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Feb 22, 2011 05:28 PM

Penn Museum nearby?

Hey Hounds,

You gave this DC Hound great recs the last time we came up for the weekend. This time, it's a daytrip. I will be spending the day at the Penn Museum. I don't want to drive once I am parked. Is the White Dog Cafe as good as it looks or should I settle for the museum cafe? Is there somewhere else? Willing to walk a few blocks.

Love ethnic food.


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  1. No White Dog is not as good as it looks, but it could very well be better than the cafe. The cafe is apparently a Wolfgang Puck operation but who knows.

    Are you looking for lunch or dinner? If it's dinner and you like ethnic, I'd suggest taking the car and driving to Divan Turkish Kitchen, it's only a few minutes away and street parking is ample. It wouldn't be a hassle at all. There is also a great Pakistani place, Kabbobeesh, at 40th & Chestnut, which has a small parking lot (but zero atmosphere, counter service). If lunch, these are a little far to walk. The sit down options within walking distance of the museum are a little weak, besides White Dog there is Pod for sushi and Asian fusion, and New Deck for ok pub food.

    There are a number of other ethnic options further into the Penn campus but parking gets dicey.

    12 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      Pod is good and Distrito is another option.

      1. re: bluehensfan

        Distrito is great but it is about twice as far as Pod.

        1. re: barryg

          Biggest problem is whether you are walking or driving and parking. Distrito at least has a parking lot right next door. Pod you have to hope you are going to find parking or pay for valet.

      2. re: barryg

        Just remembered that a Sang Kee Noodle House opened on Chestnut between 35th and 36th. For a quick ethnic lunch, that's probably your best bet.

        1. re: barryg

          Frankly, there's very little within walking distance of the museum, which is situated at the Eastern extreme of the campus and next to the river. Personally, I'd just jump in a car and drive to either Resurrection Ale House or Pub & Kitchen located just over the river. Shouldn't be more than a 5 or 10 minute drive to either.

          1. re: barryg

            This would be lunch. WPuck does The Newseum here in DC. I can deal with it. Won't bother with White Dog. I'll look into Divan Turkish Kitchen. Could a local loop bus take me to Reading Terminal Market? Someone steered me to DiNics a few years ago...drool.

            1. re: rHairing

              you could walk and pick up the Subway Surface Car at Drexel (about a four block walk) and that would get you close to the RTM.

              1. re: cwdonald

                You could easily catch on of the (Green Line) trollies and get off at Juniper from 34th St (or Sansom or 37th St). Or you could take the #21 bus (I think) that runs up Chestnet and get off at 12th Street for Reading Terminal.

                1. re: bluehensfan

                  By bus you'd take the 42; it stops on the corner of Convention Center Blvd & Spruce right next to the museum then cuts over Chestnut to Center City. But as a tourist the Subway-Surface Green Line trolleys (all the same) are going to be easier to use than a bus, since they stop at distinct stations. There are several route numbers but they all stop at Juniper.

                  The other option is to take the train from University City Station, on the other side of the museum, to Market East, which is a block from RTM. That is a free ride, but the trains are less frequent than the bus or trolley.

                  Google Maps will give you decent public trans directions with all of these options, but might also encourage you to walk all the way up to Market St to the Market-Frankford Line subway, which is a little farther than the trolley.

                  Does that simplify things? :)

                  1. re: barryg

                    Great advice by barryg but a caveat...they may charge you for the ride on regional rail (the train) depending on the mood of your conductor. If they do it could be a hefty fare compared to the other options.

                    1. re: bluehensfan

                      Ah yes they changed that recently.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. I think train at university city is easiest and quickest, even though a little more expensive.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bonappetite

                Might want to try MidAtlantic Restaurant & Tap Room, also nearby PENN's campus and Museum. Found this gem on Open Table and saw that it was one of my favorite chef's Daniel Stern, and my good friend's new venture; love R2L and loved Rae, both their projects as well.
                I was not disappointed in any way! Food was original and fabulous. The vibe inside is also a 10. Took my son who came in from NY, and his friend who is attending Penn Law School. They both were impressed. They loved the beer list and the creative menu choices our super waiter recommended.
                The only problem I can see is the location, however, now that I have been there, I will most certainly return and bring all my friends for this terrific venue!!
                --Don't miss this one!!

              2. The food at the museum is actually pretty decent; I haven't tried any of the themed Silk Road food, but I know the happy hour options are good (half a hearty sandwich with roasted squash and feta + greens + handful of what-looked-like-homemade chips for essentially $3.00?) and the special event catering is certainly quite nice [disclaimer: have helped with organizing special events]. That said, the Pepper Mill cafe is slightly lacking in ambiance, and if the options include Turkish food or Dim Sum it can't quite compete, but I just thought I'd put in a good word.