Looking for moderately priced "unique to Philly" Saturday lunch recs.
Not many good lunch places in CC are open on Saturday. Assuming that you don't want the very unique to Philly Reading Terminal Market, there are possibilities like El Vez (granted it's not all that unique), cheesesteaks, burgers at Monks, or a fancier brunch at one of a number of places in town. Another possibility would be a restaurant in Chinatown if you are ok with that type of cuisine.
If you want to try dim sum, go to Lakeside Deli (really), which is on the east side of 9th St. between Race and Vine. They won't rush you out, the food is great, and the prices low. Zero ambience. Or go to Reading Terminal Market, get the roast pork at Dinics and camp out at a table in the center court. Another good possibility (a bit pricier, but you'll have doggy bags) is Honey's Sit n' Eat.
For Saturday lunch, my wife and I on occasion would go to Brasserie Perrier (unique to Philly based on ownership), sit in the bar area for an appetizer or soup or salad and dessert. Sometimes a French beer to accompany the lunch rather than coffee. It costs more, obviously, to have an entree, etc., in the dining room. I enjoy Reading Terminal Market, too, but not for a leisurely lunch. It always seems hectic or rushed. Another place to consider is the bar at the Sofitel Hotel for the soup etc. lunch, though this may not be unique to Philly. Yes, Saturday lunch in CC can be tough to do.
Not a ton open Sat afternoon but here are some options:
Vietnam on east side of 11th north of Race (there are two- I prefer the one on the right side as you head north on 11th rather than the one across the street with the green neon sign)
Caribou Cafe Walnut btwn 11th and 12th. Good crab cakes, french bistro, Stella on tap, etc.
Farmicia on 3rd btwn Market and Chestnut
Society Hill on the corner of 3rd and Chestnut
Sabrina's in the Italian Market, 9th and Christian (get the polenta fries). BYO
Waterworks- offers brunch, the ambiance/view is nice though the menu/food isn't superb. The desserts are great, though (get the ice cream which is all made in house)
For a real downhome Philly experience, try Shank's and Evelyn's in South Philly: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/view.php?id=7926
or Tony Luke's original spot on Oregon Ave:
or The Standard Tap in Northern Liberties or Brigid's near the Art Museum...
or, for a fabulous hoagie -- Chickie's (not Chickie's and Pete's) in South Philly
for something a little (ok, much) more upscale, try Cafe Nineteen in the Bellevue.