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Making my first food-centric trip to Philly. Thoughts/Suggestions appreciated.

uhockey Mar 27, 2010 11:50 PM

Will be attending a wedding outside Philadelphia in early April but aside from the wedding I've no plans to stay with the group - instead I'm planning to see what the city itself has to offer in terms of walking, wandering, and eating. As I'll be driving I'll have plenty of access to a car and thus far I know Mutter, the Picasso exhibit at the museum, and perhaps the Aquarium in Jersey are on the list.

In terms of eating, my three dinners are already planned and booked - Tasting menu at Le Bec Fin on Thursday, The Deguztation at Vetri Friday, and Chef's table at Amada on Saturday.

In terms of breakfasts and lunch, however, I'm looking for thoughts. Obviously the Reading Market is on the list, but otherwise I've no plans - Osteria looks impressive as do some of the items at Amis, but perhaps something more "oldschool?"

Thanks in Advance.

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    Buckethead RE: uhockey Mar 28, 2010 09:01 AM

    If you're already going to Vetri, I'd skip Osteria and Amis. Amis doesn't serve lunch anyway as far as I know.

    Kanella is great, one of the city's best restaurants and they serve lunch Thursday through Saturday and breakfast on the weekend. It's BYO but there's a wine store nearby on the 1200 block (I think) of Chestnut.

    Paesano's makes some of the best sandwiches in the city and they now have a location at the top of the Italian Market, I'd head there for lunch one day and see the Market afterwards. The Arista is their version of a roast pork sandwich with provolone and broccoli rabe, which is our city's *good* sandwich (as opposed to the cheesesteak).

    If I were you I'd visit the Mutter museum on Thursday, and on that trip, go to Village Whiskey for lunch (get the Village Burger, not the Whiskey King). It's a few blocks away. VW is small and very hot right now, it's really hard to get into during dinner hours but if you're going on a weekday for lunch (and are by yourself and can therefore squeeze into a single bar seat) you should have no trouble. After lunch, head across the street to Capogiro for the city's best gelato. Capogiro is kind of non-negotiable, no matter where you go for lunch I'd try to work Capogiro in afterwards, it's one of the best food experiences the city has to offer. There are two locations in center city but the one across from VW is my favorite.

    Koo Zee Doo is another of the city's best restaurants, and they serve lunch Fri-Sun. It's not close to your other destinations but if you're in a car it's no problem.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Buckethead
      uhockey RE: Buckethead Mar 28, 2010 06:13 PM

      Well - I don't eat beef (at all) and rarely drink (so BYO likely means I'll drink water) - so that makes Village Whiskey a miss, for sure.

      Amis does serve lunch - started very recently and same menu as dinner - Opentable now taking reservations.

      Capogiro has been favorably compared to Jeni's Ice Cream here in Cbus, so its on the list.

      Koo Zee Doo definitely looks interesting, though I think the dinner menu looks much more appealing than lunch - same with Kanella actually.

      Paesano's looks like a great choice. Thanks!

      1. re: uhockey
        b
        Buckethead RE: uhockey Mar 29, 2010 10:33 AM

        I would still skip Osteria and Amis, they're both Marc Vetri restaurants, if you're going to Vetri itself there isn't much point. If you were not going to Vetri, I'd recommend Osteria over Amis, I wasn't all that impressed with Amis, especially for the prices.

        1. re: Buckethead
          m
          megmosa RE: Buckethead Mar 29, 2010 11:45 AM

          I think you are already planning on going to Paesanos, but I want to (perhaps unnecessarily) encourage you even more to go. Every sandwich I've had there has been phenomenal, including the vegetarian ones. If you like cooking, stop by Fante's in the Italian Market too. It's a great little cooking store, and I think it's supposed to be one of the oldest in the country.

          1. re: Buckethead
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            barryg RE: Buckethead Mar 29, 2010 12:12 PM

            Do not miss Paesano's.

            For a nicer sit down lunch you could try another Garces restaurant like Chifa, Tinto, or Garces Trading Company. The food is different at all of them so it's not like the Vetri situation. You could also hit Morimoto.

            I also love Mama's Vegetarian for authentic Israeli-style falafel. Very casual but also very cheap. They are closed until the end of Passover, though, and also every Saturday. It's close to the Mutter.

            1. re: barryg
              uhockey RE: barryg Mar 30, 2010 05:18 AM

              Garces Trading Company is definitely interesting and I plan to go there. Morimoto is indeed another thought.

