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NYC CH coming to Philly

hey all...me and the lady will be taking the train down from NYC to Philly for the Joanna Newsom shows at First Unitarian...we're staying at 17th & Chestnut, not far from the venue, and would appreciate some suggestions on places not far from there.

we'll only have time for a quick bite on Friday, somewhere between the train station and 22nd @ Chestnut. any good cheesesteaks to be had there? any good late-night options for after?

Saturday, we'll be looking for brunch near the hotel and then a light lunch before seeing a mid-day show. i figure we'll have about two hours after the show and before our train departs, so we'll be looking for food and drinks on our way out.

we're open to everything except Korean, which we eat a lot of at home.

thanks in advance....

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  1. <takes deep breath>

    There are no cheesesteaks of note between 30th St and the venue... actually there is not much of anything between 30th St and the venue so you'll need to trek just a bit further to grub and even then there aren't any worthwhile steaks. Primo's makes excellent hoagies at their 21st & Chestnut location but they close at 3:00pm so I doubt that will work for you. The only quality quick place I can think of near there that will be open is Mama's Falafel on 20th near Chestnut; I think they close at 9:00pm, and they make damn good falafel and sabich sandwiches. You could also hit DiBruno Bros on Chestnut btwn 17th & 18th for a gourmet prepared foods type situation; I think they close at 8:00.

    You have some good late night options: Village Whiskey (20th & Chestnut), Good Dog (15th & Locust), and Pub & Kitchen (20th & Lombard) all serve til 1:00am. All are known for their burger but serve a variety of upscale pub food; P&K probably has the best non-burger and fish options and Good Dog has the best vegetarian options if that matters.

    I'll let others tackle brunch but for lunch you could hit the above mentioned Primo's for hoagies and eat them in Rittenhouse Square (minimal seating in the shop), which is better than most cheesesteaks. Make sure you get at least the "Primo" size to ensure the best bread, and get their Italian or veggie options for the best sandwiches. It's not light at all (though you could split one Primo size), but worth it for a local treat.

    On the way out you could try Village Whiskey if you missed it, or maybe Tria (18th & Sansom) for snacks at a wine/beer bar. You could go there for your light lunch, too; I think they open at noon.

    Whew!

    5 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      many thanks...does this part of the city have a name?

      1. re: coasts

        Not far from your hotel is Rittenhouse Square, so that area is "Rittenhouse Square" or "West Center City." The area between 30th Street and the Unitarian Church is somewhat nameless. Although I do enjoy the name I heard a few years ago: CRAP: Chestnut Right Above the Park.

        1. re: urbanfabric

          WARNING WARNING WARNING: Mama's closes before sunset on Fridays, so Mama's won't work.

          1. re: megmosa

            Good call, and they are closed all day Saturday, too.

      2. re: barryg

        I'd also add Snackbar to your list, barryg, I think they serve food late. 20th and Rittenhouse Square (Street, not the actual square).

      3. For me no show at the First Unitarian is complete without a burger and drinks at Village Whiskey, one block away. Maybe get a snack before the show and chill at V W after, the bar tenders alone provide an engaging hour of whiskey lore.

        Enjoy the show by the way, the F U is pretty much one of the best venues in the country. It's also tiny, so it's a mystery to me how Joanna N intends to fit her harp, let alone an orchestra, inside

        1 Reply
        1. re: AgentRed

          no orchestra this time. she's got a quarter for this tour. unrelated to CH, but her new album is worth a listen. can't wait to see her again.

        2. Are you taking Amtrak or Regional Rail? If Regional, and depending on when you come in on Friday, get off at the Suburban Station stop (instead of 30th street) and follow the signs to Comcast Center - there is a decent cheesesteak place there called Mike's Steaks, Dibruno Brothers has a place there, and many others. You can also grab some sweets at Termini's to take with you...their napoleon is to die for. Exit through the lobby, check out the video wall, walk up 17th street to your hotel (stopping at the state store in case you decide to enjoy one of our famous BYO's in the area) and you're a few blocks from the church. Have a great visit! If the weather cooperates, just wander Rittenhouse Square and you will have countless snack/cocktail/people watching opportunities.

          1 Reply
          1. re: doxiemom

            Unfortunately Termini's has not served napoleons for years. I keep asking them to bring them back but to no avail. They do have great Nirvana pastries though!

          2. Either on you way in or out there are a few options worth considering at 30th Street Station:

            - Bridgewater's Pub
            - Delilah's Soul Food (Best mac'n'cheese in US according to Oprah)
            - Italian hoagies at the stand near Dunkin' Donuts were touted by another writer to this board

            Have a great visit!

            1. many thanks to all...i've got a good list going here, several of which were coincidentally mentioned in a free NY paper this morning...there was a two page article on where to eat in Philly...Village Whiskey was mentioned, as was Parc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: coasts

                just to say thanks to all for the recommendations. our trip to Philly was a huge success, highlighted by the two concerts, but with food as a close contender. we got in early enough to have a drink at Village Whiskey and liked it so much we ended up back there after the show for some snacks. saturday, we did brunch at Parc. it was a bit larger and too impersonal for our tastes, but the food was good. we ended our trip with a full meal at Tinto, having seen the menu while at VW. delicious, well conceived dishes at reasonable prices. this is the kind of place that would get ruined in New York with long waits and inflated prices.