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Mar 2, 2010 05:31 PM

Lunch at/near Philly Flower Show at Penna convention Center this Thursday, March 4

We are taking a bus trip down to the Flower Show in Philly this Thursday. I'd prefer not to pay $6 for a cold, boiled hotdog like we do here at our convention center. Could some knowledgeable CH head us in the right direction for a lunch that won't take a lot of time, but that will be worth what we pay for it. The Convention Center is at 12th and Arch Streets. We've had cheese steaks at Jim's (and that would be better than nothing) but is there anything in the area quick and fun that we'd remember as well as the show?



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  1. Reading Terminal Market is super close and full of all types of yummy food. Infacrt I plan to eat there tommorow myself. A few do not miss places: LeBus for breads, Termini Brothers bakery to die for pasteries and Iovine Brothers Produce - beautiful fresh produce and great prices.
    I also like New Harmony (kopsher vegan Chinese food that carnivores also really enjoy) on North 9th Street GREAT all you can eat dim sum specials and Imperial Inn (meat based Chinese food) on North 10th Street which is also fabulous.
    Enjoy the show!

    1. There are two very good Vietnamese restaurants on 11th Street, north of Race - very close by. One is called Vietnam; the other is Vietnamese Palace. Both are attractive, with excellent service and varied menus.

      1. Are there any excellent cheese steak places close by? We are going on Friday.

        13 Replies
        1. re: nosey

          Reading Terminal Market is directly across the street from the Convention Center. It, like the Flower Show, is a destination for tourists and locals alike. That said, it can get pretty hectic during the Flower Show week. All of the food at the Market is better than the hot dog at the Convention Center (where I noticed they were charging $2.75 for a 20 ounce soda when we were entering plants for the show), but some of the food at the Market is on par with the best in the city. My favorite sandwich in the market is the roast pork with provolone and broccooli rabe at DiNic's (as seen on Man vs. Food). Hershel's also has very good pastrami sandwiches and people seem to like the turkey sandwiches at the stall next door. My favorite food at the market is the pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place, so if you want that you'd have to get there a bit earlier. Also a great bet are the soft pretzels at Miller's Twist, the pastries from Termini Brothers, peanut butter chocolate covered pretzels from Mueller's, warm cinnamon buns from Beiler's, and chocolate chip cookies from Fourth St. Even though the Market will eb crowded I'd avoid the temptation to sit down and eat at the Down Home Diner. It's not the best IMO. A number of places in the Market do serve cheesesteaks, but I have never had them. Rick's Steaks, which used to be in the Market, is a few blocks to the south in the Court at the Bellevue and they have good steaks, but it is a bit of a walk.

          1. re: bluehensfan

            I second pulled pork w/ rabe and provolone at DiNics-------really can't go wrong at RTM except as stated at Down Home Diner------nothing spectacular there. Wish i wasn't headed out of the city for lunch with a friend i'm craving the pork sandwich!!
            Also recommended by a lot of the CH's, the well hidden Dienner's behind the Dutch Eating place, people recommend the wings.......all of their chicken looked delicious when i found it but was too impatient to wait in line.

            1. re: bluehensfan

              Wow, thank you, DiNic's sounds great; I did see that on MvF, and it looked awfully good to me then. Is there any place to sit and eat in the market?

              1. re: junescook

                There is limited general seating, finding an open spot btw 11:30 - 1:00 depends on timing or luck.

                1. re: discndav

                  There is almost always available seating in the Beer Garden, though you have to buy a beer to bring your food in there.

                  I suspect seating everywhere at RTM will be more difficult than usual due to the Flower Show, but if you are in from out of town it's still a must-visit.

                  1. re: barryg

                    I often find seating beside the Flying Monkey and behind the Spice Terminal (ssshhhhh....)

                    1. re: Bigley9

                      There is also a small row of tables for two on the aisle on the non-counter (north) side of DiNic's, and a small area with several tables behind Miller's Twist that is not too bad. Our "reserved" seats used to be the stools that were at Termini's that they took out a few years back. Oh well. Personally I'd stand on one foot and eat DiNic's rather than eating the gruel at the Convention Center.