              1. re: uhockey
                pinstripeprincess RE: uhockey Mar 31, 2010 12:57 PM

                from your venture into my home town i think morimoto would be right up your alley and it will liven up the variety in your visit. i certainly intend to go again to try to the ramen that looked so wonderful. i'm a fan of the buri bop as long as you take it under your control and remove the buri earlier than suggested.

                if you want to go classic, sansom oyster house would probably be a good option in that sense.

            2. re: Buckethead
              uhockey RE: Buckethead Mar 30, 2010 05:17 AM

              The point, I guess, would be the Pizza at Osteria.

              1. re: uhockey
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                cwdonald RE: uhockey Mar 30, 2010 07:47 AM

                You might consider the pizza at Stella ... another good not great restaurant from Stephen Starr and a bit more casual than the others in your list.

            3. re: uhockey
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              drjane RE: uhockey Apr 6, 2010 07:44 PM

              I may be in the minority, but I've never been very impressed with Capogiro. The flavors are interesting, but it doesn't compare to gelato in Italy in intensity of flavor or texture. IMHO, the best ice cream in Philly comes from Bassett's at the Reading Terminal Market. The dark chocolate chocolate chip is a true chocoholic experience, and the fresh fruit flavors in season are also great.

              1. re: uhockey
                m
                moss RE: uhockey Apr 12, 2010 07:48 PM

                Capogiro doesn't even begin to compare with Jeni's. Not terrible, but nothing special.

                Garces' places are all good. Amada is my favorite. Another standard choice is Monk's for mussels (and frites). Cbus is pretty weak on Mexican, so maybe Distrito or Lolita (BYOT) or one of the more downscale places on Washington? I guess pho is mostly out if you don't eat beef.

                Zahav would be different, and excellent.

              2. re: Buckethead
                j
                jvaill40 RE: Buckethead Jul 14, 2010 12:00 PM

                Vetri is the best of the best. Stay away from S Foo. And definitely the Mutter. Reading Market for lunch and to buy picnic foods. Paesano's authentically good.

                1. re: jvaill40
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                  Buckethead RE: jvaill40 Jul 14, 2010 12:08 PM

                  Susanna Foo's has been closed for a year or so now..

              3. The Chowhound Team RE: uhockey Mar 29, 2010 12:58 PM

                Just a friendly reminder Folks, Chowhound is about finding great food and drink. Posts not discussing food or drink will be removed.

                1. m
                  micreynolds RE: uhockey Mar 31, 2010 03:16 PM

                  I disagree with some of the posters and would say definitely hit up Osteria for lunch, in addition to Vetri. The pizza is incredible and it's a completely different experience than Vetri.

                  I would pass on Amis. Marc vetri is the man, however, I think it's the bottom on his resume.

                  Lunch - I'd pass on the reading terminal market and head straight to PAESANO'S!!! Been eating there every weekend since they opened. The Italian sandwhich is great, and the italian sausage sandwich is totally bonkers! Believe the hype.

                  Breakfast/Brunch - Carman's Country Cafe is very unique and a fun experience. The menu changes each weekend.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: micreynolds
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                    urbanfabric RE: micreynolds Apr 8, 2010 01:17 PM

                    Agreed on Paesano's! The 9th and Christian location has stolen my heart. As of last weekend, the Liveracce sandwich is now with fried chicken livers instead of beef and boy is it a really spectacular sandwich.

                  2. Delucacheesemonger RE: uhockey Apr 8, 2010 01:26 PM

                    As mentioned in an email to your blog, Le Bec as of a few months ago is not doing it right.
                    Vetri is excellent but portions on weekends are way too much food, Amada is super, llove the sauteed scallions. Disagree with many others on the pizza in this town. Stella was meh, Osteria is ok on top but for me crust is a waste of time; l am a Tacconelli's fan tried and true.
                    If you need company email me on the address on this site.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
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                      Nancy S. RE: Delucacheesemonger Apr 9, 2010 09:18 AM

                      I agree with the "Bec Fin" comment. It's tired. You may be disappointed. How about a BYOB instead? Also agree with the comment about Capogiro. It's fine, but I am always slightly disappointed.

                      1. re: Nancy S.
                        bluehensfan RE: Nancy S. Jul 23, 2010 07:45 AM

                        Not only is LBF tired, but it may be for sale: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/th...

                        1. re: bluehensfan
                          uhockey RE: bluehensfan Jul 23, 2010 11:56 AM

                          All the more reason to visit on this trip - may be a last chance. I had a great meal at Aqua in SF shortly before it closed its doors.

                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                          1. re: uhockey
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                            ramenbound RE: uhockey Jul 23, 2010 12:37 PM

                            I'm loving the interesting contrast in dining philosophy here.

