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looking for non-chain restaurants in/near King of Prussia

We're new to PA, looking for restaurants in our area, which seems to be overrun with big chains. Any rec's for independents...we want to find the best mexican, mediterranean, middle-eastern, and asian foods we can.
Thanks!

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  1. This isn't easy, but I'll do my best.

    asian fusion- wild rice
    indian - devi
    pizza - peace of pizza
    thai - lemongrass

    7 Replies
    1. re: saturninus

      Some chains in the King of Prussia Mall new section have gotten very good reviews. Are you seeking good food or a new experience? Sometimes the nonchain place does offer food of a lesser quality than the big chains.

      Another poster recommended Devi in King of Prussia for Indian. It's ok. (In my experience, in this area there are better, and worse places, to eat for Indian food.) Check the threads on this message board for Indian food for suggestions for other restaurants within a 20 minutes drive of the King of Prussia Mall.) The only Indian restaurant in this area that is not as good as the others I'd say is Jaipur. I'd drive the extra miles for the far better food found elsewhere. Gateway to India in Frazer does a very good job, as do the several other Indian restaurants in Wayne and Malvern. To get a tasty sample of their cooking, check out these restaurants for lunchtime to enjoy their lunch buffets at very affordable pricing.

      I heard that the Lotus Inn (off Swedesford Road in Wayne) does a nice job for Asian food. Can't recall the name of the Mexican place in Norristown that has gotten good reviews, too.

      1. re: FelafelBoy

        FelafelBoy, how long has it been since you tried Jaipur? We've been going there on and off since it opened, dinner only. Although we had become unhappy with the quality, at our last few visits we have found it greatly improved, both in ambiance and food quality. The OP may also be interested in another Indian option on the other side of 202: takeout from Royal Indian (in the gas station near Hooters).

        1. re: vicarious

          vicarious - Regarding the date of my last visit to Jaipur, I believe it was in April of 2006, for the lunch buffet on a Friday. Without recounting every detail, let me say that the sambar was very good. The water which was served, without going into more detail was very bad, undrinkable. The seasoning on the Tandoori chicken was the worst I have ever had. The two other vegetable dishes were of a quality that was can-worthy. It is possible I caught the restaurant on a very off day. With that experience, I have not been back since, due to the better quality as compared with what I had there that day at other places like Amon's, Devi, A Taste of India, Taj Mahal, Royal India, Himalayan, and Gateway to India. No sense in not supporting places that offer better quality.

          Yes, the US Petro gas station just down the road has a small kitchen in the rear of the small food shop where they make pleasantly agreeable dishes. Last visit to Gateway to India reminded me that their spice mixture is just plain different from what you get at Royal India and A Taste of India, two places at which I find the spice mixture is much more similar than what is offered at Gateway to India. The day I visited GTI, the buffet entree selections were among my least favorite - a cabbage curry, cauliflower curry, avial (vegetables in coconut milk), dal makhani (not bad), and two chicken dishes. The spice aftertaste on these dishes was nowhere near as enjoyable as what stays with you at Royal India and A Taste of India. The vegetable soup that day was the best I have ever had at this restaurant, and I have posted before how good this soup normally is. The salad bar was very fresh and full of more varieties of accoutrements. The restaurant also added an additional salad dressing. Vegetable fritters that day were forgettable. The dosai with its spicy potato filling and mint chutney on the side were absolutely delicious. I credit the restaurant for offering three deserts, but they were all forgettable. (After leaving the restaurant, I went home and made my own simple to make mango custard with fragrant spices.) This visit reminded me of what they get right, that GTI is a nice place to visit now and then, but there are restaurants that have a spice mixture that resonates with each customer in the right way. This day, the mixture at GTI didn't do the job for me. It encouraged me to revisit ATOI and RI, and perhaps give Himalayan another try (after the last visit turned me off with its thin and out-of-a-can tasting soup and overcreamed slop of a version of palak paneer ... GTI's version of palak paneer is a much better version). I may try Jaipur for the lunch buffet only if someone convinces me that they have hired new management and hired chef's/cooks who used to work at the other restaurants I mentioned.

          1. re: FelafelBoy

            Dear Felafelboy,
            We tried the indian place (next to Outback and Trader Joes) based on your review a few months ago--Thanks! The chow was great and the value was even better. I'd go back.

