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Mar 6, 2012 09:11 PM

Friday Lunch near Flower Show?

Two of us are coming up from B'more to the Flower Show on Friday and were looking for a good place for lunch that's reasonably in the area. Particulars are:

- Yes, I've searched the board but not knowing the city layout it's hard for me to sort out best suggestions.

-- We don't mind walking especially if the weather is good and there's interesting things to see on the way.

-- A place with good food, beer, and wine. We're fond of brewpubs, quirky places, local, spicy, charcuterie, low key, bistros, and so forth. Maybe not Mexican (because I lived in the SW too long) or standard bar food unless, of course, it's above standard.

-- We'll be hiking the flower show, so someplace comfortable and friendly is good. Formal places probably not so good. If there's a good bar we may linger.

-- Price is not an decider, though I have nothing against saving money.

A friend recommended Dandelion. The menu looks promising. Is it a good choice and are there other suggestions?



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  1. Barbuzzo is closer, and a great choice. Wine, artisan pizza and a wonderful budino for dessert. In addition, you could consider just going to the Reading Terminal market getting a DiNic's puller pork and grabbing a beer at the brew pub in the RTM. Good Dog pub on 15th has great micro brews and a bluecheese stuffed burget that is to die for. Oyster House has Philadelphia's take on great seafood and oysters, and killer cocktails. Its on 15th street. Everything I have listed is within 15 minute walk or less. Monks in on 16th stree serves good Belgian moulles et frites. They have nice burgers and vegan options. Lunch is a better choice as opposed to dinner at this place. I might compare it to Brewer's Art in Baltimore, though a bit more downscale.

    Danelion is wonderful. I really enjoy it, but it will take longer to get there. The beer there is good not great. They have cask conditioned ale, so if you love that, then its a place for you. Best dishes there are the fish and chips, the chicken and foi parfait, and the pork belly. It is a gastro pub in the vain of Two Fat Ladies in Glasgow. good food.. and good service.

    YOur other option if you like chinese is our chinatown. We have several good Vietnamese restaurants.. Vietnam and Vietnam Palace, full liquor license and good vietnamese food, and if you are willing to travel... in old city Han Dynasty serves authentic sichuan food,. You have much to choose from, and how long you linger at lunch is a function of when you need to return home and whether you are finished with the flower show... If you plan to go back to the flower show, I would suggest you choose a place closer ot the flower show to minimize travel. If you are leaving after lunch, go anywhere relax and enjoy.

    6 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      Unfortunately, there's no more taking your food into the Beer Garden at the RTM now that it's Molly Malloy's. :(

      I think the suggestion of Barbuzzo is great, I would make a reservation if possible.

      If Kanella is still doing lunch on Fridays, that might be where I'd go. Greek Cypriot. BYOB. (Pick up a bottle of wine in the small shop in the Garces Trading Company). Just far enough from the Convention Center that it shouldn't be mobbed (although you can make a reservation).

      1. re: urbanfabric

        Good catch urbanfabic. I guess the best one can suggest is get DiNics, eat it, and wash it down at the bar at Molly Molloy's.

      2. re: cwdonald

        Dandelion is a good choice (especially the fish and chips) but if it were me, I'd walk another two blocks and try Parc. You may even want to consider Tria (across the street from Dandelion) for the wine selection and small plates. I enjoyed the charcurterie and the Budino dessert at Barbuzzo but was not really fond of the rest of my meal there. People love it though, so don't not go on my opinion. Zavino (next door to Barbuzzo) has great pizzas (especially the margherita and polpettini) and really good small plates, and you could get gelato at Capogiro across the street when you are done. It's a four block walk from the Flower Show.

        1. re: bluehensfan

          I completely agree with you about Zavino. Pizza is better than Barbuzzo. Only downside is no reservations, and it can fill up quickly. But given the choice between the two I would go to Zavino any day of the week.

        2. re: cwdonald

          It's actually Vietnam and Vietnam Palace in Chinatown - right across the street from each other on 11th street. I'm partial to VP - you're not going to get high-end wine there but they do make nice cocktails and I love the food. There's also Rangoon in Chinatown for a pretty unique experience (Burmese food), on 9th street so just far enough away I'm sure it wouldn't be mobbed during the flower show.

          1. re: cwdonald

            I wouldn't suggest RTM during Flower Show week; it's so mobbed it can't be considered comfortable and lingering worthy. My experience has always been that Chinatown is your best bet this week (and for OP, it's very close to the Convention Center).

            Also, if you do choose a BYOB, there is a wine tasting at the Show complete with a store with all of the wines at the tasting for sale.

          2. While it is true that RTM is a mob scene during the Flower Show (try going a little before noon), not many folks have discovered Molly Malone's (toward the back of the Market) and it is simply fabulous! I have been there three times, my third visit today. I swooned over the short ribs wrapped in an empanada type dough, devoured the pork and cider sauteed onion sandwich and the challah, goat cheese and greens grilled cheese was out of this world. I thought I would miss the Beer Garden, where you could pick your sandwich at RT and tuck in there for a beer. But Molly's will become a new favorite at the Market. Huge sandwiches (brought home half on each lunch visit), deep flavors, good service (even during the Flower Show) and very reasonable ($8.00 for generous portions). I was not expecting such an outstanding destination...well worth a try.

            1. First off, want to thank everyone for their helpful suggestions. There were a lot of options and it was a good thing because, like so many things, the day did not go quite as planned. Due to car issues, we didn't get there until post-lunch, so the idea of taking our time and having a leisurely lunch went right out the window. Instead, we decided to take our slightly-frustrated mood someplace where we could get a decent meal and a beer quickly. Fortunately, I remembered the Molly Malloy's discussion and since RTM was right there, it won.

              To the poster who many had not discovered Molly's, I'd add that many have. It was packed after 1:00. We managed to squeeze a couple of bar seats, though. Being in a hurry we just split a steak sandwich and had beers. The sandwich was good, not astounding, but filled us up. The beer selection was good. The staff was really friendly and helpful (even suggesting we split an order instead of getting two dishes). I'd like to come back when it is less crowded and explore more.

              After some time at the show, we decided to try for an late afternoon snack/early dinner. I remembered that 13th St was closest, so we went down there. After poking around, we decided to land at Zavino.That proved to be a real winner. We were pre-dinner, so things were pretty quiet. The wine selection was good, not too pretentious. We had a few small dishes -- grilled peppers with salt and oil and burrata with a bit of fig jam and bread. Again the staff was friendly -- my wife started trading recipes with the the pasta maker behind the bar.

              From there we roamed to Di Bruno's for cheese. One the way back to the car we made one last stop at Jamonera just to check it out. We tried a small plate of the ham croquettes (so small I wonder if they shorted the order). They lacked the pronounced flavor I was hoping for so I'm not sure I'd order that again.

              By the end, we had a enjoyable enough time to realize that we should come up to Philadelphia more often. Thanks again for everyone's help!

              1 Reply
              1. re: zebcook

                Glad you had fun and particularly that you made it to Zavino. You will have to come back into town and explore Reading Terminal Market when it is less crowded. Just be thankful that you were not there the following day. It was fun (initially) but turned into a total mob scene later in the day.

                Hope you enjoyed the Flower plants are glad it's over and they are safely at home :)

                Thanks for posting about what worked and what didn't!