Suggestions for Ave. of the Arts pre-theatre drink/meal?
I have 2 related question.
1) suggestions for a bar with some decent food, or just a cheap restaurant without a bar but with decent food near the theatres. Nothing very expensive or formal, just somewhere to hang out (quietly) and get a drink and/or a small meal, until showtime at the Academy, Kimmel, Merriam, etc. I am not a chain fan, and a lot of the options in the area are chains (Cosi, Fado, Applebees!!!??) so I tend to rely too heavily on Copa. To narrow it down: I do not like Italian, like a lot of ethnic (is New Samosa any better than the blandness of the old version?) inexpensive, casual, and has a tolerance for quiet lone patrons :)
2) suggestions for slightly more upscale restaurant, not ethnic, can be a nice chain (sigh) and probably should be a steakhouse or basic, non-ethnic cuisine, must have a bar, in the same area as above.
For the first question, one suggestion is Ted's Montana Grill at Broad and Spruce. Very decent hamburgers (I enjoy their small filet), excellent service, good drinks. Quick; you will always make your show/concert.
Shiroi Hana, on 15th between Walnut and Locust, if you eat Japanese food. They have a bar - serene, pleasant, good service.
For upscale, Estia is a wonderful suggestion. It's on Locust, between Broad & 15th. Capital Grille (yes, a chain) is recommended for steak, good menu choices, nice ambience, etc.
Bliss is not a steak place (on Broad, just above Locust) but usually has steak on the menu. Great French fries - they don't have them on the dinner menu, but they have them at the bar and you can get a side order.
Somewhere between these categories is Valanni, on Spruce between 12th and 13th - Mediterranean, tapas and large plates, good bar.