When diners head to the new location of Plenty Café in Rittenhouse, they can expect more than just a regular cup of coffee. Along with a full-service coffee bar, this café will offer a sandwich inspired by coffee – a collaboration with Rival Bros. coffee that is exclusive to the grand opening at the end of September at 1602 Spruce St.
The first and current location opened in 2012 at 1701 E. Passyunk Ave. in South Philadelphia. The new space, in a building included in Philadelphia’s Register of Historic Places, will follow this theme and include rustic but modern decor. The café will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. Its hours will be Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m.to 9 p.m., Fridays from 6 a.m.to10 p.m., Saturdays 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Owner Anthony Mascieri chose Rittenhouse as the area for his second location because it allows him to provide to a wider crowd of diners.
“I wanted to be in the center of the city and accessible from many different places,” Mascieri said.
The menu is inspired by flavors from around the world. Even the menu itself, drawn on a chalkboard behind the counter, features a flag next to each sandwich to show the country that inspired it, an idea that Mascieri brought from his own travels.
“All of the sandwiches are inspired by places I’ve been and the fun and exciting flavors there,” Mascieri said. “Everyone likes to travel, so for a few minutes you can learn about and experience the flavors of another place.”
Some of the international items include sandwiches Oslo, Seoul and Istanbul.
Oslo, inspired by the city in Norway, includes smoked salmon, homemade horseradish, caper dill cream, roasted potatoes, tomato and spring mix on toasted multigrain bread, giving it the feel of a real Scandinavian sandwich.
Seoul is a South Korean-inspired sandwich with bugolgi-styled beef short ribs, pickled daikon and cabbage, scallion and sriracha mayonnaise on a pressed French roll.
Istanbul is one of the vegetarian sandwiches on the menu. It includes eggplant marinated in olive oil and spices, homemade Turkish cacik, which is a sauce similar to tzatziki, portabella mushrooms and onions on toasted ciabatta bread, making it a sandwich full of Middle Eastern flavors.
Although it may seem as if Philadelphia is overgrown with cafes throughout the city, students see establishments such as Plenty as a welcome addition.
Lara LaSpina, a senior kinesiology major, is glad to see a new café that can cater to her vegetarian needs.
“I don’t think that there are too many cafes, because it is a big city and everyone has different tastes,” LaSpina said. “And personally, as a vegetarian, I’m excited for there to be another café opening with vegetarian options. There have been times I had to walk out of a restaurant or café because I saw nothing on the menu I could eat.”
Senior political science major Brian Berry is open to more healthy neighborhood businesses.
“I think more places like that are better than tons of fast food options on every corner,” he said.
Nearly everything in the café is made from scratch, including smoked and roasted meats.
“It is something I’ve always done, and wanted to have a gourmet cafe but be able to get it quick,” said Mascieri. “The quality doesn’t need to suffer. You don’t need to be full service to do it.”
Thanks to Mascieri’s philosophy, Plenty focuses on local and organic ingredients. They feature products from local purveyors such as Countrytime Farm, Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, Free Bird, as well as other nearby farms and bakeries.
“Buying local allows me to see the farmers and have a connection with them,” Mascieri said.
Along with food, Plenty also focuses on using local ingredients for its full service coffee bar. The beans come from local roasters La Colombe Torrefaction, Rival Bros. and ReAnimator Coffee.
One menu item that will be unique to the new Rittenhouse location will be a sandwich made in collaboration with Rival Bros. roaster and chef Jonathan Adams. It will use his own coffee in a new sandwich creation, however more of the specific details are being kept as a surprise until the grand opening, which has yet to be announced.
For more information about Plenty Café and to view the menu, visit plentyphiladelphia.com.
Sarae Gdovin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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