Written by: Rich Terepak Jr.
Date: August 9, 2013
Just when you thought Short North restaurateurs had every angle covered, comes Philco.
The reincarnation of the venerable Phillips Coney Island, on north High Street, Philco is a modern chic diner with a menu as eclectic and artsy as the neighborhood itself. Most significantly, they have managed to fill the one of the last gaps in the Short North dining scene – a place you can get breakfast for dinner. The space is small, but beautifully decorated. Seating consists of two large booths that could seat parties up to six or eight, along with barstools along the diner bar and front window.
Currently, they carry a license for wine and beer, with several microbrews available on draft, including my personal favorite, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.
Along with breakfast, the diner style menu consists of salads, sandwiches, entrees, a la carte sides and desserts, along with a small nod to their predecessor establishment, Coney dogs.
My first visit was for lunch with Rich Sr., we enjoyed a terrific veggie burger, the Luna, topped with slaw, grilled onions and cheddar cheese on an Eleni-Christina bakery bun. As veggie burgers go, I would put it right up there with Northstar’s black bean veggie burger, as one of the best in town.
Next, in a diner-style twist on a pulled pork sandwich, were the Johnnycake sliders, pulled pork served on tiny pancake medallions, with a smoky napa slaw that added a nice bit of texture.
Lastly, the only menu holdover from Phillips Coney Island is the signature coney dog. We were told the sauce recipe came as a package deal with the space. This coney dog is a short/wide hot dog, only about two inches long, served on a toasted bun with mustard, onion and the signature coney sauce, topped with shredded white cheddar cheese. It was simply delicious.
On my second trip to Philco, breakfast was the order of the day. The Breakfast biscuit, a chorizo sausage patty, topped with chevre cheese, shallot preserves and a fried egg, was outstanding. Although, one should beware, the chorizo carries a level of heat not mentioned on the menu.
The Traditional breakfast was good as well; with two light, thin johnnycakes, eggs as you like along with a couple strips of tasty thick-cut bacon. There are also several breakfast inspired side dishes as well, served all day. The most noteworthy of the sides was the maple ricotta cornbread, which was perfectly moist with just the right balance of sweet and savory.
While I could not get to them yet, there are five entre menu items on the menu, served after 11 a.m. Each looked pretty wonderful; ranging from BBQ duck wings to the traditional Steak frites with gorgonzola butter, to a citrus-braised pork shoulder Pot Roast. Needless to say, I will be back for more.