3 new spots to eat and drink outdoors this summer

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Originally published in City Paper

THE PORCH AT 30TH STREET STATION // The cafe seating and rotating weekday food trucks at the Porch at 30th Street Station were great, but this year the side park is getting an upgrade thanks to local design firm Groundswell and chef Michael Schulson. Schulson is rolling in two food trucks, one handling lunch seven days a week and a drinks trailer that's going to be mixing cocktails and cracking beers four afternoons and early evenings from 4 to 9 p.m. The menu is full of summertime-friendly fare like watermelon salad, burgers and spit-roasted lamb, pork and wings. Drinks-wise there are watermelon cocktails and beers plus punches and a Philly take on a margarita.

Lunch, daily 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; beverage trailer, Wed.-Sat., 4-9 p.m. 2955 Market St., 215-243-0555, theporchat30th.com.

SPRUCE STREET HARBOR PARK // This year, Spruce Street Harbor Park is welcoming a new crop of eating and drinking options. First up is Port FedNuts, a nautically themed mini Federal Donuts. The short and sweet menu includes cold brew iced coffee, mini cinnamon sugar doughnuts and a buttermilk ranch fried chicken sandwich on a potato roll with pickles, American cheese and Red Hot mayo. Chef Jose Garces is resurrecting the dearly departed Chifa for the summer and bringing back Chinese-Peruvian favorites like pork belly bao buns, ginger-garlic wings and glazed pork ribs. And finally, for dessert, everyone's favorite old timey ice cream parlor is setting up the S.S. Franklin Fountain and dishing out sundaes, cones and waffle ice cream sandwiches.

Open Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-1 a.m. 121 N Columbus Blvd., 215-922-2386, delawareriverwaterfront.com.

PHS POP UP GARDENS // The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's roving pop-up beer gardens are back, this season with two in South Philly. The first is returning to last year's 15th and South location with a few changes. This time, the menu is heavy on hot dogs and pretzels and the beer is from Barren Hill Brewery.The second pop up is located on the east side of Cheesesteak Vegas at Ninth and Wharton. The food and bev is being handled by Dave Frank and Stephen Simons, owners of Cantina, Royal, Khyber Pass and the newly opened Triangle Tavern. Bourbon mint sweet tea and vodka watermelon lemonades are coming from the bar and the food menu is an Italian-accented selection of small plates like South Philly empanadas stuffed with pork, broccoli rabe, provolone and long hots; and a Bobby Rydell Caprese.

Food and beverage service Mon.-Thu., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m.-mid.; Sun., noon-10 p.m. Ninth and Wharton sts. and 1438 South St., phsonline.org.