roasted peppers and provolone; spicy turkey made with homestyle peppercorn turkey, hot pepper cheese and crushed red pepper flakes; and the chicken cutlet Italiano (pictured above). If you love Italian hoagies, there’s four different variations, each made with imported meats and sharp provolone. All sandwiches are built on Sarcone’s rolls.

Served on long hoagie or Kaiser rolls baked in South Philly, with a crispy crust and fluffy interior, the sandwiches at Pepper’s Café (2528 Haverford Road, Ardmore, 610-896-3618, michaelsdeli.com) is the grilled corned beef Reuben, but their Italian hoagie isn’t far behind. Sandwiches are made with Boar’s Head products, and the turkey, roast beef and corned beef are prepared in-house. Any sandwich can be made as a wrap, but you might want to make a carb sacrifice, as all of the bread is delivered fresh each morning from three bakeries. You could order from there every day for a month and still not try everything. Don’t forget to check the website for daily specials before ordering.

One Main Line Today staffer has fond memories of the fresh turkey hoagies, with crispy bacon, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on the side, at Neapolitan Delicatessen (1022 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, 610-647-2050, neodeli.com). It’s been a while, but a recent visit proved that this old-school sandwich shop is still going strong, with house-roasted turkey and roast beef, and interesting offerings like the triple-decker South Orange Special with corned beef, imported ham, Swiss cheese, cole slaw and Russian dressing; and the Thanksgiving hoagie, with cranberry sauce, thyme and sage (available year round). You also might want to try the Real Italian, made with fresh prosciutto, aged Giganti cheese, cappicola and Genoa salami; or the Wellington Wells, a decadent combo of pastrami, bacon, sharp cheddar and tomato on rye.

 


 

Nature’s Bounty
In case you need reminding, takeout doesn’t have to be synonymous with unhealthy. At All Natural Market and Café (30 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, 610-896-7717, allnaturalmarket.com) you can grab a guilt-free vegan Macro plate that includes brown rice, greens, and the sauce of the day. The menu changes weekly, with a soup and special du jour. Sample macro plates include wild rice pilaf with lemon-garlic tempeh and roasted cauliflower; barley pilaf with creamy navy beans, parsley carrots and shiitake sauce; and soba noodles with soy-ginger tofu and a vegetable medley. There are also wraps, vegan burgers, sandwiches, salads, kids’ items and a vegan bakery full of healthy desserts. The market also carries prepared food lines from other vendors. Café menus are posted on the website.

The Garden of Eatin’ (231 Haverford Ave., Narberth, 610-667-7634) is another wonderful source for vegetarians and anyone interested in more healthful meals. Heart-healthy, all-natural, organic and raw are the buzzwords here, along with flavorful and artistic. Sandwiches are served on seven-grain bread from Metropolitan bakery or whole-wheat pita; all come with a side of crisp vegetables. Standouts include the hummus roll-up (pictured above), grilled portobello on baguette, scrambled egg and tomato, and a tuna melt. Or try a burrito, stir-fry dish, non-beef burger or an omelet of the day; new items are being added in conjunction with its new makeover. Wrap up your meal with a slice or two of angel food cake or another homemade goodie.

And don’t forget about the café at Arrowroot (834 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 800-606-4115, arrowrootorganics.com), which also serves up a variety of sandwiches, soups, vegetarian sushi and wholesome cookies (made with maple syrup—yum). The menu changes daily, but expect things like vegetarian chili, lentil-spinach stew, carrot soup, organic salads, tofu, hummus and turkey sandwiches, and other creative combos.

 


 

The Perfect Pie
What’s not to love about a pie that spreads peace and tastes good? A staple in any takeout repertoire, Peace A Pizza (1125 Lancaster Ave., Rosemont, 610-581-7010; 4 Station Road, Ardmore, 610-896-4488; 143-149 S. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, 610-962-9900; 522 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, 610-293-6988; peacepizza.com) rules on creativity. Must-tries include the Buffalo Wing Bleu Cheese topped with crème fraîche sauce, chunks of spicy chicken, mozzarella and bleu cheese crumbles; the Chicken Fajita with pico de gallo, cheddar and spicy seasonings; the bacon and potato pie, with or without bacon; and the white, with spinach or artichoke hearts and fresh garlic; and the Brooklyn Bridge (pictured above).

Mom’s Bake at Home Pizza (various Main Line locations, momsbakeathome.com) offers everything from Old World tomato pies to specialty combinations like chicken or steak fajita; Quattro Fungi, with fresh garlic, shiitake, portobello, white and crimini mushrooms, and zesty sauces; Mexican Salsa with refried beans, onions, black olives and mixed bell peppers, or seasoned barbecue chicken with sauce, red onions and bacon. Extras include soy cheese, no-fat cheese, whole wheat and oat bran crusts. Best of all, you never have to worry about it arriving cold, because you cook it at home.