                            1. re: ramenbound
                              uhockey RE: ramenbound Jul 23, 2010 01:53 PM

                              :-)

                              I've had the chance to eat at some great places in my life - All but one of the US Michelin 3 Star restaurants and many highly regarded places.....but I also really like Emeril's restaurants (all of the ones I've been to,) same with Mario Batali, Michael Mina, and Wolfgang Puck actually. There are people who criticize them for fitting a mold or a scene or whatever - being tired and uninvolved in their kitchen. I guess there is a point to that, but I don't think those chefs put slouches in their kitchens.

                              With a place like Le Bec Fin (or Antoine's in New Orleans) I realize what I'm going for - the room, the history, and some (likely overpriced) food - but the chef's are generally competent and the experience worth it. For a $50 lunch, to enjoy that dessert cart and a few other excellent courses (with perhaps some snooty behaviour) - its a risk I'll take, and all the moreso if I may not ever have that chance again.

                              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                              1. re: uhockey
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                                ramenbound RE: uhockey Jul 29, 2010 12:43 AM

                                Sounds like you know what you want, and you're going for it! Saw your post in the Italian thread - Amada, Modo Mio and a double dosage of Marc Vetri - wish I were in town to be part of the whole fuss!

                                1. re: ramenbound
                                  uhockey RE: ramenbound Jul 29, 2010 04:06 AM

                                  May try to squeeze in Amis brunch, as well. :-)

                                  The Amada pig will be fun - someone local set it up and it sounds like 6-8 of us.

                                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                  1. re: uhockey
                                    bluehensfan RE: uhockey Jul 29, 2010 05:46 AM

                                    If you go to Amis, ask if Mike can be your server. He gave us great recommendations when we went there. Most were things we would not think of trying...

                      2. re: Delucacheesemonger
                        uhockey RE: Delucacheesemonger Jul 13, 2010 04:22 PM

                        Bringing this thread back to the top - missed the April trip but am now scheduled for August. Anything new, dynamic, "can't-miss" in Philly?

                        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                      3. Niki in Dayton RE: uhockey Jul 14, 2010 08:35 AM

                        I seem to recall you have a bit of sweet tooth, uhockey, so recommend you consider a visit to Isgro's Pasticceria, on Christian St near the Italian Market area on 9th (also definitely worth a visit; it's interesting to stroll down the street and see all the various shops). On our first visit to Isgro's, my friend said "We need to buy one of everything" which I thought excessive. After tasting the pastries, we returned to buy more - she was right!

                        Local hounds - is Isgro's still as good as I remember? It's been a few years...anywhere else of the same caliber that locals recommend?

                        21 Replies
                        1. re: Niki in Dayton
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                          barryg RE: Niki in Dayton Jul 14, 2010 08:41 AM

                          It's good but the cannoli better is at Termini's, and by a large margin in my opinion. Isgro's does not fill the shells to order. For Italian sweets I'd send people to Termini's, either Reading Terminal or original location on 8th St.

                          1. re: barryg
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                            Buckethead RE: barryg Jul 14, 2010 08:53 AM

                            I agree, go to Termini's. Last time I was at Isgro's they did fill them to order, but that was a few years ago. I stopped going there because the employees are unfriendly, at best. If they're no longer even bothering to fill their cannolis to order, there's no point in going there, a cannoli is at its best just after it's filled.

                            1. re: Buckethead
                              bluehensfan RE: Buckethead Jul 14, 2010 09:18 AM

                              I used to like the cannoli better at Isgros because they have a cinnamon-y taste to their shells but the last time I had them the shells were not crispy. I like my cannoli to have fresh shells and a good "snap" to them when I eat them and this I can get at Termini's probably because they are freshly filled. As an aside, I do know that you can either get powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top of the cannolis at the Reading Terminal location. The cinnamon sugar was news to me (tried it last week) and it was really good.

                              I do hear that Potito's is supposed to have good cannolis too but have not been there yet.

                               
                               
                               
                              1. re: bluehensfan
                                uhockey RE: bluehensfan Jul 14, 2010 10:18 AM

                                Good info - thanks all.

                                Would love to do the Suckling Pig at Amada, but would need to meet a crew of people there. Not sure if any other travelers or locals would be interested, but I'd have no qualms with meeting strangers to try some Tapas and the Pig.

                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                1. re: uhockey
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                                  Buckethead RE: uhockey Jul 14, 2010 10:34 AM

                                  Your original trip was for three nights, how long are you going to be here for in August? Assuming it's still for three days, three breakfasts/lunches/dinners, If I were you I'd go to Bibou, Zahav, and Vetri for dinner. For lunch, go to Amada, Kanella, and Paesano's.

