Thursday, September 23, 2010

carman's country kitchen

When I lived in Eugene, my girlfriends and I used to frequent an establishment called Ruthie B's Tea House. Ruthie B's was not reasonably priced, but what it lacked in economy it made up for in magicalness. Upon arrival, every customer was shown to a room full of hats and feather boas, to don while brunching. The water had slices of various citrus fruits in it, and before you ordered, the waitresses would sprinkle your table with dried lavender, sing songs, and blow bubbles over you.

Ruthie B's is one of the only things I miss about Eugene that is not a person. Luckily, I found it's sister-restaurant right here in south Philadelphia.

Carman's Country Kitchen exclusively serves brunch, which means they are only open Friday-Monday from 10am-2pm. There are just four things on the menu, and the four things change every week. The decor is a quirky combination of whimsical and raunchy (mardi gras beads and kitschy cherub-statuettes hang out with teacups that have penises for handles). They brew pots of tea as well as coffee, warm the honey bear before they hand it to you, and set every table with hot sauce, heavy cream, and little pots of exotic jams. Carman, owner and sole chef, is a phenomenon, and her sense for flavor combinations (similarly quirky) is the final touch of magic.

That was peach and blueberry french toast, shrimp and grits, and the best thing I've ever had at Carman's: challah french toast with black-fig-and-chevre topping, fresh blackberries, figs, and candied pecans. Side of country sausage.

And no, I am not being paid (in food or money) for this post. I just can't help but share the glory of Carman's. It's on 11th and Wharton, and there is no sign on the place - just a red pickup truck parked outside, with a picture of Betty Boop and their slogan: "Carman's Country Kitchen: She put the cunt back into country".


  1. Amazing! It almost justifies a plane ticket across the country. This will go on my restaurants-to-patron-if-I-fly-there list for sure. Thanks :-)