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Dinner in the Main Line Area

Michele Cohen Jan 5, 2007 05:39 PM

Can you recommend a good place to eat that is not too expensive?

  1. t
    the dog ate my homework Aug 9, 2009 02:59 PM

    Update: August 2009
    Wow, interesting how many places have closed since the original post in January of '07

    1. j
      jimmybinns Feb 16, 2009 06:10 AM

      Teresa's Cafe in Wayne, Pa is good and not expensive

      2 Replies
      1. re: jimmybinns
        bmcdeepak Feb 16, 2009 04:47 PM

        Freehouse in Wayne is now MIMS...same guy as Carmines. The food has changed to creaole/cajun...very welcome, though it all looks very gloppy, no matter what you order. The bartender is very touchy about seating people in the big (and mostly quiet) upstairs bar, but they'll get used to it or leave town before it is too late.

        Looks like John Mims has been leaving a trail of "also rans" all over the Delaware Valley...the little things matter! Keep trying My. Mims and good luck.

        1. re: jimmybinns
          Mawrter Aug 10, 2009 07:23 PM

          I don't think they're so hot - interesting & appealing combinations, but not very skillfully executed. I like what they're getting at, I just wish they would do it better. That said, I adore the mussels & frites @ T's Next Door (sister resto). Ahhhhhhhh, perfect food with Belgian ale.

        2. t
          the dog ate my homework Feb 9, 2009 11:35 AM

          Right next to San Nicola in Berwyn is another gem: Fellinis. This is not a chain, despite the number of Fellinis there are all over the place. It's BYOB and can be nuts on weekend, despite having a reservations. But, this guy's Italian is so good it'll make you want to slap your grandmother. I have dreams about his "Sunday Sauce", which is not a premanent on the menu but served pretty frequently (not just on Sundays). It's a red sauce with sausage, meatball and a pork chop. OMG.

          1. p
            phungi Mar 27, 2008 05:55 AM

            One of my favs is Mayuree Cafe in Devon. Quirky owner and service (search and ye shall find) but excellent food, BYO, and cheap. If you like good thai, aren't in a rush and want to drink and chat, this is a great place to try.

            3 Replies
            1. re: phungi
              Mawrter Mar 28, 2008 05:47 PM

              Agreed on all counts. :-)

              1. re: Mawrter
                mrfunnyjokes Apr 7, 2008 07:49 PM

                going back to the guilty pleasure of Bertucci's Pizza, I recommend Anthony's in Malvern, good thin crust pizza and local to boot. Margret Kuo in Malvern is good too, although not enough vegetarian choices for me.

              2. re: phungi
                Fjordstone Aug 9, 2009 11:25 AM

                Mayuree (in Devon, in the bowling alley building, of all places!) is fabulous, but don't go there if you're starving: because there are only two employees (the wife cooks, the husband takes orders, serves, and handles payments), it will take you a LONG TIME to get served. Having said that, it is worth the wait! The Gang-garee curry appears in my dreams, it is so incredible.

              3. t
                tudor3522 Feb 8, 2008 08:50 PM

                Too many good ones to list them all but; Carmines, Tango, Basil, Nectar, Taquette....

                2 Replies
                1. re: tudor3522
                  doctornan Feb 15, 2009 02:56 PM

                  Basil Bistro in Malvern is closed

                  1. re: doctornan
                    Mawrter Aug 10, 2009 07:20 PM

                    We just noticed that this evening! No loss, they were terrible.

                2. l
                  ladydisdain Feb 7, 2008 07:25 PM

                  I am honestly perplexed by what anyone sees in Sang Kee. I mean, it's okay Chinese I guess, but we've been there four times and been completely underwhelmed by the food in every way. Also, the falafel at Mediterranean Grill is IMHO terrible.

                  The owner or manager of Fellini in Ardmore is a complete jerk. I have seen him freak out on more than one customer in front of a room full of diners. My boss went there once at 5 pm with her six foot tall husband. He sat them in a corner and when they asked to be moved so the husband could sit comfortably he freaked out. It was an empty restaurant. Also, their "reservation" system is a complete lie. We haven't been there in a long time because the service is so bad.

