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Nov 6, 2009 12:44 PM

Post-Funeral Gathering in Philadelphia - Help Please!

My uncle just died. He was nearly 87 and had a long and good life except for a few curmudgeonly years at the end. So it's sad, but not a super tragic occasion.

We're having his funeral on Sunday afternoon in the Elikns Park (?) area of Philadelphia. It's at No. Broad Street near Chelten Ave. I think this may also be called Germantown. I'm not exactly sure. I'm from out of town.

Like all good Jewish families, we want to gather for food after (and probably before as well.)
We're looking for a place that will seat maybe 20-25 of us, including quite a few who are elderly and using walkers or canes and are on non-adventurous diets.

Not too far from the funeral.

A private room would be ideal.

The funeral director recommended Max and David's, but they were not available for some reason.

We're starting to get down to the wire.

Any help much appreciated.

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  1. I'm sorry for your loss. Curds and Whey is in the same area. I've attended events that they've catered and have had lunch at their new location. I think it might fit the bill for you. Curds & Whey

    American (Traditional)
    501 Old York Rd, Jenkintown 19046
    (At Hillside Ave)

    .Phone: (215) 886-2203

    1 Reply
    1. re: DaisyM

      I didn't know Curds & Whey could accommodate a party of that size at their new spot; that is a great recommendation and is a very popular choice for Shiva catering.

    2. So sorry about your uncle. That is Goldstein's, the classic Jewish funeral home. It is not quite Elkins Park as it still within city limits--EP is part of Cheltenham Township, just over Philly's northern border. I think the neighborhood is West Oak Lane but it also might be Olney; I'm not sure where the line is.

      There is nowhere you want to go to in the immediate vicinity as it is a very run down area--Goldstein's is a throwback to when this used to be a very Jewish neighborhood. Either you are going downtown, to Chestnut Hill, or to the northern 'burbs. The northern 'burbs are the easiest drive as you just go straight up 611 from Goldstein's. I would have recommended Max & David's, too; too bad it's not available.

      A few options, ordered in distance from Goldstein's, closest first.
      - Marco Polo, Elkins Park, Italian. Good Italian with a large menu, a bit pricey.
      - Szechuan Manderin, Elkins Park, Chinese. A solid Chinese restaurant.
      - Steinman's Deli, Jenkintown, Jewish deli. But I think i heard they may be out of business.
      - West Avenue Grill, Jenkintown. Food is pretty blah but they are very friendly and the old Jewish people in my family love it. The menu is pretty basic diner/family restaurant and they do have bagel & lox and other Jewish favorites. Very affordable.

      If it were me, I'd probably pick West Ave Grill, even though I hate the food, because it is a casual, friendly place that everyone in my family loves for some reason. Definitely call first as they would need to set something up to accommodate a party of that size. Out of all those places, Marco Polo has the best food; they do a good job with whole grilled fish and have some game meat on the menu.

      6 Replies
      1. re: barryg

        Thanks for the great recommendation, barryg!

        Yes, it's Goldstein's. They've been very nice. I guess that's a topic for another discussion board.

        As I said, I don't know the area except for coming in a lot over the past few years to visit my ailing relatives there. If we have to travel to the burbs or downtown, we will. The only obstacle is long walking for the old folks on their canes and with creaky joints.

        Seriously, how bad is the food at West Ave? We have this constant dilemma in our family. Young foodies vs. old crankies.

        Thanks again.

        Any other advice out there?


        1. re: taos

          I would go with Marco Polo.
          People can get anything - good salads, pasta, etc. It is large and has a big parking lot. (Parking can be a problem at West Ave Grill.) Also, it is not too far and easy to find.
          I think it would be the best for your purpose.

          1. re: sylviag

            I have to agree with Marco Polo- they are they only ones that can handle 10 to 50+ and parking - there is nothing any closer- it's amazing Goldstein is still down there. Even the delis are gone. Once you get up to Elkins Park you can go 2 more miles into Jenkintown and Mirnas restaurant it is a little small but very good. Then The Drake Tavern and Applebees. We are having a public transportation strike, it may not be over by sunday or monday so do not even think about going near center city.

