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one dinner near 30th Street Station, Phila

We are looking for one dinner restaurant recommendation near the train station. We are a couple with two young teens, one a foodie, one not. We'd like to hold the tab down to about $100 (or less) for four, with drinking not a part of the tab and the wine selection not an issue for this dinner. When traveling with the kids, we like to find things that have local character. We are particularly partial to seafood, or ribs/bbq in towns that do that well. German is great, Mexican and Italian are possibilities, Asian cuisine is not. We avoid chain restaurants (unless there's really nothing local you can count on, and the chain is well run, and at least you know what you're getting -- but that's a definite Plan B). Thanks!

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  1. Not aware of any good places near 30th St station, although others may be. Your chances might be better closer to Market East Station?

    1. Perhaps Bistro St. Tropez? It would be a short walk from 30th Street, and does have some local "character" although the location is kind of weird with having to navigate through the Design Center building to find it. I had one disappointing Restaurant Week meal there, but then a much better experience with their regular dinner menu when the RW crowds were long gone.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sockii

        I second Bistro St. Tropez. Strange location but good food nonetheless. Had a good celebration dinner there with 5 others, 3 of which were not the foodie type and 2 who were, everyone really enjoyed the meal.

      2. Bridgwater's Pub inside the station was very good last time I was there, but that was a couple of years ago.

        1. I would grab a cab to Distrito, which is Jose Garces Mexican place in West Philadelphia. 5 minute cab ride, happy atmosphere and great AUTHENTIC mexican food. And a volkswagon in the window to boot....

          1 Reply
          1. re: cwdonald

            Sure, but if you get out of there with a $100 tab for 4, you're still going to be hungry

            I think the OP is going to have to cab it somewhere to eat for that price. If you really want to stay on budget, maybe take the subway to Zavino or Pizzeria Stella.

          2. Distrito is the best, but depending on appetites, hard to stay under $100------but i have been there ith group of 4-5 and has been around $100 and that's with margaritas, so may be more doable.
            Agree also with Bistro St. Tropez and was also just reminded on another thread of Salento at 23rd and Walnut, Italian BYOB, very affordable.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bonappetite

              Salento would be a good option. I tend to forget it is as close to 30th St. Station as it is, but it's reasonably priced and has been really good when I've been there.

            2. Okay, this is a really hard one. Dinner = lots of great cheap food trucks around there, but they're not dinner options. Lots of good reasonably priced Thai and Chinese as well, but you're out for Asian. Within a quick walking distance (I'm assuming that since you're wanting near 30th street station, you're not wanting to cab it or walk 15 minutes to a place). If those are indeed the constraints, I'd say Slainte Pub right across the street from the station might be your best option. It's a pub w/ pub food, but it should meet your requirements. http://www.slaintephilly.com/

              If you've got more time and/or can take a 5 minute cab ride, then you've got a lot more options. Although at your budget and non-Asian, I'd say one of Philly's gastropubs would be the way to go for really good food at the price you need. Monk's, Sidecar, GoodDog, Grace's, among others.

              1. Close by, say a 15 minute brisk walk, is The White Dog Cafe. They have a fairly diverse menu which would offer selections which could easily keep you under or around $100. On a small side street next to UofP. The cab driver would know it. Just head west and ask it is known and not hard to find. It was very hot at one time, settled into warm ashes and was sold. But last I heard it is still busy, comfortable with nice food choices.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bacchus101

                  Thank you, Chowhounds. Great ideas. A brief cab ride is fine. I had also wondered about Argan Moroccan, near Rittenhouse Square, which I had read about on CH. Any comments on that? Staying near U of P for the kids to see it is a great idea, as we have family connections to the school going way back on both sides (although I'm sorry to say our generation did not perpetuate that, and it's not looking good for the next generation, either. But at least we know how to eat.) Thank you.

                  1. re: swimmom

                    Argan - great for lunch. Light on atmosphere for dinner + actually - not even open every night for dinner, so best to check ahead if you're intent on there for dinner. White Dog - you'll see in other reviews here - has been, not so much anymore -- very traditional fare + definitely not a best-of-Philly anymore.

                    Also - check out some of the gastro pubs mentioned. Philly does this like no other (speaking as a SF/BOS/NY transplant). And we're not talking wings and burgers (although the burgers in this town are phenomenal). We're talking mussels, steak, catfish, fresh seafood, and a whole variety of chef's specials. Really good eats at very reasonable prices. Check the menus as they're all a bit different (some lean more burgers, some more meat, some more modern fare)...

                    btw - did you just call your kids dumb on Chowhound?

                2. OK I'm not sure when you're looking to do this, because the restaurant is supposed to open next week, but you could be the first to check out Baby Blues BBQ
                  http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/th...

                  It's very close to 30th street, should be within your budget, and although there's another location in Las Vegas, it's not a chain by any measure.

                  You should call them to ask if they're open when you want to go. Otherwise, you could try City Tap House, they have a roof garden and pizza etc...