                                  1. re: Buckethead
                                    uhockey RE: Buckethead Jul 14, 2010 03:37 PM

                                    This visit will be 4 days.

                                    http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                    1. re: uhockey
                                      bluehensfan RE: uhockey Jul 14, 2010 04:34 PM

                                      Do hit the Dutch Eating Place at Reading Terminal Market for no-nonsense delicious pancakes. Also hit DiNic's there for a roast pork sandwich with provolone and broccoli rabe. If you're lucky you can see the annual Dutch Festival at Reading Terminal the second weekend (I think) in August and get these hot donuts that people seem to love (myself excluded admittedly).

                                      I'd pass on the pizza at Stella or for that matter just about any pizza in town. Some are better than others but nothing is to die for unless Lombardi's comes back to town.

                                      I enjoyed my meal at Amis a lot and still think you should consider the Mesibah at Zahav. Paesano's is good but not worth skipping the unique experience at Reading Terminal. And get the bacio gelato at Capogiro (you may have to go to the 20th st. location for it because the 13th one has not seemed to have it lately).

                                      BTW-The blog post on the Camellia Grill in NOLA was great. Brought back a lot of good memories of the place since a relative owned it for years until Katrina...

                                      1. re: bluehensfan
                                        uhockey RE: bluehensfan Jul 14, 2010 04:53 PM

                                        Cheers - thanks - Camellia for breakfast, Alinea for dinner - one of my favorite Bipolar eating days ever.

                                        I'm thinking Vetri, Zahav, Bibou, and Le Bec-Fin for dinners,
                                        Lunches was thinking Paesanos, Amada, Osteria, and maybe Morimoto for lunch.
                                        I'd likely swing by Reading Market a few times for breakfast-ish times - snacks and the like.

                                        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                        1. re: uhockey
                                          bluehensfan RE: uhockey Jul 14, 2010 05:13 PM

                                          Do hit the market between Wednesday and Saturday for the full Amish experience...a third of the market is closed on the other days. And skip the diner there!

                                          1. re: uhockey
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                                            Philly Ray RE: uhockey Jul 14, 2010 06:58 PM

                                            I believe Vetri closes for 2 weeks in August and if you don't already have your reservation now, I would call ASAP (like tomorrow) to see if you can still get in when they are open.

                                            1. re: Philly Ray
                                              uhockey RE: Philly Ray Jul 15, 2010 09:36 AM

                                              They are actually only closed one week this year - just after I leave. I called. :-)

                                              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                            2. re: uhockey
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                                              Buckethead RE: uhockey Jul 14, 2010 07:39 PM

                                              I'd skip Le Bec-Fin entirely and go to Kanella (or Amada, for that matter, though I'm not as big a fan of Amada as many are) instead. Bibou is the city's best French restaurant. I didn't want to say anything earlier because you had already booked your visit to LBF, but if you haven't made reservations yet for your August trip I'd skip it. The only reason to go to LBF over Bibou would be if the accoutrements of fine dining (service, wine service, cheese cart, old-school atmosphere) are more important to you than the food. I do like Le Bec-Fin, but between Bibou and LBF, Bibou wins. I suppose if you are a huge fan of French food, going to both may be worthwhile. But LBF's days as one of the city's can't-miss restaurants are behind it. I perused your blog today and based on where you've been, I don't think LBF will impress you that much.

                                              1. re: Buckethead
                                                uhockey RE: Buckethead Jul 15, 2010 09:38 AM

                                                Kanella's lunch menu just doesn't do it for me and I really don't want to spend a dinner on it - and I love Fine French.

                                                I wonder if Le Bec Fin would be a good experience for lunch service, instead?

                                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                1. re: uhockey
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                                                  Buckethead RE: uhockey Jul 15, 2010 09:49 AM

                                                  If you love French food, I'd go ahead and go to LBF, like I said I do like the restaurant. It's just that it's no longer a must-visit for visitors to Philadelphia the way it used to be. You already have our best French restaurant (Bibou) on your itinerary.

                                                  If your criteria for choosing your dinner destinations is the best Philly has to offer, regardless of cuisine, I'd go to Kanella, Koo Zee Doo, or Amada over LBF. But if you like French enough to make half of your dinners on your first Philly visit French, then Bibou and LBF are the two places you should go.

                                                  1. re: Buckethead
                                                    uhockey RE: Buckethead Jul 15, 2010 02:25 PM

                                                    Bibou is closed during the time I'll be there - bummer.

                                                    http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                    1. re: uhockey
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                                                      barryg RE: uhockey Jul 15, 2010 02:34 PM

                                                      If you want another good French meal, Bistrot La Minette would be next down the list and it's very good.

