Five hidden culinary gems in the Northeast

Neal Santos Amid the red brick rowhouses and drab strip malls of Northeast Philly, a number of ethnic restaurants have sprung up, offering tastes of home to those who have emigrated from foreign lands and affording city natives an array…

Neal Santos

Amid the red brick rowhouses and drab strip malls of Northeast Philly, a number of ethnic restaurants have sprung up, offering tastes of home to those who have emigrated from foreign lands and affording city natives an array of fascinating international flavors. One of these hidden gems is a Filipino grill that is the only one of its kind in Philly. Another offers all manner of edibles from what once was the U.S.S.R. Here’s a look at five out-of-the-way, exotic and totally awesome gems in the Great Northeast that are worth a visit.

+ Glatt-kosher spot Judah Mediterranean Grill works wonders with vegetables, grains and kosher meats — and no dairy in sight.

+ Unique Keralan specialties and the lack of a steam table set Mallu Cafe apart from most of the city’s other Indian spots.

+ Paellas for sharing and flaming chourico set the Iberian mood at Mediterranean 2000.

+ The exotic flavors at Uzbekistan restaurant blend Russian, Asian and Middle Eastern influences.

+ Open only on weekends, Phillipine Jeepney Grill offers a one-of-a-kind glimpse at an endlessly fascinating food culture.