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Philadelphia 2009 - Where to Eat?


ALANBF
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So many choices, so little time. I'm sure you will get many ideas from this forum; here are mine:

Amada - Authentic tapas restaurant with excellent food and interesting wine list. Also beers.

The chef/owner of Amada also owns Tinto which serves Basque food.

You can sit at the bar at Brasserie Perrier and enjoy Steak Frites and a glass of Burgundy.

Gayle is a small American restaurant with wonderful food and an interesting wine list.

Marigold Kitchen serves wonderful American food. It is a gem. It is also a BYO (which means you bring your own wine to the restaurant.)

James is a high quality restaurant in the 9th Street Market area.

If you can afford it, I would recommend not missing Vetri, one of Philadelphia's prize restaurants, and one of the best Italian restaurants in the country.

I'm sure others will have excellent recommendations.

And don't miss going to the Reading Terminal Market - with excellent stalls for lunch, and also the opportunity to taste some Amish cooking if you are so inclined.

Enjoy your stay!

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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What days will you be in town? Many restaurants are closed Mondays, some Tuesdays and even some others on Wednesdays. What dates are you staying in Philly and what sort of foods do you like? We can be a lot more helpful if we know when and where you're staying and whether you'll have transportation available or are relying on your feet, public transit or cabs....

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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You got to check the Reading Terminal market - so many choices!!!

One of my favorites is Carmen's Hoagies:

gallery_57905_5837_52225.jpg

Here is the menu:

gallery_57905_5837_75021.jpg

"It's not from my kitchen, it's from my heart"

Michael T.

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If you go south of South Street and east of Broad go to:

Cochon (french byob)

Southwark (get a manhattan)

Chick's (get any cocktail and some charcuterie)

Taqueria de Pueblitos (tacos al pastor)

Supper

I live near James and have been a number of times. It's always been bland and boring except for a sunchoke soup they had once. I don't recommend it.

--

matt o'hara

finding philly

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ALANBF: Where do you live/work? What's plentiful and good there, so we don't send you to lesser versions here?

It's highly unlikely you can't get decent Italian red gravy cuisine back home, but it may still be worth a trip to one of Philadelphia's emporiums. Ralph's and Villa di Roma, both in or adjacent to the Ninth Street open air market, are fine examples (only open for dinner). A daytime visit to Ninth Street's market is a trip. Stop by DiBruno's and Claudio's and salivate at the cheeses. At DiBruno's Pronto you can get sandwiches. Though if you're adventurous, I'd recommend the tripe sandwich at George's Sandwich Shop, which also does roast pork, etc. Isgro's is around the corner on Christian for cannoli and other Italian pastries.

You could also visit DiBruno's Center City emporium (Chestnut between 17th and 18th), which has food service and seating upstairs.

If Asian food is on your agenda, plenty of choices in Chinatown. Ocean Harbor is probably the best for dim sum, but I don't understand why folks trash talk Joy Tsin Lau across the street; maybe not quite as extensive, but still plenty of variety and well prepared. Chung King Garden and Szechuan Tasty House are favs for the hot and spicy crowd. For something completely different, there's Burmese cuisine at Rangoon.

As for the Reading Terminal Market, I've got lots of favs, overlapping with those mentioned earlier, but I'll reinforce those selections anyway as well as my own.

DiNic's. Best known for the roast pork (order it with provolone and either spinach or broccoli rabe), but also good is the roast beef, brisket and pulled pork, though you won't confuse the brisket with Jewish style or the pulled pork with barbecue.

Hershel's East Side Deli. For the Jewish style brisket, as well as in-house cured corned beef and pastrami. Can't go wrong with any of these. And they've got Cel-ray!

Down Home Diner. A lot of folks poo-poo the diner, but imho they serve a wonderful breakfast (great biscuits). And be brave: try the scrapple as a side with your eggs or pancakes. The lunch and dinner plates are pretty good, too. Of the non-breakfast fare, all I've had lately is the fried chicken, and it is good.

Dutch Eating Place. Cheaper than Down Home Diner, not quite as fine, but still remarkably tasty and excellent value. You can get that scrapple here, too, as well as baked apple dumplings.

