‘Unique Eats’ book shares sweet, spicy stories behind 90 area restaurants.
PHILADELPHIA » There’s a new book for when you’re hungry for a good meal, and for a delicious story to go along with it.
Reedy Press’ newly published “Unique Eats and Eateries of Philadelphia” by Irene Levy Baker serves up sweet and spicy stories behind 90 Philadelphia area restaurants (about a dozen of them are in Montgomery County), plus tips on how to get reservations at the region’s trendiest restaurants, the best places for vegetarians, where to spot celebrities and more.
“Unique Eats” is a profile of Philadelphia’s history and culture via its dining scene. Discover how two chocolatiers got engaged; how dinners got interrupted by bungled mob hits; which restaurants survived an earthquake, a fire and Prohibition; a secret restaurant that began in a backyard tent; and a distillery that started in a basement.
The way “Unique Eats” is arranged, Baker said, she mentions 254 different area restaurants in all. And yes, she’s dined at all of them. “I have the gym membership to prove it,” Baker laughed. “I worked in the industry with restaurants and chefs for 25 years.”
She shared a sample of the secrets to getting into impossibly popular eateries. “Restaurants don’t put all their tables on Open Table,” she said, noting that some save tables just for walk-ins.
Another tip is to be mindful that restaurants are at their busiest at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. A dinner strategy that Baker says is triedand-true is to have a backup plan by calling ahead a 7:00 reservation somewhere else. If your firstchoice-for-dinner is able to seat you at 6:30, you can call and cancel the 7:00.
“Unique Eats and Eateries of Philadelphia” is available at www. uniqueeatsphilly.com for $20.95, plus tax and shipping, as well as on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and in independent bookstores. But it’s even more fun to interact with the author (who also wrote a book called “100 Things to Do in Philadelphia Before You Die”), as well as others that are curious about the previously-unknown stories of the restaurants around the region.
Irene Levy Baker is the owner of Spotlight Public Relations, which specializes in the restaurant and hospitality industries.