Hundreds flocked to Fairmount Community Development Corporation’s Taste of Fairmount competition on November 17 at the historic Divine Lorraine Hotel, where four restaurants were honored with awards for their unique dishes, drinks, and desserts:
Best Special Dish: Buena Onda - Mushroom & Kale Taco
Best Drink: Bar Hygge - Hygge House Punch
Best Dessert: Jack's Firehouse - Granny Annie’s Philadelphia Buttercake
Best Signature Dish: Sky's Place - Stuffed Salmon
The 18th anniversary, sold-out event highlighted the Greater Art Museum District's best restaurants, chefs and culinary experiences, and featured music by Jack Zaferes Trio. Sixteen restaurants from Brewerytown, Fairmount, Spring Garden, and North Broad joined Yards Brewing Company and Kiki Vodka offering guests small bites and beverages from their menus. Guests voted for their favorites at the conclusion of the event.
Shekia Johnson (Center) owner of Sky’s Place won Best Signature Dish for their stuffed salmon. Photo: Anna Kim
“To be invited to such an event, having only been open for six months, was great exposure and an experience I will never forget,” expressed Shekia Johnson of Sky’s Place, a new Black-Owned, woman-owned, and veteran-owned restaurant at 29th and Girard, honored with the Best Signature Dish prize for their stuffed salmon. “I was full of joy to hear from everyone how good the dishes were.” Visitors to Sky’s Place can order their award-winning dish as well as sample their special Soul Food Sunday menu, available every other week.
Bar Hygge's Hygge Punch was won Best Drink at the Taste of Fairmount.
“We were so excited to be back at the Taste of Fairmount after three years! It's great to come together as a community and see what all of our neighboring businesses are up to,” shared Bar Hygge general manager Jacqlyn Boerstler. “This year we wanted to showcase a couple of the items that kept us going during COVID - one being our burger, which has been a staple item for us since the beginning and, of course, our neighborhood favorite, Hygge punch! During COVID we offered single serving and large format bottle options of our Hygge punch that became quite popular!” The punch was the runaway winner with voters, too, and is available year-round in the restaurant at 1720 Fairmount Avenue.
Granny Annie’s Philadelphia Buttercake from Jack's Firehouse won the title of Best Dessert.
Jack’s Firehouse, located at 2130 Fairmount Avenue, won Best Dessert for their Philadelphia buttercake. Owners Nancy & Mick Houston shared that they are “always glad to support whatever we can with Fairmount CDC and our vibrant and growing community. This is our home - and no matter how tough times are, we always need to look out for our neighbors. Plus - you can’t go wrong sharing some buttercake made daily at Jack’s Firehouse!”
Buena Onda took home the title of Best Special Dish for their Mushroom & Kale Tacos
Taste of Fairmount was made possible by neighborhood partners Univest Financial and State Representative Donna Bullock, who shared “Taste of Fairmount is more than a fundraiser. It is a showcase of the amazing restaurants and small businesses in Fairmount and surrounding communities. It is also an opportunity to encourage our neighbors to support our local commercial corridors.”
For the first time, Taste of Fairmount was hosted at the historic intersection of Broad Street and Fairmount Avenue. "The Divine Lorraine has always served as a cultural hub for locals and visitors alike, but it’s incredible to see – even after 120+ years – the sense of community this historic property encourages," said Maryssa Miller, Chief Product Officer at Mint House. "We’re delighted that Mint House at The Divine Lorraine, one of our hospitality brand's newest locations, was able to partake in the energy and excitement of this fabulous event that celebrates local culinary talent."
Butter's Soul Food medley of Macaroni & Cheese, Candied Yams, and Collard Greens was a crowd favorite.
Restaurants and food businesses participating in Taste of Fairmount 2022 included:
Butter's Soul Food
Clementine’s Stable Cafe
Harper’s Ice Cream
Tela’s Market & Kitchen
Yards Brewing Company
25 neighborhood businesses contributed raffle prizes to Taste of Fairmount as well:
Cerulean Arts Gallery & Studio
Cultivaire Plant Store
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Lather hair studio
Nectar Juice Co.
Shevys Babka Paradise
Small World Seafood
Stone's Beer & Beverage Market
All proceeds from the event benefited Fairmount CDC’s work advancing the growth and unique character of the Fairmount and Girard commercial corridors, supporting the business community across the Art Museum District through the Greater Art Museum Business Alliance, and partnering with adjacent neighborhoods and leaders to create a safer, more accessible, connected and equitable community.
While usually produced annually, Taste of Fairmount has not been held since 2019, due to the covid-19 pandemic. In the meantime Fairmount CDC produced a neighborhood cookbook in 2020 and the Philly Flurry neighborhood discount campaign in 2021, but there was undeniable enthusiasm to gather again in 2022. Planning has already started for the 2023 edition!