Salumeria. Carmen's makes a classic, excellent Philadelphia hoagie. But, to my taste, Salumeria is tops. It's not in the classic style, but incredibly tasty when you order either the Italian or (my fav) Prosciutto, making sure to ask for the house dressing and paying extra for marinated artichokes.

Pasta By George. When I want to go for a low carb meal but don't want salad, I order the eggplant parmgiana platter. Just about as good as you'd get at any of the classic South Philly red gravy establishments, without the cab ride. By George also has some very good pizza by the slice.

Delilah's. If you can't get to North or West Philadelphia, a convenient and rewarding spot for very good soul food.

Nanee's Kitchen. Pakistani-South Asian fare. The best stuff is carb-laden, like all the various fritters.

Bassett's. This ice cream emporium has been in business since 1861 and has been an RTM stalwart since the building opened. I love the Rum Raisin and French vanilla, my wife the Raspberry Truffle and, lately, the "WHYY Experience," a promotional flavor for the local public broadcaster which includes chocolate covered pretzels.

Fisher's. Speaking of pretzels, this is the place to get them. Handmade, fresh from the oven, slathered in butter. Your option to add mustard (which most of us do).

As info, the Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish) merchants are only open Wedesdays until 3 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until 5 p.m. The Dutch Eating Place and Fisher's keep to these hours.

All other merchants are supposed to stay open until 6 p.m., but only a handful do. Among the restaurant/sandwich stalls, DiNic's stays open until then. The Down Home Diner, which also has a direct entrance off Filbert Street, is open until 7 p.m. six days a week, and til 4 p.m. Sunday.

A little more than half the non-Amish merchants are open on Sundays, when the RTM's hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Heard good things about Parc but all I can personally vouch for are the quality matches :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Heard good things about Parc but all I can personally vouch for are the quality matches :wink:

the food at parc is fine; the atmosphere is fun. it's a little expensive for what it is (and my salad last time was weirdly salty), but overall it's just kind of a fun place to go.

it's not like, one of those 'if you want to get the unique flavor of great philadelphia restaurants and understand the dining scene, go here' kind of places -- cochon and matyson and lolita, i think, kind of epitomize that. but it's fine nonetheless.

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For threads like this, could we just put a disclaimer on the Philly forum that says "Attention: If asking where to eat in Philly, start at the Reading Terminal Market. Go from there."

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

Homer Simpson

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Heard good things about Parc but all I can personally vouch for are the quality matches :wink:

the food at parc is fine; the atmosphere is fun. it's a little expensive for what it is (and my salad last time was weirdly salty), but overall it's just kind of a fun place to go.

it's not like, one of those 'if you want to get the unique flavor of great philadelphia restaurants and understand the dining scene, go here' kind of places -- cochon and matyson and lolita, i think, kind of epitomize that. but it's fine nonetheless.

I think this is exactly right. I've been to Parc once, on a Saturday afternoon, and had a great time chilling with a glass of wine and the charcuterie plate. I wouldn't point a visitor to it, but I wouldn't steer anybody away, either.

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  • 2 months later...

Hungry family of 5 needs great lunch and dinner suggestions in city of brotherly love. Visiting U Penn. Kids have sophisticated tastes but small plates never seem to satisfy--Looking for something new, something special--perhaps ethnic (not cheesteaks please) Any thoughts on Great Britain Pub and Kitchen, Teri's, Bar Amalfi, Bistrot La Minette and Ken's Seafood. You suggestions would be appreciated.

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Hungry family of 5 needs great lunch and dinner suggestions in city of brotherly love. Visiting U Penn. Kids have sophisticated tastes but small plates never seem to satisfy--Looking for something new, something special--perhaps ethnic (not cheesteaks please) Any thoughts on Great Britain Pub and Kitchen, Teri's, Bar Amalfi, Bistrot La Minette and Ken's Seafood. You suggestions would be appreciated.

take the family to Fork or Ansill.

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For a family outing I'd suggest Standard Tap or North 3rd, both of which have extensive menus and beer/booze for the grownups.

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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