Located in West Washington Square, Garces Trading Company offers a dining experience unlike any other. Whether you are dining at home and looking for a gourmet touch, or looking to dine out-Chef Jose Garces has created a one-stop shop. Food Network’s newest Iron Chef has joined forces with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and opened Garces Trading Company, a cafe, wine shop and on-site bakery. Not only can you go in and purchase a bottle of wine to take home, but you can also buy a bottle with no markup price to accompany you at your table as an afforable asset to your meal. Along with a phenomenal menu for diners, customers can also purchase artisan cheeses, charcuterie, breads, desserts and much more. Although the restaurant is in the middle of the market, the ambience is charming and does not lack an ounce of rustic flare. This unique concept in a Philadelphia original and definitely worth a trip.
Insiders Tip: Check out the vingegar bar, where you can find a plethora of choices to dip your bread in before dinner. The pomegranate balsamic vinegar is delicious! Yum!
Distrito serves modern Mexican food in a fun and quirky environment – Pepto-Bismol pink walls and VW bugs as booths to be exact. Located in University City among three of Philadelphia’s major universities, Distrito is always packed with the young and young at heart that are ready to have a good time. And Chef Jose Garces (of Top Chef and Philadelphia restaurant fame) is ready all the time for the taco-loving crowds: Distrito is open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, lunch 5 days a week and dinner 7 nights a week.
The first floor bar and tequila lounge serves a fun cantina menu, full of all different types of tacos, enchiladas and especialidades, then when served alongside a house specialty margarita, you are good to go. For the heavier appetite or a night out with friends, it’s best to get a table and be prepared to share. All of the dishes are based on traditional Mexican ingredients but modernized – like the Fish Tacos with yellowtail, chipotle remoulade, avocado, red cabbage and lime juice, or the Skirt Steak Nachos with refried beans and queso mixto.
Tasting menus are also always available, with tequila pairings, which are not recommended for the faint of heart.