2 friends, 2 days in Philly
Hi! I'm a new poster but longtime lurker, and I'm hoping some Philadelphians can help.
A friend in I are meeting in Philadelphia this Friday and Saturday. Neither of us has been to the city before, and we're looking for delicious, fun places to eat, on a fresh-from-college sized budget.
We're thinking of trying a Restaurant Week venue for one of our dinners (if we can find a spot), but we have a pretty undefined schedule.
Inexpensive is good. Inexpensive happy hours are great.
We'll be staying in the Old City area, on Chestnut.
Thanks for your help!
Breakfast and/or lunch should be at the Reading Terminal Market where you can get big pancakes and scrapple at the Dutch Eating Place, or for lunch, roast pork (with greens and provolone) sandwiches at Dinic's. The market has many lunch choices, most very good, all very inexpensive. The market is at 12th and Arch, a block north of Market and is an easy walk from Old City (or you could take a bus or the subway). http://www.readingterminalmarket.org
Amada is in your neck of the woods, but alas, it will be crowded and not all that cheap since the tapas add up. Of course, you could always check out the Restaurant Week options... http://www.centercityphila.org/restau...
Another option, is the JugglerDave & Bride of the Juggler Italian Market Eating tour.
Start at 9th and South St. on Saturday late morning or just before lunchtime. Walk south (towards the italian market). On your right is Sarcone's Hoagies. They are fantastic but will spoil your appetite for the rest of the tour. Just go a little further and stop in Sarcone's bakery for a slice of their tomato pie, or a seeded Italian loaf of hot-from-the-oven bread (good for nibbling on while walking on a cold day). Keep walking south and you'll pass dozens of chowish places. Maybe buy some fresh mozzarella from Claudio's to enjoy on whatever bread you have leftover from Sarcone's. Check out Fante's for kitchen gadgetry. South of 9th & Washington stop in one of the great Tacquerias for some authentic mexican food. (Or, on Washington itself you'll see Taqueria Verecruzana). Continue south on 9th past Federal, and there is O sandwiches on the left, Vietnamese Bahn Mi. Ahead of you are Pat's Steaks & Genos, I personally would resist the urge, but snap some photos. Heading back up 9th, turn left at federal; at 10th & Federal is Bitar's pita hut. Great grilled (not fried) felafel. You can head back to 9th or for a more quiet time keep heading back up 10th. at 1009 Christian, head into Isgro Pastries for a great cannoli.
Sounds like a great tour, I would add two things...Sarcone's on a Saturday morning tends to sell out early so the earlier the better. And another place people sleep on down there is George's Pork. Not the one next to Lorenzo's but the one next to Esposito's. They don't have spinach but their pork with sharp is one of the top 3 in the city IMO.
Amada on Chestnut also in Old City might be a spot for you as well. It is tapas and they have a late night bar menu so you could pick and choose what you wanted to try to stay in your budget.
I'm intrigued by Amada. Any recs for "must have" food or cocktails there?
And any other suggestions are still welcome. Thanks for your help!
At Amada I seem to remember the charcuterie smoked meats and spicy potatoes, which are like crispy french fries drizzled with a spicy sauce, are very good. Small, tasty ham croquettes are served atop a very tasty sauce are also a good choice. The spanish tortilla with mustard was so-so, and the grilled squid and calamari both tasted indistinguishable from each other but were just ok. Skip the grilled mushrooms, as they were overpriced and a bit sour tasting. The desserts feature a fair trio of chocolates and a better dessert that is part flan and part creme brulee.
You may also want to check out Cuba Libre if you're into the mojitos thing.
Amada might be the best food in the area, but it gets very expensive very quickly (just as a warning). Radicchio @ 4th & Wood is a relatively cheap BYOB and has particularly good pasta dishes. Race St. Cafe @ 2nd & Race (gastropub) has very good food and a dozen beers (mostly microbrews) on tap. For sushi, try Kisso (BYO) at 4th & Race (not the cheapest, but very interesting and not exceedingly expensive). Chinatown is a less-than-15-minute walk with dozens of cheap options (search the board for recs). A bit farther away at 3rd & Catherine is Dmitri's (also BYOB), which has huge portions and pretty cheap prices (entrees top out at $17 or $18 and can probably feed two, especially if you order apps). If you want cheap, home-style Southern Italian, go to Villa di Roma on 9th St in the Italian Market.