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Sep 23, 2010 09:54 PM

slow Sat. lunch in Philly

Headed to Philly for the weekend and am looking for an exceptional Sat. lunch -- preferably something of the slow food / local / organic variety but not wedded. High quality (but not luxe -- Fountain, etc.) and a reasonably quiet ambiance most important.

Anything come to mind?

Poking through google, White Dog pops up in the genre with mixed reviews. Plenty of great dinner places, and plenty of Sun. lunch options but Sat. lunch in Philly seems a bit tricky....

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  1. An organic, local, slow food Saturday lunch in Philly is indeed tricky. Good places like Amada, Tria, Estia, and Chifa are open but places like Amis, Tinto, Osteria are not. And none of them really even meet your criteria!. And also a number of places do brunch at that time like Kanella and Parc. I know Farmicia is open at that time but the food's not all that spectacular nor is it at White Dog. I keep harping about Estia's three course $30 business lunch which is served on Saturdays which has great grilled octopus, a whole fist freshly flown in from the Mediterranean, and either baklava or fresh fruit. And the ambience there is upscale and sedate on Saturdays at lunch, particularly in the booths. But then again, it's neither local or organic, but of given a choice of that versus the other players in town that are open on Saturday at lunch offering organic offerings, you may want to broaden your search criteria if you want to be assured a truly good meal.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bluehensfan

      Thanks -- it's really too bad Farmicia and White Dog aren't standouts, they seem like they could be great places for this trip.

      Are there any good Italian places you know that are open for Sat. lunch? Seems like most of the good places are closed...

      1. re: bluehensfan

        I know Kanella is serving "brunch" but I'd still recommend it. They serve many non breakfast items, including their "weekend roast" which is usually a little of whatever meat they are roasting.

        1. re: urbanfabric

          I recommend Kanella as well. They don't trumpet their sources from the rooftops, but every time I've asked where this or that piece of meat came from I've gotten an answer. Unfortunately as has been said, most of the places that are all about slow food/local/organic aren't that great.

      2. You've gotten some great suggestions the only problem is most of these places will be quite noisy. If quiet is a priority honestly you'd be better off with lunch in the Swann Cafe at the Four Seasons.

        1. In general Philly chefs tend not to trumpet "local" or "sustainable" credentials in their PR or on menus. The best places do not seem willing to favor local/organic over quality, but do source locally when they can; fortunately, they can do this with many of their ingredients in the summer and fall.

          Some suggestions:

          Rx in West Philly has a focus on local ingredients and is good. Not sure about the noise level because I've only eaten outside. They definitely serve brunch; I think there is a lunch menu too, but I can't find it online. I don't know if quite reaches exceptional levels, but it is a nice place to go. The only downside is that there might be a wait due to brunch crowds.

          Noble in Center City focuses on local ingredients (to the point of growing some ingredients themselves on the roof). According to their website they serve lunch on Saturdays but I've only been for dinner. The atmosphere is classy and they try very hard to be exceptional; in my experience the food doesn't reach that level but is of high quality. It's not loud in my experience.

          Supper on South St serves a brunch menu which also includes lunch options. They have a partnership with a local farm where they source many of their ingredients. I've had mixed experiences here but in general it gets good reviews so I don't hesitate to recommend it. Also not loud in my experience, but never been when it's totally full.

          1. here is a link to the restaurants that support "local food Philly" - checking the list I realized Fork is on there and they would likely meet your other criteria.