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fava_bean's Profile

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Center City Restaurant Week

I have to disagree. Some of the worst dining experiences I have had in Philadelphia over the past decade are at the "best" restaurants during restaurant week. It just doesn't scale. The servers and kitchen are off their game, the menu is too restricted, and you get the worst they have to offer. I recommend sticking to places that are not losing tons of money at the RW price point, who offer their full menu with a normally operating kitchen, and where you will get a small break in price for a meal you might not have tried otherwise. It's simple, you get what you pay for, and a meal at a "best" restaurant for a quarter of the price will be a quarter as good as you want it to be.

Aug 10, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

5 days in Philly - looking for feedback

Buckethead has a great list. Not sure where you are from reedsox (boston), but even not knowing, I can predict that the food at Vedge, Zahav, or Noord would be both new and impressive. And not just to the kids.

Aug 10, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

5 days in Philly - looking for feedback

You can go to Federal Donuts at the ballpark, but the selection (and in my opinion the quality) doesn't match what you will get at the original location on 2nd near Federal (or the second location on Sansom near 16th).

Aug 10, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Kermit's Bake Shoppe, anyone been?

Haven't had the bagels but I've had several of the pizzas, and many (too too many) of the baked goods. Some standouts: the sausage and peppers pizza is a fanastic version of this classic combination. And I really liked the mushroom and leeks pizza too. My favorite so far was a special (called the Terminator for reasons I could not discern) with creme fraiche, sauerkraut, and ham. In the baked goods case, the apricot, almond and sage tart is fantastic, as are the various seasonal fruit tarts (look for one with plums). And the butterscotch blondies have been a hit at my house. I also thought the sourdough baguette was perfect. The only miss so far was the raspberry salad "sauce" served with one of the salads. And I hope they add some gluten free desserts to join their gluten free pizza and baguette offerings. Oh, and they need to change the name of their Hot Pockets!! They are delish and deserve a name (hand pie, pastie) that doesn't bring thoughts of bad frozen food to mind.

Aug 10, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Out of towners with teens: what about these choices?

I'd recommend Noord, for something a little unusual but not so much so that two teenagers would be scared to eat. It was the first thing I thought of when I read "great food, fun atmosphere". The food is terrific, from the phenomenal bread to start, to the dessert-you-really-didn't-want-but-are-so-glad-you-ate to finish. The chef will come out and talk to you, everyone who works there is happy and will make you happy, and the whole neighborhood is so lively and energetic that that spirit gets swept right into the restaurant. Good food, good fun. In fact, now I'm thinking about heading there myself, right now! (One word of caution if you do go -- for my taste, the portions are huge. I'd plan on splitting some things unless you are really hungry.)

Jul 18, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Quick bites, portable meals, and toddler friendly dinners

Be sure to take that two year old to Capogiro, just off Rittenhouse Square, for some great ice cream. (You might indulge too!!)

A Philadelphia Experience for a Girls Soccer Team Dinner?

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.

Jul 17, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Reasonable Dinner and a walk?

Near the 13th st capogiro is the new Inde Blue. I haven't been and don't see any comments here. Has anyone been?

Jun 28, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Best Salad in the City

Scott's Big Salad at American Sardine Bar.

Jun 28, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia
1

Richard Landau of Vedge on Chopped

One of my daughters, who is vegan, refers to vegans who eat honey (unlike her) as "beegans". Because we need more terms for people who avoid animal products!!

Jun 28, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia
1

Reasonable Dinner and a walk?

A great place to stroll to after dinner (if you are in the Rittenhouse area) would be Magpie on South around 16th. If you like the idea of a pie-destined stroll, then you need to find a place within a few blocks of there. If 8 blocks is ok for you, I'd recommend Kanella at 10th and Spruce. The entrees are a tiny bit above your price point but you can make a meal of the starters (or share an entree). The manti, for example, are wonderful, filling, and approx $10.

Jun 28, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Best Date night restaurant

I've been to Vernick a half-dozen times, and never with a reservation. My boyfriend and I sit at the bar (where the full menu is served), and it's always seemed pretty romantic to us (especially after all the interesting cocktails they serve). The bartender will take time to get to know what you like and don't like, and then he'll surprise you with off-menu concoctions.

Jun 27, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Fine dining near Four Seasons

I love FDR but for 8 people? Hard to imagine pulling that off in their tiny space.

