Du Jour Restaurant - Two Commerce Square - 20th & Market St., Philadelphia, PA
A new restaurant just opened in Two Commerce Square located at 20th & Market. "Du Jour" replaces the old Salad Works which unfortunately closed a couple years ago. I have mixed feelings about this new restaurants - so I'll highlight my observations below.
Pros: It's a new restaurant in an area that doesn't have a huge selection of places to eat.
I had the Thai Noodle Salad, which was absolutely delicious. One of my friends had the house salad with chicken, and she said her salad was very good. Another friend had a flat bread (pizza) and he enjoyed it, although it came with peppers and onions on it, and he's not a vegetable fan. The menu didn't mention anything about the veggies on the flatbread.
There's a fair amount of seating and fortunately we didn't have to wait for a table.
Waitress service is always appreciated (our waitress was very sweet) and something the other nearby restaurants (Paganos, Au Bon Pain, Coventry, Kennedy House) don't have.
Seating is comfortable with some nice booths, and the restaurant appeared to be clean. The kitchen cooking area is open for all to see, as well.
Cons: Expensive. $8.95 for a hot dog and chips (seriously!). Granted, the thai salad was "only" $7.95, but add a couple more bucks for chicken add-on. Figure a minimum of $10-$12 for a lunch, per person.
Plastic drinking cups. With a wait-staff service, nice big white plates and stainless steel silverware, I'm not sure they they've opted for plastic cups. That seems to take away from the more "upscale" ambiance they're trying to project.
Noisy. Maybe it's just the building - glass walls, hard tile floors - nothing to absorb the noise. It's a little hard to hear others at your table talking. Tables were also pretty close together.
Temperature. Granted, it's 30 degrees outside today and there's lots of glass walls, but the restaurant was definitely chilly. They did keep one of the entrances to the restaurant locked to help minimize the cold air coming in, which was definitely appreciated.
Limited Menu. Hopefully they'll add more items to the menu - maybe I'm being a tad bit critical since they've only been open for about a week or two.
All in all, it's not a bad place to go. The food was good (or at least what we had was good!) so that's definitely a great starting point. It's just a shame they haven't set themselves apart much from their competition. They would probably do much better if they were a couple dollars cheaper than Paganos and/or had an area dedicated to take-out service. They could also have a bigger menu and be open for breakfast (at least I don't think they're open for breakfast yet). While take-out is probably available, there really didn't seem to be a place to hang out.
I certainly wish them much success and I'm sure I'll be back.
Thanks for the writeup. I work right near 20th & Market, too. The best (inside) lunch in the area IMO is Mama's Falafel. You get an absolutely huge sandwich for $6.00 that happens to be the best falafel in the city, plus you get access to their fixings bar. It's actually too big, I usually get the small fr $3.50. Their soups and other food is good too. I can't find a reason to go to these overpriced sandwich/salad shops.
I haven't had Mama's falafel, but their hummus is awesome! I happen to like Coventry Deli - they have great salads (and huge!!) and awesome sandwiches. But Du Jour is a nice change of pace for something new. And I work in their same building, so I didn't need to go outside! Plus ... I'll admit it - Du Jour's thai salad was really, really yummy - the only place around that sells something similar (thai peanut salad) is Elephant and Castle and that's too far to go on these cold Philly days! (Global warming, huh??) Who knows, maybe one day the Asian-fusion place will actually open where 20-21 was... We can only hope!! ;-)
I also agree that Mama's is great and the prices are wonderful. I also work in that area and while I brown bag it to work most of the time I have all my lunch meetings at Day by Day. They have a great selection of lunch fare (big salads, sandwiches, hot entrees, daily quiche, etc) but they are only open until 2:30 so beware. I also think they may not be open on Mondays. Their prices are pretty good and you get a free refill on sodas and unlimited refills on iced teas. I love their herbal iced tea. My personal favourites are their honey fried chicken toss salad with an awesome buttermilk dressing, the tuna melt and the chicken salad with bacon and avacado. They are located on the corner of 21st and Sansom.
I work in the building where DuJour is located. My sense was that they were opening with a limited menu while they got their feet on the ground. Don't know how much they will expand and when. Last week they were still not serving breakfast yet.
I really like the food a Pagano's, and think their pizza is some of the best around. I really wish someone with a liquor license would open here -- I really miss Wednesday and Thursdays after work in the summer outside in that courtyard.
And speaking of NOT cheap, has anyone tried Famous 4th Street Deli on 19th St? You need a bank loan to pay for lunch, but the soups and sandwiches are real NY Jewish deli. Top-of-the-line ingredients and humongous portions. Worth a try if you are willing to split a sandwich (and the cost) with a friend; I don't know how one person could eat the whole thing.