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BEST OF THE MAIN LINE:Food & Drink

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Al Fresco Dining

Brodeur’s on

State Street

Brodeur’s offers its diners not one but two al fresco options. Those who love to people-watch will prefer the patio out front, where they can experience the hustle and bustle of

State Street

. Those partial to something more intimate can opt for the side courtyard, where trickling water fountains, blazing tiki torches and a private bar make diners want to linger long after dessert.

1 W. State St.

, Media; (610) 566-5515, brodeursonstatestreet.com

 

Appetizers (Readers’ Choice)

Riverstone Café

143

W. Lincoln Hwy.

, Exton; (610) 594-2233, riverstonecafe.com

 

Asian Al Fresco

Susanna Foo’s Gourmet Kitchen

The latest from Susanna Foo is part casual dumpling house, part upscale shrine to Chinese design. Its outdoor space offers potted trees and a towering brick wall reminiscent of the “Great” one in China. Foo’s signature Asian tapas and steamed dumplings are the perfect accompaniment to watching that big patch of sky turn to dusk.

555 E. Lancaster Ave.

, Radnor; (610) 688-8808, susannafoo.com

 

Authentic Chinese (Readers’ Choice)

Margaret Kuo’s

175 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne

; (610) 688-7200, margaretkuos.com

 

Authentic Ethnic Cuisine (Readers’ Choice)

Jewel of India

53 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore

; (610) 645-5502, mainlinejewelofindia.com

 

Bagels

Delancey Street

Bagels

The plump, warm bagels at this Wynne-wood staple draw a consistent stream of R5 commuters. The selection is vast, from blueberry and chocolate chip to whole wheat and eight-grain. Sandwich selections rival those of any nearby deli, including lunchtime combinations such as grilled chicken breast with artichokes, peppers and balsamic vinaigrette.

50 E. Wynnewood Road

, Wynnewood; (610) 896-8837, delanceystreetbagels.com

 

Bagels (Readers’ Choice)

Bagel Factory

128 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne

, (610) 688-3555

 

Bakery (Readers’ Choice)

Bakery House

604

W. Lancaster Ave.

, Bryn Mawr, (610) 525-4139

 

Barbecue

Jimmy’s Barbecue

Jim Mog’s catering business was born out of his passion for Memphis-style barbecue. Specialties include pulled pork, ribs, brisket, sausage and chicken wings—all slowcooked over hickory or applewood. Mog keeps it simple with three homemade sauces (sweet, spicy and vinegar) and hearty Southern-style sides such as whipped sweet potatoes, baked beans, dirty corn, garlic mashed potatoes and corn bread.

22 Cobblestone Drive

, Paoli; (610) 879-8805, jimmysbarbecue.com

 

Bartender (Readers’ Choice)

Joe Belza, Old Guard House

953 Youngsford Road

, Gladwyne; (610) 649-9708, guardhouseinn.com

 

Beer Stop (Readers’ Choice)

Beer Yard

218 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne

; (610) 688-3431, beeryard.com

 

Best-kept Secret

Bluefin

Bluefin’s low-key strip-mall locale belies its formidable creativity and quality, with superb cuts of sashimi and colorful and tasty nori, maki and hand rolls. Must-try specials include the tuna martini, crunchy spicy tuna sandwich, Davitch roll (salmon atop crunchy spicy tuna roll with spicy sauce, tempura chips, roe and scallions) and the decadent lobster tempura roll. 1017 Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting; (610) 277-3917, sushibluefin.com

 

Best-kept Secret (Readers’ Choice)

Spring Mill Café

164 Barren Hill Road

, Conshohocken; (610) 828-2550, springmill.com

 

Birthday Cakes (Readers’ Choice)

Clay’s Creative Corner Bakery

700 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn

, (610) 647-2119

 

Bottled Beer Selection

Landis Deli & Catering

Sure, Landis has great sandwiches and salads, but it’s the bottles chilling in the coolers that lure beer connoisseurs from miles around. General manager Earl Platt III takes pride in his exotic selection, rotating in new microbrew selections each season. He works later on Friday nights to guide regulars through the six-pack selection process, even offering free samples.

