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Aug 2, 2012 09:44 AM

Rouge -- yay or nay, and alternative suggestions for next visit

I had a recent work trip in Philly and stumbled upon Rouge and a bunch of other restaurants around the park. It was one of those "let's just go here" moments because we were both tired from traveling (with my boss).

We split a few of the small plates - spring rolls, tuna and beef tartare dishes, a tomato dish with heirloom tomatoes, calamari and a cheese plate. I wound up ordering a salad and he did order a main dish (can't remember).

I won't go into a deep description but I thought the food was just ok. It wasn't bad or terrible by any means, but given the prices, esp. for apps, it was somewhat lackluster and everything appeared to be at room temperature, including my salad.

We'll being heading back to Philadelphia in a couple of weeks (these are day-only trips). Is there a nice place within walking distance of Walnut St.? Or is it worth making a detour to Pat's or Geno's? i've never to either place and I've always wanted to go there, at least to take a picture, lol. :)

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  1. Rouge is a big "nay" for me, way too pricey for food that was, on my fairly recent visit, not worth eating. Pat's and Geno's both suck too.

    What cross street will you be near? Walnut runs the entire width of the city. Assuming you'll be close to where Rouge is you have lots of much better options very close by: the Dandelion (English pub), Zama (sushi),, Vernick, Rittenhouse Tavern (all 'New American', I'd say), and Parc (French bistro). Any of them will be a huge improvement over Rouge.

    1. I was going to recommend Parc or Dandelion in that area - Dandelion's fish and chips lunch is amazing!

      Definitely don't detour to Pat's or Geno's - if you want a quick lunch where everyone can grab something different, head to Reading Terminal Market around 8th street and get a roast pork sandwich from DiNic's.

      1 Reply
      1. re: whethergirl

        As previously mentioned, Parc (two doors down from Rouge) is really good and Dandelion is also a block away and good. AKitchen and Tria are also within two blocks. If you feel like walking a little, Zavino at 13th and Sansom has good small plates and pizza, and there are a lot of other good places to eat on 13th St.

        Also as mentioned avoid Pat's and Geno's like the plague if you thought Rouge was mediocre. If you want good sandwiches, head to DiNic's (soon to be the Best Sandwich In America?) at Reading Terminal Market which is actually at 12th and Arch Sts. or Paesano's.

      2. Thanks for the suggestions! We did walk by Parc Bistro because it looked really interesting but there was a fairly long wait and we were pressed for time to get back to CT whereas Rouge seated us right away.

        I'm not sure what the cross street our client's offices are located but it's only 3-4 blocks from the corner to Rittenhouse Sq. There's a lot of clothing shops nearby. I really loved the park area, it has such a unique, almost period feel.

        Thanks all for the suggesions. This will give us time to plan ahead and check out the menus.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mushroomaffairs

          Reading Terminal Market fer sher!
          Also, for really neat comfort food, try Jones -- a happening.

          1. re: mushroomaffairs

            I think it's always worth checking Open Table to make a reservation, even if it's just a few hours beforehand. It probably would have gotten you a table at Parc. While some of the recommended places don't require reservations, if you're in a crunch for time, it's worth it.