The wood-fired, brick-oven pizzas at Felicia’s (18 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, 610-649-6900) aren’t for picky eaters. Not your everyday versions, these pies are made to accommodate the most eclectic taste buds. For low-carb dieters, there’s whole-wheat crust—heartier in flavor than you might expect—and there are several low-fat pizzas available as well. The pies definitely have a homemade look, with intriguing combinations such as grilled teriyaki chicken—chicken breast marinated in ginger, garlic, orange and teriyaki sauce, red onions, peppers, and low-fat mozzarella cheese.

At Pallante’s Pasta Co. (Ardmore Farmers’ Market, 120 Coulter Ave., Ardmore, 610-649-4944), the motto is “keep it simple.” Hand-tossed, the thin-crust pizzas get their zing from fresh basil-tomato sauce and the fiery heat of a brick oven. Enticing combinations include spinach, tomato and portobello mushrooms; sun-dried tomato pesto, eggplant and caramelized onions; and the Saturday special—grilled eggplant, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and Greek olives.

Thin is in at Dakota Pizza Company (333 Lancaster Ave., Wynnewood, 610-642-6770. dakotapizza.com), where they keep the crust simple but do it up with creative toppings (15 traditional, 15 gourmet). They offer just one Sicilian-style, thick-crust pie by the slice (you’ll need 24 hours to order a whole one) plain or pepperoni. Or try the jambalaya with Creole sauce; scampi; chicken Florentine; Polynesian (chicken, pineapple, ham, red onion, tomato and mozzarella); or clams casino.

At Dimeo Italian Cuisine and Pizzeria (Strafford Shopping Center, 369B W. Lancaster Ave., Strafford, 610-971-0220), they don’t discriminate. They’ve got thick or thin crust, stuffed, create-your-own and specialty pizzas. Standouts include chicken cacciatore; the savory Salta-in-Bocca, with chicken, spinach and prosciutto; the Il Contadino, with broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella; and the Hawaiian, with ham, pineapple and mozzarella.

 


Asian Dream
There’s no dearth of options when it comes to Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese food on the Main Line—which makes it nearly impossible to narrow our list down to just five. Generally speaking, most of us choose one spot over another based on geography, budget, gastronomic savviness and, occasionally, the kids. We favor specific dishes at different places and make our choices based on culinary mood.

Most folks’ take on sushi tends to be pretty similar, especially as more and more restaurants continue to deliver ultra-fresh, premium fish flown in from international waters. Supply and quality keep going up, minimizing customer loyalty to one place or another (and increasing our cravings). And while many of us hate to admit it, we also pick up the occasional pack of rolls at Genuardi’s or Ardmore Farmers’ Market to cop a less-expensive fix.

What would be really great, though, is a one-stop destination where you can grab your favorite dishes in one fell swoop. Imagine: Chinese eggplant, a spicy tuna hand roll, lemongrass soup—oh, and dumplings. Come to think of it, why hasn’t anyone done this?

To help satisfy that Asian/sushi longing, we’ve listed some of the big names alongside a few underdogs worthy of note—keeping in mind that what you choose for dinner with friends or a significant other might be quite different from what you eat for a quick lunch. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these.

Thai Orchid, 556 W. Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 651-7840. Beautiful and tasty, the curries here are mouth- watering—rich yet not too thick, and layered with flavors that seep out with each bite. The Panang curry sauce sampled recently in a special of eggplant, shrimp and basil proved to be more than satisfactory when sipped like soup. And the crispy roasted Chu Chee duck (pictured above) is downright heavenly.

Silk Cuisine, 656 Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 520-2470, (610) 527-8828. The shrimp nori and chicken coconut soup are among the noteworthy appetizers, and the green curry is especially tasty—pungent yet sweet, with just a hint of heat. Also tops on the menu at Silk Cuisine: an impressive variety of vegetarian dishes and oh-so-tender calamari.

Thai Pepper, 64 E Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 642-5951. A wide range of intensity in flavor and heat helps diners with differing taste buds meet in the middle. Despite a good number of salads and a few vegetarian dishes, seafood, poultry and pork dominate the menu.

Margaret Kuo’s Chinese, 175 East Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 688-7200, margaretkuos.com. We give high marks to almost every dish we’ve sampled, especially the grass-fed black pepper filet, seared to a luscious rosy hue and literally like butta.

Beijing Inn, 812 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 525-2339 (delivery available). Kids go crazy for the Chinese food here—especially the pork dumplings, chicken low mien and General Tso’s chicken. Grilled appetizers and entrées offer something a little bit different—chicken, beef, pork or shrimp “sticks” go great with vegetable fried rice, and platters such as grilled pork or lamb with lemongrass, or grilled salmon and filet mignon with fresh vegetables or mushroom sauce, provide lighter—but equally tasty—options.

