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Poll: Stephen Starr Restaurants?


Siouxsie
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Thought this might be fun. List your favorites or ones you dislike and why!

I like Jones the best. Their fried chicken is the best I've found in Center City.

I also like Continental in Old City.

Don't really have any I dislike.

Siouxsie

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Thought this might be fun.  List your favorites or ones you dislike and why!

I like Jones the best.  Their fried chicken is the best I've found in Center City.

I also like Continental in Old City.

Don't really have any I dislike.

Siouxsie

Dislike the guacamole carts at El Vez, and the phallic lamps at Morimoto

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Of all the Starr places I've only been to Barclay Prime a couple of times, and I think it's a great place. Expensive, yes, but I've never been disappointed.

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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I'm not boycotting or anything, but I haven't been to any Starr restaurants in a while... Interesting phenomenon. I was about to say that it's because the food hasn't really changed much, but A) I'm not sure that's true, and B) many places I do go to haven't changed much.

With the caveat that it's been some time since I've been to most of them, I've usually had pretty decent food at most of the Starr places. But many of the chefs have changed since I was last there. Striped Bass was good within the last year, but my last visit was before the current chef was in place. I actually always liked Pod, but I was last there some time ago, before the chef moved to Buddakan NY. I've had really good food, and liked the vibe at Tangerine, but similarly, the chef and menu have changed.

I unexpectedly found myself at Jones several months ago, and was not thrilled. I had liked the chicken, as Siouxie had mentioned, and a few other homey classics back when they first opened, but this time, everything was very blah. I had liked the diner food with upscale execution, but I was not so pleased with the diner food with diner execution, at Starr prices.

Haven't been to Morimoto since the NY restaurant opened...

There are rumors of menu or concept changes at a couple of places, and with new openings in the old Blue Angel space, and of the bistro concept on Rittenhouse park, maybe there'll be some fresh excitement.

But the lack of recent buzz hasn't seemed to hurt, every place looks busy to me whenever I pass.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Love (as in Love LOVE LOVE) the Huevos Rancheros for brunch at El Vez.

Sushi at Pod is reasonable, esp for lunch (compared to other dishes).

Buddakan has always been good to me - great food but pricey and often really noisy.

I belch, therefore, I ate...

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When I first moved to the city a couple of years ago I started work at Washington Square. It's a nice space but I've never really loved the food there. I believe it's closing soon and re-opening as a different restaurant (though this rumor has been around since I started there two years ago).

My only experience eating at Continental Old City has been waiting 45 minutes for a to-go Mid-Rare burger that ended up Well. I just never gave it a second chance.

Jones has some good cocktails, but the food was bland an unexciting (which I suppose is the point).

I've liked a lot of food that I've had at El Vez but the bar always has a bad smell; it's what I'd imagine years and years of margarita spilled behind things would smell like.

I worked at Pod for a little while too. It's a well-run place, the food is good. Meh.

I've eaten at Buddakan once or twice. It's a well-run place, the food is good. Meh.

I've eaten at Alma de Cuba a bit. It's a well-run place, the food is good. Meh.

I've never sprung for the full experience at any of the higher-end places because I (well, with the exception of Morimoto) am just not that interested. I hope Parc does it right because besides tasting menus and Japanese, I'll only go all-out on good French. I can make a pretty good steak myself, so no Barclay. I can't cook fish at all, but I know some places that I'd rather go to than Striped Bass. I live by some really really cheap and really really tasty Mexican, so no need for El Vez.

I guess I only really go to them for drinks!

--

matt o'hara

finding philly

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I had trouble with Jone's. I've dined/eaten at a fair number of southern cooking institutions. Jones just doesn't cut it. No soul.