                                                  2. re: uhockey
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                                                    nwinkler RE: uhockey Jul 16, 2010 08:05 AM

                                                    I thoroughly enjoyed a lunch tasting menu I had at LBF a few years ago, and found it fairly priced at $75 for 6 courses (it's now $55 for 5). I was expecting the service at lunch to feel less polished than at dinner, but in fact the experience was more intimate--there weren't many lunch diners and the room was abuzz with servers; we felt very taken care of. (I should say, though, that I've never had a 4-star service experience at LBF, nor, really, a 4-start dining experience. The food, if you stay away from the classics, can be very good, but there's something tired, dated, outmoded about the execution.) My point stands: lunch is a fine way to go here.

                                                    I'm surprised that the Fountain @ Four Seasons hasn't gotten any consideration here. Though I've been only once and it was years ago, it was the most polished and refined dining experience I've ever had in the city. Laban fairly recently upheld his 4-star review, and I continue to hear that it's got the best service around. I would push for it for dinner over LBF.

                                                    1. re: nwinkler
                                                      uhockey RE: nwinkler Jul 16, 2010 10:08 AM

                                                      Cheers - I was thinking the same about Le Bec Fin - I just need to make sure they allow the Foie Gras from Bar Lyonnaise to make its way to the dining room. Do they do the full cheese and dessert carte at Lunch?

                                                      I need to look into The Fountain, I've read great things but no one talks about it. A well respected fellow blogger mentioned James as an option, as well.

                                                      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                      1. re: uhockey
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                                                        Bigley9 RE: uhockey Jul 16, 2010 10:14 AM

                                                        I love james but you will get mixed reviews on this board. He is a James Beard award winner (new chef - midatlantic a couple years ago) and this year was asked to compete to represent the US in the bocuse d'or (he did not win as he did not finish his dish on time but was complimented for refusing to put the dish out at all) (I am not related and I don't work there - I just have been going a coupke times a year since they opened so Kristina - Jim's wife - knows us) You can always stop in for a cocktail and a appetizer at the bar if you are unsure

                                                        1. re: Bigley9
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                                                          Buckethead RE: Bigley9 Jul 16, 2010 10:21 AM

                                                          Bigley and I agree on most things, but not James. I've never had a meal there that I'd care to eat again, and I've been there a few times. My most recent visit was just a few months ago, I had a perfectly cooked piece of beef that was almost totally flavorless. I do really like their canapes though, and their bar is very comfortable, you may want to go there and sit at the bar and order the canapes prior to a meal somewhere else.

                                        2. re: uhockey
                                          bluehensfan RE: uhockey Jul 14, 2010 11:53 AM

                                          As much as I enjoy the tapas at Amada, I was not a fan of their pig. It was salty and had a very gamey flavor to it, so much that we threw out the leftover pig (but ate the chickpeas and other yummy accompaniments). If it were me, I'd save room in your stomach for the equally filling, tender, delicious lamb shoulder on the Mesibah menu at Zahav that can be ordered without calling ahead.

                                2. uhockey RE: uhockey Jul 15, 2010 03:10 PM

                                  Another question - is the Brunch at Lacroix worth it?

                                  If not, who does a good Sat/Sun brunch (or weekday Breakfast)

                                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                  18 Replies
                                  1. re: uhockey
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                                    Philly Ray RE: uhockey Jul 15, 2010 04:15 PM

                                    Brunch at Lacroix is ABSOLUTELY worth it. It is nothing like your standard Sat/Sun brunch. Here is a sample menu...

                                    http://www.lacroixrestaurant.com/menu...

                                    1. re: Philly Ray
                                      bluehensfan RE: Philly Ray Jul 16, 2010 03:42 AM

                                      There is Sabrina's for brunch on Saturday but I would not miss it at the expense of the Dutch Earting Place at Reading Terminal. Personally I'd go to the extremes...Lacroix for the ultimate in fancy and the Dutch Eating Place for just good food (get the pancakes, scapple (welcome to Philly) and/or a apple dumpling).

                                       
                                       
                                       
                                       
                                      1. re: bluehensfan
                                        uhockey RE: bluehensfan Jul 16, 2010 10:06 AM

                                        Those pancakes are definitely on the "to do" list. :-) I plan to do a lot of breakfast meals at the Terminal.

                                        1. re: uhockey
                                          bluehensfan RE: uhockey Jul 16, 2010 10:48 AM

                                          Also try the warm, freshly baked cinnamon buns from Beiler's...and the soft pretzels at Miller's Twist. Both are good option for breakfast at the Market.

