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Jul 9, 2011 09:01 AM

Compliment to Morimoto?

A group of coworkers and I are heading to the Phine city tomorrow and a few of us are foodies that have been undone in the past. So this time, the few of us that really get it would like to do Morimoto, but maybe something else as a main meal, dessert, or starter. My thought was that we'd do Morimoto at the bar as an app/starter, and then hit McGillan's. (We're all both high and low brow).

Any warnings? Other ideas? We're at the Penn Landing Hyatt, FWIW.


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  1. McGillan's? Just looked and I didn't even know they had a menu outside of roast beef sandwiches for lunch. If you want good bar food go to the Khyber Pass which is much closer to your hotel and has good options for the foodies, too. Very casual atmosphere and a great beer list.

    8 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      I totally agree, the Khyber is one of the best gastropubs in the city. Eating at McGillin's is a bad idea. Personally, Morimoto isn't on my list of the city's best restaurants, especially if you're not doing the omakase (which I've never had and is supposedly the best reason to go there). If you're in Penn's Landing, I'd go to (wait for it...) Zahav, my favorite place in the city and close to your hotel. If you can get in, that is, I'm not sure how big your group is.

      Really though, I'd just listen to barryg and go to the Khyber, the foodies and non-foodies in your group will both be happy there.

      1. re: Buckethead

        Thanks for the input. While there will probably be a large group outing later in the week (input welcome), I'm mainly looking for 2, possibly 4 folks for Sunday to get some really good eats.

        May I ask about Zahav and what it would provide us?

        FWIW, from last year, here's where we went when we were South of City Hall a few blocks:

        1. re: Dennis S

          If you're looking for really good eats, strike McGillan's, it's just a dive to get cheap beers that is kind of cool only because it's really old. The crowd is mostly college kids.

          Zahav is upscale, modern Israeli food, mostly small plates. While not that fancy, it's a little pricey and not as casual as Khyber or another pub-style atmosphere would be. If Zahav is too pricey (plan on $30+ per person, $40+ or more with drinks) or intimidating to some in your party, Khyber is a good bet or you could go somewhere like Catahoula or Kennett, both walkable from your hotel and have great food, very casual atmospheres and a variety of food options for everyone that go beyond typical bar food. Personally, I think the cajun items at Catahoula (especially the Po' Boys) are a step above Khyber and their burger is killer too. But Khyber is definitely good and I liked the gumbo better there; the beer list is better too. The pizzas at Kennett are great, especially the Porchetta pizza which I would say is a must order.

          Khyber Pass:

          Another idea is to go to the bar at Zahav for a hummus, some small plates and a drink, then to one of other places for dinner. I haven't had dessert at Khyber or Kennett, but I know that the bananas foster bread pudding at Catahoula is awesome.

          1. re: Dennis S

            Also looking at your post from last year, there are a few real Szechuan restaurants in the city--Han Dynasty near your hotel, Szechuan Tasty House and Four Rivers in Chinatown--and a number of casual Italian restaurants better than Bella Cena (though in fairness I haven't been to Bella Cena in a couple years). Let us know if you want any recs.

            1. re: barryg

              Thanks for all the suggestions. I think these strike gold from the sound of it.

              To be clear, we have a large group. But 2-4 of us are real Hounds. And we've found on these trips that at times we need to take a night to ourselves. Of course Hound means high or low brow - just GOOD. So, we've designated (at this point) Sunday night for that outing. I think I can be swayed for Morimoto, but I just know there are so many good eats and I'd like to peruse one high brow at least (since the rest of the general party usually shrinks from that somewhat).

              I think I might at the very least take in one of the Szechuan places for lunch or dinner on my own (and if someone joins, great).

              I like the sound of Catahoula for some meal as well - that may be good for the bigger group.

              1. re: Dennis S

                Great. Catahoula is really small though--how big is your group? They can accommodate some larger parties on the patio if the weather is nice, but definitely call ahead. I can't imagine a party larger than 6 fitting at the inside tables.

                Zahav is a great place for "high brow" eats btw, the $36 tasting menu is a good value.

                1. re: barryg

                  The real Hound group is 4 or smaller. We were trumped a few weeks ago from eating at the oldest restaurant in the Western Hemisphere simply cuz some entrees were $30. Ended up at a Tapas place (Old San Juan) where I'm sure we all paid more for lesser quality food.

                  This inquiry is mainly for the foodies in our group - though whole group suggestions are welcome for those nights.

                  Basically the first night is very open. The next two are usually to get sustenance, and the last is special. I'm looking for the special, mainly.

                  1. re: Dennis S

                    If you are looking for good Sichuan, Han Dynasty or Szechuan Tasty House. For soup dumplings, Dim Sum garden. Don't let Dim Sum Garden's location or spare ambience put you off.

      2. I love Morimoto, but omakase or no, I'd give it a full meal.