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DebbyT Aug 19, 2013 03:41 PM

Bringing our daughter to college...any suggestions for eating there?

  1. a
    avitrek Aug 19, 2013 06:18 PM

    Which college/where in the city will you be?

    31 Replies
    1. re: avitrek
      t
      ThePrettypoodle Aug 19, 2013 10:19 PM

      Both Temple and Penn have kosher food. Penn is close enough to Drexel that you can just walk a few blocks and go there.
      If shes going to art school, it will depend which school to suggest a place, unless it is Tyler which is now on Temple's campus.
      The other schools let us know which one and we can suggest somewhere.

      1. re: avitrek
        d
        DebbyT Aug 20, 2013 08:23 AM

        Penn Engineering...

        1. re: DebbyT
          t
          ThePrettypoodle Aug 20, 2013 08:29 AM

          Your easiest location would be Penn Hillel.
          There are many yummy places in Center City, but parking can be an issue, unless you want to take Septa(public transit)

          1. re: ThePrettypoodle
            a
            AdinaA Aug 20, 2013 08:35 AM

            Depends. Hillel will feed you. But perhaps after you've unloaded the car you want to go somewhere for a nice meal. There are parking garages downtown (not worse than other big cities).

            And while I almost never get to Phila. with a car, I know that Perttypoodle and others have discussed on this board some good restaurants in the suburbs.

            1. re: AdinaA
              t
              ThePrettypoodle Aug 20, 2013 08:42 AM

              If you dont want to pay an additional $20 (or more) for parking and are up for a walk- Mamas would be walkable from Penn's campus.
              Citron and Rose I believe has free parking and would be an easy drive as would Palace Royal.

              1. re: AdinaA
                bagelman01 Aug 20, 2013 01:00 PM

                Adina....
                This whole thread brings up memories. I started University at Penn 41 years ago.

                That said: Don't DEPEND on Hillel feeding the OP. The OP is a parent bringing a student to school. It is very likely that Hillel will NOT be doing regular food service until classes begin for the semester. We ran into that when we took a nephew to PENN to start school a couple of years ago. Often on move in days, organizations such as Hillel have programing to attract new members such as a welcome BBQ, but not necessarily for parents.

                And for the poster who mentioned PENN is at 32nd St and West, the OP mentioned Engineering, grad Student housing at PENN is far west, in the high 30s or 40s. BUT if traveling to Center City from PENN, many blocks disappear when you cross the river. Still quite a walk, in our day we'd have taken the trolley, now bus or subway.

                1. re: bagelman01
                  t
                  ThePrettypoodle Aug 20, 2013 01:06 PM

                  Even though I live in Philaelphia and kinda know SEPTA, I would Only take the bus from Penn and NOT the trolly (which is underground) to Center City.
                  Just be sure to have exact fares- the bus will accept dollar bills just an FYI:) www.septa.org for more info

                  1. re: ThePrettypoodle
                    bagelman01 Aug 20, 2013 01:32 PM

                    PP................when I went to school in Phila, the trolley was above ground and ran on rails and hooked up to overhead wires for electric power. Used to take the Spruce Street line from PENN to Center City to get to work, part Time selling shoes at Wanamakers. The Subway was pretty new, under Market St. We'd take it to Camden to buy alcohol. The State Store system for booze and having to buy beer as a takeout from a bar or by the case from a beer distributor didn't make a lot of sense. Getting all the way out to Cstor Ave in NE to the butcher or baker was a real pain. In those days, PENN Hillel was still in the small brick building on 36th St and the caterer served dinners only. And signing up for meals at Hillel was the only way to get out of the obligatory university dining plan.

                    1. re: bagelman01
                      b
                      barryg Aug 21, 2013 12:36 PM

                      Bagelman... the trollies at Penn (and the Market St el) went underground in the '50s. The entrance to Spruce St station has a plaque noting it's a gift from the Class of 1956. They do still run on the street past 40th St.

                      1. re: barryg
                        t
                        ThePrettypoodle Aug 21, 2013 12:54 PM

                        Thank you Barry, I have not taken a tradtiIional trolly (one that runs on tracks) in months up Girard as opposed to modern trackless trolly like i took just yesterday. Being the last greaduationg class of the Baby Boomers I never took a trolley anywhere in thr 50's though took a few in the mid to late 60's and now often do to get to the rather icky El.
                        The Subway under market to Camden is now called the high Speed line and is rather nice.
                        Nowadays getting from CC or even South Philly like I did last nigh to Castor is quite easy- thanks to the ever icky EL. ON a food note I went to Jewish Heritage night at the Phillies game where I had sub par Kosher Chicken tenders. Rather icky- just like the El:( I believe Betty did the food:( Why Feeration cant find a decent KOSHER caterer in this city is beyond me. They should just have one of the Kosher food trucks come to an event!

