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Jan 21, 2007 02:17 AM

Glenside, PA [moved from PA board]

My fiancee and I are a couple of months from moving from Philly to Glenside. Please, anyone with thoughts on the food in Glenside, post some suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. I live in Glenside and to put it simply, we didn't move here for the food! Great neighborhood, great neighbors, pretty town, lousy restaurants (with a few exceptions). Some decent places here and there. Athena (Greek) in Keswick Village is good. Union Jacks in North Hills has a mean burger and wings and a very good beer selection, but it can get so smokey that my wife and I only go in the summer when we can sit outside. The Keswick Tavern is terrible and should be avoided. We just tried a new Chinese place on Easton Road near the Glenside Pub and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and the atmosphere. It's called Jasmine, I think. The Glenside Pub is a friendly place with OK food. Rizzo's Pizzeria ia very, very overrated...and I'm sure I'll get an arguement on that one.

    Other favorites (not in Glenside, but nearby)
    Mirna's - Jenkintown (Good Mediterranean BYOB)
    From the Boot - Lafayette Hill (Italian)
    General Lafayette Inn - Lafayette Hill (Food is OK but the beer is fantastic)
    Cafette - Chestnut Hill (BYOB with a beautiful outdoor seating area)
    McMenimans - Mt Airy (Pub grub and good beer)
    Ambler has a nice collection of places.

    So there you go. But remember, Center City is only a 20 minute train ride from Glenside Station....

    Enjoy Glenside! We moved here from the city and couldn't be happier!

    13 Replies
    1. re: G Goo

      One place to add to the list I think would be Bitar's in Mount Airy. They're food is terrific and the prices are very reasonable. They offer a variety of food from chicken wraps to falafel.

      1. re: YoccosFan

        There's a branch of Bitar's in Mount Airy? Where, please?

        1. re: JohnnyT

          Bitar's is next to McMenamin's just a little up from Mt Airy Ave and Germantown Pike.

      2. re: G Goo

        Anyone been to Jasmine recently? Mitch gave it a nice write up in the Trend this week and I'm thinking of heading over there!

        1. re: givemecarbs

          We (my husband, our 4-year-old, and I) were there last week. The food is very good, but I was surprised at how slow service was. They seemed to be catering more to two larger parties in the back of the restaurant, and flagging someone down for more water and then the check was shockingly difficult. If it had just been the two of us minus the antsy kiddo maybe I would have been less annoyed. :)

          1. re: oliviasaru

            Thanks for the info! I'll try it when I have plenty of time. I know I can mapquest it up, but what is Jasmine near? I always seem to get lost in that area even with a printed out mapquest. Blush.

            1. re: givemecarbs

              No worries! Jasmine is on the same side of Easton Road as the Glenside Pub, Hibbert's stationery, and Humphrey's Pest Control. ;) Directly across the street is the Won Institute, Glenside Hardware, and a State Store. Enjoy!

          2. re: givemecarbs

            We live in Springfield Twp (Montco) and we've been fairly disappointed by the Chinese offerings in our neck of the woods, except for Jasmine (Glenside) and Kings Palace (Andorra). Since it opened, Jasmine quickly became and has remained our "go to" Chinese spot for eat-in and take-out. They're very accommodating of our small children.

            What's especially good is that Jasmine's food seems to travel well, which is not a given for Chinese food. The fried items are not soggy when we get them home. The soup is still hot. This week we we ordered the Orange Beef (nicely spicy), Hunan Lamb (not fried; good flavor, spicy), House Special Fried Rice (excellent; especially for lunch the next day), Lo Mein (good, solid effort), Chicken with Cashews (lots of nuts), Sesame Chicken (good flavor), and Shrimp with Broccoli, as well as egg rolls, spring rolls, "cold egg rolls" (not fried), crab rangoon (why does anyone order that? go ask my friends), and wonton soup. It was a feast that fed 8 adults and several kids, and everyone enjoyed it.

            1. re: kiwijen

              Try King's Garden on Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill. Good food, inexpensive/moderate. Pleasant, low key atmosphere. Good selection.

