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Apr 7, 2010 10:00 AM

Starving Artist needs help

I am in an art show and my husband and I woudl like to have dinner after the closing/awards cerimony on Saturday the 17th. We will be at 7th and Catherine, but will have a car if we need to drive somewhere. We are looking for a nice-ish place for dinner for the two of us. Here are the restrictions: I don't eat shell fish or pork, but am open to most other things. We rarely drink and there will mostl likey be wine at the closing, if so I may have my three sips for the month there <g>, so we don't need a place with a bar. I was asked to keep the check to $50 or less. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much!

Here is a link to the show:

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  1. For real cheap but lacking in some service and atmosphere, you could hit Nam Phuong at 11th & Washington for good Vietnamese, it's close but you'd probably drive and they have a parking lot. It's not a dive and is a pretty nice dining experience, especially for the money. It's just kind of big and bright, and you need to wave down a waiter to get anything. $50 for two would get you a feast.

    Gnocchi is a little Italian BYOB up near 5th & Passyunk that is currently (at least I think it's still on) running a special for a $25 meal for two--2 salads, 2 entrees, share a piece of Tiramisu. I can't vouch for the quality though because I haven't eaten there in long time BUT I am going there tomorrow so I will let you know.

    There is also Salt & Pepper, another little BYOB, at 6th & Fitzwater. I've never been there but have heard good things and should be in your price range, though might be pushing it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: barryg

      I just realized that I'm pretty sure that $25 deal is only on weekday nights. But it still would be in your price range with the normal menu.

    2. Does the $50 include tax and tip? Some inexpensive but good places around there include the Latest Dish (4th St. just south of South St.), Cafe de Laos (11th just south of Washington Ave.) and Plaza Garibaldi (900 block of Washington Ave.) Plaza Garibaldi's atmosphere is not great. Cafe de Laos will probably make it hard to follow your dietary restrictions.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Buckethead

        all of these are good recs, but cafe de laos shouldn't be an issue. i bring vegetarian friends there and they have no problem finding something to eat.

        i also love nam phuong, like barry.

        1. re: mazza3

          Yeah, there are plenty of vegetarian options at CDL, what I was getting it was that at a lot of Asian places, it can be hard to know what's really vegetarian because most of the dishes have many, many different ingredients and unless you know the cuisine intimately, it can be hard to figure out what's what. The servers can help somewhat but I'm not sure even they know all the ingredients in every dish. The OP didn't say whether her dietary restrictions are self-imposed or allergies, I know shellfish can cause pretty bad reactions if you're allergic and that dried shrimp are in a lot of dishes at CDL that you might not suspect.

      2. Cucina Forte is at 8th and Catherine and is a byo, so as long as you are sure you will get your 3 sips at the show, it should be fine. Incredible gnocchi, dream soup and other Italian offerings!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bigley9

          Thank you so much everyone, but especially Bigley9. I have passed there so many times and wonderred if it was a good place. I will have to be sure to try it, either that night or another one. Thanks!
          Oh and about my three sips, it is a rare art show that diesn't have wine. Sometimes the three sips are dificult to swallow though <g>

          1. re: Prettypoodle

            Just an FYI - the state store on Delaware Ave at Snyder is now selling half bottles of about 10 wines. Not sure if others are doing this as well but I know people often mention not wanting a whole bottle with dinner and that it is hard at BYOs

        2. Thank you all for your suggestions. We walked by Gnocchi and it looked wonderful. (we wnet by early , before dinner) We also walked by Cucina Forte (actually we parked right by there) and while my husband thought the Dream Soup looked fabulous, we also skipped there. These were my top two choices.

          We wound up at New Harmony in Chinatown for amazing vegan Chinese. We did the all you can eat dim sum and actually had to tell them to stop bringing out food! We axctually took some home with us they served so much. The "pork buns" were to die for (I will eat vegan "pork" :) ) and we really loved the Cold Sesame Noodles

          Thnk you all for your suggetions, I am sure we will be tring many of them eventually. As much as i had been desiring Italian, Chinese won out that night (as it often does for us