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A Philadelphia Experience for a Girls Soccer Team Dinner?

We are looking for a great Philadelphia experience for our Saturday team dinner while we visit the area for a soccer tournament. This may be the only exposure to Philadelphia that we have during our visit so we want to choose wisely.

What would you recommend that is reasonably priced place with great atmosphere and good to great food in the area? They will need to fit 25-30 of us.

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  1. How soon is the tournament? Where will you be staying? How old are the ladies?

    What is your price range per diner?

    10 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      Also how "adventurous" are these team members? That is, would it be safer to stick with something "Red gravy Italian" or would they be interested in trying something in Chinatown (whether Chinese, Vietnamese or Burmese...just coming to mind as many of these places have great food at good prices, and can handle a large party, but not necessarily for picky/unadventurous eaters.)

        1. re: sockii

          Great question. We have to cater to the lowest common denominator. So we are likely looking more for "Red gravy Italian". Looking forward to your suggestions. Thanks.

          1. re: soccersteve

            If you want red gravy Italian in the $20pp range, I would suggest Criniti's in South Philly. But I would categorize the food as "good" but not "great". Definitely call ahead to plan this.

            http://www.crinitirestaurant.com/

            1. re: Philly Ray

              Thanks for the recommendation. I will call Critini's.

              1. re: soccersteve

                I just thought of this with regard to Criniti's. Since you want to provide a "Philadelphia Experience" you can skip dessert at the restaurant and walk around the corner to Pop's Water Ice. I can't imagine a more Philly summer dining experience than finishing off with water ice.

                1. re: Philly Ray

                  You read my mind! I was going to ask about something like that. We went to Boston last summer and experienced Mike's Pastries. Not to be missed. I was going to ask if there is something equivalent in Philly. Sounds like Pop's is the place! Thanks.

        2. re: cwdonald

          July 27-28 weekend. We are staying out in Mount Laurel. Ladies are 16&17 plus parents. Less than $20pp. Thanks for asking.

          1. re: soccersteve

            I don't think you're going to get a good food experience for less than $20pp, especially downtown. If you just want to make sure to see Philly maybe try somewhere like Fratelli's. It's right in the heart of Center City so you could walk down Walnut St to Rittenhouse Square afterwards or something. Their private menus start at $22 before tax and tip, maybe that would work? This used to be called Italian Bistro and was around the corner on Broad St. The food wasn't good then and probably isn't now, but it will be edible and cheap.

            http://www.fratellisib.com/ordereze/M...

            I should that Chinatown is really affordable too though under $20pp still seems like a stretch, but not sure on prices there.

            1. re: barryg

              Thanks. By the look's of the photos, I don't know if Fratelli's will be able to fit us on a Saturday night. I'm getting the sense that South Philly is the area for us. Appreciate the details.

        3. What about Pod? Near U of P.
          All young people really dig this fun place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: arepo

            I've been to a great restaurant in that area years ago and love it. Not sure our group is old enough for the Pod. Thanks.

          2. Call Pub and Kitchen and see if you can book the upstairs room. Their food is great (and the drinks too!) and for a private room, it is very reasonable. They'll work with you on menu options in your budget. The only thing I am not sure of is whether they book the upstairs for private parties on Saturdays.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fava_bean

              Thanks for this. I am curious and will call them to learn more.

            2. Han Dynasty Old City (basement) could seat 30 and has wonderful Sichuan cuisine. A Philly fav right now. Right over the bridge from Jersey. Nice part of town.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chinon00

                Thanks. I don't think that this is the place for us. Appreciate the time you took.

              2. I'd highly recommend Nomad Pizza on 7th st b/w South and Bainbridge. Fantastic wood fired pizza, easily less than $20 pp when pizzas are shared, and they take reservations for large parties. You may be able to reserve the upstairs room.

                6 Replies
                1. re: soccerfan80

                  Nomad is a great suggestion. The pizza is neopolitan style and really is some of the best in the city right now.

                  If there is a goal of giving folks a view of Philadelphia in addition to a good meal you might go to South Philly, Poppi's,Ralph's or Marra's all could accommodate a group that size within your budget but call ahead

                  The other place that comes to mind that gives a historical experience is City Tavern. I am not sure if the budget would work but it would allow the girls to experience "colonial" style food. It is pretty ordinary food, so you wouldn't have to worry about adventurous eaters.

                  Finally, you could consider Morgan's Pier and dine al fresco close to the river.

                  If you go the chinatown route, you could get away with Lee How Fook or Vietnam Palace. Both have enough americanized chinese/vietnamese food that you should be able to satisfy everyone.

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    The last time I went to Marra's was a total disaster. Horrible, rude service and all we wanted was a couple of pizzas. I'm afraid to see how they would handle a group that large. I used to be a fan, but I just can't recommend it anymore, and I grew up around the corner from there.

                    I thought of Popi's too. The plus for them is that they have a parking lot (which is always good for large groups and out-of-towners),

                    1. re: Philly Ray

                      But isn't the rude service part of the Philly "experience." (Just kidding.) Really sorry to hear that Marra's has drifted down so badly. I only suggest people go there for the pizza nothing else. If it cannot deliver that efficiently and with a smile its not a good place. Thanks for the update Ray.

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        Thanks for this thread. Our goal is to also give everyone in our group a view of Philadelphia. Too bad about Marra's. It looked perfect. Ralph's looks ideal. This is #1 on our list.

                        1. re: soccersteve

                          It is a shame about Marra's, but we were there with suburban relatives and I was actually embarrassed that I brought them there.

                  2. re: soccerfan80

                    Nomad sounds great (other than the location comment). We may end up here if some other options in S. Philly can't accomodate us. I will let you know.