          3. re: G Goo

            No arguments on Rizzo's. It was once the best Pizza in Delaware Valley.
            It has changed hands a few times and now might even be closed.
            It really went down hill. Still trying to replace them.
            Try Pizza Box on Limekiln Pike between Glenside Ave. and Mt. Carmel.
            And yes, I get all my Chinese food from Jasmine.

            1. re: mjsmith403

              Rizzo's is indeed closed, and the restaurant that took its place, Amici, is not worth the trouble. The food was nothing special, the service was abysmal. I did not taste the pizza, but there is better pizza out there.

            2. re: G Goo

              First of all there are a few decent places to eat in Glenside or nearby. First one worthy of considerration is Michaels Diner on Easton Rd opposite Beaver College( I refuse to be politically correct and call it Arcadia). Pretty good salad bar and decent menu. OK sandwiches and the entres are pretty good as well. I've never had a bad meal there. My favorite in Glenside however is Rocy's Deli and Restaurant, on Glenside Avenue, just off of Easton Rode across from Rizzo's. The Hoagie is to my lights perfect. Just the right balance of vegetables, meats and Cheeses. Soups are homemade and usually quite good. All the sandwiches are great. For a treat try the Monte Cristo or any of the Steak Sandwiches of Cicken Steaks. And the Milkshakes are really fine.

              1. re: G Goo

                What about the Blue Comet on Easton Road? Their food is generally good and well priced. The salads are especially good.

              2. There was a nice little brew pub called "G&G" but it's been closed for a while. It may have reopened though. It's across the street from the Keswick Theater. The beers are served warmer than usual which personally prefer and they had some decent pub grub. I miss it.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Chinon00

                  G.G. Brewers is open for business again....I think. I believe there was some flood damage after one of the larger storms in the fall.

                  Beer has been a bit iffy whenever I've been there. A little inconsistent, but that can probably be expected in a new brewpub. The owner/brewer/chef/host/waiter is a nice guy and is always up for a conversation.

                  1. re: G Goo

                    Thanks for the feedback!

                    I love what I see in Glenside, though I can see the food options are not all that spectacular.

                    I grew up in Huntington, Long Island where there's tons of great stuff to eat. At least its just three hours away.

                    1. re: G Goo

                      I really love GG Brewers and are so happy they have re-opened. The beer is good, though I'm sure you can get better at a larger brew pub chain. What I like about it is that the owner/brewer is there and happy to chat, there is a low key friendly vibe, the people are nice, and it is a truly local business. They even serve wine from local PA wineries. That is the exact kind of place I want to support.

                  2. You are just a few minutes away from Carambola, in the Dreshertown Shopping Center, on limekiln Pike. It's a BYOB that has an eclectic, inventive cuisine, which is much better than anything you will find in the immediate area of Glenside.

                    1. How could I forget Carambola?? I second that....

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: G Goo

                        I've never understood the popularity of Carambola. I've eaten there twice--once for dinner and once for lunch. I thought it was fine, but nothing special. I suppose it does stand out in the culinary wasteland that is Eastern Montgomery County (I live here too, and while it is a great place to live, the paucity of decent restaurants is astounding), but there are so many better places if one is willing to drive a bit. Maybe I should give it another chance. What are the things you like about it?

                        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                          I've been twice and have been completely satisfied with both visits. Food was very good, not fantastic but good. I would say it is a little overpriced.

                          Yes, compared to offerings in Center City it's nothing special. But in these parts we'll take what we can get.

                          Which leads me to a question. Why is there a dearth of good restaurants in Eastern Montco? It's a relatively affluent area that seems ripe for some great restaurants. Is the tax structure such that it scares away the type of restauranteurs we are looking for? Take Keswick Villiage for example. Charm out the wazoo. Great theater with a built in crowd on show nights. Despite this, it's a food wasteland. Why?

                          1. re: G Goo

                            OK, I know this probably deserves a whole new topic unto itself, but I think we are pretty fortunate in Eastern Montco. to have some pretty good restaurants. Of course, the dining scene in any suburban area will never live up to its urban counterpart mainly by virtue that the urban centers (such as Philly) have a higher desity of people per square mile (which equals more customers) and also a higher number of foreign born citizens (which usually means great authentic food).