                  Sam's Grill in Wynnewood has a great burger and good chicken salad. We've never had a service issue at Tango. Thai Pepper isn't so authentic and their portions seem to get smaller all the time but the food is still good. Ha Long Bay is decent.

                  Jewel of India closed.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ladydisdain
                    FoolForFood Feb 8, 2008 01:13 PM

                    While Sangkee is not the gold standard for Hong Kong or Cantonese style cuisine, it is the best you'll find in a city inhabited by Chinese cooks from the Fujan province.

                    Their stir fried noodles are excellent - beef chow fun, or pan fried (ask for extra crispy). Big bowl noodles and shrimp wontons are classic and made correctly. They even have fresh oysters in the shell topped with scallions and ginger. Other items on the menu are a bit Americanized or "fusion" if you will, but still very tasty and appealing to the eye.

                    On top of all this, the service is always impeccable. The hosts get to you know you on a first name basis and are genuinely happy to see you.

                    I think you may have made the mistake of ordering the wrong items...

                    1. re: FoolForFood
                      ladydisdain Feb 8, 2008 06:48 PM

                      I've had different things every time I've gone - two different noodle dishes, including the beef chow fun, the salt and pepper squid and something else I can't remember (I was pregnant then; I barely remember any of that) - and as I said, I thought it was all fine, but certainly not worth the on bended knee praising they seem to get.

                      Of course, it is on the Main Line, where food generally sucks. I don't know why the rich seem to be perpetually surrounded by crappy food, but that's certainly the case here. Seven+ colleges and not a decent authentic Mexican place closer than Norristown? It's like Princeton all over again.

                      1. re: ladydisdain
                        idia Feb 8, 2008 07:36 PM

                        Reasonable and delicious = Mediterranean Grill in Bryn Mawr

                        1. re: idia
                          somka Aug 1, 2008 11:16 AM

                          I personally think Sang Kee is outstanding. Their Chinese pancake thing is just delicous and their soups are great. I've never had a anything other than a wonderful meal there, and if you don't want to go the expensive route (like Guard House Inn), I think this is your best best. But make reservation. Otherwise, you may have a very long wait ahead of your. And I also recommend Mediterranean Grill in Bryn Mawr. Their eggplant, yogurt, mint appetizer is fantastic and so is their spanikopita.

                  2. p
                    pastaman2 Feb 6, 2008 05:19 PM

                    Has anyone been to Tango at the Bryn Mawr train station? Very good food. Try the shrimp pasta, the soups are great, also the lobster ravioli. The owner, Joe, also has a hand in Nectar and Basil, both very good as well.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: pastaman2
                      Epicureaelle Feb 7, 2008 08:58 AM

                      I have eaten there on several occasions and can't say I've ever been overly impressed by the service.

                      1. re: Epicureaelle
                        chocolatstiletto Feb 8, 2008 10:37 AM

                        I agree with this- I was just there a couple of weekends ago and while the food was delicious, it took something like an hour and a half to two hours to get a basket of tortilla chips and guacamole, two bowls of soup and two salads- even though we asked for everything to come out whenever it was ready. (The black bean soup is great though.)

                        1. re: Epicureaelle
                          pastaman2 Mar 26, 2008 02:22 PM

                          I do agree about the service, its a shame because the food is so good. It seems like the service has gone down hill in the past few years, it used to be better. Lots of inexperienced kids there now.

                      2. a
                        alexia Jan 12, 2007 10:11 PM

                        there's a little thai place in wayne - not on n. wayne but right next to the great american pub - i think its called mayuree. my mom says its fab.

                        and i would also recommend teresa's - a BYO on n. wayne - but it tends to get crowded and is noisy.

