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Phoenixville

I love what's happened to Phoenixville over the last few years (except the parking situation). At first, I was only aware of the Colonial Theatre, someone told be about Black Lab (I still haven't gone). Then it was Majolica (one of my absolute favorites in the area) and Cheese! Now the Creperie...

I've only seen passing references to Phoenixville on Pennsylvania Chowhounds, when people are asking about Montco, or "near King of Prussia". I would like to start a discussion of Phoenixville specifically.

Has anyone been to the Creperie? Please tell us about it.

Majolica is obvious (to me, anyway) and probably deserves its own discussion board.

Black Lab Bistro. I hear it's nice, but simpler food. What are people's strategies for going there and maximizing the value of the place. Same question for Columbia B&G (I hear that one less often). Iron Hill is not a personal favorite for food anyway (I know the one in West Chester), but I may be wrong. What about the steak house by the old train station? I drive by it, and can't even tell if it's really still open.

I live only 15 min away, but only get there regularly for the Colonial (as close to weekly as I can manage), Cheese!, the Texas BBQ stand when it's there, and for Majolica (once every 3-4 months). I would love to hear more from locals and CH who get there more often.

And does anyone have a workable parking strategy?

Thanks.

Francis

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    1. What Texas BBQ place- where exactly? Iron Hill is a good place to take kids IMO- nice what they've done to the kids menu & can enjoy a good beer. I used to enjoy Black Lab but not as much anymore, I'd go for lunch over dinner. They seemed to care more about weekend quality I noticed. The owner was actually not accommodating & quite rude regarding kids friendly food anymore. They do have good desserts. I've mentioned before, love Los Mariachis. Have had good experiences at Twin Bays as well. What is where Turnaround Cafe was? Molly Maguires was a nice addition, Irish is always a fun scene. I wish some good stuff would come to the Acme center.

      1. re: pamd

        gacamole, thanks for your advice. Could you expand on the Creperie and the Steak House please. As to parking, some evenings this last fall there have been no spaces at the municipal lot. Around dinner / movie time. I attribute that to the larger number of restaurants on Bridge St.

        Pamd, the Texas BBQ is actually a trailer that parks in the Barto's Pool and Spa lot for a weekend a month (that may not include some winter months). It's usually there Fri / Sat / Sun from lunch until she runs out of food. It's worth checking out. Here's the website with a calendar of where they'll be.

        http://www.texsbbqpa.com/

        Francis

        1. re: pamd

          Just saw the Texas BBQ in Royersford today...
          I totally agree with everyting you wrote, Pamd. While Iron Hill isn't gourmet by any stretch we do get decent food there. I find it a bit overpriced, though, and generally like the menu at Epicurean a bit better (where they also have very affordable kids meals that come with a sundae).
          Black Lab always gets such applause on these boards and I have to admit that we haven't been there in ages. The last time we were there was after they switched menus and decor. We were quite underimpressed that night and have never cared to try it again. And like you said, they aren't family friendly any longer which definitely cramps our style;)
          We also LOVE Mariachis. Best tacqueria outside of Norristown for sure!
          We haven't tried Molly Maguires yet primarily because we had heard that service was horrible. Did you find that to be the case??

          1. re: isadorasmama

            We ate there recently. Our service was fine. We overheard the diners next to us had their order given to another table by mistake and had to be re-ordered for them. Looked like the manager came over and apologized. I wasn't nosy enough to get all the dirt though. Burger, breakfast, bangers and mash, boxty with chicken, tomato, cheese were all fine, not knock our socks off great but fine. However, the Irish pub decor is very nice and cozy, outdoor seating on a patio and upper porch. I'd say a very pleasant place to enjoy a beer and a bite.

            1. re: RC51Mike

              i'll ditto the negatve remarks on molly's although i've only been there once the food wasn't good and my wife who's been there three times has yet to have good service. Maybe we'll give it one more shot. You can't leave out Nudy's though, they have some of the best food and friendliest staff of any breakfast place i've been too. I'll put my vote in for Epicurean too, one of the best menu's i've seen along with a great beer selection and good friendly atmosphere.

