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Feb 21, 2008 05:41 PM

Center City Philadelphia Birthday Restaurant Help Needed

My sister is coming in for her birthday the weekend of March 8 and I need to find a restaurant for her celebration that meets a long list of criteria. My cranky old dad will be with us, and he's a very plain, basic meat-and-potatoes guy who only likes what he knows. His idea of a good restaurant is Ralph's or McCormick and Schmick's, both of which bore my sister and me to tears. Even though those places aren't cheap, he freaks when I make him try others in a comparable price range. The one ethnic cuisine he really likes is Chinese, which my sister is pretty tired of. Also, we can't try a BYOB because my sister likes her cocktails.

So, what I need is an interesting but not threatening menu in a reasonably priced restaurant with a liquor license, but preferably not a chain. Oh, and they must take reservations, 'cause Dad will wait for nobody.

Any help would be vastly appreciated.

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  1. The first thing that came to mind was Fogo de Chao - still in that steak house style but a little more fun as the servers are constantly roaming with fabulous different cuts of meat on a stick! Plus they have a great salad bar you can indulge in and pretty good cocktails as well.

      1. What about Buddakan? Asian "style", but you can also get a steak. I don't think the prices are outrageous. Cocktails and wine.

        1. How about Coquette at 5th and Bainbridge - Frenh bistro, so steak and frites, but other interesting options and a liquor license - a bit less expensive (not terribly so) so Dad won't freak. Also, I find Buddakan to be quite noisy, which depending on Dad's age (maybe he just sounds older than he is) may be an issue.
          Other thoughts would be Vietnam or Rangoon (a little different Asian) or perhaps Yakitori Boy but I don't know if it has its liquor license yet.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bigley9

            We liked Coquette very much. The steak frites were especially good. Make sure to get something with their fries, which come in a cone and are delicious.
            The only thing that was disappointing was their special steak, which was tough. Raves about the onion soup and other options. Nice, casual atmosphere. Good service.
            I think Buddakan might be too non-traditional - and very noisy.

          2. Thanks for the suggestions so far. We've discussed Fogo and Dad's not interested. I can't even suggest Buddhakan -- it's exactly the kind of gussified-food place he hates (he's 76, for those who wondered). I'll check out the other places.

            Keep the ideas coming!