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Never been to Philly...

hairycover Jan 15, 2011 07:18 AM

Hi, I'm from the DC area and believe it or not I have never been to Philly. I am in the area next Saturday and I'm looking for reasonable (cheap) eats. I'm fully aware of the cheesesteak situation and I don't want to delve into that. But what other options are cheap, good and close to Logan Square? Thanks

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    barryg RE: hairycover Jan 15, 2011 08:52 AM

    Logan Square is the museum district and borders the business district and an upscale residential neighborhood so it's not exactly prime area for cheap eats. There are a couple good options though:

    1) Mama's Vegetarian, a falafel shop, S. 20th St. between Market and Chestnut. Great Israeli-style falafel. The burekas are good, too. The salads aren't as good in the winter time, but what are you going to do. A large sandwich is $6 and is filling.

    2) Christos, aka the "Falafel Nazi" food cart, NE corner 20th & Market. A bit of a misnomer; his falafel is only part of a platter he assembles with grilled chicken and daily/weekly changing salads, pastas, and bread. Order the platter instead of the sandwich. $10, a bit pricy for street food, but worth it and could feed two. Luchtime only.

    3) Sabrina's Cafe, 18th & Callowhill. Best known for brunch. Large portions of comfort food.

    4) Primo Hoagies, 21st & Chestnut. Very good South Philly style hoagies. There might be a couple seats but you don't want to eat in there. Lunchtime only.

    5) Cherry Street Tavern, 22nd & Cherry. Neighborhood bar with a limited but delicious menu of hot roast beef and pork sandwiches. These are not cheesesteaks or the Italian-style roast pork sandwiches you may have heard about, but they are good. That's all they have, except for cold cuts and potato chips.

    There's other food carts and a couple neighborhood pubs in walking distance, I'm not sure what's worth eating, someone else will chime in.

    If you can venture farther out a lot of great options open up, like Chinatown, South Philly for sandwiches, Mexican taqueria, cheap Vietnamese, some great neighborhood gastropubs.

    2 Replies
    1. re: barryg
      cwdonald RE: barryg Jan 15, 2011 10:04 AM

      Barry stupid question but are the carts available on the weekends? I knew some carts are weekdays only at least near Drexel.

      1. re: cwdonald
        barryg RE: cwdonald Jan 15, 2011 10:12 AM

        There are very few carts in Center City on the weekend, sadly. In the touristy areas they'll be there, but nothing special.

    2. bigmackdaddy RE: hairycover Jan 15, 2011 09:15 AM

      Reading Terminal Market is certainly a plethora of cheap eats without having to get into cheesesteaks. However, I will plug Tommy D'Nics. They make a wonderful pork sandwich. There's also Herschel's Deli and The Dutch Eating Place. I would advise against going to Pearl's Oyster, IMO, it's all bland.

      Near the RTM is a place called Dim Sum Garden, 59 N11th. Ironically, they don't serve dim sum, but they have excellent dumplings and noodle dishes.

      The Italian Market has Sarcone's Deli and Antonio's Italian, both on S9th. There are also great hole-in-the-wall places as well on that stretch of S9th.

      There's also a stretch of main road going towards Temple which has good soul food places dotting the concrete. Maybe someone knows the street I'm talking about, along with some names of some spots?

      I'd also suggest, if possible, to venture out of Logan Square some. Philly is a great foodie city and there's a ton of great, cheap-eats places outside of the Logan Square area.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bigmackdaddy
        barryg RE: bigmackdaddy Jan 15, 2011 10:14 AM

        Definitely a good call on RTM... didn't realize how close it is to Logan Square (less than a mile on foot). It trumps all of my above suggestions, for sure. Not much doing there for dinner, however.

        1. re: barryg
          bigmackdaddy RE: barryg Jan 15, 2011 10:43 AM

          I did mention Antonio's in the Italian Market, plus there are other good Italian eatries scattered on the side streets. I believe there's a Vietnamese and a Chinese restaurant on Washington Ave. Literally around the corner. Plus! They're right near Chinatown, the Waterfront, which has some oyster and seafood houses (which I haven't tried yet) There is something bugging me. I went to this Moroccan place near City Centre, it had some of the best Kibbi I've tried. I can't think of the name. Brick walls, huge plate glass windows, typical wooden faux-ethnic wooden chairs. Anyone?

      2. r
        rizzo0904 RE: hairycover Jan 15, 2011 10:13 AM

        I agree with the above poster...DiNic's at RTM is great. I prefer the italian styled pulled pork with rabe and prov. Awesome!

        1. kukubura RE: hairycover Jan 15, 2011 02:13 PM

          Paesano's is absolutely the best sandwich joint in the UNIVERSE! Chickie's and Campo's are great too. This article on Philly sandwiches is a good resource (although it wasn't until our second visit to Paesano's that we did it right and got the arista and gustaio sandwiches... The best!

          10 Replies
          1. re: kukubura
            TeamPhilly RE: kukubura Jan 18, 2011 06:51 AM

            Thanks for that article posting. Sometimes it's great to read what out-of-towners are recommending. Note though that the Paesano's in the Italian Market may have closed while they are seeking a new location.

            1. re: TeamPhilly
              kukubura RE: TeamPhilly Jan 18, 2011 07:07 AM

              Yeah, there's a whole thread on it now. Tragic!

              1. re: kukubura
                Philly Ray RE: kukubura Jan 18, 2011 07:21 AM

                They already have a new location, it is just a question of when (not if) they will reopen.

                1. re: Philly Ray
                  kukubura RE: Philly Ray Jan 18, 2011 07:24 AM

                  The tragedy is that we drove up on Sunday and they were closed.

                  1. re: kukubura
                    Philly Ray RE: kukubura Jan 18, 2011 08:02 AM

                    I'll make a deal with you...

                    I'll drive south on 95 with Paesano's and you drive north with crab cakes and we'll meet in the middle.

                    1. re: Philly Ray
                      barryg RE: Philly Ray Jan 18, 2011 08:07 AM

                      Take the deal!

                      1. re: barryg
                        kukubura RE: barryg Jan 18, 2011 10:04 AM

                        Haha, imagine the hand-off in the shadow of the Delaware Memorial Bridge...

                    2. re: kukubura
                      bluehensfan RE: kukubura Jan 18, 2011 09:55 AM

                      Isn't the NoLibs location open still?

                      1. re: bluehensfan
                        Philly Ray RE: bluehensfan Jan 18, 2011 09:59 AM

                        Yes, but I don't believe they are open on Sundays.

                        1. re: Philly Ray
                          kukubura RE: Philly Ray Jan 18, 2011 10:05 AM

                          Assuming you guys are talking about Girard st, they are actually open on Sundays now, although we didn't head up there.

            2. bluehensfan RE: hairycover Jan 17, 2011 02:02 PM

              I agree that Reading Terminal would be a great place to go and nosh on this or that. Just about everything in the market is inexpensive and it would be hard to spend more than $10 on a meal. As previously mentioned, best bets are the roast pork sandwiches with provolone and greens or broccoli rabe at DiNic's (well worth the wait) or if you get into town early enough the pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place in the market are out of this world. Also worth trying are the soft pretzels at Miller's Twist.

              Should you decide to make the mistake and not go to the market, Argan, a small Moroccan place, is a bit closer on 17th St and has really good slow cooked lamb sandwiches.

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