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Jul 26, 2010 10:25 AM

wednesday mid-afternoon drinks

hi all!

so i have 3 friends coming into town on wednesday on different flights (supposedly) landing between the hours of 1pm and 3pm, and i have no car with which to pick them up. so they're all cool with hopping on the R1 train and meeting me in center city, where we'll head to a bar and have martinis and snacks as we wait for the others to arrive. they're going to have luggage, so i wanted to pick a place super-close to either market east or suburban station, where they won't have to walk far (and also a place where bringing in carry-on-sized suitcases wouldn't pose a problem). it's an all-grrrl reunion, so we're gonna want a place with awesome martinis and summery cocktails. and yummy finger foods. we're going to be eventually taxi-ing back to my place, dropping off luggage, and taking the el down to the phillies game where we'll probably stuff ourselves on either ballpark or chickie's & pete's food.

i have a few places in mind so far, but definitely look forward to hearing others.
el vez?
the ritz carlton bar?
sole food at the loews?

haven't been to any of these three in about two years, so would be interested in hearing your opinions and ideas. el vez is about the max distance from the train station i'd want them to have to walk. thanks all!! :)

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  1. Isn't there a bar right across Filbert St from Reading Terminal Market? The name I remember was Independence Brew Pub (or something like that), but I think it might have a new name now. The place is pretty big, so suitcases shouldn't be a big deal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Philly Ray

      i believe you are referring to the field house...but as urbanfabric mentions watch out for all the center city sips people on wed afternoon - it will be a madhouse almost every where in the city...especially if the weather is nice.

    2. I would recommend either the ritz carlton or the loew's, with the ritz being classier and pricier. (but, hello soft pretzels with jalepeno jam at the ritz bar)

      watch out for center city sips! turns your average bar into chaos!

      1. The absolute closest place I can think of would be Table 31, the Comcast Center and Suburban Station are connected underground by the concourse, so they wouldn't need to trundle their suitcases along the sidewalk in 90-plus degree weather. But I don't need to tell you about Table 31, I guess..

        The bar at 10 Arts (Ritz-Carlton) is nice, only a block or two away from Suburban Station. On the next block south is Nineteen at the Bellevue, the bar there is really comfortable and has a great view of the city. Their website stinks and doesn't seem to say whether they're open at that time, but Yelp says they are. Oyster House is close, too, their suitcases may be a tighter fit there but between 1 and 4 on a Wednesday isn't exactly prime time, I don't think you'll have a problem. The cocktails will be better at Oyster House.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Buckethead

          Heeheehee... Buckethead, you must have done your research! :) (For the rest of you, I work there...) Honestly I love the outdoor area, but I'm afraid I'm gonna be entertaining too heavy-drinking of a group to be parading around amongst colleagues. Hm, now you've given me a lot of new ideas to ponder! Never been to 10 Arts, and haven't checked out Oyster House since it reopened. Definitely tempting, though one in my party is a super-picky eater, hailing from Austin, TX all she'll really eat is American and Mexican (and Doritos)... hence why I was considering El Vez. Oh, XIX would be a beautiful view and such a neat idea for my out-of-towners. Aaaaand as an added bonus, if we got carried away and stayed through CC Sips and ended up having to hightail it straight down the Broad St line without making a luggage drop at my house, I'd bet the hotel would be more than happy to hold it for us. Oh, you may have just decided our afternoon! Thanks!!

          1. re: rabidog

            Let us know how it goes. If the Texan isn't down with seafood, Oyster House probably isn't the best place, the lunch menu is almost entirely seafood dishes. They're mostly pretty classic American fare though: two chowders, a po-boy, a (really good) lobster roll, a very good burger. If you haven't been there since they re-opened (more importantly, since Katie Loeb started tending bar there), and drinks are the main point of the event, that's where I'd go.

            Now I want oysters...

            1. re: Buckethead

              oh, goodness, I just had some FABulous oysters at the Standard Tap and I'm in the same boat, so to speak - pun not intended! Something about discussing two things makes my mouth positively water, and those two things are briny oysters and... Jolly Ranchers. :)

              I love the popups of the lobster roll here and there around the city! I didn't know Oyster House had one... now I'm going to make a definite point to get there in the near future!!! Just had a lovely one at Under the C... and I also saw that Village Whiskey offers one as well. One of these days when I'm not so cash-poor, I'd love to do a lobster roll bike tour! :)

              1. re: rabidog

                I'm not a big fan of Sampan (across the street from El Vez) but they make a really good lobster roll appetizer there, FYI.

