HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >

Please critique my itinerary

axachef Apr 19, 2012 06:44 AM

Serious Food Itinerary:

9 Days: lunch and dinner
Not concerned about cost as much as quality

Already committed to:

Talula's Table (in the kitchen)

Need help choosing a couple of Asian places:

Tai Lake
Mai Lai Wah
Joy Tsin Lau
Dim Sum Garden
Fuji (Haddonfield)
Sagami (Collingswood)

a. kitchen
koo zee doo
modo mio
the dandelion

(i know it's a lot but Philly has a lot of restaurants!)

need recommendations for:
best brunch and
best mexican

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. p
    Philly Ray RE: axachef Apr 19, 2012 06:46 AM

    Best brunch is at Lacroix in the Rittenhouse Hotel.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Philly Ray
      cwdonald RE: Philly Ray Apr 19, 2012 07:25 AM

      Fuji over Sagami hands down.

      Sakura Mandarin is an alternative to Dim Sum Garden

      Han Dynasty in Old City if you like Sichuan.

      Mexican, you can go high end.. Distrito. Or you could go to one of a number of places in the Italian Market.

    2. u
      urbanfabric RE: axachef Apr 19, 2012 07:25 AM

      for Asian:
      Han Dynasty
      Dim Sum Garden

      my favs from your consider list:

      I'd also consider:
      Little Fish

      Philly Ray is right, best brunch is Lacroix, but I also like Kanella, Cafe Estelle, and Supper.

      What kind of Mexican do you want? There are some great Taquerias around 9th and Washington. I hit Los Taquitos de Puebla most often.

      1 Reply
      1. re: urbanfabric
        caganer RE: urbanfabric Apr 19, 2012 08:50 AM

        Cochon does a pretty great brunch as well. There's a dish with slow-cooked pork and egg with mornay sauce over biscuits (no one in Philly cooks pork better), a crazy monte cristo and lots of good looking sweet stuff that I've never tried becuase I can't get past the pork.

      2. b
        Buckethead RE: axachef Apr 19, 2012 08:06 AM

        For 6 more dinners, I'd go to Bibou (by far the best place on your list), Osteria, Vedge (not on your list), Kanella, Koo Zee Doo, and Fond. Fork and Modo Mio are very good too. I'd drop the rest from consideration, not that they're bad or anything but they're not on the same level as the other places. Amis is definitely my least favorite Vetri restaurant, and if you're already going to Vetri and Osteria it would really be pointless.

        1. s
          sylviag RE: axachef Apr 19, 2012 08:27 AM

          Fuji is great. Sagami and MIkado in NJ are good, but Fuji is outstanding.

          We don't currently favor any of the Chinese restaurants in Chinatown. If you're driving around near Bryn Mawr, we go regularly to Yang Ming. Always good.

          We have so many good places in Philly! We have not been to Fond but it's high on our list; several foodie friends have told us they love it.

          Brunch at Lacroix is wonderful.

          Recent disappointment at Amis - good food, but we were in and out in 45 minutes. Rushed service, high noise level - we'll stay away for awhile.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sylviag
            Beulah RE: sylviag Apr 19, 2012 12:37 PM

            Fuji is far and away the best Japanese restaurant in the Delaware valley. We only go to Amis when we can eat outside because it's so loud! We like Dim Sum Garden -- Han Dynasty is too spicy for our elderly digestive systems. Bibou, Vetri and Osteria are our faves -- we concentrate on pizza, appetizers and pasta at Osteria -- forget the entrees and desserts!

            1. re: sylviag
              FrancisdeR RE: sylviag Apr 20, 2012 06:51 AM

              Sylvia, I'm with you on Amis. Love the food, but you do feel rushed. We often go pre-theatre. We get there relatively early, and tell the waitperson when we need to leave. But we always get the food all at once. We have taken to ordering one thing at a time, but they still rush you, even when the place is less than half full.

              1. re: sylviag
                JanR RE: sylviag Apr 21, 2012 03:53 AM

                Sylvia, we had the same experience of rushed service. My husband refuses to go back.

