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late weeknight takeout

s
shoelace Dec 15, 2012 03:34 PM

will be heading out to philly thursday night for an engagement party in rittenhouse, and staying near valley forge, i think its called norristown

is there anywhere i can stop and get a decent takeout dinner late late on a thursday night

must have reasonable non-meat options

  1. m
    mookleknuck Dec 19, 2012 11:02 PM

    Oh, and if you are out early enough, Mama's Vegetarian has fine falafel before they close at 9P.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mookleknuck
      b
      barryg Dec 20, 2012 06:24 AM

      Good call, Mama's is great. HipCityVeg on 18th St is another Veg takeout place, they are open until 10pm, but not sure if the menu will appeal if there is a meat eater in the crew.

    2. m
      mookleknuck Dec 18, 2012 02:03 PM

      Wah Gi Wah at 45th and Chestnut is open until 11P on Thursdays. Their chicken chargha is great, but I can't remember which vegetarian dishes were good. Request it to be actually spicy, if you like spicy food.

      While both David's Mai Lai Wah and Tai Lake are open late (I think until 3A or 4A) and serve Americanized Chinese, I'd only recommend Tai Lake even though ordering from Tai Lake's menu is more hit or miss in regards to which are or aren't American Chinese dishes. What would you be looking to order there?

      8 Replies
      1. re: mookleknuck
        s
        shoelace Dec 18, 2012 09:46 PM

        i would actually prefer to not be ordering americanized chinese, i grew up right outside of queens chinatown in ny and prefer the authentic- we eat a mala chili fish from out favorite chinese place in fairfax thats insane, and a ginger place thats also really delicious but less spicy

        im not gonna eat the authentic meat stuff- but fish stuff and spicy fish.veg stuff are definitely on my list

        heading out on thursday and still semi stumped

        1. re: shoelace
          b
          barryg Dec 19, 2012 06:11 AM

          Tai Lake might be a good choice for you, the seafood is very good, just tell them how you like it.

          1. re: shoelace
            m
            mookleknuck Dec 19, 2012 08:39 AM

            Well, I cannot tell which Queens Chinatown you are referring to, but Philly's Chinatown is really small, if you've ever been. Could you describe the mala chili fish that you get in Fairfax? If it's shuizhuyu, fish fillets served in a pool of chili oil and layer of sichuan peppercorns along with bok choy or Napa cabbage, then I would recommend Red Kings or Four Rivers, both of which close at 1030P on Thursdays (but you can and should call ahead for pickup).

            If you do pickup from Tai Lake, make it very obvious (even speaking in Chinese, if you can) what you want. I don't go there often enough to make myself familiar to the owners and staff, so have been steered to some bland Americanized glop. The salt baked baby fish with hot chili (ask for extra spicy because it's really not spicy at all) from the house specials menu, fillet grouper casserole, and plain steamed flounder.

            Good luck following kashrut! Please report back on whatever you decide.

            1. re: mookleknuck
              b
              barryg Dec 19, 2012 10:08 AM

              mookleknuck, are you saying those dishes are bland glop or are they your recommendations?

              1. re: barryg
                m
                mookleknuck Dec 19, 2012 10:25 AM

                Good catch, barryg. The dishes mentioned are my recommendations for her dietary preferences, but it's possible that both the salt baked fish sauce and the casserole could come out rather bland. (Sauces and casseroles seem to be hit or miss there. When they're a miss, bland glop.) I'd say the sure bet is the steamed flounder (or whatever catch of the day). And I would worry less about shellfish-based sauces used with the steamed flounder, too. Then again, I would probably just chat up the waiter and ask what they have that day, etc.

