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Penn Museum nearby?

rHairing Feb 22, 2011 05:28 PM

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.


  1. b
    barryg Feb 23, 2011 04:54 AM

    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
      bluehensfan Feb 23, 2011 05:00 AM

      Pod is good and Distrito is another option.

      1. re: bluehensfan
        barryg Feb 23, 2011 07:48 AM

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

        1. re: barryg
          cwdonald Feb 23, 2011 07:56 AM

          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
        barryg Feb 23, 2011 05:02 AM

        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
          Boognish Feb 23, 2011 05:32 AM

          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: Boognish
            leepinleemur Feb 23, 2011 07:40 AM

            Perhaps Biba Wine Bar?

          2. re: barryg
            rHairing Feb 23, 2011 06:28 PM

            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
              cwdonald Feb 23, 2011 07:33 PM

              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
                bluehensfan Feb 24, 2011 02:53 AM

                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
                  barryg Feb 24, 2011 05:01 AM

                  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
                    bluehensfan Feb 24, 2011 05:39 AM

                    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
                      barryg Feb 24, 2011 06:07 AM

                      Ah yes they changed that recently.

          3. b
            bonappetite Feb 27, 2011 10:08 AM

            I think train at university city is easiest and quickest, even though a little more expensive.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bonappetite
              GaryEATS Feb 27, 2011 05:07 PM

              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. c
              chocolatstiletto Mar 1, 2011 04:28 PM

              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.

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