Now that Center City Restaurant Week has officially wrapped up, it’s time to explore what Manayunk Restaurant Week has to offer. There are still a few days and plenty of reservations left in the week to enjoy the variety of options the lesser known dining scene has to offer, because the pre-fix menus are available until October 4th.
There are several restaurants with multiple courses available at each pricing tier, including $10, $20 and $30. Many of the $10 options include something as simple as a beverage and a sandwich or burger, while the $20 and $30 options offer between two and three courses. Dessert is a must where ever the course is offered, even though it may just be a chocolate chip cookie.
Reservations are available via Open Table for those who would like to plan ahead, but many places are likely to have slots open the day of. For establishments like Winnie Le Bus, Yanako or Derek’s, an advance reservation is definitely recommended.
This list is a guide to the best places to patronize for Manayunk Restaurant Week, with picks ranging from the $10 steal to the $30 gourmet treat. If you haven’t tasted the cuisine on Main Street, this is the best time to start refining your pallet.
Please visit the manayunk.com website for menus, more information about Manayunk Restaurant Week and the Manayunk area in general.
Ten Dolla! Winner, winner: Couch Tomato Cafe
The Couch Tomato has great pizza, but it’s also on the expensive side. Pizza, salad and a delicious cookie for $10 is definitely worth at least twice that. Bonus? The Couch Tomato actually has beers on tap, and they’re pretty reasonable.
CHOICE OF: Any Slice of Gourmet Pizza
CHOICE OF: Where’s Waldorf Salad OR Holy Chipotle Salad OR Food Pyramid Salad
CHOICE OF: House-Made Maddie Bars OR Chocolate Chip Cookies OR Fudge Brow
$20 Top Pick: Cactus Restaurant & Bar
With the lure of an entire flight of a Mexican restaurant’s specialty, Cactus crams as much into their menu options as possible. This three course option would normally cost anywhere from $30-$50 in normal circumstances. May I suggest fajitas?
CHOICE OF: Flight of Premium Tequila
CHOICE OF: Chicken Tortilla Soup OR Salad
CHOICE OF: Any Entree OR Specialty Item
$30 Top Dog: Derek’s Restaurant
Head to Derek’s on any weekday night, and it’s BYO without a fee, and just a minimal fee on Fridays. As you can see below, there are a plethora of options to choose from, all of which are most likely as delicious as anything you’ve ever tasted. This meal would usually run your bill past $100 for two, so $60 for a hot date night is a great deal.
CHOICE OF: Caprese Salad (heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pesto, aged balsamic glaze, & micro-greens) OR Creamy Lobster Bisque (with petite crabcake and fresh chives) OR Tuna Tartare (with spicy mustard and sesame wonton chips) OR Chicken Quesadilla (with smoked chicken, corn, cheddar, fresh salsa, crema, & baby arugula)
CHOICE OF: Rigatoni (with spicy chicken, olives, tomato, parmesan, & basil) OR Griddled Jumbo Lump Crabcake (with avacado corn salad & cilantro-lime butter) OR Homemade Ravioli (stuffed with four cheese, local swiss chard, fresh tomato sauce with a touch of cream & lemon vodka) OR Pesto Pizza (with four cheeses, kalamata olives, & diced plum tomato)
CHOICE OF: Traditional Creme Brulee (with Tahitian vanilla, carmelized sugar, & chocolate chip cookie) OR New York Style Oreo Cheesecake OR Local Granny Smith Apple Cobbler (with homemade cinnamon gelato) OR Manayunk Chipwich (two giant warm chocolate chip cookies, choice of homemade gelato, & salted caramel sauce)
Honorable Mention: Winnie Le Bus
Everything on this menu sounds like an amazing kickoff to the fall season. Pumpkin, squash and apple fritter are all on the menu, so you’ll be well prepared for any Octoberfest activities. Winnie Le Bus is great gourmet fare, so while you won’t be getting quite as much food here it will be amazing.
CHOICE OF: Fall Pumpkin Soup OR Fall Pear Salad
CHOICE OF: Pan Seared Tilapia (served over roasted shallot mashed potatoes with a light sauce of garlic, olive oil, white beans, roma tomatoes, & fresh spinach) OR Butternut Squash Ritotto (roasted butternut squash, asparagus, mushrooms, red peppers, fresh spinach, & red onion simmered with Aborio rice & topped with parmesan) OR Lemon Rosemary Chicken Breast (char grilled bonless chicken breast marinated in fresh rosemary, lemon, garlic & olive oil, served with roasted shallot mashed potatoes & fresh vegetables)
Apple Fritter (with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce)
Honorably Mentioned: Chabaa Thai Bistro
Chabaa Thai Bistro is hands down one of the best THai restaurants in the city. It earns honorable mention just for that. However, those looking to make the most of the meal should know, there’s no need to spend $30 ont his meal when there are so many options for under $30, and an entree will provide at least two meals.
These picks are the top five restaurants that are offering a restaurant week in Manayunk, as far as bang for buck. A few more honorable mentions that are a must go: Bourbon Blue, Manayunk Brew Pub and most of all Jake’s & Coopers should all be on your to-eat list, even if you can’t cram them all into what’s left of the week.
Grilled chicken marinated in Thai spices and coconut milk. Served with peanut sauce and cucumber salad.
Nam Sod and Sai Grog
Cured pork slices, Northern and Northeastern Thai sausage. Served with fresh cucumber, ginger and carrot slices.
Chabaa Garden Salad
Crispy tofu and assorted fresh vegetables over spring mix. Served with Thai peanut sauce.
Crispy jumbo tiger shrimp, baby corn and colorful bell peppers in a sweet and tangy sauce garnished with fresh mango, apple and pineapple.
Salmon Pad Thai
Original pad thai topped with wild grilled salmon and special pad thai sauce.
Tamarind Roasted Duck
Crispy duck in a sweet and tangy tamarind sauce over grilled brussel sprouts. Served with jasmine rice.
Mango sticky rice
Chocolate mousse cake