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Nov 4, 2007 08:44 PM

Restaurants That Never Get Mentioned

I was just reading a post where poster was wondering why their favorite rest never gets mentioned on here. Then I became curious about why one of my favorite places is never mentioned: Goia Mia, and then, of course, I thought of Twenty-Tweny One, Bistro San Trope (sic?), Bootsies, and Valentines on the Square.
Any others that for whatever reason never get mentioned?

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  1. i haven't been to bistro san tropez in years. i used to love that place.

    my only favie that rarely gets a nod is mezza luna. it isn't so much that the food is tops, but it is always very good, deals well with small and large groups and the service is excellent. radicchio seems to have lost its trendy moniker as well, as has the latest dish. and mixto rarely gets any recommendations, and from what i've heard, that place is excellent. ooh, and effie's too.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mazza3

      It seems that places that have been around for a long time tend to go unmentioned in favor of newer places, all other things being equal. Perhaps people just assume that everyone knows about the older places. Southwark is one of my favorite places that is hardly mentioned, Latest Dish is great too.

      I've heard Mixto isn't so good, though.

      1. re: Buckethead

        It's like that Seafood Unlimited place near Rittenhouse. Never been or heard much about it!

      2. re: mazza3

        I tried Mixto for dinner a month ago - I had the Churrasco Argentina recommended by the waiter and it was terrible! I honestly haven't eaten meat since. Also tried the Plato Mixto appetizer sampler - was okay, nothing great (except the maduros which are impossible to screw up). I should add that I grew up in FL so my standards are pretty high for Cuban food, but I was really disappointed.
        On the other hand, brunch there rocks! The french toast is amazing.

        1. re: amycakes

          The Mixto brunch is indeed good. I ventured there about a month or so ago with a friend, and the food was very lovely. There was enough spices to be good but not enough to shock my still-asleep taste buds - that's a hard balance to attain in the brunch food realm.

          Per the OP, I've always liked Twenty21 but assumed that it never got mentioned since, while the food is good, it isn't stellar. It's a more than sufficient spot when you want a nice place, but when folks are asking for good food, as is wont around here, there are better places in the area that are equally classy in atmosphere.

      3. Jimmy's Milan, Blue Angel, Trust, Palumbo's, Next, and Horn and ... something.

        11 Replies
          1. re: Buckethead

            Not my favorite restaurant, but an "old reliable" for us is Chun Hing behind City AVe, next to the Pathmark. We must eat there almost once a month, and are never disappointed. Sometimes I am even surprised, like when I ordered tilapia with ginger and scallions for the first time last night.

            Large portion, tangy sauce, fresh tasty fish--a diet-type delight. Fried dumplings are the best, even in Chinatown; turnip and pork soup is outstanding. The ample huge parking lot is another huge plus for this Bala steady.

            1. re: Bashful3

              Where on City Line is this? In the shopping center where the Lord and Taylor is? I am in that area often around lunchtime and am always looking for inexpensive fast places for lunch.

              1. re: mschow

                No, it isn't on City Line at all. If you turn away from City Ave at the Target intersection and go through a couple of lights I think, there is a Pathmark shopping center on your left, before the third light. Nestled in the corner, close to Pathmark, is Chun Hing. Much parking. Same ownership for last 35 years or so. True consistency; high quality. ingredients, some unusual recipes. (Nowhere near Lord and Taylor; opposite side of City AVe)

            2. re: Buckethead

              Yes. Blue Angel closed at least 5 years ago! Next must have been at least 2 years ago.

              1. re: Buckethead

                And "Trust" has been El Vez since the at least the first Bush (43) Administration.

                1. re: Buckethead

                  next was never that good...not to get mentioned anyway

                2. re: Hardart

                  palumbo's burned down 13 years ago. i remember it oh too well. nostalgia was the best, losing all of those photographs was a crime.

                  1. re: mazza3

                    Unless the Palumbo mentioned was the little diner-esque spot on Chestnut that closed down not too long ago. I liked that place. It was yummy for a spot to go for a basic diner breakfast/brunch.

                  2. re: Hardart

                    Hardart - hee. "Horn and ..." what was that again? ;-)

                    I think that was his point, folks - unless I'm mistaken, all of those restaurants are defunct.