              1. re: rigs21k

                We only went to Molly's once & actally had great service. However, we did have young ones with us (babies seem to attract staff). One of the waitresses there left Nudy's to work at Mollys. The food was nothing great but we really enjoy the armosphere. They also have changing specials & live music.
                I've had some good meals & some really bad meals at Epicurean (they don't do well with larger groups IMO), so I find it's hit or miss.

                Also, (I've mentioned before on here) further up Thai L'Elephant is great. Joeys makes a nice cheesesteak (near rita's)

                Interesting is how many pizza places there are in Phoenixville- and so different! Any thoughts?

                1. re: pamd

                  I found Thai L'Elephant to be mediocre. I much prefer Thai Spice in Limerick to be significantly better.

                  The one good thing about Mollys is that it is smokefree.

                  1. re: mitchh

                    Sorry, I have to disagree. Thai L'Elephant is far superior and much closer to the food I had in Thailand. You do have to encourage them to turn up the spice level if you like it hot.

                    Unfortunately my experience at the Creperie, a few weeks after their opening was quite disappointing. Not only did it take close to 1.5 hrs for breakfast, they messed up orders, and the tarte tatin was a soggy mess. Will give them some time to work out the kinks before I return.

                    1. re: percyn

                      Thai Place in the shopping center with the Giant on Nutt Rd is far superior to Thai L'Elephant. We've eaten at Thai L'Elephant a handful of times, only because it was Monday & Thai Place was closed & we were jonesin' for some Thai. We were always disappointed.
                      I'm embarrassed to admit that we eat at Thai Place once a week. The Gang Garee curry is to die for. I promise you won't be disappointed.

                      1. re: Metasequoia

                        Actually, I have had the opposite experience between Thai L'Elephant and Thai Place (i.e. prefer Thai L'Elephant), but am willing to give it another shot.

                        Have you tried Thai L'Elephant on a day other than Monday (usually a day when Chefs are off)? I encourage you to try it on a Fri or Sat.

                        Cheers

                2. re: rigs21k

                  Ditto on Molly's. HORRIBLE food!

                  1. re: rigs21k

                    Oh my - how fantastic is Nudy's!!!! Just don't eat for two days. Here's a secret... The Polish American club has an open breakfast ever sunday... They make great bloody marys. Now the food is regular breakfast fare but if you ask for a special omlette they will make it for you. The menu is only 5-6 items but they give you alot for little $. To get there - go over the bridge to the red light hang a left and up about a block or so on your left you'll see a nondescript red brick bldg. with a parking lot to its side...

                  2. re: RC51Mike

                    Iwas just there tonight. Food was good and the sevice was good. I should rephrase that the food was exeptional and the sevice was grand. The live music (happend every first sunday of the month) was just an added bonus. I'm a bit of a musician in my free time and the group was one of the best I've heard. The leader did her rounds during one of the breaks and gave me her card. www.kaneandbeatty.com is her website. Anyway, good food, good drink, great atmasphere, and a smashing good band. Oh I've been to Ireland before and this was just like.

            2. I definitely looked forward to going to the Creperie, but have to say I was disappointed. The food was acceptable but it was WAY overpriced for what was served. It's basically just a pancake and some sauteed meats and vegetables for crying out loud. The beverage selection was slim and also overpriced.

              With respect to the parking situation. I love Phoenixville because, unlike, for example, Manayunk and West Chester, there is generally parking right near the target destination. This is going to change shortly, however, I imagine . . . .

              2 Replies
              1. re: CChaz

                I'm glad to have found this thread. Friends of ours were discussing Majolica just this evening and we are planning to try it in March (if not before).