                        1. re: ThePrettypoodle
                          b
                          barryg Aug 21, 2013 03:08 PM

                          The el makes the same stops today as it did in the '50s (with only one exception, I think). You still need to transfer to get to Castor Ave.

                          1. re: barryg
                            t
                            ThePrettypoodle Aug 21, 2013 10:09 PM

                            Yup you take the trackless trolly which goes down Castor- just did it yesterday.

                        2. re: barryg
                          bagelman01 Aug 22, 2013 04:42 PM

                          Barry...
                          Freshman year, I lived at 34th and Walnut. After that 5 of us bought a rowhouse at 42nd and Osage and still used above ground trolleys, esecially going west. I think in those days there was a Sears store out around 67th or 69th and we'd schlep housewares and hardware home on the trolley for improvement projects in the house. Had a hard time getting a double stainless steel kitchen sink to fit the base canonet, employee at Sears kept trying to sell us porcelain on steel, could not understand the desire for something we could easily kasher fo Pesach. Didn't have a car the fit two years in Phila. but Lundy's Kosher meats would deliver our order every Thursday, and bill my father monthly. Today my kids just use credit cards I pay <VBG>.

                    2. re: bagelman01
                      a
                      AdinaA Aug 20, 2013 01:21 PM

                      good point. OP should check with Hillel about dining options for move-in http://cms.business-services.upenn.ed... Penn Hillel has in the past done food service for move-in , commencement, since they are aware that families need somewhere to eat and it really is a long walk to Mama's ;-)

                      1. re: bagelman01
                        a
                        AdinaA Aug 20, 2013 01:23 PM

                        Bagelman, I do hope that you've been back, maybe even eaten pizza in the new Hillel

                        1. re: AdinaA
                          bagelman01 Aug 20, 2013 01:37 PM

                          Adina,
                          I was there for the grand opening. For many years I was on the National Hillel Board and helped fund the 'new' kosher dining facilities at both UPENN (where I attended) and UCONN (where my sister attended). Wanted to make sure our kids and grandkids, didn't have to make do (and live on tuna sandwiches) like we did.
                          Being 5th generation American, in a family that is now in its 8th, and most of us having left NY more than 60 years ago, I believe in public education and that you can be Jewish and observe traditions there as well in parochial institutions, BUT we have to make sure that the students are provided for.

                          1. re: bagelman01
                            a
                            AdinaA Aug 20, 2013 02:00 PM

                            Thank you, Bagelman.

                        2. re: bagelman01
                          d
                          DebbyT Aug 21, 2013 05:42 AM

                          Yep, I'm a parent, and she's an engineering student, but undergrad, so housing in the Lower Quad. Drop off went fine, but she already had an even at 4:30, so we left before dinner was even being considered and got home in time to eat here. Oh well, I'm sure there will be other opportunities to chow down in Philly.
                          BTW...parking was easy...they had spaces set aside for unloading cars but only for a 1 hr max (extendable for slow-pokes).

                          1. re: DebbyT
                            bagelman01 Aug 22, 2013 04:48 PM

                            It's been a lot of years, but PENN always made move in I lived in Hill Hall which was co-ed and had kichens on every other floor, which made my first year much easier than those living in the quad.
                            I don't know where home is for you, but if you don't have to bring your daughter a lot of stuff when you visit, I strongly suggest using AMTRAK to 30th Street Station and avoid city traffic and parking hassles.

                            1. re: bagelman01
                              Veggo Aug 22, 2013 05:15 PM

                              bagel, I was only 1 year ahead of you at Penn, and my freshman year Hill Hall was female only, with strict sign-in and curfew for male visitors. It was the first year of "project free" , experimental coed dorms in the quad, which only had the quad grill. 1970.

                              1. re: Veggo
                                bagelman01 Aug 22, 2013 06:39 PM

                                Veg....
                                you and I are dinosaurs when it comes to this. The College was for men, and women, unless in Wharton, Nursing or School of Allied Medical Professions were in the College For Women. I can hear the screams now from the younger ones reading this.
                                Hill was co-ed, but each suite was segregated by sex. The dorm director was very cooperative in meeting the needs of those who wanted the ability to eat kosher. There were kitchens between the 3rd and fourth floors in each corner of the building, and she gave one over for use as a kosher kitchen. We formed a committee and were given the key, ran a weekend food cooperative (food service and Hillel only provided meals M-F) and shared the cooking and cleanup on the weekends. We budgeted $1 pp per meal and the results were so sucessful, that many non-Jewish dorm-mates wanted in. A classmate of mine from Lake George, had worked three summers as a line cook in the dairy kitchen at Grossingers, so he headed the dairy cooking, and I did meat meals. The following year, he was one of the 5 who bought the row house where we lived the rest of our time at PENN.
                                Today, it's much easier for students at PENN to get kosher meals, but it's not as interesting............

