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Need a place for a long, quiet lunch

Request from my dad: he's meeting a potential client in Philadelphia, looking for a place to meet for lunch where they can stay and discuss work for 2-3 hours. Price under $40. Any type of food, but he has never met this client so I suppose 'American' is safest. Any ideas?

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  1. Get some nice deli sandwiches and salads and go up around the old Eastern State Penitentiary. Real quiet up there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrbigshotno.1

      Its 40 degrees outside...

      I would suggest that you look to restaurants that cater to the business crowd. Palm, Capitol Grille, etc would fit the bill.

    2. La Croix would be quiet, elegant, nice view, great service,
      less 'bustly" at lunch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bashful3

        I second Lacrox. With the view of the park this time of year with the leaves changing colors it would be nice.

      2. I've taken a client to Dandelion and it's fairly cozy and quiet during the day.

        1. Victoria Freehouse is British, but would probably work very well. It's very nice and clean, quiet for lunch, and not too expensive. They've also got plenty of pub snacks on the menu, in case your dad and his client get hungry again after a couple of hours of talking.

          Scroll down on their site for the menu:
          http://www.victoriafreehouse.com/menu/

          3 Replies
          1. re: gina

            Will need to pop in on my next Philadelphia visit. To illuminate the distinction between Freehouse, Public House, Ale House and Tavern here is an informative link, http://pubology.wordpress.com/2008/06...

            1. re: Edwardrae

              The use of freehouse really has no meaning in this country.. if a bar is tied to anything, they are tied to their local distributor rather than the brewery!

              The other term that developed from freehouse is the concept of a guest beer or ale a beer often not affiliated to the brewery that the bar is tied...

              These days in the US we see it at smaller brewpubs that stock their own beer and sometimes serve others as well (example is Earth Bread and Brewery... )

              1. re: cwdonald

                Thanks for the explanation of the term Freehouse in the states. I had only frequently encounter the name in the states and did understand that the meaning was not the same as in Britain. I did find the explanation provided at the link interesting as to the origins of that term and other Pub related British Terms. The single source provider concept at many managed pubs has met with distain: I enjoy the U.S brew pub concept which is also usually single provider but understandable as it is brewed in house. Even more enjoyable is the Pub's in the US that offer many different drafts and bottles, lovely experience.

          2. I go along with cw's suggestion of Capital Grille or the Palm. They are both comfortable, quiet, have a rather traditional menu with good food, and are used to people doing business lunches. It doesn't sound like a situation that calls for elegant.

            1. I don't mean to stir the pot here (or maybe I do, I don't know)...

              ...but I'm surprised that regular and respected chowhounds here would actually recommend places like Capital Grille and the Palm; for anything, really.

              Besides the fact that the majority of diners know about these chains without coming here for advice, I've had absolutely horrible meals at both and would never send anyone to either. What gives? Aren't we duty-bound to provide insight to the best, chow-worthy places?

              6 Replies
              1. re: gina

                And I have had very good meals at Capital Grille. And the issue was the atmosphere, and a place that would let you linger over lunch. I think it was a perfectly reasonable suggestion, and I stand by it. Your mileage may vary, but not everyone agrees with you.,

                1. re: gina

                  "What gives? Aren't we duty-bound to provide insight to the best, chow-worthy places?"

                  Yes, within the parameters the OP gives. In this case, food was low on the list. Places that won't mind you staying for 3 hours for lunch are, I think, going to be less good almost by definition because they aren't as crowded. FWIW, my one and only meal at the Palm was pretty bad, I wouldn't send anyone there either, even for this.

                  1. re: gina

                    I for one would always hope that my colleagues could select a steakhouse of local note, if there is one. Having only eaten at each of those mentioned in Philadelphia once, I have limited experience from which to draw a meaningful conclusion. However I did find CG more to my liking than the Palm, which I found very loud and quite to strident for what it is. With the wide range of personal taste involved in dining/food; I would suggest that one is only duty bound(as it were) to offer an honest opinion in respond to the OP's question.

                    1. re: Edwardrae

                      Your point about local steak houses is fair. However if you look at the two locally owned steakhouses Barclay Prime and Butcher and Singer, they do not meet the OP's criteria. Barclay Prime does not currently serve lunch, and Butcher and Singer is only open from 12:230 for lunch.

                      There are certainly other steakhouses, (Ruth Chris, Mortons, Davios, Del Friscos). These are all chains as well.

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        Yes understand. Sorry I muddled my response a bit. I was not suggesting that other Philadelphia steakhouse meet the OP's request, having not been. Just noting that my limited exposure to those mentioned was as stated and my choice of local when possible. Then my bit on the "duty bound" comment by the lady unintentionally stirring a pot.

                        1. re: Edwardrae

                          I've probably been to Capital Grille's in PA, NJ and MA at least 100 times. I've never had a bad meal there.

                          However, my favorite Philly steakhouse is The Prime Rib.