Source: Philadelphia Style, Marni Prichard Manko
From soulful Southern barbecue to haute grilled cheese, King of Prussia’s new crop of restaurants is bringing the heat to the suburbs.
When discerning shoppers browse the 155,000-square-foot expansion at the King of Prussia Mall, they’ll not only find wares from some of the top designers in the world, but they’ll have some choice dining options from a few familiar Philly names to keep them fueled.
None is more recognizable than affable Top Chef Kevin Sbraga, who is opening a second outpost of his Southern-themed University City spot The Fat Ham at the mall. “I can remember growing up in New Jersey as a kid, it was always a big treat to go out to King of Prussia for the day,” he says. “It’s very exciting for me to expand The Fat Ham brand at a place that is not only iconic for amazing shopping, but a location that holds a special place in my heart.”
Designed to be reminiscent of a clean, small-scale barn (think more thoroughbred, less chicken coop), The Fat Ham evokes a feeling that’s more King Street in Charleston than King of Prussia, with whitewashed walls lining the room and red-stained rafters draped with string lights giving off a decidedly barbecue vibe. Which is apropos, since the food is pure Southern comfort: Pair up some shrimp and grits, collard greens, and brisket sliders with The Fat Ham’s renowned whiskey, bourbon, and rye selection.
For an upscale Northern Italian culinary adventure beyond the mall walls, head down the road to the new King of Prussia Town Center, slated to open later this fall, where you’ll find Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, a Center City staple for 16 years. “It’s always been a dream of mine to have a Davio’s in King of Prussia. I just love that area,” says chef/owner Steve DiFillippo. “I can’t believe the time has finally arrived to open.” Sit on the patio and listen to live music chiming in from the lifestyle center’s square while you sample some of their famous Philly cheesesteak spring rolls and sautéed branzino, or go classic Davio’s with the massive 30-ounce rib eye.
Back at the mall, four new restaurants are dishing out casual dining that’s anything but typical food-court fare. Shoppers in search of a good burger and fries combo can stop by Shake Shack to munch on perennial favorites like a ’Shroom Burger, Chick’n Stack, or Shack-cago Dog. And to top the meal off with a touch of sweetness, try out the custard flavor of the day (recent varieties have included Stumptown Coffee Cardamom and Matcha Citrus).
For something lighter, check out the rapidly expanding Hai Street Kitchen & Co., the Philly-based home of the sushi burrito. The fast-casual concept is pretty simple—guests pick a protein, fillings, and sauce, then decide if they want it wrapped in a burrito, in a bowl, or in a salad.
Philly commuters who regularly trek to New York will recognize Nicoletta Pizzeria and Melt Shop, both Manhattan transplants featuring artisanal comfort foods. Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Michael White, Nicoletta serves up crispy hot slices and handmade pastas as well as standout soft-serve fior di latte gelato that can be topped with salted rum caramel sauce or rosemary caramel popcorn. For more cheesy goodness, grilled cheese is elevated to gourmet proportions at Melt Shop. One bite into a Truffle Melt with Muenster cheese and truffle oil on fresh-baked sourdough bread, or tater tots smothered in cheese, and you’ll never go back to boring American on white. We promise.