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FYI Philly checks out new restaurants Nonna & Pop’s, Grandma’s and La Chingonita

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Alicia Vitarelli and Ducis Rodgers host a new FYI Philly, Aug. 6 at 7 pm , streaming on the 6abc app and at 6abc.com/fyi on Aug. 8.

nonna & Pop’s, La Chingonita & Grandma’s add to Philly’s dining scene

Three new spots from tried and true tastemakers have hit Philadelphia’s cuisine scene.

nonna & Pop’s is a new concept from third-generation Termini Brothers Bakery co-owners, Vincent Jr. and Joseph Termini.

The neighborhood coffee shop with pastries and ice cream honors Vincent Termini, Sr. and his wife Barbara, and was named by their grandchildren. The sons have designed a homey vibe, with all baked goods made just across the street at the Termini Bros. flagship store.

La Chingonita is a play on the Mexican colloquialism, ‘la chingona’ – a woman who handles her business.

Owners Omar Martinez and Rebecca Baez started the original business of the same name as a food truck, calling it ‘la chingonita’ due to the small size of their vehicle – it was actually a food cart.

But the small cart developed a big following, and now they have their first brick-and-mortar in Fishtown. They continue to serve what was popular on their food truck – tacos of all varieties, huge tortas (sandwiches), and other Mexican and Puerto Rican fares.

Grandma’s is the latest from Donrutai ‘Chef Locket’ Jainon, owner of the South Philly staple for Thai and Laotian food, Ratchada.

At her new spot, Chef Locket says she is bringing Philly’s first “Thai tapas” to the scene – small plates meant for sharing, with dishes inspired by her grandmother’s recipes.

Everything from duck to curries to exotic desserts is made fresh to order, and every month guests will receive a special gift with their meal as a show of appreciation from Chef Locket herself.

nonna & Pop’s / Termini Bros. Bakery | Instagram

1514 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

215-334-1816

The Chingonita | Instagram | Facebook

413 E. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125

215-337-3117

grandmas | Facebook | Instagram

1304 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

215-315-9050

Essie’s is a taste of the ‘South’ along with live music

Essie’s Restaurant & Lounge is a new upscale spot in Clementon that’s family-run, with family recipes, rooted in American Cajun-Creole foods.

Small plates like the hush puppies with popcorn butter are top sellers. For something different, try the alligator bites or the fan-favorite seafood gumbo.

The restaurant is the creation of Chrie Tribble and her husband, Mike Gillespie. Their son Michael is an employee.

The place opened in June named for their late Aunt Essie, the family matriarch, who loved to host.

The family also has roots in the Harlem Renaissance through Dizzy Gillespie and music runs in the family.

Essie’s has a stage for the house band that features live music with karaoke jam every Tuesday night, and they have a live musical artist spotlight series that runs on select Saturdays.

That’s in the lounge area upstairs, where you can order small plates like wings with homemade bourbon sauce.

And check out their creative beverage menu, which leads with a drink inspired by Essie’s favorite color, Emerald.

Essies | Facebook

1 Garfield Avenue, Clementon, New Jersey, 08021

Father-daughter team cooks up new take on Korean cuisine at Crunchik’n

Korean fried chicken is the original specialty of the father-daughter duo behind Crunchik’n.

When John Choi retired from academia, he developed his hobby of cooking into a business – later convincing his daughter Jennifer to join him in the venture.

The fast-casual chain offers Korean-style fried chicken that is marinated, dipped in batter, then fried twice for extra crispiness.

Then the chicken is glazed in the customer’s choice of scratch-made sauces, with flavors like honey soy, sweet chili, Korean barbecue and more.

Other menu items include rice bowls, glass noodles, and their version of Korean street food they call The Crunch Dog – a hot dog on a stick, rolled in batter and a bit of sugar, then coated in panko and deep fried for a crunchy crispy snack.

They have locations in Center City, near Temple University, and Ocean City, NJ.