                  3. was that my bit on pagoda noodle house? seriously, it's in the middle of everything, next to the ritz east on sansom street walkway between front and 2nd in old city, and the food has been excellent, and cheap, and the hours are convenient, and the dress is whatever you stroll in wearing. love it love it love it.

                    the last place i used to rave about, fish tank on main in manayunk, closed down, probably because i think me and an older newspaper-reading gentleman were the only two ever in there!

                    olderphiladelphian, i've got to check out this place you mentioned. is this it?: the menu looks totally vegetarian-friendly. next time i crave italian i will head there. the website claims "everything from the bread to the dessert are made in house" so i'm assuming that includes the pasta, too... i love me some homemade gnocchi in the winter! there are two others in that area that i have been meaning to try due to the rave reviews here, branzino and caffe casta diva (i am slow to try out things west of broad, as i live east of broad and usually try to walk to dinner to burn off the calories i'll be consuming!) - how does it stack up against those two? looks like this one has a liquor license, where i don't think the other two do? i wonder why they don't list the wines on their website.
                    so let's make a deal... i'll try this next time i'm in the area, and next time you're in old city, give pagoda a chance! :


                    p.s. this reminds me of a challenge given on one of the other boards - could have been my former home board, dc/b-more... to scout out, dine at, and report back on a restaurant never mentioned on chowhounds. i know that's possible in philly, but what a daunting task!!! i've been window-shopping on allegheny avenue and germantown avenue and around fishtown to see if i find anything in those hoods i don't recognize from here, dive bar, anything. so far the most promising-looking places i've scouted out are on germantown ave, in sketchier neighborhoods, not places i'm quite comfortable entering alone just yet. there is a place with a seafood-inspired name, i can't recall it, and neon lights, but it always smells excellent from the sidewalk - might be in the nicetown area?
                    if i ever properly get into this mission, i'll be sure to report back.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: rabidog

                      Both Caffe Casta Diva and Branzino are BYO. They are very similar - mid priced Italian BYOs. Branzino has a larger menu. Both are amazing. I prefer Caffe Casta Diva.

                      1. re: rabidog

                        I have been to Pagoda when we go to the movies down your way. Sorry, but it is not very exciting to me, although I do LOVE Poitano Coast. Goia Mia is more expensive then Branzino or Casta Diva and with alcohol the cost can add up. It is quieter, but when push comes to shove I prefer Casta Diva. It is just that Goia Mia never gets mentioned on here.

                        1. re: rabidog


                          Jovan's in Fishtown has only had one mention here, and that in 2003, so that seems close enough. It's on York and Memphis. Mom 'n Pop corner bar serving huge portions of homemade food with an Eastern European slant. Pop cooks, mom serves along with grown son who comes in later in the evening. Great people all, with the son being a real character. Be prepared to hang around for awhile, 'cause I think they go out and kill the pig when you order a pork cutlet, but it's a great, homey place serving food that you wish your mom made.

                        2. I have to admit, a lot of times I refrain from suggesting places due to being arrogantly shot down on a few of my notations in the past.

                          That being said, a few of my favorite places that are rarely mentioned are:

                          The Thai place in the RTM. Excellent Thai food, very inexpensive. The salmon is one of my go to lunches
                          Trios Cold Cuts in Folsom. Best hoagies in the area IMO, beer by the bottle, homemade pickles at all the tables in the restaurant area.
                          Quotations in Media. Beer options are out of this world, great bar food and seafood, always have decent games and good music in the background.
                          Koffee Korner in Media. Their breakfast is off the hook, they have iced coffee in the summer, and they offer pumpernickel bread as a toast option. Who does that?!

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: jessicheese

                            The Thai place in RTM is owned by the same folks that own Erawan, which has gotten several nods on the CH boards. :) In fact, if you do a search, you'll find mentions that Erawan is the spot to go (with the provision of having to order your dinner in advance) if you want authentically spicy Thai food.

                            1. re: Ali

                              I am going to have to try the Pagoda Noodle House suggested by Rabidog. While I am in Old City with my wife often, I have never seen this place. Then, a few weeks ago as we were walking to the Ritz East (to see The Darjeeling Limited, which was excellent, but I digress) there it was! It looks like a fun place and now that I know it's good (and cheap) I will have to try it. Thanks for all the other "unmentioned" ones too!

