Philadelphia City Paper: Waiting List
Philadelphia City Paper / December 15, 2009
Chef couple Edgar and Kim Alvarez will open the doors of Avenida (7402 Germantown Ave., 267-385-6857) this Thursday, Dec. 17. The kitchen takes inspiration from Edgar’s Guatemalan heritage, with a menu of quesadillas, tamales and enchiladas that tops out at $20.
The former Cresheim Cottage Café, a historic house that dates back to the early 1700s, was given a remodel by the Alvarezes, who exposed the original warm hardwood trim and open hearth by sanding down layers of paint.
A petite, three-seat bar opens on to a dining room painted in bright saffron and decorated with Latin art objects and woven textiles; the French doors of the second dining room give a view of a flagstone patio where tables will be set up in the warmer months.
The cooks were busy preparing for tonight’s friends and family service, but kindly stopped to make an appetizer and entree that represent Avenida’s menu for use to photograph.
The el biche (pictured, $9) is an “Ecuadorian bouillabaisse” that merges achiote-marinated shrimp, scallops, red snapper, plantains, potatoes and roasted peppers in a red snapper seafood stock for a warming starter.
A bone-in breast and thigh are steamed in a banana leaf for chicken mishote (pictured), sauced with pasilla, guaillo and ancho chilies and served with leeks, peas, green beans and carrots and a side of steamed Spanish rice.
Since Avenida is keen on welcoming families, kid’s entrees will be permanent fixtures, alongside grown-up fare like pepita and pistachio crusted tuna and grilled octopus with tequila roasted tomatoes.