                1. re: idia

                  Well, we went to the Creperie again. Someone HAS to tell them that their service is WAY too slow. The crepes are quite good actually, but we became aggravated by the wait. No WONDER there are always tables available on the weekends when their competition always has a line to get in.

              2. Francis
                Thanks for the thread. I think Phoenixville has definitely upgraded its image in the past few years and there are lots of dining options now. I am not familiar with Epicurean or Los Mariachis-any address for them? A post on Phoenixville would not be complete without
                mentioning the wonderful Farmers Market held in the lot behind the Dollar Store on Saturdays. They even have winter hours every other Saturday from 10-11 AM-the next is January 12th. Once you get on their email list you can place advance orders with the vendors, which include bison, pork, pastries, vegetables, chicken, cheese and lamb, all produced locally and sustainably.

                3 Replies
                1. re: barbjack

                  Epicurian is in the Village at Eland on Rte. 113.

                  Los Mariachis is at 201 Gay St. Does not look like much from the outside, but you have seen how many here have raved about it.

                  Thanks for letting us know about the winter hours. I had just assumed the market closed down from November to May like most others.

                  Francis

                  1. re: FrancisdeR

                    Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm too picky. Maybe I'm just a jerk....but I've been to the Epicurian three times over about five years......and have been horribly disappointed each time. I keep hearing how great it is. The owners also run the American Bar and Grill locations....those places have always left me happy, but the Ep always manages to give me the right combination of bad food and bad service.
                    Oh well, just my two cents.

                    1. re: Major504

                      Unfortunately, the owner seems to spend most of his time at the American Bar and Grill. His original spot, which used to be the PREMIER spot around Phoenixville, is no longer his focus. It's still good! But not as great as it once was. I miss (but my arteries don't) the Locatelli sauce that was so think you could feel your arteries hardening. Oh, it's still on the menu, but it's not quite the same.

                2. I've had good service at Molly's but only average food, I think it's more of a place to enjoy the beer than food. The Thai Place by Giant is surprisingly good for being located in a strip mall. Majolica is delicious. I enjoy brunch at the Columbia Hotel, especially the Columbia Benedict. The Epicurean makes a fantastic grilled cheese, if that's your thing. I've been to the Creperie once, the kitchen must be understaffed or unexperienced, because it took about 30-35 minutes for our crepes to come out. I love Cheese!, can't stop spending money on brie and the horseradish parsely cheddar. I still can't find decent pizza though...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: pedroski

                    Hello fellow Phoenix - Villans So where is the best pizza? I've been tasting for three years, still can't find it. The best I found is pizza express, but I can't rave about that either. I notice that Likki has not been mentioned. My husband and I love the sushi there, expecially their special rolls. They are a great size, and very tasty. I think the Black Lab is overpriced, I liked it much more when they had resonably priced meals and a great variety. Now, we go for appetizers and dessert. The Birchrunville Store Cafe is by far our favorite and in our opinion worth the 2+ month wait for a Saturday night. There's a new spot called the Station Bistro (BYO) in Kimberton. The ribs are fantastic, but the service is horrible. We go to the Epicurean for drinks and to hear a great local band. Where does everyone go for great chineese?

                    1. re: cybil

                      Without question, the best Chinese in the area is at one of Margaret Kuo's places. Margaret Kuo's Mandarin listed as "Malvern" is the closest to Phoenixville, though her Wayne address is also nearby. For both of them, if you learn the back roads, they're not as far as if you only know the state routes. One note: Margaret Kuo's places use MSG unless you specifically ask them NOT to. Trust me, though. Try Margaret Kuo's Mandarin if you live in Phoenixville and you happen to be near Frazer / Great Valley (which is where they really are vs. Malvern, which is where they aren't).

                      1. re: cybil

                        Best Pizza by far is Liberty Pizza - 'tho I hear good things about Valley Forge Pizza as well.

                    2. Thought I would just update this thread to say that the Vale Rio diner closed on Sunday after almost 60 years of business. To be replaced by (ugh) a Walgreens.