118 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne

; (610) 688-9999, landisrestaurant.com

 

Bottled Beer Selection (Readers’ Choice)

Gullifty’s Pizza Grille & Bar

1149 Lancaster Ave.

, Rosemont; (610) 525-1851, gulliftys.com

 

Breakfast

Gladwyne Village Lunch

The relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere is clearly the draw at Gladwyne Village Lunch. Simple breakfast pleasures include fluffy cheese omelets, egg sandwiches on fresh English muffins, scrapple, pork roll and pancakes as big as the plate. Lunch at “the Lunch” features turkey clubs, BLTs, cheese steaks and more.

951 Youngsford Road

, Gladwyne, (610) 642-9608

 

Breakfast (Readers’ Choice)

Nudy’s Luncheonette

292 E. Conestoga Road, Wayne

, (610) 687-1345

 

Brew Pub

Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery

Consider this: Sly Fox’s beer is so good that demand outstripped the capacity of its original brewery in Phoenixville. And though the brewing facilities are now in Royersford, that hardly diminishes the beer’s craft-brewed appeal. In one five-beer taster round, you can go from the fruity nose of an unfiltered Bavarian-style Royal Weisse to the dark color and nutty finish of O’Reilly’s Stout—with a hoppy Phoenix Pale Ale in between—and never miss a mark. 519 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville; (610) 935-4540, slyfoxbeer.com

 

Brunch (Readers’ Choice)

Radnor Hotel

591 E. Lancaster Ave., St. Davids; (610) 688-5800, radnorhotel.com

 

Burger

Roach & O’Brien

This quirky aberration among the newer, swankier watering holes on the Main Line boasts a notable distinction other than its pre-fab kitsch factor: 8 ounces of ground beef hand-formed into a rugged patty, cooked to perfection on a well-seasoned grill and served on a Kaiser roll as fluffy as a cloud. Something to savor after the first pint—and before that second smoke. 551 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford, (610) 527-6308

 

Burger (Non-Chain) (Readers’ Choice)

Pub of Penn Valley

863 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, (610) 664-1901

 

Burrito

Santa Fe Burrito

If it can fit into a tortilla then it’s probably on the menu at Santa Fe Burrito, the perfect spot to grab a quick and portable lunch. Stop in and grab a classic black bean and cheese, a health-conscious tofu or a decadent chicken mole burrito. Work in the city? Try their sister locations on 11th Street and in Liberty Place. 50 E. Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood; (610) 649-0600, santafeburrito.com

 

BYO

Meredith’s

New executive chef Chris McConathy (Normandy Farms, Cosimo) has taken the food at Meredith’s to a whole new level, serving up sophisticated, multi-textured California-style dishes with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Menu highlights include pistachio-encrusted Maine skate wing and Pacific halibut with sun-choke ragout and purple mashed potatoes. Desserts are decadent—especially the bananas foster bread pudding. 10 Leopard Road, Berwyn, (610) 251-0265

 

BYO in Philadelphia

Mercato

Located right off Broad Street, Mercato is perfect for a meal before or after the theater. Thumbs-up to the mussels and clams with hot Italian sausage, fennel, roasted garlic and white wine broth; lobster and shrimp pyramid pasta; and proscuitto-wrapped chicken breast stuffed with Fontina, mushrooms and broccoli rabe and served with creamy sage polenta. The butterbean, radicchio and wild mush-room salad—drizzled with pine nuts, and tossed in a tart Chianti vinegar—also comes highly recommended. 1216 Spruce St., Philadelphia; (215) 985-2962, mercatobyob.com

 

Candy Store

Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos

It’s Easter all year long at Ricky’s, with a huge assortment of Jelly Belly flavors and bin after bin of yummy gummy candy. And you don’t have to be a sweet-toothed nostalgist to enjoy Smarties, Bazooka gum, Pez, Cow Tails, Now & Later and other traditional varieties that never lose their cool. Or make your own sundae with ice cream made at the store. Various locations, candyconesandchaos.com

 

