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One Dinner in Philly

My wife and I (two Boston hounds) are coming to Philly this weekend. We will be going to the Phillies game on Friday night and leaving early Sunday evening. So, we need recs for one great dinner on Saturday night. We are pretty adventurous, so all types of cuisine would be welcomed. We don't want to break the bank, but aren't looking for a budget meal either. Something in between would be great. We have heard great things about Philly restaurants, so we want some direction from the locals in the know. Also, where should we grab a cheesesteak for lunch? I've heard about Gino's and Pat's, but want to know if those are really the places to go. Thanks!

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    1. Yes you will find good Italian here - from red gravy joint to too hip for this planet yuppie. But you will in Boston too so I'm not sure that's a draw.

      Pat's/Geno's/Jim's
      Well I agree with the other poster that a "roast pork italian(RPI)" (roast pork, sharp provolone, greens-either spinach or broccoli rabe) from Tony Luke's, John's or DiNic's (my order or ranking) should replace the cheesesteak as our iconic sandwich.
      But if you're walking around the Italian market (9th) go ahead and you could say you had one. Or since there are two of you get one at Pat's and another at Geno's which is just across the street and then compare. They're in the OK category. Not the best example but ok. Jim's is better but IMHO the best cheesesteaks are not in the city but at Chick's in Cherry Hill, NJ 9 miles east. (I'm ducking right now).

      If you have time before the game on friday, Tony Luke's is only a few blocks from the CBP. Grab a RPI there. TL has a stand at the park but the lines are pretty long and you'll miss some of the game. With luck you'll witness the Phils 10,000th loss.
      really. (we're #1 at something!)

      Informal lunch on Saturday? Szechuan Tasty House on Arch near 9th. Authentic. My favorite asian in the city.

      Fancyish on Saturday? I'd say Pasion for ceviche but they just closed. Alma de Cuba maybe.

      Have fun.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rockhopper

        You should try Brassier Perrier for something fancy. It is right next to Alma de Cuba, so you can check out both menus. It has awesome escargot. You are also right next to rittenhouse square which is one of the nicest parts of the city and you also could go to Lacroix. Brassier Perrier and Lacroix are more on the expensive side, but you have Matyson right around the corner which is a less expensive BYOB and Melograno which is italian that is another BYOB. My personal favorite in the city is Django near south st. The wait can be long even with reservations, so you can go to Copabana for the best Margarita's and spanish fries in the city ( which is also next to the aforementioned Jim's for Cheesesteaks).

        1. re: Adamlick

          A wonderful Greek place specializing in seafood is Estia. (not cheap though)
          A very interesting concept is that they take you to a banquette where they discuss the complete display of different fish so that you will get an idea of what you might want.

      2. Hey dont forget to eat at Citizens Bank Park!! The food is much much better than anything we ever had at the Vet so be sure to experience some things like Bulls Bar B Q and meet Greg Luzinski if he is there, roast pork sandwich from Tony Luke's and a Schmitter. Water ice is not too bad either.

        1. you have plenty of good italian in the north end, so i would stick to something that is more of a philly experience - the BYO. my favorites are marigold kitchen in university city (new american with a middle eastern twist), matyson in center city (standard new american) and melograno in graduate hospital area (italian)

          7 Replies
          1. re: MBShapiro

            Thanks for all the great advice. We've made reservations for tomorrow night at Marigold Kitchen and will pick up a bottle of wine on the way. Any recommendations for a Sunday brunch?

            1. re: GULawKA

              Excellent choice! For brunch:

              Lacroix
              Cantina los Caballitos
              White Dog Cafe

              1. re: Buckethead

                Jakes in Manayunk has a great brunch

                1. re: idia

                  For Petes Sake does a consistent low key brunch. Sabrinas in South Philly (8th and Christian) is great but there is usually 1.5 hour wait. If you like nice cocktails with lunch try yello'bar on 24th and Cathrine fr something out of the way and not all egg dishes.
                  Have to say I was very diasappointed with White Dog last time I went(hubby got violently ill) though in its defence I usually like it.

                  1. re: macdaire

                    Yikes! Violently ill trumps past experience in my book!

                    If you get to Sabrina's early, like before 9 AM, there's usually little or no waiting. I believe they open at 8.

                    1. re: Buckethead

                      In the past year, I've had nothing but bad experience with White Dog. Overcooked meat, brown lettuce, horrendous service, you name it. Their brunch used to be a favorite, but it's gone downhill...though I've never gotten violently ill from eating there, thankfully.

                      For a low-key brunch, a favorite of mine is Ants Pants. I continue to sing the praises of their eggs benedict...

                      Marigold Kitchen is a great choice.

                      1. re: cussbucket

                        I have to say I have never been impressed with ants pants- seems over priced and small portions for brunch. I must check out Marigold Kitchen though.