MAC MART 

104 S. 18th St.

Mac Mart’s specialty mac and cheese combos are definitely something to go crazy for. Right when I walked in I could smell the deliciousness. The place is cute and quaint; it only has a few seats but is very clean and well decorated. After perusing the menu, I decided to order “In the Buff” ($10), which is one of their featured items and includes their classic mac and cheese mixed with buffalo chicken and buttermilk ranch, and then topped with potato chip crumbs. When I took my first bite, it blew my mind. I’ve never been a mac and cheese aficionado, but I was positive that this stuff could beat the powdered cheese and microwave thing any day.

However, as good as it tasted, it would’ve tasted even better if the price was right. In my opinion, the prices are a little high, especially compared to common campus mac and cheese vendors like Wawa and Allegro. The large serving sizes and richness of the mac, however, make it ideal for sharing with a friend or a lover (if you’re in to that sort of thing). Even after sharing, if you still find yourself too full to finish, you could easily pop that pasta right into the microwave (it’s served in a microwaveable dish) and make some really goud(a) leftovers.

So, when your tummy starts to grumble and you become a hangry muenster, head down to Rittenhouse and hit up Mac Mart! Their specialty combos and “make your own” options will be sure to fulfill your cravings. 


SWEET CHARLIE'S 

 711 Walnut St.

The ice cream at Sweet Charlie’s is made by chopping up the flavors of your choice into a milky ice cream base that is poured onto a frozen circular pan. The combinations range unusual: On the menu is everything from nutella banana; blueberry matcha; donut and coffee grounds; to acai berry, banana and granola. 

Let’s be real here: Everybody you know has taken this picture. I posted a picture on my Snapchat story when I went and got at least three replies, all variations of calling me #basic. And you know what? I didn’t care. The ice cream at Sweet Charlie’s is damn delicious, and there is absolutely something to be said for watching it be made right in front of your own eyes. Coming in at a flat $7 including tax, a trip to Sweet Charlie’s is definitely worth it.


POKE BOWL 

958 N. 2nd St.

At 5:30 p.m. on an overcast Friday afternoon Poke Bowl is empty, save one customer. It is a slow day because of the rain, manager Mustapha tells me. Poke Bowl (pronounced “po–kay,” for all of you who quietly mumble a different pronunciation each time) opened earlier this year in Northern Liberties at 958 N. 2nd St. to the delight of Instagram accounts near you. 

When ordering, you have the option to customize your bowl with a base of rice or salad, a protein (choose from tuna, salmon, albacore, shrimp, octopus or crab) and a marinade. We went with the most popular pre–made salad, the “House Classic.” The bowl comes out artfully prepared, almost too beautiful to consume. After ogling at the curated dish and snapping the requisite pics, we dive in.The cohesiveness of the different flavors and textures is notable—the soft avocado, crisp and spicy radish, the salty raw fish, working together to make each bite burst with freshness and flavor. Essentially the bowl is deconstructed sushi, but heartier and more dynamic. The dish excels in combining simple, colorful and fresh ingredients with exciting spices and elements like edible flowers (which doesn’t hurt your IG game, either). 

If you’re looking to up your Instagram game, the easy to get to location, delicious and healthy ingredients, and artfully crafted bowls definitely make Poke Bowl worth the trip. At $9.25 for a small bowl and $11.50 for a large, you aren’t setting yourself back by much more than a Sweetgreen salad and your followers will know just how cool and hip you are.


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