Having built an empire of highly successful eateries, first here in Philly and then beyond, Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook of CookNSolo Restaurants, looked for a way to give back.
They found it in Rooster Soup Company — which evolved into The Rooster in 2018 — located in a diminutive diner space in Center City.
Vinyl bar stools and Formica tables, tiled flooring and Art Deco lighting fixtures hearken back to an era when dining out didn’t need to be fancy.
Open for lunch and early dinner (until 8 p.m.), the charmingly low-key lower level enclave serves a trim menu of familiar, home-style Jewish deli dishes, donating 100 percent of its profits to the Broad Street Ministry Hospitality Collaborative, which feeds and provides important services to vulnerable people in Philadelphia.
Diners can enjoy Yemenite matzo ball soup, Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches, and Pastrami-rye Manhattans with the added benefit of knowing that they’re helping others.
Diners can enjoy delicious food with the added benefit of knowing that they’re helping others.
Unlike other CookNSolo Restaurants, The Rooster focuses on elemental comfort foods that need little explanation, like patty melts, chopped salads and turkey club — all made with excellent, fresh ingredients.
Of course, Solomonov’s Israeli and Jewish culinary influences plays heavily in the form of Yemenite matzo ball soup, smoked whitefish on a bagel, and hot corned beef on rye. Desserts stick with the diner motif, including crumb pie and creamy milkshakes.
Meanwhile, the beverage list includes four draft beers, just three wines by the glass and a tailored list of fun cocktails like a Deli Manhattan, made with “pastrami rye,” and a spicy Schug-A-Rita. Happy hour brings a great deal with $6 cocktails and wine and $4 beers, while the weekend delivers bottomless Bloody Marys or mimosas on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Rooster focuses on Jewish deli comfort foods.
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
In an era when most of Center City’s diners have folded, this eatery provides a welcome option for wholesome chef-designed meals.
Though it can get crowded on weekdays, brisk service keeps things moving. (And if the line for a table is simply too long, the kitchen offers takeout and delivery.)
The biggest motivator here, of course, is the opportunity to give back to the community, and The Rooster makes it exceedingly easy with its warm, retro atmosphere and unfussy food, fulfilling its stated mission of #EatWellDoRight.
The Rooster makes giving back to the community extremely easy.
— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia
The Philly-born CookNSolo Restaurants family — led by co-founders Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook — is made up of six concepts, some of which can be found in multiple East Coast cities. Keep it in the family by checking out the group’s other fantastic restaurants, including:
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The critical favorite brings Israeli cuisine to Society Hill