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NoLibs grub, where would you go and why


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We are heading to The Fire (on Girard) tonight and I have convinced my husband and a few pals that we should head in early and get a bite and a drink before the show. Nothing fancy.

I tend to be the default Julie the Cruise Director (not to be confused with Julie Cruise) and have narrowed our options to either Standard Tap or N. 3rd, (we've been pleased with both) or perhaps trying out Deuce as a wild card.

A pair with us are not adventurous food/drink wise, and we are luring them into the city for this gig, so I am trying to strike a balance between good/interesting for us with some "safe" bets for them. Can't even imagine trying to explain the notion of tapas to them....

Where would you recommend and why? Any obvious places in the neighborhood that I am missing?

Thank a bunch!

<a href='http://retroroadmap.com' target='_blank'>Retro Roadmap - All the Retro, Vintage and Cool Old places worth visiting!</a>

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I don't think you can go wrong with either Standard Tap or North Third, and on a summer thursday neither should be a madhouse. I've always been happy at both of those places. I had a very nice meal at Deuce a few months ago. I read that the chef has left in the intervening time, but someone assured me it's much the same.

Also worth thinking about is Las Casuelas, nice Mexican between 4th and 5th on Girard (426 west Girard). It's not fancy, but more elegant Mexican than your basic taqueria. Then again, if you're in the mood for a basic taqueria, that same family runs Taco Riendo just a block north of Girard on 5th (1301 North 5th)

If you have vegetarians in your midst, Azure, just a few doors north of the Standard Tap, on second, has some good veggie options, as well as plenty of meat dishes as well, many of which seem vaguely tropical, probably just right on a summer evening.

And it's probably a little more fancy and pricier than you're thinking of, but Sovalo (702 n 2nd - just a block or two south of the Tap on 2nd) has good Italian, always a safe bet for the less-adventurous diners.

I haven't heard a thing about Liberties in years... anybody been recently?

(And yeah, Julie Cruise the cruise director would make for a surreal vacation, I'm sure. Slo-Mo shuffleboard on deck 5....)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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I don't think you can go wrong with either Standard Tap or North Third, and on a summer thursday neither should be a madhouse.  I've always been happy at both of those places. I had a very nice meal at Deuce a few months ago. I read that the chef has left in the intervening time, but someone assured me it's much the same.

North 3rd was crowded this past Monday, and it tends to be fairly packed.

I ate at Abbaye instead, before a few beers at 700.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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I think No. 3rd fits the what you are looking for a little bit better than Standard Tap, in that No. 3rd has a wider selection of more conventional bar food items (including some outstanding wings) but still has a substantial selection of less conventional specials. Other things to consider are the fact that you actually get a menu in addition to the chalkboard specials at No. 3rd and that you will actually have someone seat you there as well - both of which might be more comforting than the alternative at the Tap were the lack of those things may make the uninitiated a little apprehensive from the start.

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Thanks for all the feedback. My gut (egut?) response was N3rd, since even I can be annoyed at the setup at the Tap some times and we will be on somewhat of a schedule. A couple of the folks w/us are musicians who would definitely appreciate readily available beer, and wings are always a good common ground. Can't wait!

<a href='http://retroroadmap.com' target='_blank'>Retro Roadmap - All the Retro, Vintage and Cool Old places worth visiting!</a>

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I just went to N. 3rd for the first time (I know! Go ahead and flog me!) last week and just loved it. Creative and delicious menu, good drinks and more reasonably priced than most of its counterparts in the area. It's definitely my new favorite place.

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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We did end up at N3rd last night and had a generally good experience. I will leave the more poetic in the gang to review with adequate adjectives etc, but here is my interpretation of the overall evening.

Nice friendly and approachable hostess. Overheard her try to sell the "smoking section" lounge to the groupo ahead of us, they declined, and we decided to give it as shot as we were a group of 5 and not sure how long it would take to find a space for us. Table was surrounded by incredibly loud party people, like being seated in the middle of a frat party, not really a good idea. We quickly declined the seats and were able to sit outside (as our party of 5 was 4 with one on the way) and that worked out nicely. Crab and corn soup was delish, but they could've mentioned on the menu that it was a cold soup, as that was a shocker. Nice big chunks of crab. I went lame and got a chicken sandwich- huge bread and huge portion of fries. Hubby raved about his tunaburger. Non food friends seemed to have a good time. Waitress was a bit surly, but other than that a pleasant evening. Definitely a hopping place. thanks for the help all!

<a href='http://retroroadmap.com' target='_blank'>Retro Roadmap - All the Retro, Vintage and Cool Old places worth visiting!</a>

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  • 2 months later...

Anybody been to N. 3rd recently? I'm probably gonna stop by there tomorrow with some friends. I haven't been there yet so if anybody has any info that hasn't been reported I'd appreciate it.

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

Homer Simpson

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Anybody been to N. 3rd recently? I'm probably gonna stop by there tomorrow with some friends. I haven't been there yet so if anybody has any info that hasn't been reported I'd appreciate it.

I feel like I went once a week every week in September. It's got good al fresco seating (and you might actually be able to do that tonight, with the weather) and they have the Hitachino Nest white beer on the menu -- one of my favorites.

Everything I've had (gyoza, mac & cheese, pierogi, beet salad, spring rolls) has been good -- not amazing, but pretty good. Try the burger and let us know how it is, burger man!

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So me and 3 friends went on Saturday night and had a really good meal. We showed up at about 7 and the place looks like it had just reached it's capacity. We were told by the hostess/waitress that we could either sit at the last remaining table outside or wait about 20 minutes for a table inside. Being that it was just mild enough and we were all starving, we took the outside table. It seemed that the inside was really loud, which doesn't bother me, but i thought it's worth mentioning.

We started off sharing 3 apps, a pound of wings (you can order 1 or 2 pounds), calamari and veggie spring rolls. I really enjoyed the wings. They were just spicy enough and had a great grilled/smoky flavor to them, and seemed slightly more unique than most places. I always think that it's hard to mess up wings, but some places managed to do it, and I would say these wings are definitely above average. The calamari was good, lighty breaded and fried. It didn't knock anybody's socks off, but I believe it was the first app that we finished of the 3, so it did the trick. I didn't touch the veggie spring rolls but was told that they were solid as well.

For the entrees, I was very tempted to take Diann's suggestion and get a burger, but I was jonesing for a steak. I ordered the hanger steak frites med-rare. It came out closer to the rare side which didn't bother me and all, and was accompanied by a heaping pile of fries. This was very solid. It was just a nicely done steak in a red wine sauce, just what I was looking for. The fries were great. Fresh cut fries with the skins still on, and flecked with kosher salt. Why more places don't do their fries this way is beyond me. My girlfriend ordered the salmon, which she said she didn't really like too much. She can be super picky sometimes, and while I'm not a huge fish fan I had a few bites and it seemed perfectly fine to me. She did however say that the mashed potatoes were awesome. Both of my other friends ordered the roasted chicken which they said they loved. Again, nothing too crazy or exotic, but it was all prepared very well.

To sum everything up, nothing was great, but it was all at least very good, solid food. My girlfriend not liking her salmon was the only slight misstep. The total for 3 apps, 4 entrees and at least 2 rounds of beers was $120, and we left a healthy tip. I would love it if I had a place like this around the corner from my house. For a casual, reasonably priced, very good meal, I would say this place is very hard to beat.

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

Homer Simpson

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