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Do people actually like Marathon?

  • m

I cannot stand that place for anything other than the occasional brunch. They are so awful when they attempt food that isn't meant to be ultra-basic and bland! Every time I make the mistake of going there for dinner (only because it's the only thing within a one block radius besides Applebees and Pasion), I'm rewarded with either undercooked, cold, congealed food or way overcooked food. And either way it's tasteless.

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  1. I agree on dinner. I took a date there once and regretted it immediately. It's not bad for lunch, though.

    Oh, and I married the date so I guess it worked out OK in the end.

    Bill E. - Pennsylvania Wine mailing list

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bill E.

      I will never eat at Marathon again after 2 experiences of WRETCHED food. I actually sent a dried out nasty sandwhich back to the kitchen and they nicely replaced it with another of the same quality. Marathon Grill is dead to me!. The deal here is that the place is very convenient and most folks settle for what ever they are served. I've worked in restaurants,it's not that much harder to make good ( not even great ) food than it is to make mediocre or bad food. They have gotten too big and the kitchen is out of control. If you actually CARE about the food you are serving it shows. I always wonder if the cooks at Marathon ever actually taste the food they are dishing out.

    2. I like it for lunches, brunch and light dinners. There is a real dearth of sandwich and salad places in this town, which Marathon fills. They also do good fries. Unfortunately I read that they are upscaling their menu, so they may change soon.

      By the way, in that one block radius is also a sushi place (Shiroi Hana I think), and Good Dog for great burgers, fries and grilled cheese.

      Thank you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bride of the Juggler

        I've always found the fries at Marathon to be soggy and the food mediocre.

      2. Chicken pot pie is really good, actually. Brunch is good too, unusually good bloody marys.

        Agree with the bride though, in general, don't venture beyond sandwiches and salads.

        1. I've only been once, for takeout sandwiches and soup. They were pretty good, but the wait was so long (nearly 45 min. and the place was not very busy), that I haven't had the desire to try it again--especially when there's Good Dog to go to when I'm in the area.

          1. It was actually the chicken pot pie that made me write this! I think I had it once at Marathon on the Squre and it was acceptable, but I had it at the Marathon on 16th (from their "new" menu), and the crust was served as a dough with a flaky top, and the inside was still cold and not creamy as the result of not cooking thoroughly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mrsry

              oh really? I've had it twice at the one on 19th and Spruce and that wasn't my experience. It was cooked through and the crust was really good when i got it. Sorry about your experience. Bummer.

            2. No! It is the blandest excuse for brunch I can think of. Either Philly is lacking some serious brunch places, or we've lost any palate we had. So anyone have suggestions for some good brunch around here?

              1 Reply
              1. re: tglobal

                Sabrinas, Morning Glory, Honeys, Azure....

              2. marathon's good for lunch, but then again i always get chicken salad which isn't too hard to mess up.

                i have to add something i think only chowhounds could appreciate the peculiarity of- at the 19th/spruce location they don't have pickles, but at every other one i've been to, they do... ??? hmmmmmm.

                weird, huh?

                1. There service is horrible as well. Tons of servers but it takes them 45 minutes after sitting down to give you a menu, then they forget half your order.

                  But they're in convenient locations...


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: boris_qd

                    So.... food pretty much stinks, service stinks and people eat here anyway because it's convenient. I don't get it. I felt SO ripped off after eating at Marathon. C'mon people, let's find alternatives to known bad restaurants, spend our hard earned $$$ on good ingreds and cook for ourselves more. Also,if you eat at Marathon and the food and service are bad ,TELL THEM! Why would they change anything if they think it's okay? AND do not forget the most important tenant of the Chowhound Manifesto : Eat Hyper Delicious Food At All Times!

                    1. re: missclaudy

                      Oh, we told them about the food. We always tell restaurants when their food is bad. Another place that always seems to get the food and the service wrong is Roy's. Yikes, that place is horribly overrated by the masses.

                      1. re: mrsry

                        By masses we mean office parties from Willow Grove and King of Prussia, for an exciting meal out in Philadelphia!
                        Seriously, I never see anyone who looks like they have been to Philadelphia before outside of Roy's.

                  2. I have dine at the Marathon Grill in West Philly. I must have been lucky, the food is pretty good and it's quite nice dining outside. It's not exceptional, but it's not bad. On the downside, not everything on the menu is available.

                    1. Personally (and I may be going out on a limb here), I think that there are plenty of people out there who never think twice about eating mediocre food (hence the plethora of Olive Gardens and the fact that Chili's has plenty of business a block from Reading Terminal Market) because that is what they always have eaten and are comfortable with that routine. Thus, Marathon may seem like a good alternative to Applebee's et al and when they go there, they find their expectations met. But for your average Chowhound, going to a place where you get decent but rather mediocre and uninspired food served by indifferent servers (my take on Marathon from my last visit about a year ago) you will probably not rush back (nor will you make a beeline to Bertucci's either!)

                      1. I've never eaten at Marathon but I take exception to the remarks about Roy's -- we like Asian fusion food and we've always had good experiences at Roy's -- good food (usually fish) and good service. No complaints.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Beulah

                          I'm sorry Beulah, you have proven me wrong! Since I haven't had the food I was only making interpretations on what I saw.

                        2. Saturnius, your observation is not wrong. I pass Roy's almost every day and see the same thing. The service is so bad that my last memory there was of the waiter not giving us the quarter we were owed in change, and the manager and waiter going out of their way to humiliate us when we asked for it. They actually claimed that no one ever asks for their coin change.