Struck me the same as one of those glitzy, neon and stainless steel filled diners built in 2003 to come off as an 1950 diner. Food may be good, but just not the same.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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  • 3 months later...

just thinking - isn't Cafe de Parc grammatically wrong in French? That is, if he is referring to Rittenhouse park, it is wrong. If he is referring to the condo building (is it named Parc?) then it is still wrong. If he is referring to a first or last name, it can be OK. Right? at one time in my life my french was more than good, less than fluent, and my language skills are used principally, lately, with French speaking African cabbies, but...I think I am right? Anyone ? Either way, I still vote for Cafe du Parc.

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According to the Parc Rittenhouse website, the restaurant will be called Parc Bistro.  Which is a little silly, but not incorrect.

Thanks for that. Interesting, because there are posters on the scaffolding/pressboard/stuff at the building which show mostly the downstairs of Parc Rittenhouse - and the awning around the bistro says Café de Parc....

Edited by SugarJ (log)
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i've had good meals at alma de cuba. i like their yaca frita. i'm sure my fondness has been well lubricated by their excellent black cherry caipirinhas.

"The perfect lover is one who turns into pizza at 4am."

Charles Pierce

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I went to Morimoto once, for my anniversary. I loved the food, once it finally got there. It was a Monday night and the place was not at all crowded. I ordered a hot scallop appetizer and my DH (the chef) ordered the sashimi. Mine arrived nearly 20 minutes before his! We kept asking what was going on, and got no reasonable answer. It got the evening off to a sour start.

I wasn't super hungry and so ordered sushi for my main course. DH got a steak. His steak arrived and I had to tell him several times to eat it before it was completely cold. He finished his steak before my sushi came out.

As a result, it was a very unpleasant meal and does not make me want to return. Worse than the delays were the lukewarm apologies from our server, and a wholly apathetic response from the manager.

I've been to Jones many times because I used to work less than a block away. After the first visit, I only went back when I was part of a group and everyone else wanted to eat there. I hate their food and their presentations (my mom does a better job presenting the turkey on a Thanksgiving dinner plate). Maybe I would like it if I couldn't cook and craved homestyle food and couldn't get it anywhere else. But I have never enjoyed anything I've had there. I went back with my boss a few weeks ago (he loves the place), and it was just as I remembered it. He had a chicken sandwich in which the chicken was raw and cold in the middle. He sent it back and waited a LONG time before a replacement came out, overcooked and dry. At least they apologized and took it off the check...

I adored the Blue Angel. Never had anything less than wonderful food there. (Of course, that's the one that closed!)

I haven't tried Starr's other venues but, having been underwhelmed by two out of the three I've been to, I'm not in any hurry to do so, despite their good reviews and hordes of aficionados.

YMMV.

Barb

Barb Cohan-Saavedra

Co-owner of Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine, lawyer, jewelry designer, glass beadmaker, dessert-maker (I'm a lawyer who bakes, not a pastry chef), bookkeeper, payroll clerk and caffeine-addict

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I hafta say, I originated this thread with bon mots for Jones, but I hadn't been to Jones in a bit at that time. I think I've gone twice in the past month or so and darned if it just didn't really live up. I had the fried chicken one time, which I used to love, and it was horrendous, like it'd been sitting in funky oil for way too long. The other time, I had the quesadillas and they were OK, but nothing special. I might think twice before going back.

I did have a good lunch of those huevos at El Vez tho.

Siouxsie

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Vad, I didn't mean the entire city...I just meant (and thought I'd typed) Center City. I wasn't thinking of Reading Terminal because that's more like takeout than sit-down. I think I might even stand by it (for Center City) if the quality wasn't so poor the last time I had it. Now I'm not so sure.

Sorry for any confusion.

Siouxsie

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I really liked Barclay Prime the 2 times I went. Great steaks with really attentive and professional service. Of course at these prices you would expect as much.

Just took my youngest daughter who is a student at Temple to Continental midtown last week. It was ok. Nothing really stood out, her chicken caeser salad was nothing if not huge, sketchy chicken and a lot of lettuce. I had a piece of chilean sea bass which was good but way too small.

I haven't been to Jones but from what I'm reading I may just keep it that way.

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