Michael Klein: M Kee specializes in noodles, pork, duck

Firecreek in Voorhees Town Center.
Firecreek in Voorhees Town Center. (Gianna Vadino / Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 10, 2011

Man Lam, a veteran of Chinatown's Ting Wong, and wife Shu Jie Lin are first-time owners with M Kee (1002 Race St., 215-238-8883), in a former produce store.

They specialize in noodle dishes, pork, and duck - they hang in the window here - in a utilitarian atmosphere that's reminiscent of the original Sang Kee around the corner. Most dishes are under $7 and it's open from morning into the late evening.

What's new

The brick-oven-pizza and craft-beer spot Birra is open at 1700 E. Passyunk Ave. (267-324-3127), the crossroads of Passyunk Avenue, 12th Street, and Morris Street. Owner Gordon Dinerman, previously at City Tap House in University City after four years with Stephen Starr at Buddakan and Barclay Prime, has 50 seats in an atmosphere of earth tones and wood, a bar, and a display pizza kitchen; there will be outdoor dining, too. Apps are priced from $6 to $10, 12-inch thin-crust pizzas sell for $10 to $20, and "plates" in the pizza oven sell for $6 to $20. Everything on the menu is available as a pizza topping, and the signature dish is the Birra Bowl, an open-faced calzone baked in a bowl and flipped, with the crust on top. Six craft beers on draft, artisanal wines, and cocktails. It's closed Mondays.

Firecreek, the energetic American bar-grill that opened in Downingtown in spring 2009, has a new branch in the Voorhees Town Center (13109 Town Center Blvd., Voorhees, 856-344-7901), alongside its sibling operation, Doghouse Gourmet Burgers. This spot also is business-friendly and has an open kitchen.

Chef Shawn Sollberger, last at Gunners Run in Northern Liberties after turns at such posh spots as Capital Grille, Ravenna, and Davio's, is chef at the edgy new Rogues Gallery, which replaced T.A. Flannery's, at 21st and Ludlow Streets (11 S. 21st St., 215-561-1193). Operating under the slogan "a place to drink, eat, hang and hide," it is a partnership of David Carroll (Bar Noir, Artemis, and Hot Club), Michael Steinberg (hospitality veteran), and Anthony Sembello (developer). Prices run $3 to $6 for beer and $5 to $10 for cocktails. Sollberger's simple menu includes sandwiches, salads, and blackboard entrees.

Percy Street has opened its BBQ shop in the Comcast Center's food court (17th and JFK, 215-964-9014). Specialty is a $10 combo - sandwich, side, and cold drink, including tax.

Briefly noted

Franco's Osteria at Presidential City Apartments has folded. Founder Franco Faggi, who left in the spring, now owns Fiorino, on Indian Queen Lane in East Falls.

Friday marks the projected opening of Ela, the bar-restaurant at Third and Bainbridge Streets from Chip Roman and Jason Cichonski of Blackfish and Mica. I'll have more next week here - sooner online.

Contact Michael Klein at mklein@philly.com or @phillyinsider on Twitter. Follow him at www.philly.com/food and catch his blog at www.philly.com/insider.