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DC Hounds Coming to Philadelphia in March

Hey Hounds,

We will be coming to Philadelphia in March for King Tut and the flower show. Looking for a nice place for dinner the night of the 10th. We will be staying at the Hilton Inn at Penn. we will have a car. Looking for something moderately priced(15-25 per entree). Italian and seafood are always hits but is there something uniquely Philadelphia? For example, here in DC we have Ethiopian cuisine. Also, is there any breakfast/bakery or sweet shop not to be missed? Thanks so much!!

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  1. I am a big fan of Caffe Casta Diva for Italian in CC. You can do 20-25 entrees.

    South Philadelphia might be fun for some Italian. L'Angola or Tre Scalini perhaps?

    1. Mussels, burgers, frites and Belgian brews at Monk's Cafe.

      www.monkscafe.com

      And before or after the flower show wander across the street to Reading Terminal Market. Not to be missed!

      2 Replies
      1. re: G Goo

        Good luck getting a table there on a Saturday night..

        1. re: Buckethead

          You can get a table at Monk's on a Saturday night.........you just have to be willing to wait. Take the time to study the beer list; be adventurous and try some exotic brews. It will certainly be crowded so if you're not willing to wait with lots of other people, stay away. While waiting I invairably find myself in intersting conversations.....the last time I met a group of funeral directors from far eastern Montana attending the national funeral director's convention. Fun group enjoying great brews while waiting for a table.....

      2. Italian pastries at one of the shops like Terminis.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Main Line Tracey

          I second the pastries at Termini's which is at Reading Terminal Market. Also, if you like pancakes at Market Lunch, try the ones at the Dutch Eating Place at Reading Termnial Market while you are there. They also have great scrapple that I think is not native to DC. The market itself is very Philly http://www.readingterminalmarket.org and they have great roast pork sandwiches at DiNic's (also not exactly native to DC). While tapas at Amada in Old City are good, you have Jaleo which is better in my opinion, so I'd try one of the BYO's. By the way if you're adventurous, you can get a trolley from Penn (via SEPTA) to the Convention Center.

        2. I would second takign public transportation to and from the Convention Center. The traffic around the flower show is insane. Take the troller from 36th and Chestnut, the subway from 34th and Market, or the 21 bus from anywhere on Chestnut St.
          There are some fun food options in the area where you are staying. The White Dog is an upscale restaurant focussed on local and organic ingredients. Rx and Marigold are two BYOs that tourists don't normally get to that are very good and very philly. Thank you.

          1. Thank you so much, especially with the tips on the mass transit. We almost never drive in DC. The Reading Terminal sounds like just the right thing for breakfast or lunch. Can we leave the flower show and then get back in at some point? I have seen posts on Tre Scalini but Marigold and Rx souns really interesting.

            3 Replies
            1. re: rHairing

              I've worked next door to the terminal for quite a while. It's defininely not to be missed, but if I can give any advice- avoid going between 12 and 2pm. It's a MADHOUSE there during the flower show!! Off peak hours will allow you to enjoy it at it's best.

              1. re: jessicheese

                jessicheese is so right on. i go to the flower show every year but i never go to the reading terminal when it's going on. super busy on weekends usually, but nutso during the flower show. you have to go, the food is wonderful.

                there are some excellent ethiopian restaurants in west philly and some really good indian buffets and a couple of good thai joints.

              2. re: rHairing

                I hear good things about Marigold too but have never been. I have been to the White Dog and like what they stand for but find their cuisine to be a bit bland and underseasoned. When you take SEPTA, take the green line from 36th and Samson Sts. (In front of the Institute for Contemporary Art which is worth a quick visit) and take the trolley eastbound. The same applies for the subway (head east) if you catch it at 34th St. The subway is probabaly quicker and takes you to Market East (11th St) station which is a block from the Convention Center while the green line takes you to Juniper St. which is two blocks away. The green line can get crowded at times but is neat, kinda like a cheap Wild Toad ride from Disney World.

                The Reading Terminal Market is very chaotic during the Flower Show week (that even us regulars think twice about going but still do because the food is so good). If you go early for breakfast at the Dutch Eating Place when the market opens at 8 you will be fine. I'd pass on the Down Home diner in the market, though, as we found the food horrible there. If worse comes to worse you could just run in the entrance to the market across from the convention center and grab a warm freshly baked cinnamon bun from Bleiler's. BTW, Bleiler's and the Dutch Eating Place are only open from Wednesdays to Saturdays because they are Amish merchants.

                As far as leaving and re-entering the Flower Show, you may be able to get your hand stamped for re-entry later that day. They do that at the Auto Show so I suspect that is the case for the Flower Show. When you go make certain to start on the right of the floor where the major exhibits are if you get there early because they will get crowded in no time. Have fun!