Friday night dinner - Center City w/kids
This is a bit of a tricky thing. I need a backup plan in case my Friday dinner plans fall through while my wife and I visit Philadelphia with our two boys under 7. If it was just my wife and I, we would love to eat at one of the many great gastropubs Philly has to offer. In fact we are going to Standard Tap with the kids on Thursday. However, Friday night, with kids, that may not be the best option (maybe if we go early?). I was thinking of one of the south Philly Italian places like Marra's, but that is a long way from our hotel near Locust and Broad with potentially cranky kids. What would be a good choice in Center City with moderate prices (under $20 entrees) in a non Chuck E Cheese atmosphere? I mean, on our big trip to Philly we don't to eat in a generic food court or at a run of the mill place we could eat at anywhere, but at the same time we want to eat somewhere where smaller kids wouldn't be out of place. Food cuisine doesn't matter too much as long as we can some little thing on the menu the guys can eat. Any thoughts?
Chinatown is your best bet. Everything there is kid-friendly and moderately priced. My kids are 7 and 4, with the younger being extremely picky. The places we go regularly to in Chinatown are:
Vietnam--good vietnamese, nice atmosphere, we get the appetizer platter and the kids eat the grilled chicken, noodles, etc. My older one loves pho, which is decent there, though not the best in the city.
Shiao Lan Kung--very good Chinese. The kids eat lo mein or fried rice and the grown-ups get whaever we feel like. I highly recommend the salt-baked seafood (this dish is also pretty good at Vietnam).
Rangoon--this would be my top recommendation. It is Burmese, which is like a mix between Indian and Thai. Kids eat the chicken satay, coconut rice, and a fried taro appetizer that is close enough to french fries to satisfy my little one. For adults, I highly recommend the thousand-layer bread with curry, the spring ginger salad, and any of the jungle-style dishes.
re: Hungryin theBurbs
I highly agree with the Chinatown recommendation. Lee How Fook (across the street from Vietnam, which we also like) is another favorite that is VERY welcoming to children. Although we eat family style there - and most everywhere else, really.
We just took our son to Apamate - there's another thread totally dedicated to Apamate in the Pennsy forum. Definitely not the sort of place where it's inherently impolite to be a child. Not a "KID!" restaurant by any means, because ew, who wants to go there?
And remember - bars are smokefree in Philadelphia now. So that greatly expands the roster of places you can take kids.
There are very few restaurants at which children are unwelcome in Center City, especially if you dine early. Three places where your kids would not be out of place are Melograno, Jones, and Bellini Grille.