“The house smelled of brisket and bourbon, that’s the music I grew up on.” – Billy Crystal
Ahhhh, the lowly brisket. No really, look where it’s located on the cow in the above illustration. Just above the front legs and just below the shoulders. Those are some hard working muscles right there, and if you try to cook it like a Porterhouse or a Rib Eye, what you’re gonna get is the food equivalent of shoe leather. There’s no delicious fatty marbling to make this a tender cut that can be waved over a fire and thrown onto a plate within a matter of minutes. What you need to make a brisket something worthy of carnal lust is time, and plenty of it. In the hands of someone that knows what they’re doing, a well prepared brisket is moist, juicy, flavorful, and so so tender. This post is about two places in Philadelphia that are making some lust worthy beef brisket…
Brisket #1: Italian Style Baked Brisket by DiNic’s Roast Pork and Beef in the Reading Terminal Market
If you know anything about Philly food, then you know that the Roast Pork and Broccoli Rabe sandwich at DiNic’s was voted the 2012 Best Sandwich in America by Adam Richman of the Travel Channel. While that sandwich is worthy of the praise, their Italian Style Baked Brisket is no slouch either. Tender beef brisket seasoned with Italian herbs and spices, slow roasted, and hand carved, then stuffed into a soft crusty loaf of bread atop hand sliced Sharp Provolone and dressed with sweet, roasted bell peppers. When you take that first bite, the words “Oh my f’in god that’s good!” will most likely escape your lips. I’ve had the Meg Ryan “When Harry Met Sally” beef brisket sandwich at Katz’s Deli. That was a very good sandwich (though kind of expensive at around $18!), but this one blows it out of the water. Filming that beef brisket scene at DiNic’s would have resulted in an NC-17 rating. Of this I have no doubt!
Brisket #2: Brisket by Cheu Noodle Bar
Cheu Noodle Bar has been open for a little over a year, but up until a few weeks ago, I had never set foot in the place. After hearing and reading so much about their unique food offerings, I just had to see what all the fuss is about, and since this is a post about Beef Brisket, you already know what I ordered off of their menu. As you can see in the above photo, Cheu Noodle Bar’s Beef Brisket is served as part of a ramen noodle dish. The melt in your mouth beef brisket, cool and crunchy kimchee, firm and chewy ramen noodles, moist and flavorful matzo ball, and lightly spiced sesame chili broth combined to create a multi textured and truly delicious eating experience. I will definitely be going back to explore their menu even further, especially since there’s a “hand torn lamb neck” dish on the menu that has me incredibly intrigued!