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Plea for food in NE Philly

I moved to the NE a year ago. Near Grant and Blvd. Since that time, I haven't found any great food in the area. I'm not home often so admittedly I haven't looked too hard. I tried the Kashmir Gardens a couple of times but was not impressed. Steve's off the blvd. I found to be not as good as the St. Vincent location. I don't want a chain restaurant, which there seem to be an overabundance of. What I am looking for is small places whose food motivates me not to cook at home. Food that I will crave and enjoy as a treat. Excellent flavors, inexpensive prices, not a far drive. I would like to have a couple places whose menus I can keep in the car and hit up on the way home. All ideas are greatly appreciated!

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  1. I feel your pain. I used to work on Drummond Road, right near the airport. Lunches were trying experiences.

    One of the only places I found to be remotely "chowish" was Zep's.

    http://www.zeps.biz/

    Among the usual pizza and sandwiches, they also do some Middle Eastern stuff like kabobs.

    Also, if you want to drive a little bit, you aren't too far from Sweet Lucy's BBQ. They are right off of the Cottman exit of 95.

    http://www.sweetlucys.com/

    Good Luck!!

    1. I also feel the pain of the culinary wasteland that is the Northeast. BUT, Rib Rack on Tyson and Bustleton Avenue is really great. We usually get takeout because, face it, it is much better to get your face covered in barbecue sauce in the privacy of your own home.

      I like Kashmir Garden, but I am not as familiar with Indian good as I'd like to be.

      I've heard good things about Margarita's for Mexican, which is right in your neighborhood at Welsh and Blvd., in the shopping center with the Italian Bistro.

      Another reliable place is Gallo's Seafood at the Blvd and Solly (across from Rite Aid/Acme). They have a takeout menu as well as their eat in menu.

      That's is what I've come up with in my 2 years in the Northeast.

      1 Reply
      1. re: maraki

        Rib Rack is totally fantastic for traditional northern barbecue; great, crispy buffalo wings and greasy onion loaf as well. My only complaint? Too dark.

        I miss the Country Club Restaurant; post-sale, it stinks.

        There's a great little coal-fired pizza place in the far Northeast called Cafe Michaelangelo near Bustleton and Somerton (by the former Leo Mall). Patio seating, bocce court in back.

      2. The Grey Lodge is a great bar with a fabulous selection of craft beer. They opened a restaurant upstairs with a really good limited menu - great thai curry mussels, seared ahi tuna, standard sandwiches. We take the long drive from the burbs to go the Grey Lodge very often and it is totally worth it!

        Also, if you like Portguese food, there is a GREAT restaurant called Cafe Tio Pepe right by you. Laid back atmosphree, delicious food and sangria.

        2 Replies
        1. re: AmblerGirl

          Thanks for the suggestions. I hope other chowhounds will have more. I am seriously in need of good food. I should have mentioned, I am looking more for ethnic restaurants.

          1. re: dream_of_giusti

            I'm not sure how ethnic Portguese food is but there is another great Portuguese place deepre in the Northeast calles Tast of Portgual. Great good, great sangria, good prices. Another of my favorite spots.

            PS - I agree with everyone else that Sweet Lucy's is really good and worth trying.

        2. This isn't exactly close, but the one time I ate in Tierra Columbiana I just loved the friendly Carribean vibe, reasonable prices, and truly different choices. It's off the boulevard somewhere around 5th St. I also like Pho 75 very much, on Adams AVe. just off the Boulevard. Not full service menu, but the soups are soo good that I often get them for takeout if I don't have the time to eat in.

          1. I second Grey Lodge for yummy and unusual bar food.

            In addition to the Pho 75 (we do take-out from here all the time), there are a couple of other little Vietnamese places. Right next to Pho 75 is a little place called (I think) Cafe Saigon. It is decent, inexpensive food. Not the best Vietnamese, but you can get a variety of dishes as well as bahn mi and bubble tea. They do a lot of take-out. In that same area of Adams off the Boulevard is a Portugese restaurant that is quite good.

            On the 6500 block of Castor, check out Picanha Grill--a Brazilian rodizio place. In addition to great meats, they have hot and cold buffets with all manner of interesting things. The all-you-can-eat price is somewhere around $17 and you can also get all the food by the pound for $6.99.

            Hmmm...that's all I got for now.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

              Picanha is great. Was just there a week or so ago. Cafeteria style, workingman's Fogo de Chao...

              It's 17.95 for the Rodizio...all you can eat..grilled meats of all kind. It's BYO fyi.

            2. There's Poloma too. It's across the street from Pichana.

              1 Reply
              1. re: RUShue

                Poloma is fantastic....a true diamond in the rough. I haven't been in about a year, but all of my experiences there rivaled some of the best meals I've had in Center City.

                And the best BBQ in the city can be found right in the Northeast....Sweet Lucy's. The Rib Rack is always good (gotta work on the ambiance, it's like eating in a cave). The Grey Lodge is a beer mecca, with good food to boot. I've had some good experiences at Cafe Michaelangelo.....and Guidos in Holmesburg (although I haven't been since they expanded. Looks like a funeral home now. Ugly.). Steve's Prince of Steaks is the second best steak in the city behind Chink's on Torresdale. Both in the Northeast. There's Picanha on Castor for killer Brazilian.

                Who said the Northeast is a food wasteland? You're not looking hard enough.

              2. My personal favorites in the northeast (some have been previously mentioned in this thread)

                Sweet Lucy's - Flat out awesome. Located on State Rd, off Cottman
                Zeps Pizza and Shish Kabobs on Bustleton Ave near Red Lion is also good. They have a 5.50 lunch special Mon-Thurs where you get chicken or beef kabob with rice, hummus, pita bread, salad and can of soda. The last two times I've gone to Zeps it has not been as good as in the past but overall it's very good.
                Greenman's Deli on Grant between Bustleton and the Boulevard has gotten mixed reviews on this site but I think they make very good hoagies.
                Los Margaritas at Welsh and the Boulevard is pretty decent. They have reasonably priced mexican food.

                In the northeast, my favorite food is at Sweet Lucy's BBQ. My second favorite is Steve's Prince of Steaks. After that, Id say Zeps. Give these places a try and let us know what you think.