                        my all-time fave thing to eat in wayne is WAYNE'S BIGGEST BURGER at the wayne beef and ale.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: alexia
                          Epicureaelle Feb 6, 2008 06:36 AM

                          Last time I ate at Theresa's it was meh. I ordered the Risotto with mushrooms. It was as if instead of cooking it in beef broth they had taken highly concentrated fonde de cuisine and smeared it over partially cooked arborio, threw some mushrooms and parmesan on it and said voila! Over salted, under cooked, not so good. Ok it was a little less than meh...

                          1. re: Epicureaelle
                            Mawrter Feb 6, 2008 01:17 PM


                            1. re: Mawrter
                              Epicureaelle Feb 7, 2008 08:57 AM

                              lol, nicely said.

                            2. re: Epicureaelle
                              snowy11480 May 1, 2008 04:25 AM

                              I hated to hear you had a bad experience at Teresa's Cafe in Wayne. My husband and I both just love the place. But - i've never tried their risotto!

                          2. rabidog Jan 10, 2007 11:59 PM

                            i'm a huge fan of thai pepper (there is one in ardmore and one in wayne, both on rte 30 but i prefer the latter)... however i wish they'd improve their wine list. dinner entree portions i've noticed aren't too big compared to the massive size of the appetizers. i was just there two nights ago! :) oh - the name of the wayne location was changed to "flavor by thai pepper." they share a sign with a japanese place, osaka, that i've not been to.

                            fellini - i've only been to two of their locations, but i don't know if i am a fan. it's a nice menu but i feel what's come out of the kitchens is subpar, seems like stuff i cooked at home when i was 13. which wasn't always a terrible thing... but also not a thing to write home about, for me.

                            as far as italian goes, i like the berwyn location of trattoria san nicola, though parking is a bitch. i have not been to the paoli location. the food there seems a bit more intricate and well-prepared. service has been meh.

                            also, a place i keep forgetting about (but my boss LOVES) is ristorante primavera, close to thai pepper. italian. tan stucco building with valet parking out front. it's mid-priced, and the decor is a bit outdated, but they make a mean cheese ravioli, and my boss swears by the veal parmesan. the marinara sauce is plate-licking tasty. the service there is great - visit two times, and you're treated like a real 'regular.' i would definitely recommend them over fellini, i would consider them slightly more upscale.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: rabidog
                              snowy11480 May 5, 2008 08:39 AM

                              Thanks for pointing out the name change to Thai Pepper in Wayne!! The sign says "Flavor". We had planned to try it out this weekend but upon arriving - i was confused it was the right place or not, especially since they share a sign with a japanese place. Now that i know we'll try again!

                              1. re: rabidog
                                Mawrter Jul 31, 2008 04:39 PM

                                Rabidog pretty much says it all. :-)

                                Flavor - super service, but the food is only so-so. Or maybe we hit an off night or off dish. The salmon we had was excellent, but the Pad Thai was sodden, limp and bleh. Never been to the Japanese part - are they really Japanese?

                                Primavera - love. I don't do veal, but the food and service are outstanding. Pasta! Desserts! Eggplant rollatini! And... affordable.

                                Skip Fellini. Just don't bother.

                                San Nicola. Good, well priced, haven't been in a while. I just don't eat out often enough to bother with restaurants that don't cook significantly differently than I do - hence my jones for anything Asian, which is outside my area.

                                Mayuree is in Devon now (see below) and they're probably the best food for the money within 20 minutes.

                                Vietnamese - Le Saigon in Paoli is good, but I like Ha Long Bay in Bryn Mawr better. And I haven't been to Bambu Noodles in Frazier (I know, not quite Main Line, but I'm on a roll) enough times to have an opinion other than Pho Is Good And They Have Lots.

                                Just went to Theresa's Next Door for the very first time, and if you can get past the noisy bar thing, for god's sake get over there and order moules/frites and a giant thing of Belgian ale. Wow, as good as Monk's without driving into town. They must have used a whole head of garlic in the aoli, and I mean that in a good way.

