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Festive birthday dinner w/bf and two college-age children - La Calaca Feliz? Jamonera? Modo Mio?

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Trying to decide where to go on a Tuesday evening for a festive birthday dinner for my boyfriend and his two college-age children. Not looking to break the bank on this, and would like to be somewhere with a fun atmosphere, but definitely good food. He and I will have a more intimate celebration, involving Bibou, on another night, but Tuesday is his actual birthday and his children will be with us, and I'd like that to have some sort of specialness to it, too, and preferably someplace we've not yet been.

On basis of a little research on the boards, am considering La Calaca Feliz, Jamonera, and Modo Mio. Considered Barbuzzo but can't get a reservation for this Tuesday. Thoughts on these options? Other suggestions?

Thanks everyone!

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  1. Jamonera has interesting small plates. Its quite small and often very crowded. Sister Barbuzzo like wise is also very crowded with small plates. We have recently taken it off our list because of what we consider over crowding making it very uncomfortable and because of recent so-so food and drink choices. Should you be interest in a small plates option I would suggest Amada with a bigger, nicer venue and what we think are better small plates.

    1. All good choices! And all quite different from each other, especially Modo Mio which is BYO. I have been to Jamonera most recently and I was surprised at how reasonably priced it was, considering how well we ate and with several cocktails. La Calaca Feliz reminded me of restaurants we dined in in Mexico City -- authentic but elevated food. Modo Mio is great but probably has the least interesting atmosphere, not that it is bad.

      1. I love La Calaca Feliz. Went there for a friend's bday and we all enjoyed the food and the energy. Think it would make for a great choice and parking wouldn't be a huge hassle.

        1. I've really wanted to like La Calaca Feliz, but both times I've been there, I've felt the food was only OK, and way too expensive for OK.

          Of those options, I would think Jamonera would be fun. Modo Mio is a very nice meal, but a very different feel.

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          1. re: PhillyA

            Jamonera is nice, but I agree with folks that it is small and a bit cramped. However you can dine al fresco (weather permitting) and might not feel as cramped. I was there on a Monday night a couple of weeks ago and got in with no reservation at 630. The place was empty. It did fill up later.
            And you are right down the block from Capogiro which makes a nice dessert option.

            Modo Mio is byo which might tip the scale one way or the other for you. Great food, a bit cramped but I do not think that it is too loud especially on a weekday evening. Obviously not in Center City so you cannot stroll afterwards.

            Calaca Feliz is nice. I put it in the same realm as El Vez, and some of the other haute mexican in the city. Good not great. Nice atmosphere and the college aged children might enjoy it.

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