A little farther away is Meritage. I've had many successful business dinners there. Great food with a chef who can accommodate any food restrictions, reasonably priced wine list, and a nice mix of local farm-to-table ingredients with a little Asian twist.

Jun 27, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Yummy Sushi in Philadelphia

If you are not turned off by the idea of eating at a bar, you might have more options than opentable suggests. I have never made a reservation at Vedge or Vernick and eat at both regularly, at the bar. Full menu, a chance to chat with other diners, and lots of time to talk to the bartender (especially fun to do at Vernick where the cocktails are almost as remarkable as the food).

Jun 27, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia
1

Downtown Philly for the Day (Lunch/Dinner)

If you will be downtown for lunch, I'd recommend the Corner Foodery on Sansom. In particular, the sardine sandwich is amazing.

And then you can walk a few doors down for a donut from Federal Donuts for dessert!

Jun 27, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

private room for approx 25 people

I am looking for a restaurant where I can host a dinner for approximately 25 people, on a Sunday night in a few weeks. The group will be staying at the Palmer House on 17 E Monroe St, so a place within a mile of there would be nice but a cab ride is not a problem. I'd like to keep the cost to approx $75 per person, including wine; a set menu would be fine.

I would like suggestions for place with a casual atmosphere but a focus on good food, ideally with a seasonal (farm to table) menu and a moderately priced wine list. There need to be some vegetarian options. To give you a sense of my taste, last time I was in Chicago (a few years ago), I had a (small) dinner at Blackbird and Spring, both of which I liked a lot.

Thanks for your advice

Mar 06, 2012
fava_bean in Chicago Area

new favorites in SF?

I am a regular visitor to San Francisco (and lived here off and on over the past ten years), but I haven't been back for 6 months. I will be back for a weekend in December, and I am looking for a restaurant recommendation for a new place (or an old place that is new again), for dinner on a saturday night in a few weeks. I'll be staying in the city (in SOMA), and I don't drive, but I walk long distances and can take a cab. But, preferably, someplace in the city.

I would love to find a new slow-food, or at least, locally-sourced restaurant with a casual atmosphere (no tablecloths please) and an emphasis on simple food, well prepared. I like a place i can linger for a couple of hours, and am just as happy at a bar as at a table.

The other two places I am going are RN74 and Range - but, other suggestions for my weekend back in SF?

Thanks

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RN74
301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

RN74
San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

casual weekend party (25 people) recommendation

I am looking for a place to host a party on an upcoming Friday night for about 25 people. We'd like a place where we can linger for hours, as this is a reunion so most of the people are in from out of town and this is the evening's entertainment! The event is casual and my budget isn't huge (less than $50 per person including drinks & tip). In the past, I've had events like this at L2, Brigid's, and Ten Stone, but L2 is booked and the private rooms at Brigid's and Ten Stone aren't available on weekend nights.

A neighborhood gastropub would be perfect, but I'm not sure I'll find one with a private rooms that are available on a weekend. I've searched this board, and some of the recommended places for events like rehearsal dinners look a little too upscale for our needs (e.g., Estia).

Center City, Univ City, Art Museum, Bella Vista, even NoLib would all be OK.

Thanks

Sep 03, 2009
fava_bean in Pennsylvania

Divan

Too bad you asked for pita. The traditional turkish bread served at Divan is wonderful, especially when right out of the oven, and they are usually happy to bring plate after plate, which I enjoy dipping not only in Hummus but in the spicy Acili Ezme (minced peppers). I usually steer clear of their wine list, in favor of my own bottle (no corkage fee, except on Saturday and Sunday). Try the Iskender if you prefer a big meat dish, although I also love the little dumplings (Kayseri Manti).

Aug 17, 2009
fava_bean in Philadelphia

SoSo recommendations

Yes, by west Christian, I meant the west side of the city, on Christian, i.e., west of broad. Come on, buckethead. Work with me.

That said, I wasn't looking for recommendations only in my neighborhood -- I know the places around me (and eat at Sidecar more than I probably should admit) but miss places further afield. Like Bibou. I hadn't heard of that, but it looks great. Thanks!

Aug 17, 2009
fava_bean in Pennsylvania

SoSo recommendations

(I am really trying to get the nickname SoSo to catch on here for "South Of South", because it would be SO philadelphia!)