                                Teresa's Cafe Italiano
                                124 N Wayne Ave, Wayne, PA 19087

                                Devon PA, Devon, PA

                                Frazer PA, Frazer, PA

                                Ha Long Bay
                                Bryn Mawr PA, Bryn Mawr, PA

                                Le Saigon
                                Paoli PA, Paoli, PA

                                Wayne PA, Wayne, PA

                                Wayne PA, Wayne, PA

                              2. w
                                waynefoodie Jan 10, 2007 11:46 PM

                                Silk of Siam in Bryn Mawr is the best Thai on the Main Line with good prices.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: waynefoodie
                                  FoolForFood Feb 7, 2008 09:31 AM

                                  The sauces at Silk of Siam are a bit too greasy for my liking. Not very authentic, but quite tasty is Thai Pepper - the Wayne location.

                                  As for pubs, I like Great American Pub in Wayne. Great sirloin burgers and buffalo wings. Everything else is average. It attracts a real Main Line crowd...if you know what I mean. I don't know if this would add to or distract you from your meal.

                                2. m
                                  Main Line Tracey Jan 6, 2007 01:51 AM

                                  The new Vietnamese place in Bryn Mawr! I forgot Ha Long Bay. I recommend that too.

                                  1. c
                                    chopinpa Jan 6, 2007 12:02 AM

                                    Jewel of India on Lancaster in Ardmore is also quite good. Some nice southern Indian dishes.

                                    1. m
                                      Monoski Jan 5, 2007 09:50 PM

                                      Christopher's or The Freehouse in Wayne they are right next door to each other.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Monoski
                                        snowy11480 May 5, 2008 08:35 AM

                                        Don't expect good service at The Freehouse in Wayne. Overall, i wouldn't recommend the place. Not so good service and unimpressive food. I must say though, they have an awesome salad dressing called Blueberry Horseradish Vinegarette. I had that on their house salad which was a good price and a decent size. Our entrees were just okay. Took awhile to finally get the server to bring our check...

                                      2. Suefoo Jan 5, 2007 08:24 PM

                                        Just a note about Lourdas: while the food is excellent, it is not cheap. My family of four went there for dinner, ordered three appetizers and two main dishes. The bill was 81 dollars plus tip. ended up to be around 96 dollars total and we were ordering very conservatively.
                                        Here are some alternatives:
                                        Sang Kee Asian Bistro, Sam's Grill in Wynnewood
                                        Milk Boy coffee (lighter cafe fare) in Ardmore
                                        Any of the Thai places along Lancaster Ave. between Ardmore and Bryn Mawr

                                        1. saturninus Jan 5, 2007 06:56 PM

                                          I prefer the Fellini Cafe in Berwyn over the other locations. What do you guys think?

                                          I am not crazy about the indian restaurant (with a K) in Ardmore. It's a bit dirty. Others might disagree.

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: saturninus
                                            Marci97 Jan 5, 2007 08:01 PM

                                            Fellini's in Berwyn is by far my favorite of the locations. I overheard recently that Frank bought the Fellini's name and is now independent of the "chain". We were there last Friday night and the food was as good as ever and there was a line out the door like usual!

                                            1. re: saturninus
                                              hveagle Mar 28, 2008 09:51 PM

                                              I can't speak to the Berwyn location, but I'm not a huge fan of the Main Line Fellini. Their pasta dishes are, imo, uninspired (if large portioned and inoffensive) and their pasta seems to be of the par boiled "to an inch of its life and then flashed in the pot when ordered" variety.

                                              1. re: hveagle
                                                Mawrter Mar 29, 2008 07:06 AM

                                                That was the deal at the Berwyn location and my dh reports that Paoli was identical.

                                                I think the appeal is for (1) people who wouldn't know good Italian food if it bit'em in the butt, and (2) people like us who just really really really don't wanna cook that night. It's close, it's cheap, 'nuff said. I don't really go there, but I'd rather see local, independently-owned Fellini thrive than one of those awful corporate chains.

                                                1. re: Mawrter
                                                  hveagle Mar 29, 2008 07:44 PM

                                                  Agreed Mawrter.