                1. re: Buckethead

                  Sampan... I forgot about them, and I've never been here. Not great, eh? That's turning into quite the food corner there. I've always really liked 13th and Sansom!

          2. re: Buckethead

            Concurr with Bucket on Oyster House for drinks, as well as munchies. I am a huge fan of the Juliet and Romeo that Katie borrowed from a great bar in Chicago. The Goodnight Gracie and the French Fox are wonderful as well. And they have a nice pear martini on rotation now.

            I am not sure what the Ritz is like mid day. It is a wonderful pre post theatre bar. They have some interesting drinks too.. Strawberry Thyme martini, blueberry marguarita, sparkling peach mojito, acai sour. $15.00 per drink.

            One other easy suggestion is to have them get off at 30th Street and you could all rendez-vous at Bridgewater Pub in 30th street. Great microbrew selection, not sure about how well they make their drinks. Minimize the schlepp. And then you could all split a cab or take the subway surface from there depending on your preference.

            Bridgewater Pub
            22 S Laurel St, Bridgeton, NJ 08302

            1. re: cwdonald

              yeah, I love the Ritz... their drink prices, not so much! Remind me, is XIX just as damaging to the wallet as the Ritz? If so, Oyster House is looking better & better...

              I haven't been to Field House (at least, since it changed from Independence)... it definitely seems on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but I'd heard iffy reports since the switchover. Anyone been recently?

              1. re: rabidog

                Rdoggie, If this spectacular grrrlfest is going to ever happen, you might want to have them aware that the R1 (and all other R lines) no longer exist as of today. Tweet them to the news and party on!

                1. re: Chefpaulo

                  thanks! i just heard that news tonight trekking between tria (fabulous) and that bright green chinese/japanese place at 10th and race (significantly less so). at the risk of veering too far off topic... renamed rail lines? really? and we can't even get smartcards like every other major metropolitan city? /rant off

                  it's gonna be a crazy mid-week adventure... i ran the options by the girls (grrls, sorry! :) and they're leaning towards margarita pitchers at el vez. thursday we're heading up to new hope for lunch and then sellersville for dinner and a concert. friday i'll probably take them out on the town (philly), perhaps tie up my one friend and drag her to aqua for lunch and hopefully when we drop our rental car off at the enterprise on 12th st we'll hit the prohibition taproom for dinner on the way home. saturday i wanna do brunch at north third before they all fly out. of course this is all probably way too ambitious and we very well may end up lounging around my house, ordering pizza and polishing off this mixed case of weyerbacher's big beers that i splurged on at the new beer distributor at american & girard... we shall see. :)

                  1. re: rabidog

                    How bout Distrito. Great Margaritas and food. Not too far from 30th street.

                    1. re: joluvscards

                      well, i know i'm late to report back, but as planned, nothing went according to our overly-ambitious plan! one friend's flight was delayed so we skipped the phillies game (as the delayed friend was the huge baseball fan anyway). we started off with cheese, baguettes and wine at parc, moved over to vintage for more wine, moved to XIX at the bellvue for CC sips (friends raved about the view) and (you guessed it) more wine, and then wound up at garces trading co with more wine still. i didn't love garces trading co, though service was great and the olive oil and vinegar samples were amazing. that was wednesday. thursday was mostly a travel day, as it takes 4 girls apparently the majority of the day to wake up, rent a car, and make our way up to sellersville. our only meal of the day were wawa hoagies, and i will admit everyone was overly impressed with the wawa hoagie and fancy ordering screen. simple pleasures. i'm pretty sure our only other meal of the day were champagne-raspberry martinis in the hotel room. oh, and i suppose there was a diner visit somewhere in sellersville late that night, wish i could remember its name as it was delicious. the next day made our way to new hope, where we feasted at the landing restaurant... great view, pretty terrible food. i never do this, but i actually sent back a lobster ravioli because for $23, i couldn't detect a bit of lobster, and the pasta just wasn't good. the octopus salad was decent, but not a great value. i'd skip this place next time. after many hours of shopping, ended up at john & peter's for nachos and beer, and then back to philly after a little picnic at washington's crossing. saturday morning i saw everyone off. didn't end up being the foodie weekend i was dying for, but good times nonetheless :) thanks for the ideas, all!