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Jul 23, 2004 04:03 PM

Anyone been to Coleman Restaurant in Blue Bell recently?

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I'll be visiting Philly next week and my mother wants to go to Coleman Restaurant in Blue Bell. There were some mixed comments on this Board about a year ago. I haven't seen anything since.

I'd love to hear from anyone who's been there in the last few months. Is it worth the trip? If so, what's good (for someone allergic to shellfish). Thank you!

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  1. I was there in October, which doesn't qualify as "recently", but it's too pricey to dine there regularly. I am collecting a "dinner anywhere in the 'burbs" debt in the near future, and plan on specifying dinner at Colemans.

    I had the fish (trout I think) and loved it. Fish is hard to do right, and this was perfect.

    My mother, who is 80 and the world's least adventurous eater hated the whole experience. She hated her "lamb three ways" (lamb chop, lamb sausage, and little coin-sized bites), which has won awards. I think the problem is that 1) the lamb was the only thing familiar so she didn't feel she had any choices and 2)there were no leftovers - if you can't bring it home and eat it for at least 2 more meals, why bother to go out? Since we were so early, we got to talk to the chef, and she asked him "why isn't there anything good on the menu?" which caused me to bang my head on the table. A lot of their elderly friends from church who also judge restaurants on the size of their doggy-bags have also reported unhappy experiences.

    So I would say if the person you're dining with isn't a little adventurous, forget Colemans. This in no way implies that if you didn't like it, you're not adventurous. Just that those who are conservative eaters are almost guaranteed a bad experience.

    Recent reviews look good:


    2 Replies
    1. re: Patiod

      I haven't sampled the restaurant fare, but I have attended two business/social events there and had hors d'oeuvres, light breakfast, and lunch. I also attended an offsite event sponsored by WHYY which featured catering by Coleman's Restaurant. I am sorry to say that I was not impressed with anything I had at the three events I attended. Some examples: potato salad with large pieces of hard, undercooked potatoes that made me choke; a cantaloupe tower that was almost impossible to break apart with a serving fork; a very standard chicken dish. Now maybe the banquet fare doesn't measure up to the restaurant menu, and the selections offered to me were from the lower price end of the banquet menu, but I was disappointed. I really expected more. It was definitely nothing special and not even as good as what I've had at other places. It makes me hesitant to try the restaurant,especially at such premium prices.

      1. re: Patiod

        Well we don't concur in our assessment of Coleman, and interestingly I tend to think that older diners are a better audience for the restaurant than younger diners. The older set seems more taken by the ultra traditional ambience and willing to trade off contact with a celebrity chef for food quality.

        But value is certainly an issue that we often hear when chatting with friends who have also been disappointed in the restaurant. The portions are quite small and the menu is very limited and seems like it's never updated.

        Perhaps the concept of refined farm fare would go over better at a slightly lower price point, but even then I don't think we would visit Coleman except when we absolutely have to make an appearance.

        I'm happy that you liked it though I'm a bit suspicious of the review, it reads a lot like the some of the restaurant's publicity copy....

      2. I haven’t been, but my husband had a dinner meeting here in the early spring. He was very dissatisfied with the meal. Several of the lobster dinners were sent back – under cooked. His New York Strip was dry and over cooked. The over all census from the group – the food had no taste. Although he did say the deserts were good. His comment – won’t go back.

        1. All I can tell you is that there are many restaurants that are more reasonably priced and have much better food in the area (specifically in Skippack) than Coleman.

          I can't tell you that the food isn't good, b/c it is. However, I didn't feel that, for the amount of money that I spent, that it was worth it at all.

          1. I was there when they first opened. I know that doesn't qualifly as "recently", but I want to put in my two cents since my opinion seems to jibe with most others here. I was seriously underwhelmed. There were four of us and I don't remember what we had but no one was thrilled. I'd pick another place.

            1. Any other updates on Coleman's? Some friend's of mine seem to think they offer some kind of buffet (specifically this thursday) with ribs, crabs, etc, for around $30. Does anyone know anything about that?

              3 Replies
              1. re: leepinleemur

                I heard about that too and might be going. I hear it is outdoors with a huge spread (crab, ribs, mahi mahi etc.) and - most importantly - all you can drink Sierra Nevada beer. Its not advertised anywhere on the website but I heard if you call they will fax a flyer over to you.

                1. re: leepinleemur

                  I just called and the BBQ event this THursday is sold out.. too bad, it sounded good!

                  1. re: AmblerGirl

                    Too bad! I'll let my friends know who wanted to go. Thanks for the update though!