Hunan, 47 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 642-3050. Word on the street has it that the hot and sour soup is superior. We’re also intrigued by the Hunan lamb, mango chicken, spicy tangerine chicken and spicy steak with eggplant.

Sushi Land, 861 West Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-5427. A relative newcomer, Sushi Land offers unexpected value and high-quality fish. Granted, the presentation is not especially artsy—but take away all the fancy accoutrements, and freshness is what counts. And the best part? You’re not going to pay $15 for a roll.

OTHER NOTABLES
Hana, 387 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 687-3320, hanawayne.com.
Osaka, 372 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 902-6135.
Teikoku, 5492 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, (610) 644-8270, teikokurestaurant.com.
Wabi Sabi, Paoli Plaza, 1776 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, (610) 296-8100, wabisabisteakhouse.com.

 


 

Border Hopping
Señora’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine (505 E. Gay St., West Chester, 610-344-4950) it the real deal. Frankly, the only thing missing is a second location. Simple and fresh, everything is made from scratch, from the chips and salsa (four kinds) to Señora’s signature mole sauce. Definitely a welcome alternative for takeout and a leg up on mass-produced Tex-Mex. Along with burritos, tamales, quesadillas and enchiladas (pictured above), there are a dozen different tacos, as well as hearty nachos loaded with black beans, cheddar and jack cheeses, and a choice of shredded steak, roast pork, chicken or chorizo.

Offering “fast Mexican” with an emphasis on freshness, Mesa Fresh Mexican Grill (239 E. Swedesford Road, Wayne, 610-975-0908; 640 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, 610-265-5592) boasts a variety of tacos, burritos, carnitas, taquitos, enchiladas, fajitas and salads ready in a flash. The tortillas and salsas are all homemade, and they don’t use lard—or a microwave. The ample fajitas-for-two comes with a pound of chicken, steak or pork, Mexican rice, black or pinto beans, guacamole, sour cream, grilled peppers and onions, and flour or corn tortillas.

Santa Fe Burrito (50 E. Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood, 610-649-0600, santafeburrito.com) is another name to know when that craving hits. This local chain shakes things up a bit, offering hearty, healthy burritos made with everything from chicken, turkey, shrimp, veggies, beans and tofu. Generous portions, realistic prices and vegetarian selections are pluses. The Ultimate burrito menu includes Pollo Adovado, chicken and potatoes marinated in red chile and baked with low-fat cheese and verde salsa, and Adobo shrimp, with onions green pepper and adobo sauce.

 


Where’s the Beef? Our mission: to find the tastiest Main Line cheesesteak.

1. Real Pizza, 100 N. Narberth Ave., Narberth, (610) 667-1660, (610) 664-1700. Despite the D-list celebrity pictures hanging on the wall, Real Pizza remains an A-list cheese steak mecca where meat, cheese, onions and bread converge in splendidly delicious harmony in a sandwich loaded with drip, that blessed combination of juices and cheese (pictured above). “I like to sponge it up,” Foley says. And don’t dare ask for ketchup. “It’s the arch nemesis of any great cheese steak,” he adds. Great, indeed.

2. Vic & Dean’s, 409 W. Wayne Ave., Wayne, (610) 225-0025. V&D’s version has exceptional drip, which leaks from an absolutely fantastic roll that’s crusty and firm, but not too hard. “People have been baking bread for thousands of years, and they still can’t get it right,” says Foley. These guys do.

3. Our Deli, 39 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, (610) 644-9240. Nice roll and a generous portion of steak blanketed in melted American cheese. Corcoran: “You can see cheese glistening all around. It kind of glues the meat to your tongue.”

4. Pepper Mill, Route 352 and Paoli Pike, East Goshen, (610) 692-0100. At this local institution, Corcoran regales the panel with his tale of the worst cheese steak ever—a nightmare of grade-D beef, processed cheese and a roll “toasted to the point where you could drive a nail with the heel of it.” By contrast, there’s the Pepper Mill’s version, which is utterly satisfying—and filling.

5. Mama’s Pizzeria, 426 Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd, (610) 664-4757. Lots of meat, lots of onions, lots and lots of cheese, and a faint drip. All in all, a tasty concoction, though the cheese was a bit overpowering. “As a rule of thumb, cheese is good,” Foley says. “But you don’t want to overwhelm the meat.”

HONORABLE MENTION
Pacilio’s Pizza & Beer
, 810 Glenbrook Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 525-4800.
Bella Italia Pizza, 12 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 649-1700.
Garrett Hill Pizza, 910 Conestoga Road, Rosemont, (610) 525-8813.
Lovecchio’s Pizza, 192 Landover Road, Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-9550.

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