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Visiting first week of May...need dining ideas

Visiting and need restaurant suggestions:

2 diners (couple)
prefer booths or four-top tables where we can sit kitty-corner. Hate banquettes or little tiny-twofer tables!
We are definitely NOT vegetarians.
We are staying at the Dolce Hotel in King of Prussia and have a car.
We are in favor of quiet restaurants and down home good food. It doesn't need to be uber-hip, pretentious, or have a bangin' wine list. Given that we are driving, we'll probably stay away from drinking too much.
Willing to eat early to avoid a crowd.
The only thing that I can't imagine him eating is Ethiopian food. Otherwise, everything under the sun!

More savory, less sweet.

Probably good to do one $$$ meal, the rest of the dinners should be $/$$.

We are going to be getting up very early every morning to go to the Dutch Eating place for breakfast. Can anyone else recommend another decent diner-type breakfast location?

We'll be in town Tuesday afternoon to Saturday morning.

Thanks!

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  1. King of Prussia is pretty far away from the city, are you looking for recs in Philadelphia or KOP?

    1. As Buckethead notes, KOP is far from center city. However, since you will have a car, I would recommend driving into center city rather than trying to find places near KOP. Since you say you are going to the Dutch Eating Place every morning, I assume you are spending your days in center city. Since you also say you won't be drinking much and don't like two-tops, I'm guessing most of our byob's won't suit you. That would be a shame, as many are excellent. Problem is, they are often small with close seating. For your one expensive meal I would have suggested Vetri but it's too late to get a reservation. If you are thinking nice but less expensive than Vetri, I would recommend Fish, Meritage, Meme... You will get a lot of good suggestions on this board. If you can deal with little twotopsfor one night, I highly recommend Bibou, Modo Mio and August (this last one is in South Philadelphia). These are all byob's and Modo Mio is less than quiet but excellent food for a very good price.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JanR

        I ran all of this by my man, and he said, "go ahead and ask about the BYOB's!"

        So, bring on the BYOB's, your favorites!

        P.S.--If anyone wants Manhattan recommendations, I am happy to reciprocate :-)

      2. Just thought of a good restaurant not far from KOP. Alba, in Malvern.

        4 Replies
        1. re: JanR

          Believe me, the Dutch Eating Place is a great place to go for breakfast every day and I highly recommend the place and Reading Terminal. I eat breakfast at the Dutch Eating Place religiously every week unless I am out of town or it's a blizzard (knock on wood). That being said, admittedly the food is on the heavy side (at least the pancakes and the apple dumplings that they are famous for) and after four days of eating there you may be semi-comatose or too full to eat much else. Just don't want to kill off the tourists...

          By the way, do you know that King of Prussia is a fairly long ride away from downtown and the drive can be less-than-a-bargain because of the traffic?

          1. re: bluehensfan

            Yes, the driving between KoP and Philly can be hideous from commuter traffic. Wouldn't stay there to explore Philly unless required by a conference or something.

            Beyond that, the seating issue has me having trouble as really a lot of my favorites, for a couple, you will end up at a fairly tight two-fer. You might want to look into Square 1682 though, as I found the seating there very comfy for 2-3 and the food interesting and good for the price (especially the small plates). Continental Midtown can be fun, I like the food there, and it has some comfy booths if you can score one.

            1. re: bluehensfan

              Thanks for recommending the Dutch Eating place even more so! I've only had the Apple Dumplings and it was the best $3.00 piece of heaven I've ever had.

              We've been to Philly before and are familiar with the drive between KOP and Center City. Not any more difficult than getting from Hamilton Heights (north of Harlem) to Battery Park city on any given day. We are staying at the hotel in question because 1)we've stayed there before and it's a nice hotel with a good rate 2) and free parking! 3)It's right across the street from an Acme supermarket, which my young man is in LOVE with!

              In Manhattan we don't HAVE grocery stores like this! Even Whole Foods is jam-packed all the time and filled with hipsters. The age of the well-designed, well-stocked, spacious, friendly neighborhood SUPERMARKET with plenty of free parking is alien to Manhattan.

              1. re: chained1001

                If you want to do a supermarket tour, there are two Whole Foods downtown, both have free parking and are not too crowded. There is a Trader Joe's downtown with free parking, too. Can't help you with the hipsters though, and none are as big as the Manhattan stores.

                Down along Columbus Blvd, there are two large supermarkets, a Super Fresh and a Shop Rite, as well as a Target, Ikea, Lowe's, Wal Mart, Best Buy, and many other big box stores. Loads of free parking and it's a less than 10 minute drive from Center City. There are some advantages to living in the 6th Borough :).

                There is also a large Acme in South Philly between a couple trendy neighborhoods, not far at all from downtown, but unfortunately it fails the friendly test. I should start a thread about that store...

          2. I believe the Dolce has a van service, and I think they will bring you to and pick you up from the Norristown regional rail station. Market East Station is essentially underneath the Reading Terminal Market, so it's easy to get there for breakfast in the morning.

            If you're looking for other breakfast suggestions, Sabrina's, near 10th and Christian in the Italian Market is a nice walk down from Market East and, while it's packed on the weekends, it's easy to walk in on a weekday and have a leisurely breakfast. Then you can spend the morning walking around the Market if that interests you.

            5 Replies
            1. re: urbanfabric

              There is also a Sabrina's at 18th & Callowhill. I actually prefer the food at that one (great pancakes and omelettes) and parking is pretty easy there.

              1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                Glad you're looking forward to the Dutch Eating Place. Personally I could eat there every day and not be dissuaded, so go for it.

                I'd pass on seeing the While Foods in Philly if I were you. After being to the one in Columbus Circle and Union Square, visiting the ones in Philly would be akin to stopping by a small convenience store.

                As previously mentioned, Sabrina's is another breakfast possibility. Also there is Cafe Estelle and Honey's Sit and Eat. Both are a bit hipster so that may not bode well for you. There is always the Dutch Eating Place.

                When you mean "down home good food" are you talking holes in the wall with good food (such as say Lombardi's) or places with good food (like Gotham Bar and Grill?) Just trying to recommend what's appropriate. Either way, resist the temptation to go to the Down Home Diner in Reading Terminal. It's "down home" but the food's well usually down.

                Do hit up DiNic's at Reading Terminal for a roast pork sandwich with provolone and broccoli rabe. Not easy to find in NYC.

                1. re: bluehensfan

                  Have to disagree on the WF assessment bluehensfan. Not that I think the WFs in town are awesome, or worth a trip from out of town (though I would say the same thing about Acme, so who knows), my memory of the Columbus Circle WF was a cramped grocery area about the same size as the South St location here, but with a huge prepared foods section taking up 2 floors including the seating. And insanely long lines wrapping around the entire store. But my memory could be off.

                  1. re: barryg

                    Admittedly I only hit the prepared food section of the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle. It was insanely crowded but the food was pretty good (once we found a seat the following day).

                    1. re: bluehensfan

                      I think the Whole Foods to really visit is the new one in Plymouth Meeting which is also not far from KOP. I have not been there but friends have and it's been getting big raves. Brand new, huge and has a bar actually inside where you can have beverages. Here's 2 links
                      chowhound.chow.com/topics/628016

                      foobooz.com/2010/.../tale-of-the-tape-whole-foods-plymouth-meeting/