This Federal Donuts outpost has quite a few things going for it before you even step in the door: it takes Fed ‘Nuts’ famous chicken, uses the scraps and converts them into stock. The stock is then used to make the eponymous soups. The restaurant doesn’t carry its parent company’s trademark fried chicken or donuts, but it does live up to the quality comfort food reputation. In addition, their mission statement is that “100% of our profits go to support vulnerable Philadelphians through Broad Street Ministry’s Hospitality Collaborative.” This Collaborative supports Philadelphians who are food insecure and serves meals daily (as if you needed another reason to go there).
Our waiter, Dylan, responded openly and comprehensively to the question of vegetarian/vegan food on the menu—even with the famous chicken stock, they provided one vegan soup and one sandwich (Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Sloppy Joe, respectively). The wait staff was remarkably friendly and attentive.Service was fast and friendly, and the food was, in a word, excellent.
Patty melt ($11): Hamburger meat cooked to perfection set atop toasted white bread. It’s diner fare, elevated and Rooster did it well. Watch yourselves, though—it’s filling.
Mushroom barley soup ($7 per bowl): The first thing you’ll notice about this soup is parsley. Lots of it. Upon tasting it, though, the famous chicken stock comes into play, The rich and salty flavor of the chicken stock pairs well with the mushroom and barley. This light soup is sure to warm you up.
Coconut cream pie ($7 per slice): This will probably change your life. The chef here used to work at Percy Street Barbecue, a famous joint in Philly, and took some of the southern influences with her to Rooster. The flavor is perfect: not too sweet and just light enough. Cue “Best I’ve Ever Had” on the speakers, please.
Rooster Island Iced Tea ($12), described by Dylan as a “Long Island for people who are old enough to drink.” It lived up to its description and veered away from the saccharine taste of some other Long Islands.
Grasshopper ($10): Real–mint creme de menthe complements vodka in this classic drink that tastes much lighter than your typical grasshopper.
Schug Margarita (not yet on menu): Street inadvertently showed up at Rooster on National Margarita Day. The generous bartender thus allowed us to sample a drink he was in the process of creating. The savory margarita uses an herb blend called Schug, made from jalapeño, cilantro and parsley. The margarita features finely chopped ice and just a hint of garlic. The unorthodox flavors play extremely well with the savory drink. We can’t wait to see this on the official menu.