I don't usually write about food, but I've been driven to it by my sense of justice. And some fries. They were really good fries.
Swallow is the best food and the best bargain in Philadelphia according to me and everyone I know who's gone there. And the reason I know this? People who go there go nuts telling other people to go. Before I went there I was accosted by my photographer friend, who described the food in so much detail it made me think he must be a secret food fetishist. But no. Eating there is such an experience that you get the virus: you start ranting to your loved ones and strangers alike. This place is GREAT. The food is incredibly delicious. The bill is small. The owner is a doll, and always, for some reason, gives us free food, even though all we do is go in there with our unruly baby and mess up the place and compliment the food. The waitstaff is swell- they put up with the undomesticated child with good humor and grace. Swallow is better and cheaper than Farmacia and Sovalo, which are two other very good restaurants in the old city area. It's WAY better than the Standard Tap, but that's because it's less high toned- the food is more frenchy and fancy than the Tap, but I mention it because it costs about the same amount to eat at Swallow as it does to eat at the tap. The chef's cooking is deceptively simple, precise and nuanced. See? I'm doing it. Go there. Get the beef bourguignon. You can thank me later.
The reason I'm writing about it here is that for some reason the place got assassinated by Craig LeBan in the Enquirer. My guess is that he thought he was being sucked up to and got his revenge: the chef does tend to come out of the kitchen to chat, and perhaps Mr. LeBan took it personally. But whatever. The man is wrong, and Swallow should not be suffering because of one cranky man.