AlbondigasAmada is one of Jose Garces’ many restaurants that are sort of taking over the Philadelphia dining scene. Considering I’ve had nothing but superb food at every one of his restaurants I’ve tried, he can open as many restaurants as he likes. Not that he needs my permission.

I never actually ate a full meal at Amada when I lived in Philly. I tried it for the first time when Matt and I visited for a weekend over two years ago, and we knew we had to go back when we were in town for the marathon. We decided on a late brunch reservation for after the race. I promised everyone that I would be finished in time to make it…it gave me motivation!

Everything at Amada is served tapas style, even brunch. At first I was concerned, thinking we couldn’t possibly order enough tapas to feed my marathon hunger. I was wrong. We ate plenty.

Croquetas de Jamon

Croquetas de Jamon are one of my favorite dishes to order out (and make). I swear, I never get sick of them. These were some of the best I’ve ever tried: perfectly crisp on the outside, creamy without being doughy on the inside, and loaded with salty ham. The presentation of each croquette over a dollop of allioli was beautiful as well.


We ordered the Olives to pick on. I actually don’t think I even tried these – my post marathon stomach wasn’t feeling them I guess.

Patatas Bravas

The Patatas Bravas weren’t quite what I expected. I started making a modern version of bravas based on the ones we had at Amada during our first visit. They were originally small, partially hollowed out potatoes filled with spicy tomato sauce and topped with allioli. The ones we got at brunch were good, but were more like spicy french fries topped with allioli. I prefer the tomato sauce version more, but these were still pretty addicting.


The Revuelto was a dish of soft scrambled eggs, shrimp, and wild mushroom toasts. Thank god we ordered two of these, because it was a hit. The soft eggs had a hint of onion flavor and crunch from some scallions. The tender, perfectly cooked shrimp sat on top of the eggs and the mushrooms toasts were great for sopping up the soft eggs. I hope I can recreate this at home!

Esparragos con Trufas

The Esparagos con Trufas had tender white asparagus with a soft poached egg (sous vide, perhaps?), smoked bacon, and marinated truffles. I didn’t taste the bacon, and I wonder if they omitted it, but it was good regardless. Despite all the marinated truffles on top, there was just a pleasant hint of truffle flavor.


The Albondigas were another favorite. The tender lamb meatballs were served in a cream sauce and topped with shaved manchego. They were very decadent.


We ordered two of the Setas (wild mushrooms) grilled a la plancha. I love when something so simple is so incredibly delicious.

Skirt Steak

The Skirt Steak, also grilled a la plancha, was perfectly cooked to medium-rare. Once again, it was a simple, but flavorful preparation.

Tortilla Espanola

Matt ordered the Tortilla Espanola because a lot of what we had ordered wasn’t vegetarian (obviously). I feel like every Spanish restaurant has its own style of tortilla, and its not always my ideal version. I like mine to have a little crust on the outside, and still be a little soft on the inside. This version was much different. That’s not to say it was bad, just not my style. I did, however, love the saffron allioli that came on the side.

Creme Catalana

We shared a couple of desserts, the first being Amada’s version of Creme Catalana. It was a deconstructed version of the classic, and also included a pumpkin semifreddo, pistachios, and a sweet cranberry sauce. I think the burnt caramel was smeared on the plate, the custard was on top, the semifreddo was on top of that, and a caramel flavored gelee was draped on top. While it was fun to eat, I think I prefer the classic. I’m sort of a traditionalist when it comes to dessert.


For the life of me I cannot remember the name of our second dessert. We equated it to a basket of upscale mini muffins, served with a rich chocolate sauce and ice cream. They were delicious.

For the most part, Amada was just as good as I had remembered – definitely a must-try if you’re in Philadelphia!

217 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Amada on Urbanspoon

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