                1. re: mookleknuck
                  s
                  shoelace Dec 19, 2012 02:12 PM

                  ok so 1- i dont speak the language, but im a dork and i keep menus- so i tend to not call in orders, but walk in and point to something on a menu from another restaurant with characters and hope that suffices, and then sale mala mala, bc mala means like very numbing spicy (or so ive been told)

                  2- does shuizhuyu mean fried breaded fish fillets in the chili oil and szech peppercorns- the first time i had it there wre veggies on the side, but i think that was an accident bc there wasnt any of the other times

                  i will definitely report back and hope for continued reccs

                  re-kashrut- ive gotten pretty lucky in terms of people being able to answer my questions and go in with a list of characters written down re stuff i cant have and stuff id like, i dont try to pronounce what i will likely butcher :-)

                  1. re: shoelace
                    m
                    mookleknuck Dec 19, 2012 10:59 PM

                    1. I keep menus, too, and certainly understand why you wouldn't prefer to call ahead. Phone conversations with someone who is speaking English as a second language make it tricky to order, also. What do you mean by "and then sale mala mala"? (You were told the correct meaning of mala).

                    2. Shuizhu translates very roughly to braised in chili oil. Proteins served in this style are not usually fried and I have never seen it breaded. Any veggies are usually found underneath or mixed with the protein. Not sure what dish you had in Fairfax...

                    I will assume you know to avoid oyster sauce and random pork garnishes then... You can always show these characters to indicate that you want vegetarian fare: 吃素.

                    The recommendations above for Tai Lake are based on their English names. Looking at the Red Kings menu, I'd recommend their crispy fish (#119) and bean paste fish (#121) as well as braised live fish with sour pickle (#130). Both restaurants should have a selection of fresh veggies to choose from and I usually get snow pea leaves or tonghua (chrysanthemum leaves) or watercress. Sour pickle with sliced fish soup (#38 at Red Kings) is often solid. BarryG may have better (more recent) recommendations for Four Rivers.

                    Look forward to your report.

                    1. re: mookleknuck
                      b
                      barryg Dec 20, 2012 06:23 AM

                      I've only really explored the meat options at Four Rivers, unfortunately.

        2. a
          arepo Dec 18, 2012 01:53 PM

          Try The Stone Rose in Conshohocken if where you're staying is near Norristown.
          Also the Marriott in Conshy always has something to take-out.

          1. b
            barryg Dec 16, 2012 05:45 PM

            If it's before 11pm, try Quick Fixx on South St: http://thequickfixx.com

            Govinda's Vegetarian at Broad & South is open until midnight on the weekends. It is vegetarian junk food. The vegs love it but as a meat eater I am not a big fan: http://www.govindasvegetarian.com/index.html

            Worst case, you can hit Old Nelson's, a convenience store with deli counter at 20th & Chestnut. They make hoagies and sandwiches that are more than decent. 24 hours.

            For something a little fancier, you should be able to order takeout from Pub & Kitchen, the kitchen is open until 1am: http://thepubandkitchen.blogspot.com/...
            But not great veg options unless fish is ok.

            And slightly out of the way but close to a highway onramp, David's Mai Lai and Tai Lake in Chinatown will be open.

            If you get out at nine you can probably order takeout from any restaurant in the area.

            2 Replies
            1. re: barryg
              s
              shoelace Dec 16, 2012 07:24 PM

              non-meat does include fish, though not shellfish for me, but not for the person ill be driving with, and regardless the fish options look similar to what id be eating at home

              im also not a big fake meat eater- so govinda doesnt look like its for me

              quick fixx looks interesting, and cheap enough that we could try a couple of things

              davids mai lai and tai lake- u mentioned both are in chinatown- does that mean theyre more authentic than americanized?

              1. re: shoelace
                b
                barryg Dec 16, 2012 07:36 PM

                They have both Americanized and more authentic stuff. Depends on what you order, and David's has at least three different menus, they will usually only give white people one unless you ask for the others. Haven't been to Tai Lake in a while so I forget if there are separate menus but I have had frog, jellyfish, etc. They have fish tanks in the front of the restaurant and kill to order.

                Also in Chinatown, I think Banana Leaf, a Malaysian restaurant, is also open very late.

            2. s
              shoelace Dec 16, 2012 03:43 PM

              im hoping for 9, but might be 11, so options in those arenas please

              1. b
                barryg Dec 15, 2012 04:06 PM

                How late exactly?

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