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Center City Lunch Option for Mid-Size Group

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jaycooke May 9, 2013 03:53 PM

Greetings from Minnesota! I've been tasked with finding a location for a luncheon in June with the following guidelines:

- Within walking distance of the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
- Can accommodate a group from ~8 to 20 without a room charge
- Erring on the side of affordable vs. fancy or foodie.
- Quiet enough for conversation is essential (ideally private room).

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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  1. s
    sylviag RE: jaycooke May 9, 2013 04:31 PM

    I suggest R2L. It's on 16th Street, about 4 blocks walk.
    It's high, with a beautiful view of the city. I have found it to be always quiet enough to talk. You can see the menu online.

    5 Replies
    1. re: sylviag
      b
      barryg RE: sylviag May 9, 2013 06:57 PM

      R2l is quite expensive. OP, how much do you want to spend?

      1. re: barryg
        j
        jaycooke RE: barryg May 9, 2013 07:09 PM

        Thanks. We are a group of public employees, each will be paying our own way. My boss said to keep it "affordable" so under $20? Not sure how prices compare to here.

        1. re: jaycooke
          linguafood RE: jaycooke May 9, 2013 07:36 PM

          Under $20 *with* tax/tip?

          Wow. I'd be curious about the suggestions.... that sounds impossible, unless you're considering Subway.

          Chinatown might be your best bet, it's not that far of a walk.

          1. re: linguafood
            j
            jaycooke RE: linguafood May 9, 2013 08:14 PM

            Any particular recommendations in Chinatown then?

            If my expectations are off base, I'm not set in stone. I honestly don't know how prices compare. Our nicest restaurants have lunch options in the $12-$16 range, so I was making a guess.

            1. re: jaycooke
              linguafood RE: jaycooke May 9, 2013 08:19 PM

              Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House:

              http://www.yelp.com/biz/nan-zhou-hand...

              Dirt cheap and delicious. Massive portions, too.

    2. h
      Hungryin theBurbs RE: jaycooke May 10, 2013 04:47 AM

      It's the combination of quiet and affordable that is tricky. There are many excellent inexpensive lunches to be had within a few blocks of that area, but they tend to be fairly noisy, even the nicer restaurants. It is a very busy part of the city. A private room is unlikely, especially without knowing the size of the group ahead of time.

      Some places you might check out are: El Vez, Caribou Cafe, and Opa. You'd need reservations at any of them, and really only El Vez has larger size tables, but the others might be able to make it work and none are super-loud at lunch.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Hungryin theBurbs
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        barryg RE: Hungryin theBurbs May 10, 2013 05:30 AM

        I was wondering if El Vez was noisy at lunch time. They have a two-course lunch for $15 I think.

        At the upper end of the price range, Giorgio on Pine does a $20 (before tax/tip) 3 course lunch and should not be too loud at that time (BYOB).

        Also looks like Estia (upscale Greek) does an "Express Lunch" for $17pp. Not sure if that means would they wouldn't appreciate you lingering chatting.

        In Chinatown, Sang Kee is always a good bet and is a little nicer and roomier (two floors) than most places. If people do the soups or rice platters (the best items they offer IMO) it would be under $10 before beverage.

        jaycooke... for comparison, nicer casual/trendy places should clock in a little under $20 but the nicest places are closer to $30. Estia looks like a nice exception to that rule (though they also do a "business lunch" for $30).

        1. re: barryg
          c
          cwdonald RE: barryg May 10, 2013 05:47 AM

          Two other suggestions in Chinatown both of which have private rooms (do not know if they have room charges) are Lee How Fook, and Vietnam Palace. You are going to be able to easily stay within your budget at either place. The former is standard chinese american food fare, the latter is decent Vietnamese, though I am not a fan of the Pho there.

      2. s
        sylviag RE: jaycooke May 10, 2013 06:56 AM

        Here is the link to the lunch menu from R2L:

        http://www.r2lrestaurant.com/uploads/...

        When I have been there, we usually get the burger or another sandwich - $11 to $14. The salads are another option.
        It's on the 37th floor, and really stunning.

        If you think it's too expensive and want to go to Chinatown,
        I suggest Vietnam Palace. It's attractive and quiet, and I have often seen large groups there.

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