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                      2. re: Philly Ray
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                                        felizglfr RE: Philly Ray Jul 29, 2010 08:56 AM

                                        The menu at Lacroix looks amazing! l'd love to got to Lacroix, but I think it's a bit too much out of my price range.

                                        I'm reading the thread here for brunch/breakfast and it seems only options are Sabrina's or Dutch Eating Place. But Dutch Eating Place is more of a stall not a restaurant, right?

                                        Are there any other brunch places that less stuffy and are under $20/entree?

                                        Thank you!

                                        1. re: felizglfr
                                          bluehensfan RE: felizglfr Jul 29, 2010 09:18 AM

                                          The Dutch Eating Place is a long counter that seats about 25 people in a market setting. You may want to consider Cafe Estelle or Honey's Sit and Eat. I have also heard decent things about Carmen's. The problem is that Honey's and Carmen's are not easily accessible without a cab from Center City.

                                          1. re: bluehensfan
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                                            barryg RE: bluehensfan Jul 29, 2010 09:29 AM

                                            Green Eggs Cafe in South Philly is really good, too. It's also outside of Center City, but less than two blocks from the subway.

                                            1. re: barryg
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                                              felizglfr RE: barryg Jul 29, 2010 10:43 AM

                                              hmm...I'm looking for a place closer to center city. the place has to be close to shopping as well. (my eating partner's choice, not mine).

                                              1. re: felizglfr
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                                                barryg RE: felizglfr Jul 29, 2010 10:48 AM

                                                There's always Marathon Grill at 16th & Sansom. Nothing special, but a solid and affordable basic brunch menu right along the Walnut St shopping corridor. Parc on Rittenhouse Square does breakfast everyday, too, but I've never had it.

                                                1. re: barryg
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                                                  felizglfr RE: barryg Jul 29, 2010 10:53 AM

                                                  ahh, thank you. i'll take a look at parc and marathon.

                                                  i made a reservation at supper but it doesn't seem to be close to anything. unless i'm mistaken?

                                                  1. re: felizglfr
                                                    bluehensfan RE: felizglfr Jul 29, 2010 10:57 AM

                                                    It's not far away from a Whole Foods and all of the funky South St. scene. There is the mosaic Magic Garden thing there you could walk through. .

                                          2. re: felizglfr
                                            uhockey RE: felizglfr Jul 29, 2010 09:28 AM

                                            They aren't "every day" but I've heard Supper, Garces Trading Company, and Cochon put on a very solid weekend brunch. I think I'm going to check out Supper if I have the chance before my flight out on Sunday the 29th.

                                            http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                            1. re: uhockey
                                              bluehensfan RE: uhockey Jul 29, 2010 09:45 AM

                                              I was actually a bit disappointed with my last visit at Garces Trading Co. Granted nothing was bad food-wise, it was above average and everything, but it seems like the fillings of the sandwiches shrink each successive visit. And our server was about as enthusiastic as a lump of clay. Then busser started topping off our sparkling water with tap water only to apologize and get us a new bottle of water which we were charged for. For the price you are paying for all of this you'd think they could do a little better. It was like $70 before tip for two apps, two sandwiches, a pizza, and a dessert (and the two bottles of water).

                                              1. re: bluehensfan
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                                                felizglfr RE: bluehensfan Jul 29, 2010 10:42 AM

                                                That sounds disappointing. I've never tried a Garces restaurant, but the menu seems tasty. Perhaps it's more of a lunch/dinner place than brunch?

                                                1. re: felizglfr
                                                  bluehensfan RE: felizglfr Jul 29, 2010 10:47 AM

                                                  Personally I'd choose Amada over Garces Trading Company, even before this last meal. Amada is a "real" restaurant, while GTC is like a Garces-infused food court.

                                                  Cafe Estelle is a good bet for brunch but there's not much shopping around there. You may want to consider Parc?

                                              2. re: uhockey
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                                                felizglfr RE: uhockey Jul 29, 2010 10:39 AM

                                                Thank you for the suggestions.

                                                Reading over the menu at Supper - they have red velvet waffles!!! They sound sublime!

                                                1. re: felizglfr
                                                  rabidog RE: felizglfr Aug 29, 2010 07:19 PM

                                                  IMHO the best brunch places are the neighborhoody ones, and you'll get fewer of those in center city. Is Callowhill too far? Cafe Lift is my favorite (BYOB) brunch in the city, and it's just up 13th a smidge north of Callowhill.

                                                  Failing that, I'd vote for a Kanella brunch.

                                                  Too far for you, but my other brunching favorites are North Third, Cafe Estelle and Green Eggs (and we're getting one in NL!!! Woot!)

