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UPenn Weekend..need great ideas to take out really great son!

1900Therese Oct 2, 2012 06:11 PM


I am going to Philly for the weekend...first time in 40 years! Am going to visit my son who just started law school.
He loves steak and also oysters...and could probably enjoy a fabulous meal or two (esp place wehre we can get a reservation/aka not a long wait)
I am staying very close to the UPenn campus..parent weekend rates at the Sheraton.

Any great ideas?

  1. The Chowhound Team Oct 4, 2012 03:52 PM

    Some hounds wanted to continue discussing Studio Kitchen in detail without overwhelming the original poster's thread, so we split that great conversation off to a separate thread, here: http://www.chow.com/topics/872157

    1. 1
      1900Therese Oct 3, 2012 08:54 PM

      You guys have all been awesome....so many great places. Since this is my first of hopefully many visits over the next 3 years I think I already have restaurants to try for the next...and next...and next times!

      2 Replies
      1. re: 1900Therese
        cwdonald Oct 3, 2012 09:52 PM

        Please let us know where you went, and what your experiences were. It is always refreshing to hear how people from out of town experience Philadelphia.

        1. re: cwdonald
          1900Therese Oct 4, 2012 07:16 AM

          I sure will. And tho I have never been to moosewood it is one of my favorite cookbooks! So I think we like the same things! Look for an update next week!

      2. o
        Omniverous Oct 3, 2012 01:16 PM

        I think its under new ownership recently (so someone please correct me

        7 Replies
        1. re: Omniverous
          Bigley9 Oct 3, 2012 01:18 PM

          What's under new ownership?

          1. re: Omniverous
            Omniverous Oct 3, 2012 04:23 PM

            Oh, sorry - I started to reply and then got sidetracked. I didn't realize it posted. As I was saying...

            I think its under new ownership recently (so someone please correct me if its gone downhill), but in my days at Penn, the White Dog Cafe on campus at 34th/Sansome (near the law school) was the Chez Panisse of West Philly and an excellent destination for weekend brunch (or an afternoon hot apple cider...or a late supper...or just about anything, really). I popped in last year for drinks and snacks in the bar and it seemed as tasteful as I remember based on that brief sampling...if so, and if your son hasn't had the time or resources to try it on his own yet, the two of you should check it out together. Enjoy your weekend at Penn.

            1. re: Omniverous
              arepo Oct 3, 2012 08:02 PM

              I second Sabrina's for brunch. A perfect choice and very close by.

              1. re: Omniverous
                cwdonald Oct 3, 2012 08:23 PM

                White Dog was sold over three years ago to Marty Grims who heads the restaurant group that brings you the "stellar" food on the Mosholu and lots of food down the shore. Used to be my favorite place in West Philadelphia, though the change in ownership has changed that. I am not saying its bad, its just not what it once was.

                1. re: cwdonald
                  bluehensfan Oct 4, 2012 05:29 AM

                  Wow...and I thought it wasn't all that happening years ago. Or at least what I ate.

                  1. re: bluehensfan
                    cwdonald Oct 4, 2012 05:33 AM

                    I guess it depends on what you were looking for. For me it was Philadelphia's equivalent of Moosewood from Ithaca, NY, which I have a soft spot in my heart for. You are right that the food wasn't the most spectacular, but it was good food. And relative to what else was around there at the time, was one of the better choices, at least in the 90s.

                    1. re: cwdonald
                      Omniverous Oct 4, 2012 10:49 AM

                      Yes - my teunure was in the 90s and there certainly wasn't much of that kind of locavore cooking in Philadelphia (or most places) at the time. But now its ubiquitous and while they may have invented the computer at Penn, I don't think they've concocted a time machine yet..although my White Dog cookbook still gets dusted off once in a while. Thanks for the update.

