Logan Square in Philly restaurants
I'll be in Logan Square tomorrow night with 2 18 year olds and a 4 year old. Are there good, casual restaurants within walking distance of the Embassy Suites? The concierge told me about The Mission Grill and The Public House. I want the college girls to have a great meal since they're stuck with cafeteria food all the time. We're in town for a rowing regatta so the girls will only have jeans.
Neither of those places is particularly good, especially the Public House, ugh. There are quite a few decent places around there, it depends on your definition of 'walkable' though. Head south on 18th St. about six blocks and there's the Continental Midtown, it's casual, the atmosphere is fun and the food is pretty good. Tria is another block south of there, it's a cheese and small plates place, but their main focus is on the wine and beer, which I'm assuming aren't a concern to you with three non-drinkers there.
If you want something a bit less casual (though still jeans-appropriate) Le Castagne and Cafe Casta Diva are both good Italian places. Matyson is also near there on 19th St. Casta Diva may be pushing the limits of 'walking distance' with a 4-year-old in tow.
I actually like the Public House and Continental Midtown. However, depending on the time you go it may be tough for a 4 yr old. Both are loungy bar-type places. While many people on here rave about Tria, I definitely don't think it's up a college freshman or a 4 yr old's alley.
There's a branch of the Mexican Post not far from your hotel. It's not the best Mexican in the city, but it's good. I think there's an Indian restaurant nearby that also has gotten decent reviews. If you walk south a few blocks to Walnut you'll find Pietro's, which has good Italian and coal-oven pizza. If you like sushi, Genji is on Sansom. Nodding Head is a great gastropub also on Sansom.
A disclaimer: Before I get flamed, by this post I'm not proclaiming these places are the best in the city, these are good places in your proximity that the kids and you will enjoy.
the room is beautiful, the location is excellent, the acoustics are wonderful, and the table settings are lovely. but the service is brusque and often thoughtless, verging on rude, and, most important, the food is both outrageously expensive and utterly dreadful.
four of us went to Le Castagne for the first time on a saturday night. the bar was busy, and, although we would have liked a drink before sitting, the bartender had no help and only served one of us. and when we went to pay for that drink, she had no time even to give us a bill, so we gave our credit card to the hostess to handle payment and went to our table.
we were seated promptly. drinks were brought. menus were presented. wine was ordered (the wine list is varied and excellent, as one would hope in a sena-owned restaurant).
then the food came. the ladies said the salads were fine, albeit unexciting. my friend's ravioli special was outstanding and unique -- a game-meat stuffed ravioli with an egg yolk inside, with pomegranate sauce. truly exceptional. on the other hand, my boar ragu cavetelli tasted like chef boyardee had sauced it, and the ragu was virtually non-existent. the plate was hot, as if it had just been removed from a microwave. we had to flag down a bus boy to get some parmesan and ground pepper.
then on to the entrees. the salmon special consisted of a serving the size of a large sardine. the rack of lamb ($30+) was tough and tasteless, its only resemblance to lamb being purely coincidental. when advised of this concern, our waitress only shrugged and walked away. my stuffed pork chop was quite good. but my friend's veal chop ($38 !!!) was tough and tasteless as well. the vegetables accompanying all of the entrees -- all the same --were soggy and overcooked.
and then came dessert -- the crowning insult. our server highly recommended the chocolate filled cheesecake. so i opted for it, and my fellow diners ordered the carrot cake and the gelato sampling.
the gelato was, well, gelato. ok -- but nothing to write home about. the carrot cake reminded us of sawdust -- completely without any taste or flavor whatsoever.
and the cheesecake tasted like moist cardboard. our waitress, a big fan of this item, inquired as to my thoughts, and when i told her, she uttered the most incredible response that i have ever heard at any eating establishment:
"ME: It tastes like moist cardboard."
"WAITRESS: Oh, that happens sometimes when they leave it too long in the microwave."
She then turned an walked away to prepare our check, on which the cheesecake charge remained.
i have eaten many enjoyable meals at Panorama and certainly expected an equivalent experience at this restaurant. but this was a travesty, at over $75 per person, including 2 reasonably priced bottles of wine and four drinks. needless to say, the Senas have lost a customer, and, hopefully will read this review and look into the incompetent oafs operating their western outpost.
YIPES! I am also a fan of Panorama, mostly because I love the atmosphere and the wine:) I did not know the same family owned this other restaurant, and will certainly never try it after reading this. Hope you made your feelings known, both to management, and with your tip to the thoughtful waitress!