Sipping on a Goldie tahini shake, it's easy to forget you're in Center City Philadelphia, and not in Tel Aviv. The popular demand of Goldie’s four other Philadelphia locations inspired the team of this restaurant to expand to create the fifth Goldie’s, located on 1218 Sansom street.
The motivation for opening up this new restaurant was the closing of another one of the team’s restaurants, Merkaz. Because of this, they had the space to open a new restaurant.
Emma Richards, Goldie’s director, explains the attraction that revolves around Goldie and what makes it so replicable. “Goldie lends itself very well to duplicating, we have a very small menu, it doesn’t change very much, and it’s just a great concept to open in new spaces.” said Richards.
Goldie has a few signature items that they incorporate into dishes in a variety of ways. Their signature falafel gets used to create a few different dishes: their falafel sandwich, falafel salad, a simple bag of falafel balls, and the falafel hummus platter. Goldie’s hummus gets sold by itself, with pita, in their signature falafel sandwich, and with the Israeli salad. Meanwhile, the fries vary with selections of normal fries, shawarma fries, and loaded fries, which all include a tehina sauce on the side. They elevate their shakes by having different flavors of tehina shakes, instead of having the basic ice cream milkshake. These shakes include, the original tehina, the Turkish coffee, the mint cookie, and the coconut tehina shake( which is not found at every Goldie restaurant). The other customized drinks are the turmeric lime soda, sour cherry iced tea, chetzi chetzi (half lemonnana and half sour cherry iced tea), and the lemonnana.
The first item I indulged in was the hummus and pita. Hummus isn’t always my favorite spread, because it sometimes has an unpleasant after-taste. Although, after tasting the immense flavor and creamy mixture of the dish, Goldie’s hummus changed my perspective on this spread. Instead of your average hummus that is sold at the supermarket, Goldie offers, what I consider is, the best quality hummus that I’ve ever had. Goldie uses careful techniques to bring out the most flavor in the chickpeas and combines them with other ingredients to create an incredibly smooth product. The pita dipped in hummus made for an incredible dish, undoubtedly being my favorite food combination I had.
I also sampled the falafel sandwich, which includes falafel balls, tomato marinated cabbage, cucumber, parsley, fluffy pita, and a choice of tehina sauce. The whole sandwich was very well seasoned, but what enhanced the flavor the most was the falafel. It was crisp on the outside, while light and fluffy on the inside. The texture of the sandwich was a mix of soft and crunchiness. The softness was brought out with the pita, which like the hummus, was significantly better than a rougher or dryer pita you would find somewhere else.
The highlight of my meal was certainly the sweet aspect, which was the original tehina shake. This was incomparably my favorite item I tried from the menu, being far above any ice cream shake I have ever had. The moment I tasted the peanut butter-like flavor and smooth base of the tehina, I knew I would be coming back for this shake time and time again.
Richard's description of Goldie’s unique restaurant qualities accurately illustrates what is so special about them. Each item on the menu has an elevated feature that distinguishes it from any other restaurant or supermarket in the area.