                              2. re: bagelman01
                                d
                                DebbyT Aug 23, 2013 04:52 AM

                                Home is Teaneck, a 2 hr drive. She's in Riepe, no kitchen facilities at all. New and confusing dining programs, but TPTB said they can be changed when she figures out her eating habits! With the crazy Yom Tov schedule this year, I have a feeling I'll be driving there quite often over the next few weeks...

                                1. re: DebbyT
                                  bagelman01 Aug 23, 2013 05:31 AM

                                  I know the feeling..........
                                  with each of our girls we did many Sept/Oct home for the holidays rescue drives. Inevitably, after Rosh HaShanah, the car became more and more full with new found out-of-town friends homesick for holidays with the family (substituting us for far away parents).
                                  My sister's kids went to Brandeis, but hated the food. Mom lived a 20 minute drive away. Freshman year, my neice brought her vegetarian kosher roommate from the midwest home for Sukkos and home cooking. Met my nephew who was still in high school. He started Brandeis two years later. He and neice's roomate have now been married 19 years. All because neice in law needed a home cooked kosher yuntif fix.

                                  We found that whenever we brought the girls back to college after a quick yuntif trip home all the leftover cooked yuntif food disappeared. Somehow, it made it to college.

                                  So a word of advice, don't help contribute to the freshman 15. Send protein, veg, etc. Leave the cakes, kugels and starches at home.

                                  1. re: DebbyT
                                    a
                                    avitrek Aug 23, 2013 06:00 AM

                                    Drive? Have her take the train or bus. Septa to Trenton then NJT to wherever on the NEC you want to meet her(probably Secaucus). Or she can take BoltBus/Megabus into Manhattan and then get to Teaneck from Manhattan. If you want to spoil her, then take Amtrak which is not even that much more money than Septa+NJT if the ticket is bought well in advance.

                                    There is no reason you need to be driving to Penn every time she wants to go home.

                                    1. re: avitrek
                                      t
                                      ThePrettypoodle Aug 23, 2013 06:15 AM

                                      Ii have a friend who often did the Philly NYC trip and he preferred Bolt. I have only ever used Mega to DC and liked it. Do book early and you can really get the dollar fares- I usually do! Sadly there is no kosher food to be found unless you want chips or a coke at 30th Street:(

                                      1. re: avitrek
                                        bagelman01 Aug 23, 2013 06:24 AM

                                        Avi

                                        I cannot speak for Debby but the drive gives two more hours with her daughter. To quote the MadterCard commercial...train tic $30. Two more hours as a family...Priceless.

                                        1. re: bagelman01
                                          d
                                          DebbyT Aug 23, 2013 09:57 AM

                                          You are so right!!! But we will let her come HOME with the train/bus...probably drive her back...as she'll be returning more laden than when she left. As far as the freshman 15 are concerned....you don't know my daughter! She eschews carbs (always wanted to used that word) and loves, loves, loves her veggies. I'm not worried about her gaining weight...more worried about her losing!

                          2. re: DebbyT
                            b
                            barryg Aug 20, 2013 09:50 AM

                            Mekor Habracha has an up to date list of Kosher establishments:
                            http://ccshul.com/index.php?id=13

                            Anything in the In/Near Center City is pretty close to Penn, walkable, a very short drive/cab or easy public transit.

                            I second the recommendation of Mama's as a must, this is some of the best falafel and pita in the US IMO. Very casual. For a nice sit down meal Citron & Rose is your best best, about a 20-30 minute drive.

                            As a side note, remembering that Swiss Haus Bakery is on the list, this may be the only bakery to get kosher Cronuts in the US!

                            1. re: barryg
                              t
                              ThePrettypoodle Aug 20, 2013 10:00 AM

                              Barry have you forgotten that Penn is at about 32 street or even further west and Mamas is at 20th?
                              Center City is a LONG walk from Penn- I did it in my younger days, but after a dqy of unpacking a dorm it may be too much:(
                              Public transit may be the best choice to get to CC- no parking issues to deal with.

                              1. re: ThePrettypoodle
                                b
                                barryg Aug 20, 2013 11:30 AM

                                Mama's is the edge of walkable, depends on the person, but I meant that some places on the list are definitely walkable -- specifically the university-affiliated options.

                                1. re: ThePrettypoodle
                                  z
                                  zsero Aug 20, 2013 11:59 AM

                                  I think barryg's sentence was meant to be parsed as a list of options: "Anything in the In/Near Center City is pretty close to Penn, [and either] 1) walkable, 2) a very short drive/cab 3) or easy public transit."

                                  I agree that even Mama's is a longish walk from Penn, and anything further is not what most people call walking distance, but SEPTA service is pretty good in that area and should definitely be taken into account.

                                  PS: Coming from New York, where the numbered streets are close together, the first time I attempted to walk from a hotel to Mikveh Israel I vastly underestimated the distance! I think my hotel was on 18th or 19th St, or thereabouts, and it was quite the hike. Definitely doable, but far more than I had anticipated when I set out.

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