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Latest Top Chef (Kevin) on Philly restaurants

Bob Loblaw Sep 17, 2010 05:28 AM

This was on philly dot com:
"We asked Sbraga, who has eaten all over town, to name a few of his favorite local spots for out-of-town guests. He chose the Vietnamese noodle house Pho Ha (6th & Washington) and Jim's Steaks (431 N. 62nd)."

Thoughts? To me, it beat's Jen's 'any of Jose's places', shows some local knowledge, despite his being from Jersey.
Not that I've ever been to the W. Philly Jim's...

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  1. b
    barryg RE: Bob Loblaw Sep 17, 2010 05:59 AM

    I've heard good things about West Philly Jim's and have been meaning to get over there. Pho Ha is the best Pho house IMO.

    But, I wouldn't recommend either to out of town guests--neither neighborhood is tourist friendly in the least.

    10 Replies
    1. re: barryg
      Beulah RE: barryg Sep 17, 2010 08:18 AM

      What's wrong with Washington Avenue? I'm an elderly ex-suburbanite and I've never had a problem with it. Osteria's location is more of a problem and it doesn't keep the crowds from getting there.

      1. re: Beulah
        barryg RE: Beulah Sep 17, 2010 09:22 AM

        Nothing is "wrong" with Wash Ave at all. I just think it's a bit of a trek from anything interesting, not especially accessible via transit, hard to catch a cab from, and a bit divey to recommend to a tourist.

        Osteria on the other hand is right on Broad St, not as far from CC, near plenty of cabs, and most importantly a whole evening experience rather than a quick meal.

        1. re: barryg
          Bob Loblaw RE: barryg Sep 17, 2010 01:24 PM

          Perhaps there some distinction here btwn "out of town guests" and "tourists"? But Wash Ave is visit-worthy, I think, for someone who likes food, wants to make a trip down to the Italian market, and over to teh Pho places, maybe swing back up to John's afterwards. It's way more Philly than a lot of destinations I could think of.

          1. re: Bob Loblaw
            bonappetite RE: Bob Loblaw Sep 17, 2010 02:54 PM

            I think "chefs" look for food experience, not the sights so much.
            Never knew there was a Jim's in West Philly---is it related to the one on South Street?

            1. re: bonappetite
              ramenbound RE: bonappetite Sep 17, 2010 04:23 PM

              Very enjoyable - not in my upper echelon of cheesesteak spots but would certainly get my next Jim's visit over the touristy spot on South Street.

            2. re: Bob Loblaw
              barryg RE: Bob Loblaw Sep 17, 2010 02:57 PM

              Very true. We're off on a tangent. If someone from out of town asked me where to get Pho, I would definitely mention Pho Ha.

              1. re: barryg
                bonappetite RE: barryg Sep 17, 2010 04:37 PM

                true----------off the tangent, unbelievable, but I've never had Pho, definitely need to make a trip to Pho Ha.
                Anyone know where chef Kevin is going since leaving Rats?

                1. re: bonappetite
                  cwdonald RE: bonappetite Sep 18, 2010 05:02 AM

                  Speculation is that he is opening his own restaurant. He alluded to that possibility in several of the interviews he has done since the last show aired.

                  1. re: cwdonald
                    barryg RE: cwdonald Sep 19, 2010 04:51 AM

                    He's looking at locations in Wash West and Rittenhouse Sq for a "very high end" concept.


            3. re: barryg
              pinstripeprincess RE: barryg Sep 22, 2010 04:41 AM

              it's not the most scenic area, but as mentioned above there is quite a bit of food touring to be had.

              what i don't quite understand from your reasons that washington ave is a trek, is that i took the public transit to the far end and walked along it and into the italian market and then hardly a distance to get to bibou for dinner... a very frequently and highly recommended byob for tourists and out of towners alike with hardly a caveat about its location.

        2. j
          JanR RE: Bob Loblaw Sep 17, 2010 06:02 AM

          Odd. I agree, though, that it beats Jen's remark.

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