            1. re: Peghead

              You are welcome. Did you go for the buffet or dinner? The variety and quality of food at the buffets at these kinds of restaurants is a great bargain. It's also a great way to sample food you might not have ordering ala carte at dinner (how many different dishes can one order at dinner?) If you like the taste of TOI's spice mixture, you will also like the taste of food at Royal India and Himalayan. Himalayan and Royal India have a similar large variety of foods at their buffets. The ambience at RI is completely different from that at H and TOI. I think the intensity of flavor at TOI is the strongest of the three, but they are all very enjoyable. Note that the spice mixture at Gateway to India, while pleasant, is just plain different from these three. I don't know what it is that's different, it's like some spice or ingredient is left out. I don't recall the flavor of cilantro at GTI. I might be wrong about it, but there seems like some important or essential ingredient is left out, or that another ingredient/spice/herb is used to flavor all their dishes that is not used at the other restaurants, or to the same degree. At the other three restaurants, I can leave and enjoy the lingering taste in my mouth of the spices - that flavor can last for almost 24 hours if not longer. With the exception of the vegetable soup at GTI, I do not have that same experience. The lingering flavor in my mouth is different and not as pleasant as the souvenir from the other three restaurants.

              I wonder what day you were at TOI. If you were fortunate, you were there when it was not too crowded. But that's the price paid for offering good quality, variety, and value, consistently.

              1. re: FelafelBoy

                I was excited to try Royal India as husband and i both love taste of india (wayne and exton!) and also gateway to india. the food at RI was okay, and i love that they bring fresh naan right to the table - very nice - but we did not feel like the place was clean. at all. my husband said he would never go back. we plan to stick with our fave - Taste of India.

      2. re: saturninus

        What do you recommend at Lemongrass?

      3. For Mexican, it's a short ride to Norristown. On the corner of Arch & Main there a great Mexican spot and right across the street is August Moon for Japanese and Chinese.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Den

          August Moon is terrific, but the serve Korean and Japanese. The owners are Korean and the Kimchi Bokum is just wonderful!

          Also if you're looking for something a bit more upscale the General Warren Inne is not too far and is fairly good.

          1. re: Den

            i moved from the area a few months ago and i seriously miss taqueria michoacana. the enchiladas suizas were to die for... and as far as authenticity goes, well, sometimes it's very tough to communicate "vegetarian" across the language barrier, but when they do get it, it's very very delicious. great salsas too!

          2. The mexican spot is across from August Moon is called Taqueria Michoacana -- it's very good.

            I'd also recommend kontiki, an asian place in the valley forge towers.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DanielleM

              I think Kontiki closed... I think an Italian restaurant is replacing it.

            2. Kabuki sushi off of 202 is also great.

              2 Replies
              1. re: isadorasmama

                I'd second that. Nice family run operation. Not real creative, but fresh fish.

                1. re: isadorasmama

                  I've really been disappointed with Kabuki- pricey & very rude staff. For the KOP area, I enjoy the sushi at Blue Pacific in the mall- and their veggie fried rice too! Lotus Inn has consistent fresh dishes.

                  have not tried all the Indian places, but I prefer Desi Village.

                  I like pizza from Franzones- but sauce is a bit sweet, so if that's not your style, then you may not agree.

                  I wish there was more mediterranean, middle eastern & greek around. I head to Mediterranean Grill in Bryn Mawr.

                  If you don't mind the drive to East Falls, Johnny Mananas has good mexican- enjoy the fajitas- very large portion!

                  and I'd head to From the Boot for Italian (Lafayette Hill), nothing decent in KOP area IMO.

                  Oh, and be sure to take a short ride to Classic Diner in Malvern (lancaster Ave) only open til 3pm daily- for great breakfast/lunch items (not a true Diner at all)

                2. There are many restaurants in Bridgeport. I haven't eaten there, but it looks like you could get inexpensive Italian.

                  I am dying to find a mom&pop Italian restaurant that I heard about in Bridgeport. Someone said that it's a small place where one woman cooks and that the food is great.

                  Also, there's a really inexpensive, casual seafood restaurant/takeout just outside of Bridgeport. If coming from KOP & turning into Bridgeport (the main road I don't remember the name), you make a left onto a little side road that takes you on a bridge over 202. The seafood place is on the right. Sorry for the obvious lack of information, but I remember that it's good & cheap!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Main Line Tracey

                    The Bridgeport Rib House (1049 ford st., website: http://www.ribhouse.net) is a favorite of mine. Across from it is an Italian restaurant, Dolce Vita, and may be the one you are looking for. I have never been.