                    2. re: barryg

                      We might just have to make the sacrifice and buy the beer. Hell, this is sounding good -- my wife just aid we're going there to look at the flowers, but do they have any decent beer? Of course Leinenkugel (sp?) is even special for us.

                      1. re: junescook

                        No they don't have anything particularly good. But you can get Yuengling Lager, which is decent and local.

                        1. re: barryg

                          I guess that is what I meant. It's been quite a few years since I've been there. I generally prefer amber beers and remember being happily surprised when I tasted that then.

                          Thanks to everybody. Hopefully this will be a really good trip.


                  2. re: junescook

                    As much as I hate to share this, the tables located next to Termini's and to the side of the PA General Store are generally less crowded. Of course, it you hit the jackpot, DiNic's has about eight or ten stools right there at the stall where you can sit and be waited on.

                    One last hiint, get the roast pork (as opposed to the pulled) and order it "wet" so you get extra juice poured on it. And extra napkins don't hurt...

                2. re: nosey

                  You might also try Shank's at 15th and Sansom for good hoagies and cheesesteaks.

                3. We love Reading Terminal Market as much as anyone, but on Flower Show Days it has always been crazy/impossible. If you are going to try to get there, go at an off-hour; very early or mid-afternoon. Then maybe you'll have a chance among the crowds.

                  That is why Chinatown (browse the Board for suggestions), Vietnamese or other choices might be better for that day. Hope I'm wrong, because RTM is certainly special.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: sylviag

                    Thanks blue and sylvia for those last tips. We're coming from CT so we're not even going to get there until 11:00 or so, so lunch at 3:00 would work fine for us, we're leaving around 5 and then don't get home until 9. Personally, I'm looking for ward to the market part more than the show, even though I'm a master gardener and flower shows in winter are really like that proverbial breath of spring that everybody talks about.

                    And now somebody said that daylight saving starts on 3-14? What's that about? I hate DST. I'd rather get up in the sun and have dinner in the dark.

                    1. re: junescook

                      I was at RTM today (Wednesday) for lunch about 2 om. It was just me, but I did need two seats (thanks to the giant portfollio I had with me) and it was no harder to find a table today than any other time. Go and enjoy the food. This is a not miss place IMO!

                      1. re: junescook

                        That's great that you are coming from CT just to see the show. And to think I was complaining about having to drive an hour to Philly three times to enter and re-enter 17 plants in the show. Hopefully this round I won't find that someone dropped or knocked any of the pots over (it happened twice on the first I dunno). Anyway it is a fabulous show this year and I am sure you will enjoy the show and the market even more. And if you wind up going to DiNic's and really like it, they will do to-go containers with the meat and toppings in a container and the roll separate in case you want some more for later. Personally, I'd grab a few soft pretzels from Miller's Twist or some chocolate peanut butter pretzels from Mueller's (pictured below) for the ride home.

                        1. re: bluehensfan

                          The OP has probably left CT for Philly. However, at the RTM one must save room for the Raspberry Truffle ice cream for desserts at Bassett's Stand on the 12th Street side.

                    2. Just want to say thanks to CHers for making our trip doubly memorable. The flower show is very big and was very crowded, and by 1:30 we were both tired and hungry. We followed bluehensfan's advice and made our way through the market and found DiNic's. We ordered one sliced pork with the rabe and provolone (wet as suggested), and also a roast beef with pepper and prov. Though, by the time we got them there were plenty of seats right by DiNic's there, we opted to carry them over to the beer garden where we had a nice quiet corner table and could relax. She and I got ice cold draft Yuengling porter and lagers respectively, and split the sandwiches. The sandwiches were absolutely delicious -- I can see why they've won the awards they have.

                      I'll tell you, the flower show is nice, but that market is awesome. Thanks again.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: junescook

                        Thanks for reporting back. It's so nice to hear what happened.
                        You did it the right way - after the noon rush. And yes, our market is awesome!

                        1. re: sylviag

                          Thanks for posting about your visit as well! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the Flower Show and more importantly the Market. It's a great destination place in Philly that sometimes gets overlooked unless you know about it.