                                                  I would much rather go to Fellini's than the local Olivetucci's Grill.

                                                  1. re: hveagle
                                                    rabidog Mar 29, 2008 09:22 PM

                                                    hehe while i love your corporate chain description and that general mantra most of the time, i've got to say i'll eat bertucci's margarita pizza over anything i've ever had at fellini's, any day. i don't care who reaps the profits. this is solely based on deliciousness, and you can't deny that pizza is damn good.

                                                    fellini's like you said is a *local* chain - meaning they've got local shopping options like the italian market right there at their fingertips for good ingredients! there is no excuse for their watered-down overcooked food. for my italian cooking at home i buy all my stuff at the italian market and it comes out much, much, much better than fellini's.

                                                    1. re: rabidog
                                                      Mawrter Mar 30, 2008 04:52 PM

                                                      Heh! I've been trying to wean my dh off Bertucci's, because he loves their pizza too, and he gets discouraged as we sample our way through all the lousy suburban pizza at indie pizzerias in our neck of the woods.

                                                      "Olivetucci" -- hahahahahahhaha, HVEagle! TOO funny!

                                                      1. re: Mawrter
                                                        Mawrter Jul 31, 2008 04:25 PM

                                                        Since this thread seems to keep chugging along, I'll report that I have gotten a bit more successful in the local pizza quest: Mom's Bake at Home in Devon. They have multi-grain, whole wheat and gluten-free crust options! They have sauce and toppings that are higher-quality and fresher-tasting than anything I've encountered recently. AND it's not over-rpiced and the staff/owner aren't surly. In fact, they're actually ... nice. Go there! Get take-out! No delivery, but you won't mind because it's really good.

                                                        Mom's Bake At Home Pizza
                                                        896 Lancaster Ave, Devon, PA 19333

                                                    2. re: hveagle
                                                      exprophet Aug 3, 2008 05:32 PM

                                                      Olivetucci's...that is funny! Thanks hveagle!

                                              2. m
                                                Main Line Tracey Jan 5, 2007 06:11 PM

                                                Sang Kee in Wynnewood (for Chinese). Good & trendy decor. Casual but nice. Gets loud when crowded.
                                                Very casual organic & some vegetarian with a hip atmosphere is Milkboy coffee in Ardmore.
                                                Khadlaharo (sp?) in Ardmore is a very good Indian restaurant.

                                                & to second Satuninus's recs:
                                                Mediterranean Grill in Bryn Mawr is a great BYOB with a Turkish/Middle Eastern menu
                                                Thai Pepper in Ardmore is a great Thai restaurant
                                                Fellini cafe is very well-priced americanized Italian. Huge portions and reliable food. Expect a wait around dinner time.

                                                What type of atmosphere are you looking for? There are other pub type retaurants too.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Main Line Tracey
                                                  isadorasmama Jan 5, 2007 08:19 PM

                                                  We recently had lunch at Mediterranean Grill and it was wonderful. I had a giant Greek Salad and this appetizer thing that was incredible. I can't remember the name of it but it's the burnt underside of rice that's so popular in the East and they have two sauces that go on top. We had the sweet and sour and it was sooooooooo good.

                                                2. j
                                                  jwbausch Jan 5, 2007 06:03 PM

                                                  If you are in Bryn Mawr: Lourdas (Greek) and Ha Long Bay (Vietnamese).

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: jwbausch
                                                    RichieT Feb 9, 2009 08:04 AM

                                                    I'd like to second Lourdas! The chef is the owner and she really cares about what goes out the door. The Pacticcio is the best we have ever had. Her son is the Maitre'd and he's really pleasant. It's BYO and cash only. I do not find the prices too high or offensive. The only down side is that it can get pretty noisy when there is a full house. eat & enjoy!

                                                  2. saturninus Jan 5, 2007 05:41 PM

                                                    Mediterranean Grill
                                                    Thai Pepper
                                                    Fellini Cafe

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