                              1. re: Schpsychman

                                i saw the darjeeling limited three times in that theatre. i've seen a bunch of great movies this year but that one wins for my favorite. uhm hello, look at my chowhound profile and you'll see they stole my ambitions!!! :) @ pagoda... had indonesian tofu soup, singapore noodles and fried bananas each screening in some combination (shh, sometimes i get the fried bananas to go, and sneak them into the movies!). the really, really special thing about pagoda (i hope you like salt) is the indonesian tofu soup. i order it with a vegetarian broth - very happy they are willing to accommodate this request! it's a big mess of delicious soup i've never seen anywhere else - for $6, you get a bowl as big as your head. in it, there are bean sprouts, bean slivers of some sort, tofu blocks, and a fried egg dropped on top of it all. on the side, they bring you some deep-fried crunchy things to toss into the soup as well. between that soup and a vegetarian spring roll, that's dinner. i leave stuffed. someone please go eat this soup and tell me if i am crazy or not!
                                also the singapore noodles have the most interesting ginger-chili-spiced sauce. i personally do not like thin noodles, so i substitute them for the thick noodles (i think they are called ho fun? or mei fun? one is the thin noodle, the other is the thick one), and sub the chicken for tofu. i love the way they handle the tofu in this dish, small fried bits of it. then there are pieces of fried egg throughout. it really is comfort food, asian style. nothing healthy about it. i love it.

                                yes, the chef at erawan (i think her name was toun but gdswamp organizer of the great chow dinner could confirm) also doubles at the thai place at RTM - i wish the RTM stand had more veggie options (spring rolls!!!) but they do work with what they have. they will make the soups vegetarian for you. the lemongrass soup is excellent and SO spicy! i like to mix that with a smoothie from the wheat grass place, with a slice of pizza from mezze. all this mismatched food unites wonderfully in my book. :)

                              2. re: Ali

                                Thanks for the tip about Erawan! I never knew that. I'll definitely have to check them out some time.

                                1. re: jessicheese

                                  Just want to second that rec -- we had dinner at Erawan and requested authenticity and definitely got it -- SO good.

                              3. re: jessicheese

                                jessicheese, opinions posted here are for the debating! when i see horrible things recommended (generally speaking) i feel just as compelled to publicly disagree with them as i do to throw out my own faves. and i think the reverse is fine, too, though it'll usually take me a step further to justify why i like a particular place in response, which creates a good dialogue for someone not familiar with the area to judge from. i post a lot on this board, but i also travel frequently, too, and i take advantage of the other boards. the debate, and the details it drags out, are extremely helpful. if there's anything i can't stand, it's a one-word answer simply stating the restaurant's name (unless you're seconding a rec). i can't get a good feel for the character of the poster so can't tell whether to trust them; i can't get a good feel for the cuisine or menu or wine list or price. but debate, that's one of the things that makes this place such a great resource! if you have an opinion you should speak it loud and proud - and who cares if some jerk didn't like his steak at one of your picks. :)

                              4. Here's one that never gets mentioned, probably because it's in the very unhip northern suburbs: 211 York. It's in Jenkintown on Old York Road and meals there have been consistently excellent. The room is low key and quiet. Unfortunately, I think it's too quiet due to lack of customers and i'd hate to see one of the few "fine dining" establishments in the area bite the dust. Makes a great birthday or anniversary spot.


                                4 Replies
                                1. re: squashchick

                                  i love them!! the service is awesome there too. it's out of the way for me, but a great spot with nice ambiance before going to the keswick theatre.

                                  1. re: rabidog

                                    Well I'm going to take your advice Rabidog and disagree about 211 York. Perhaps it was an off night but my wife and I ate there in the past before a show at the Keswick (we saw War, which was incredible, but alas, I again digress) and it was one of the most boring meals we've ever had. Nice atmosphere but for what we paid we were very unimpressed. Now, about that Indonesian soup, it sounds incredible but I have a question: can it be ordered with meat in it instead of tofu? Not a big tofu fan but I am a soup lover, especially Asian soups. Thanks!

                                    1. re: Schpsychman


                                      i am not sure about ordering it with meats... as i'm usually requesting restaurants accommodate me the other way around, by removing the meats! though, they've been VERY accommodating with all of my requests, so i don't see the harm in trying...
                                      even if you don't eat the tofu (it's usually only 4 blocks of it or so) it's still a very interesting soup.

                                      1. re: rabidog

                                        Yes, I'm sure you have a much harder time getting meat taken out of things than I would trying to get it put in. Even with the tofu, it does sound like wonderfully flavorful soup that I will have to try, thanks again!