              2. a
                axachef RE: axachef Apr 20, 2012 07:00 AM

                Thanks everyone for all your contributions. Keep 'em comin'! The only problem is now I'm adding more places instead of reducing the number.

                Think I almost have it figured out...

                Any opinions on Federal Donuts Chicken? Also, I really want to try soup dumplings...Dim Sum Garden for those?

                How about John's Roast Pork? better cheesesteak than Pat's?

                I haven't been to Philly to eat in about a decade and there are a lot more options now. I'll post my actual itinerary when I get it all nailed down.

                Thanks again!

                6 Replies
                1. re: axachef
                  cwdonald RE: axachef Apr 20, 2012 07:21 AM

                  Soup dumplings your two best choices are dim sum garden or sakura mandarin. The latter has nicer atmosphere.

                  1. re: axachef
                    dfishhead RE: axachef Apr 20, 2012 08:16 AM

                    John's is bar far better than Pat's. They cook the steak when you order, no piles of meat sitting around the grill.

                    1. re: dfishhead
                      cwdonald RE: dfishhead Apr 20, 2012 08:53 AM

                      Been so long (and I usually order Pork anyway.. ) Does Tony Lukes steam or cook their steak?

                      1. re: cwdonald
                        bluehensfan RE: cwdonald Apr 20, 2012 10:43 AM

                        You're planning on dining at Talulah's Table (in Kennett) not Talulah's Garden (in Washington Square) right?
                        Zahav and Vetri are great choices and as mentioned before La Croix has a great brunch.

                        You should stop for a meal or two at Reading Terminal Market, especially Wednesday through Saturday when the Amish merchants are there.

                        Amis and Dandelion are both decent...

                        1. re: bluehensfan
                          axachef RE: bluehensfan Apr 20, 2012 11:56 AM

                          Yes, the one in Kennett Square.

                          I have the RTM worked in now for lunch.

                          1. re: axachef
                            bluehensfan RE: axachef Apr 20, 2012 12:48 PM

                            OK good. The other Talulah is not as good. And you may want to think about pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place at the Market.

                  2. a
                    axachef RE: axachef Apr 21, 2012 04:19 AM

                    OK, here's what I've got it down to (unless some of you kind people talk me out of it)...


                    Distrito (mainly b/c I will be boarding a train at 30th St Station during my trip)
                    John's Roast Pork
                    Federal Donuts (early for chicken) & Oyster House (later for happy hour-i need oysters badly!)
                    Han Dynasty
                    Blackfish (a friend is organizing a lunch)

                    2X for Sagami (sentimental attachment and I dream about the agedashi dofu)
                    Koo Zee Doo

                    Lacroix for Brunch

                    I'm also going to try to duck into Sakura Mandarin for soup dumplings and if I'm near Dandelion, maybe some fish & chips.

                    One last thing, how are the burgers at Squareburger in Franklin Square? Any casual place near there that is better?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: axachef
                      DaisyM RE: axachef Apr 21, 2012 04:30 AM

                      Great list! At Koo Zee Doo I suggest the duck and rice and the salad with corriander red wine dressing. Two of my favorite dishes in Philly.

                      1. re: axachef
                        cwdonald RE: axachef Apr 21, 2012 06:42 AM

                        Distrito is a great restaurant but still a bit of a ways from the station. If you want something IN 30th street station the JG DOmestic is right there and is a garces restaurant. Everything looks great. I would comment that Blackfish for lunch is not the same as the dinner experience. It is good but not superlative.

                        1. re: axachef
                          Buckethead RE: axachef Apr 21, 2012 08:03 AM

                          Your list is good. Enjoy (and let us know what you think afterwards!)

                          1. re: axachef
                            samichluvr RE: axachef Apr 25, 2012 10:11 AM

                            Give Barbuzzo a try. At least for dessert, the budino is really good!!

                            1. re: axachef
                              Bigley9 RE: axachef Apr 25, 2012 12:44 PM

                              I really like Square Burger - The burgers are small - they are on a regular sized hamburger roll but I like that! The meat is good and they are "dressed" well for their size. Also, while I don't do sweets, their cake shakes made with tastykakes get lots of raves.

                            Show Hidden Posts