Smiley’s Cafe; Philadelphia, PA

Smiley's Cafe will turn your frown upside down.

Smiley’s Cafe will turn your frown upside down.

Smiley’s Cafe

110 Cotton Street, Philadelphia, PA

Smiley’s Cafe is newer to the Manayunk neighbohood in Philadelphia, but it already boasts 5 stars on Yelp (as of 2//24/14). In my opinion, it deserves every star.

The husband and I went here for lunch on Sunday afternoon. It was a gorgeous day in Philadelphia. Sun shining. Birds singing. The whole nine yards. Well, when we got to Smiley’s the outside tables were already taken so we headed indoors.

Upon looking through the menu, it’s clear that this is a tasty spot for carnivores and vegans alike. I initially ordered the hummus platter and the hubs ordered the Smiley’s Veggie Mix. The friendly and smiling cashier/waitress informed us that it’s enough for two people so I canceled my hummus platter, and we took a seat inside. The inside is sort of mish-mash with tables and chairs, a few sofas, and a flat screen television to watch basketball on. It feels cozy and quaint.

Our food came out in two boxes. The portion was enough for 2 people and just right. Not like the oh-so-common: “It’s enough for 2 people…plus 5 more”. The Smiley’s Veggie Mix is a combination of falafel, salad, hummus, baba ghanouj, tabouleh salad, grape leaves, and pita bread. They ran out of tabouleh and instead gave us double the grape leaves.

Everything here was hands down delicious. It was fresh and perfectly balanced. I’m not a fan of grape leaves at all but these were okay. This is a big deal from someone who normally abhors grape leaves. My husband said they are the best grape leaves he ever tasted. I have also never eaten such well spiced falafel; these were my favorite. I applaud Smiley’s for balancing flavors and ingredients in such simple, fresh food. Even the salad had an appropriate amount of feta cheese. It was not dumped on in a little feta mountain. I’m not saying that a feta cheese mountain is not, at times, awesome, but it’s refreshing to see balance.

I cannot recommend this place enough. I suspect it may become a regular lunch outing for us. Don’t hesitate to try it. Fresh, straightforward and well-balanced food awaits!

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