                    1. THIS IS THE PLACE! I found an article about the mom & pop Italian place in Bridgeport that I heard about! I will be trying it soon! Sounds amazing.

                      http://ae.philly.com/entertainment/ui...

                      1. It's not in your list of restaurant types, but I'd recommend the Barons Inn. They do a great job with fish. A little pricey, but good food.

                        If you want Deli, try Michaels (and they deliver).

                        1. The Baron's Inn is now Creed's. The "Baron" died several years ago.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: phillyjazz

                            LOL, you're right. I was iffy on the name, and just couldn't remember it. Even asked my wife, and she said yeah, the Barrons... But it was still good.

                            1. re: phillyjazz

                              Even though this thread is over 6 months old, I hope someone will read and reply. Does anyone have anymore info on what phillyjazz said? I know the restaurant is now Creeds, and Belros is managing the place. He was a server when I worked there. I am assuming, but could be wrong, that it is named Creed's after Jim Creed, a restaurant investor in the area???? Wondering about info on that as well as info on "The Baron". Are you referring to Victor Schmidt? How did he pass? Anyone know? Victor (and Kirby Parks, chef of the Baron's Inne in the early-mid 90's) were the first to give me a chance in the kitchen. They were always very kind to allow (and pay an unheard of salary!) to an "apprentice" in the kitchen every few years to get them started on their restaurant career. I would be sorry to hear if Victor had passed. 16 years after learning to prep at The Baron's Inne, I am General Manager of a multi million dollar restaurant, and have been working in restaurants ever since they gave me my first real break. Any info anyone? I live in the South now, so not able to get back to the place.

                              1. re: Lattegato

                                Lattegato, I worked for Victor as well around 1987 when Frank was head chef. Do I know you? I would love to know more as well. I am in the South too. Fond memories for sure.

                                1. re: Lattegato

                                  I happened to be googling "The Baron's Inne", and I found your posting much to my pleasant surprise. It really is a small world... Kirby Park is my father and he's currently living in the Denver area, although he's no longer chefing at the moment. Contact me if you would like more info!

                              2. Oh Michaels is a good deli. I love their pickles. And their selection of beer is amazing.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                  we used to live in KofP 9 years ago, Michaels was one of our faves.....had stuffed cabbage that was great!

                                  1. re: Hammie

                                    Their cabbage soup is pretty darn good too. Planning to make some this weekend, but they used brisket. I use shortribs. Just LOVE shortribs for soup :)

                                2. I'd suggest the Calf Cafe in the mall...yea I know, It's in the mall, but it's pretty good chow and a nice place to feel like your "hip". Take your wallet(stuffed) and order a few things to share and it won't hurt so bad. Good luck on the mexican. Great one at 202 and 73 in Blue Bell.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Peghead

                                    We really like El Serape (202 and 73) and I was impressed that friends who've recently emigrated from Mexico by way of France) endorse the place. But we like Tamarindo's even better. Just continue down 73, beyond the old Broadaxe and look for an ugly shopping center on your left. Their whole red snapper is always fabulous!

                                    1. re: Kater

                                      With age comes memory loss...thanks for the name recall.
                                      I tried the other you mnetion and they were closed at the time. Do they serve lunch?

                                  2. I second Mediterranean in Bryn Mawr which is about 15 minutes from K of P for very good Middle-Eastern food.
                                    Also in Bryn Mawr is Yangming for Asian.
                                    But the best Asian, also owned by Yangming, (and stunning innards to boot), is Nectar -- only 10 minutes from K of P in Berwyn.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: idia

                                      Alison's in Blue Bell on Skippack. Get the brussel sprouts. they turn haters into lovers.--it's a byo, great atmosphere, a bit of a splurge but amazing. I'm also a fan of the Korean place -Oriental Garden?--No. Korean Garden. on 202 right next to Jolie Day Spa in Bluebell---there are always tonnnnssss of Asians eating in there...

                                      1. re: Pheebee

                                        Sushi - BonJung in Collegeville
                                        Cajun - French Quarter Bistro in Royersford
                                        Mexican - I 2nd El Sarape. Personally wasn't impressed with Tamarindo's, but free margaritas is a big plus! TexMex in North Wales is also very good.

                                        IMO Alison is overrated, but if you go, bring cash b/c they don't take credit cards.