Should I just sucumb to the Wawa cult? dinner in Fort Washington, PA
August 10, 2019 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I am going to Fort Washington, PA for a one day training in a few weeks. Looking for a place to eat that'll scratch my "I've-eaten-the-local-thing-that's-good" itch.

What's good to eat in Fort Washington and nearby areas?

I've searched yelp but I'm a bit wary of the reviews. Maybe a sports bar is the best place to eat nearby? Maybe I do want a gas station hoagie?

I will be with my boss who claims she is not picky but makes a sour face with any of my restaurant suggestions. Maybe there's an amazing place that's on the Lansdale/Doylestown Line that I can stop at on my way to Fort Washington to avoid having to compromise with her?
posted by vespabelle to Travel & Transportation around Philadelphia, PA (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you want a gourmet brewpub experience, visit Forest & Main in Ambler.
posted by knile at 9:31 AM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

(In case it needed to be said, do not go to Wawa with your boss. Like, it's genuinely surprisingly good — not good, but better than it has any right to be. But do not go there with your boss. It's not that good.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:28 AM on August 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

Generally speaking (and up for debate, as always) there's not much very upscale about the local flavor of good PA eats unless you want cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, Tastykakes or WaWa or things of that ilk so......the absolute best steaks around are at Bridget's Steakhouse in Ambler. It's a nice restaurant. You will need reservations. Filet mignon and crab cakes are fantastic. The dessert menu is small but has Bassett's ice cream on it, which is local and delicious, very Philly. The Six Layer Chocolate Cake is a very fudgy, rich, dense cake which is served straight from the ice box. The Bananas Foster or the apple pie (tell them to heat it up) with vanilla Bassett's on the side though......*chef's kiss.
posted by the webmistress at 10:55 AM on August 10, 2019

Wawas generally don't have tables and are commonly combined with gas pumps, so I wouldn't actually call it a restaurant. And what they sell as a hoagie is a dumbed-down version of a real Philly hoagie. That said, they are not terrible and are made with good quality ingredients, a hallmark of Wawa, and are certainly better than those ersatz hoagies called "subs" I've seen other places serve up.

Wawa hoagies lack specificity, passion, that inspiration an intensely local dish should resonate with. They are not hoagies Rocky would be familiar with, but will do in a pinch. I'm sure there is someone on MeFi who is familiar with local eateries in Fort Washington and can recommend a really good place. Fort Washington actually is a place, not just a turnpike interchange and industrial park.

Ingredients hoagies must include, to really be hoagies, are oregano and oil - you will be asked about it by the person who takes your order. Wawa sometimes make you order electronically, and oil and oregano will be options. Never, ever, mayonnaise on a hoagie! A true hoagie shop in South Philly uses Sarcone's long rolls, crisp of crust and lightly sprinkled with sesame seeds. When sliced open the maker rips out some of the soft bread to make more room for the ingredients. Meat, cheese, shredded lettuce, sometimes sliced tomatoes, onions, peppers, oil and oregano. Wrapped up tightly in paper and then sliced in half so the paper gets a little oily. The premier hoagie, wherever you source it, is an Italian hoagie.

However, Wawas do have great breakfast sandwiches and really good coffee, and they are so friggin busy that every single thing they sell is always fresh. They have distilled the self-serve coffee experience to perfection. Their coffee stations must live somewhere in a food service hall of fame.
posted by citygirl at 11:18 AM on August 10, 2019 [6 favorites]

I love Zakes in Fort Washington, right across from the Ft Wash train station.
posted by lagreen at 1:23 PM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Redstone Grill at the Plymouth Meeting Mall is (according to Google) 7 miles away from Fort Washington, or 12 minutes (depending on traffic). My wife and I often eat at a different Redstone in South Jersey, but have met relatives there for functions. Maybe you want to ask your boss to look at the menu. Just a thought.
posted by forthright at 2:56 PM on August 10, 2019

It's high summer, and a good time to think locovore and farm to table. I googled "fort washington farm to table" and got 10 recommendations from Yelp. But I've never been there....
posted by SemiSalt at 5:04 PM on August 10, 2019

Attention: There is nothing wrong with Wawas. Nothing. In fact, I'm eating a Wawa hoagie right now, since it's still Hoagie Fest.

But don't take your boss there.

I'm seconding knile's suggestion of Forest & Main in Ambler.
posted by james33 at 7:19 AM on August 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I am super okay with food that's what my family calls "grubbin'" so I might end up at Wawa at least for breakfast.

No worries about impressing my boss. We're being taken out by our client one night so I assume that will cover the need for fancy (but maybe they'll just get us hoagies in a hotel conference room!)
posted by vespabelle at 9:16 AM on August 11, 2019

My knowledge of the area is extremely out of date but I hope it’s still the case that any local pizza place would have respectable cheesesteaks. The trick to a good cheesesteak is mostly just having access to the supply chain for the ingredients & that’s a region-level thing.

More specific rec: Sylvio’s in Hatboro for both hoagies & cheesesteaks (they make their own rolls, or at least used to)

Oh also look for actual Philadelphia soft pretzels, the ones that are a pretzel shape smooshed into a rectangle. Wawas might have them? Not sure.
posted by yarrow at 1:06 PM on August 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

I like Wawa, but it's like a really good 7-11. I'd go to any regular pizza shop or deli for an Italian hoagie or cheesesteak over Wawa. Their soft pretzels are not good, but soft pretzels in general are. Eat with mustard. Don't get cheese wiz on your cheesesteak. Otherwise they are all pretty similar to be honest. The El Limon in Ambler has good Mexican food and is neither fancy nor a dive.
posted by sepviva at 3:15 PM on August 11, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks all. Cuisine-wise it was a bust (something about trying to please a group of diverse eaters where no one wants to take charge will do that!)

However, I did enjoy my Geno's cheesesteak which I had for breakfast at the airport at 4:30am!
posted by vespabelle at 1:03 PM on August 31, 2019

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