Let’s Talk About Tico

RESTAURANT: Tico DC

WHERE: Washington, DC

COST: $25 and under

RATING: 7.5/10

The best part about birthdays other than the day itself is getting to celebrate surrounded by loved ones. For my friend’s 24th she decided to take our celebrations outside of Philadelphia to DC. The pick this year was Tico!

Tico DC, influenced by the owner’s travels to South America is the second of its name, the other located in Boston. It is described as simple with a fun atmosphere and is all about its customers having a great experience. They are also known for their drink selection, especially their tequila. If you’re planning to visit DC and do something different every second Sunday they host a chef led cooking class!

Since there were 5 of us we decided to get a couple of the smaller plate options to share here and there. I’ve been on a cheese kick lately and went with their macaroni and cheese. We also ordered crispy calamari, wings, and pork belly sliders.

Out of all the food I enjoyed their Tico’s mac and cheese the most. In the macaroni and cheese was Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, jalepenos, and bread crumbs. The addition of ham set this dish apart from the others and they definitely didn’t skimp out on the breading. Every bite had an equal amount of cheese, spice, and crunchiness.

The calamari and wings we ordered were not the memorable part of the meal. At almost all the birthday dinners we’ve been to someone gets calamari, so we’ve had our fair share. With that being said it was not the best I’ve tried. It tasted like many others without any extra kick leaving me unsatisfied. The wings also fell flat for me and if you’ve read my past posts you’ll know that I never say no to a batch of wings. There wasn’t much of a sauce or dry rub to make me want more than one.

It might seem like I didn’t enjoy myself, but the atmosphere of Tico made up for it. The restaurant was dimly lit with upbeat music playing just loud enough to hear and keep up with conversations at your table. If you looked up you could get caught in the maroon ceiling and designs that matched the restaurant’s lounge feel. Other than that the service was great! I know it’s a part of their job description, but you don’t always come across servers who follow through without sounding irritated. Our server was attentive and helpful with the drink menu even after I asked a ton of questions. From the vibe of Tico alone I would recommend stopping by and trying their other food choices or even hanging out at the bar to get a few drinks!

If you made it through comment down below if you think the atmosphere of a restaurant can make up for your food experience!

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StrEAT Food Festival

Despite cold weather, last Sunday Manayunk’s StrEAT Food Festival still went on with tons of local food trucks showing out. The annual festival is a kickoff to their restaurant week that goes until the 27th. From fresh donuts and cannolis to BBQ and pizza cones, there wasn’t a spot that couldn’t satisfy what you were craving. I got to spend some time on Main Street trying food out and these are a couple of my favorites!

Undrgrnd Donuts

No you’re not seeing an error that’s how this truck spells its name! Undrgrnd happens to be the only truck in the area that makes handmade donuts and does it well. There is no set spot, but they make sure to keep customers updated on their website. Not all of their donuts were on the menu that day, but I got to try French Toast, Fruity Banana, The Process, and my favorite The Homer. If you’re ever in the mood for a savory yet sweet treat or you just love bacon, The Homer is the way to go!

Calle Del Sabor

I’ve been to this truck more than enough times and I still couldn’t help myself. Calle Del Sabor not only has a truck, but also a store front not too far from The Filmore. It’s one of the more inexpensive choices after a night out and is worth every penny. I went with the Jerk Chicken Tacos that are topped with pineapple adding extra flavor to an already packed taco!

Cannoli World

A fun fact about this truck’s founder is that he’s former WWE pro wrestler Tom Ricca! The bakery is located in New Jersey, but they make themselves known at many local events and have won multiple awards. They offer a variety of cannolis from traditional, peanut butter fudge, and pineapple cheesecake. Quick service and a quality cannoli (with some extra sugar) make for a great experience!

If you missed out on this year’s StrEAT Festival there’s tons of food festivals in Philly to come this summer or check out Manayunk’s restaurant week ending this Friday!

