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Saturday lunch near Franklin Institute?

A friend and I are going to see the King Tut exhibit at 3:30, and I'd like to find a fun place for lunch within walking distance. Nothing too expensive, but good food and a fun atmosphere. Any cuisine would probably work. One place I was thinking was Tir Na Nog, but I wasn't sure how close it was.

I live in Wilmington, DE, and he is coming from Bayonne, NJ, so neither of us are too familiar with the area. I've been to Philly a few times, though, and I'd feel comfortable walking around trying to find a restaurant.

Thank you!

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  1. Sabrina's Cafe opened a branch not too far away from FI that is sure to be good. If you were willing to walk to Tir Na Nog, why not walk a little further (or take the Tut Trolley for a $1 a ride that stops at the side of the Franklin Institute) and go to someplace good like the Reading Terminal Market.

    By the way, they do have $6.50 parking all day on Saturday at the lot near Tir Na Nog at 15th and Arch.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bluehensfan

      Sounds like Waterworks would be perfect (right behind the Art Museum) but you may have a devil of a time getting a reservation.

      1. re: idia

        Unfortunately, Waterworks is not open for lunch on Saturdays. Even harder to get a reservation!

      2. re: bluehensfan

        I didn't know that - that's good news! Where's the branch of Sabrina's located?

        1. re: lauracohenromano

          Sabrina's Café and Spencer's Too
          1804 Callowhill St.
          215-636-9061
          Tue.-Sat., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun.-Mon., 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

      3. There are lots of good lunch places just north of the FI. Walk right up 21st St till you get to Fairmount ave, turn left and you will see Jacks Firehouse, London Grill, Rembrandt's, and others. Everyone thinks center city, but fairmount is closer.

        1 Reply
        1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

          I would recommend Rembrandts and London Grill over Jacks- I have a number of really negative service issues with Jacks and the food is fair. Bishops Collar is also really nice.

        2. Don't scoff but the Art Museum has a lovely dining room with either a buffet table redolent with goodies, or a menu choice if you prefer.
          And it is right across the street.
          As it is very popular, reservations are a must!
          Extra added plus is that you could take some extra time to peruse the wonders of art!

          1. The Continental Midtown is a fun place - small plates meant for sharing, and a pretty cool atmosphere. I'm not totally sure about the timing, but it's on 18th and Chestnut, so only a few blocks away... They have a website w/ hours and menus. www.continentalmidtown.com

            4 Replies
            1. re: becky315

              A few blocks away? I think more like 14-16 blocks away!

              1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

                Really? My bad - we walked from the Continental to the King Tut exhibit, and it didn't seem that bad...guess we were enjoying the conversation too much - sorry for the misinformation!

                1. re: becky315

                  OK - just checked - it's .6 miles, unsure of the exact amount blocks, but it's 2 blocks West to 20th, and and maybe 7-8 blocks north...just FYI...

                2. re: OlderPhiladelphian

                  You're thinking of the original Continental in Old City. The Continental Midtown is at 18th and Chestnut, as becky315 says, about half a mile from the Franklin Institute.

              2. A fun place in Fairmount is Bridgid's. It's definitely more "fun" and casual than Rembrandt's, the food is good, the prices are very reasonable, and they have a good beer list, heavy on the Belgians. (They get extra points in my book for being non-smoking years before Phila. finally caught up.)

                http://www.bridgids.com/

                1. UPDATE!
                  We had a wonderful lunch at Rembrandt's! I felt awful, b/c my friend was an hour late due to bad mapquest directions and traffic. They didn't give us a hard time at all, and it wasn't crowded, so I didn't feel too bad.

                  2 comments:
                  1) I ordered the mafatto pizza, which is supposed to have prosciutto on it. One server brought out my friend's pizza, and then our waiter came out to tell me that they were out of prosciutto, but could substitute cappacola. It was fine, but I had really been looking forward to prosciutto, and what kind of Italian restaurant runs out of that?
                  2) When the waiter brought the check, he HANDED it to my male friend - didn't lay it in the middle of the table, or anything like that - handed it to him. I thought that was incredibly presumptous. If I hadn't already paid for our Tut tickets, I would have paid for lunch to prove a point. I don't think I've ever had a waiter do that.

                  All in all, it was very good, and I would definitely go back. Thanks for the recommendations, and I can't wait to try some other places that were mentioned!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: stephiehun

                    I'm don't approve of the male-check-getting practice, either, but I'm astonished that you found it surprising. I find it pretty universal.

                    I gotta ask: what feminist nirvana bubble do you live in, and, more importantly, HOW DO I GET THERE?????????????

                    1. re: Mawrter

                      When I go out with my husband, the waiter would usually put the check on the table, sort of in the middle, but often closer to him. I've never had a waiter hand the bill to him.
                      I guess it is kind of a feminist issue - I can pay for my own lunch, and fully expected to. Unless they thought I was cheating on my husband and thought my "friend" deserved to pay for lunch after keeping me wating for an hour! :)

                  2. You are all making miss my little corner of Philly. I lived about a block from the London Grill for a few years, and I don't really have a complaint about any of the nearby places--I definitely liked the food at London Grill the best, though, especially if you sit outside.

                    There used to be a little diner-type thing called the Art Museum Restaurant at 24th and Fairmount, which was quite good for basic lunch-type fair and reasonably priced. Not sure if it's still there though.

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