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What's the latest on Philly?

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I'm going to be in Philadelphia today (Wed) at lunch time. The last time I was there Maccabeam was temporarily closed, and Mama's was the only game in town. I understand that Maccabeam has since reopened under new management, and that there's also a new place, Hamifgash. Any opinions on either of them? Reviews on Shamash are mixed.

Also, is the hechsher on Hamifgash generally accepted in the local Orthodox community?

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  1. My parents were just at Maccabeam last week (Thursday, I think), and they were disappointed. They said it wasn't as good as it used to be. I can't remember what their specific critiques were, as that was an aside in the overall conversation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: asf78

      Well, here I am at Maccabeam finishing up a late lunch.

      1. Shakshuka was very disappointing. Basically an omelette with grilled tomatoes. NOT what I think of as shakshuka at all. No sauce of mixed vegetables, no half-runny eggs, and certainly no dollop of chumus or ful. Just this fried egg, mixed with these grilled tomatoes.

      2. The bean soup is very tomatoey, extremely tomatoey, tomatoey to excess. It's a tomato soup with some beans in it, and not even a great tomato soup. Have I made myself clear? Fortunately, the addition lots of schug served to improve it tremendously (as it does to any soup, but this one needed it more than most).

    2. Mama's is definitly the place to eat. Great fod and pretty reasonable. If you want a good supper MAX AND DAVIDS! Prob my favorite restraunt (and Im from NY)

      1 Reply
      1. re: MaTi

        Max and Davids is excellent but it is not downtown.

      2. Sorry that I am too late for your lunch today. But if you are back in philly, there actually is a new place that just recently became kosehr. It is called Su Xing, it is a vegan restaurant located on Sansom, I think bet 15th and 16th. It is chinese-style, and the food is AWESOME. Really some of the best vegan chinese I have ever had. And pretty cheap, too.

        5 Replies
          1. re: queenscook

            Doh! I was going to post that....to the OP: Many of the vegan restaurants in Philly are under supervision of a Conservative Rabbi. It is not my place to comment on the acceptabilty of the hechsher or not, but just to point out who is doing the supervising.

            1. re: vallevin

              Hi Vallevin - I agree with you that every individual should choose the kashrut standards that they feel are appropriate. But you are not correct in your insinuation that the supervision is that of a conservative rabbi. As pointed out below, Su Ching is under the supervision of Rabbi Zev Schwarcz, who is an orthodox rabbi. Please be careful before posting assumptions.

            2. re: queenscook

              They seem to be under IKC. http://nyrabbi.blogspot.com/

              I have no idea who they are besides that they do a number of Vegan places in NYC and they are not the same people that the other Philadelphia vegetarian Chinese places use.

              1. re: avitrek

                Thank you. I actually do trust Rabbi Schwarcz, having had several conversations and email exchanges with him, and found him to be open about his standards, not at all defensive, willing to discuss any question, to explain anything that seems unusual, and to advise those who hold different standards which of his restaurants they can and can't eat at. Had I known about this place I'd have called him to verify the standards he's applying, and decided whether to eat there. I'm sure I'd have had a better meal than I did at Maccabeam.

          2. Does anyone know if Hamifgash is still in business? Their hours are listed as until 8PM Sun - Thursday but when I called at about 7:30 PM tonight I got sent to a voicemailbox which was full.

            I am planning a bike trip with a group to Philadelphia on May 15th, looking for a kosher place in Center city to eat dinner. Preferably meat, it's going to have been a very long day. See http://danahudes.blogspot.com/2011/04...

            (Yes I know about Max and Davids: it is a great place with great food but it is also out in Elkins Park, a 12.5 mile ride to the train home to NYC).

            1. FYI - there are a couple of new restaurants in Philly that are kosher. Blackbird Vegan Pizzeria at 507 S 6th St which is under Rabbi Schwarcz (IKC), and Falafel Bar at 1513 Chestnut which is under KO. Both are delicious and highly recommended!

              6 Replies
              1. re: kosherfoodfan

                Thank you for the recommendations but we're having pizza for lunch in Deal (Jerusalem Pizza of Deal) 83 miles before. We're going to be quite hungry having pedaled 145 miles since 7:30 AM and looking for something substantial -- meat/chicken/fish. Hamifgash sounds good but my concern is that I was unable to reach them on the telephone so I'm looking for anyone with current information as to their status. Recommendations for other establishments for glatt kosher meat dining in Center City are welcome as well.

                1. re: koshercyclist

                  What about the kosher dining hall at Penn? (Technically not Center City)

                  1. re: vallevin

                    Penn is out of the way but thanks for the suggestion. We're coming into town via the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and therefore anything between there and 30th St. station is appropriate. Obviously 10 blocks either direction is no big deal but 12 miles is not going to go over well.

                  2. re: koshercyclist

                    As far as I know, Hamifgash is still in business. Glatt Delight is another option - 128 S 12th St @ Sansom.

                    1. re: kosherfoodfan

                      Note: Glatt Delight is the former Maccabeam. The last time I was there they were already under the new management and were in the process of changing the name. Unless it's improved dramatically in the last 10 months, I wouldn't recommend it unless you MUST have meat and are hesitant about Hamifgash's hechsher. If meat isn't necessary, then I'd recommend Su Xing House, if you're OK with the hechsher. Though I suppose if deli sandwiches are OK then there's not much Glatt Delight can do wrong to a sandwich.

                      1. re: kosherfoodfan

                        Thank you,. I called back today at noon and reached a woman who assured me they were open Sunday until 8 PM.