The Sauce is Forever

RESTAURANT: Sona Pub & Kitchen

WHERE IN PHILLY: Manayunk

PRICE: $30 and under

RATING: 7/10

Now, I know myself well enough to say that I was a step above hangry when I walked into this place, so take that into account. I had been there before for a couple beers and enjoyed the pub feel. Sona has 32 local and international beers on tap giving you plenty of options even if you’re not a hardcore beer fan. The bartender was attentive and friendly, all the qualities you’d hope they would have. After that experience I had high expectations for the food if I ever came back.

My second time at Sona was last weekend with a group of about 8 people. I came a little later so everyone had already ordered and were packing on the drinks. Our server didn’t notice when I had slid into the table, but eventually got me a menu. Their menu had a good amount of different choices, from short rib sliders to strip steak. Enough options for whatever you might be in the mood for!

After searching through, I decided to try their drunken wings with our server agreeing that they were great. I eat wings a little too often so I wanted to try a different sauce, but one that still had the spice level of buffalo wings. He mentioned that Sona had their own sauce that was at the level of a hot barbecue sauce and I was pretty much sold. For a side, my friend was craving fries so we decided to order a side of their truffle Parmesan fries to share.

When the server came by with our food I could’ve cried tears of joy or snatched it out of his hands, but I have some self control. The wings and fries looked great, but were lacking. I like my wings with as much sauce as you might want on a rack of ribs. I’m okay with drowning in a some sauce and if you’re the same I’d suggest asking for extra. As a person who enjoys spicier food, I wouldn’t recommend the Sona sauce only because it was borderline plain. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t for me! I felt the same about the fries that we had. I expected them to be covered in garlic and all the works, but they were just your regular batch with Parmesan sprinkled here and there.

Overall, it wasn’t off the wall for my tastebuds or absolutely terrible. If you come across Sona I’d say try it out for yourself! There’s different seating areas that make you feel separated from what might be going on around the bar and TVs going if you want to keep up with the score of a game. If you like to go out and want to try somewhere new, on Thursdays there’s penny drinks from 10pm-12am! Yes the catch is that there’s a $10 cover, but worth it nonetheless. There’s also 50 cent wings nights on Mondays for any wing lovers!

Comment below if you’ve been to Sona or with PLAIN or SAUCY for how you like your wings!

First Things First

If I somehow caught your attention welcome to Just One Bite! In a way to take up some extra time I decided to start a food blog and here’s a few reasons why!

•I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I like to keep certain topics personal. I don’t believe I could be that person to give public advice or post a bunch of daily inspiring quotes.

•If there’s one thing I can go on about, it’s food and telling people what I’ve tried. Food makes a girl happy! It’s even better when I get the chance to get out of Philadelphia every now and then.

•I’m honest and I want to be someone’s personal Yelp without them having to download an app. (That is absolutely shade to Yelp for making me download the app just to see ONE review) After working in a few restaurants, chain and local, I picked up a few things. Those skills have made me a little hard on places, but it all matters whether you think so or not. I want to let you guys in on the vibe, pricing, the food of course, and any food events happening in Philly during the month!

•It’s motivation to get out of my comfort zone! I eat out a lot, but I’m pretty picky when it comes to certain foods. Starting this blog is a push to try some new foods that I normally wouldn’t and maybe convince you too!

If you like food and a good, honest review this could be your new thing! If you’re more of an Instagram person and want quick updates you can follow me at justonebiteig.

Keep scrolling for some food events happening in Philly this month!

  • STREAT FOOD FESTIVAL – April 15
  • MANAYUNK RESTAURANT WEEK – April 16-27
  • PHILLY SHOWCASE OF WINE, CHEESE & BEER – April 20
  • EAT TO EMPOWER FESTIVAL – April 21
  • BLACK FOOD/DESSERT EXPO – April 21
  • PHILLY VEGAN POP FLEA MARKET – April 22
  • WEST OF WEST WINE FESTIVAL – April 23
  • ANNUAL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS AFTER WORK MIXER – April 27
  • PHILLY MARGARITA MARCH – April 28-29
  • PHILLY MAC DOWN 3 – April 29