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May 24, 2013 05:40 AM

The review of the Swedish princess and her meals in Philly

Dear chowhounds, tks for all Your suggestions. We are now on our last legs in Philly and here is the Evaluation from the Princess:
1) Dandelion: first night after arrival. LOVELY building inside and out. Spectacular burgers, cool ale and very competitive pricing. I actually dare to say this was the best burger-served medium rare as asked for-ever, and I have had the foie gras burger of the Private Room at Changi Airport several times! Princess and Prince consort are in agreement. Five stars.
2) Sbraga: large room, not very exciting ambience. Decent pricing. LOTS of taste, but why do foie gras soup with green curry AND lamb with green curry in the same meal. My lamb was dry and burnt as well! Princess loved it. I did not. All in all four stars.
3) Zahav: the full Lamb experience for both including a bottle of Chateau Musar 2007 and bubbly water for USA 210 including tip! Tons of exciting mezes, ENORMOUS amounts of succulent tender lamb, even too much for ME, the Glutton of the North to finish offf in one setting. Took a doggy bag for the first time ever in my life! Princess and price consort in total agreement. Princess wanted to go back within the week! Five stars.
4) Bibou: I would have loved to love the Bibou. We had the sunday dinner and got cold asparagus soup-not exciting at all. Princess got the signature snail dish and I the Foie gras stuffed Pigs foot. Both dishes were exquisite but the pigs foot was stuffed with pigs shoulder, not foie gras. I do make this dish at home sometimes-stuffing it with morels. I did remark this to the maitre'd who just stated that there was no port shoulder in it and that there was foie gras. That somehow punctured our experience and we chose to waiver our second visit. All in all good, exciting dishes, affordabe, enough food but... Princess had quenelles as main cours which she did NOT enjoy. Disagreement between princess and prince consort. Four stars minus.
4): Matyson: Asparagus week. Asparagi in everything, including pie. Lovely contrasts in tecture, amazing flavour but I WAS HUNGRY afterwards, even if I had the bread. That always drags the grade down. Four stars.
5)McGillins ale house for lunch-were we crazy?? The most horrible shepherds pie ever tasted and a mountain of the blandest leberwurst along with 6 non-exciting microbrews for almost the price of Dandelion, in a room filled with people, surly servers and no ambience? Never again. Two stars.
6) Devon seafood grill. Still the best happy hour in Philly. Two lobsters, 12 oysters, fried calamari, fried chipotle shrimp, one artisanal beer and 7 signature drinks? USD 106 including 15% tip! Fantastic!
7) Pearl Oyster bar: Traditional fried oysters with chicken salad. Fpr USD 15 incl tip-3 half burnt fried oysters which were green inside, a heap of cole slaw tasting nothing and a heap of chicken salad tasting nothing. Please-never again! Two stars.
8): Talulas garden: FANTASTIC SERVICE!!! Completely outstanding!!!
We had ordered a heavy red but got a strawberry tasting one. When the waiter saw that we didnĀ“t particularily enjoy it he refused to serve it to us and let us buy another, outstanding bottle. Princess had lamb with vinegar as main course and left quite a lot of it. What does waiter do? He says, "Dear Princess, I see that You have not enjoyed the lamb. I will under no circumstances allow You to pay for it since my mission is to see You happy"!!!!!! Food-wise decent enough, lovely cheese, desserts to die for, nice ambience. A bit pricier than the others, but such service can only render the place Five Stars. Just see on the menu what You order...
With this we thank all chowhounds and wish that this review might be useful for other travellers.

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  1. Funny to see McGillins in that list. "One of these things is not like the others..."

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob Loblaw

      Two, actually. McG and Pearl are two places I would rather die than go back to. The rest I would visit again in a heartbeat.

      1. re: Rustscheff

        It's interesting that you'd rather die than go back to those 2 places, but still gave them 2 stars. What kind of restaurant would get 1 or no star?? :-)

    2. Interesting and useful reviews; thanks for the feedback. While I have not kept abreast of the suggestions you had received: I am quite surprised that you visited the Pearl Oyster bar with a quite superior alternative in the Oyster House. McGillin"s ale house is a throwback to exactly what I do not know. I would not go there for free ale!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bacchus101

        I absolutely agree. The only reason I went to Pears is that I had 20 minutes between lectures and they had free seats. Now I know why. I would also rather not have the McGillin experience again-at least until they have changed recipes. And cook.

        1. re: Rustscheff

          The only reason to eat at Pearls or the down home diner in the RTM is that there are free seats.. and in a place that is as packed as the RTM when a place has free seats, that should be a sign...

      2. What an interesting review! Thanks so much for posting.

        I am curious as to why the princess didn't enjoy the quenelles at Bibou. I love quenelles and considered going there sometime when they were on the menu. Anything wrong here?

        2 Replies
        1. re: sylviag

          Dear Sylvia, w love quelelles, but these were just-bland.Like pike quenelles without sauce....

          1. re: Rustscheff

            Oh no, one needs the sauce! I understand completely.