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Apr 9, 2012 11:31 AM

Recommendations for lunch in the city, and dinner in the suburbs (staying n Bensalem)

We will be visiting the area next week. Staying in Bensalem, but doing the usual tourist stuff downtown. We have this deal with where we "bought" $400 for $40, and we can use that $400 to "buy" certificates.

We're looking to use some of that next week. Would people make recommendations for lunch in the city, and dinner in the suburbs. We're also thinking about side trips to Valley Forge and Lancaster County.

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  1. Could you be more specific, please? That way posters will be better able to direct you to something you and yours will enjoy. Do you mean Center City or Old City for your "tourist stuff downtown?" What cuisines do you like? Price range per person? Number of people per meal? Are you looking for anything that you can only get in Philly or just decent food?

    I would search this board and also the Pennsylvania board. Your Lancaster query may also receive more responses if post a request on the Pennsylvania board.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mookleknuck

      Sorry, I just threw that post up without much thought. Sort of like the way we do road trips :-)

      Not really sure where we are going inside of Philadelphia. I assume Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Reading Market, Museum of Art, Magic Gardens. There are three of us, including a 16 YO daughter who is a sophisticated eater (most of the time).

      Some of the cuisines we like, in no particular order: Indian (Northern), Italian (both N and S), Thai, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese), Mexican (Tex-Mex, Sonoran, Baja), American (Seafood, BBQ, Regional), Gastropub, Greek, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Spanish, Jewish Deli.

      We are omnivorous: vegetables, starches, proteins, and chocolate. Don't tend to drink very much, although I have been known to down a few well-hopped IPAs.

      We view as a way to stretch our budget, so our usual range for lunch entrees - $5-15 and dinner entrees - $10-$25 could go up by 50% or so.

      I am very interested in things that you can only get in Philly. I'm also interested in a "7 sweets and 7 sours" meal. Doesn't have to be Lancaster County, we're coming from the north, so Berks or Lehigh counties would be fine (and I assume less crowded).

      1. re: jira

        If you are in the Independence Hall area, The Palace at the Ben has a nice buffet lunch -- it's Indian. Using certs limits you, and most of the certs are good for dinner only. On the other side of City Hall, there's Mission Grill, which is not bad -- I'd get the larger cert.

        You could always roam Reading Terminal Market and let everyone choose what they want for lunch.

        If you are making a side trip to Valley Forge, look for places in Phoenixville (search zip 19460) It's enjoying a bit of a culinary renaissance and has some very cute places: Majolica, Thai L'Elephant, Black Lab, El Burrito, PJ Ryans's, Daddy Mims & etc.

    2. Are you only looking for restaurants that take certificates?

      3 Replies
      1. re: barryg

        Just looked at's list of restaurants. It's not great news, at least for Center City/Old City. Good Dog is pretty much the best they've got to offer (or Le Castagne if you want to be spendy in RIttenhouse). South Philly Tap Room is probably the most well-liked by this board of the restuaruants that participate in these certificates.

        1. re: barryg

          Mostly interested in places, but open to other places, particularly "don't miss" places, or the Amish/Mennonite place that I was asking about in my earlier reply.

          I didn't mention, but we will probably be eating breakfast in Bensalem, so any suggestions there would be appreciated. I will be searching through saved threads for prior suggestions.

          1. re: jira

            In addition to caganer's suggestions, Kabul (Afghani) and Race Street Cafe (gastropub) are both pretty good. Neither is a must visit by any means, but they are in Old City not far from the historical stuff. Farmicia, also in Old City, is supposed to be good for brunch, never tried it myself.