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Places Near HUP (Penn)


LindaJ
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A really good friend of mine is at HUP and will be there for some time awaiting a heart transplant (long story - 38 year old guy thinks he has the flu and it ends up 89% of his heart fails in one day). The weekend before last was without a doubt the worst 48 hours of my life.

So far, I've sussed out the MOST inefficient McD's in the world in Children's Hospital and some chain sandwich shop at the Penn Tower. The caf is surprisingly not so bad, but I'm not sure how I feel about "hospital sushi." It just doesn't work for me.

Can you guys give me some hints of places near so I can post it for friends and family that are visiting him? Even food carts that don't suck would be good. Also, be real specific about where places are located. I'm not originally from this area and really don't know Philly at all yet.

I would greatly greatly appreciate any recs you guys have. Thanks in advance.

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On Sansom, the same street as White Dog, is the New Deck Tavern, with good bar grub. Another block or two up Sansom at 36th is Pod, which isn't too pricey for sushi lunch. On Walnut at 34th is a food court with a variety of basic options (its been a while, but I think there is oriental, pizza, cheese steaks, deli, etc). I think there may be more places on Walnut between 34th and 36th, but all that is coming to mind is a Mexican place and Dunkin Donuts. Also, there is a thread on Food Carts in this forum with many suggestions.

I belch, therefore, I ate...

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Linda:

So sorry to hear about your friend. I wish him a speedy recovery. At least the doctors at HUP aren't as innefficient as the McD's. He's in one of the finest hospitals in the country with top notch care, so that should make you feel a bit better.

Mad for Mex isn't a bad spot for a quick margarita and some mediocre Mexican food. It's on the 3400 block of Walnut Street and fairly convenient. That food court will surely have something decent in it, although I confess I haven't been there in quite some time, so I don't know what's inside anymore. The food trucks might be your best bet for quick, cheap and convenient. Some of them are excellent. There used to be a vegetarian truck at like 35th & Spruce on the north side of the street, right across from the hospital at the eastern end of the Quad that was really good.

If you're willing to walk a little bit, I'd like to add Nan to the mix. It's a very nice French-Thai restaurant at 4000 Chestnut Street. Closed Sundays and Mondays, I think. They serve lunch Tuesday-Friday and dinner every night. Amazing Pad Thai, delicious fish dishes and the soups are incredibly flavorful. Not too long a walk in nicer weather and if you cut across campus via Locust Walk.

A nice BYOB dinner could be had at either Rx or Marigold if you need a longer break and want to decompress with a bottle of wine. There's a Wine & Spirits shop at 40th & Market to purchase some wine to bring along.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I haven't eaten anything from here, so I can't vouch for quality, but if you're looking for something quick and close, there's also a food court in the basement of Houston Hall, which is directly across Spruce Street from HUP, just west of 34th st.

They call it Houston Market and it's probably pretty routine industrial food, but at least there's some variety. There's also a crêpe stand in that building somewhere, although they don't mention it as part of the market.

But I'd vote with Rich, and hike on over to the White Dog, it's not very far, just go north on 34th street about 4 blocks and hang a left on Sansom. And if not the White dog, you have plenty of options: on that block there's the Bubble House for bubble tea and light vAsian fare and sandwiches, then the New Deck for bar grub, then the White Dog for anything from a simple burger to elaborate new-American cuisine. There's also La Terrace, but I honestly can't recall anyone saying anything about that place in years, so I have no idea what the food's like now. Right behind that strip of restaurants is Mad Mex that Katie mentioned. If you keep going up Sansom past 36th, you'll find Pod, which has expensive cocktails and somewhat pricey vAsian food in a funky setting. On the other side of the Inn at Penn, Penne has good pastas. They're on the Walnut Street side between 36th and 37th.

If you have time to venture further west, as a few folks have mentioned, Rx, Marigold and Nan are very good BYOB restaurants. Right near Nan, at the corner of 40th and Chestnut, there's a little cluster of decent places, Tandoor India, and Fatou & Fama (Senegalese) in particular. Even further west, out on Baltimore Avenue, around 45th or so, there's Vietnam Cafe, Vientienne for Laotian food, Dahlak for Ethiopian, and Abbraccio for uninspiring but serviceable Italian.

And let's not forget Koch's Deli on Locust, just west of 43rd, but eating a Koch's sandwich around someone with a heart problem could be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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What's that Mexican that was around for years at 36th and Lancaster? Is that any good anymore? Also, there's a Thai place near there that's good. I went there for take out when my Dad was in that hospital a couple of years ago.

Philly Francophiles

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What's that Mexican that was around for years at 36th and Lancaster? Is that any good anymore? Also, there's a Thai place near there that's good. I went there for take out when my Dad was in that hospital a couple of years ago.

The Mexican place is Zocalo. It seems like it's had about 150 owners in the last few years, but i know somebody who went recently and said it was pretty decent. And the Thai place right near there is Lemon Grass Thai. It's been a while since I've been there, but it was good a few years ago...

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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What's that Mexican that was around for years at 36th and Lancaster? Is that any good anymore? Also, there's a Thai place near there that's good. I went there for take out when my Dad was in that hospital a couple of years ago.

The Mexican place is Zocalo. It seems like it's had about 150 owners in the last few years, but i know somebody who went recently and said it was pretty decent. And the Thai place right near there is Lemon Grass Thai. It's been a while since I've been there, but it was good a few years ago...

According to City paper, Zocalo was recently purchased by Greg Russell the long time executive chef, who has redone the menu. The menu is supposed to reflect the city of Moralia, Mexico, with dishes such as Molcajete Azteca. grilled cactus servied in a lava bowl with beef chicken or shrimp.

I was at La Terrasse about a week ago, just for a quick bite at the bar. The general feel is that the bar menu is safe, but the dinner menu is over priced and no well executed. Good place for a quick burger, sandwich or steak frites. And not as crowded as New Deck (which I find to be horrible..) or White Dog which as much as I love, (for me it is reminiscent of Moosewoood Cafe in Ithaca) suffers from inconsistency, and definitely is not a great bargain, regardless of the food that is being served.

Just a bit further south at 30th Street Station is Bridgewaters Cafe, which is the bar in the 30th street that has good food and nice beer selection. Also the Cirra Center next to 30th Street is Rae's Restaurant which is serving great food. Finally, across the brige is Bistro St Tropez. Decent French Bistro Food and a nice view of the river.

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Nan for sure. When my wife was at Hup for a procedure 10 years ago, I discovered the place. It's really a refreshing oasis in an otherwise sketchy part of the city. As Katie says, great pad thai and possibly the best soups I've had anywhere.

Of course as stated above, White Dog Cafe just for the funky atmosphere if not the dependable food.

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Wow guys!

Thanks so much for all the responses so quickly. I'll be looking up the web sites of these places and maybe walking around a bit next weekend. I should have mentioned that we have little kids in tow much of the time so if you can comment on family friendly options, it would be good too. Obviously, I need to check out the food court for pizza and chicken fingers type stuff.

You guys, as always, rule!

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I left out the Vietnamese place at 42nd and Spruce. Pho Cafe Saigon, I think. I haven't been myself, but have excellent reports from others whose palates I trust. Probably a good place for spring rolls or noodle soup with kids, if they're adventuresome eaters. Other than that, Mad 4 Mex probably has nachos, quesadillas and wings for kid friendly food.

Let us know where you ended up and/or any new discoveries you make.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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