I'm a long-time Philadelphia foodie, but I've just moved to a new house on the west side of Christian, and to celebrate the occasion -- and to welcome my inlaws for a week long visit -- I want to plan a week of restaurants that are exclusively south of south (but no so far south that we can't walk to them!)

We have Cochon on the list (which I have heard great things about but never tried), and although we haven't been in ages, we're thinking of a return visit to Salt & Pepper. But I'm wondering what else I might be missing, what new openings I might not have noticed or long-standing favorites I somehow overlooked.

BYOs or liquor license, as long as the food is memorable!

Thanks
Sharon

Aug 17, 2009
fava_bean in Pennsylvania

Pico de Gallo ... Que pasa?

I've been a semi-regular diner at Pico de Gallo, at 15th and South in Philadelphia, for a number of years. I've seen them grow in popularity and earn their liquor license and add to their eclectic decorations, and through it all the food has been reliable if not distinctive mexican fare.

Last week (first week of Feb 2009) I went for the first time in a few months. The first clue I had that there had been, um, changes, was a serious change in interior decoration. Next, the menu was different, substantially truncated to remove, in my opinion, all of the most interesting entrees. The disappointments kept on coming, both in terms of food and service. Just as an example, the rice was inedible, way too salty (and I normally like salt). The formerly delicious pintos cooked with pork were replaced with what seemed to be a can of Old El Paso. Everything was different, and not in a good way.

I heard there is a place across the street, operated by the same person(s), but I could not find out if there was a change in ownership or management or just an expansion.

Anyone know what happened to Pico de Gallo??

Feb 11, 2009
fava_bean in Pennsylvania

Supper (the restuarant, not the meal)

Has anyone tried Supper yet (926 South St; www.supperphilly.com

)

I am trying to find recommendations (any not-to-be-missed items?), but because the name is so generic, it is hard to find anything! Sorry if I already missed a post on this --

Feb 06, 2008
fava_bean in Pennsylvania

Tapioles 53

I just went, and I recommend you do the same...

You'll need to make a reservation (93.329.22.38) because there are only seats for approx 18 people. The restaurant is run by an Australian-transplant, Sarah, ably assisted by two or three others, including a fabulous pastry chef. The decor is simple, as the focus is clearly on the food. The kitchen is partially open, so you can keep an eye on Sarah busily plating each dish.

Only the wine list is printed; the dinner list changes daily, depending on the season and Sarah's mood. We selected a very good Rioja after getting some advice from the only other front room staff. The meal began with a fabulous homemade bread, accompanied by an excellent olive oil and a sesame-cumin-almond-&c ground mixture for dipping.

Shortly after we arrived, Sarah joined us at our table to explain the menu options for the evening. There was a 3-course menu (for approx 35 euros) and a 5-course menu (for approx 55 euros). The 3-course menu included a choice of 2 starters, 2 mains, and 4 or 5 desserts. The 5-course menu had no choices (other than dessert) - two starters, one main, one cheese course (3 cheeses), and dessert. One starter, just to give you an example, was asparagus topped with a poached egg and shaved cheese, with a side of a very delicate spanish ham. Other items that appeared on the menu included figs, gnocchi, quail, and even a thai-style pork dish (which Sarah explained "was what I felt like eating tonight"). The five course menu isn't really more food than the 3 course menu (which included a very large main course).

Desserts feature fruit in season - I had an apricot tart with mascarpone cheese that was amazing, although it meant passing up an equally appealing cherry-themed dish. We also tried a homemade dark chocolate ice cream sandwich, assembled between two different cookies (choc chip and espresso).

The service was excellent, and the pacing of the meal was relaxed (although I noted that some other tables - who only ordered the 3 course menu - received their food at to rushed a pace for my taste - I think the fact that we ordered one 5-course menu slowed everything down).

My only complaint was that smoking is allowed indoors (not in keeping with many Barcelona restaurants). The people next to us (sitting very close) had a cigarette between each of their courses, which corresponded to *during* each of our courses. This compromised our ability to really take in the aromas of each dish, which was a disappointment, and frankly a surprise. After all the effort Sarah takes in selecting the finest ingredients, crafting unique yet simple dishes, and assembling them into exciting menus -- well, I would think she would want to spare the food from a smoky veneer. If you are someone who can't enjoy a meal next to a cigarette, you might not want to risk eating here.

Jun 27, 2007
fava_bean in Spain/Portugal