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Jan 2, 2010 10:56 PM

Eats around Kungfu Necktie

I'm coming up from Baltimore on Wednesday to see a show at Kungfu Necktie (N. Front St and W. Thompson) and would love to find some cheap eats for dinner before the show. I'll probably grab a cheesesteak from Pat's on my way home, so if I can find something a little lighter, but still awesome, that'd be great. I'll eat pretty much anything in regard to ethnicity if it's good and not terribly expensive.


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  1. Johnny Brenda's, great bar food and great beer,

    4 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      Is there really nothing more interesting around there?

      1. re: amandaudoff

        A few other options: authentic Mexican food around the corner on 2nd Street at Que Chula Es Puebla, or tapas and drinks at Bar Ferdinand, which is a bit further away on 2nd in a development called Liberties Walk. In addition to Johnny Brenda's, which usually has a great raw bar, you can get good snack food at the Swift Half, a pub located in The Piazza at Schmidt's, another development connected to Liberties Walk.

        1. re: amandaudoff

          The food at Johnny Brenda's is great and not what you would expect for bar food... they have great falafel, a raw bar, focus on local ingredients and the beer is all draft and all local. I am always really happy to have an excuse to eat there. It was recently on a list of the best food at concert venues nationwide (there is a venue upstairs):

          See nwinkler's post for other good suggestions.

          1. re: amandaudoff

            If you've been to Johnny Brenda's and are looking for something different, it's best to articulate that.

            I think that JB's is better than the Swift Half and PYT in the Piazza. Further south is the Standard Tap, another excellent gastropub.

        2. Standard Tap, the Abbaye, Bar Ferdinand, and I find a Full Plate Cafe kind of interesting, Tiffin I hear has terrific indian although ekta is better (but takeout only)

          It's super cold out right now and cabs aren't as prevalent right around there... I'd go with something very closeby

          1. paesano's. they are mainly sandwiches, but they are not worth missing. it is worth skipping the cheesesteak later to try this place out. they close at 7 though, so it may be tricky for you. the paesano sammie, the crespelle and the arista are all must tries - take your pick. or you can get a half sammie and a cup of soup if you still want the cheesesteak later, but i would do both.

            the owner of paesano's also has an excellent italian restaurant across the street (both are on girard between front and second), but it might be more food than you need before a show. it's called modo mio and worth a side trip. if you still want a sit-down meal, que chula es puebla is a good choice, as is la cazuelas. OR.....there is excellent indian food the other way on girard (east) at ekta (or further west, tiffin, at 7th and girard) as well as an excellent burger joint called sketch that makes a smashed onion burger (onions are pressed into the meat and caramelize as a crust on the flat top). their fries are also awesome, as are their random sides. mmm, haven't been to sketch in a couple of months, i think that may be my front runner.....even with the cheesesteak. they also doa veggie burger if you are into contrasts. :D

            skip johnny brendas. their food is inconsistent, it really depends on who is cooking there (love that bar and love when the food is good, but it is not 100% on). the beer selection is great but you'll find some very nice beer choices at kfn too.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mazza3

              yeah, cheap was mentioned otherwise i'd say modo mio. paesano's is pretty amazing, but not a lotta room to sit. perhaps some pierogies from new wave up in port richmond, if you have a car? or hinge cafe? are they still open? i had a decent meal there (though possibly even less exciting than johnny brenda's). what about bistro juliana? hrm, i'm getting away from cheap. most of those are BYOB.

              the abbaye's got some great beer, a cool atmosphere and amazing servers - pardon me if i'm getting off track here - but they really need to get a new bakery. their bread ruins the food in every dish it touches, IMHO.

              johnny brenda's can be hit or miss depending on what you order. i've never gone wrong with the octopus salad, though, and that is great pre-concerting food. i do it all the time. usually with the apple turnover for dessert.

              AFTER concert food, i've really got to give it up for david's mai lai wah in chinatown. do any of you other chowhounders find yourselves there at 4am after a night of heavy drinking? the salt-baked shrimp is pretty much amazing, if you can stand the glaring fluorescent light and a largely meathead crowd. :)

              p.s. i have a friend coming up from DC for that same show. this band must be good!

              1. re: mazza3

                wait, sketch got fries? when did this happen?!

                1. re: rabidog

                  About a year ago. Menu has really expanded as well. Best. Fries. Ever. Hand cut fresh, twice fried. They do it right.

              2. I ended up splurging and doing the Turista menu at Modo Mio and it was freaking amazing. Thanks for all the suggestions!

                3 Replies
                1. re: amandaudoff

                  Great move, glad you liked it. Did you end up hitting Pat's, too??

                  1. re: barryg

                    YAY! i wasn't sure if that would work out, but am happy to hear that you hit it up. i f'ing love that place.....

                    1. re: barryg

                      I didn't. I was so full from dinner that I wouldn't have enjoyed it. Next time. I might have a Tony Luke's / Pat's throwdown the next time I'm up there.