DC Hound has 3 Specific Philly Questions
Coming to Philly on Saturday June 23rd. Dining that night at Amada and staying at the Four Seasons. Going to the Tut exhibition Sunday morning.
Question 1. Where should we have lunch on Saturday while doing the usual touristy things downtown? Looking for a nice sit down lunch for a peaceful break in the day, bottle of wine included. Have read alot about James and Vetri. Are either of these good options? Can you recommend anything else? Bear in mind, wife and I will be dressed in shorts and will have our very polite 6 year old chowpup with us.
Question 2. After Tut on Sunday, we will be heading home via I-95 South to Washington DC. Wife has requested a real Philly cheesesteak (with whiz?) on the way out of town. Are any of the good places convenient for us to stop at while heading that way? And how exactly do I to phrase my order? Do you put mushrooms and onions on those things?
Question 3. Why doesn't Philly have their own Board?
Thanks for all your help.
1. Neither of those restauarants serves lunch, nor are they particularly near Independence Hall and the historic stuff. "Peaceful" rules out a number of things in the neighborhood, and "serves wine" complicates things too. What will you be visiting, and how far do you like to walk?
2. Tony Luke's is right off the Oregon/Packer exit of I-95, on Oregon Avenue practically under the highway. Easy, convenient. So, of course, they're closed on Sundays. Hit Jim's at 4th and South instead -- v. close to downtown.
1. This is a tough one. A lot of the nicer restaurants are closed for lunch on weekends, and those that aren't may be a little too upscale for super-casual clothing. You might check out Estia--lovely, peaceful atmosphere, good food and wine list, and you might get away with shorts on a weekend lunch.
As an alternate suggestion, if you want something very Philly and fun, you could go to the Reading Terminal Market. It will be busy and hectic, but there are tons of great food options, many uniquely Philly. Check out Philly's other (and many of us think better than cheesesteak) sandwich--roast pork with greens and sharp provolone from Dinic's. The RTM has many, many other good food options as well, but you'd have to give up the idea of peaceful and wine.
2. It's a shame, Tony Luke's was my first thought until I realized it was a Sunday (though if I was going to TL's I'd get the above-mentioned roast pork). I agree that Rick's on South Street is probably your best bet.
3. I've been wondering this for years.
Caribou Cafe is a nice little french bistro, I'm pretty sure open for lunch Saturdays. Really quite casual. It's in the middle of town, though (12th and Walnut, I think) so not right by the tourist places. Thank you.
Not so far from the tourist area is Jones at 7th and Chestnut. A nice spot for lunch and kids are welcome. Check to make sure it is open on Saturdays. right near your hotel is the Public Bar, which is not a bad spot for lunch, but nothing special. Regarding your cheesesteak, I agree that your best bet is Reading Terminal. Getting it with Wiz is a matter of choice. Personally, I hate whiz, but love cheese, mushrooms and fried onions. If you really want the best of Philly, get in your car Saturday at lunch and drive to John's Roast Pork. You should order the cheesesteak and have your wife order the roast pork and I can guarantee you that your meal will be far better then Amada! The concierge can give you driving directions.
Why not grab a cheesesteak on Saturday at Campo's during somepoint of your day which is right in the middle of the touristy stuff. There are also some other things down in that area that you could snack on to make a full rounded lunch (ex. Franklin Fountain) if you choose to skip the bottle of wine. It's ironic, but I just got done complaing about the Food Network show Road Tasted and how there are better places in the city to get both ice cream and steaks, the thing is, some of our gems are off the beaten path, however, these are perfectly good and right in your area. As to the steak question...The answer is what ever you want you can get. If you want to get a "whiz wit" (fried onions & cheeze wiz) or "whiz witout"(whiz with no onions) then do so. If you want to add mushrooms or peppers then feel free to do so as well. Everyone has their own thing, kind of like hoagies and hamburgers.
