This summer was ungodly hot and humid. At one point it even almost killed my car. At one point it almost killed me (100+ degree weather plus no ac in the car is no good for anyone, including an overweight jackass who has to drive to AC from Philly). While I am not looking forward to winter and all it’s bs that comes along with it, I do love fall. My birthday was this week and usually right after that (or after I recover from my hangover) Fall creeps in. I got my first look at it when my neighbor had a big bag of candy corn (that, much like Lewis Black says, tastes like crap but I eat it every year). My second look at Fall was that the Wawa Gobbler has returned!!
For those of you who don’t live within an hour of Philadelphia (or now in Florida!), Wawa is what some might call a convenience store. Using the word convenience store, you think of 7-11, which is correct and very, very wrong. Wawa has all the things a convenience store has, along with awesome freshly made food. A night out is not the same without stopping into the store to pick up a hoagie, and a morning after is usually soothed by a breakfast sandwich. Everyone has a favorite, and they have some awesome seasonal favorites, which brings us to The Gobbler!!
The Gobbler is a sandwich that we have all made: the Thanksgiving sandwich! Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy.
Most places make them with lunchmeat turkey that has just taken a quick dip in some kind of salty, gross neon gravy. Not this turkey! It is thicker cut for some bite and they aren’t skimpy with it!
The stuffing has some seasoning in it, and it tastes like it came off of someone’s kitchen table, as opposed to just slapped together. Now, I am not naive, I know there isn’t some little old lady in the back making turkeys and stuffing for all of us. But I like the fact that they try and don’t just make a tub of salt and slap it on a roll.
Anyway, the gravy is excellent too, and it is not, as some gravy bought in stores ca be, a salt bomb. it’s actually tasty and really pulls together the whole sandwich. It also seeps into the roll and makes a home within it, oozing in over, under and around the ingredients. My absolute favorite part is the cranberry sauce, which has real actual cranberries in it! See them in the picture? Oh yeah!
When you order a sandwich at Wawa, it’s all computerized, so you can customize it any way you want. I added pepperjack cheese and creamy horseradish sauce. Delish! The flavors mingled like a drunken wedding party at 2am. Strictly speaking, the sandwich is happiness on a roll. Get one if ya can!
One of things I love doing in the spring and summer is stopping by a local bar for happy hour. One place I enjoy going is The Memphis Taproom, which, despite their claims on their website that they are in Kensington (and claims of being in Port Richmond on “Diners, Drive In’s and Dives”), is located in Fishtown on the corner of Memphis and Cumberland Streets. This irritates me. Fishtown is a neighborhood that has gentrified and no one seems to have enough brains to ask the people who live there (and I mean the original inhabitants) what neighborhood it is. Anyway….
We sat outside in their cool yard/beer garden and munched on hot dogs from thier very own truck, served by the very funny Steve Miller-Miller, but it started to get kind of cold so we relocated to the inside bar. We ordered some food and here’s the highlights.
First off we ordered Crawdad Donuts. They are described with “Jalapenos, green onions, shellfish nage”. A “nage” is a broth flavored with white wine, vegetables, and herbs, in which seafood is poached. The liquid is then reduced and thickened with cream and/or butter. In other words: it’s delicious without being too heavy. This nage hit the mark.
And it also has a ton of little bits of crawdads in it, which it was awesome.
I’m not exactly sure why they call them donuts, as I really thought that the texture was more of a beignet, but whatever, potato, potahto. these things were great.
As you can see, they have the green onion in the mix, which really gives the dough a nice tang. As I said above, I think the texture is more beignet-ish, and it soaks up the gravy like nobody’s business!
This is definitely not something I would have ordered normally and I’m glad I took a jump to give it a shot! For $9, it was totally worth it!
The second thing we ordered were Beef and Onion Pasties. A Pastie (pah-stee, not the stripper type pay-stee) is a traditional English food, basically it’s a little fried savory pie. It’s the official food of Cornwall, England and you can stuff them with whatever. These have short ribs in them and sit in a horseradish sauce & parsley sauce.
I have to say, I loved the sauce. It was a little creamy but the horseradish wasn’t ground down so much that you couldn’t taste the texture of the root. It also has a little heat to it, so the horseradish they used to make the sauce wasn’t too old. Here is a tip: you like horseradish but don’t like crazy heat? Let it sit in the fridge for awhile. It tends to lose it’s potency.
Anyway, onto the pasties themselves. Short ribs are things I can eat everyday for the rest of my life. The pairing of the horseradish and the short ribs was smart, because, at least in my family, we smear horseradish all over meat like that.
For once, I was smart enough to let something sit for a few minutes before taking a bite and burning myself, and I’m glad I did. The dough was nice and crisp, and not very greasy at all. The short rib meat inside was moist and delicious. If I had to pick something to nitpick about, I’d say that the pastie could have been filled more. there seemed to be a lot of empty space in there. Maybe put in some mashed potato, or some peas or something. For $9, maybe bulk it up a bit.
Overall, it’s not cheap but if you are looking for some food that is a little left of center to eat while celebrating the end of the week, hit the Tap. It does get super crowded after about 5:30 but if you can get there early, go for it.