                            But if you compare Eastern Mont Co to its other suburban counterparts (e.g. Bucks and Delaware County), we have some great options as long as you know whree to look. If you bypass all of the chain restaurants, there is a great dining scene in Ambler (Bridgets, La Cava, and Trax being the standouts), there is Alison and Tamarindos in Blue Bell, Ravenna and Braserie 73 in Skippack, Arpeggio in Springouse, Ooka in Willow Grove, the list goes on and on. I think I am very furtunate to live in an area with so many great restaurants nearby, and with center City also just a short drive away.

                            Of course, I think there is so much wasted potential in areas like Glenside and Chestnut Hill (ok, that is Philadelphia but still the same applies). But the more we support and patronize local restaurants in our areas, the more the dining scene will continue to grow.

                            OK, I'm off my pedastal now....

                            1. re: AmblerGirl

                              I guess when I speak of "Eastern Montco" I'm referring to the Glenside, Cheltenham, Rockledge, Abington, Willow Grove, Huntinton Valley, Elkins Park area. All the areas you speak of are not really that close to Glenside. I live in Glenside right next to Keswick Village and I hate the fact that I have to get in my car and drive to get a decent meal in the burbs. Such a great area deserves better dining options. 9 times out of 10 I'm taking the train into the city. I'm all about patronizing my local joints (which I do to a point) but if I'm often disappointed what good is it doing?

                              1. re: G Goo

                                I agree completely. I'm in Cheltenham and the places Amblergirl mentions are almost as far as going into Center City (some are even farther), which I'd rather do if I am going to get in the car for that amount of time. It seems to me that there are more than enough people in this area to support better restaurants. The chains are always packed, and the demographics suggest that all kinds of different cuisines would do well. Jenkintown has several non-chain restaurants, but none of them are very good. I just don't understand it. I would think a good restaurant would make a killing in this area. I don't know much about the tax structure, but I suspect that must have something to do with it.

                                1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                                  You are both right. Eastern Montco covers a fairly large area. I do think the Ambler/ Blue Bell area offers some relatively good restaurants, but I agree that as you head further towards Abington, Glenside, etc. it is a wasteland. There is such wasted potential.

                                  1. re: AmblerGirl

                                    My wife and I go to 3 or 4 shows a year at the Keswick Theater, and it is always difficult to decide a place to eat. Becuase we can walk to the theater it make sense to either eat at home or eat somewhere near the theater. I'm sorry to say we usually end up eating at home. The last show we attended we ate @ Plush and the service was so bad.......ah, I don't want to talk about it!

                                    And I hate to sound like everything is awful in Keswick.....The Diner is not bad, Athena is....well...not bad, GG Brewers is....not bad. But I'd love to be excited about the show AND the dinner.

                                    I'm interested to find out about how Ambler approached their revitalization; find out more about Abington's political and tax conditions and make a few suggestions to the township council....couldn't hurt. Right? Any Glenside foodies with me? (Cue the cricket sounds)

                                    1. re: G Goo

                                      Amblers revitalization was really driven by a strong "Main Street" group that is essentially focused on making that strip of Butler a destination again. They are primarily funded through grants, I do not believe local government contributes much to the group. We still have a long way to go (too many open store fronts on Butler for my taste) but we are light years ahead of where we were even just a few years ago.
                                      I think that any kind of revitalization you can get started in Glenside will be welcome by everyone! Myself included! I love Glenside and think it has such potential to be a great destination place.

                                2. re: G Goo

                                  For down to earth, add Fatty's on Willow Grove Ave. in Wyndmoor. Good pub food, sports on TV, but not a loudmouth bar. Great service.

                                  1. re: G Goo

                                    It depends on whether you are looking for fine dining, which you will find downtown, or some place to eat. There are plenty of decent places to eat, but not much fine dining.

                              2. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                                I love Carombolas too! i just had the lobster risotto last week and it was very good and it was only $20.00.

                                1. re: LowerGwyneddGirl

                                  I just looked up Carambola's and it is permanently closed. So much for that!

                            2. G&G Brewpub is definitely open. I had there APA, IPA and Smoked Rye beers tonight. I enjoyed them all but I really liked the Smoked Rye. The smoke flavor was very restrained simply complementing the rye beer flavor. Think delicate Gouda taste; very nice. The others were nice and malty with decent hop backbone. Welcome back to a decent NW Philly suburb alternative.