Where is there better icecream? Different styles, maybe (e.g. Capo Giro), but for Philadelphia-style ice cream Franklin sets the mark, IMHO. If you're serious about good wine, Panorama might be an option. It's in the Old City neighborhood close to Christ Church, Elfreth's Alley, etc. It's a bit more formal for dinner, but lunch may be more casual.
I'd recommend Jones for Saturday lunch. Comfort food, shorts are fine, and I think the chowpup would like it, too.
1) Definitely try the Reading Terminal Market. Can't really go wrong with anything there, but a few suggestions might be the Italian Hoagie with everything from Salumeria, a roast pork sandwich with greens and provolone or an italian-style pulled pork sandwich (best plain if you ask me) from Dinic's, or an overstuffed corned beef or pastrami on rye from Hershel's.
2) Tony Luke's actually IS open on Sundays now until 6pm. Cheesesteaks are really good. Other personal favorites there are the roast pork italian and chicken cutlet italian (both with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe).
3) For all intents and purposes, you're here.
1) Jones is a nice idea for how you'll be dressed & what your looking for, and kid friendly.
Another option would be something in Chinatown- if interested let is know, tons of nice options. I love Lee How Fook, among others (Reading Terminal Market area).
2)I too think Tony Lukes is open on Sunday now- 1st choice- and must try a roast pork with sharp provolone & broccoli rabe as mentioned above for a true philly thing.
For lunch I recommend Jones also. Definitely kid and shorts friendly, but good food. James and Vetri are much more formal places. While you're in the neighborhood doing touristy things, check out the Dream Garden mural in the Curtis Center across from Independence Hall. It's a huge mural of Tiffany glass of Maxfield Parrish's painting. It's beautiful, most people just pass it by.
For a good steak on a Sunday, I recommend Jim's at 4th & South. They're not "steak nazis" like Pat's & Geno's so order how you like. They offer American cheese (my preference) & Whiz, and mushrooms & onions. I think if you ask they're wrap one for you to go, but it'll smell so good it may not make the trip :)
I'm going to have to jump on the Jones bandwagon. Sounds like just what you're looking for.
The Reading Terminal is also a great spot. There's actually a winery located on the Arch Street side who offers wine by the glass and a quiet table to eat your goodies at during the lunch hour.
For nice lunch with wine. Not far from the Four Seasons is Devon on Rittenhouse Square, sitting outside or the bar area, is nice. Matyson serves a great lunch; it is byob, and there is a liquore store around the corner from it at 19th and Chestnut.. All these are in the Square area. If you are down near historic district, there's not much. Agree with Reading Market, Jones ok, or El Vez for Mexican.
John's Roast Pork is close to 95, so agree with that, if you don't want to head over to South Philly for Pat's or Geno's (John's is excellent).
1. In terms of eating, James and Vetri are two of my favorites, but I'm not sure they serve lunch. Amada is a great option and has some lovely lunch specials that combine soup and a sandwich and they have the best sangria. However, if you have a dog, they might not be able to accommodate you (though I might be wrong about that). Another wonderful option is Tria, which has outdoor seating, is close to Rittenhouse Square, won't break the bank, has fabulous food and an even better beer and wine list.
2. Tony Luke's all the way.
1. With a 6 year old in tow, Vetri probably isn't the place, even if they do serve lunch. I had a bad experience at James when they opened (tons of $$ for subpar food), so I haven't been back, if you're in town for two days I wouldn't chance it. It's also a fine-dining atmosphere, probably not the most fun thing for a 6 year old. I'll go along with the Jones recommendation, it's very kid-friendly and the food is good. There's also Lolita if you like Mexican, and Capogiro is right across the street from it so you can grab some of the east coast's best gelato afterward.
2. Tony Luke's.
I'll second Caribou Cafe or Tria for a very nice, yet casual sit-down lunch, indoors or out. Jones is fine, too, but I think the others offer a much more charming experience, and better wine choices.