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Aug 23, 2009 06:54 PM

Looking for great food in Conshohoken, PA

I am visiting Philly on business and staying at a hotel in Conshohoken. Any suggestions for great local food - no chains allowed? No limitation on the cuisine. I will have a rental car, so have flexibility to drive, if necessary.

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  1. Conshy is only like a 20min drive from Philly, so if you want to grub and have a car, you should come into the city at least some of the time. Putting that option on the table, you'll need to be more specific about what you want because there are too many options to pick from.

    1 Reply
    1. re: barryg

      Well ... Its 20 minutes from Center City on Sunday morning without traffic. At 5pm in rush hour its more like 45 minutes.

      That said, in Conshy you do have a decent fish restaurant in Blackfish. Some like it others do no. I personally do like it. Restaurant emphasizes local ingredients and good fish. Right on Fayette street. BYO.

      In Philadelphia you have tons of choices. Popular ones include Amada and Tino, two takes on Tapas. Marc Vetri's Osteria is a good northern italian restaurant. On the gastropub side of things Good Dog and Standard Tap are top notch. Local flavor can be enjoyed at the Reading Terminal Market, a Philadelphia institution.

      Others I am sure will weigh in with other choices. Helps to know what you like, whether you are dining alone, and what type of food you get too much of back home so we can avoid suggesting those.

    2. Lots of great places in and around the 'main line' area of Philly. With that said, nothing great in Conshy. If you have a rental, driving into Philly or around the burbs is your best bet. If you have any idea what you are looking for, you will surely get numerous suggestions!

      1. Defintely Blackfish by a wide margin. Frankjly, I can't understand the naysayers. In way over 100 meals there, one course came out bad and they replaced it without question. Everything else has been wonderful. Furthermore, it is the best restaurant on the Main LIne.

        8 Replies
        1. re: RocketJSquirrel

          I saw Blackfish on Zagat, but noted that a fair number of recent reviews were not glowing. What about Fayette Street Grill? Chiangmai? Any excellent Italian.....With all the BYO where can one find a decent selection of wines in Conshohoken?

          1. re: foodieinraleigh

            ChiangMai is an ordinary Thai restaurant. I work close to Conshy and we go there for lunch. Not a chowish destination.

            Fayette Street Grill is also good.. some prefer it to Blackfish but I really see them as different type food. I find Fayette more mainstream. I also do not like the fact they close at 8:30 except on weekends. I find Blackfish more adventurous.

            Wine selection to bring to a BYO? You are handcuffed by the PLCB in Pennsylvania. State owned liquor stores. You need to go to King of prussia for one of the chairman's select State stores for the best selection you can find without going out of state, which is what many people do, either down to Delaware or to NJ.

            1. re: cwdonald

              Heh cwdonald. Handcuffed is a good word for what we put up with. Do you fellow hounds think things will ever change? The state owned liquor stores have all the charm of a hospital waiting room. Scratch that, I'm being unfair to waiting rooms.

              1. re: givemecarbs

                LOL so true .. I was hoping fast Eddie would try to use the sale of the PLCB as a way to get a one time revenue boost and save Pennsylvania from the socialist wine stewards of Harrisburg. But the state govt, (executive and legistlative branches) is completely dysfunctional now, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

            2. re: foodieinraleigh

              Ignore the naysayers, the PLCB store in the shopping center at Ridge Pike and Fayette St actually has a pretty decent selection of affordable and decent wines of all varieties.

              I also take exception to the characterization of Chiang Mai as not "chowhound worthy". Isn't our goal to share dining and food info? Chiang Mai may not be elitist, but it is very good and super inexpensive Thai in a comfy setting. Nice basil chicken, and wonderful curry. Go if you want to stay close to the hotel and get a really good comfortable Thai meal. Plus - it's BYO (which we proles love)

              1. re: foodieinraleigh

                Unfortunately, Zagat reviews have all of the reliability of asking a teenager for dining recommendations, although the overall rating number is a better indicator. My wife and I have extensive fine dining experience throughout the USA, France and the UK, in case you are wondering (I really hate to state it, but you really don't know if someone knows what they are talking about unless you know their level of experience.)
                As for wine in Pa. ------ abandon all hope. They should have "The East Is Red" blaring from speakers in each store. It is owned and operated by the State, and they couldn't care less about people who value wine. It has inadvertently created the world's BYO epicenter, however.

                1. re: foodieinraleigh

                  Well, I've eaten at many of the world's best restaurants and have seen many bad reviews in Zagat. One has to consider the quality of the source, however. I have known many people who think it is outrageously foolish to eat at fine dining place when McDonalds has the highest wuality food in the world, a point I find ludicrous.
                  Blackfish is excellent.

                2. re: RocketJSquirrel

                  Blackfish is very good but I haven't been to any other local restaurant to compare it to. We traveled about 45 minutes and enjoyed our meal but probably won't return as we'd rather drive the same distance or less to Center City. Different concepts and menu, but for the same price, Bibou is superior. After reading the reviews and other hype (we don't hold Blackfin responsible) we left slightly disappointed.

                  Clearly, Blackfish works hard to exceed customer expectations. Liked the summer-like white-on-white decor but the closely place tables could make the place loud, annoying and intrusive, or loud and a chance to make new acquaintances at the next table, which is inches away. We lucked out with door #2.

                  Service was knowledgeable, attentive and enthusiastic.

                  Our crab appetizer with a poached egg atop was very good. We liked the warmth of the egg and the cooled crab. The egg, crab and a slightly crunchy something or other (fava?) was a great combination of textures and flavors. The octopus app looked better than it tasted. Perfectly grilled, it lacked flavor and a deeply colored green bean puree was a bit bland and very slightly off-tasting. Maybe I was expecting it to taste a basil pesto.

                  The salmon main was very good. For years salmon has been so ubiquitous on menus and of predictable flavor that we tend to overlook it. But this was perfectly cooked, had a more bold and complex flavor that stood on its own with little seasoning. I wasn't paying attention to the description but maybe it was a Copper River King. The green puree make another appearance and didn't add to the dish.

                  The Bouillabaisse ("Local fish poached in a saffron broth, crusty bread and rouille") was a disappointment. The broth was overly seasoned, the clams were tiny and the fish, skate wing and escolar were overpowered by the broth. Also, the skate was still on the bone and was so tender that it flaked apart into small pieces and it was difficult to get a decent bite. The serving dish was shaped like a pallela pan and when any utensil rested on the edge it fell into a pool of broth.

                3. I'd say to drive into center city. So many great choices. If you do decide to drive to the city, Little Fish is a great choice (Bella Vista, byob and wonderful). In Conshohocken, however, Totaro's Trattoria on Spring Mill Rd. is good (byob and not to be confused with Totaro's on Hector St. which is expensive and not byob).

                  1. By great local food I didn't think you neccesarily meant high brow type stuff so here's a couple right in town.

                    The Pub on Fayette - Yes, many will scoff on the Pub and great food in the same sentence but, their hand carved sandwiches, pork, beef or ham are pretty damn good. I always get the roast pork with provolone and they have great fried hots to go with it. The Pub probably isn't going to win any culinary awards but the roast pork sandwich is worth the stop.

                    Agree on another poster's rec on Totaro's Trattoria on Spring Mill although it can be hit or miss. Vince does a good job.