Ahhh yes ……. It’s been awhile, but what better way to get the pen game back right, then writing about amazing food. We owe the pleasure of this entry to PhillyGrub and Executive Chef Barbie Marshall for inviting us to the soft opening for Trolley Car Station. Located at 3940 Baltimore Ave in the University City section of West Philly, as the name suggest this stylish, post-modern eatery is nestled right on the Trolley station at 40th St. Portal. This location is the third part of a trio of local restaurants including Trolley Car Diner in Mt.Airy & Trolley Car Cafe in East Falls.
We arrived just as the event was starting and the first thing I noticed aside from the lovely hostesses was the amazing restored-wood community table filled with menu items to sample. We started off with a sample plate of Thai Green Papaya salad, potato salad, stuffed grape leaves, and assorted charcuterie. The potato salad was very solid, I’m talking about your “Auntie who can cook” territory. It was seasoned perfectly and that’s all we ask, this was definitely not Karen’s potato salad. The Thai Green Papaya salad is what really stood out to me. The mandolin thin cut papaya,cucumber,mango and the shallots tossed in I’m guessing some kind of vinaigrette was perfectly balanced ,and like many things on the menu pleasantly vegan.
We made our way upstairs to discover a separate dining area with a dope view of Baltimore Ave. We must have have sat in the perfect spot, because we found ourselves as the axis point to all sample items leaving the kitchen and entering the dinning area. My new anointed status as gatekeeper made me feel responsible to eat everything that came out of that kitchen with extreme prejudice. The first tray to enter our airspace was carrying Tacos al Desayuno. Breakfast tacos for the laymen. Scrambled eggs, chorizo, pickled jalapeños, and cotija cheese that would make Phillys Most Wanted cross the border(cmon please tell me y’all remember that song). Next we were separately served all incarnations of their crostini’s. Lemon Ricotta, Mushroom, Humus, and yes even Avocado toast were all equally delicious. I was extremely surprised with the avocado toast, thought I would hate it ended up loving it, somehow I can now see how they make ice cream out of it because it was that good.
Next we were hit with wave after wave of deliciousness. Buttermilk fried chicken with a corn and cheese waffle, Korean shrimp and grits, and baked mac & cheese. All comfort food all amazingly prepared, the shrimp and grits was accented with a much-needed kick of gojuchang to take it to the next level.
The light, crispy fried chicken and the savory waffle came together perfectly with the added slaw.
The baked mac & cheese was spot on, I believe I ate at least five samples.
Then there was dessert….. Mango, Chocolate and Vanilla milkshakes, French Toast banana pudding, Caramel Flan and Lemon Tarte. I had a vanilla milkshake that was very legit. The banana pudding had to have been from Astroworld because it was Lit! The flan was airy and delicious.
The tarte was decadent and it wasn’t at the same time and that’s a good thing. It was like the flavor was so dense and heavy but the pastry was extremely light itself, which left me wanting to know when I’m coming back for a full-sized portion.
All in all it was a great evening. The venue was visually refreshing, the staff was friendly and personable. The food was showcased beautifully and I see nothing but great things ahead for the Trolley Car Station. Whenever you are in the University City area this a place definitely worth a visit. The food caters to many different crowds and the atmosphere is perfect for just about any occasion.
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