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In Philly for 3 days - recs?

Will be in Philadelphia for 3 days (staying in the Cherry Hill area) and looking for some recommendations. I already checked out the Pizza and Cheesesteak threads so now I'm looking for something other than those. Never been here, don't know what is good in the area. Looking at a maximum of $20/per entre. Live in LA so I get plenty of good Mexican & Asian food. Recommendations?

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  1. Check out the most recent "best BYO" thread. It will get you the best Italian recs. And you want Italian in Philly. Your best value throughout the region will be with the BYOs. Also check out Pif for French, although you'll be pushing the $20 limit but not by much. You'll need to get into Philly for those posted on this board. There are good things in Cherry Hill but I'm not familiar with them. For those you should check out the Mid-Atlantic board.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ellen

      Thank you Ellen. I'll give Mid-Atlantic a browse.

      1. re: lazybeachbum

        If I were staying in Jersey, I'd try to hit a Stewart's hot dog stand, if you're into that kind of thing. Get the root beer or the birch beer.

    2. I'll be there for three days this weekend, too. Based on what I've read here and a little Googling, I'm completely excited to go to Monk's Cafe - NINE mussel preparations. NINE.
      http://www.ripsneakers.com/monks/

      7 Replies
      1. re: jsjs09812

        Just be prepared to wait for a table, maybe for quite a while.

        1. re: Buckethead

          Is it worth the wait?

          I'm used to waiting a long time; I tend to make restaurant decisions at the last minute and almost never make reservations. I am not a fan of places that seat manager's friends who come in after me first, or places that are dishonest about the wait time - saying 30 minutes and it's 40 is one thing, but saying it's 20 and it's 50 is another. And in the end if the food is great and the experience worth it, I can be sated.

          1. re: jsjs09812

            In my opinion it isn't worth the wait, but I've been going there for many years and the wait has gotten especially ridiculous in the past couple of years, so I was spoiled by the years when it wasn't so crazy there. I went once on a Wednesday afternoon semi-recently at 3 PM and still had to wait 10 minutes. Also, I'm not big on mussels. That said, if you *are* big on mussels, and you've never been there before, I think it probably is worth the wait. They usually get the wait time right, I've never been told it will be 20 minutes and have it actually be 45.

            1. re: Buckethead

              I'm very big on mussels and am impressed by the variety on the menu - I'll take my chances. And if I'm disappointed, I will remember that I have been warned, and will proceed to drink much Belgian beer until I am once again happy.

              Thanks!

              1. re: jsjs09812

                The beer choices will not disappoint. And of course, the fries are (usually) really good too.

                1. re: pronek

                  the beer and mussels are very yummy, but people aren't mentioning their burgers, which are perfection.

            2. re: jsjs09812

              I find it worth the wait, but I think that depends on what you're looking for. Also, it's worth knowing that they serve through from around 11am until quite late--I think 1am, so you can try to go at off times.

              It seems from your post that you love mussels, and Monks is a great place for mussels. They've got great mussels and fries and a tremendous beer list. I no longer life in Philly and I look forward to hitting Monks when I'm in town.

        2. For something a little different, I'll throw out my standard recommendation -- Horizon's. It is a vegan restaurant, but don't let that scare you. I know plenty of avowed carnivores who've been very pleasantly surprised with their experiences there. It's a great spot if you're looking for something really creative at a caliber you're not going to find anywhere else. This is one of the true gems of the Philly culinary landscape, and some searches on this board will tell you that I'm not alone in that opinion.

          1. About two years ago, my wife and I had a very good lunch at Catelli, Kresson & Evesham Rds., Voorhees. Also, people used to recommend La Campagna for French food. I do not know if these two places are still open and still up to standard but it gives you a couple more options to check out. Like some of the other posters, I don't get to the Cherry Hill area that often for dining.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jfr

              I don't think La Campagne will fit the budget the OP described, but (although the last time I was there was a few years ago) I think they're great, too.