On Monday, June 30th, Park Place Café & Restaurant owner, Phil Manganaro, posted a message on it's Facebook page personally thanking everyone for their support over their 3 years in town, especially the support of old and new friends at the Drive Thru. It really helped carry Park Place through a tough time and was truly appreciated. "I chose to close the Drive Thru and bring a dining situation so unique and exclusive on its heels, but with dine-in being cancelled (by Governor Murphy) again today, I regret to inform you that Park Place will be closed until further notice and could be closed for good given the uncertainty of these times and trying to run a small BYOB." Park Place will still be posting pictures of foraging and our AT HOME dinners for those who love what we do. If you would like to schedule an "AT HOME" dinner please contact us at 856-662-2200 to do so. Thank you for helping me build Park Place into what it was and encouraging me to keep digging deeper.
Courier-Post writer, Tammy Paolino, recently penned a piece on "A food geek's guide to best dishes in South Jersey, still available as takeout". The article shared local places to find incredible "drive-by" food while social distancing. And, it was no surprise to us that two of Merchantville's eateries, Charlies Crepes and Park Place Cafe & Restaurant, took the spotlight. Featured were Charlie's seasonal crepes with crispy potato croquettes or spicy deviled eggs and, ice cream flavors from Chef Manganaro that compliment his juicy burgers and celebrate the region, like the Cherry Bomb or Merchantville Mudslide. And, on June 8th, Tammy featured The Juice Bar owners, Seth Amoah and Kelli Mouzon, in her article about black business owners in SJ. The cafe is touted as "a healthy oasis in the heart of Merchantville" offering fresh pressed juices, smoothies, salads, panini and vegan options.
Phil Manganaro doesn’t brave the markets for much of the produce on his menus these days. Ingredient shortages? Something’s always blooming. High prices? His precious haul is always free. Social distance shopping? You could say the chef has taken that to the extreme, with only a big lodge of beavers nearby currently in sight. The Merchantville chef and his 8 year old son, Dean, regularly spend hours after home schooling on foraging missions to fuel the unconventional menus at his Park Place Cafe - the intimate fine-dining BYOB-turned-drive-through - which is unlike any takeout you’ve sampled during this pandemic. His loyal customers have responded, phoning their orders into the hotline to claim one of the 72 time slots for pick up Thursday through Saturday shortly after he posts the menus on Instagram each Sunday night.
Park Place Café & Restaurant will be open for take out Thursday-Saturday for pick-up between 5:00-8:00 p.m. The menu is a work in progress, as we will be adding new home-cooked options for you on a weekly basis. Pick-up times will be available every 10 minutes and pre-orders are highly recommended. Call Josh on the HOTLINE at 856.662.2200 and leave your order so he can call you back Wednesday to confirm your order and pick-up time. We will only have 18 slots available per day, so get those orders in quickly! Day of phone calls will be accepted, but no guarantees. We will post the weekly menu every Sunday, and confirm orders starting on Wednesdays. All prices include tax, and cash or personal checks are the acceptable forms of payment. 8 loaves of fresh baked rustic bread will also be available each day to add on to your take out order, while supplies last. Please feel free to let us know if you have any other personal requests, and we will do our best to accommodate with a week’s notice. See you soon at the drive-thru!
No doubt you’ve found yourself squabbling with friends over restaurants and your respective reviews of them. Now imagine going to a bar, sitting next to a stranger, and having the same debate. That’s the premise of Check, Please!, WHYY12’s latest 13 episode series, premiering at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 9th. The show is a lot about setting expectations for viewers at home — not just taking people at their word, but getting to know, “What would I experience if I went to this restaurant?” It’s also really challenging pairing guests. Park Place Café is one of the restaurants featured in 'Check, Please!' In every episode, the other guests can’t have eaten in each other’s restaurants before — which gets really, really tricky with people who love food, because if you’re a big foodie, you’ve eaten at most places. So we end up having to make sure that we’re getting places that are a bit out in the field or off the beaten path, just so there’s more variation and we have those interesting conversations that get into, even though they’re used to eating in Center City, why it’s worth driving over to Merchantville.
This Exit 19 Productions video shows Mike Casey foraging for food with his friend Chef Phil Manganaro. They find some berries, get mosquito bites and Chef Phil makes some homemade root beer. Exit 19 Productions is a group of comedians, writers, funny people and degenerates trying to make people laugh or give them a little bit of knowledge - hopefully a bit of both.