Continental’s menu is a mash-up of different cuisines. From American burgers to Thai noodles, and Korean tacos to Mexican pizza, Continental has something from everyone. I like restaurants that serve a variety of global flavors the best because you don’t have to settle for just one type of cuisine! The food also comes in snacks (small appetizers), smalls (tapas-sized plates) and bigs, which are big enough to feed two people if accompanied by a side.
I split the Crispy Calamari Salad ($13) and Shoestring Fries ($3) with my mom. It was plenty of food for the two of us. The salad was made of chopped romaine, julienned carrots and tomatoes, bean sprouts and soy-sesame dressing, and was topped with beer-battered calamari. The calamari that I had at F Street Bistro was better and is still my favorite calamari that I’ve had since beginning this blog. This calamari somehow tasted like it was burnt, although it was not. However, I’ve never seen a calamari salad before, and I liked the idea because it balanced something fried with something refreshing. The veggies were fresh and tasty. The dressing, however, was too light. Usually, restaurants drown their salads in dressing, so it’s quite rare that a salad needs more dressing. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but the serving size was pretty enormous.
The Shoestring Fries were also colossal in size. The hay-like pile of fries was as tall as my glass of water. They are served with a spicy “Chinese mustard sauce.” I am a fan of neither spicy nor mustard (unless it’s honey mustard), so the sauce was pretty bad in my opinion. Thankfully, ketchup goes with everything! The shoestring fries are definitely not something you want to order on a first date, or any situation in which you would not want to embarrass yourself in. The fries are crispy like chips and are quite long, and are thus quite difficult to put into your mouth gracefully. I experimented with several techniques. Picking up fries with a fork does not work very well because they don’t really stay in the fork, and tend to snap in half. The best (yet the messiest) method is shoving a pile of fries into your mouth by hand, and hoping that some of them go in instead of just landing on your plate. Good luck brave foodie!
My mom got a pic of the Rad Na Thai Chicken ($13) for me when she was at the Continental before. The dish consisted of wide noodles served with chicken, romaine lettuce, scallions, bean sprouts and crumbled peanuts. This dish is also large enough for two people. The dish was basically Pad Thai, but made with the thick noodles that traditionally come in Pad See Ew.
The Turkey Burger ($11.50 )was topped with sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, cheese and red pepper aioli, and served with a side salad. The burger wasn’t too dry and the serving size was perfect.
This restaurant and martini bar is decorated like a mod, space-agey diner. Circles are a major design motif. You can see them on the ceiling and in the olive-and-toothpick lamps…
…to the olive bar stools…
… the back hallways…
… and on the revolving olive-topped dice on the restaurant’s roof.
Continental has become one of my favorite Philly restaurants because of the creativity of its menu and the large portions.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
138 Market Street (Old City)
Philadelphia, PA 19106