            2. c
              Chefpaulo Oct 2, 2012 11:32 PM

              For a memorable and elegant Sunday morning brunch (with unlimited oysters), you can't beat LaCroix.But reservations are a must.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Chefpaulo
                1900Therese Oct 3, 2012 07:26 AM

                Darn...he'll be in library studying on Sunday. Is laxroix great for dinner too? What about a Monday am breakfast?

                1. re: 1900Therese
                  bluehensfan Oct 3, 2012 07:36 AM

                  Oyster House has great oysters. By far the best oysters in town but the food beyond the raw bar is pretty meh. LaCroix is more of a brunch place. My go-to breakfast place is the Dutch Eating Place in Reading Terminal Market (not open Sunday though). Not at all fancy but great homestyle food.

                  Do note that a lot of the recommendations you will be getting are in Center City and would require a very long walk, a cab ride, or a brief trip on either the trolley or the subway. The food is admittedly not as good in West Philly,

                  Does he like lamb? The Mesibah at Zahav is a reall treat...

                  1. re: bluehensfan
                    1900Therese Oct 3, 2012 07:42 AM

                    He loves Mediterranean including lamb...we are satisfying his need to beef at bark lay on Sunday nite...so other MEAT ideas are very much appreciated!

                    1. re: 1900Therese
                      barryg Oct 3, 2012 07:53 AM

                      He will love the Mesibah at Zahav. It is served multicourse--first course hummus and salads, then several mezze plates, then the huge lamb shoulder, served with crispy rice and chickpeas. Make sure to preorder this as they only make a limited number.

                      I think Lacroix is excellent for all meals but the brunch is very special. If you can't do brunch though you might be happier elsewhere for your dinners.

                      Another meat idea is Cochon (BYOB) which has great pork dishes -- not 100% sure it's still on the menu but last time I was there I had a suckling pig dish that represented several different cuts of the pig that was really good.

                      Also consider the hamburger from Village Whiskey.

                      1. re: 1900Therese
                        bluehensfan Oct 3, 2012 07:55 AM

                        One of the best restaurants in town is Zahav. They have a fabulous tasting menu called the Mesibah that includes hummus and warm bread, small salads, small plates, and a delicious lamb shoulder with pomegranites and chick peas (and dessert of course) that is out of this world. If you search the board you will see it mentioned a lot. It is truly one of the best dishes in Philly and well worth it. One caveat, you need to reserve it ahead of time...

                        1. re: bluehensfan
                          cwdonald Oct 3, 2012 08:10 AM

                          For breakfast on Monday go to Sabrina's in West Philly (34th street and Powelton). Local institution with good eggs, french toast etc..

                          Seafood... I agree Oyster House is good. I have enjoyed their rendition of snapper soup, as well as their raw bar. Happy Hour they have buck a shuck.

                          Another seafood destination is Route 6. Decent raw bar, and I enjoy their full belly fried clams there.

                          There are other steakhouses that deserve mention. Butcher and Singer is in the former Striped Bass space and is a bit more sedate compared to Barclay Prime. Union Trust is a locally owned place that has good steaks. Of the chains (we have them all.. Ruth Chris, Mortons, Palm, Capital Grille, Del Friscos) I strongly prefer Capitol Grille.

                          The lamb dish at Zahav is absolutely fantastic. You may need to preorder it. You get a prix fixe menu where the lamb is the star of the show, in addition to a great selection of the israeli salads and appetizers.

                          1. re: cwdonald
                            cook262 Oct 3, 2012 08:42 AM

                            If you go to Sabrina's for breakfast. Be aware that the portions are HUGE! However, they let you order half-portions even thou it's not on the menu as an option. I think it's something like half the portion for 2/3 the price...not a huge price savings but you don't feel like you are wasting food either.

                2. a
                  arepo Oct 2, 2012 06:54 PM

                  Take that fine kid to Barclay Prime for a major strip steak -- like buttah!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: arepo
                    1900Therese Oct 2, 2012 08:50 PM

                    Sounds awesome. Any ideas for for a great breakfast?

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