Crunchik’n | Facebook | Instagram

212 S. 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

267-886-9373

Surreal Creamery serving surreal treats in University City

Surreal Creamery is known for two things: The colorful Flotea: part bubble tea, part soft serve ice cream; and the ice cream mason jars that come in six signature flavors or a make your own option.

The base is a soft serve ice cream of your choice with flavors like Vietnamese coffee and Earl Gray every day.

Then you can add four toppings from syrups, cereals, cookies, whipped cream, boba and chocolate straws.

Surreal creamery is a franchise but Claudia Nguyen and her family fell in love with the concept of mixing bubble tea with ice cream. Claudia’s mom is the owner and an OR nurse. Claudia trained the employees — many of them relatives — and just started med school.

The soft serve swirling is an art with each dessert usually four to five swirls high.

The menu was designed for the Instagram crowd, with the Taro and Matcha Flotea a fan favorite.

They also make milkshakes, lattes, slushies, and fruit teas.

No matter what you choose, come hungry and be prepared to get creative.

surreal creamery | Facebook | Instagram

3816 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

*Order a mason jar and you can keep the jar then bring it back for a dollar off your next mason jar order

Munchie’s Ice Cream serves snacks and frozen treats even late

Munchies Ice Cream is a chilled-out snack stop that stays open until midnight most nights of the week.

Not far from Philadelphia’s sports complexes, this classic South Philly spot was opened by 23-year-old Alyssa Cuculino with winnings from a 50-50 game of chance at an Eagles game in 2019.

Now, her mother Elexis helps run the operation, along with other family and close friends.

In addition to traditional splits, sundaes, and scoops, they make snack creations of their own – like Nutella Wontons and S’mores Eggrolls.

A rare commodity for South Philly is an added convenience – parking spaces right out front, reserved just for their customers.

Munchies Ice Cream | Facebook | Instagram

2654 S. Sartain Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148

215-339-5837/215-336-5628

Localish Presents: Salty Paws

Rittenhouse Square is home to Salty Paws, an ice cream shop for dogs and dog lovers.

They offer a variety of flavors, lactose-free and goat’s milk options, with options such as maple bacon to vanilla.

Salty Paws

211 South 17th Street, Philadelphia PA 19103

Corridor Contemporary features Philly-based artists in new exhibition

At Corridor Contemporary in Fishtown, you can see the works of artists from all over the world.

Now, the second floor of the gallery is permanently dedicated to Philly-based artists.

The newly unveiled group exhibition is called Philadelphia Featured.

It’s a space dedicated not only to showing local artists, but to uniting them.

Artists Elizabeth Bergeland and O’Neil Scott are both deeply ingrained in Philadelphia’s art scene.

“It’s important for galleries like this to support local artists because it also brings in local collectors,” says Elizabeth.

“It brings together the artists and gives a voice to the community,” says O’Neil.

The exhibit features a diverse and vibrant selection of art.

Everything from hyper-realism, to portraiture and abstract art.

“We get to create really interesting conversations and dialogues by putting things next to each other that you typically wouldn’t expect,” says Gallery Director Damian Munoz.

The original gallery is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and its owners are Israeli.

This means you can see the work of Israeli artists in the Fishtown gallery, and the work of Philadelphia artists in Tel Aviv.

Contemporary Corridor | Facebook | Instagram

1315 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125

267-519-2339

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary exhibit at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

The African American Museum in Philadelphia has a traveling exhibition that takes visitors on a journey through the history of road tripping for Black American travelers.

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary turns the “The Negro Motorist Green Book” into large-scale installations.

The exhibition is inspired by postal worker Victor Hugo’s Green Book, first published in 1936.

The first edition covered only New York State but the Green Book grew to safely guide Black travelers across much of North America.

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary on display through Aug 28.

African American Museum in Philadelphia | Facebook | Instagram

701 Arch Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

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