With the arrival of the first warm weekend, I rode my bike up to Northern Liberties to buy my nugget of crack from A Full Plate Café located in Liberties Walk, the sorely out of place shopping/living promenade off 2nd Street and just below Girard Avenue. I chose a seat outdoors since it was a glorious day, and I needed to resurrect my farmer’s tan. Had I dined indoors, I would have been surrounded by colorful, playful décor.
Who was my server? None other than E herself! She graciously let me order the riblet sandwich even though it was not listed on the brunch menu. The vegetarian pulled pork barbecue sandwich comes with coleslaw already on the challah roll, instead of on the plate as a side. For $1 more, the sandwich can be ordered “Ben’s favorite way” with cheddar cheese and fried onions, and that’s how mine came out. The sandwich was huge, and dripped tangy coleslaw and sweet barbecue sauce down my hands and face as I squooshed the meal into my face. I wish I had had a side of the perfectly creamy and tangy coleslaw, in addition to the coleslaw inside my sandwich, instead of the ordinary side of home fries. The riblet sandwich is a drug in itself, but next time I’m ordering it “my favorite way” – no cheddar cheese (cheddar doesn’t belong with barbecue!) and extra coleslaw. Did I mention that the coleslaw is excellent?
My partner ordered vegetarian sausage and biscuits with gravy. He liked his dish, especially the light biscuits. I thought the gravy could have used pepper, salt, garlic…but I always think white gravy is under seasoned.
Now, the real reason for my visit – the “crack and cheese.” I was forewarned that A Full Plate Café flouts some of my rules for mac and cheese – no non-traditional pasta shapes, multi-grain noodles, or bread crumb topping. The fact that the noodles were multi-grained was not noticed, and neither were the bread crumbs. I do wish the pasta was elbow-shaped, but that’s just me being a stickler for tradition. I have no need for hot sauce with mac and cheese, but it's there if that's your thing. If they were to put more sharp cheddar in the mix, I might become a “crack and cheese” addict.A Full Plate Café, 1009 N. Bodine St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Mon.-Thurs., 11am-9pm; Fri., 11am-10pm; Sat., 10am-10pm, brunch 10am-3pm; Sun ., brunch 10am-3pm