Casual Gourmet Lunch Spot

Café Fresko

Café Fresko is a soothing place. Maybe it’s the Mediterranean aromas wafting from the kitchen. Or perhaps it’s the open, airy feel of the high copper ceilings, granite and natural wood accents, expansive windows and exposed brick and stone. Wherever it comes from, we like it—almost as much as the secret-recipe French fries and savory Mediterranean-Greek fare, which includes a seasonal menu of hearty salads, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas. 1003 Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 581-7070, cafefresko.com

 

Caterer

J. Scott Catering

Known as the ultimate themed party thrower, J. Scott Catering has been at the top of Main Line hosts and hostesses lists for 12 years. Whatever your event—weddings, corporate functions, sporting events or private celebrations—J. Scott’s seasoned event planners, culinary professionals and service staff will make it an affair to remember. Under the direction of executive chef Jon Jividen, their team can handle functions for as little 25 people or as many as 10,000. 189 Pennsylvania Ave., Malvern; (610) 725-9420, jscottcatering.com

 

Caterer (Readers’ Choice)

Feastivities Catering

440 Domino Lane, Philadelphia; (610) 889-0750, feastivitiescatering.com

 

Cheese Steak

Sun Valley Pizza Company

The pizza is great at Sun Valley Pizza Company, but our menu favorite is the cheese steak. Their extra-lean rib-eye comes blanketed with your choice of provolone, Monterey jack, low-fat mozzarella or American cheese on rolls delivered fresh daily from Atlantic City Subs. If you’re tempted by the pie, opt for a pizza steak covered in tomato sauce and your choice of cheese. Add in an extra side of pepperoni to truly satisfy both
cravings in one sandwich. 838 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, (610) 667-0500

 

Cheese Steak (Readers’ Choice)

Our Deli & Meats

39 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, (610) 296-3350

 

Chef

Andrew Masciangelo, Savona

Andrew Masciangelo’s culinary goal is simple: Keep everything fresh and interesting and encourage customers to expand their palates. The 33-year-old began his career making salads in Savona’s pantry 10 years ago before cutting his teeth on fish and game at the Hummingbird Room near State College. His menu changes twice a season and features a global array of ingredients. One visit, and it’s clear Masciangelo’s sophisticated Riviera-inspired dishes are far from ordinary. 100 Old Gulph Road, Gulph Mills; (610) 520-1200, savonarestaurant.com

 

Chef (Readers’ Choice)

Frank Miller, Old Guard House

953 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne; (610) 649-9708, guardhouseinn.com

 

Chicken Tenders

DiFabio’s 9th Street Catering

Pistachio chicken tenders have been a staple at Chris DiFabio’s 9th Street Catering Company since he opened the business seven years ago. Not your typical chicken strips, they’re made fresh daily using all-white breast meat dipped in a secret-recipe pistachio-crusted breading that never overpowers the chicken. Be sure to order extra house-made honey mustard sauce. It goes fast. 1032 N. Providence Road, Media; (484) 444-0850, difabios9thstreet.com

 

Chicken Wings

Seafood, Wings & Things

West Chester boy and famed skateboard kamikaze Bam Margera knows his chicken wings. So when Seafood, Wings & Things boasts that it supplies hot fowl to Margera’s MTV show Viva La Bam, it’s an endorsement you can trust. Owner Ahmed Elsayed credits the popularity of his wings to fresh—not frozen—chicken, heavy-duty vegetable oil that seals in moisture and 22 sauces with heat levels ranging from mild to “911.” 700 Downingtown Pike, West Chester, (610) 429-9464

 

Chinese

Yangming

At least once a month, we advise that you trade in your takeout boxes for a meal that will engage the senses. From plush, posh seating to its perfectly poured Happiness Hour martinis, Yangming has perfected upscale Chinese. Dishes are artfully prepared with a mix of classic Asian and modern fusion ingredients. Menu highlights include (very) spicy Firecracker Veal and lobster with saffron and thai herbs. 1051 Conestoga Road, Bryn Mawr; (610) 527-3200, yangmingrestaurant.com

 

Cocktails (Readers’ Choice)

Plate

105 Coulter Ave., Suburban Square, Ardmore; (610) 642-5900, platerestaurant.com

 

Coffeehouse (Readers’ Choice)

Starbucks

Various locations, starbucks.com

 

Coffeehouse

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