Last year we visited FARMiCiA in Old City, Philadelphia on a busy Friday night. We had such high hopes for the place but left feeling uninspired and more than a little disappointed. So much so, that we never got around to writing a review. Maybe the chef was having a bad night, considering our raviolis were undercooked. Maybe it was the waitress who seemed to consider every dish we asked about her “favorite”, yet we just weren’t feeling them. Maybe it was the bright lighting, the nasty cocktails, or the lack of organic wines we were looking forward to. Whatever it was, it wasn’t happening for us that night. On a positive, while they have their own bar, they are also BYOB!
Fast forward to 2013, one afternoon in the city. We were hungry and looking for a healthy lunch. With so many mixed reviews online we decided it was only fair to give FARMiCiA another chance. What seems to be saving their rep is that FARMiCiA prides themselves on using local and organic ingredients. (They are a big hit with vegans and vegetarians too.) We figured, salad and sandwiches…how bad can it be? Luckily, not bad at all. Actually, surprisingly good. The salads were fresh, crisp and nice sized portions. The sandwiches were delicious and a friend in our party even ordered a burger with fries. Great portions. A little pricey ($11 for a cheeseburger!). Surprisingly, service was better when we were there on a busy Friday night. While the restaurant was pretty quiet on a random weekday afternoon, service was slow. Regardless, FARMiCiA definitely redeemed themselves the second time around and proved you can’t always judge a restaurant from your first and only visit.
Here’s a breakdown of our orders….
Visit 1: Dinner
- Trio of Cheeses – cow, sheep and goat milk cheeses served with toast and fruit chutney ($13) The cheeses were ok, fresh, but for $13 the portions were ridiculously small.
- Butternut squash ravioli – Not on their menu this year. On our visit they were undercooked and the filling was bland. Maybe that’s why.
- Skirt Steak served with roasted potatoes & caramelized onions, green beans, mushroom glaze ($24.50) The steak was ok, but we were not fans of the glaze.
- Flourless Chocolate Torte with chocolate ice cream & warm fudge sauce ($7) Not the best flourless chocolate cake we’ve had, but who can refuse chocolate?!
Visit 2: Lunch
- Classic Cheeseburger – Amish cheddar, vegetable fixings, served on a Metro roll with fries ($11). Juicy burger, yummy fries, but overpriced in our opinion.
- Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich – served on toasted sourdough bread with pesto, tomato, garden lettuce salad ($9.25) The sandwich was pure bliss! SO hard to find sourdough bread in Philly…Thank you!
- Turkey & Avocado Club Sandwich – served on toasted sourdough with crisp bacon, mayo, lettuce, tomato and French fries ($12.25). Got a great salad instead of fries. Sandwich was just the right size and tasty.
So, in conclusion, definitely check out FARMiCiA during lunch hours. If you’re up for a risk at dinner, bring your own wine and make reservations ahead of time! Note: they are closed on Mondays. Cheers!