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Dinner in Fairmount Area Friday

Three friends and I will be dining in the Fairmount area this Friday night and are hoping for some reccomendations. We are looking for a moderately priced restaurant where the food is better than average (Jack's Firehouse, London Grill and Rembrandt's are out) and one of us (me) is a vegetarian (Bridgid's is out).

Places we are talking about:

Trio (never been, haven't heard much about it recently but I know it's still open, wasn't even listed in zagat)

Bishop's Collar (been there a dozen times, think it's just ok but the price is right)

Figs (a little pricier, but is it worth it?)

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  1. A good place for tapas is Bar Ferdinand - good stuff if you want to try going more casual.

    1. go with trio. we live in the area and go frequently.

      prices are reasonable, staff /owners are extremely friendly and there are very good vegetarian options (my sister in law is vegearian and we take her).

      We tend to stick to the thai stuff on the menu (pad thai is good as is the chicken dish with he thai eggplant) but there are also 10/12 daily specials that range from thai to more american. We have taken my inlaws (who are more traditional diners not so interested in thai food) and they were pleased.

      i think it will fit your needs. also they take reservations (a must sometimes on weekends as they get quite crowded)

      www.triobyob.com (flashy website, the 3 owners are all computer guys by day

      )

      edited to add that craig laban reviewed them about a month ago

      1. Trio is pretty good, definitely better than London Grill and Jack's. I was a little disappointed with a couple of our appetizers, but overall I was pleased with the meal, I'd go back. The desserts are straight out of the freezer though, so don't count on getting dessert. Figs is much better, and if I remember correctly, it's not much more expensive than Trio. If you've never been to Trio or Figs, Figs is definitely better.

        1. Buckethead - have you been to figs recently? it was one of our favorite places for awhile but seemed to have problems keeping chefs. we would have 5 or 6 really great meals and then be disappointed (and find out that the chef had yet again changed)

          right before mustapha (spelling is wrong i'm sure) came back we had been enjoying it immensly and went about once a week. But then we had a series of terrible meals and haven't been back since (maybe 6-12 months ago?) I'd be thrilled if you'd tell me you had been recently and that it's good again becasue we could always use another place to eat in the hood :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: nittany

            Nope, it sounds like you were there more recently than I was, sorry. That does stink when the chef changes and you don't know about it, I took a group of people to the White Dog Cafe after (unknown to me) Michael O'Halloran had left and that was a rude surprise..

            1. re: nittany

              I am new to phila and live in the art museum area. my husband and I ate at figs for the first time last week and thought it was only okay. I was a little bothered by the use of fruit in almost every dish, it seems to take a gifted chef to not have it over power everything (like the banana did in my tuna dish). I have to admit that I also think it's a kind of dated idea, a bit of a cop out. I was also hoping for a less generic menu, something more interesting. anyway, I like trio much more, esp. the thai food (pad thai, chicken curry, and corn dumplings).

            2. would sushi fit the bill - been reading some nice things about the new Goji at 2001 Hamilton

              http://www.gojirestaurant.com/index.html

              1. sorry to hear that, i was hoping it had gotten better

                buckethead what apps at trio were you disappointed with? we always get either the calamari or beef salad or the veggie egg rolls or their new portobello dumplings?

                we go quite often casue they are always sweet and accomodating to our 9 month old lol

                1 Reply
                1. re: nittany

                  If I remember correctly, we had the beggar's purses, the chicken satay skewers, the corn fritters, and the veggie spring rolls. The beggar's purses were very good. The skewers were mixed: the chicken was good, but the peanut sauce was not as good as I can make at home. The other two were not bad but nothing special. My entree was excellent though, from looking at the menu I think it must have been the 'Basil Chicken' but I thought it had a different name. Perhaps the menu has changed from the one on the website.

                2. it is in the process of changing. they have a new takeout menu with some additions that are available in house too (we last ate there 2 weeks ago and they were starting to reprint the menu) like the portobello dumplings. the basil chicken and sadly named "grilled chicken" have been there from the beginning.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nittany

                    Hm...

                    I think Trio is going to be worth trying. When I looked at the menu online, it was a bit less expensive than Figs and no one has disliked it...

                    Thanks for all the amazing suggestions!

                  2. Let us know how you like Trio, if you go. We were very unimpressed and haven't been back, but that was when they first opened - I have heard very good reports lately.

                    It probably won't fit your needs for tomorrow, but Goji, at 20th and Hamilton, is the class of the field. Very attractive and comfortable, excellent service, and everything is delicious. It can be pricey if you're not careful, but okay if you watch it. The salads are excellent! Once I had the salad with slices of steak and it was terrific. The rolls, sushi, etc. are all interesting and of high quality.
                    Not BYOB - they have a full bar. Try it sometime.