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Nov 15, 2007 12:40 PM

What is near Merion Cricket Club?

My husband and son, notable foodies, will be in the Philadelphia area this weekend for a squash tournament. Where is there to eat in the vicinity that is not a chain type restaurant? Any ethnicity is fine as long as the food is well-made and not pre-fab. Good American food is fine too. Any ideas?

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  1. 2 winners come to mind immediately.
    The closest to Merion Cricket is Sola which is a very small classic French style BYOB on Lancaster Avenue in Haverford across from Food Source and Acme Market (where you can park safely without being towed).
    The second is a more modest place, Mediterranean Grill, also a BYOB, which is a bit farther up the pike in Bryn Mawr which serves Mid-eastern fare and is inexpensive.
    If you don't mind travelling to Radnor, there are a plethora of good dining spots:
    Yangming for Asian, the upscale Pond and sister across the hall, Bistro Cassis, Susannah Foo, Fleming's (much as I detest them, close your eyes to the word "chain" in this case) for superb steaks, and the very pricey and upscale Savona.
    So there you have it.

    1. To orient you (and them) the Merion Cricket Club is on Montgomery Avenue, across from the Haverford train station. (It's not in Merion.) Montgomery is roughly parallel to Lancaster Avenue, which is the main commercial area near the club. In Haverford Square, very close to the MCC is Du Jour, a casual cafe that would be perfect for breakfast or lunch (I've never tried it for dinner). If you search the board, anything in Ardmore or Bryn Mawr would be quite close. For dinner, I second the recommendation of Sola (a byo). They also might enjoy Carmine's Creole Cafe in Bryn Mawr for good food and a little bit of a scene, or The Old Guard House in Gladwyne for Austrian-inspired food in a historic building.

      1. I second (or is it third) Sola for a very nice meal. Might have trouble getting in on short notice though - it's a rather small space and very popular. Ask for directions to the nearest liquor store in Ardmore or Bryn Mawr. I like Tango right near the Bryn Mawr train station - the space & vibe is a bit less conventional than Sola. Had one of the best meals of the past few years at the Old Guard House (mentioned before) and consider that "fine dining". Also right at the Bryn Mawr station is the greek Lourdas (cash only) which i think is consistently good. There's also a Japanese restaurant in Roesmont, right past Bryn Mawr, next to the Borders, that gets good reviews (can't think of the name now). And if you're in the mood for Indian the best one nearby is in Ardmore - Khajuraho India. I also agree with Susannah Foo's Gourment Kitchen about 10 minutes down the road on Rt 30/Lancaster Ave. Great food, interesting space, but can be awfully loud when crowded.

        Good luck in the Hunter Lott!

        3 Replies
        1. re: squashchick

          Here's a little secret about the noise at Susannah Foo. (I was there tonight)
          Make sure when you make your reservation to request either one of the two tables that face the front window (especially when it isn't cold weather) or else the table to your left as you go down the steps. (that's the one where I sat tonight). No noise, ever. Very pleasant because you are on the edge of "the scene."

          1. re: squashchick

            Yes, my son is playing Hunter Lott, so thanks for your good wishes! I am sure that they will enjoy one of these excellent-sounding suggestions, and I will report back if they do! My husband has always maintained that there is no good food in Philadelphia, so this is the opportunity to prove him wrong!

            1. re: roxlet

              You said: "My husband has always maintained that there is no good food in Philadelphia, so this is the opportunity to prove him wrong!"
              I don't know where you are from but I have a place in NY and am quite familiar with many of the "better" restaurants and I am here to tell you that Philly gives them a good run for their money. We take a back seat to no one.
              Maybe the Big A's restaurants are more trendy looking (always fun) but the food in Philly is equal to many of the top rated in New York.

          2. A couple of other spots where I go with my sons,

            Mikado (Japanese)
            Fellini (Italian)
            Ruby's (50s style diner)

            Bryn Mawr
            Sushiland (Sushi)
            Kellys (Pub Food)
            Yangming (Chinese)

            Sang Kee (Chinese)
            Dakota (Pizza)

            1 Reply
            1. re: productionjon

              Another one that is worth consideration is Blackfish, a small BYO about a 15-20 minute trip from the Merion Cricket Club. Recently opened and so far in my few experiences it's been very good for both lunch and dinner. It's a very intimate space (only 50 or so seats), so I would strongly recommend making a reservation. For the closer options, my vote would be for Sola and then probably Yangming. Also, DuJour is another really great option. I'd recommend it more for a lunch or breakfast option. The closest Liquor Store is Ardmore Wine and Spirits on 56 Greenfield Ave. in Ardmore, just right up the street if you decide to go for one for one of the BYO options.