                                          3. re: uhockey
                                            s
                                            sylviag RE: uhockey Jul 17, 2010 09:03 AM

                                            The brunch at Lacroix is more than worth it. To me, it was one of the outstanding eating experiences of my life - and that includes NY, Europe, wherever.

                                            I rate it over lunches and dinners at LBF and many other experiences.

                                            It's a shame that Bibou will be closed. That's another type of experience entirely, and we love it there.

                                            Of course, I haven't had brunch at some of the top NY places, so maybe there is a comparison there. But we took a small group to LaCroix in honor of a birthday and everyone had a marvelous time. Reading the menu makes me nostalgic.
                                            If you go to brunch there, schedule a late dinner - or a light one.

                                          4. uhockey RE: uhockey Jul 17, 2010 07:51 AM

                                            With regard to Amada - does anyone have thoughts on lunch vs. dinner? IMO the dinner menu looks much more expansive and interesting, but the restaurant fits better as a lunch.

                                            Thanks.

                                            http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: uhockey
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                                              ramenbound RE: uhockey Jul 17, 2010 04:27 PM

                                              I would definitely go for dinner over lunch. Looking at the website, Amada's lunch does seem somewhat limited. If I were in your shoes, I would go for the lunch tasting at LBF, sliding in Amada to that dinner slot.

                                              1. re: ramenbound
                                                uhockey RE: ramenbound Jul 17, 2010 05:57 PM

                                                I am strongly considering doing just that - but I still am curious as to whether LBF offers the cheese cart and dessert cart during lunch service.

                                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                1. re: uhockey
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                                                  bonappetite RE: uhockey Jul 18, 2010 12:17 AM

                                                  I think that LBF offers cheese cart during lunch,, they definitely offer dessert cart. Went to Amada on Thursday and got mid-range chef tasting menu--------excellent--so much food! Have never been for lunch, but if menu limited, would def wait and go to dinner.

                                                  1. re: bonappetite
                                                    uhockey RE: bonappetite Jul 18, 2010 06:44 AM

                                                    I think I agree. The current itinerary looks something like lunches at Paesano's, LBF, Osteria, and Morimoto with dinners at Amada, Vetri, Zahav and someplace yet to be decided (James, Adsum, Fountain, Lacroix all in consideration.)

                                                    Breakfasts will likely just be quick stops at Reading and Garces Trading Company - maybe go out of my way for French Toast at Cafe Estelle or Sabrina's one day.

                                                    http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                    1. re: uhockey
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                                                      barryg RE: uhockey Jul 18, 2010 07:17 AM

                                                      Sounds like an amazing food trip!

                                                      1. re: uhockey
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                                                        bonappetite RE: uhockey Jul 18, 2010 07:17 AM

                                                        sounds wonderful...think i'm jealous!

                                                        1. re: bonappetite
                                                          uhockey RE: bonappetite Jul 18, 2010 04:22 PM

                                                          Don't be jealous - I'm down for a meet n' eat with local foodies anywhere I go if people are interested. I'd still be up for the Pork at Amada if I could find a group.

                                                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                          1. re: uhockey
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                                                            bonappetite RE: uhockey Jul 19, 2010 02:20 AM

                                                            Wow, I would love to try the Pork at Amada, you need 4 people and have to reserve i am definitely in, let me know

                                              2. uhockey RE: uhockey Jul 19, 2010 05:22 AM

                                                I put up a post trying to gather a group for the pig roast here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7215...

                                                1. uhockey RE: uhockey Aug 29, 2010 04:21 PM

                                                  Just wanted to thank you all for the suggestions. My eventual agenda ended up being as follows:

                                                  Day 1: Sabrina's / Amis / Amada
                                                  Day 2: Sam's Morning Glory / Lacroix / Tacconelli's / Modo Mio
                                                  Day 3: Carman's Country Kitchen / Osteria / Vetri
                                                  Day 4: Dutch Eating Place / Le Bec Fin / Zahav
                                                  Day 5: Supper

                                                  Additional bites in between included Capogiro, La Colombe, Garces Trading Company, Miller's Twist, Beiler's Bakery, Flying Monkey Patisserie, Termini Brothers.

                                                  Reviews will slowly accrue and I'll cross post here as well as the blog as I typically do.

                                                  Again, I thank you all - fantastic city and some really awesome people, plus your museum scene is pretty excellent as well.

                                                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                  17 Replies
                                                  1. re: uhockey
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                                                    Hungryin theBurbs RE: uhockey Aug 29, 2010 04:44 PM

                                                    Impressive eating. It looks like you hit some real highlights. I'll look forward to the more detailed reports.

