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Diners or similar between Philly and Longwood Gardens?

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Will be driving back to the city from Longwood Gardens tomorrow night between 10 and 11. Are there any diners or other casual places open then worth stopping at along the way?

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  1. Not sure which way you are driving but one way to do it is to take Route 3 and then take some back roads. We actually prefer to go to LG this way, going down 926.. It does take a little longer but is much prettier and more relaxing than Route 1.

    On Route 3 near 252 is Hot Spot Diner. It is at the light just BEFORE 252 (on your left). Nothing fancy for sure, but it is a diner and has diner breakfasts. SO enjoys their creamed chipped beef while I tend more to the scrambled eggs. Not sure if we've had the bacon/sausage kind of things.

    There is another diner on Route 3 in Broomall, closer to the city and used to be okay, but I haven't been there in about 5 years and can't remember its name.

    1. If you venture down 202 into North Wilmington, they have good burgers and milkshakes at the Charcoal Pit. Skip the other fancier things on the menu. Kind of a teen hangout at that hour though. http://charcoalpit.net/

      8 Replies
      1. re: bluehensfan

        +1 for the charcoal pit. Burgers cooked over a flame.. really good milk shakes, and the onion rings are not bad either. You would head south on 202 from Route 1. You could easily then get on 95 after eating there (5 minutes further south.).

        1. re: bluehensfan

          Thanks, Charcoal Pit looks interesting. Do you know how late they are open? Website doesn't say.

          Burgers sound good, how is the chicken and ribs?

          1. re: barryg

            I think they are open until 11, maybe later on weekends. I would defer to bluehensfan on this (this is a lunch stop for me when I meet with clients in Wilmington.)

            I think I have had a chicken sandwich there once, as well as a salad, but I usually just get a burger of some ilk. Its definitely what they do best. If you need variety, it may not be the best choice.

            Other thing to watch out for in general is the construction at night, which I know has been going on on Route 1, 202 and 95. I do not know whats happening now, but I would avoid areas that are doing it. I have been caught in single lane traffic on 95,1 and 202 over the years and its painful, especially at night. I know there is work going on 202 but that is probably not your route unless you are trying to avoid 95 (1 to 202 to Schuykill for example).

            1. re: barryg

              I think we've only stuck with the burgers and milkshakes, but they are definitely a good way to go. Thin burgers, but they'll cook them more or less to your preferred done-ness.

              I've been thinking about this journey as well, since I'm guessing you're also heading out to the Bruce Munro installation. I hadn't thought about getting something on the way back, though, I was thinking we could pick up Talula's Table items to eat in the picnic area across the street from LG.

              We regularly make the Charcoal Pit a part of our occasional DE shopping journey (Total Wine on Naaman's Road, Target/Best Buy, Fulton Paper & Party Supplies, etc).

              1. re: urbanfabric

                Yep seeing the installation, and also the fountain light show. I didn't realize there was a picnic area, we thought we'd have to eat something small on the way in then be starving by the time we left.

                1. re: barryg

                  The cafe in Longwood is not bad, you may want to try that. They close at 8 though.

                  1. re: barryg

                    Keep in mind that Longwood's picnic area closes at dusk. But it's a large, well-kept, shaded area. Talula's Table is a great place do pick up your picnic goodies.

                    Also, you probably know this, but timed entry tickets are required for the Lights installation on weekends.

                    1. re: barryg

                      When we went to the Light installation, we left for dinner in town and returned at dark. In the interest of saving time, however, the menu at the upscale restaurant inside had a few interesting selections and the cafe had enough variety for my group.

              2. On Rt. 1, about a mile north of Rt. 202 is Ruby's Diner -- a chain, for sure, with a 50's theme.

                4 Replies
                1. re: CindyJ

                  Is it good?

                  1. re: barryg

                    That depends what you're comparing it to. Let's just say I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there. If I were famished and nothing else were open, it'd do just fine. It's not BAD -- it's just not anything special.

                    1. re: barryg

                      I prefer Five Guys (though there are no shakes there) or the Charcoal Pit to Ruby's.

                    2. re: CindyJ

                      Burgers (the 4 ounce) and milkshakes (get the black and white, triple thick) as well as french fries and onion rings are the things to get at the Charcoal Pit. The grilled chicken is ok but not a chicken or rib place by any means. I know they are open at least until 11 but I would call to see if they are open later.

                      As far as construction, you should be OK going north on 95 from 202. The hassle is getting off 95 to 202, as they are wideneing the ramps.