            Drake Tavern
            304 York Rd, Jenkintown, PA 19046

          2. re: taos

            I've never, ever heard anyone else say they hate the food at West Ave Grill. I like it. If I had to choose between West Ave and Kitchen Bar, I'd definitely go with West Ave for food. They definitely know how to deal with old crankies at West Ave, and there is plenty of choice for the young foodies. If you want a comfortable place for after a funeral, avoid Applebee's.

            I'm sorry for your loss.

            1. re: tourmama

              I used to think it was decent when they had a bistro-style dinner menu, though overpriced (downtown prices for ok food in Jenkintown; not my idea of a good time but makes sense for those in the burbs, I guess). Then they drastically cut back their menu and lowered prices. Showed up for dinner and most of the menu is breakfast food, sandwiches, and fried apps with a couple dinner plates and some specials. My father raved about the veggie soup, which I tried and it tasted literally like tomato paste thinned with water, then frozen veggies tossed in. I don't necessary mind canned paste or frozen veggies, but this was just disgusting--no seasoning whatsoever--and I couldn't eat it, which is *very* rare for me. I also had a "reuben" that was slimy supermarket-deli corned beef with a plasticy swiss cheese melted on top, served open face. It was pretty lame. The breakfast food, however, is pretty good and they serve it all day.

              It is basically a crappy diner at this point but with friendly service and a nice atmosphere. I am not pretentious enough to say there isn't anything to eat here; you can get by with an omelet or tuna melt or something, but unless your idea of "plenty of choice" is choosing between a grilled chicken breast or a grilled salmon fillet, you can't say this place is for foodies, young or old, come on.

              1. re: barryg

                You're right - it's not a foodie destination spot. I just meant that in the context of an after-funeral family gathering, the younger folks in the group could find something they'd be willing to eat.

        2. I'd recommend The Kitchen Bar.


          It is a straight shot up 611 (Broad St.) a little farther than Marco Polo's. It looks like they have private rooms available. I went after a funeral in the same area, mix of ages/tastes and everyone was happy with the meal. I would check to see if the entrance has a ramp, I do remember some steps to get in.

          4 Replies
          1. re: philren

            Thanks everyone for your excellent and thoughtful help.

            We decided on Marco Polo, though I made the choice before seeing philren's posting about The Kitchen Bar.

            The staff there has been super helpful so far.

            I will post back and let you know how it goes.

            1. re: taos

              The Kitchen Bar is very nice, but farther. I think you made a good choice.
              Hope it goes well.

              1. re: sylviag

                Thanks again to everyone here for your thoughtful recommendations. We were really desperate to find an appropriate place on short notice and you saved the day.

                We did go to Marco Polo and it was an excellent choice. It met all the requirements. The location was a short drive from the funeral -- about 5 minutes into the suburbs. There was a parking lot right out front and very easy single level access right into the restaurant.

                The staff could not have been more accommodating. They had us set up on three parallel tables in a back alcove which gave us some of the privacy of a private room while still keeping us connected to the ambiance and mood of the rest of the place.

                We were greeted at the door by Jeff (?) who was super attentive to our group all night. Our group ended up being about 22 people ranging in age from, literally 1 to 90. There were no other children besides the 1 year old, though so that might have made it easier. For some reason we decided to bring one of the big flower arrangements from the funeral home with us and Jeff even set it up for us on a side table. That's going the extra mile!

                The food was good. Not three-star Michelin, but good solid Italian food. I would go back there even if I didn't have all the requirements of a group event. I had a small salad to start which was unspectacular, including some wilted lettuce, but it got better from there. For the main course I had a simple veal picatta, which they did well. Others at my table had pasta and some mussels which got rave reviews.

                Various adult beverages were also enjoyed.

                Everyone seemed quite pleased.

                1. re: taos

                  Thanks so much for reporting back. We are often left to wonder how things turned out, and are pleased to know that we were able to help.

                  Hope you return again - on better occasions - to try out some of our favorite Philly dining spots.