                                                    1. re: uhockey
                                                      rabidog RE: uhockey Aug 29, 2010 07:22 PM

                                                      jeez. it would take me six months to do what you did in five days!!! amazing list - i can't wait to hear reviews. a really diverse range of food there... and so glad you got a miller's pretzel! :)

                                                      1. re: rabidog
                                                        uhockey RE: rabidog Aug 30, 2010 03:41 AM

                                                        The Maitre D' and Chef at Zahav were quite impressed by how much I ate there - same with the fella' at Le Bec Fin and fellow CHer delucascheesemonger........I'm beginning to feel like that freak on Man Vs. Food. :-)

                                                        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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                                                          barryg RE: uhockey Aug 30, 2010 05:51 AM

                                                          You *should* have a TV show. Looking forward to the write up as well.

                                                          1. re: barryg
                                                            bluehensfan RE: barryg Aug 30, 2010 05:56 AM

                                                            I can't wait to read all of this... I hope you did wind up getting the lamb shoulder at Zahav and liked Reading Terminal Market.

                                                            I liked the Termini's review but you missed out on their delicious vanilla cannoli and their raspberry pound cake. A return trip may be in order!

                                                          2. re: uhockey
                                                            gaffk RE: uhockey Aug 30, 2010 05:56 AM

                                                            Great blog entry on your first morning at Termini and Sabrina's. But I think that breakfast would have done me in for the rest of the day.

                                                            1. re: gaffk
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                                                              Philly Ray RE: gaffk Aug 30, 2010 06:32 AM

                                                              Where was the B&B on 8th St?

                                                              1. re: Philly Ray
                                                                uhockey RE: Philly Ray Aug 30, 2010 07:39 AM

                                                                Ray - post in the blog or give me an e-mail address. Can't talk non-food here without getting threads killed.

                                                                I did indeed get the Lamb at Zahav and I ate the meat solo which prompted this exchange:

                                                                Maitre D' "Chef, this guy just ate a whole shoulder of lamb....solo."
                                                                Chef Solomonov "Wow - with the blond hair and an appetite like that you're like a viking."

                                                                More conversation followed about "The Great Outdoors" because there was still fat and bone on the plate. :-)

                                                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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                                                                  barryg RE: uhockey Aug 30, 2010 07:58 AM

                                                                  Let me get this straight--you killed the entire shoulder of lamb on the same day you ate at the Dutch Eating Place and Le Bec Fin?!

                                                                  1. re: barryg
                                                                    gaffk RE: barryg Aug 30, 2010 08:12 AM

                                                                    And it appears he even snacks in between?

                                                                    1. re: gaffk
                                                                      Rondo RE: gaffk Aug 30, 2010 01:55 PM

                                                                      I watched the dude pack it away at Amada during our pig out. The man can eat. And he's thin! He says he exercises a lot. I'd love to be able to eat like that and not put on any weight.

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                                                                        Bob Loblaw RE: Rondo Aug 30, 2010 03:10 PM

                                                                        I was curious, gotta admit...
                                                                        people who eat that much are either really thin or ginormous. I run, and some of the folks I run with just don't stop eating.

                                                                        1. re: Rondo
                                                                          uhockey RE: Rondo Aug 30, 2010 03:20 PM

                                                                          Fact is I don't eat like this at home. All my meals out are blogged about and as such, if it ain't in the blog and discussed on Chowhound I cooked at home.

                                                                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                                      2. re: barryg
                                                                        uhockey RE: barryg Aug 30, 2010 08:30 AM

                                                                        ...yes, but my "shoulder" was much smaller than the one they had at the table of 4 across from me. There were no snacks that day, though - aside from a cupcake at Flying Monkey. :-)

                                                                        fwiw, I did the tasting at Le Bec Fin with 2 additional courses and.....yeah, all the desserts.

                                                                        I will note I walked nearly 66.7 miles per my podometer during the 4.5 days in town.

                                                                        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                                        1. re: uhockey
                                                                          bluehensfan RE: uhockey Aug 30, 2010 10:21 AM

                                                                          What did you eat at DEP? One hash brown? I know when I had my usual pancakes there on the morning after the lamb at Zahav I was a bit lethargic.

                                                                          1. re: bluehensfan
                                                                            uhockey RE: bluehensfan Aug 30, 2010 03:17 PM

                                                                            Short stack and a dumpling with Heavy Cream.

                                                                            http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                                             
                                                                            1. re: uhockey
                                                                              bluehensfan RE: uhockey Aug 31, 2010 04:27 AM

                                                                              Heh. My stomach hurts just thinking about the lamb shoulder and seeing the picture of the pancakes and the dumpling. At least you didn't venture into scrapple territory...

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